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Why is Iraq’s violence surging?

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The resurgence of al-Qaeda and easy to target Ramadan social events helped push July to be the deadliest month in 2013.

Violence in Iraq is rampant, and is getting worse. Numbers vary (depending on the sources used) of the mostly civilian victims that fell in the recent spike of suicide bombings and other acts of violence, but all counts point to a similarly grim conclusion. The violence takes place within the context of a civil war in Syria and divisive political crisis that is separating the country around sectarian and ethnic lines.

In this deadly context, few can claim innocence, and no one is immune. Using figures provided by AFP and information supplied by our Iraq correspondent, Jane Arraf, Al Jazeera looks into the intensifying violence in Iraq, the possible perpetrators, and reasons behind it.


What’s been happening in July?

July has been the second most violent month of the year, and has seen a resurgence of sectarian conflict.

At least 642 people have been killed in Iraq this month so far, and more than 1,451 people have been wounded, according to AFP. This makes it the most dangerous month in the last year, according to AFP statistics. The majority of people killed or wounded have been civilians. Daily attacks have been carried out across the country, many of which have involved suicide bombers who are speculated to be linked to al-Qaeda.

A wave of coordinated bombings have been the cause for the majority of the bloodshed, and most recently crowded markets and cafes have been targeted as people gather after breaking their fast during Ramadan.

Who is behind the violence?

All signs point to al-Qaeda and its affiliates, but some of the violence has been attributed to political parties….

What has been the most deadly day so far?

July 20 takes the infamous title as the deadliest day in July, with 70 deaths reported in just one day…

How does Ramadan affect the violence?

The increased social activity at Ramadan has been selected by militants to increase attacks…

What trends are we observing in these recent attacks?

Attacks have newer targets, including southern cities and middle-class neighbourhoods….

What was the deadliest day for soldiers?

22 soldiers were killed in a convoy attack that took place in Mosul…

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