Violence in Iraq is at its worst level since 2008.
According to casualty figures released today by the United Nations, attacks and other violence in Iraq killed 979 people in October, the exact number that were killed the month before. Of these, 852 were civilians and 127 were Iraqi soldiers or police. The violence there has escalated in recent months, inflamed by sectarian and political tension following an April crackdown on a Sunni protest camp that set off almost daily retaliation by extremists and al-Qaida insurgents. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday that some of the violence is a result of spillover from the Syrian civil war and asked the international community for help fighting the deadly insurgency.
"Ammar Ibrahim, a Sunni in northern Baghdad, said that the number of deadly attacks will grow in number unless the Iraq politicians stop caring only about their personal ambitions.
"The solution for Iraq's insecurity will never be a military one. Violence will stop when government senior officials understand that the Iraqis are more important than posts or elections," he said.
On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned in Washington that terrorists "got a second chance" to thrive in Iraq, largely as the result of the rise of al-Qaida fighters in neighboring Syria's civil war. He said the world needs to help Iraq deal with its deadly insurgency.
During a meeting in Washington on Friday, Al-Maliki is expected to appeal to President Barrack Obama for more U.S. assistance, including weapons and intelligence help, in order to defeat the growing insurgency in Iraq.
Yassir Mohammed, a Shiite government employee in eastern Baghdad, said that al-Maliki is mainly in Washington in order to get the U.S.' approval to run for a third term.
Mohammed also said that al-Maliki's refusal to grant legal immunity for U.S. forces was a "grave mistake" committed by al-Maliki. Nearly two years ago, his government refused to let U.S. forces remain in Iraq with legal immunity that the Obama administration insisted was necessary to protect troops."
Violence continued to rage in Iraq on Friday as gunmen opened fire on a security checkpoint in Mosul, killing one soldier and one civilian passer-by, according to police officials. Also in Mosul, another soldier was killed and three were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their convoy.