Making Sense of the Turmoil In Iraq

by RA — Our Iraq Correspondent ( Jan 7, 2014

Al-Qaeda fighters parade in Fallujah last week. Click to enlarge

More than seven years after U.S. troops dealt a severe blow to al-Qaeda in Iraq, killing its chief, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an affiliate of al-Qaeda, captured the Iraqi city of Fallujah last weekend.
Fallujah, which covers about a third of Iraq’s territory, is home to some 300,000 people and is located about 64 kilometers (40 miles) west of the capital Baghdad in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province. The city was the center of the insurgency after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that brought Shi’ite majority to power.
The latest round of violence intensified when Iraqi police broke up a Sunni protest camp in Anbar earlier last week. More than 100 people have been reported killed in heavy fighting since last Friday.


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