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An eye on al-Qaida

China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-14 07:55

It is worrying that Iraq is experiencing the worst eruption of violence in recent years, with the number of people killed and wounded rising on a daily basis.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq said July was the deadliest month in the country for more than five years, as more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in acts of terrorism and violence, and the death toll continues to rise.

On Monday, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is affiliated to al-Qaida, posted a statement in religious forums claiming responsibility for a wave of bombings on Saturday across Iraq that killed more than 60 people and injured more than 200.

Saturday's attacks are just one example of the bloodshed instigated by al-Qaida affiliated forces in the conflict-ridden country. The group has also claimed responsibility for the simultaneous raids in July on two prisons in Baghdad that freed some 500 inmates and left more than 60 people dead.

It is clear that the resurgence of the al-Qaida affiliated force, which threatens the fragile security fabric in Iraq, is a result of the security vacuum from the United States' withdrawal in December 2011, as well as the lasting social unrest in parts of the region.

While lamenting the loss of innocent lives, the international community should keep a vigilant eye on the resurgence of al-Qaida groups in the Middle East country, as they are playing an increasingly prominent role in Iraq.

The turbulence in the Arabian Peninsula has provided fertile soil for al-Qaida to reorganize its ranks and extend its influence in the region, especially in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

Defending US President Barack Obama's record of fighting terrorism on Aug 5, White House spokesman Jay Carney admitted that while the core of al-Qaida had been diminished through the efforts of the US and its allies, affiliated organizations, including al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, have become stronger.

The decision by the US to close 19 diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa earlier this month because of a potential terrorist attack shows the country, which has been leading global anti-terror crusade since Sept 11, 2001, is aware that the war against terrorism has not been won.

Until the violent acts instigated by terrorist groups in countries such as Iraq and Syria come to an end, the US should not try to bask in its successes against terrorism.

(China Daily 08/14/2013 page8)

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