Violence in Iraq rises as U.S. is distracted by other conflicts
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 7:21 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Security crises in Egypt, Syria and other countries are overshadowing rising death tolls and new fears of civil war in Iraq, once the top U.S. priority in the Mideast. However, the prospect that sectarian violence could fuel instability beyond Iraq's borders remains a concern for the Obama administration.
Officials and experts say the White House's attention is focused elsewhere — even as more than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in July, the deadliest month since 2008. At a meeting on Thursday between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, one of the main topics was flights of weapons from Iran across Iraqi airspace into Syria and back, as well as the threat from al-Qaida fighters along the Iraqi-Syrian border.
Surveys show a majority of Americans favor President Obama's hands-off approach toward Iraq since withdrawing the U.S. military from the country in 2011 after nearly nine years of war, at least $767 billion spent in taxpayer funds and nearly 4,500 U.S. troops killed.
But after hitting a low, if grim, level of violence immediately before the U.S. troops left, attacks have resurged in Iraq at a rate reminiscent of its darkest days.
Distracted by a civil war in Syria, a policy pivot to Asia, growing extremism in North Africa and Iran's nuclear ambitions, the White House turned its attention elsewhere.
Egypt, once reliably stable, has disintegrated over deadly street riots and attacks that killed more than 600 people on Wednesday during protests over the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy. Jordan, a key U.S. ally, is threatening to collapse under financial strain caused, in large part, by more than 1 million refugees who have crossed into the country from Syria. In addition, the United States is leading peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities, and watching a growing threat from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Recovery expert believes wreckage of missing plane located
- ‘Affluenza’ family won’t pay full rehab fee
- Android systems running 4.1.1 softward carry Heartbleed bug
- Heroin-related deaths set record in Ohio
- Military dog that saved patrol retires in Tampa with honors
- Casino sues gambler Phil Ivey, claiming $9.6M cheat
- Country Music Museum links old, new
- Authorities say they have trove of evidence against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston Marathon bombing
- Denver wife killed 12 minutes into 911 call, sparking inquiry
- Imam’s influence detailed as NYC terror trial begins
- Deal reached in Ukraine crisis talks, but U.S. remains wary of Russia’s end game