In a car bombing that occurred on Friday, in the northern Iraqi city, Erbil, two lives were claimed in the explosion near the U.S. Consulate. The Islamic State confessed to being the perpetrator behind the incident. The act was a clear show of power to the allied forces against them.
Officials on site and the witnesses that were in the area reported that the explosion was set off adjacent to a popular cafe, just shy of 300 feet from the consulate’s rear entrance. A policeman said that the explosion claimed two lives and eight other individuals were injured. An American diplomat said that no casualties were counted among the members of Erbil’s consulate committee.
Erbil was not the only Iraqi city struck by bombings. Baghdad was hit in two different communities. The report mentioned that 11 citizens were killed and five times that many were injured.
One of the officials of the Anbar Operations Council said that the Islamic State group marched within 500 yards of an Iraqi government building in Ramadi. The official said that government attacks made against Iraq have occurred there over the past two weeks. Although Ramadi has suffered heavily, they have fought off Islamic State from taking over.
Recent attacks have demonstrated how Iraq’s lack of stability can be used against them, even though the combined efforts of Kurdish Peshmerga, Iraqi and American air support, and the Shiite ground militias have stopped the Islamic State from gaining more ground. While the fight isn’t over, and both sides have hit each other fairly hard, Shiite soldiers have claimed a major victory.
Unconfirmed is the death of Izzat al-Douri, one of Saddam Hussein’s former partners. He was one of the few members of the Baath Party to avoid incarceration. Late Thursday night, Shiite soldiers claimed to have taken Douri out of the equation. Photographs taken on site show that the corpse did resemble Douri.
Douri was believed to be the one who transformed Islamic State from their loose cannon way of radicalization into the movement it is today. Though, several people who were watching jihadi groups think that it was Islamic State that grew as Douri’s organization diminished.
The Erbil explosion caused widespread panic throughout Ainkawa, a peaceful Christian community where many expatriates visit the local bars and cafes. Immediately following the bombing was gunfire, and the local authorities quickly sectioned off the area.
Due to the fact that Erbil is a hub of business between Western nations and Iraq, the U.S. started to launch airstrikes the moment Islamic State militants camped 20 miles outside of the city. Since withdrawing their forces in 2011, this is the first time the U.S. has employed armed intervention to help with Iraqi affairs.
The car explosion has the U.S. greatly concerned over the safety of their overseas diplomats with the consulate, as well as their businessmen in Erbil, and the nearby Iraqi cities. The Islamic State’s attacks on Baghdad and Ramadi have Iraq scrambling to stabilize their nation and fight back. Even with the Shiite militia and U.S. Air Force behind them, this conflict is all but said and done.
By Matthew Austin Bowers