Baghdad is not new to suicide attacks. The growing rift and sectarian divide has damaged the society and brought life in Iraq to a standstill for years now. Iraq by large is a failed state due to foreign involvement and a complex sectarian divide, which is not stopping after investing both human and economic capital to ensure the society revives and gives way to peace.
On May 17, 2016, Baghdad saw multiple suicide attacks, resulting in the death of 63 civilians and injuring another 100. Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, James Lynch said, “The spike in deadly bomb attacks across Baghdad, in predominantly Shia areas, will outrage anyone who places value on human life. The bloody toll from these attacks, which is predominantly civilian, has been growing steadily over the past seven days.”
As per Lynch, this shows gross negligence against the international human rights law. Islamic State claimed responsibilities of all attacks, saying the attacks were against the Popular Mobilization Units, who are fighting alongside the Iraqi government to clear cities from the control of Islamic State. According to media reports, two bombs were set off in Al-Shaab neighborhood of Baghdad, while the third was targeted at a market near Sadr City, a dominant Shia area in Baghdad. Lynch further said, “The deliberate targeting of civilians is strictly prohibited and can never be justified. International humanitarian law also prohibits attacks that fail to distinguish between civilians and fighters or that disproportionately harm civilians.”
Iraq has been going through sectarian divide since Western governments overthrew Saddam Hussein over the pretext of weapons of mass destruction, which were never found. The current sectarian landscape is mostly divided because of a rift between Saudi Arabia, which is a Sunni dominant country and Iran, which is a Shia dominant country, for control over Middle East.