Attacks like the one which claimed six lives at a police station in northern Iraq over the weekend may well temper US claims that they have succeeded in taming the country’s unrelenting violence. The group of police officers died when scores of gunmen raided the building, leaving nothing but piles of rubble in their wake.
The incident was only one of several which took place over the weekend. The numbers of dead and injured were again significant. As well as the police station raid in the village of Baiji, there were numerous attacks in Mosul and Mahmudiya as well as the capital, Baghdad.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for Iraq’s neighbours to stop interfering and support his government’s efforts at reconciliation and reconstruction. Maliki spoke out at an international security conference in Baghdad, attended by Syria and Iran. Both have denied US claims that they are enabling insurgents.
Later today, top US officials in Iraq are due to deliver a pivotal assessment of the recent troop surge to Washington’s Democrat-controlled Congress.