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Iraq

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Index
  1. Iraq Main Page
  2. Iraq Gains Independence
  3. Rise of the Baath Party
  4. Saddam Hussein's Ascendancy Brings Series of Wars
  5. After 9/11, the U.S. Launches War in Iraq
  6. No Evidence of Weapons in Iraq
  7. Insurgency Gathers Steam
  8. Iraqi Leadership Struggles in Effort to Form a Government
  9. U.S. Strategy Under Fire
  10. Bush Orders a Surge of U.S. Troops to Iraq
  11. Iraqi Parliament Gets Down to Business
  12. Political Veterans Fare Well in 2010 Parliamentary Elections
  13. War in Iraq Is Officially Over but Political Unrest and Violence Continue
  14. 2014 Parliamentary Elections Unexpectedly Peaceful; ISIS Militants Take Control of Mosul
  15. New Prime Minister Forms a Power-Sharing Government
Bush Orders a Surge of U.S. Troops to Iraq

In a Jan. 2007 televised address, President Bush announced that a "surge" of 20,000 additional troops would be deployed to Baghdad to try to stem the sectarian fighting. He also said Iraq had committed to a number of "benchmarks," including increasing troop presence in Baghdad and passing oil-revenue-sharing and jobs-creation plans.

The stability of the Iraqi government further deteriorated in August, when the Iraqi Consensus Front, the largest Sunni faction in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's cabinet, resigned, citing the Shiite-led government's failure to stem violence by militias, follow through with reforms, and involve Sunnis in decisions on security. August also saw the deadliest attack of the war. Two pairs of truck bombs exploded about five miles apart in the remote, northwestern Iraqi towns of Qahtaniya and Jazeera. At least 500 members of the minority Yazidi community were killed and hundreds more were wounded.

A National Intelligence Estimate released in September said the Iraqi government had failed to end sectarian violence even with the surge of American troops. The report also said, however, that a withdrawal of troops would "erode security gains achieved thus far." By September, the level of fatalities in Iraq had decreased, and President Bush said progress was indeed being made in Iraq, citing the fact that relative peace and stability had come to the once restless Anbar Province in large part because several Sunni tribes had allied themselves with the U.S. in its fight against radical Sunni militants.

In highly anticipated testimony, Gen. David Petraeus told members of Senate and House committees in September that the U.S. military needs more time to meet its goals in Iraq. He said the number of troops in Iraq may be reduced from 20 brigades to 15, or from 160,000 troops to 130,000, beginning in July 2008.

On Sept. 16, 17 Iraqi civilians, including a couple and their infant, were killed when employees of private security company Blackwater USA, which was escorting a diplomatic convoy, fired on a car that failed to stop at the request of a police officer. The killings sparked furious protests in Iraq, and Prime Minister Maliki threatened to evict Blackwater employees from Iraq. In November, FBI investigators reported that 14 of the 17 shootings were unjustified and the guards were reckless in their use of deadly force.

Although 2007 culminated as the deadliest year in Iraq for U.S. soldiers, the U.S. military reported in November that for several consecutive weeks, the number of car bombs, roadside bombs, mines, rocket attacks, and other violence had fallen to the lowest level in nearly two years. In addition, the Iraqi Red Crescent reported that some 25,000 refugees (out of about 1.5 million) who had fled to Syria had returned to Iraq between September and the beginning of December. However, many of these returning refugees found their homes occupied by squatters. In addition, previously diverse neighborhoods had become segregated as a result of the sectarian violence.

Next: Iraqi Parliament Gets Down to Business
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