Twin suicide bombings in Baghdad’s Tayaran Square on Thursday left 32 people dead, and over 100 injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for the carnage.
The first suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt in the busy Baghdad Marketplace after claiming to be sick and attracking a crowd. As soon as he did that and more people came running, a second bomber detonated his belt. The twin suicide bombings were the largest attack in Baghdad since 2018.
The attack occurred only a short distance from the diplomatic area known as the “Green Zone” where the US Embassy is located. ISIS took credit for the attack on its propaganda channels via the encrypted app Telegram late Thursday.
The jihadist group also claimed in al-Naba, the most recent iteration of its propaganda newspaper, that it had conducted 30 attacks throughout Iraq in the week of January 15 to January 21, without providing evidence. Those attacks, ISIS boasted, killed another 40 people. Al-Naba appears to be a successor to Dabiq, the high-production Islamic State magazine that ceased publication in 2016, after U.S. and coalition forces launched a targeted campaign to eliminate ISIS’s top propagandists.
The attack on Thursday prompted alarm from the Iraqi government, which rapidly moved to dismiss security officials who failed to act to prevent it. Iraqi Prime Minister Mostafa al Kadhimi reportedly dismissed at least four top officials — the head of the Iraqi federal police, two top Interior Ministry officials, and the director of Intelligence and Security of Baghdad Operations Office — in the aftermath of the attack.
“The two terrorist explosions against the safe citizens of Baghdad, at this time, confirms [sic] the endeavor of shadowy groups to target national achievements and the aspirations of our people for a peaceful future,” Iraqi President Barham Salih wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “We stand firmly against these rogue attempts to destabilize our country.”Breitbart
The Iraqi government vowed to launch a revenge campaign.
Though ISIS no longer has a territory, there are plenty of followers of deceased leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi left. The US has worked hard to snuff them out whenever they receive relevent intel. By 2014, ISIS had slaughtered its way through parts of Syria (Raqqa), and Iraq (Mosul). By 2019 and the death of al-Baghdadi their territory was decimated and their “high profile” status destroyed. But the individual pieces and parts are still around, which is the main reason there is a US military presence in Iraq.
They are not going to take over any territory, because we’ve defeated them territorially. Now, they are doing an insurgency. They are assassinating people, they are kidnapping people. They are a bunch of criminals. They are still out there in some parts of Iraq, in the mountains and in the caves. We find them and we bomb them and we kill them.Col. Wayne Marotto, Spokesman, Operation Inherent Resolve
Featured photo: the moment of twin suicide bombings in Tayaran Square via Twitter @alihashem_tv
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