Bahrain’s Shi’ite Muslim uprising has sparked a new round of violence in Iraq, which U.S. President Barack Obama has been hoping will calm down as the United States tries to exit.
Sunni Muslim rulers, a minority and an elite class, rule in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, but Bahrain's ruthless crushing of protests has set off solidarity demonstrations in the streets of Iraq, where terrorists at an Al-Qaeda stronghold murder six people Tuesday.
Facing harsh criticism for intervening too much or too little in Libya, President Obama now faces urgent requests from the American-backed Iraqi government to pressure Bahrain to stop attacking protesters. Iraq's shaky coalition government fears that the ruthless suppression in Bahrain could ignite tensions in Iraq between the feuding Shi’ite and Sunni Muslim communities and threaten to turn the country back into an all-out civil war.
President Obama proudly announced several months ago that he was pulling out all American troops from Iraq, but 50,000 "non-combat” security personnel remain, and at least four soldiers were killed there in recent days, two of them from rocket or mortar fire.
Monday’s violence took place in Baghdad and in an Al-Qaeda village approximately 25 miles away, where three men and three women from one family were gunned down. The terrorists escaped.
In the capital, a bomb killed a bodyguard of the director of Iraq’s Industrial Ministry, and a second bomb killed a member of a council of an anti-Al-Qaeda para-military group composed of Sunni Muslims.
The council, like many others, was recruited through American efforts, according to CNN.
Indicating a return to the violence that has wracked Iraq for years, the number of violent deaths doubled in March, compared with February. At least 136 civilians and 111 policemen and soldiers were killed last month.