Looking Back — Part 5, Insurgency Attacks Continue to Rise
On January 31, 2005, an election took place to elect members of the Iraqi Transitional Government. The purpose of the government was to draft a constitution for the country. This event was marred by a widespread Sunni boycott, but most of the Kurd and Shia members of the population participated.
From February to April, violence died down causing hope that soon the U.S. troops would be pulled out of Iraq. That hope was ended in May 2005. Violence surged and included suicide bombers spread throughout the entire countries targeting Shia gatherings and places where there were concentrations of Shia citizens. In one month alone, over 700 citizens of Iraq died along with 79 U.S. soldiers.
In October 2005, a referendum was held to ratify the new Iraqi constitution. In December, there was another election to elect an Iraqi national assembly. This election was participated by the Sunnis in addition to the Kurds and Shia.
In total, the number of insurgent attacks reached 34,131 in 2005, up by 7,635 attacks from the previous year.
The year of 2006 felt very much like a civil war in Iraq with citizens of Iraq targeting other citizens with their violence. On February 23 alone, over 100 dead bodies were found with bullet holes in them and the death rate in Baghdad averaged around 33 a day.
On May 20, 2006, the Iraqi government officials who won the elections in December took office. Other major events in 2006 included the release of the Iraq Study Group Report and the hanging of Saddam Hussein. The Report was led by former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton and concluded that the situation in Iraq was quickly deteriorating and that there seemed to be no foreseeable end to the conflict. The recommended having diplomatic measures increased and working harder to train Iraqi troops as quickly as possible.
With Saddam Hussein’s trial ending (after a year of being tried for crimes against humanity by an Iraqi court), the former regime was effectively dead. But the end of 2006 did not bring hope for an end.
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