Skip to main content

Iraq: Who Is to Blame For the Hawija Violence?

Dozens of demonstrators were killed and more than a hundred were injured in the Iraqi town of Hawija, prompting questions about who is responsible, writes Mushreq Abbas.
Residents carry a coffin during the funeral of an Iraqi soldier in Baghdad April 25, 2013. The soldier was killed on the second day of clashes following the storming of a Sunni Muslim protest camp by Iraqi forces, in Hawija, near Kirkuk, 170 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad. REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY) - RTXYZIZ

Did a mere miscalculation result in the Iraqi army storming the demonstrations in the town of Hawija last Tuesday [April 23] at dawn, leaving 50 people dead and 110 injured, as well as igniting confrontations that lasted for three consecutive days that left dozens of victims belonging to the security forces and Sunni tribesmen?  

Obviously, most people thought that such a move would lead to these results, and possibly even mutate into a growing avalanche that could destroy whatever remained of internal civil peace. Yet, the insistence to carry this action out, and then justify it by saying that the Iraqi army was fired upon, raises a lot of questions.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.