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November 15, 2019

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Surge in Iraq Violence Underscores Fragile Situation

Four bombings over the last two days have killed at least 60 in Iraq, raising concerns as the June 30 deadline for all U.S. troops to be out of Iraqi cities approaches. New York Times reporter Campbell Robertson reports from Baghdad.

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    New violence in Iraq. Margaret Warner talked earlier this evening with Campbell Robertson of the New York Times in Baghdad.


    Iraq saw a number of deadly bombings this week that killed more than 65, including three American soldiers. The new violence has raised concerns as the United States is pulling back its forces.

    Under an agreement with the Iraqi government, all U.S. troops are supposed to be out of Iraqi cities by June 30th.

    Joining us from Baghdad to discuss recent developments is Campbell Robertson of the New York Times.

    And, Campbell, thank you for joining us. Put this week's violence in some context for us, could you? How big an increase in violence have we seen in the last couple of months compared to, say, earlier in the year?

  • CAMPBELL ROBERTSON, The New York Times:

    Well, April was the worst month of the year so far. But you have to remember that how much lower that is than what it was, say, a year ago. It's still less than half of last April's casualty count.

    But it sort of fits a pattern that American and Iraqi officials had described, that the daily sort of drumbeat of violence that we saw in '06 and '07 would sort of go away or stay on a steady decline, while it would be interrupted or penetrated by these larger, more spectacular attacks.

    That's kind of what the security officials have been expecting, and it's what seems to be happening here.

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