During the evening hours of October 19, another deadly blast struck Iraq’s capital Baghdad. A suicide bomber infiltrated the city’s central Harthiyah district and detonated his vest inside the Abbas el-Adli Shiite mosque. Harthiyah, meanwhile, is located next to Baghdad’s highly fortified and strategic Green Zone. Reports indicate that at least 24 people were killed in the blast, which apparently targeted a funeral. Following the attack, security was reportedly increased throughout the city given concerns of more Sunni jihadist bombings.
Those concerns are certainly well founded, as the bombing points to the Islamic State’s (IS) persistent ability to launch daily attacks in the Iraqi capital. These attacks come in various fashions, but are all meant to maximize casualties, exacerbate tensions, and weaken confidence in the government. Last month, the UN said 352 people were killed from attacks in Baghdad. With that in mind, heightened security measures inside and around the capital have for years failed to prevent IS operations from ravaging the capital. Aside from select districts, militants have the general capacity to conduct attacks when and where they choose. This will not change anytime soon. Additionally, it should not come as a surprise that the coming days may reveal that the bomber was a foreigner. IS often uses non-Iraqis for suicide operations. With the Shiite holiday of Ashura coming next week, Baghdad will certainly ready for the possibility of another intensification in attacks.