Mortars & Rockets in Iraq - 05.07.2007

This week we bring you two stories in one. There are ongoing problems in Baghdad’s neighborhoods of mortar and rocket attacks. This facet of Iraq’s sectarian violence is not as massive in a single act as many of the carbombs, suicide attacks, and IEDs, but is just as important to understanding the nature of the conflict.

Last year mortar attacks become more and more frequent, and now they are often referred to as one of the “weapons of choice” by Iraqis, in regards to the increasing sectarian conflict.

They are not extremely accurate, but their range enables them to be launched by attackers from afar, with a much reduced chance of reprisal. The first video in this piece looks at an attack at the end of last October. Due to difficulties with translators and obtaining videos from Baghdad, sometimes it takes awhile for us to put these videos together.

We decided this piece was still very relevant after an attack of a different kind struck our correspondent, Isam Rasheed’s house in March. Isam’s house was struck by a mortar, while he was working on a co-production between Alive in Baghdad and BBC’s Newsnight.

Mortar attacks are still happening even now, and despite the renewed security program, they don’t seem to have receded. Even the construction of the controversial Adhamiya wall, which may be successful in deterring carbombs and other localized forms of destruction, will likely not defuse the risk of mortar or rocket attacks.

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