Just days after suicide bombers struck the city of Brussels, Belgium, they have struck again – but because it didn’t happen in Europe, the media has nothing to say. A few hours ago, a suicide bomber detonated himself at a crowded football game in the city of Iskandariyah, some 40 miles south of Baghdad. “They were just handing the trophy to the winners, the suicide attacker blew himself up in the crowd” said a policeman who saw the horror.
Casualty counts are sketchy, but we believe that thirty were killed, including children and the town’s mayor – and as many as seventy-one were wounded. There has been little coverage of the incident, because it took place in Iraq – but this was just a horrifying an attack as was Brussels. This wasn’t a military base or a checkpoint. This was at a soccer game in a town where Sunnis and Shias live together in peace, where a people wracked by years of war were trying to forget their troubles and enjoy a pleasant sporting match – but it was not to be.
Daesh had been largely pushed out of this province, but snowballing losses are forcing them to return to their old tactics of guerrilla warfare and suicide bombings. Syrian regime forces, Hezbollah units, and Russian air support have nearly finished liberating the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra from Daesh; the offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul has finally been launched, with a coalition of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish peshmerga units, Shia militias, and yes, some 200 US ground troops currently some five kilometers away from the city. Kurdish YPG forces are advancing on the village of Markadah in North Syria; within a few weeks, the Daesh siege of Deir-ez-Zor should be broken in a SAA/YPG pincer move and leave the capital of Raqqa encircled.
In addition, the United States killed a top-ranking member of Daesh, the “Minister of Finance” Haji Imam in a special operations raid.
Every life is just as valuable, no matter what race or religion or gender – something the mainstream media needs to learn, if they could ever tear themselves away from covering Donald Trump and Ted Cruz descending into a puerile debate about how attractive their wives are. This bombing today was a crime as heinous as the bombings in Belgium – but because it happens in a place where this is “normal” (thanks to American interventions, I might add), the media is silent. There will be no profile picture filters or safety checks; no candle memes or moments of silence for the poor souls of Iskandariya – because apparently the violence doesn’t matter if it’s inflicted on Muslims.
UPDATE – since this article was posted, three car bombs (VBIEDs) struck the Yemeni city of Aden, killing 26. Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attacks. That makes three separate attacks in three separate countries, killing up to 75 people in one week. Their desperation to still be taken seriously is growing.
Video of the Iraqi attack has been somehow retrieved. WARNING – extremely graphic content
Wahabbi inspired ISIS terrorist blew himself up in bunch of innocent Iraqi civilians watching a local football match pic.twitter.com/yQ8mOK4HaE
— Bassem (@BBassem7) March 25, 2016
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.