Sunni Muslim fighters in the western Iraqi city of Fallujah take up positions on Sunday. The insurgents have been fighting government troops in battles similar to those a decade ago in the area.
Credit Mohammed Jalil / EPA /Landov
Iraqi Sunni men carry the coffin of a person killed by Iraqi army fire in Fallujah, in western Iraq, on Saturday. Sunni extremists have been battling Iraqi government forces in the region, in fighting reminiscent of violence a decade ago.
Yet again, Iraqi civilians are fleeing violence in Iraq's sprawling western province of Anbar. Years of under-the-radar daily tension and bloodshed has erupted into another al-Qaida surge and retaliatory Iraqi government airstrikes.
But the violence that brought Iraq back to the headlines, while tragic, was not surprising.
For months, observers had been warning about the combustible combination of the Syrian civil war next door and the alienation of Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority.