50 people are estimated to have been killed and over 150 injured in a dozen bombings throughout Baghdad on the 10th anniversary of theU.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. At least 10 car bombs were set off in a coordinated campaign which targeted busy areas in predominantly Shiite neighborhoodsincluding a market, bus stops, and the Green Zone, which houses government offices and foreign embassies. Additionally, a suicide bomber attacked a police base in a Shiite town south of Baghdad and three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were set off in the northern region of Kirkuk. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Islamic State of Iraq, the Iraqi wing of al Qaeda, has carried out similar bombings before and has vowed to increase attacks on Shiite targets in attempts to undermine the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Violence peaked in Iraq between 2006 and 2007, but sectarian tensions and the political crisis have worsened since U.S. troops departed in December 2011. In addition to continued violence, economic conditions are deteriorating and an influx of Syrian refugees into the country has only increased concerns.
Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian Opposition Coalition, elected a provisional prime minister in Istanbul on Tuesday.