The sectarian violence that has wracked the country for the last year can be traced directly to the bombing of the dome at the al Askiri shrine in February 2006.
"It is a terrorist attack aimed at sparking sectarian violence," Sheikh Saleh al-Haidari told the AFP news agency – indeed, it is obvious to even casual observers of the situation in
Samara is mainly a Sunni stronghold, and has been a flashpoint of the insurgency against both
Make no mistake, this attack was calculated and deliberate and the next 48 hours will be crucial. But if I were to venture a guess tonight, I would say the summer just got a lot more violent and a lot more treacherous for American troops.
Consider this - it has been made public recently that American forces are arming Sunni militias, and now one of Shia Islam's most holy shrines has been attacked - I am betting that the Shia militias step up their activity in coming days, includign against Americans. The next 48 hours are going to be crucial.
May cooler heads prevail...