Deadly explosions and suicide attacks have rocked Iraqi cities, casting doubts over recent security gains and compelling the US to declare that American soldiers will not withdraw from parts of Baghdad, Mosul and Diyala at the end of June

The northern city of Mosul is seen as a particular stronghold of al-Qaeda.

However, Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, has insisted that there will be no exceptions and that the US must abide by the June deadline.

The perplexing violence has prompted Iraqi politicians to point fingers at the usual suspects: al-Qaeda, the Baathists and the US.

But the mystifying question is why? Is the political squabble among Iraqi factions being translated into blood and carnage on the streets of Iraq?

Our guests this week are Larry Korb, a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress, Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Sami Ramadani, a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University.

This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, May 15, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera