The turn of events in Iraq is alarming. It highlights how fragile the situation is in the country as well as the dangers that lie in wait for the future. Iraq is today at a crucial juncture - one that will determine whether the nation will be able to survive the turmoil or be its victim.

A recent series of blasts killed no less than 50 people and injured at least 200. The coordinated attacks were well-orchestrated targeting busy areas across Baghdad. At least 12 blasts occurred in the morning in both Shia and Sunni neighbourhoods.

This by far is the worst violence since the heightening of the political crisis between Sunni and Shia factions. The relationship between the two sides has been tense, especially following the accusation of the government of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki against the Sunni Vice-President, Tarek Al Hashemi, that he is running a hit squad that targets government officials.

This tug-of-war between Sunni and Shia politicians highlights the undercurrent that is engulfing Iraq. It is just one indication of how fragile and dangerous the situation is in the country today. The recent violence is a prelude to what is yet to come. After all, the violence and clashes between the various parties are taking place right after the withdrawal of the US troops from Iraq.

It is very critical for Iraq today that it adopts a synergy that would bring all the different factions together - be it political, religious or sectarian. As a matter of fact, there is no other way forward except for all these groups to work together. And it is for the leaders of the country to ensure that the nation does not plunge into the unknown.

–Gulf News editorial