Violence and political turmoil drive Iraq closer to civil war

The distribution of Sunni and Shi'i groups throughout Iraq
The distribution of Sunni and Shi'i groups throughout Iraq

Religious sectarianism could cause Iraq's political system to collapse and lead to the country's fragmentation. The civil war in neighbouring Syria has united al-Qaeda affiliates with less radical Sunni circles in both countries in a struggle against the Alawite-led government in Damascus and its allies, the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran. In part one of a two-part series, Professor Amatzia Baram examines this complex subject in detail and considers the country’s increasing political instability which has been underscored by recent extreme violence.

IRAQ is slowly edging towards a civil war – an echo of 2006-2008 when the intercommunal violence between ...

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