Dossier: Nouri al-Maliki

IS supporters in Mosul on 16 June 2014 (photo: picture-alliance/AP)

Shifting alliances in the Middle East

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My enemy's enemy is my friend

The successes of IS militias are turning the West's established concept of friend and foe on its head. Former rogue nations are emerging as strategic partners, and declared terrorists are becoming allies. By Karim El-GawharyMore

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stand guard at Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, 21 August 2014 (photo: Reuters)

Iraqi crisis

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The expected death of a nation

Iraq has always been an artificial country, an entity created and beset by outside influences. However, Iraq is not currently being threatened by outside influences alone; discord is now flourishing within the country itself – with devastating consequences. A commentary by Rudolph ChimelliMore

US President Barack Obama speaking in the White House about the humanitarian relief situation in Iraq, 7 August 2014 (photo: Reuters)

The Middle East policies of Europe and the US

Mistakes must not be repeated

For years, the West's foreign policy approach to the Middle East has been short sighted and counterproductive. A shrewd blend of engagement and restraint in the region is now required. However, where there is a threat of genocide at the hands of terrorists or regimes, civilians must be protected using all available means, writes Kristin HelbergMore

Still from an ISIS propaganda video (photo: picture-alliance/abaca)

ISIS propaganda and use of social networks

The online jihad

The terrorist group ISIS (which now refers to itself as Islamic State) has been conducting a massive propaganda campaign via social networks on the Internet. In addition to intimidating opponents, the group wants to establish its own media brand. By Nastassja SteudelMore

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian conflict and the advance of ISIS

Assad and the myth of the lesser evil

Assad has used chemical weapons and laid waste to entire neighbourhoods and regions with barrel bombs. However, in the West, fears of what ISIS Islamists could achieve loom so large that Syria's dictator continues to be seen as a smaller part of the problem. By Bente SchellerMore

US Secretary of State John Kerry on a visit to the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in Baghdad. Photo: Reuters

The Iraq crisis and the West

The ugly new order in the "Fertile Crescent"

Iraq is in the grip of a devastating inner-Islamic religious war. The conflict has an inherent dynamic that cannot be stopped by presidential wishful thinking or a hurried visit to Baghdad by US foreign minister John Kerry. Stefan Buchen commentsMore

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (left) during a visit to President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran (photo: AFP)

Iran's role in the Iraq conflict

An ally, but not a puppet

For many Sunnis in Iraq, the country's Shia prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is a puppet of Iran. In the West too, the view that Tehran is pulling the strings in Iraqi politics is widely held. But what influence does Tehran really have in Iraq, and what role is it playing in the current crisis? Answers from Ulrich von SchwerinMore

Nouri al-Maliki (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi crisis

Not the right guy for Iraq

The terror in Iraq is a Sunni rebellion against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, writes Birgit Svensson in Baghdad, who lays the blame for the country's dire straits squarely at the door of its Shia head of governmentMore

Members of an ISIS unit in Nineveh (photo: AFP)

ISIS and the Iraqi government

In the grip of the jihadists

For years, Iraq's Sunnis have been marginalised by the central government in Baghdad. This is now having dire consequences. It is apparent that ISIS's advance has been aided by former Sunni officers from the Saddam era. By Karim El-GawharyMore

An irrigation canal on the Euphrates bursting its banks (photo: Birgit Svensson)

Flood disaster in Iraq

Water as an instrument of war

ISIS terrorists are currently taking advantage of the high water levels on the Euphrates in their fight against the government in Baghdad. For its part, the Iraqi government is also resorting to inhumane methods. By Birgit Svensson in BaghdadMore

The aftermath of an ISIS attack on military vehicles in Mosul (photo: Reuters)

Jihadists seize Iraqi city of Mosul

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Wave of terror washes over Iraq

After the fall of Ramadi and Fallujah, the Islamist militants of ISIS have now seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Some 500,000 civilians are now fleeing the insurgents. The deputy prime minister has called it a security disaster. By Birgit Svensson in BaghdadMore

Protesting Sunnis waving the flag of the Baath Party in Fallujah (photo: Birgit Svensson)

Fighting in the Iraqi province of Anbar

"Maliki is the new Saddam!"

The images coming out of the Iraqi province of Anbar shocked the world: masked fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were seen patrolling the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, waiting to take them over. Baghdad's central government seems to be losing its grip on the country's largest province. From Birgit Svensson in FallujahMore

Anti-government demonstration in Ramadi, Iraq, in February 2013 (photo: Reuters)

Iraq Ten Years after Saddam

Disenchanted Nation

Ten years after the start of the Iraq War and the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi reviews developments in the country and considers whether things are better or worse now than they were before the Allied invasionMore

The wreckage of a bombed-out car in Kirkuk, 23 July 2012 (photo: Reuters)

Series of Terrorist Attacks in Iraq

A Culture of Violence

On the fourth day of the holy month of Ramadan, bombs went off simultaneously in 14 Iraqi cities, marking a new peak in al-Qaeda activity since the withdrawal of American troops at the end of last year. The terrorist network is shamelessly exploiting the way people behave during Ramadan, as Birgit Svensson reports from BaghdadMore

Ceremony in Baghdad marking the end of US military operations in Iraq (photo: AP)

Iraq after the Withdrawal of US Troops

A ''Stable'' Country Teetering on the Brink

After the withdrawal of the Americans from Iraq, the governing coalition in Baghdad is imploding, the dispute between Shia and Sunni is escalating and several provinces are striving for autonomy. Birgit Svensson reports from BaghdadMore