Neighbors Eye Iraq’s Sectarian Rift With Unease

No one can say what might have eventually happened had the US not invaded Iraq and removed despot Saddam Hussein. Now shown the exit door by Iraqi leaders, US troops leave Iraq even as the entire Middle East is in tumult. In Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Syria, and other countries, citizens seek representative governments, while politicians are bitterly divided over secular and Islamist policies, as well as distribution of power among Sunnis and Shias. Growing violence in Iraq and Syria, which share a border, could give the Arab League, Iran and other neighbors reason to intervene. But intervention would likely deepen the internal divisions experienced by most nations in the region. Riyadh has hinted that Iran is instigating sectarian trouble throughout the region. Critics blasted US troop withdrawal in Iraq, suggesting that it would only increase Iranian influence. But other analysts point out that Iran faces an uphill struggle with an unstable Iraq and Syria, and any steps it takes will only add to its own domestic troubles. – YaleGlobal

Neighbors Eye Iraq’s Sectarian Rift With Unease

Conflict between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq and Syria could even divide Iran
Angus McDowall, Parisa Hafezi
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
© Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved.

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