Small Wars Journal

Post-IS Iraq Treads Fine Line as it Seeks Regional Role

Post-IS Iraq Treads Fine Line as it Seeks Regional Role Ali Choukeir - AFP

Baghdad (AFP) - Five years after the Islamic State group swept across Iraq, Baghdad is bidding to reclaim its role as a regional player while walking a tightrope between rival backers the US and Iran.

The country is seeking to position itself as a "bridge" between rival powers in a region beset by deep divisions, says Iraqi political scientist Ihssan al-Shemmari.

Following more than a decade of international sanctions and 15 years of conflict -- including the push to roll back IS, which ended over a year ago -- violence in Iraq has dropped sharply.

As calm steadily returns, international leaders are increasingly looking to Baghdad as an important actor.

Top officials from both the United States and Iran, along with King Abdullah II of Jordan and senior figures from various western powers, have all visited the oil-rich country since January…

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