Iran and Saudi Arabia support rival sides in several conflict zones across the Middle East region, including Yemen where the Houthi rebels are backed by Tehran, and Riyadh leads a military coalition supporting the government.
The victims of a long-persecuted minority continue to find themselves trapped in a cycle of violence, with Daesh-K turning their guns on them to rattle the Taliban government.
A Kabul police spokesperson said the blasts at the Abdul Rahim Shahid school were caused by improvised explosive devices and left at least six people killed and 11 wounded.
Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr asks his followers not to interfere as his rivals form a coalition of Iran-backed Shia parties, trying to cobble together a cabinet.
Although Iran's expansionist aspirations are primarily aimed at the Middle East, the states of the South Caucasus and Central Asia remain in Tehran’s sights.
The positive rebranding of Muqtada al Sadr by international media and experts serves to entrench the broken post-2003 Iraqi political order, not fix it.
Iran-backed militias are in a relatively weakened state, but will try anything to avoid being left out of the government.
Besides the question of Iran’s culpability in the assassination attempt on the Iraqi Prime Minister, Iraq still faces grave problems that violence and instability can exacerbate.
The militant groups want a seat at the table, and are willing to apply whatever pressure it takes to ensure that they do.
The impunity enjoyed by the militias and continued collective punishment against Sunnis can only lead to civil war.
While organised, armed opposition to Taliban rule in Afghanistan has largely ceased, the one exception is the local affiliate of the so-called Islamic State.
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