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Iraq's stability on the line as US, Iran tensions soar


Added 09-20-19 04:35:02am EST - “As the United States and Israel escalate their push to contain Iranian influence in the Middle East, countries in Tehran's orbit are feeling the heat.” - Washingtontimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtontimes.com: “Iraq’s stability on the line as US, Iran tensions soar”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

BAGHDAD (AP) - As the United States and Israel escalate their push to contain Iranian influence in the Middle East, countries in Tehran’s orbit are feeling the heat.

Pro-Iranian militias across Lebanon, Syria and Iraq are being targeted, both with economic sanctions and precision airstrikes hitting their bases and infrastructure. This is putting the governments that host them in the crosshairs of an escalating confrontation and raising the prospect of open conflict.

Nowhere is that being felt more than in Iraq. It is wedged between Saudi Arabia to the south and Iran to the east and hosts thousands of U.S. troops on its soil. At the same time, powerful Shiite paramilitary forces linked to Iran pose a growing challenge to the authority of the central government.

As the pressure mounts, divisions within Iraq’s pro-Iranian factions have burst into the open, threatening to collapse a fragile government coalition and end a rare reprieve from the violence that has plagued the country for years.

“Regional challenges facing Iraq will make it even more difficult for Adel Abdel-Mahdi to bring the (militias) under control,” said Randa Slim, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, referring to Iraq’s prime minister.

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