The United States’ killing of Qassem Soleimani – commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force – in Baghdad on 3 January this year escalated tensions between Iran and the US to new heights, and risked sparking direct conflict between the two powers.
The full repercussions of the US’ decision – and Iran’s relatively muted military response – on the Middle East are yet to be felt. For the Iranian regime, retaliation is likely to take the form of a longer-term campaign to increase its influence in the region.
In Iraq, the death of the de facto leader of the Popular Mobilisation Forces alongside Soleimani, repeated violations of its sovereignty and a movement to end US military presence on Iraqi soil are likely to have considerable long-term security implications for the country and wider region.
How will the crisis affect American foreign policy in the region going forward?
How might the Iranian regime retaliate in future?
And with Iraq caught in the middle of this crisis, how is the fallout from recent events going to affect Baghdad’s domestic and regional politics?