As French President Emmanuel Macron wraps up his first official visit to Baghdad, former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi speaks to FRANCE 24 about his country's difficulties. He says the government of the current prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, is "the victim of a political system and situation in Iraq", adding that he does not think Kadhimi will be able to succeed. Allawi also regrets increasingly complex relations with Iran, saying Tehran's interventions "weaken the whole region". He also discusses the planned redeployment of US troops within Iraq.
In the spring of 2003, Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled. Iraq then had to rebuild itself, with the presence of US forces who had put an end to the dictatorship. But after the departure of US troops in 2010-11, the Iraqi state never succeeded in asserting its authority, leaving the country open to becoming a zone of competing influence between the US and neighbouring Iran. We take a look back at nearly 20 years of Iraqi history: a state under twin American and Iranian domination.
Iraqi protesters in the southern city of Basra burn tyres and block roads as the latest deadline for choosing a new prime minister loomed. Anti-government protests have rocked Baghdad and the Shiite-majority south since October 1, with demonstrators calling for an overhaul of a regime they deem corrupt and inefficient.