The populist Shi'ite cleric, a longtime adversary of the United States, was a surprise win for Iraq. The preliminary results were based on a count of more than 91 percent of the votes cast in 16 of Iraq's 18 provinces.
From a Yemeni missile attack to the resignation of Lebanon's prime minister, the "Cold War" between Middle East rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran has been heating up. Experts believe the risk of a direct military clash is low, but why have tensions escalated now and how will the crisis evolve?
US planes have started bombing ISIS militia positions near Baghdad in the first phase of the expanded campaign announced by President Obama last week. The strikes are to support Iraqi troops fighting the Islamist group and they seem to be working.
Sectarian discord in Iraq is mounting, and new prime minister Haider al-Abadi must convince Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds to keep working together in a united Iraq. He's Iraq's best hope, but even a change in leadership may not be enough.
Political tensions have calmed in Baghdad, but unrest in Iraq has given power — and weaponry — to the Shiite militias who stepped up to help fight ISIS. Now no one is sure if they'll still listen to the Iraqi government or look after their own interests.
Iraq has a new problem on its hands: A political showdown between current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his would-be successor. And the wrangling and potential violence are taking place against a backdrop of a massive humanitarian crisis and American intervention in northern Iraq.
The World is a public radio program that crosses borders and time zones to bring home the stories that matter.
The story you just read is freely available and accessible to everyone because readers like you support The World financially.
Thank you all for helping us reach our goal of 1,000 donors. We couldn’t have done it without your support. Your donation directly supported the critical reporting you rely on, the consistent reporting you believe in, and the deep reporting you want to ensure survives.