Jihadist domination of the insurgency has complicated diplomatic efforts to end the nearly four-year conflict that has killed around 200,000 people, and frustrated U.S. efforts to train and a equip fighters to contain Islamic State.
"There have been a number of confrontations before, but this is the biggest,"
It’s a messy moment in the Middle East’s history, at stake is nothing less than the nature of identities across the region, and the validity of new and old dividing lines—between and within states.
The ascendance of ISIS is fragmenting the region and, in many ways, changing the concepts of identity and citizenship in a Middle East that was already straining along socio-religious lines.
A suicide bomb attack on a funeral in east Afghanistan killed 16 people and injured another 39 on Thursday, separately, Taliban militants attacked a checkpoint operated by a group of armed villagers late on Wednesday evening, killing 11 people.
The violence underscores growing instability in Afghanistan
The destabilization of Iraq by the Bush administration drove the new leaders of the country into the arms of our worst enemy in the region, Iran, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died and the dissolution of the Iraqi government created a power vacuum that led to the growth of the Islamic State group's terrorist movement, which now threatens Iraq and Syria