The assassination by the U.S. of Iran’s most powerful general, Qasem Soleimani, has caused an escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Amidst the conflict, Iraq has been caught in the middle. The U.S. attacked Iran by bombing Iraq (Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike), then Iran attacked the U.S (Iran attacked U.S. bases in Iraq) by bombing Iraq. In the days following the attacks, the international community distanced themselves from the assassination order and urged restraint.

For context, tensions have been rising since the beginning of the Trump administration. The administration moved to cut off Iran’s oil exports, pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, and imposed oppressive sanctions. Although President Trump and Iran have released statements to stop the escalation and avoid a military response, Iran’s proxy threat (their goal is to force the U.S. and western forces out of the Middle East for good by any means necessary) will be a concern for the U.S. moving forward.