Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Iraqi insurgency, later referred to as the Iraq Crisis, escalated after the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011, resulting in violent conflict with the central government, as well as sectarian violence among Iraq's religious groups.

The insurgency was a direct continuation following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. After the U.S. military's withdrawal, the level of violence rose as Sunni militant groups stepped up attacks targeting the country's majority Shia population to undermine confidence in the Shia-led government and its efforts to protect people without American backup. Armed groups inside Iraq were increasingly galvanized by the Syrian Civil War, with which it merged in 2014. Many Sunni factions stood against the Syrian government, which Shia groups moved to support, and numerous members of both sects also crossed the border to fight in Syria.

In 2014, the insurgency escalated dramatically following the conquest of Mosul and major areas in northern Iraq by the Sunni rebel group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), thereby merging the new conflict with the Syrian Civil War, into a new, far deadlier conflict.

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