Manaf Tlas, a defector from the Assad regime, has it all: money, foreign friends, and a secular outlook. Now he's being pushed forward by foreign groups as Syria's strongman in waiting.
The Iraq war is over for the US, and the country is a more stable place than at the height of its civil war. But the Sunni insurgency never really died, and Syria is adding some fuel.
Sunni-Shiite tensions are high in Iraq, where Prime Minister Maliki's coalition government partners – particularly one Sunni bloc – accuse him of failing to share power.
So says a fairly credible CNN report.
Terrorism is up in Iraq, as are political tensions.
A series of bombings across Iraq today belie Iraq's efforts to portray itself as a stable, resurgent power as it prepares to host the annual Arab League summit for the first time since 1990.
The crackdown on political protest in Iraq, from Baghdad to autonomous Kurdistan, shows that the country is far from a flourishing democracy.
A political crisis in early 2012 had Iraq on edge, but mediation efforts brought calm for several weeks. The reprieve ended today with at least 14 separate attacks throughout the country.
Naseer Mehdawi, Anthony Shadid's closest Iraqi friend and journalism colleague, recalls their friendship and how together they told the story of Iraq.
A series of bombings hit Baghdad today, killing 14. The violence in Iraq has claimed 170 lives already this year.
Bombings in Iraq targeted two Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad today. The violence, coming amid a Sunni-Shiite political crisis, threatens to inflame the tensions that led to civil war in 2006-07.
At the official flag-furling ceremony in Baghdad to end the war in Iraq, Secretary Panetta spoke highly of US soldiers' sacrifice. But both Iraqis and Americans appear happy for it to be over.