The turmoil began with a Shia-led parliamentary sit-in against Iraq’s Shia-dominated government. Next, a top Sunni minister was dismissed with the help of Sunni rivals. A few weeks later, the leading Kurdish minister was sacked — thanks partly to lawmakers in his own political bloc.

Since the 2003 US invasion fostered splits along Iraq’s three main ethno-sectarian faultlines, Iraqis have grown accustomed to the country’s raucous factionalism. But now, those blocs are not only fighting each other, they are fighting among themselves, creating new schisms that risk fragmenting the political, social and tribal forces that keep Iraq patched together.

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