In January 2012, the Sunni MPs who had boycotted parliamentary work in protest against the events surrounding Tarik al-Hashemi returned to the parliament. In April 2012, the President of the Kurdish Autonomous Region , M. Barsani , threatened to hold a referendum on the region’s independence. The background was a dispute over the proceeds from oil exports. The unresolved internal conflict between Sunnis and Shiites escalated into increasing acts of violence in 2012. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been responsible for numerous attacks since 2010led terrorist militia ISI blamed. Human rights groups accused the Shiite-dominated Maliki government of contributing to the escalation of violence by continuing to marginalize the Sunni minority. In Hawija near Kirkuk, where Sunnis demonstrated against the government as in other cities, the police broke up a Sunni protest camp on April 23, 2013 and shot more than 40 activists. In 2013, almost 8,000 people fell victim to the escalation of violence.
The terrorist organization of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, now operating under the name Islamic State in Iraq and (Greater) Syria (ISIS) in the Syrian civil war and in large parts of Iraq, has increasingly endangered the position of the Maliki government since the end of 2013. On April 30, 2014, there were parliamentary elections overshadowed by numerous acts of violence, in which MalikisThe rule of law alliance as the strongest political force was able to win 92 of the 328 mandates. In the meantime, ISIS has been able to bring various cities and regions of the country under control. On June 10, 2014, the terrorist militia succeeded in taking over Mosul. In Kirkuk, which was abandoned by the government troops in connection with the ISIS offensive, the Peshmerga militias of the Kurdish autonomous region took control. Then ISIS announced the proclamation of the caliphate and the renaming of the organization to Islamic State (IS). After lengthy political disputes, the newly elected parliament appointed the PUK politician F. Massum on July 24, 2014 with 211 out of 228 valid votes for the new Iraqi president. A power struggle broke out over the appointment of the head of government. The previous Prime Minister Maliki continued to claim leadership of the cabinet. However, on August 11, 2014, President Massum instructed Haider al-Abadi (* 1952) , like Maliki, of the Shiite al-Dawa party, to form a government. Thereupon Maliki announced his resignation as Prime Minister on August 14, 2014. In the meantime, the conflict with the Islamic State, whose militias especially the Christian and Yazidis minorities, escalated threatened in northern Iraq. Hundreds of thousands fled their hometowns. From August 8, 2014, the USA launched numerous air strikes against Islamist positions in order to stop their advance. On September 8, 2014, the new Iraqi government was established under the leadership of Haider al-Abadi sworn in. In the same month in Paris, numerous states formed an alliance against the IS, which at the beginning of 2015 ruled western Iraq as well as areas in the north and in the center. In March 2015, with the support of Shiite militias and the US Air Force, government troops recaptured the city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, which had been under IS control since the summer of 2014. In mid-May 2015, IS fighters took Ramadi, the capital of the desert province of Anbar, which the Iraqi army could not fully recapture until the end of December 2015. In mid-August 2015, parliament passed a much-noticed reform package. As a result, the three vice-presidents, including the two influential former prime ministers Nuri al-Maliki and lost I. Allawi their offices. In November 2015, Kurdish units succeeded in conquering the Yazidi city of Sindjar, which is strategically located on the road between Mosul and the IS “capital” of Raqqa in Syria. After the end of the peace process between the Turkish government and the PKK, the Turkish air force bombed the PKK headquarters in the northern Iraqi Kandil Mountains, killing several civilians. The Kurdish regional government then asked the PKK to leave northern Iraq. Tensions between the Iraqi and Turkish governments arose at the beginning of December 2015 when Turkish soldiers were allegedly transferred to northern Iraq as part of a training mission, presumably without prior consultation, which Iraq viewed as a violation of the law. Turkey only withdrew its troops in the middle of the month. In the Iraqi parliament, votes on a government reshuffle in mid-April 2016 led to tumults and fights. On April 30th and again on May 20th, 2016, demonstrators stormed the government district and occupied parliament. In August / September 2016, the MPs dismissed the finance and defense ministers on suspicion of corruption. Progress was made in the fight against IS in 2016/17. In June 2016, Falluja, which has been controlled by the terrorist militia since 2014, was captured. The IS reacted increasingly to the increasing loss of terrain with acts of terrorism. In an IS attack in Baghdad on July 3, 2016, well over 200 people lost their lives. In October 2016, army units, Shiite militias and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters began to storm Mosul. The city could be recaptured by July 2017. In a legally non-binding referendum on September 25, 2017, the Kurds in Northern Iraq spoke out in favor of independence with an overwhelming majority of around 92.7% of the votes. As a result, Iraqi government troops recaptured the Kirkuk region, which had previously been controlled by Kurdish units, in October 2017.
Due to the military clashes and the numerous terrorist actions, the security situation remained extremely precarious, which particularly affected the refugee situation. The United Nations Refugee Agency put the number of Iraqi internally displaced persons alone at 4.5 million people at the end of 2017, and around 360,600 Iraqis fled the country in 2017. At the same time, around 277,700 Syrian refugees were in Iraq.
From the parliamentary election on May 12. In 2018, the group (Sairun) led by the Shiite preacher Muktada al-Sadr emerged as the strongest force. She led the election campaign with nationalist slogans. It was followed in second place by the alliance of the leader of the Badr brigades Haider al-Ameri (Fatah) and in third place by the alliance of Prime Minister Abadi (Nasr). The rule of law coalition of former Prime Minister Maliki suffered the greatest losses. A total of nine major electoral alliances or parties reached parliament. Due to irregularities in the counting of votes with the electronic system used for the first time, the Supreme Court ordered the complete re-counting of the election results by hand after a parliamentary resolution of June 6th.