From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Iraq's top Shia cleric Ali al Sistani has called on the government to curb the activities of armed groups.
At least seven Sunni mosques were bombed in eastern Iraq earlier this week, allegedly by Shia fighters. That was in response to ISIL's attacks against Shia mosques in the same town. And Shia fighters have also been accused of human rights abuses against Sunnis across the country.
Of the Shia armed groups accused of carrying out these attacks, the most prominent is the Popular Mobilisation Forces. It's an umbrella organisation of non-state armed groups, some of which have been around for more than a decade. They were brought together by former Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki in 2014.
But what does it take to deal with armed groups with sectarian allegiances?
Presenter: Sami Zeidan
- Juan Cole - Professor of History at the University of Michigan.
- Renad Mansour - Fellow at the Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies.
- Ali Al-Dabbagh - Former Spokesman for the Iraqi government.