BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's government has lost control of vast areas to powerful local factions and the country is on the verge of collapse and fragmentation, a leading British think-tank said on Thursday.
Chatham House also said there was not one civil war in Iraq, but "several civil wars" between rival communities, and accused Iraq's main neighbors -- Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- of having reasons "for seeing the instability there continue."
"It can be argued that Iraq is on the verge of being a failed state which faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation," it said in a report.
"The Iraqi government is not able to exert authority evenly or effectively over the country. Across huge swathes of territory, it is largely irrelevant in terms of ordering social, economic and political life."
The report also said that a U.S.-backed security crackdown in Baghdad launched in February has failed to reduce overall violence across the country, as insurgent groups have just shifted their activities outside the capital.
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