ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq has been ranked the third least peaceful country in the world in the recently released Global Peace Index (GPI) report, mainly due to the war with the Islamic State (IS).
According to the report, Iraq has remained in the bottom five countries in the index for the last five years.
Meanwhile, Syria was ranked the least peaceful country in the world for the second successive year.
The countries on the GPI list are ranked based on several factors including societal safety and security, ongoing domestic and international conflict, and militarization.
Regarding regional positions, Iraq is the second least peaceful country in the Middle East, only ahead of Syria.
The war with IS in both countries, as well as an ongoing civil war in Syria, has contributed to the low rankings.
Even as the extremist group is defeated in both Iraq and Syria, the threat to each countries' stability and security would remain, the GPI report warned.
“Despite the recent military setbacks experienced by [IS], governments throughout the region are well aware this could translate into a growing domestic threat from jihadist groups,” the report read.
While Iraqi forces continue to battle the remaining pockets of IS resistance, the Kurdistan Region has been pushing toward independence in a bid to provide more stability and safety in the areas it manages.
Senior Kurdish officials often highlight the role an independent Kurdistan would play in promoting security in the region.
A referendum on independence is scheduled in the Region for Sep. 25, 2017, where the people of Kurdistan will choose whether or not to separate from Iraq.
Editing by G.H. Renaud