In recent months, many Sunni tribes have been waging a campaign of “liberation” of their communities in northern Iraq.
In some cases, they have been joined by Shia militias from Iran, but these have largely failed to prevent the Islamic States from consolidating its control in Iraq.
The two sides are now locked in a battle for control of the country, and the war has been raging for over a year.
It is the third major conflict in Iraq since US-led forces pulled out in December.
At the centre of this conflict is the country’s Shia-dominated government, led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose government has been at odds with Iran since the beginning of the war.
Since then, Iraq has been on the brink of civil war, with both the United States and the United Kingdom calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Despite the current crisis, the situation in Iraq is still relatively calm.
The conflict is not over, however.
With a decade of US-backed forces remaining in Iraq, there are fears that a military withdrawal will bring chaos and a return of violence.
The Iraqi government has also accused Iran of providing arms and fighters to the Islamic Republic.
With the conflict now at a stalemate, the question is which side is better?