An Iraqi-Kurdish fighter at a checkpoint west of Arbil. Photo: Getty
The first “war on terror” was a failure. Do we really need a sequel?
By Mehdi Hasan - 18 September 12:24

Just because there are no good options in Iraq doesn’t mean we have to pick the worst option.

Islamic State video shows beheading of British aid worker David Haines
By Sophie McBain - 14 September 10:12

The Islamic State video appears to show the killing of a third Western hostage, aid worker David Haines, and ends with the warning that another British person will be next.

The new badlands: Yazidi women driven from their homes by Isis wait to be rescued from the Sinjar Mountains of Iraq
John Simpson: how do we respond to this worldwide summer of violence?
By John Simpson - 11 September 10:00

Iraq, Libya, Syria, Nigeria, Afghanistan are all in danger of becoming black holes in which the nastiest groups can thrive. The only credible solution is to turn them back into proper countries.

Keep the black flag flying: a show of strength in northern Raqqa province, Iraq, to celebrate the declaration of the caliphate, June 2014. Photo: Reuters
From Bin Laden to Isis: Why the roots of jihadi ideology run deep in Britain
By Shiraz Maher - 04 September 9:38

From Riyadh via London to Damascus, Baghdad and Isis – the jihadist surge.

Displaced Iraqi children play at the Bahrka camp near Arbil. Photo: Getty
In the face of the threat from Isis, Britain can no longer just follow America’s lead in the Middle East
By John Bew - 04 September 9:15

There are severe limits to what the UK can do as a middle-ranking power. But it can do better than firefighting every crisis with an emergency meeting of Cobra.

Steven Sotloff, centre in black helmet, in Libya in 2011. Photo: Getty
American journalist Steven Sotloff "beheaded by Islamic state"
By Helen Lewis - 02 September 20:43

A video claiming to show the killing of another kidnapped American journalist, Steven Sotloff, has been released.

Israeli soldiers in front of the barrier at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Photo: Getty
How we grew up: an Israeli veteran on the dehumanising power of military control
By Yehuda Shaul - 29 August 11:41

Yehuda Shaul writes of how he and his friends learned to glorify power, and lost their ability to see Palestinians as people whose lives are no less valuable. Now, he and hundreds of others are working to end the occupation.

Displaced Palestinians gathered at a makeshift camp inside the Al-Shifa hospital gardens, where Mohammed is being treated. Photo: Getty
Under fire: what happened next to injured Mohammed and his family
By Donald Macintyre - 28 August 10:02

Two weeks ago Donald Macintyre reported from Gaza on the plight of ten-year-old Mohammed Badran, blinded in an Israeli air strike. Here, he gives an update on his treatment. 

The PM is not alone in failing to articulate a clear set of principles for this new era.
After Cameron’s summer of indecision, who will give Britain a coherent foreign policy again?
By George Eaton - 27 August 21:47

The PM is not alone in failing to articulate a clear set of principles for this new era. 

Iraqi Turkmen guard a checkpoint in the northern town of Taza Khormato. Photo: Getty
Islamic State stands for the deaths of journalists and of free speech
By William Horsley - 22 August 12:59

Making a global spectacle of the murder of a western journalist carries a uniquely powerful propaganda message for the jihadists.

Under threat: displaced Iraqi Christians take refuge in the garden of Saint Joseph church on the outskirts of Erbil, 12 August. Photo: Getty
With the beheading of James Foley by Islamic State, a red line has been crossed at last
By Jonathan Rugman - 22 August 10:28

Channel 4 News’s foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Rugman on a dramatic week spent in northern Iraq.

Never-ending exodus: Yazidis who fled to the Sinjar mountains after threats by Isis gather in Mosul. Photo: Getty
The tragic cycle: western powers and the Middle East
By John Bew - 21 August 10:00

History provides a sobering lesson about western involvement in the Middle East. It is that, when superpowers drift away, peace, progress, moderation and stability do not necessarily follow in their stead. 

James Foley photographed in Aleppo in 2012. Photo by Mano Brabo
ISIS video appears to show killing of US Journalist James Foley
By Sophie McBain - 20 August 8:06

Late last night, the militant jihadist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) released a video purporting to show the beheading of James Foley, a US journalist who went missing in Syria in 2012. Foley was a fearless, generous and committed reporter, who had also been detained while reporting in Libya. 

Faisal II of Iraq, aged 18, taking his oath of office before parliament in 1953. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Why Britain created monarchies in the Middle East
By James Dawson - 15 August 11:44

When was the most stable time in recent Iraqi history? Most likely it was during the British-sponsored Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq from 1921 to 1958.

Many Iraqis fled from Mosul when Isis swept in, but why have some supported the group?
Why is there Sunni Arab support for Isis in Iraq?
By Lucy Fisher - 15 August 11:30

Attempts to understand the success of Isis in Iraq would benefit from Marxist analysis, since social and economic factors are the key to explaining Sunni Arab support for, and complicity with, the group.

Displaced Yazidi rest after crossing the Iraqi-Syrian border in northern Iraq, 13 August 13. Photo: Getty
The Yazidis are starving, traumatised and still unsafe
By Matthew Barber - 14 August 13:19

The options offered to the Yazidis are far fewer than to Christians because they are not a monotheistic faith. To the jihadists, Yazidis must either embrace Islam or be killed. 

A plastic rose lies in rubble in Gaza. Photo: Getty
What Israel means when it talks about “human shields”
By Ahron Bregman - 14 August 10:00

In Gaza, this approach of punishing civilians in the hope that they will turn against their Hamas leaders has been employed by the Israelis since Hamas first came to power in 2006.

Gaza City's Tuffa neighbourhood is hit by IDF bombardment, 29 July. Photo: EPA
Life among the ruins: ten days inside the Gaza Strip
By Donald Macintyre - 13 August 12:48

The grossly asymmetrical casualties inflicted on the Palestinians have obscured another important question: how far have they even been worth it from Israel’s point of view? By Donald Macintrye.

One of the questions facing David Cameron as he returns from his holiday.
Will the UK follow France and arm the Kurds?
By George Eaton - 13 August 12:39

One of the questions facing David Cameron as he returns from his holiday. 

We must not find ourselves wondering how this humanitarian crisis spiralled further and further out of control.
For the desperate of Iraq there is no quick fix, but we can help alleviate some of the suffering
By Jim Murphy MP - 13 August 12:03

We must not find ourselves wondering how this humanitarian crisis spiralled further and further out of control.

The destruction of this Caliphate must come from a Muslim-led force.
The US and the UK can’t defeat ISIS – Arab states have to take the lead
By Sunny Hundal - 12 August 8:32

The destruction of this caliphate must come from a Muslim-led force. 

The northern Gaza strip seen from the Israel side. Photo: Getty
My time in Israeli Defence Force tells me the level of casualties in Gaza is avoidable
By Ahron Bregman - 11 August 11:15

What will ultimately stop the deaths of innocent Palestinians and Israelis is a peace deal putting an end to the conflict. But in the meantime, a modification of the Israeli rules of engagement could reduce the number of innocent casualties.

Ben-Gurion, pictured in December 1953, after he stepped down as Israeli prime minister for the first time and moved to a settlement in the desert
David Ben-Gurion: prophet in the wilderness
By New Statesman - 11 August 10:00

A 1955 archive profile of the founder and first prime minister of Israel, shortly after his return to power. 

A Palestinian boy plays with balloons as families leave their homes in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood. Photo: Getty
From Egypt to Saudi Arabia, the Arab world has abandoned the Palestinians
By Mehdi Hasan - 08 August 16:34

The inconvenient truth is that the collective punishment of the Pales­tinian people in Gaza is a collective endeavour in its own right – led by Israel, enforced by Egypt, endorsed by Saudi Arabia.

Iraqi Yazidi demonstrate outside the UN offices in the city of Arbil. Photo: Getty
Iraq’s Yazidis are on the brink of genocide – who will save them?
By Ali Mamouri - 08 August 10:13

Iraq is rapidly spiralling into an unprecedented situation - and the international community is standing by.

An Israeli soldier prays on a tank a few kilometres from the Israel-Gaza border on 6 August as the ceasefire entered a second day. Photo: Getty
Leader: Israel’s moral defeat in Gaza
By New Statesman - 07 August 13:10

Israel will know true quiet only by withdrawing from the occupied territories and negotiating a settlement with the Palestinian leadership, which may well include Hamas.

Baroness Warsi speaking to the Conservative Party Conference in 2010. Photo: Getty
The bitter truth: the Tories have done more for Muslims than Labour
By Abdul-Azim Ahmed - 06 August 12:17

It won’t be quickly forgotten that the strongest condemnation of the killings in Gaza came from Baroness Warsi, a Tory politician.

Palestinians salvage items from the rubble of destroyed buildings in Gaza City as the fragile ceasefire entered a second day, 6 August. Photo: Getty
Jason Cowley: The destruction of Gaza and when Israel backed the Islamists
By Jason Cowley - 05 August 10:50

The Gaza conflict has raised the important question of empathy. Would that both sides were capable of greater empathy and, indeed, imagination. 

An Iranian woman adjusts her headscarf in central Tehran. Photo: Getty
High heels and hijabs: Iran’s sexual revolution
By Ramita Navai - 01 August 10:00

For more than 30 years, the Islamic Republic has been obsessively battling against sex, but as with anything that is suppressed or banned, people have learned to sidestep the punitive regulations. 

Those killed in Operation Protective Edge are remembered at the rally in Tel Aviv. Photo: Getty
“Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”: what it’s like to be an anti-war Israeli
By Marina Strinkovsky - 30 July 10:18

Pacifism has attracted a social penalty in Israeli society for decades – many Israelis are immersed in a siege mentality, cynically whipped up at critical moments by their self-serving leadership. But a small anti-war movement clings on.

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