Project Martyr: the British doctor who went to work in Syria
By Martin Fletcher - 11 December 13:37

In 2011, Rami Habib, a 43-year-old doctor from Leicester, flew to Syria. Since then, he has watched the revolution against Bashar al-Assad fall apart – but he won’t give up.

The road from Mecca: Saudi Arabia may be the only regional power capable of defeating IS. Photo: Bruno Hadjih/Anzenberger/Eyevine
Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism
By Karen Armstrong - 27 November 10:00

Although IS is certainly an Islamic movement, it is neither typical nor mired in the distant past, because its roots are in Wahhabism, a form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia that developed only in the 18th century.

An Assad billboard in the pro-government area of Aleppo. Photo: Getty
Jeremy Bowen: Why I tweet pictures of food from warzones
By Jeremy Bowen - 21 November 10:07

In Damascus, the war seems to have receded, and Bashar al-Assad looks more comfortable than ever.

An Ottoman Piatsre (Sultan Selim III, 1789) and a Maria Theresa Thaler (later restrike of the 1780 coin). Photo: James Dawson
When it comes to coins, Isis is clearly not as good as gold
By James Dawson - 19 November 15:30

A plan by the terrorist organisation to issue its own currency – in gold – reveals a further attempt to play on the history of the early Caliphs.

Writing on the wall: Ifthekar Jaman in Syria, next to a stencil reading: "Islamic State of Iraq and Sham". He was killed in December 2013
From Portsmouth to Kobane: the British jihadis fighting for Isis
By Shiraz Maher - 06 November 10:00

What motivates the young men who leave Britain to join the murderous fanatics of Isis in the Middle East? Shiraz Maher spoke to dozens of them inside Syria to find out.

Echoing Roosevelt: Matthew Barzun greets President Obama at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on the eve of a NATO summit in Wales, 3 September. Photo: Getty
Matthew Barzun: Despite ebola and Isis, could it be that we are living in the best of times?
By Matthew Barzun - 23 October 10:00

Why are we intent on fixing our lens on the chaotic? And why do we insist on trying to weave a grand narrative out of mostly unrelated things? asks the US Ambassador to Britain. 

People watch from the Turkish-Syria border as Kurdish fighters in the city of Kobani fight Islamic State militants. Photo: Getty
Why arming the Kurds is the only option – even for anti-war progressives in the west
By Mehdi Hasan - 23 October 9:55

These Kurdish units, which include all-women militias, have to all intents and purposes become the last line of defence against the genocidal fanatics of Islamic State.

Watching and waiting: tanks outside Kobane, where Islamic State forces are ballting Syrian Kurds. Photo: Ibrahim Erikan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Islamic State can be beaten
By John Simpson - 19 October 8:51

The jihadis are fighting on several fronts in two countries – and reports say that demoralised western recruits are increasingly repulsed by the atrocities they have witnessed.

High tension: peshmerga near their base at Makhmur, south of Erbil. Photo: Rex Features
A voice for Kurdistan: an encounter with Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman
By Sophie McBain - 16 October 10:00

As high representative of the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) to the UK, Abdul Rahman has been lobbying for greater intervention against Islamic State/Isis militants in Iraq for months.

Yemeni supporters of the Shia Huthi movement carry the coffins of comrades who died during recent fighting, Sanaa, 26 September. PHOTO: GETTY
War without end: 12 years of US drone strikes in Yemen
By Iona Craig - 16 October 10:00

The “Yemen model” is one of perpetual violence. The limits of what can be done in the name of “counterterrorist” action often appear boundless.

An aerial view of the Zaatari camp in Jordan, home to 80,000 refugees. Photo: Getty
Life as an orphan in a plastic tent city, bombing Iraq (again) and keeping my “Juslim” name
By Jemima Khan - 03 October 13:10

Jemima Khan writes from Jordan on the Syrian refugee crisis.

A young journalist, carrying a camera and a gun, walks down a street in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: Getty
How do journalists keep themselves safe in warzones?
By Vicky Baker - 02 October 17:26

More exposure is needed on what is going on behind the scenes of foreign reporting – between the bylines, when the cameras stop rolling.

An RAF Tornado fighter jet, part of a force participating in airstrikes against Isis. Photo: Getty
Leader: On intervention in Iraq
By New Statesman - 02 October 14:11

Our involvement is a small admission of culpability for the condition of Iraq.

A member of the Freedom Party of Kurdistan (PAK) keeps a position in Dibis, 50km northwest of Kirkuk. Photo: Getty
Despite western promises, these jihadists won’t be “squeezed out of existence” so easily
By Jonathan Rugman - 02 October 13:22

Jonathan Rugman on the west’s distinctions between “good Kurds” and “bad Kurds”.

An Iraqi-Kurdish woman and her child cross the border into Turkey after fleeing Kobane. Photo: Getty
“We needed to escape before they slaughtered our girls”
By Danielle Spencer - 30 September 16:16

On 16 September, the northern Syrian town of Kobane came under siege. Since then, reports state that more than 150,000 refugees have flooded into Turkey.

Obama is the fourth successive US president to order air strikes on Iraq. Photo: Getty
US air strikes on Isis add fuel to extremist ideologies
By Shiraz Maher - 25 September 16:56

The US risks amplifying the message that IS and similar groups have been trying to spread for years.

Forced out: Syrian Kurds fleeing IS cross the border into Turkey, 20 September. Photo: Getty
Assad’s men and the rebels agree on one thing: Islamic State is a danger to them all
By Jeremy Bowen - 25 September 10:00

The war in Syria is made of several smaller wars that sometimes run in parallel and sometimes cross over, like railway junctions on the express to hell.

In poverty-stricken areas of easter Afghanistan, girls are too often the ones at risk. Photo: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images
Being a gynaecologist in Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world
By Horia Mosadiq - 24 September 12:56

A doctor in Afghanistan is using her medical training to provide healthcare and other support to women – at great risk to herself and her family.

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. 

Pages