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. 

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. 

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