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.
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.
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.
The “Yemen model” is one of perpetual violence. The limits of what can be done in the name of “counterterrorist” action often appear boundless.
Jemima Khan writes from Jordan on the Syrian refugee crisis.
More exposure is needed on what is going on behind the scenes of foreign reporting – between the bylines, when the cameras stop rolling.
Our involvement is a small admission of culpability for the condition of Iraq.
Jonathan Rugman on the west’s distinctions between “good Kurds” and “bad Kurds”.
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.
The US risks amplifying the message that IS and similar groups have been trying to spread for years.
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.
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.
Just because there are no good options in Iraq doesn’t mean we have to pick the worst option.
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.
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.
From Riyadh via London to Damascus, Baghdad and Isis – the jihadist surge.
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.
A video claiming to show the killing of another kidnapped American journalist, Steven Sotloff, has been released.
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.
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.
Making a global spectacle of the murder of a western journalist carries a uniquely powerful propaganda message for the jihadists.
Channel 4 News’s foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Rugman on a dramatic week spent in northern Iraq.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.