The day before a referendum on independence, all was business as usual in the city of Sulaimani, the second-largest city in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. While many other Kurdish cities were awash in flags and banners, Sulaimani’s streets looked bare by comparison. But the muted atmosphere did not represent its population’s attitudes on […]
Controversial referendums on independence are scheduled in Iraqi Kurdistan on Sept. 25 and the Spanish region of Catalonia on Oct. 1. Both referendums place these secessionist regions on a collision course with their central governments and the international community, increasing the probability of conflict. What is the purpose of these referendums, and what is the […]
On Sept. 25, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is expected to hold its long-awaited referendum on independence. While it has generated much nationalist excitement among Kurds in the KRI capital of Irbil and abroad, the central government in Baghdad and the international community have objected to the vote. The United States has mobilized diplomatic capital […]
Last month, Turkey’s parliament revoked the seat of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Figen Yuksekdag after her conviction on “terrorist propaganda” charges. Still behind bars, she is hardly alone in being targeted by the government. Since the end of a cease-fire between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish state in July 2015, thousands […]
Terrified of Donald Trump’s tiny hands on the nuclear codes? Hell, you need to worry about Hillary’s, too.
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On Wednesday, an affiliate of the largest and most powerful Kurdish party in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), opened its first official mission abroad — in Moscow. Given the amount of military and political support the PYD has received from the United States, this decision is likely to be received with some shock and confusion in […]
Syria’s Kurds now control a contiguous swath of territory linking the border region of northern Syria all the way to Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish forces seized the city of Kobani near the Turkish border in January, and in June took Tel Abyad to the east. The self-governing cantons of Afrin, Kobani and Cizire have set up […]
The Islamic State is an unrecognized country bordered by Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and the Kurdish-controlled regions south of the Turkish border. The Islamic State is actively fighting the governments of Syria, Iraq, and the Kurds. However in Turkey, when the Islamic State bombed Ankara, they bombed the socialist, pro-Kurdish parties, who were protesting in opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his crypto-Islamist Justice and | Read More »
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Ah, sorry: ‘conflict.’ That’s what we call wars when we don’t want to call them wars. It’s sort of a tradition, for Democrats: see Korea, Vietnam, and Serbia. At any rate: …and so it begins. The White House will announce Friday that a small number of U.S. special operations forces will be sent into Syria, according to a senior U.S. official. The senior U.S. official | Read More »
Early Thursday morning, Iraq time, a unit of Kurd commandos with US advisors (I’m presuming Special Forces) raided an ISIS installation to free a large number of prisoners being held there, including about three dozen Iraqi government soldiers. In the course of the raid, one American was killed. An American soldier was killed on Thursday morning as American and Kurdish commandos raided an Islamic State | Read More »
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