Islamic State crushes, coerces opposition

World Jul 25, 2014

Islamic State crushes, coerces opposition

Using its own version of soft and hard power, the Islamic State is crushing resistance across northern Iraq so successfully that its promise to march on Baghdad may no longer be unrealistic bravado. While conventional states try to win hearts and minds abroad before necessarily ...

Underage fighters drawn into Iraqi war

World | FOCUS Jul 13, 2014

Underage fighters drawn into Iraqi war

A video on a boy's phone shows him firing a heavy machine gun mounted on a tripod through a hole in a crumbling building, his slender body shaking from the kickback. "We were kind of nervous, not because we are cowards, because it was our ...

Kurds seize Iraq oil fields, ministers pull out of government

World / Politics Jul 12, 2014

Kurds seize Iraq oil fields, ministers pull out of government

Kurdish forces seized two oil fields in northern Iraq and took over operations from a state-run oil company Friday, while Kurdish politicians formally suspended their participation in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government. The moves escalated a feud between the Shiite-led central government and the autonomous ...

Iraqi security forces find 53 blindfolded bodies south of Baghdad

World Jul 9, 2014

Iraqi security forces find 53 blindfolded bodies south of Baghdad

Iraqi security forces found 53 corpses, blindfolded and handcuffed, in a town south of Baghdad early Wednesday, local officials said. They said the bodies had been left in the mainly Shiite Muslim village of Khamissiya, about 25 km southeast of the city of Hilla, near ...

Commentary / World Jul 8, 2014

Whitewashing the Iraq war

by Ramzy Baroud

As Iraq stands on the verge of a complete breakdown into sectarian states, a former leading Iraq war advocate is popping up in the U.S. media, and he's in no mood to accept any responsibility for the protracted tragedy.

Kurds dream of independence amid Iraq chaos

World / Politics Jul 8, 2014

Kurds dream of independence amid Iraq chaos

A grave, freshly dug and adorned with pebbles, is the modest tribute to one more sacrifice in the long history of struggle for an independent Kurdish state. Hogir Fathi was looking forward to home leave in his village in autonomous Kurdistan when the 24-year-old, a ...

Editorials Jul 5, 2014

A new map for the Middle East

The military advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant have eroded the fragile equilibrium that held Iraq together, and may spur the Kurds to declare their own long-sought state of Kurdistan.

Commentary / World Jul 4, 2014

The return of the caliphate

by Gwynne Dyer

Propagandists for the Sunni "Islamic State" (aka ISIL) have produced a map in which this group of jihadis lay claim to Spain and Portugal — because they were once ruled by Muslim conquerors — Iran, most of India, the Balkans and half of Africa. ...

Saudi Arabia reportedly deploys 30,000 soldiers to border with Iraq

World Jul 3, 2014

Saudi Arabia reportedly deploys 30,000 soldiers to border with Iraq

Saudi Arabia deployed 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq after Iraqi soldiers abandoned the area, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said on Thursday. But Baghdad denied the report, saying the frontier remained under its full control. The world's top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia shares an 800-km ...

World / Politics Jun 30, 2014

Islamic State crucifies eight rival fighters in Syria

Eight rebel fighters have been crucified in Syria by the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) because they were considered too moderate, a monitoring group said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on contacts on the ...

Reclusive cleric takes charge in Iraq crisis

World / Politics Jun 29, 2014

Reclusive cleric takes charge in Iraq crisis

by Raheem Salman

Najaf is far from Baghdad's palaces and the battlefields of northern Iraq. Its mud-brick houses, dirt alleys and concrete office blocks project little in the way of strength or sway. But it is here, where Iraq's most influential clerics work from modest buildings in ...

Commentary / World Jun 29, 2014

Shamelessness of neocons

by Ramesh Thakur

How do we impress on U.S. neocons-cum-chickenhawks — and their Australian-British fellow-travelers — the enormous disparity between the vision dreamed for Iraq, the goals pursued, the means used and the results obtained?