The reactions of Iraq’s ulama and some Arab clerics to the recent Kurdish referendum have been mostly negative, a clear reflection of their political sympathies. However–aside from Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s speech–the reactions have been nuanced. This has allowed for more fine-tuned gauging of political tendencies among the various religious communities of Iraq and […]
Iraqi forces took Kirkuk city from the Kurds this week with hardly a shot fired. Twenty-two Kurdish fighters were killed in the sporadic and disorganized resistance, while seven Iraqi soldiers also lost their lives. It is a remarkable setback for the Kurds, who just a few weeks ago held an independence referendum. The loss of Kirkuk especially, […]
With ISIS out of the way, underlying tensions have come to the surface. On Sunday October 15, the Pentagon encouraged Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Peshmerga to “avoid escalatory actions,” as Iraq gave the Kurds an ultimatum to withdraw from areas around the city of Kirkuk. The United States said it opposed […]
A new agreement aims to mend the rift between Fatah and Hamas — but the wounds may run too deep. Stop us if you’ve heard this story before. The two largest Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation agreement on Thursday meant to reunite the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under a single political leadership, paving the way for the […]
Jonathan Spyer, a Middle East analyst, journalist, and author, discusses his new book, “Days of the Fall: A Reporter’s Journey in the Syria and Iraq Wars,” a first-person account from behind the scenes of the top news story of this decade.
The Turkish military this week scouted Syria’s Idlib province, in the north west of the country, in preparation for a military operation in the province. The deployment of a reconnaissance team into Idlib came days after Turkish troops and armor massed on the Turkish Syrian border, and a section of the border wall was dismantled […]