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, […]
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.
(Originally Published as ‘Trump is Tripping over Iran and Russia’s Red Lines in Syria’ in Foreign Policy, June 26, 2017) http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/26/trump-is-tripping-over-iran-and-russias-red-lines-in-syria/ In the past five weeks, U.S. forces in Syria have struck directly at the Assad regime and its allies … Continue reading →
An alliance of pro-US Sunni Arab states is emerging The decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen to cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar is the latest step in the re-emergence of a clearly defined US-led Sunni Arab bloc of states. The task of this alliance is to roll back […]
The mortar shells came early in the morning. At about 5. At regular intervals. Solemn and sinister. They were a reminder of how close it all was. We were in the Damascus Old City. There was still fighting in Jobar, about two kilometers away. The rebels had also counter-attacked from the east, from the suburbs in eastern Ghouta, in the previous week. A shell had landed in the precinct of the Umayyad Mosque. This was not in accordance with the line being promoted by the regime, according to which the rebellion was on the verge of defeat. But there it was…
American Interest, 15/12 (Co-authored with Benjamin Weinthal) The instability that has swept over the Middle East over the past half-decade has its winners and its losers. For the most part, the much-beleaguered Kurds are to be numbered in the former … Continue reading →