Kurds Break the Siege of Mount Sinjar as Militants Flee
On Dec. 17, Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched a long-awaited offensive to liberate Mount Sinjar, where thousands of starving Yezidi refugees have held out for months under siege by Islamic State. Around 8,000 troops took part in the operation, with support from U.S. and allied warplanes. By Dec. 19, Kurdish... Read more
Even Islamic State Can’t Get Baghdad and Erbil to Cooperate
Both Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga troops are locked in bloody battle with invading Islamic State militants in Iraq. And yet Iraqi and Kurdish leaders still can’t manage to settle their differences and cooperate. Oil is a big sticking point. Baghdad considers Kurdish oil exports to the international market... Read more
Wounded Kurdish Fighter Says Islamic State Controls Just Five Percent of Kobani
Chiya Kobani, a 34-year-old guerrilla from the Syrian-Kurdish YPG group, was wounded in the ongoing battle for Kobani, a Syrian-Kurdish town near the border with Turkey. Now he’s stuck in Turkey, unable to return to his comrades. But he had some good news for War Is Boring when I... Read more
On the Border Near Kobani, a Front Row Seat to War
Kurds shield their eyes as they gaze up into the sky at jets streaking overhead. It’s Oct. 14. We’re in southern Turkey just two kilometers from the Syrian border town of Kobani, where U.S. and allied warplanes are bombing Islamic State forces that have surrounded a small group of... Read more
Escape From Mosul

Escape From Mosul

Uncategorized October 16, 2014 0

Amsha Ali is a young Yezidi mother. She has a one year old son and is six months pregnant with her next child. She’s only 19 years old, but in the last few months she’s experienced a lifetime’s worth of hardship. When Islamic State seized the Yezidi town of... Read more
Politics Keep Syrian Kurdish Troops From Fighting in Their Homeland
Back in September, Kurdish Peshmerga forces attacked the Islamic State-held village of Hassan Sham, just 30 kilometers from Mosul in northern Iraq. Six Pesh died in the fighting. Three of them were from Syrian Kurdistan, two from Iraqi Kurdistan and one from Turkish Kurdistan. Their deaths in battle—and the... Read more
Qasim Shasho and His Band of Yezidi Fighters Refused to Abandon Their Holy Shrine
When Islamic State militants attacked the Yezidi town of Sinjar in late July and early August, thousands fled. But Qasim Shasho and 20 of his relatives refused to abandon the town and its Sharfadin shrine, one of the Yezidis’ holiest sites. Shasho and his kin grabbed their guns and... Read more
Islamic State Militants Posed as Kurdish Troops
Sulaiman Ismael and his wife Kalthom Mohammad are Kurdish Shia Muslims and the parents of nine kids. They lived in the village of Rofaia near Mosul until Islamic State’s advance across northern Iraq forced them to flee—twice. Ismael and his kin trudged for countless miles across the unforgiving desert,... Read more
The Zummar Eleven Will Wait as Long as They Have to for Their Loved Ones’ Return
When Islamic State militants and Kurdish Peshmerga clashed near the town of Zummar Twon, the Kurds found themselves outgunned. The Pesh retreated. And in the confusion, 11 Peshmerga fighters got left behind. Since Aug. 2, about 30 Kurds have been sitting in a tent they set up near a... Read more
Mourning and Defiance at a Peshmerga Funeral
When his homeland needed him, Sebri Bamerni abandoned his life in Germany and took up arms. Bamerni was one of many retired Peshmerga fighters who’ve returned to Iraqi Kurdistan to fight invading Islamic State militants. Bamerni died holding Mosul Dam against the militants. He was 51 years old. “I... Read more
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