Kurdish Fighters Storm Buildings, Train for Urban War
Originally published on May 18, 2015. Peshmerga fighters of the 4th Battalion laid down covering fire as their comrades crossed a street in a half-built housing complex outside the city of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan’s regional capital. Smoke from fires lit by coalition instructors added to the reality of the... Read more
Even More Iraqi and Syrian Civilians May Have Died in U.S. Air Strikes
The United States has carried out thousands of air strikes in Iraq and Syria, and doesn’t know how many civilians have died in them. But now we’ve learned that the U.S. military’s top headquarters for the region is still investigating nearly two dozen incidents. Earlier in August, War Is Boring obtained an official... Read more
The Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many Civilians It Has Killed in Iraq and Syria
The Pentagon has looked into hundreds of possible civilian casualties from the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. But Washington is having trouble keeping track of everything — including its own allies. Since August 2014, the American-led coalition has lobbed nearly 14,000 bombs and missiles in thousands of individual... Read more
Iraqi Troops Are Training for Chemical Combat
A photo of Iraqi army soldiers, shot in May but only recently published by American advisers, depicts the Iraqis wearing gas masks in training. “The soldiers are training with new issued equipment that was donated by the U.S. and other coalition forces to better prepare the Iraqi army for... Read more
We Watched Kurdish Troops Train With Guided Missiles
The students sweated in the July heat of a classroom on their last day of training. They watched as two young Peshmerga second lieutenants disassembled a large tripod for a MILAN anti-tank guided missile launcher. We had a chance to observe this missile training course during a visit to... Read more
Turkey’s Bombing Campaign Echoes the 1990s
For years, Turkey has fought an off-and-on war with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. The guerrilla group–based along the Iraqi-Turkish border–carries out raids, and in response, Turkey launches air strikes, artillery bombardments and even the occasional ground invasion. The Kurdish guerrillas use the mountainous border region as a... Read more
Turkish Jets Bombed These Villages
Iraqi-Kurdistan’s mountainous border with Turkey is littered with abandoned villages, under-populated towns and bases for the guerrilla Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. On July 25, Turkish jets bombed villages and PKK positions after years of relative calm. But during a recent trip by War Is Boring to several villages... Read more
Kurdish Bomb Technicians Play a Deadly Game of Cat and Mouse
Fine sand whips around a few spread-out temporary cabins that comprise a Kurdish Peshmerga base near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Attached to the side of one cabin, an irritating water-cooled air conditioner squeaks away as the midday July sun beats down, removing all but the smallest shadows. The... Read more
Kurdish Troops Grumble—Our Junk Weapons Are Killing Us
“When I shoot, the top of the rifle flies off,” Mahd Abdul Basit, a 28-year-old Peshmerga fighter told me while we stood a few hundred meters from Islamic State’s front line. Unlike many Kurdish troops, who must purchase their own weapons, Mahd’s rifle — a taped-up Kalashnikov appearing to... Read more
Iraq Is Running Out of Hind Gunships
In the span of a few short years, Iraq went from having a nonexistent air force to having one just barely getting on its feet. Now Baghdad’s shaky flying corps is getting into real trouble as it tries to contain a worsening civil war. Iraq’s front-line helicopter gunships are... Read more

Robert Beckhusen

Managing Editor

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