I Met an ISIS Fighter in an Iraqi Prison
In a war-scarred jail in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, I meet a 27-year-old former Islamic State fighter. I’ll call him Abdullah. He claims he intentionally left the terror group in order to seek medical treatment. While trying to pass into Kurdish territory in October 2016 via a checkpoint in... Read more
Myanmar Has Forced Thousands of Rohingya Into a Virtual Prison
This story originally appeared on Feb. 6, 2016. Myanmar’s Kaladan River widens as my ship nears the great Bay of Bengal, the horizons reaching out in every direction while seabirds swoop to snatch bread thrown by the passengers. I embarked on New Year’s Day 2016 from the medieval town... Read more
On the Kurdish Front Line, a Tense Night Fending Off Islamic State
Along a lonely patch of desert roughly 20 miles south of the city of Kirkuk in Iraqi Kurdistan, far away from the world’s attention, a little-known front in the war against Islamic State simmers. While much of the media has focused on the months-long battle for Mosul and the... Read more
Underequipped and Unpaid, Mosul’s Civil Defenders Reunite the Dead With the Living
A month passed since Iraqi prime minister Haider Al Abadi declared victory in the battle to clear Islamic State from Mosul. A hesitant calm has descended over the city as neighborhoods that residents abandoned during the fighting are gradually repopulating. The task of Mosul’s liberators has shifted to reconstruction.... Read more
Ride Laos’ Blood-Soaked Streets With These Bad-Ass Rescuers
Watching the sun slowly set over the Mekong river from Vientiane’s riverside, it’s easy to be lulled into a sense of calm and unhurried ease in Laos’ sleepy capital. After remaining stagnant for years in the wake the 1970’s civil war and heavy American bombing campaign, the nation’s economy... Read more
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