Iraq Is Burning

Iraq Is Burning

WIB front November 26, 2016 0

The sky over the Iraqi town of Qayyarah is dark and oppressive, and one could be forgiven for thinking it will rain at any moment. It’s so dark that cars drive down the town’s almost deserted streets with their headlights on. It feels like early evening, but in reality... Read more
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Is Preparing for Iraq’s Mosul Dam to Burst
Iraq’s Mosul Dam lies just outside Islamic State territory fewer than 50 miles from the Syrian border. If the dam fails, hundreds of thousands of people could die or lose their homes in flash floods along the length of the Tigris River. In the face of this potential disaster,... Read more
Secretive U.S. Spy Plane Crashes in Iraq
When Talal Abdulqadir woke up on March 5, he probably didn’t expect his farm in northern Iraq would end up crawling with American troops guarding a crashed aircraft. In an instant, the green field outside the town of Kawrgosk put on full display some of the more shadowy elements... Read more
With Heavy Air Support, Kurdish Troops Go on the Offensive
This is the second part of a two-part series. Read part one. Before dawn, the peshmerga prepare for fighting. A group of soldiers gather below the outpost, pointing down with the lights on their mobile phones and cracking open Soviet-style ammunition boxes, distributing the bullets. Armed vehicles laiden with... Read more
To the Edge of Kurdistan
This is part one of a two-part series. Read part two. A cool night breeze drifts across the roof of the building, wafting away mosquitoes seeking their meals from any exposed skin. Illuminated by an almost full moon, Kurdish peshmerga fighters rest on mattresses or crude metal beds with cruelly... Read more
Iraq’s Chinese-Made Killer Drones
Iraq’s defense minister Khaled Al Obaidi visited Ubaydah Bin Al Jarrah Air Base, a former MiG base in the eastern part of the country. A photo of the media event revealed a Chinese-made CH-4 drone — Beijing’s answer to America’s Predator — in the background, wearing Iraqi colors. The... Read more
Smugglers Risk Death in the Shadow of Iran
This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one. The morning light streams through the tent, a Kurdish flag flapping in a strong wind. The temperature dropped last night, and those on guard put on warm jackets. The long dry summer is coming to an end. The morning routine begins... Read more
Into the Mountains With Kurdish Rebels Fighting Iran
This is part one of a two-part series. Read part two. Kurdish music blasts through low-quality speakers inside our bus. Some of the passengers clap to the rhythm while the older ones point to landmarks across the arid landscape, informing the younger and more inexperienced travelers the names of... Read more
We Watched Kurdish Fighters Clash With Islamic State
The dull roar of circling coalition aircraft fills the night sky over the town of Bashiqa. Below, perched on a dusty mountain that takes its name from the same town, Kurdish peshmerga fighters alternate between scanning enemy territory in front of them and peering up to catch a glimpse... Read more
Turkey Claims It Will Wipe Out the PKK — Here’s a Million Reasons Why It Can’t
The Turkish government talks tough. “You cannot discourage us from our war on terror,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said earlier this month. “Those mountains will be cleared of these terrorists. Whatever it takes, they will be cleared.” Davutoglu was referring to the bombing campaign against the Kurdistan Workers Party,... Read more

Paul Iddon

Contributing writer

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