Turkey’s War With the Kurds Is Getting Bloodier by the Day
Mohammed Ekinci still has nightmares. “We were standing here,” he says, gesturing to a small garden in front of the Amara Culture Center in Suruc, southern Turkey. “Everyone was running,” the tall science student says. “They were covered in blood. I could see body parts in the trees we... Read more
Why Isn’t Israel Arming Iraq’s Kurds?
In a predictable world, Israel and Iraqi Kurdistan would be the closest allies. However, the Middle East is not predictable, and the Israelis have refrained from sending weapons to help the Kurds’ war with the Islamic State. What’s stopping them? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that an independent Kurdistan would be... 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
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
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
U.S. Army Veteran Helps Kurds Who Fight Iran
The FBI and the State Department aren’t happy that U.S. Army veteran Ryan O’Leary has taken up arms with the Kurds in eastern Iraq in their resistance against Iran. He originally went to Iraqi-Kurdistan to help Peshmerga units fighting Islamic State, and then volunteered with an armed faction within the Democratic Party... Read more

Matt Cetti-Roberts

Photojournalist, documentary photographer and correspondent in Iraqi-Kurdistan

Zack Baddorf

Contributor

Zack Baddorf is a multimedia journalist with 10 years of video, radio, print, photo and web reporting in more than 30 countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the West Bank, Kashmir, and Iraq, as well as rebel-held territory in Sri Lanka and Burma. Most recently, Baddorf spent a year working as a civilian videographer for the U.S. special forces command in Afghanistan. Baddorf served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania and worked for a year for an international non-governmental organization in South Sudan doing media development. He served in the U.S. military for five years as a journalist, reporting from across Asia and the Middle East.

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