Iraq

Michael Fallon speaks to the media after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with New Zealand Minister of Defence, Gerry Brownlee on May 29, 2015

Michael Fallon: ‘Iraqi forces are slowly but surely beginning to push ISIL back’

4 August 2015 8:55

Is the government set to bring bombing Islamic State terrorists in Syria before the Commons soon? The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that the RAF’s Tornado aircraft will be kept… Continue reading

10 Comments
The Ceremonial Funeral Of Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher

The hatred directed at Tony Blair shows just how big Labour’s problem has become

23 July 2015 8:16

I know that the comments beneath online newspaper pieces aren’t exactly where you go if you want sane, balanced opinion, but the forum which followed the Guardian’s news story about… Continue reading

185 Comments
Syrian schoolgirls on their way to school (Photo: Zein Al-Rifal/Getty)

We’ve always messed up the Middle East. Let’s stay out, for once

21 July 2015 17:55

I suppose I should cease carping. We got a Blue Labour budget (except for the ludicrous stuff on inheritance tax), and far better than anything we would have got under… Continue reading

112 Comments
(Photo: Getty)

Keep the cops away from the radical clerics, be they Christian or Muslim

15 July 2015 13:40

If you want to see our grievance-ridden, huckster-driven future, looks to Northern Ireland, which has always been a world leader in the fevered politics of religious victimhood and aggression. Just… Continue reading

362 Comments
Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 15.22.15

When will George Osborne commission a war memorial for soldiers?

5 July 2015 15:58

We learn today that George Osborne will say in his Budget that he’s using the fines he’s collected from bankers to build a memorial to terror victims. I find this… Continue reading

19 Comments
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Aid is no substitute for defence, and Michael Fallon knows it

30 June 2015 10:20

It’s been obvious for a while that the Prime Minister is exasperated by the way American and other allied officials – including President Obama himself – keep expressing concern about Britain’s… Continue reading

63 Comments
A mass is held in Erbil (Photo: Safin Hamed/Getty)

The Christian communities helping to heal Iraq’s wounds

2 June 2015 17:22

Iraq remains a dangerous and difficult place for everyone there but especially for its religious and ethnic minorities.  Assassinations, kidnappings for ransom, expulsions from villages and towns of whole communities… Continue reading

23 Comments
A symbol of peace? (Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty)

Tony Blair has long been an irrelevance in the Middle East peace process

28 May 2015 11:52

Following months of speculation, Tony Blair has finally announced he is standing down as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East after eight years in the post. It is tempting to… Continue reading

70 Comments
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran on April 3, 2015 (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty)

The Iran deal heralds a new era for US policy across the Middle East

8 April 2015 11:12

What is it about a nuclear deal with Iran that induces hysteria in certain quarters of the West?  In recent weeks, editors at both the New York Times and the Washington Post have seen… Continue reading

70 Comments
The Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, where Islamic State fighters have launched an offensive (Photo: Getty)

Don’t expect to hear anything about Islamic State during the election campaign

7 April 2015 15:50

Granted, you don’t really expect foreign policy to feature much in an election campaign – we’re not saints – but it’s still shaming the way that the biggest foreign policy… Continue reading

85 Comments
Demonstrators in Taez, Yemen. Image: Getty

The last thing Yemen needs is more war. But that is what it’s getting

1 April 2015 17:36

After years of hearing how terrible Western interventions are in the Middle East (Exhibits A, B and C the fiascos of Iraq, Afghanistan and post-Gaddafi Libya), it will be interesting… Continue reading

27 Comments
The Ceremonial Funeral Of Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher

The Labour party loves to hate Tony Blair

11 March 2015 11:42

I’ve met people at political events who seem otherwise normal, and then Tony Blair’s name is mentioned and their eyes light up in a way that suggest a chemical reaction has… Continue reading

70 Comments
Benjamin Netanyahu discusses Iran (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Was Netanyahu’s message worth the diplomatic damage it caused?

5 March 2015 11:40

For weeks before his plane set off for Washington, Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress was exhaustingly analysed here in DC. Did Speaker Boehner adequately notify the White House… Continue reading

318 Comments
Members of the Iraqi security forces  head towards the al-Dawr area south of Tikrit to launch an assault against the Islamic State (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty)

The assault on IS-held Tikrit could trigger sectarian war in the region

3 March 2015 15:55

The Iraqi military’s attempt to retake Tikrit from Islamic State tells us several things about the current politics of the region. First, the Iraqi state is heavily reliant on the… Continue reading

99 Comments
twp

If Isis doesn’t like Twitter, it should invest in its own tech companies

2 March 2015 17:17

Isis has a new bête noir: Twitter. Employees at the social media company have received death threats, as has Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter. Why? Because the site has been blocking accounts… Continue reading

76 Comments
Isis fighters destroy ancient artefacts at Mosul museum

For modern-day Assyrians their present is under attack from Isis, as is their past

27 February 2015 14:40

The historian Tom Holland tweeted this morning: ‘What ‪#ISIS are doing to the people & culture of ‪#Assyria is worthy of the Nazis. None of us can say we didn’t… Continue reading

47 Comments
1p

Why the apologists for the Islamist far right must make Jihadi John a victim

27 February 2015 13:07

Islamic State allows its adherents to be both cultists and psychopaths: an L. Ron Hubbard and a Fred West rolled into one. The reasons why young men want to travel… Continue reading

179 Comments
(Photo: Getty)

Britain must assist Iraqi Kurds in their fight against Isis

16 February 2015 17:49

The implosion of Iraq and the durability of Islamic State will be major headaches for new ministers in May. Their required reading should include recent and substantial reports from the foreign… Continue reading

42 Comments
assad4web

Assad is hoping Isis will make his regime look moderate. This is no accident

10 February 2015 11:48

Jeremy Bowen’s half-hour long interview with Bashar al-Assad is being heavily trailed by the BBC this morning.  And while it has little that is new it does provide an interesting… Continue reading

128 Comments
(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty)

Do Yazidi slaves count for less than the Jordanian pilot?

6 February 2015 16:06

There was a remarkable report on Channel 4 news last night around a film by Mehran Bozorgnia, which featured an interview with half a dozen young Yazidi women from the Iraqi… Continue reading

54 Comments
(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

I don’t want to live under Islamic blasphemy law. That doesn’t make me racist

24 January 2015 14:40

I have spent most of the last fortnight debating Islam and blasphemy and wanted to take the opportunity to put down a few unwritten thoughts. In the immediate aftermath of… Continue reading

357 Comments
John Chilcot holds a news conference to outline the terms of reference for the inquiry at the QEII conference centre on July 30, 2009 in London

Delaying publication of the Chilcot report is the right thing to do

21 January 2015 12:03

I don’t know about you but I tend to think Sir John Chilcot’s report into the Iraq war should not be published before it is finished. Actually, I do know… Continue reading

97 Comments
@CENTCOM's Twitter page as it appeared after the hack

The real danger of #CyberJihad is that anybody can get involved

13 January 2015 10:17

There was a certain irony to the news that @CENTCOM had been hacked yesterday afternoon. While President Obama was giving a speech on cybersecurity, the U.S. Central Command Twitter account… Continue reading

14 Comments
Sir Thayne Forbes. Image: Getty

The oldest trick in the detainees’ book

17 December 2014 16:41

The £31 million al-Sweady Inquiry is in. And it describes claims that up to 20 Iraqis were killed and mutilated by British troops after a battle in 2004 as “without… Continue reading

61 Comments
Isis's headquarters in Aleppo (Photo: Mohammed Wesam/Getty)

Isis murder a homosexual man (but presumably it has nothing to do with Islam)

11 December 2014 13:21

I see that Isis have begun the holiday season by ‘executing’ (or murdering) a man who they say was homosexual in Syria/Iraq. They did this in the traditional manner, by throwing him… Continue reading

235 Comments