• The US is no friend of the Kurds / Tim Black

    The US has partially reversed its decision to pull troops out of Syria, opting now to retain 200 in a safe zone in Kurdish-dominated north-eastern Syria, with a further 200 stationed at a US military base at al-Tanf, near the border with Iraq and Jordan.



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    The military chiefs of staff of Iran, Syria and Iraq will hold a meeting in Damascus to discuss “ways to combat terrorism,” the pro-Syrian government al-Watan daily reported on Monday, March 18.

    04:11 PM
  • Turkey, US head to new crisis over Ankara’s S-400 purchase / Semih IdizTurkey, US head to new crisis over Ankara’s S-400 purchase / Semih Idiz

    The standoff between Turkey and the United States over Ankara’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 missile-defense systems is coming to head and pointing to a fresh crisis in Turkish-US ties.

    09:14 PM
  • Nechirvan Barzani urges Syrian Kurds to make peace with DamascusNechirvan Barzani urges Syrian Kurds to make peace with Damascus

    It has been nearly a year and a half since the Iraqi Kurds held their referendum on independence. The fallout from the referendum, which faced stiff opposition from Baghdad, the United States, Turkey and Iran, has been devastating.

    06:44 PM
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    An Iraq and Iran affairs expert believes that the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the neighboring Iraq will boost ties between the two states as well as Tehran ties with the Kurdish autonomous region in the north of Iraq.

    03:28 PM
  • As democracy disappears, Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani's legacy is in tatters / Michael RubinAs democracy disappears, Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani's legacy is in tatters / Michael Rubin

    Now is the time for Masoud Barzani to think about his legacy. He is 72 years old; his father died at 75. While Barzani may think he will follow his father into history as a great nationalist leader, the reality is less certain. Masoud has presided over the rise of the Kurdistan Regional Government, but his cynical embrace of Saddam Hussein less than a decade after the Anfal campaign suggests that Barzani cares more about wealth and personal power than Kurdish aspirations. His emphasis on family empowerment and wealth accumulation also suggests that he has been unable to shed the role of tribal leader to become a broader national leader.

    11:51 PM
  • Has Islamic State returned to Iraq? / Mustafa SaadounHas Islamic State returned to Iraq? / Mustafa Saadoun

    Iraqi security forces killed five suicide attackers northwest of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul Feb. 20. A car bomb in central Mosul killed one civilian and wounded 13 others Feb. 28, just the latest in many recent incidents that have also hit the southern and western parts of the country.

    03:59 PM
  • US shifts weapons from Iraq to Syria / Jack DetschUS shifts weapons from Iraq to Syria / Jack Detsch

    The Pentagon rerouted millions of dollars’ worth of weapons and vehicles from Iraq to Syria in the second half of 2018, Al-Monitor has learned, as US-backed forces cornered the last remnants of the Islamic State (IS).

    04:20 PM
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    Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced Feb. 12 that the security situation in Kirkuk has been stabilized. However, Kurdish parties now say Kurdish peshmerga forces have returned to Kirkuk province — an area disputed by Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen.

    09:58 PM
  • Abdul Mahdi hails Rouhani's upcoming trip to BaghdadAbdul Mahdi hails Rouhani's upcoming trip to Baghdad

    Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said good agreements will be accomplished during the upcoming trip which is supposed to be made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Iraq.

    10:17 PM
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    On Feb. 14, Russia, Turkey, and Iran resumed their tripartite talks about the future of Syria in the Russian coastal city of Sochi. The main themes of the talks were unsurprising: the last rebel-held enclave in Idlib and Turkey’s continuing concerns about Syrian Kurdish militants – namely the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – in northern Syria. Despite a congenial atmosphere, there seemed to be little progress. Russia ended by reaffirming its “firm and unwavering commitment” to Syria’s territorial integrity while Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin likewise emphasized that Turkey would not allow “any terrorist organization to function in Syria,” including Kurdish groups, in a direct reference to the YPG.

    09:13 AM
  • Masoud Barzani sends letter to PUK, attempting to ease tensionsMasoud Barzani sends letter to PUK, attempting to ease tensions

    The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) spokesman stated that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Leader Masoud Barzani has sent a friendly letter to the PUK Deputy Secretary General Kosrat Rasul, calling it an attempt by Barzani to ease tensions between the two parties.

    11:33 PM
  • Iraqi Kurdistan still working out kinks in new parliament / Dana Taib MenmyIraqi Kurdistan still working out kinks in new parliament / Dana Taib Menmy

    Iraqi Kurdistan parliament members — or some of them, anyway — held their first session Feb. 18, electing an interim speaker and nominating candidates for top government posts amid a boycott by its second-largest party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

    11:09 PM
  • Kurdistan Islamic Union seeking to make fundamental changes in Kurdistan Region, leader tells KurdpressKurdistan Islamic Union seeking to make fundamental changes in Kurdistan Region, leader tells Kurdpress

    The leader of the Kurdistan Islamic Union faction in Kurdistan Region local parliament blamed the governing and decision-making system in Kurdistan Region and stated that the party is attempting to change the current situation.

    10:23 PM
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    The Donald Trump administration’s decision to keep a residual force in Syria has temporarily reassured America’s Kurdish allies, who have publicly floated the possibility of looking to Bashar al-Assad for protection. But officials fear the US-backed force fighting the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) could still fracture amid uncertainty over US intentions.

    09:45 PM
  • Yazidis divided over selection of new leader / Saad Salloum

    Yazidi Prince Tahseen Said died in a hospital in Germany Jan. 28 at the age of 86 after a long struggle with illness. His death launched a debate about his potential successor in the international Yazidi community. The debate revealed strong divisions over the leadership of this minority group that lived through a genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State in the summer of 2014.

    12:51 AM
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