Even in wartime, bureaucracies continue to produce weights of paper. Baathist bureaucracies are no exception. Throughout Syria’s war, the extent to which the regime of Bashar al-Assad’s worst excesses have found their way onto official paper has surprised onlookers. Couched among the death certificates issued by state-run prisons lies the documentation, officially signed, legally witnessed, describing a campaign of mass murder. It is punctilious, and in plain sight. Continue reading
In less than a month the fortunes of Iraqi Kurdistan, its leaders and inhabitants have reversed.
Iraqi Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence and optimism appeared to reign. The referendum, however, brought complications and immediate repercussions and illuminated systemic problems within the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), including political and economic dysfunction and general social malaise. Continue reading
Iraq’s Kurds have voted overwhelmingly to become independent. More than 90 per cent of those who voted backed secession. This confident margin of victory does not translate into international confidence. The United States repeatedly attempted to dissuade the leaders of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) from having the referendum at all. Continue reading
The northern Iraqi city of Hawija represents the last Islamic State (ISIS) stronghold in the country. After the gruelling battle for Mosul and the rapid victory at Tal Afar, the Iraqi state is on the verge of winning its immediate war against ISIS. Hawija and the nearby area are surrounded by Iraq state- and Kurdish-controlled territory, forming what might appear to be a tight seal. Continue reading
The decision by Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to call a referendum on the future of Kurdistan has alarmed the rest of the country and the region. Continue reading