Despite the rhetoric, the campaign against the Islamic State group (IS) is not over. The international coalition is sounding almost triumphalist, giving developments a sunny gloss and frequently repeating claim that it is ‘defeating Daesh’.
This is true in a way, and success in one aspect – the protracted war which has pushed IS out of many cities and towns in Syria and Iraq – cannot be denied. 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 →
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 →
It was a swift victory, one all the more remarkable for being so unexpected.
After the fall of Mosul, which had taken many months and cost innumerable lives, the attention of the Iraqi state and the international coalition, and the watching world, fell on Tal Afar. It was one of the Islamic State’s last major urban territories in Iraq. Continue reading →
The Mosul offensive has come to an end. The Islamic State has been militarily defeated and its remnants destroyed within the city.
This is a victory for the state of Iraq. A new nation, remade after the evil of Ba’athism was removed from power, it has faced down a grave threat, and given much in a struggle against an existential enemy of the free world. Continue reading →