Articles on Iraq

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From the Turkish side of the border, residents watch an attack on Islamic State positions in the Syrian town of Kobane. EPA/Sedat Suna

Turkey has its own good reasons for not intervening in Kobane

As the Kurdish town of Kobane continues to defy Islamic State (IS) forces, many pundits have condemned Turkey’s unwillingness to help the People’s Protection Units (YPG) keep the forces of “evil” at bay…
A military campaign against Islamic State forces will offer no long-term resolution to Iraq’s extremist problem. YouTube/VICE News

Islamic State knows its history; to defeat it, we must know ours

To explain the disaster befalling Iraq, as well as the rise of Islamic State (IS), you have to go back a century – before modern Iraq even existed. That’s not to discount the shared culpability of Iraq’s…
Female members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) helped patrol the outskirts of Makhmur, a northern Iraqi town that was seized back from Islamic State militants in August. AAP/Eddie Gerald

Our forgotten allies against Islamic State: Iraqi and Syrian women

Women and girls living in Syria and Iraq have been subject to gross sexual violence, economic strife and the psychological trauma of a war that, to them, seems endless. But women in these countries are…
Most media outlets lined up behind the ‘coalition of the willing’ last time around. This time seems no different. The US Army

When governments go to war, the Fourth Estate goes AWOL

A year after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a postmortem of the media coverage of the so-called “Iraq war”. The conference included academics, journalists…
The Ottoman Chief Eunuch was an influential figure. In this and other caliphates, eunuchs supervised the harem, the princes, the financial affairs of the palace and the mosques, as well as controlling access to the ruler. Photo postcard 1912

Islamic State lacks key ingredient to make ‘caliphate’ work: eunuchs

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed Islamic State (IS) as a Muslim caliphate on June 29, 2014, with himself as caliph, a term reserved for a successor to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). His would be the newest…
Turkish police use tear gas on Kurdish protesters. EPA/Sedat Suna

Everything’s at stake for the Kurds in the battle for Kobanê

In recent weeks, the Kurdish town of Kobanê on the Turkey-Syria border has become centre stage in the struggle against IS (Islamic State). The latest round of attacks on the town and its surrounding areas…
Religious leaders have come together to promote community harmony, but some political and media agendas have encouraged Islamophobia. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Politicians and media let us down in fight to curb rising Islamophobia

Many incidents of violence and harassment directed at Australian Muslims have been reported recently. These are visible confirmation of fears expressed by their community, that support for the government’s…
An Australian Super Hornet refuels from a KC30 tanker while flying over Iraq. @VCDF_Australia/Twitter

Why Western boots should stay out of Iraq and Syria

There are two reasons why we should ignore the growing calls in the United States, Canada and Australia for Western “boots on ground” – meaning ground troops – to fight and destroy the Islamic State (IS…
Known as White Rocks, this quartz outcrop was the site of a three-hour gun battle in 1915 between police and two Afghans, who had shot and killed picnickers leaving Broken Hill. Amanda Slater/Flickr

History repeating: from the Battle of Broken Hill to the sands of Syria

It’s another hot Australian New Year’s Day, and 1200 people are aboard a train bound for a picnic when a burst of gunfire shatters the festive atmosphere. Police return fire, killing the attackers – but…

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