Soaring drug addiction blights lives in Iraq’s war-shattered Ramadi

RAMADI, IRAQ / BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: Ramadi was liberated by Iraqi security forces in the closing days of 2015 after several months under Daesh control. Since then, the people of this war-shattered provincial capital 110km west of Baghdad have struggled to rebuild their lives in the face of severe economic hardship. After decades of war, occupation and […]

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Iraq’s protest leaders forced into hiding by pro-Iran militia death threats

IRBIL/BOGOTA: Mustafa Makki Karim, 24, fled Baghdad for the relative safety of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region last year following a spate of death threats by pro-Iran groups for his role in the protest movement that erupted against government corruption and incompetence in October 2019. During the unrest that followed, the young activist earned the moniker […]

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Burden of Daesh stigma weighs heavily on kin of Iraq’s defeated militants

NINEVEH/IRBIL/BOGOTA: Since the collapse of Daesh’s so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria, many Western nations have been reluctant to allow the families of fighters to return for legal, political and security reasons. But the issue is equally complicated in the two war-weary Arab countries that the “caliphate” straddled while it lasted. More than three years […]

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What next for children of Daesh detainees confined in Syrian camps?

LONDON: Al-Hawl and Al-Roj, two squalid, vastly overcrowded detention camps in northeast Syria, are home to some 70,000 people — around 80 percent of them women and children — all in some way associated with Daesh, the terror group that dominated a third of the country and whole swathes of neighboring Iraq between 2014 and […]

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Erdogan’s two-state demand puts the jinx on planned UN-led Cyprus meeting

RIYADH/LONDON: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent assertion that the only way to resolve the Cyprus dispute is a two-state solution may have just muddied the waters further, rather than helping resolve Europe’s longest-running frozen conflict. By rejecting the reunification of Cyprus under a two-zone federal umbrella, long favored by Greece and the UN, the […]

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