Time to repay our debt to Kurdistan

Lewis Baston  |  19 October 2017

With some imaginative, practical and humane support, Britain can deter threats to Kurdistan’s safety in the wake of its independence referendum, reports Lewis Baston I am interested in elections, and that is what took me to Iraq. I was privileged to observe the referendum on independence organised on 25 September by the Kurdistan regional government, …

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Kurdish independence on the ballot

Gary Kent  |  4 July 2017

With a referendum looming, Kurdistan stands on the cusp of independence – but it would be unwise to think a ‘yes’ vote is already in the bag, writes Gary Kent The announcement that the Kurds are holding a referendum on independence from Iraq on 25 September has so far been obscured in the swirl of domestic and international events but …

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A post-Daesh Marshall plan

Gary Kent  |  16 February 2017

With our support, the pro-western Kurdistan Region could be a magnet for decent, secular and progressive change in the Middle East, writes Gary Kent The Kurds in Iraq have been less visible recently but this is only a lull before political storms about reconstruction, reform and remapping that will follow the military defeat of Daesh …

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A new order is forming in Mosul

Gary Kent  |  18 November 2016

Last week British members of parliament visited a Christian suburb of Mosul where Iraqi officers told us of the unprecedented unity between the Iraqi and Kurdish armies which once fought each other but are now closing on the common enemy of the Islamic State. That Islamic State will be defeated militarily is certain but the new question …

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Hobbesian brutality in Mosul

Gary Kent  |  27 October 2016

Last week I was fifty miles from Mosul in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq where life was fairly normal and safe although its calm was occasionally pierced by the sirens of ambulances speeding wounded soldiers to hospital and American helicopters clattering above. Government officials turned up each day to my course …

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Turkey, Iraq and the possibility of ‘regional war’

Ibrahim Dogus  |  13 October 2016

Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi has said that Turkey’s decision to maintain its troop presence in Iraq could lead to a ‘regional war’. Al-Abadi alluded to military confrontation with Turkey, as well as Turkey’s activities in neighbouring Syria. These comments should not be taken too seriously. They are likely aimed at a domestic Iraqi audience. …

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A domain of one’s own

Gary Kent  |  19 April 2016

Kurdistan achieved its independence last week but you may not yet have noticed it. It now has a separate domain in cyberspace – Krd. The next question is whether or when that can become a two-letter suffix with an independent Kurdistan flying its flag at the United Nations. In the last decade I have been …

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The Kurdistan no-fly zone: 25 years on

Gary Kent  |  5 April 2016

Today I suggest we praise a prime minister from the 1990s. No, not Tony Blair but John Major. You may think I am referring to his pioneering work on the peace process in Northern Ireland but I want to highlight a neglected position – the brave and far-reaching decision to establish a no-fly zone over …

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Defeating Daesh

Gary Kent  |  30 November 2015

We cannot hide in the futile hope that Daesh will look elsewhere. Yet, many blame western policy rather than the autonomous agency of this fascism. Jeremy Corbyn argues that, ‘It is the conflict in Syria and the consequences of the Iraq war which have created the conditions for Isis to thrive and spread its murderous …

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Time for a straight-talking debate about Syria

Gary Kent  |  8 September 2015

Let’s have a straight-talking and honest political debate about Syria, Iraq and the refugee crisis. Our accepting 4,000, 40,000 or 400,000 Syrian refugees would alleviate problems, massively for those who settle here, but make little difference to millions displaced in the Middle East. Some highlight the impact of refugees on western economies but the normally …

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