October 16, 2020

MERIA Special Report: Did ISIS Use Chemical Weapons Against the Kurds in Kobani?


*** WARNING:  This post contains images which some readers may find disturbing.  Caution is advised.  Please scroll down to view these images. The fate of Kobani city now hangs in the balance, as around 9000 fighters of the Islamic State organization close in on the Kurdish held area.  The current IS assault on the Kobani enclave was not the first attempt by the jihadis to destroy the Kurdish-controlled area.  The Kobani enclave, most of which is now in the hands of the IS, at one … [Read more...]

The Guns of August

Thriving city streets of Erbil, Iraq, in 2011, pre-IS. (photo Adam Jones)

Inside the Kurdish-IS War Jerusalem Report, 17/9 Erbil has changed a lot since I was there last. In early 2013, on my way into Syrian Kurdistan, I had stopped off in the city for a few days to make preparations. Then, the city had the feel of a boom town – shopping malls springing up across the skyline, brand new SUVs on the road, Exxon Mobil and Total were coming to town. It was the safest part of Iraq, an official of the Kurdish Regional Government had told me proudly over dinner in a … [Read more...]

ISIS Committing Atrocities Against Civilian Population in Northern Syria

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria.

PJmedia, 27/5.  Co-authored with Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi (WARNING: contains graphic images.) Evidence is mounting that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is systematically committing atrocities in eastern and northern Syria, its areas of control. While individual incidents of brutality have been well-documented, the near-impossibility of on-the-spot reporting in the area controlled by the organization has made it difficult to build a general description of the situation there. … [Read more...]

Defending ‘Rojava’


Jerusalem Post, 8/11: Kurds Consolidate borders of enclave with victories over al-Qaida in northern Syria The situation in Syria may appear after two and a half years to have turned into a static and bewildering slaughter. Neither victory nor defeat seem imminent for any of the sides. But this picture is not entirely accurate. On one front, at least, there is movement in a clear direction. The Kurds of north eastern Syria are consolidating their autonomous enclave bordering Iraq. The Kurds … [Read more...]

Syria’s Kurds End Their Silence


As the civil war in Syria grinds on, one of the less noticed developments has been the emergence of a de facto Kurdish autonomous area in the country’s north east. Stretching across a chain of towns and villages from the border with Iraq to the disputed Sere Kaniye/Ras al Ain area, this Kurdish-ruled area is seeking to carve an uneasy position between regime and rebels. The Kurds are opposed to the Assad regime, which brutally suppressed their aspirations over the last decades. At the same … [Read more...]