US, Iran, And Russia Fly Over Iraq As Kurdistan Independence Referendum Is Planned

By: Wednesday July 2, 2014 4:54 am

As President Obama alerts Congress that he is sending more US combat troops into Iraq, other countries are flying in. The US has been joined by Iran and Russia in the skies over Iraq as the Maliki government in Baghdad tries to hold on to power. Though the US has confirmed flying drones, the other [...]

Kurds Of Iraq Ready For ‘Self-Determination’

By: Tuesday June 24, 2014 5:59 am

One of the unintended beneficiaries of the current crisis in Iraq has been the Kurds of Northern Iraq. With the Shiite dominated government focused on Sunni fighters, the Kurds have already been able to retake historic and oil rich territory such as Kirkuk. And now Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani has said “The time is [...]

Turkey Approves Military Action Against Syria as Cross-Border Attacks Continue

By: Friday October 5, 2012 7:35 am

Turkey’s Parliament approved military action against Syria yesterday, though they downplayed it as not a prelude to an invasion or a “war mandate.” But while Syria apologized for cross-border shelling that killed five in Turkey and drew this response, the Turkish military fired over the border for a second day, as the Turkish Prime Minister [...]

Kurdish Rebels Gain Control of Northern Syria, Risking Turkish Response

By: Friday July 27, 2012 12:59 pm

Observers are bracing for what many believe could be a massacre in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the biggest by population in the country. Regime war planes have already bombed the city where rebels have assembled in an attempt to take and hold ground. Now artillery shelling is taking place, according to the rebels, and [...]

New Iraqi “Unity” Government Looks Much Like Old Shiite-Dominated Iraqi Government

By: Monday November 15, 2010 6:20 am

The headlines the other day screamed that a new dawn had come to Iraq, with a unity government where all the major parties had a voice. Indeed, the Iraqiya party, for which most Sunnis voted, did get the position of Speaker of the Parliament (in the person of Usama al-Nujayfi), while the Shiite Nouri al-Maliki [...]

Nouri al-Maliki Gets the Coveted Iran Endorsement

By: Tuesday October 19, 2010 9:46 am

As a reminder of who matters in Middle Eastern regional politics, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sought out and received the endorsement for a second term not from the United States but from Iran. Jane Arraf of the Christian Science Monitor reports: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki received the clearest backing yet from Iran in [...]

US Changes Tune on Iraqi Government: “Slow Down!”

By: Monday October 18, 2010 8:33 am

This is really funny: when it looked like the only option for Iraq’s government would include a role for former CIA asset Iyad Allawi, American officials urged the formation of a coalition without delay. Now that Muqtada al-Sadr has backed the Shiite Nouri al-Maliki, and the coalition could freeze out Allawi, America’s all, why hurry? [...]

Odierno Floats UN Peacekeepers, Not US Troops, for Post-War Iraq

By: Thursday July 8, 2010 8:50 am

US troops in Iraq have lowered to 77,500, their lowest number in years. By the end of August, the status of forces agreement negotiated by President Bush calls for the removal of all combat troops, with a residual force of about 50,000 left over until the end of 2011. But as Juan Cole notes, a [...]

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