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Patrick Cockburn · Underground in Raqqa · LRB 19 October 2017
KRG leaders wrongly believed that Turkey and Iran wouldn’t want to jeopardise their sizeable economic interests in Iraqi Kurdistan by objecting to the vote. But neither Turkey nor Iran can countenance the prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurds since it would inflame their own Kurdish minorities. Turkey’s reaction was especially hostile: the Kurds, Erdoğan said, ‘are not forming an independent state, they are opening a wound in the region to twist a knife in’. Barzani had cultivated good relations with Erdoğan, who now says that the relationship is finished: the KRG, ‘to which we provided all support, took steps against us, it will pay the price’. In future, he says, Turkey will deal only with the Iraqi government. Iraqi Kurds are hoping the US will once again come to their rescue by mediating between them and their opponents: they say the roads into Kurdistan are still open and that nothing has yet changed on the ground. The KRG may survive its present isolation but the risk is growing that the Kurdish quasi-states will go the same way as the caliphate.
ISIS  IslamicState  Syria  Iraq  Raqqa  tunnels  civilWar  Kurds  Erbil  Kobani  Turkey  Peshmerga  YPG  KRG  Rojava  territory  referendum  BarzaniMasoud  Erdogan  independence  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=CockburnPatrick 
october 2017 by petej
How Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was radicalised by his links to Libya | UK news | The Guardian
“He’s not been radicalised by Isis,” Rafiq said. “His life story is all about being radicalised from birth and then Isis cherrypicked him.”
AbediSalman  Manchester  bombing  terrorism  jihadism  Islamism  Libya  LIFG  Sanabel  al-Qaeda  Gaddafi  ISIS  IslamicState  youth  aggression  radicalisation  alienation 
may 2017 by petej
Patrick Cockburn · Who supplies the news?: Misreporting in Syria and Iraq · LRB 2 February 2017
There are many similarities between the sieges of Mosul and East Aleppo, but they were reported very differently. When civilians are killed or their houses destroyed during the US-led bombardment of Mosul, it is Islamic State that is said to be responsible for their deaths: they were being deployed as human shields. When Russia or Syria targets buildings in East Aleppo, Russia or Syria is blamed: the rebels have nothing to do with it. Heartrending images from East Aleppo showing dead, wounded and shellshocked children were broadcast around the world. But when, on 12 January, a video was posted online showing people searching for bodies in the ruins of a building in Mosul that appeared to have been destroyed by a US-led coalition airstrike, no Western television station carried the pictures. ‘We have got out 14 bodies so far,’ a haggard-looking man facing the camera says, ‘and there are still nine under the rubble.’
Syria  Aleppo  news  media  civilWar  atrocities  misinformation  JabhatAl-Nusra  al-Qaeda  Iraq  Mosul  IslamicState  ISIS  dctagged  dc:creator=CockburnPatrick 
april 2017 by petej
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