[Published here on June 11, 2019]
Baghdad (AFP) – The succession of two powerful cousins to the top government posts in Iraqi Kurdistan has sealed the Barzani family’s “monarchic” rule over the autonomous region, analysts say.
[Published on AFP’s Correspondent Blog on May 24, 2019]
Mosul — “There are families living in this alleyway.” The Arabic words were hand-painted in red, black, and blue on a tattered canvas, pinned up where a small side street led off a main thoroughfare in Iraq’s Mosul. The alleyway looked anything but livable — bullet holes and craters from mortar rounds still scarred the walls around it nearly two years after the fighting had stopped, and sewage water gurgled down the cracked pavement. The banner, my AFP colleagues said, was hung to alert passing aid groups to needy residents eking out a living, unseen, in the battered labyrinth of west Mosul.
[Co-written with AFP’s Ali Choukeir; published here on April 29, 2019]
Baghdad (AFP) – The Islamic State group’s elusive supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first purported appearance in five years in a propaganda video released Monday, acknowledging IS’s defeat in the Syrian town of Baghouz while threatening “revenge” attacks.