[Published here April 19, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – It has been weeks since Iran-backed factions in Iraq traded fire with US forces, but experts warn the rivals could be using the time to prepare for an escalation.
[Written with Damon Wake in Brussels and published here January 29, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – Iraq is considering a larger role for NATO at the expense of the US-led coalition, Iraqi and Western officials told AFP, after an American drone strike on Baghdad that sparked outrage.
[Published here on January 9, 2020]
Baghdad (AFP) – Arch-foes Tehran and Washington may be temporarily calling it even after Iranian missiles targeted US forces in Iraq, but analysts predict violent instability will keep blighting Baghdad.
[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.
[Published here on February 21, 2019]
Two feet deep, below a plot of farmland outside the Syrian city of Raqa, lies a large and deadly legacy of the Islamic State group: a mass grave holding an estimated 3,500 people.
[Published here on February 14, 2019]
The cry echoed across the chalk-dry Syrian plain: “Water!” Within seconds, the truck carrying a few dozen bottles was emptied by parched refugees who had spent the night out in the open.
[Published here on February 13, 2019]
The ferocious battle for the Islamic State group’s last bastion in eastern Syria entered its fifth day on Wednesday, as exhausted families left the ever-shrinking scrap of land where holdout jihadists have been boxed in by Kurdish-led forces.