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Women raped and enslaved by warped IS code

Hannah Arendt would have called it the 'banality of evil'how Islamic State dresses up medieval misogyny as divine direction.

Sexualized violence in Iraq: how to understand and fight it

Sexualised and gender-based violence in Iraq, highlighted in recent weeks in relation to ISIS atrocities, has been at the heart of sectarian and authoritarian politics and developments since 2003. How can we talk about it and mobilise against it?

What Arab partners will get in return for strikes on Syria

Much of the analysis of the US-led attacks on IS has been from the American end of the telescope. But how does it look from that of its Arab allies?

Fear and loathing in Kirkuk

Summary killings are taking place amid growing sectarian tension in the contested, oil-rich city.

ISIS: the spreading cancer

Sometimes states exaggerate the threat posed by violence from non-state forces. With ISIS in Iraq and Syria, however, the opposite is true: its onward march threatens the region and the international community.

The flight from Mosul: “We left everything behind to save our lives”

As the Islamic State has consolidated its hold in Mosul, those who do not share its extreme fundamentalism have been subjected to brutal treatment—for which those who visited the war on Iraq bear an historic responsibility.

Between IS and the KRG, little hope for Ninawa’s Arab IDPs

Those internally displaced by the ISIS takeover in Iraq may seek refuge in KRG territory, but there future is uncertain as decisions are made about whom will be included in an independent Kurdistan.

How one man was stripped of his UK citizenship—twice

The UK home secretary has pushed legislation through Parliament which allows her to strip individuals of their citizenship, even if they are rendered stateless—but the case on which she drew turns out to have a Kafkaesque quality.

The individualisation of radical Islam in Britain

Presenting “British values” as the antidote to Islamic fundamentalism misunderstands the process of radicalisation and what should be done to stem it.

Avoiding Iraq’s fragmentation

Divisions between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds within Iraq are mirrored throughout the region, with the risk of tensions fuelling each other. Despite overwhelming political obstacles, progress towards decentralisation in Iraq remains the best option to prevent further destabilisation and preserve its unity.

Is ISIS on the march in Iraq?

The remarkable resurgence of Sunni-fundamentalist violence in Iraq has taken the west by surprise, yet it is a symptom of the long-evident inability of the Shia-led government there to exercise authority impartially.

Women’s rights under threat in Iraq

Few disagree that the Iraqi government’s increasingly Shia character has alienated its Sunni population—but what has mounting sectarian division meant for the rights of women and girls?

Iraq redux: British commanders before the ICC?

Evidence has been compiled suggesting agents of the UK state committed war crimes in Iraq, punishable before the International Criminal Court. Institutional amnesia about Britain’s early intervention in Northern Ireland may prove to have been costly.

Iraq’s Sunni civil war

Iraq’s Sunnis have become increasingly alienated from its Shia-dominated government. Al-Qaeda has been able to profit from its inability to offer cross-sectarian leadership.

Iraq's political crisis and the shadow of sectarian politics

As the US completed its official withdrawal from Iraq, a series of events stoked a political crisis that will push Iraq toward a precipice.

Is Iraq edging closer toward partition?

Just as the final U.S. troops are withdrawing, and just as the world’s attention is diverted on Syria and elsewhere, Iraq may steal the limelight a final time and bow and declare: before long, she may not be anymore.

Islamabad under scrutiny from China as Pakistan-trained terrorists blamed for attacks in Xinjiang

China publicly links recent attacks in Xinjiang province to Pakistan-based terrorist group. Radical anti-US cleric al-Sadr warns Washington that military trainers could become targets. After years of fighting, al-Shabab withdraws from Mogadishu. NATO, Kosovo and Serbia reach agreement following violent clashes between ethnic groups in northern Kosovo. All this in today's security briefing...

Leaving Basra to the bandits

How the British Army struck a disastrous deal with the Mehdi Army that turned Basra into a lawless city.

Rights groups call for investigation into violence in Western Sahara

Rights groups call for international probe into violence in Western Sahara. Cholera reaches Port-au-Prince, confirming health workers’ worst fears. Iraqi politicians finally negotiate government after months of deadlock. Former Navy admirals slam decision to scrap Harriers, claiming the move will jeopardise the Falklands. All this and much more in today's Security Briefing...

Kigali grenade attack injures seven days after Kagame re-elected

Grenade attack rocks Kigali just two days after Kagame re-elected as president, while opposition groups urge international community to reject result. The Lord’s Resistance Army is violently abducting recruits in central Africa, according to a recent report from Human Rights Watch. A top Iraqi general insists Iraq not ready for troop withdrawal, but comments brushed off by US and Iraqi officials. Car bomb rocks Bogota in first security test for Santos. All this and more in today’s briefing...

Iraq: on the path to national salvation?

The current political impasse in Iraq is damaging to all parties involved. A National Salvation Government sponsored by the UN may be the only feasible way forward, says Mohammed Hussainy

New fears of xenophobia send migrants fleeing in South Africa

New rumours of xenophobic reprisals after the World Cup send foreign migrants fleeing in South Africa. A new Amnesty International report slams endemic sexual violence in Kenyan slums. A Sri Lankan government minister begins hunger strike to protest UN inquiry into war crimes. Fresh bombings kill more Shia pilgrims in Baghdad. Defeated candidates and supporters protest over ‘rigged’ presidential elections in Guinea. New Australian PM Gillard backtracks on Timor-Leste refugee processing centre. All this and more in today’s briefing...

Fragile post-election Iraq suffers sectarian bomb attacks

Baghdad bombings in wake of inconclusive election bargaining in Iraq. Suspicions mount of North Korean involvement in Cheonan sinking. Murders taint government-opposition relations in Ethiopia. US warns Burma over purchases of North Korean weapons. All this and more in today's briefing.

Allawi throws it all away

Allawi emerged from the election triumphant, but is now unlikely to become the next prime minister. Mohammed Hussainy explains how.

Leaked video shows US gunships killing Iraqi civilians

WikiLeaks website posts video showing US helicopter attack on journalists and civilians. Obama to announce overhaul of US nuclear strategy. Maoist rebels kill over 70 police in India. Deadly series of bomb attacks rock Baghdad. All this and much more, in today’s security briefing.

Maliki, Allawi and the Iraqi people

International jubilation following high participation in Iraq's elections is premature, argues Zaid Al-Ali.

Iraq election tensions threaten renewed instability

The close race in Iraq’s elections sparks heightened tensions. The head of NATO calls for a missile defence pact targeting Iran. A South Korean vessel sinks off the coast of North Korea. All this and more, in today’s security update.

Mitchell called in after bloody weekend in the West Bank

U.S. envoy dispatched following settlement row and escalating violence in the West Bank. Tight race as Iraqis await final election results. FARC kidnaps five in Colombia. Influential Nepalese peace broker dies at 86. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Once again, the Iraqi compass points north

The votes are in and the Iraqi coalitions have entered a complex process of deal making and realignment. Little can be predicted with any certainty, but the Kurdish parties look set to regain their place as kingmakers in Baghdad.

Attacks kill 38 on polling day in Iraq

Attacks on election day kill 38 in Iraq. Renewed peace effort for Israel and Palestine. US-South Korean military drills spark North Korean anger. Reprisal attacks leave at least 100 dead in Nigeria. Explosion in Lahore kills 11. All this as more, in today’s update.

Violence and uncertainty underscore Iraqi elections

Insurgents strike polling stations as Iraq votes for its new government. Turkey withdraws its ambassador to the US in the wake of a House committee vote condemning the Armenian genocide. The British PM defends the Iraq war. Clashes erupt at the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. All this and more, in today’s security update.

Suicide bombers target Iraqi city ahead of polls

Suicide bombers target Iraqi city ahead of polls. Arab League backs indirect talks with Israel. Afghanistan bans coverage of Taliban attacks. Italy arrests Iran arms smugglers. Fighting kills twelve in Somalia. Agathe Habyarimana arrested for genocide. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Shadowy campaign financing will mire Iraq's democratic elections

As campaigning in the Iraqi election intensifies, there is a danger that the race will be won by ill-gotten wealth.

A nest of contradictions: exclusion and immunity in the Iraqi elections

The fudged compromise on Iraqi election candidates previously excluded from running raises more questions than it answers.

Iraq and the fig-leaf of just war theory

Dissension over the legality of the Iraq war, and the history of western military interventions since 1945, reveals the paucity of international law's moral underpinnings. The article continues our series Lest we forget: remembering historic conflicts, openSecurity’s new editorial project in association with History & Policy, asking historians to reflect on wars gone by and the light they shed on present conflicts.
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