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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Kurdistan referendum: why now is the wrong time

It appears that the referendum is arguably nothing more than a bargaining chip used by President Barzani, whilst also covering itself as a clever ploy to lull the suffering Kurdish population away from the on-going problems.

Iraq after ISIS: continued conflict or rebuilding beyond ethno-sectarian identities?

Ignoring priorities that have popular support in Iraq risks undermining post-ISIS attempts to build a stable country, with knock-on effects at a regional level. 

The possible devastating outcome of a Kurdish referendum

An attempt to establish a Kurdish state including Kirkuk is likely to result in a truncated and economically devastated mini-Kurdistan.

Race to the sea: Qatar and the balance of power in the Middle East

If the Qatari crisis is not managed rationally, then it is likely to compound the present risks in the regional balance of power, with consequences for all states in the region.

Why the ICC examination into torture and other abuses by UK soldiers in Iraq must continue

The Office of the Prosecutor is under pressure to conclude the examination. It must remain open. The Prosecutor should be taking it to the next logical step – a full-blown investigation. 

الانبعاثات وارتفاع درجات الحرارة في العراق

ترتفع درجات الحرارة في العراق هذا الصيف لتصل لدرجات غير مسبوقة فبحسب الارصاد الجوية العراقية سجلت المناطق الجنوبية قبل بضعة ايام 51 درجة مئوية وهي الأعلى منذ 30 سنة.

Preparing Iraq for the defeat of IS

Multiple segments of the population, including at elite level, have come together in the fight against IS and now the time has come for this effort to extend beyond the battle.

Can the Kurds pull off Kurdexit?

Iraqi Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani and former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari share their thoughts about the upcoming referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan.

الغطاء النباتي واثره على التغير المناخي في العراق

يعاني العراق ارتفاع في درجات الحرارة وتأثير الرياح الجافة وتكرار العواصف الغبارية في المنطقتين الوسطى والجنوبية بوجه خاص ويتطلب فهم اثارها البيئية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية والصحية وربما السياسية في الوقت الحاضر والمستقبل، للوصول الى الوسائل الناجعة لتقليل الاثار السلبية.

Lebanon in the eye of the regional storm

Hizbollah’s proven armed capability in Syria, Israel’s perceived political defeat in 2006, coupled with a possible US and Saudi green light, may make confrontation inevitable.

Iraqi feminists mobilise against sectarian laws

The sectarian personal status code comes in a context marked by social and religious conservatisms, sectarian conflicts, political instability and the absence of a strong unifying state.

Whatever happened to peace? Arms, oil and war by proxy

We're living in a new era of proxy warfare, where multiple powers fund local proxies with disastrous consequences. We need to break the cycle.

Britain would have been safer with Corbyn in charge

Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against wars of choice that Britain could have refrained from taking part in, now regarded as strategic failures, promoting, not reducing, international terrorism.

Lost and found hopes in hell: testimonies from an Iraqi hospital

Yazan al-Saadi gathers some of the astonishing stories from staff and patients of MSF’s trauma hospital in Hammam al-Alil, the closest surgical facility to West Mosul. عربي

آمال ضائعة في جحيم الحرب: شهادات حيّة من مستشفى عراقي

يجمع يزن السعدي شهادات حياة صادمة من موظفي ومرضى مستشفى أطباء بلا حدود لعلاج الإصابات البالغة في منطقة حمام العليل، علماً أنّ هذا المستشفى يشكّل المنشأة الجراحية الأقرب إلى غرب الموصل. English

“Women and Children First”: war, humanitarianism, and the refugee crisis

Is a rethinking of laws of armed conflict or international humanitarian law, humanitarian assistance and refugee policy not significantly overdue?

Frenemies forever: Iraqi Shi’a after Mosul

In Baghdad Iraqi Shi’a political parties and elites are returning to patterns of infighting habituated by decades of coalition- and relation-building in both the pre- and post-Saddam Iraq.

Method in Trump’s madness?

A look at Donald Trump’s 'travel bans' with an eye to the harvesting of personal data, and the EU-US Privacy Shield, now on life support.

Gertrude Bell: the tragedy of her letters from Baghdad

A remarkable new documentary assembled from Gertrude Bell's letters read over archive footage makes us wish for what might have been

Iraqi Kurdistan: from democratic consensus to de facto autocracy

Due to the war with ISIL and international support, the Kurdistan region is currently run by an autocratic administration under the influence of neighboring countries.

Muddling through in Mosul

The west has treated ISIS as enemy number one while local actors see it as a sideshow in a political arena stretching from the Mediterranean to Iran. What does the defeat of ISIS in Mosul mean for Iraq?

Will the re-launch of the Mosul battle by the Iraqi PM reverse Trump’s hostile stance?

The highly unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections sent shock waves across the world, but for Iraq’s PM Haider al-Abadi, it unquestionably heralded the beginning of what promises to be a long-running painful nightmare.

Do the people of Kurdistan live in security?

The main threat to the people in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq is not ISIL, but failed governance which endangers human security.

The consequences of politicized forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The politicization of the Kurdish military and security forces has a diverse and severe impact on human security, and stability in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Rojava, where water is twice as expensive as oil

Turkey is now in Jarablus town with Special Forces personnel and heavy weapons including tanks, and making advances enabling it to control a strategic part of the region.

In the aftermath of Mosul: a secure homeland for Iraq’s minorities?

The liberation of Mosul offers the international community a unique opportunity to permit the region’s most vulnerable minorities to exercise self-preservation and self-determination.

Hidden Warfare 3: Special forces

While Britain’s conventional army is being slashed, Britain’s special forces are benefiting from special treatment. Their budget was doubled in last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Turkey’s Syrian and Iraqi adventures: the underlying message

Turkey is sending a message that its armed forces are still a strong and capable fighting force, despite large-scale purges of officers of the highest ranks.

Iraq’s Kurdistan government needs a public debate on independence

To win the argument and battle for the Kurdistan state, it is more important to win the support of the Kurdish people than to win the consent of the superpowers.

Mosul: the looming battle has begun

The Mosul operation marks the return of US forces to Iraq after their 2011 withdrawal. What would a long term stability in Mosul need?

Moazzam Begg and The Confession, Part Two.

"Whatever you want to think about Moazzam Begg...  the film demands that you recognize that the rule of law, that quintessential British value, has not been exercised in our time."

Portrait of the artist and The Confession, Part One

An interview with the director of The Confession, Moazzam Begg’s story commissioned by BBC Storyville and the BFI - one of the most resonant modern stories for our times.

Turkey’s Mosul dream: showing up uninvited to a party or having prepared its seat well in advance?

Turkey is already shouldering the greatest portion of the burden for Syrian refugees.  It should temper its approach regarding Mosul accordingly.

The fight for Mosul: the danger of arming Sunni opponents to Daesh and the Sunni/Shia power struggle

The liberation of Mosul, backed up by Sunni powers, themselves backed up by western powers, will only add to the general feeling of injustice experienced by Shias and will only benefit Iran and its conspiracy theories.

Shia militias can be a greater threat to Iraq’s stability than Islamic State

The current security situation in Iraq is likely to worsen if the abuses of civilians by Shia militias within the PMF are not officially recognised and appropriately responded to.

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