Lydia Khalil

Lydia Khalil recently returned from Iraq where she worked as governance policy advisor for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. Prior to that, Lydia was appointed to the White House Office of Homeland Security. She has worked at home and abroad for the U.S. government, international organizations, private companies and think-tanks on a variety of Middle East political and terrorism issues.

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Articles by Lydia Khalil

Divisions Within the Iraqi Insurgency

With so many actors in the Iraqi insurgent theater, it is hard to keep track of the various permutations of militant Islamic groups and their alliances. It is going to

Kurdish Peshmerga Reinforce Turkish Border

Last week, Turkey's general staff held an unprecedented press conference to announce that it was recommending direct strikes on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) bases in Iraq's Kurdish areas and establishing

Internal Divisions Threaten Kurdish Unity

After years of infighting and repression by Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraq's Kurds were finally able to seize the opportunity for autonomy and influence presented by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Since

New Sufi Group Joins the Iraqi Insurgency

Late last year, The Jamestown Foundation reported on a new insurgent group comprised of Qadiri Sufi insurgents calling themselves the Battalions of Sheikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani (Terrorism Focus, September 19,

Harith al-Dari: Iraq’s Most Wanted Sunni Leader

According to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Harith al-Dari has "nothing to do but incite sectarian and ethnic sedition." Al-Dari, the leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), has been

The Shiite Zarqawi: A Profile of Abu Deraa

Depending on whom you ask, Abu Deraa is either considered a Shiite hero or the Shiite version of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The legendary militant, notorious for his brutal tactics and

Al-Sadr’s Weakening Grip on the Mahdi Army

In recent weeks, Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army continues to be blamed for the sectarian killings that are plaguing Iraq. Al-Sadr, however, has repeatedly called on his followers to

Turkish Troops Briefly Enter Northern Iraq

Testing the waters for a regional reaction to a cross-border operation into Iraq's Kurdish north, the Turkish military sent troops into Iraqi territory late last month. The Turkish forces remained

Who’s Who in Ramadi Among the Insurgent Groups

U.S. forces have amassed an additional 1,500 troops for another security crackdown in Iraq's predominantly Sunni Arab center in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province. The Ramadi operation, as yet

Assessing al-Qaeda’s Position in Iraq

There is a confusing portrait emerging from Iraq regarding al-Qaeda's position inside the country. Recent reports present contradictory views on the level of al-Qaeda support, success and long-term prospects. One

The Transformation of Ansar al-Islam

Ansar al-Islam seems to have dropped off the radar screen, while an even more active and deadly terrorist organization with similar nomenclature, Ansar al-Sunna, has emerged in its place. With