Latest Articles about Iraq
US-Backed Proxy Strengthens Iranian Hand in Intra-Kurdish Struggle
Two Eurocopter AS350 helicopters crashed in northern Iraq’s rural Duhok province on March 15, killing the nine heavily armed passengers on board. The deceased were initially identified as members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization by Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) counter-terrorism officials (Kurdistan... MORE
Akram al-Kaabi: The Anti-American Iraqi Shia Militia Leader Who Went to Moscow
In late November 2022, Iraqi Shia militia leader Akram al-Kaabi visited Russia and met with the Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov and other Russian officials. During his visit, al-Kaabi, who is the leader of the Iranian-backed al-Nujabaa (“The Noble Ones”) Shia militia, condemned the... MORE
Profiling Ansar al-Islam: Kurdish Jihadists Threatening Russian Forces in Syria
Ansar al-Islam (AAI) is a jihadist group that formed in September 2001 in Iraqi Kurdistan from the merger of two small groups: Jund al-Islam, which was then led by Abu Abdullah al-Shafi’i, and a splinter group of the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan, which was led... MORE
What Does Russia’s New Maritime Doctrine Signify in a Strategic Sense?
On July 31, Russia issued its new maritime doctrine, though the reasoning behind its timing remains unclear (Kremlin.ru, July 31). No compelling maritime or bureaucratic pressures seemed to trigger this new strategic outlook. Neither have there been any signs of operational lessons from the Russian... MORE
The Contemporary Global ‘Security for Hire’ Industry: An Overview
Executive Summary Starting in the 2010s, the use of “security for hire” and paramilitary, non-state actors has been on the rise. Given its expanding geo-economic and geopolitical ambitions—best expressed by the Belt and Road Initiative—China, akin to other actors, will need to ensure physical security... MORE
Will Iraq’s Potential Purchase of French Rafale Fighter Jets Turn the Counter-Terrorism Tables in the Middle East?
Iraq’s request to purchase Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France will raise some eyebrows in Washington. Paris is eyeing the Middle Eastern weapons market and has signed significant agreements with Egypt and the UAE—and now Iraq. In a time of growing competition in the 4.5th... MORE
Is an Iraqi Shia Civil War Looming on the Horizon?
Protesters loyal to Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr invaded the heavily fortified area in central Baghdad, known as the Green Zone, twice in one week in late July. They occupied the parliament building for days and blocked al-Sadr’s Iranian-backed rivals’ formation of a new government... MORE
Thai Military Continues Counter-Insurgency Operations Amid Peace Process Jacob Zenn Amid rising hopes for a more inclusive peace process in southern Thailand, the Thai military is continuing its counter-insurgency operations against ethnic Malay Muslim militants. This represents a strategy whereby the military is allowing talks... MORE
7th Summit of the Astana Peace Process in Tehran: Implications for the Syrian Crisis
Three days after US President Joe Biden's trip to the Middle East, Tehran hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 19. This tripartite meeting was held within the framework of the seventh summit of the heads of states of... MORE
Can Iranian Drones Respond to Putin’s Call for Help?
On July 11, US intelligence warned that Tehran was preparing to send hundreds of Iranian unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Moscow. Open sources in Washington claimed that, in early July, Tehran had showcased the Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 drones to a visiting Russian delegation. Commercial... MORE