Lunch with the Erbil Asayish – BBC

My radio piece for the BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent. I speak to some of the men who keep the new Kurdistan safe, and find a new twist to the story of the last big attack against Erbil’s asayish.

Iraq’s Kurds fought passionately against Saddam Hussein. But after the US-led invasion toppled Saddam, the Kurdish region was able to buck the trend of sectarian violence that shook much of Iraq. And over the years it has become both stable and prosperous. However, that was before the militant group Isis re-emerged in Iraq. Cathy Otten meets an Iraqi Kurd general.

New camps for fleeing IDPs offer safety but little comfort – IRIN news

On 18 June I visited Khazir camp which is just outside of Erbil and shelters displaced people from Mosul. The camp lies between the two cities. Aside from being dusty and hot, I found little to no water and electricity for those living there. Here is my report for IRIN news.

Heavily pregnant Sneen kneels at the entrance to her tent, trying to shade herself from the searing sun overhead and keep the dust out of her eyes.

The 23-year-old, who gave  her first name, arrived at Khazir camp, next to the checkpoint of the same name on the border between central Iraq and the semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan region, on 14 June with her three children and mother Beduwa. She fled fighting in Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, in the middle of the night. Read more.