The morning after the attacks in Paris that left 129 dead, the U.S. officers manning the coalition’s control room hadn’t yet heard that the killings had been claimed by ISIS, the same foe they were pounding with munitions from warplanes in the sky above Iraq. But is the air war actually working? I look at the Sinjar offensive from the perspective of the coalition’s joint operation room in Erbil. Here.
Story for the Independent on Sunday. In the aftermath of the Sinjar offensive I gained exclusive access to the US/Kurdish joint operations command room in Erbil where airstrikes against Isis in northern Iraq are planned. I tell the story of the offensive from their perspective here.
Story here for the Daily Beast about the run up to the recapture of Sinjar by Kurdish forces on 13 November. I spent the night before on the mountain with the peshmerga and traveled with them the next day on the strategic M47 highway, cutting Syria from Sinjar in the west.
For Iraq’s minority Yazidis, the recapture of Sinjar from Isis is only the first step towards recovery. Homes are destroyed, people displaced and thousand of women and girls are still in Isis captivity. Besides that, Isis has ruined already fragile ties between neighbours. Story here.
Kurdish forces in northern Iraq launch an attack against Isis in the town of Sinjar, the site of the massacre and kidnap of the Yazidi people in the summer of 2014. I traveled with the peshmerga as they headed in a convoy from the mountain into the city. Story here.