Syrian Kurds Agree To Side With Opposition in Geneva Talks

Despite an atmosphere of deep mutual distrust, two major rival Syrian Kurdish bodies have agreed to attend an expected international conference on the fate of Syria, known as Geneva II, on the side of the Syrian opposition forces, Syrian Kurdish sources told IPS. That is contingent on the possibility that only two sides will be … Continue reading “Syrian Kurds Agree To Side With Opposition in Geneva Talks”

Kurd Issue to the Fore Ahead of Elections

DIYARBAKIR, Iraq – Sultan Quyun, 58, longs for the day when the decades-long conflict between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Turkish security forces will come to an end. For her, the end of violence does not just hold the promise of a possible resolution of the Kurdish issue in the country, but would bring … Continue reading “Kurd Issue to the Fore Ahead of Elections”

Iraq Protests Spread to Kurdistan

SULAIMANIYA – At least one person died and dozens were injured Thursday in Iraqi Kurdistan’s second largest city as angry protestors attacked the local headquarters of one of the two ruling Kurdish parties, while an opposition building was set ablaze in the other major Kurdish city. The violence broke out in Sulaimaniya following a rally … Continue reading “Iraq Protests Spread to Kurdistan”

New Kyrgyz Leaders Say US Can Use Air Base

Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders sought to reassure Washington Thursday that it can continue to use the strategic Manas airbase near the capital Bishkek as a supply link for U.S. operations in Afghanistan. Roza Otunbayeva, the head of the interim government, told reporters in Bishkek that as far as the base’s fate was concerned, "the status quo … Continue reading “New Kyrgyz Leaders Say US Can Use Air Base”

Kyrgyzstan Revolution Threatens Afghanistan War’s Premier Air Hub

Kyrgyzstan has entered a phase of uncertainty with a new opposition-led government in place following two days of street clashes between police and anti-government protestors. Some opposition leaders have called for the closure of a U.S. airbase in the country that is a supply link for its operations in Afghanistan. A former Kyrgyz foreign minister, … Continue reading “Kyrgyzstan Revolution Threatens Afghanistan War’s Premier Air Hub”

Uphill Coalition-Building Battle for Winners Unfolds

Iraq’s major political forces are beginning what is likely to be a lengthy and uncertain process of talks to form a government. A key question is whether Iraq’s politically diverse groups will join forces together based on ideological, ethnic, sectarian, or merely pragmatist considerations. "[T]he core contradictions of Iraqi politics will be on display as … Continue reading “Uphill Coalition-Building Battle for Winners Unfolds”

US Ambassador Accuses Iran of Role in Iraq Election Ban

Reiterating accusations of Iranian interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq said Wednesday that he was in "100 percent agreement" with remarks by the top U.S. commander in Iraq regarding Iran’s involvement in a highly controversial decision that eventually barred over 140 candidates from running in Iraq’s parliamentary elections next month. Among … Continue reading “US Ambassador Accuses Iran of Role in Iraq Election Ban”

US Steps Up Sanctions Diplomacy Against Iran

Faced with an increasingly impatient Congress and a defiant government in Tehran, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is currently stepping up its diplomatic efforts in the Middle East as it seeks to prepare the ground for tougher sanctions on Iran. A main goal, if not the main, is to persuade Sunni Arab states … Continue reading “US Steps Up Sanctions Diplomacy Against Iran”

Iran Revolution’s Anniversary Ratchets Up Tensions

One day before the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Iran is a country divided, with pro-government groups and Green Movement supporters each presenting their own narratives of what the highly symbolic day means and whom they represent. The political atmosphere is highly tense as both sides have called on their supporters to take to … Continue reading “Iran Revolution’s Anniversary Ratchets Up Tensions”

US Night Raids and Secret Prisons Anger Afghan Civilians

An investigative report published on about U.S. forces’ operations in Afghanistan paints a gruesome picture of surprise night raids, indiscriminate killing and random detention of civilians during those raids, as well as what appears to be widespread use of torture of Afghan detainees. The story by Anand Gopal, dated Jan. 28 and to be … Continue reading “US Night Raids and Secret Prisons Anger Afghan Civilians”