Storm Gathers Over Slain Journalist in Iraqi Kurdistan


The unsolved killing of a student journalist and critic of the Iraqi Kurdish authorities renews fears for press freedom in the region.

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Monocle magazine: Arbil, the Iraqi boomtown


Arbil, capital of Iraq’s relatively stable Kurdistan region, has developed at a breakneck pace while violence cripples the rest of the country. Wide highways and vast construction projects are transforming a city steeped in history and surrounded by mineral riches. Kurdish leaders believe they can attract foreign investment by promising access to their untapped markets and natural resources.

Photographs by Kamaran Najm/Metrography

Georgia sees Iraq as Nato route

Georgia sent 2,000 troops to fight alongside the US in Iraq, making them the third-largest force in the coalition at the start of 2008.

However, this commitment did not bring Tbilisi any closer to Nato, as it had hoped. At a summit that April, the alliance decided against expanding eastwards. Already stalled, Georgia’s Nato ambitions suffered a shattering reversal during its war with Russia that summer, which was seen in the West as a warning against provoking Moscow.

Nevertheless, Georgia’s Iraq deployment was, in some respects, a success. If nothing else, it enabled a tiny Caucasian country to upgrade its Soviet-era military and briefly march in step with the US. Report for BBC News from Tbilisi, April 2008


Russia’s bear bomber returns

Russia’s lumbering Tupolev Tu-95 bombers are flying into airspace patrolled by Nato jets, reviving memories of Cold War-era skirmishes. BBC News, September 2007

Women bombers break new ground

Insurgents from Iraq to Chechnya and Kashmir have been recruiting women as suicide bombers. But the jihadists are not the first armed groups to do so – and the practice could prove counter-productive. Analysis for BBC News, November 2005

Shaped bombs magnify Iraq attacks

Armour-piercing weapons have been deployed to devastating effect against British and US forces in Iraq – but the science behind them is more than a century old. Analysis for BBC News, October 2005

Analysis: Iraq’s military landscape

A survey of the armed groups in Iraq, from the US-led coalition to the militias and insurgents. Written on the eve of the handover of power to an interim government, as it was becoming clear that the dissolution of the Iraqi army had swelled the insurgents’ ranks. Analysis for BBC News. June 2004.