Three wars in one


How did Turkey enter the fight against Islamic State militants while simultaneously fighting a Kurdish rebel group whose allies are fighting Islamic State militants? I unpack the three-way conflict in this explainer for the BBC News website. From July 2015.

Vanity Fair: Iraq’s Homegrown ‘Hurt Locker’ Team

EOD men in Kirkuk (photo: Kamaran Najm/Metrography)

Top story for Vanity Fair’s homepage: “In 2008 The Hurt Locker introduced the Americans who defuse explosives in Iraq. Now that all US troops will be gone by 2012, meet the Iraqi soldiers left carrying the fuse.”

Photograph by Kamaran Najm/Metrography

Iraqi Interpreter’s Killing Pits Faith Against Law


An Iraqi man who worked as an interpreter for the US military is shot dead for having apparently converted to Christianity. The reaction to his murder illustrates the difficulty of balancing ancient articles of faith against a democratic obligation to guard religious minorities.

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Tussle Looms Over Iraqi Jewish Archive


Baghdad is urging the US to return a trove of artifacts that date to the now-extinct Jewish presence in Iraq. However, Jewish groups also want access to the valuable archive – which may not be possible if it is returned to Iraq.

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Rise of Iran Reveals Polarised Iraq


After an inconclusive election, Iraq’s political rivalries are best understood in terms of contrasting attitudes towards Iran – showing the extent of Tehran’s influence over its neighbour.

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Financial Times Weekend magazine: Policing Kirkuk


Kirkuk’s anti-terrorist police ride around in battered pickup trucks, keeping a nervous lookout for the bombers that have killed scores of their colleagues. With the American military eying an exit from Iraq, the force has become a central player in a seemingly intractable conflict over land and oil.

I accompanied the officers as they carried out overnight raids in pursuit of an insurgent cell linked to al-Qaeda.

Photographs by Kamaran Najm/Metrography

BBC Radio Four’s ‘The World Tonight’: Georgia’s Iraq gamble

In early 2008, Georgia was the third-largest contributor to the US-led coalition in Iraq, sending thousands of troops to guard the border with Iran.

Tbilisi wanted its deployment to pave the way for eventual entry into Nato. But at a summit in April 2008, the alliance balked at encouraging Georgia’s hopes – a move that would have drawn a furious response from Moscow. Georgia’s war with Russia later that summer was seen by many in the West as a further argument against encroaching on Moscow’s “backyard”.

This report from Tbilisi, produced on the eve of the Nato summit, argued that the Iraq deployment had helped Georgia’s military punch above its weight – even if Nato entry remained beyond its reach.

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

Turning the camera back on Vietnam

Legendary Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths talks about embedding and censorship from Vietnam to Abu Ghraib. Interview for BBC News, April 2005

UK lifeline for boy victim of Iraq blast

An Iraqi schoolboy recovers in Britain from an explosion that left him severely disabled. BBC News, December 2004

Aid stalemate at the gates of Falluja

While the Red Cross warns of a health crisis, a hospital on the outskirts of besieged Falluja says it has yet to receive any patients. BBC News, November 2004

Falluja siege interviews

A series of interviews with Fadhil Badrani, an Iraqi journalist in Falluja, led to this diary-style account of the US assault on the city. Badrani was living behind rebel lines. I spoke to him over the phone from London and wrote the English text for the BBC News website. Translation was courtesy of the BBC Arabic service.

Farewell to Falluja, 24 November 2004

Fear remains after assault, 16 November 2004

Ghost city calls for help, 13 November 2004

Smoke and corpses, 11 November 2004

Defiance amid carnage, 10 November 2004

Watching tragedy engulf my city, 9 November 2004

Taking cover in Falluja, 8 November 2004

Prayers and tears in Falluja, 5 November 2004

Inside besieged Falluja, 18 October 2004

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.