Kurdistan - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Kurdistan


As visitors stay home, Iraqi Kurdistan tourism collapses

Jun 26, 2020 - 10:30 AM

The coronavirus shutdown brings the private sector to its knees across Iraq, but the Kurdish region's tourist sector is particularly hard hit

A mask-clad man stokes burning wood by teapots at a traditional cafe in the historic city of Shaqlawah, about 48 kilometres northeast of Arbil, in the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region on June 25, 2020. - A nationwide curfew in Iraq, aimed at combatting the novel coronavirus, has starved the country's Kurdish region of visitors just as the tourist season was getting under way. The shutdown brought the private sector to its knees across Iraq, but the Kurdish region's tourist sector has been particularly hard hit. (Photo by SAFIN HAMED / AFP)

Iraq demands Turkey 'stop bombardment, withdraw forces' from north

Jun 18, 2020 - 8:06 PM

Iraq's foreign ministry summons the Turkish ambassador and hands him a 'strongly-worded memorandum calling for a halt to such provocative actions'

DEMAND. In this file photo taken on June 22, 2018, members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party carry rifles as they stand guard on a road in the Qandil Mountains, the PKK headquarters in northern Iraq. File photo by Safin Hamed/AFP

Kurdish rebel leader calls end to jail hunger strikes in Turkey

May 26, 2019 - 6:33 PM

Some 3,000 prisoners across different prisons are on hunger strike in solidarity with one of the party's lawmakers

Kurdish protesters demonstrate on their way to the Kurdish spring festival Newroz with placards reading "No to dictatorship" and the portrait of the leader of the Kurdistan PKK Workers' Party, Abdullah Ocalan in the city center of Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on March 18, 2017. Some 30,000 demonstrators, who police said were mainly of Kurdish origin, rallied in Frankfurt on March 18 calling for "democracy in Turkey" and "freedom for Kurdistan". / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Boris Roessler / Germany OUT

Turkey, Iran to stage joint raid against Kurd rebels – minister

Mar 06, 2019 - 5:55 PM

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu does not specify which PKK bases the planned operation will target but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said it will be against militant hideouts in Iraq

JOINT RAID. A handout photo taken and released on February 9, 2019 by the Turkish presidential press service shows Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) listening to Interior Minsiter Suleyman Soylu (C) visiting the area of a collapsed apartment building in Istanbul, on February 9, 2019. AFP PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE

11 Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive in Syria

Feb 11, 2018 - 9:54 AM

The fatalities follow Turkey sending troops and launching air strikes against Kurdish militia in Northern Syria

Pressing Syria offensive, Turkey urges U.S. pullback

Jan 27, 2018 - 9:40 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to expand the offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to Manbij, east of Afrin

Turkey expects Trump to 'keep promise' not to arm Syria Kurds

Nov 25, 2017 - 11:16 PM

Washington views the Kurdish YPG militia as the most effective fighting force on the ground against ISIS, but Ankara sees them as 'terrorists' linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party

VERSUS ISIS. Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, patrol next to boats at the Lake Assad on April 29, 2017, as they advance in their battle for the Islamic State's (IS) stronghold in nearby Raqa. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Iraq top court declares Kurd referendum unconstitutional

Nov 20, 2017 - 4:22 PM

It is the latest stage in a crisis sparked by the referendum, which resulted in a resounding 'yes' vote for independence in the Kurdish area

WANTING FREEDOM. Iraqi Kurds wave flags of Iraqi Kurdistan during a demonstration outside the UN Office in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous region, on October 21, 2017, protesting against the escalating crisis with Baghdad. Safin Hamed/AFP

Iraq forces advance into 'last den' of ISIS

Oct 26, 2017 - 11:21 PM

(UPDATED) The start of the keenly awaited offensive that the US-led coalition fighting ISIS has dubbed 'the last big fight' of the campaign comes even as Iraqi troops launch a new operation against the Kurds

DEFENSE. Iraqi forces stand guard at the Mosul Dam in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on October 24, 2017. Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP

Iraq Kurds offer to freeze independence vote

Oct 25, 2017 - 12:45 PM

(UPDATED) The offer comes as world powers scramble to avert any further escalation of the conflict between the key allies in the fight against ISIS

In this file photo, Iraqi Kurds wave flags of Iraqi Kurdistan during a demonstration outside the UN Office in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous region, on October 21, 2017, protesting against the escalating crisis with Baghdad. Safin Hamed/AFP

Iraqi forces seize Kirkuk governor's office in push against Kurds

Oct 16, 2017 - 10:38 AM

(UPDATED) The rapid advance, involving troops, tanks and armored vehicles, aims to recapture oil and military targets that Kurdish forces took over during the fightback against the Islamic State group

READY. Iraqi forces drive towards Kurdish peshmerga positions on October 15, 2017, on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Tensions rise after Iraq Kurds' independence vote

Sep 26, 2017 - 10:25 AM

The vote in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq and some disputed areas is non-binding and will not lead automatically to independence, but is seen by the Kurds as a major step towards a long-cherished dream of statehood

CELEBRATION. Iraqi Kurds wave the Kurdish flag as they celebrate in the streets of the northern city of Arbil on September 25, 2017 following a referendum on independence. Safin Hamed/AFP

Iraq Kurds defy Baghdad in historic independence vote

Sep 25, 2017 - 10:16 AM

(3rd UPDATE) The non-binding vote on the Kurds' long-cherished dream of independence, initiated by veteran leader Massud Barzani, has angered not only the federal government but also neighboring Turkey and Iran

PUSH FOR INDEPENDENCE. Iraqis drive past posters encouraging people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum for the Kurdistan region on September 24, 2017, in central Kirkuk. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:04 AM

The 15-member council says the planned referendum could hinder efforts to help refugees return home and weaken the military campaign against the Islamic State group

Iraqi Kurds gather in the street flying Kurdish flags as they urge people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on September 13, 2017. Photo by Safin Hamed/AFP

Supreme court steps in to block Iraq Kurd independence vote

Sep 18, 2017 - 6:15 PM

(UPDATED) Iraq's supreme court orders the suspension of a September 25 referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, to examine whether such a poll would be constitutional

Kurdish flags and a flag bearing the portrait of the president of Iraq's Kurdistan region hang above stalls near the citadel in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on September 13, 2017. Safin Hamed/AFP

U.S. urges Iraqi Kurdistan to call off independence vote

Sep 16, 2017 - 2:31 PM

The White House says holding the referendum in disputed areas is 'particularly provocative and destabilizing'

OPPOSITION. The United States is opposed to Iraqi Kurdistan's plans to hold an independence referendum later this month. File photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

Mattis in Baghdad as Iraq presses assault on ISIS bastion

Aug 22, 2017 - 3:37 PM

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis shows US support for Iraqi forces as they pressed an assault on Tal Afar the Islamic State ISIS group s last major bastion in the country s north

TO THE MIDEAST. US Defense Secretary James Mattis speaks to reporters on board a flight to Jordan for the start of a regional tour on August 20, 2017. Paul Handley/AFP

Turkey angered by U.S. move to arm Syrian Kurds

May 10, 2017 - 6:04 PM

The issue risks further stoking tensions between Ankara and Washington less than a week before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads to Washington to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump

Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, patrol next to boats at the Lake Assad, an enormous reservoir created by the Tabqa dam, on April 29, 2017, as they advance in their battle for the Islamic State's (IS) stronghold in nearby Raqa. Delil Souleiman/AFP

Egypt Copts ready for Easter mass despite attacks

Apr 15, 2017 - 12:13 PM

The faithful will spend a large part of Easter eve going through arduous security checks outside places of worship

EASTER. Egyptian Christians take part in the Good Friday procession at the Arch Angels Greek Orthodox Church in the capital Cairo, on April 14, 2017. Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP

Many 'lone-wolf' attacks are coached from afar, study claims

Mar 11, 2017 - 10:31 AM

According to researchers evidence now shows that many so called lone wolves are in reality encouraged and directed by ISIS operatives to undertake attacks for which the group can then claim credit

UN accuses Turkey of 'serious' abuses in Kurd majority region

Mar 10, 2017 - 6:19 PM

A report from the UN rights office details evidence of massive destruction killings and numerous other serious human rights violations committed between July 2015 and December 2016 in southeast Turkey

Al-Qaeda chief denounces Islamic State 'liars'

Jan 06, 2017 - 8:44 AM

In an audio message Ayman al Zawahiri complains that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi had alleged that Al Qaeda opposes sectarian attacks on Shiites and was prepared to work with Christian leaders

AL-QAEDA CHIEF. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri denounces what he said was a dishonest propaganda campaign by rival jihadist group the Islamic State against his organization. File photo by AFP

Kuwait jails Filipina for joining ISIS

Dec 26, 2016 - 7:15 PM

The ruling which is not final also calls for deporting the 32 year old after serving a 10 year jail term

Suicide car bombing kills 14 off-duty Turkish soldiers

Dec 18, 2016 - 7:58 AM

The government says all signs so far suggests the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party PKK was behind the bombing in the city of Kayseri

This picture obtained from the Ihlas News Agency shows a police officer and people walking next to the wreck of public bus following an explosion on December 17, 2016 in Kayseri, central Turkey. Ilhas News Agency/AFP

Turkey defiant as Kurdish militants claim Istanbul carnage

Dec 11, 2016 - 8:12 AM

5th UPDATE Of the 38 fatalities in the twin attacks in Istanbul 30 are police officers

Turkish police officers and forensic work next to damaged police vehicles and cars on the site where a car bomb exploded near the stadium of football club Besiktas in central Istanbul on December 10, 2016. Ozan Kose/AFP

Marcos burial, Kerwin Espinosa, Facebook vs terrorism | 12PM wRap

Nov 18, 2016 - 2:41 PM

Watch the 12PM wRap with Maria Ressa

U.S. buys ads on Facebook to fight jihadists

Nov 18, 2016 - 7:25 AM

The United States has found this year that online ads on media like Facebook rather than posts are a cost effective way to fight the jihadist propaganda of the Islamic State and other such groups

SOCIAL MEDIA. An artwork by artist Geo Law at Facebook's space during the Web Summit at Parque das Nacoes, in Lisbon on November 9, 2016. File photo by Patricia De Melo Moreira /AFP

Turkish court jails 9 staff of opposition daily

Nov 05, 2016 - 4:50 PM

UPDATED The suspects are charged with links to the Kurdistan Workers Party and the movement of Fethullah Gulen who is blamed for the failed coup bid in July

RALLY. A protester holds a copy of the Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet during a demonstration outside the newspaper's headquarters in Istanbul on November 2, 2016. Yasin Akgul/AFP

Wave of strikes as ISIS puts up tough defense of Mosul

Oct 25, 2016 - 1:26 PM

Federal forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters gained ground in several areas but the jihadists were hitting back with shelling sniper fire suicide car bombs and booby traps

A member of the Iraqi force keeps watch in the al-Shura area, south of Mosul, on October 24, 2016, during an operation to retake the main hub city from the Islamic State (ISIS) group jihadists. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Iraq forces press Mosul assault, hunt Kirkuk attackers

Oct 23, 2016 - 10:30 PM

UPDATED Thousands of civilians are fleeing the fighting and escaping to camps south of Mosul

Displaced Iraqi families arrive near a checkpoint east of Mosul as they flea areas of unrest, on October 22, 2016, during an operation by the Iraqi army to retake the main hub city from the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. Mosul is the most populous city in the "caliphate" Baghdadi declared in June 2014, and the operation to recapture it is Iraq's largest in years. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Pentagon chief in Iraq to discuss Mosul offensive

Oct 22, 2016 - 6:08 PM

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is expected to discuss the post ISIS future of Mosul Iraq s second city and the place where jihadist supremo Abu Bakr al Baghdadi proclaimed the caliphate in June 2014

RETAKING MOSUL. Iraqi forces drive their vehicle near the village of Tall al-Tibah, some 30 kilometers south of Mosul, during an operation to retake the main hub city from the Islamic State group jihadists on October 21, 2016. The operation is Iraq's biggest in years and aims to wrest back Mosul, the country's second city and the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq. Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP

Kurds in fresh push against ISIS near Mosul

Oct 20, 2016 - 3:26 PM

Kurdish forces launch a fresh push against areas held by ISIS around Mosul pressing an offensive to retake the jihadists last major stronghold in Iraq

A member of the Iraqi forces stands on a M109 self-propelled howitzer as troops fire towards the village of Al-Muftuya from a position in Kani al-Harami, some 35 km of Mosul, on October 19, 2016. Bulent Kilic/AFP

Iraq forces move to retake Christian town on way to Mosul

Oct 19, 2016 - 5:08 PM

News of the move to recapture Qaraqosh sparks jubilation among Christians who had fled the town with many dancing and singing in the city of Arbil

CIVILIANS FREED. Displaced Iraqis from the Bajwaniyah village, about 30 kms south of Mosul, who fled fighting in the Mosul area carry a white flag as they approach security forces on October 18, 2016 after they liberated the village from Islamic State (ISIS) group jihadists. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Iraqi forces make gains in push to retake ISIS-held Mosul

Oct 18, 2016 - 2:29 PM

3rd UPDATE Some 30 000 federal forces are leading the offensive backed by air and ground support from a 60 nation US led coalition in what is expected to be a long assault on ISIS s last major Iraqi stronghold

FORWARD. Iraqi forces deploy on October 17, 2016 in the area of al-Shurah, some 45 kms south of Mosul, as they advance towards the city to retake it from the Islamic State (ISIS) group jihadists. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Truck bomb kills 18 in Turkey

Oct 10, 2016 - 12:05 AM

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus describes the bombing as an atrocious and heinous terrorist attack

Smokes ascends after Kurdish militants detonated a car bomb outside a military station in Semdinli near the border with Iraq, on October 9, 2016.  The Anadolu Agency, citing a statement by the Turkish Armed Forces, said the attack outside a Gendarmerie station on the Semdinli-Yuksekova highway was the work of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. / AFP PHOTO / IHLAS NEWS AGENCY / STRINGER / Turkey OUT

'Huge disaster' averted in Turkey as suspects blow themselves up

Oct 08, 2016 - 2:47 PM

3rd UPDATE The bombing comes two days before the first anniversary of Turkey s deadliest terror attack in its modern history in Ankara

Woman held after 'foiled' Paris attack was ISIS follower

Sep 09, 2016 - 3:25 PM

UPDATED France is on high alert following a string of jihadist attacks including last November s coordinated bloodshed in which Islamic State extremists killed 130 people

ARRESTED. French police investigating the discovery a car containing six gas cylinders in Paris, on Thursday arrested three female suspects said to have been planning new acts of violence, shooting one of them in the process. Photo by Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP

11 killed in attack, clashes with Kurdish rebels in Turkey

Sep 03, 2016 - 6:48 PM

Militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party PKK killed 10 Turkish soldiers and a village guardsman in two separate incidents in Turkey

US fears over ISIS group's Southeast Asia expansion

Aug 26, 2016 - 6:45 PM

A senior US counter terrorism official notes that militants from Southeast Asia fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria have been deployed in a unit called the Katibah Nusantara

11 Turkish police killed in PKK suicide bombing

Aug 26, 2016 - 2:34 PM

4th UPDATE The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party says it carried out the assault in retaliation for the continued isolation of the group s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan and the lack of information about his welfare

Syrian regime jets hit Kurdish positions, even after US warning

Aug 20, 2016 - 11:15 AM

In another escalation of Syria s bloody conflict warplanes from President Bashar al Assad s regime bombard the city of Hasakeh – targeting US backed Kurdish forces

3 killed, 40 wounded in PKK car bomb attack in eastern Turkey – official

Aug 18, 2016 - 1:15 PM

The Turkish security forces have been hit by near daily attacks by the PKK since a two and a half year ceasefire collapsed in 2015 leaving hundreds of police and soldiers dead

Clinton, Trump spar over Islamic State claim, economy

Aug 12, 2016 - 1:30 PM

A furious Democratic National Committee calls on Donald Trump to apologize for his outrageous unhinged and patently false suggestions

RIVALS. A file combo picture made available on April 20, 2016 shows US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) addressing the National Action Network's national convention in New York, New York, USA, April 13, 2016; and US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) speaking at Trump Building in New York, New York, USA, on November 3, 2015. File photos by EPA/Justin Lane/Andrew Gombert

US-backed forces advance in ISIS Syria stronghold – monitor

Jul 31, 2016 - 4:44 PM

Advancing Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by US led air strikes now control 40 of the Islamic State ISIS stronghold of Manbij in northern Syria

In this file photo, US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters advance into the Islamic State (IS) jihadist's group bastion of Manbij, in northern Syria, on June 23, 2016.  Delil Souleiman/AFP

Brazil arrests man on terrorism charges ahead of Olympics

Jul 29, 2016 - 8:30 AM

The man allegedly had links to terrorist organizations at least as far back as 2014 when Brazil hosted the football World Cup

SECURITY. Members of Brazilian army stand guard near the Olympic Park as part of security operations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 24, 2016. Photo by Marcelo Sayao/EPA

Clashes rock Syria's Manbij as ISIS ignores ultimatum

Jul 24, 2016 - 12:30 AM

Thousands of civilians have already fled Manbij which lies in Syria s northern Aleppo province

80 dead as ISIS claims twin blasts during Kabul protest

Jul 23, 2016 - 8:42 PM

3rd UPDATE The attack represents a major escalation for the ISIS group which so has largely been confined to the eastern province of Nangarhar

DEADLY ATTACK. People collect the belongings of the victims at the scene of a suicide bomb attack that targeted a demonstration of Hazara minority in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 23, 2016. Photo by Jawad Jalali/EPA

13 hostages rescued after Bangladesh siege – commander

Jul 02, 2016 - 8:15 AM

4th UPDATE Three of them are foreigners Ten locals says Tuhin Mohammad Masud a commander of the elite Rapid Action Battalion which stormed the cafe

HOSTAGE-TAKING. Bangladeshi security forces stand guard as they seal off the streets close to a Spanish resturant, following a hostage taking, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, late July 1, 2016. Photo by EPA

ISIS to followers in SE Asia: 'Go to the Philippines'

Jun 25, 2016 - 2:01 PM

If you cannot go to [Syria] join up and go to the Philippines Malaysian militant Mohd Rafi Udin tells followers Malaysia s counter terrorism chief says they expect more attacks in the region

FIGHT IN PH? A new video shows ISIS calling on followers in Southeast Asia to fight either in Syria or in the Philippines. Screenshot from ISIS video

ISIS still has 'global reach' – CIA chief

Jun 17, 2016 - 10:00 AM

Despite upbeat Pentagon assessments about progress in the anti ISIS fight CIA Director John Brennan warns the group is still able to inspire and direct attacks beyond the territory it holds

ISIS. CIA Director John Brennan testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the operational capabilities of Islamic State (ISIS) in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, USA, June 16, 2016. File photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA