When Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, ISIL’s leader, ascended the pulpit of the Great Mosque in Mosul two years ago, his choice of venue was not arbitrary. The Great Mosque was built by the Zangi dynasty that ruled Aleppo and Mosul in the 12th century.
A thundercloud, heavy and dark gray. That is what it looks like from a distance. But the closer you get to Mosul from the south, the bigger and darker this cloud becomes. Instead of floating in the sky, it grows out of the ground, ultimately becoming a towering, opaque wall that swallowing entire villages, making them disappear into the darkness.
Taliban fighters posed for the camera, their shawls and bandannas covering their identities but not their jubilation, as they captured the main roundabout in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz early this month in what could have been called “operation hoist the flag and pull out a smartphone.”
Once Theresa May triggers Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, the UK will have two years to negotiate its exit from the EU. But it will take much longer than this to broker a trade deal between Britain and the EU to replace Single Market membership.
On the day (perhaps not long from now) when the entire internet crashes, no one will be able to say that we didn’t see it coming. The denial-of-service attack on the morning of Oct. 21—which shut down Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, and a dozen other websites—offers a preview, in miniature and against relatively trivial targets, of how the day of doom might unfold.
Whether after a protracted struggle or a rapid defeat, the Islamic State will lose control of Mosul in the face of the offensive to expel it. This naturally raises the question: What comes next for the Islamic State? But the answer depends on how you define the Islamic State, and which division of the movement you consider.
About 500,000 solar panels were installed every day last year as a record-shattering surge in green electricity saw renewables overtake coal as the world’s largest source of installed power capacity.
World leaders have started to generate some real optimism with their efforts to address global climate change. What’s troubling, though, is how far we remain from getting carbon emissions under control -- and how much wishful thinking is still required to believe we can do so.
Evidence shows that conflicts have a long-lasting negative impact on the health outcomes of a population. The ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen and other states today may have a long-lasting health impact on the lives of future generations there.
ONE of the most valuable weapons in the war on malaria is artemisinin, a drug derived from the leaves of sweet wormwood. Its discovery, inspired by wormwood’s use as a herbal remedy for the disease, brought Tu Youyou, the scientist responsible for making it, the first Nobel prize for medicine awarded to a researcher working in China.
The tide is just starting to come in when David Buabasah begins nervously checking the waters creeping up the coastline toward his partially destroyed home. As the high tide mounts the steep shore of this small Ghanaian fishing village perched on a shrinking peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Volta River estuary, he and other inhabitants prepare for the worst.
On the morning of 1 October 1970, the computer scientist Viktor Glushkov walked into the Kremlin to meet with the Politburo. He was an alert man with piercing eyes rimmed in black glasses, with the kind of mind that, given one problem, would derive a method for solving all similar problems.
15 October 2016 – Marking the International Day of Rural Women, United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that rural women are critical to the success of almost all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they all “have gender equality and women's empowerment at their core.”
What we eat has a direct impact not only on our health, but also on the wellbeing and prosperity of our communities, and the health of our planet. This is a lesson we learnt at a young age at our parents’ family restaurant, and one which we now try to spread from the kitchen at El Celler de Can Roca and in our new role as Goodwill Ambassadors for Sustainable Development Goals.
Recent on-the-ground reports from Northern Iraq, as well as statements from senior U.S. and Iraqi commanders, clearly telegraph the next phase of the ongoing campaign against the Islamic State: the battle to retake Mosul. As Iraqi forces, backed closely by U.S. advisors, prepare for the imminent clearance of the strategic city, they should heed the lessons learned from previous efforts to wrest control of Mosul from the Islamic State.
While strategists emphasize the constant loop of question, results and evaluation, as well as anticipation of possible scenarios, history is replete with cases where strategy becomes inflexible doctrine supported by the military and political structures. It is oft noted that we fight the current war with the paradigm of the last one; this doesn’t just apply to militaries, but to strategy as well.
For months now, the ouster of Islamic State (IS) forces from Libya’s coastal city of Sirte has been touted as imminent, yet like the light at the end of the tunnel that is within sight but out of grasp, complete victory against IS continues to evade the Misratan-led, Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces, and their US allies.
The undoing of the Syria agreement with Russia caps off a rough few weeks for American diplomacy. Historically, though, the United States has enjoyed great diplomatic successes when engaging in smart diplomacy with an eye towards achieving key interests.
At least seventy armed groups are believed to be currently operating in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Despite the stabilizing presence of nineteen thousand UN peacekeepers, the stronger militant groups in the region, like the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), continue to terrorize communities and control weakly governed areas of the country, financing their activities by exploiting the country’s rich natural resources.
The Taliban has carried out repeated raids on Kunduz in northern Afghanistan despite ongoing Western presence in the country As the situation has deteriorated, locals have become caught between two fronts -- and the future of the country is at stake.
Groups in Iraq are using the battle against radical Islamists to settle older disputes and grab land. That could cause more conflict in the future.
The vaunted propaganda operations of the Islamic State, which helped lure more than 30,000 foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq, have dropped off drastically as the extremist group has come under military pressure, according to a study by terrorism researchers at West Point.
When Typhoon Lionrock swept through North Korea from late August to early September, it destroyed tens of thousands of buildings and left thousands homeless and even more destitute than they were before. The destruction was so severe that the KCNA declared that it the ‘biggest cataclysm’ since [1945’s] Liberation (though one would think that that dubious honor ought to belong to the Korean War).
Once more, the circle in U.S.-Russia relations is complete. The Clinton administration took office in 1993 promising a “Bill and Boris” strategic partnership between the two countries, and ended with recriminations over the Kosovo operation, with Gen. Wesley Clark prepared to start World War III to block the arrival of Russian peacekeepers in Pristina.
Space is increasingly important to the planet’s infrastructure – but it is also a potential battleground.