Iraqi Kurdistan

American Village entrance gates on the outskirts of Erbil, Iraq, the Kurdish defacto capital.

Kurds grapple with US troop drawdown in Iraq


As the Taliban take control of Afghanistan, Kurdish allies in northern Iraq — where the US is also planning to draw down its combat forces — are watching with concern.

The Jaffar Mosque in the Daretu neighborhood of Erbil in 2015 where Imam Shawan preached before he left to join ISIS. 

In the wake of ISIS, Kurdish authorities are controlling religious messaging

Sacred Nation

These women are taking the fight against ISIS into their own hands

Peshmerga on patrol

American veterans choose to head back to Iraq to fight against ISIS

Dean Parker, a commercial housepainter and avid surfer from Florida, traveled to northern Iraq to fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga against ISIS.

Some foreigners fight for ISIS, but this American joined the fight against it

Global Scan
Dean Parker, a commercial housepainter and avid surfer from Florida, traveled to northern Iraq to fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga against ISIS.

Meet the surfing grandfather from Florida who helped the Kurds fight ISIS


One day, Dean Parker was watching the news on TV. The next he was packing up body armor and preparing to fight with Kurdish forces against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. Now he’s looking for a flight home — and knows he has some explaining to do to the FBI and Homeland Security.

Mohammed Jamil lived across the street from Iman Shawan, who left the Kurdish community to join ISIS.

Kurdish men are joining ISIS to kill their own people


Hundreds of Kurds have crossed the front lines to join ISIS, essentially joining the fight against their own people. It’s shocking to many in the Kurdish semi-autonomous region of the Iraq, but government-paid preachers may have a hand in the phenomenon.

Raid Latif has been making the Erbil-Baghdad trip for nearly five years. One one trip, he says he saw a car full of Iraqi security forces executed by ISIS fighters on the side of the road.

Iraq’s Baghad-to-Erbil route is a lifeline, but still a dangerous one


After ISIS seized control of Mosul this past summer, it’s become much more dangerous for Iraqis to travel between cities. But some taxi drivers continue to drive the dangerous Baghdad-to-Erbil road because they say “it’s their job.”

A Kurdish peshmerga fighter holds up a piece of clothing worn by an ISIS fighter on December 18, 2014. Kurdish peshmerga fighters have fought their way to Iraq's Sinjar mountain and freed hundreds of people trapped there by ISIS.

Kurdish fighters finally end the months-long siege of Mount Sinjar


Fighters from ISIS trapped thousands of people on the slopes of Mount Sinjar in August, and never left — until Friday. Kurdish forces say they have finally broken the siege with the help of Western airstrikes.

Jordan Matson's profile picture on Facebook

A veteran from Wisconsin explains why he joined the fight against ISIS


Jordan Matson, from Racine, Wisconsin, was once a soldier in the US Army. Today Matson is a volunteer fighter with a Kurdish militia in northern Syria, fighting against ISIS and hoping to bring more Americans over to join the war.