Experts have warned for years that US-backed Iraqi forces and US-backed Kurdish forces will turn against one another once the war on ISIS ends. Now the time has come.
Family members of Syrian-American journalist and activist Halla Barakat and her mother, Ouruba, tell BuzzFeed News they do not believe the US will investigate their deaths.
Millions of Kurds are set to vote in an independence referendum that nobody else wants, least of all Washington. After three years fighting ISIS with the US, the Kurdish spy chief Masrour Barzani wants to know if it was all worth it.
Extrajudicial killings of suspected ISIS members at the hands of Iraqi security forces in Mosul are no secret. But US troops embedded with Iraqi forces have reported only a handful of possible human rights violations, none as serious as what human rights groups and news reports say have taken place.
The US-led air campaign against ISIS in Iraq has taken a devastating toll on civilians, with very little accountability. BuzzFeed News visited seven sites in Mosul where witnesses say that innocent people were killed by airstrikes from the US and its allies.
An elite group of Iraqi soldiers is leading the battle to free the city of Mosul from ISIS. The so-called “Golden Division” was formed and trained by the US to hunt terrorists — but in Mosul they have been thrown into brutal urban combat. Mike Giglio and Warzer Jaff accompanied them to the front lines for some of the decisive moments of the seven-month offensive. This is the story of their fight against ISIS and of the men they lost along the way.
Advancing vehicles were destroyed in a US airstrike after pro-regime forces approached an area of southern Syria where US forces are currently deployed.
Sources tell BuzzFeed News that US commandos have engaged in combat with ISIS during a secret deployment to southern Syria that has them living alongside the rebels they’re instructing.
The US troops would support their local counterparts with skills where they still fall short like counterterrorism, intelligence gathering, and aviation, a US defense official told BuzzFeed News.
“They talk with each other; they probably play some soccer with each other," one analyst told BuzzFeed News of the base hit in Thursday's US missile strikes. "Obviously they coordinate to a certain extent.”
The White House is considering attacking Syria, days after a chemical weapons attack is believed to have killed dozens of people.
Shirwan Shikho felt he had no choice but to fight on the front lines of the global war against ISIS. It was a decision that would cost him the life he had known.
With waves of suicide bombs and armed drones, ISIS is turning western Mosul into a dystopian battlefield. “They are trapped, and they have no choice but to fight,” an Iraqi officer said.
“We’ve been fighting terrorism since 2003,” an Iraqi soldier told BuzzFeed News in Mosul. “[Trump] just became president the other day.”
ISIS aims to exploit Trump’s controversial rhetoric about Muslims to reinforce its propaganda, five current and former members told BuzzFeed News. “Trump will shorten the time it takes for us to achieve our goals,” one said.
“We had heard that Americans always stand beside the oppressed, regardless of their religion or their ethnicity,” said a refugee who fled Syria with her six children.
It is the biggest suicide attack operation since Japan in World War II. One expert said ISIS is using hundreds of car bombers like “a poor man’s” smart bomb.
A Kurdish militant group has claimed responsibility for the blasts. BuzzFeed News reporter Mike Giglio is in Istanbul.
“We’re dropping bombs on their heads from the sky, and they’re driving bombs at us.”
“We are going into the unknown.”