Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Cockburn is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent. He was awarded Foreign Commentator of the Year at the 2013 Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards.

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The Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, watched by his wife Raisa, right, kisses his East German counterpart Erich Honecker in East Berlin in October 1989

Fall of the Berlin Wall eyewitness: An accidental explosion of freedom

A journalist who witnessed the events of 1989 from a Soviet perspective looks back on a surreal period when attempts at moderate reform quickly an uncontrollable momentum of their own

Shia protesters hold pictures of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr Khaled Abdullah

Saudi Arabia: As executions rise, allies must focus more closely on warring anti-IS forces

World View: In many respects the situation in Saudi Arabia is getting worse rather than better, as if the government feels it must compete with the IS

The US and Turkey have stepped up support for Kurdish fighters defending Kobani against Isis but it is still feared the town may fall; above, observers watch the fighting from a nearby village

Isis in Kobani: US resupplies Kurdish fighters by plane - then Turkey allows reinforcements through its border

Policy shift sees American planes drop tons of weapons to resupply Kurds fighting Isis militants as Washington loses patience with Turkey’s reluctance to back defenders of town on Syrian border

Ankara bombs PKK rebels inside Turkey while Kurds in Kobani face Isis

Fighter jets bombed PKK positions in the first major air raid since a ceasefire was declared in March 2013

Shia militias in Iraq are allegedly abducting and executing Sunni civilians in apparent revenge for Isis attacks

Iraq descends into anarchy: Shia militias 'abducting and killing Sunni civilians in revenge for Isis attacks'

The re-emergence of the militias and the failure to rebuild the Iraqi army is torpedoing the US and British policy of supporting a more inclusive and less sectarian government

War against Isis: US air strategy in tatters as militants march on

World View: American-led air attacks are failing. Jihadis are close to taking Kobani, in Syria – and in Iraq western Baghdad is now under serious threat
Smoke rises after a US-led air strike in the Syrian town of Kobani

Isis in Kobani: Turkey ignores Kurdish fury as militants close in on capturing the town

President Erdogan sees the jihadists as an opportunity to target Assad rather than a threat

Kurdish protesters clash with Turkish riot police in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir yesterday, as the Turkish government refused to help Syrian Kurds in the border city of Kobani

Isis in Kobani: Turkey’s act of abandonment may mark an 'irrevocable breach' with Kurds across the region

The likely fall of Kobani to the Islamic militants has huge implications for Turkey, which has ignored its Kurdish minority’s pleas to help fellow Kurds in Syria

Turkish army tanks take up position on the Syrian border, but their presence is unlikely to have much bearing on the fate of Kobani, which is almost in the hands of Isis

Isis on the verge of victory in Kobani as US strategy lies in ruins: Jihadists close to taking city near Turkish border in Syria

Syria’s Kurds are unable to do a political deal with neighbouring Turkey, while US air strikes are failing to make much impact, Patrick Cockburn reports

Technology has blown the Kingdom’s hold on the debate

Isis militants: Twitter provides one of the few forums in which Saudis can discuss what they really feel - and it says they blame the clergy for Isis

World View: The social network's free discussion contrasts with Riyadh's official line on the rise of radicals
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