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 aftermath of an airstrike on the Al Chaar neighbourhood in Aleppo in July. Air campaigns not supported by ground forces can damage the other side but may not win wars on their own

Air strikes will not beat Isis, but on the ground it’s hard to tell friend from foe

What is military common sense may not make political sense

A Syrian house yesterday hit by US-led air strikes, in the village of Kfar Derian in western Aleppo province

Syria air strikes: President Obama undergoes Damascene conversion as Isis forces America to change tack

After years in which Bashar al-Assad was a sworn enemy, the spread of the Islamist terror group has forced an unholy alliance with the regime. But can it succeed?

A supporter of the Kurdistan Workers' Association holds a placard during a demonstration against Islamic State (IS) in front The Hague

Nothing will stop Isis except a Syrian truce

Neither the rebels nor President Assad’s army are strong enough to fight on two fronts at once

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been rushing from capital to capital putting together a coalition of Sunni states pledged to fight Isis

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows across the region

America and the Iranian controlled militias that used to specialise in killing them suddenly have a common enemy

Former Senator Bob Graham (right)

Islamic State: ‘US failure to look into Saudi role in 9/11 has helped Isis’

In an exclusive interview, the Senator who led inquiry into attack says Obama’s plan to confront Sunni jihadis repeats past mistakes

Barack and Michelle Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden observing a moment of silence outside the White House to mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

The impossible war: Isis 'cannot be beaten' as long as there is civil war in Syria

US air strikes against Isis are unlikely to be as effective as Obama hopes. Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria may prefer the militants as a lesser evil compared to the return of vengeful government troops

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter overlooking a village controlled by Isis near Mosul; the Kurds made advances against militants at the weekend

Syria and Iraq: Why US policy is fraught with danger

In seeking to combat Isis, President Obama is becoming involved in two vicious civil wars and risks taking sides in complex sectarian and ethnic struggles

An obvious first step – close the jihadis' highway

World View: The best way to stop UK fighters reaching Isis is to catch them at Turkey's border with Syria
Hard times: A pro-Isis demonstration after Mosul fell to the jihadis in June

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria
Nouri al-Maliki, surrounded by Iraqi lawmakers, addresses the nation to announce he is stepping down as PM

Iraq crisis: The ultimate power struggle – why Nouri al-Maliki had to go

Old enemies such as Iran, the US, Kurds, Shia militias and Sunni politicians alike all support Haider al-Abadi. But has he got the strength to build a new Iraq?

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Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'