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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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis)

Mosul: Who is the Isis jihadi leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

In the space of a year he has become the most powerful jihadi leader in the world, and on Monday night his forces captured Mosul, the northern capital of Iraq. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu Dua, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has suddenly emerged as a figure who is shaping the future of Iraq, Syria and the wider Middle East.

Iraqi families fleeing violence in the northern Nineveh province gather at a Kurdish checkpoint

Mosul emergency: Anarchy in Iraq as militants seize northern capital and free 1,200 prisoners in jail break

Refugees pour out of the country’s northern capital after it was captured by a terrorist group considered more extreme than al-Qa’ida. Will the West have to intervene again?

Iraqi civilians inspect the aftermath of a car bombing in south-east Baghdad in Iraq yesterday

Battle to establish Islamic state across Iraq and Syria

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant now controls vast stretch of land

Zero tolerance: Bashar al-Assad supporters turn out to mark his election to a third seven-year term as president

In the war on terrorism, only al-Qa'ida thrives

World View: Exhaustion could end Syria's bloody civil conflict, so long as foreign backers really want it
Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pictured in a Taliban video in 2010

Bowe Bergdahl release: Email exchange reveals extent of US failure in Afghan war

'The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at,' wrote Sergeant Bergdahl in an email later published by Rolling Stone magazine

The inquiry will be able to publish some details of what Mr Blair said to Mr Bush although not what the President said to the Prime Minister

The Chilcot inquiry's focus on Bush-Blair secrets distracts us from disaster in plain sight

To have any relevance, the Chilcot inquiry should extend its brief to cover all UK military interventions since the alliance

Syrian refugees near the embassy in Beirut display pictures and chant slogans in support of President Bashar al-Assad

Syria: Fighting a civil war through the ballot box

Refugees are going to extraordinary lengths to vote in an election that Bashar al-Assad is almost certain to win. Patrick Cockburn reports that many fear the consequences of being on the wrong side in a shifting conflict

Defiant mood: Thousands of Libyans took to the streets on Friday in support of Hifter and to demand the suspension of the Islamist-led parliament

Libya's slow motion coup ends the uprising

World View: The country edges closer to break-up and civil war as foreign powers await their opportunity
A bloody history: US soldiers at Saddam Hussein's former presidential palace in Baghdad, 2009

Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood by Justin Marozzi, book review

Baghdad's history reveals it may be prone to invaders, but they never claim it for long
The Ottoman army besieged the British forces for 147 days until they surrendered on 29 April 1916

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Shambles on the Tigris - a general’s complacency and an abject surrender

Besieged in Mesopotamia, General Sir Charles Townshend allowed a crisis to turn into a catastrophe. Patrick Cockburn on one of Britain’s great military disasters
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