Rania Khalek

Genocide in Iraq: When Local Sunni Became ISIS and Slaughtered Their Neighbors

This is the third in a series of articles on the plight of Yazidis in Iraq. Read the first and the second installments.

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How ISIS Wives Helped Their Husbands Rape Yazidi Sex Slaves

DOHUK, IRAQI KURDISTAN - Seeham Haji Khudayda, a 22-year-old Yazidi woman from northern Sinjar, was sold seven times during her ISIS captivity. Like chattel, she was passed from one ISIS fighter to the next. She was raped almost daily. Sometimes she was gang raped by her owner’s guards. But of all the abuses she endured, what outraged her the most was the women who were complicit in it -- and who participated directly in her rape.

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In the Field With Yazidi Fighters, Tales of Genocide at ISIS's Hands and More Conflict to Come

SINJAR, IRAQ—On a Sunday afternoon in mid-August under the baking Iraqi sun, 980 Yazidi soldiers marched in formation at a military camp south of Sinjar mountain. Graduation music blared from loudspeakers as several dozen seated Yazidi elders applauded. After a month of training, the Yazidi soldiers were now official members of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), bringing the total number of Yazidis in the PMF to 1,350.

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How a Free Syrian Army Unit Uncovered the Rebels’ Israeli Connection and Switched Sides

QUNEITRA, SYRIA—Ahmad Kaboul has big shoes to fill. Earlier this summer, his childhood friend and commanding officer of the Golan Brigade, Majed Hamoud, was killed by Jabhat Al Nusra, Syria’s al Qaeda affiliate, which now goes by the name Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham.

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How Some Western Feminists Betrayed Women in Syria, and Beyond, Ignoring Threat of US-Backed Islamist Rebels

Feminist author and scholar Valentine Moghadam participated in the Iranian revolution of 1979. But after the downfall of the Shah, she and her leftist comrades “were crushed immediately by the Islamists,” Moghadam told me. “That’s why so many of us are in exile and so many others were executed, tortured, arrested.”

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As the U.S. Backs Away From Syria’s Civil War, War-Weary Residents of Damascus Struggle to Survive

DAMASCUS, SYRIA—I was sitting at a bar in the Old City with off-duty Syrian soldiers when I learned that Donald Trump was officially ending the CIA’s covert support for the anti-government insurgents the Syrian army has spent the last six years fighting. I immediately told a group of patrons the news, but they didn’t believe it. “Trump is a liar,” they said.

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Ignored By Western Media, Syrians Describe the Nightmare the Armed Opposition Brought Them

Supporters of the Syrian opposition have relentlessly demanded that Western observers listen to “Syrian voices.” The idea is that by absorbing the testimonies of Syrians who have experienced the violence of the conflict first hand, Westerners will know how to best help them. Yet Western media consumers have scarcely heard from ordinary people who reside within the areas controlled by the government -- the areas where the vast majority of Syrians live. Indeed, the voices of Syrians like Areej, one of many people I spoke to inside Syria’s government-held areas for this report, present a testimony that is simply too inconvenient for Western media to consider.

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How U.S. Support for Syrian Rebels Drove the Refugee Crisis That Trump Has Capitalized On

President Donald Trump’s travel ban for seven Muslim-majority countries ignited an outpouring of protest and was ultimately shot down by the Ninth Circuit. But the fight is far from over. Trump plans to introduce a new travel ban, one that might actually stick. And he has a substantial base of support to rally for its ratification.

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In Syria, Western Media Cheer Al Qaeda

The Syrian government—a dictatorship known for imprisoning, torturing and disappearing dissidents—is easy to vilify. And over the last five years of Syria’s civil war, it has committed its share of atrocities. But there is more than one side to every story, and US media coverage has mainly reflected one side—that of the rebels—without regard for accuracy or basic context.

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British Govt-Funded Outlet Offered Journalist $17,000 a Month to Produce Propaganda for Syrian Rebels

The Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) media office, a major Syrian opposition media outfit and frequent source of information for Western media, is funded by the British government and is managed by Westerners operating out of Turkey, according to emails provided to AlterNet by a Middle East reporter RFS tried to recruit.

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