To terrified Kurds fleeing their homes, tranquil wealthy Istanbul seems a long way away

From Istanbul

War seems a long way from the tranquillity of an ancient Istanbul hamam. Bare-chested Ibrahim floats a shroud of soap bubbles over a near-naked woman’s body and starts gently kneading her with orange-scented oil. Fifteen hundred kilometres to the southeast, terrified Kurdish families, some of them carrying the limp bodies of their dead children, are fleeing Turkish military bombardments on their homes. A swatch of Syrian territory is being cleared of people the Turkish government says are terrorists.

Trump’s botched attempts to end the war in Afghanistan have empowered local terrorist groups

By Lynne O’Donnell & Mirwais Khan

The failed efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump to broker a deal with the Taliban to enable the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has led to splits in the insurgent group’s leadership and mass defections of commanders and fighters to the Islamic State group operating in the country, according to Afghan government officials and leaders of both terrorist organisations.

An internal Afghan government intelligence report, seen by TheArticle, reveals the extent of concern in Kabul about the fallout of the Trump negotiations with the Taliban. Sources in the Afghan government say that future attempts to bring peace will be much more complicated as a result of the splits caused by those talks. They expect violence to intensify as rival groups fight to prove their own strength against Afghan state forces. … Read more…

Trump’s “peace talks” with the Taliban have ended in violence and acrimony

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani has undergone a miraculous reversal of fortune in the lead up to his bid for re-election on September 28. The death of a so-called “peace process” – a year of talks between the administration of Donald J. Trump and the leadership of the terrorist Taliban group – has seen Ghani return from a frosty exile on the periphery of political relevance to become, once more, the man most likely to win the presidency for another five years.

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World Exclusive: In secret talks with the Taliban, Trump dumps the Afghan government

By Lynne O’Donnell in London and Mirwais Khan in Quetta

Leaders of the Taliban who are participating in talks with the United States aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan said they are close to signing an agreement that they believe will lead to the withdrawal of American troops and their return to government less than 20 years after their brutal regime was forced from power by a U.S. bombing campaign.


Afghan women are celebrating International Women’s Day with a fearful eye to the future

The women of Afghanistan will mark International Women’s Day today with a public holiday that will give them time to reflect on what could be their fate if the extreme misogynists of the Taliban are successful in their quest to return to power in their country.

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