Most recent article by: Birgit Svensson

Nouri al-Maliki (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi crisis

Not the right guy for Iraq

The terror in Iraq is a Sunni rebellion against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, writes Birgit Svensson in Baghdad, who lays the blame for the country's dire straits squarely at the door of its Shia head of governmentMore

An irrigation canal on the Euphrates bursting its banks (photo: Birgit Svensson)

Flood disaster in Iraq

Water as an instrument of war

ISIS terrorists are currently taking advantage of the high water levels on the Euphrates in their fight against the government in Baghdad. For its part, the Iraqi government is also resorting to inhumane methods. By Birgit Svensson in BaghdadMore

The aftermath of an ISIS attack on military vehicles in Mosul (photo: Reuters)

Jihadists seize Iraqi city of Mosul


Wave of terror washes over Iraq

After the fall of Ramadi and Fallujah, the Islamist militants of ISIS have now seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Some 500,000 civilians are now fleeing the insurgents. The deputy prime minister has called it a security disaster. By Birgit Svensson in BaghdadMore

Protesting Sunnis waving the flag of the Baath Party in Fallujah (photo: Birgit Svensson)

Fighting in the Iraqi province of Anbar

"Maliki is the new Saddam!"

The images coming out of the Iraqi province of Anbar shocked the world: masked fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were seen patrolling the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, waiting to take them over. Baghdad's central government seems to be losing its grip on the country's largest province. From Birgit Svensson in FallujahMore

A man in Basra holds his child, who is suffering from leukaemia (photo: DW/K. Zurutuza)

Depleted Uranium Munitions in Iraq

Deadly Dust Falls in Silence

There is no question that American and British troops in Iraq used depleted uranium (DU) in their munitions. While the United States continues to deny any responsibility for the consequences of uranium contamination, including severe deformities among newly born children, the international community has turned a blind eye to the problem. The city of Basra, as Birgit Svensson discovers, has borne the brunt of it allMore

Supporters of PKK leader Öcalan near Diyabakir (photo: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Kurdish Rebels Retreating from Turkey

Finding a Safe Haven in Iraq

After three decades of war, Turkey and the Kurdish separatist PKK outfit are close to implementing a ceasefire. The first PKK fighters have already begun leaving Turkey for safe havens in Iraq. Birgit Svensson reportsMore

Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein in downtown Baghdad, 9 April 2003 (photo: AP/Jerome Delay)

Iraq Ten Years after the Fall of Saddam Hussein

Invasion or Liberation?

Saddam Hussein's reign came to an end ten years ago. Iraq lost a brutal dictator, but found itself faced with new problems – a decade later, Iraqis have a mixed reaction to the US-led invasion. Birgit Svensson reportsMore

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaking to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a state visit to Tehran (photo: AP)

Iran's Role in the Syrian Civil War

Masters and Servants

As the military situation has grown more and more difficult for Syria's Baath regime, Iran has become an irreplaceable ally for President Assad. The mullahs have succeeded in extending their influence in Damascus and building up a network of militias in Syria. Birgit Svensson reportsMore

Protests in Falludja against the Shiite-majority government of Nuri al-Maliki, December 2012 (photo: dapd)

Marching against al-Maliki

Has the Arab Spring Arrived in Iraq?

Iraq's government is falling apart. While the president of the country is being treated for a serious illness in Germany, both the national parliament and the government back home are dysfunctional and in disarray. Birgit Svensson reports from BaghdadMore

Emos in Iraq (photo: AP)

Persecuted Emos in Iraq

No Place for Emotions

Since Shiite militia began hunting down followers of the 'Emo' youth movement and according to various sources have already killed 90 of them, they have vanished from the Iraqi capital. Details from Birgit Svensson in BaghdadMore

Statue of a man holding a book (photo: DW/Munaf al-Saidy)

The Iraqi Education System

Education in an Age of Terror

Once renowned throughout the Arab world for the importance it attached to good education, Iraq and its education system have suffered enormously since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein nine years ago. Many intellectuals fled abroad or into the provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan, triggering change in the education system there. Birgit Svensson reports from BaghdadMore

The wreckage of a bombed-out car in Kirkuk, 23 July 2012 (photo: Reuters)

Series of Terrorist Attacks in Iraq

A Culture of Violence

On the fourth day of the holy month of Ramadan, bombs went off simultaneously in 14 Iraqi cities, marking a new peak in al-Qaeda activity since the withdrawal of American troops at the end of last year. The terrorist network is shamelessly exploiting the way people behave during Ramadan, as Birgit Svensson reports from BaghdadMore

Shefat and her brother Omar (photo: Birgit Svensson)

Syrian Refugees in Iraq

Exodus into the Unknown

Birgit Svensson visits a refugee camp in Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan where she finds Shefat and her brother Omar: they want to tell the world about the terrible things that are happening to the Syrian peopleMore

Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi (photo: EPA)

After Yemen's Presidential Election

A Herculean Task

Militia in the north, separatists in the south, al-Qaeda and the return to the country of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh ... the challenges facing Yemen's interim government on the road to democracy are staggering. From Sanaa, Birgit Svensson explains that the country's new leadership is actually fighting a war on four frontsMore

Election poster of the presidential candidate Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi (photo: REUTERS)

Presidential Election in Yemen

An Experiment in Democracy

Yemen is voting for a successor to President Saleh, who was overthrown after months of protest. But the only candidate is the vice-president, Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi. And how he can possibly turn into the "Saviour of Democracy" in Yemen remains a mystery. Birgit Svensson reports from SanaaMore

Ceremony in Baghdad marking the end of US military operations in Iraq (photo: AP)

Iraq after the Withdrawal of US Troops

A ''Stable'' Country Teetering on the Brink

After the withdrawal of the Americans from Iraq, the governing coalition in Baghdad is imploding, the dispute between Shia and Sunni is escalating and several provinces are striving for autonomy. Birgit Svensson reports from BaghdadMore