Senior Andean Correspondent
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Mar 27, 2013

Insight: Hopes, suspicions over peace in Kurdish rebel hideout

QANDIL MOUNTAINS, Iraq (Reuters) – Shattered stone houses recall Turkish air strikes on Kurdish rebels holed up in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq. Life is harsh amid the snowcapped peaks, supplies are sparse and armed forays across into Turkey perilous in the extreme.

Yet rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan, who declared a ceasefire from his Turkish prison cell last week, may not find it easy to coax his fighters down as part of any deal to end a conflict that has taken over 40,000 lives.

Mar 27, 2013

Hopes, suspicions over peace in Kurdish rebel hideout

QANDIL MOUNTAINS, Iraq, March 27 (Reuters) – Shattered stone
houses recall Turkish air strikes on Kurdish rebels holed up in
the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq. Life is harsh amid the
snowcapped peaks, supplies are sparse and armed forays across
into Turkey perilous in the extreme.

Yet rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan, who declared a ceasefire
from his Turkish prison cell last week, may not find it easy to
coax his fighters down as part of any deal to end a conflict
that has taken over 40,000 lives.

Mar 19, 2013

Bombs kill 50 on Iraq invasion anniversary

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A dozen car bombs and suicide blasts tore into Shi’ite districts in Baghdad and south of the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, killing more than 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda have vowed to step up attacks on Shi’ite targets since the start of the year in an attempt to provoke sectarian confrontation and undermine Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government.

Mar 5, 2013

Syria spillover, al Qaeda strain Iraq security

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has long warned that Syria’s increasingly sectarian war might spill over the border and reignite his own country’s combustible Shi’ite-Sunni mix.

That nightmare may have edged closer after suspected Sunni insurgents killed 48 Syrian troops on Iraqi soil on Monday.

Jan 31, 2013

Al Qaeda calls on Iraqi Sunni protesters to take up arms

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s Iraqi wing on Thursday urged Sunni protesters to take up arms against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, adding fuel to growing sectarian unrest in the world’s fastest-growing oil exporter.

Al Qaeda’s local affiliate Islamic State of Iraq said “peace and patience” were useless for dealing with the Shi’ite-led government they see as oppressors of Iraq’s Sunni minority.

Jan 29, 2013

Sunni discontent and Syria fears feed Iraqi unrest

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) – Across Iraq’s western desert, thousands of Sunni Muslims block highways, chant and pray in protests against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that grow more defiant by the day.

Their demands are many, but the old Iraqi flags from Saddam Hussein’s era and Sunni tribal colours fluttering among them are a clear message to Maliki: Enough, our time has come again.

Jan 29, 2013

Analysis: Sunni discontent and Syria fears feed Iraqi unrest

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) – Across Iraq’s western desert, thousands of Sunni Muslims block highways, chant and pray in protests against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that grow more defiant by the day.

Their demands are many, but the old Iraqi flags from Saddam Hussein’s era and Sunni tribal colors fluttering among them are a clear message to Maliki: Enough, our time has come again.

Jan 23, 2013

Iraq telco Asiacell share offer to be a sell-out – bookrunner

BAGHDAD, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell’s
$1.35 billion share sale will be fully subscribed, bookrunner
Rabee Securities said, though a top bourse official and some
local investors were more cautious about the country’s largest
ever stock listing.

As the first major flotation since a U.S.-led invasion
toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, Asiacell’s share offer is seen
as a test of confidence in the OPEC member’s economy, which is
recovering from years of war and economic sanctions.

Jan 18, 2013

Iraqi Kurds defend oil policy, reject BP Kirkuk deal

BAGHDAD, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Iraq’s Kurdistan has defended
its oil policy as constitutional, and rejected a deal between
Baghdad and BP for an oilfield in the disputed city of Kirkuk as
an “illegal” step in the autonomous region’s feud with the
central government.

The statement came after Iraq’s oil minister said Baghdad’s
government would sue companies exporting crude from Kurdistan,
warned of cuts to the self-ruled region’s federal budget and
announced an accord with BP in Kirkuk.

Jan 13, 2013

Iraq Sunni leader urges reforms to end protests

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki should reform laws seen as unjustly marginalizing the country’s Sunni Muslims or mass protests could spiral out of control, a top Sunni leader said.

Thousands have taken to the streets in Sunni stronghold provinces for three weeks of daily protests, posing the sternest test yet for Maliki’s fragile government composed of Shi’ites, Sunnis and ethnic Kurds.

    • About Pat

      "Patrick Markey is the Senior Andean Correspondent for Reuters, based in Bogota, Colombia. For the last nine years he has covered and helped manage coverage across the Andean region, including Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. He has also reported on top stories across Latin America, including more recently the Honduras coup and Haiti's earthquake."
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