Lindsey Hilsum on International Affairs

Analysis from our award-winning international editor on the conflicts and political movements changing our world.

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March 16, 2015 5 Comments

On the front line of Islamic State’s war on history

Abdel Salam Shallouf was a little boy when he first visited the Greco-Roman site of Cyrene. It inspired him to devote his life to his country’s ancient history, and study to become a professor.


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March 9, 2015 No Comments

Stephen O’Brien: UN opts for ‘pretty good candidate for important job’

Too often UN appointments are made entirely on political patronage and not at all on competence. This time the former has been tempered by the latter.

March 6, 2015 2 Comments

New dark ages as Islamic State wreaks destruction in Mosul

Visitors to the British Museum can see the magnificent winged bulls taken from Nimrud, in northern Iraq. But Iraqis living there are cowering in terror as their history is annihilated.

March 3, 2015 4 Comments

Why Netanyahu wants to scupper a US deal with Iran

Israel is much more frightened by Iran than by the Islamic State group – which explains why he will today warn the US against any nuclear deal with Tehran.

March 2, 2015 No Comments

Tikrit, where liberation from IS could bring yet more pain

A combined force of Iraqi army, Shia militia and Kurdish peshmerga is trying to retake Tikrit from IS. But it is more likely to want vengeance than an orderly retaking of the area.

February 27, 2015 2 Comments

Iraq: why looting can be a good thing

Better that at least some vestiges of previous civilisations be kept safe in the great museums of London, Berlin and New York, courtesy of the colonial looters of yesteryear.

February 23, 2015 1 Comment

‘Down with military rule!’ – Sisi and the realpolitik of today’s Egypt

What do you do when the only person standing up to your worst enemy is a thug and a bully? Not a playground problem but the realpolitik of the Middle East today.

February 18, 2015 1 Comment

Ceasefire in Aleppo: best option for civilians but proof of rebel despair?

The Syrian government knows it’s in a strong position. If the rebels don’t agree the ceasefire, they may be crushed. Previous ‘local ceasefires’ have been a euphemism for

February 17, 2015 4 Comments

Libya: is it better to leave dictators in their place?

The disaster of Libya provided much of the reason for not aiding Syrians who rose against dictatorship in 2012. But is the best course of action to do nothing?

February 16, 2015 1 Comment

Could the rise of Islamic State prove fatal for Libya?

Many Libyans who fought to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi are in despair. They know their failure to curb the rise in Islamic State could be deadly for their disintegrating country.

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