Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Video: A very brave Kurdish reporter tries to interview ISIS

A Kurdish journalist named Hunar Ahmed did something very brave on Monday: he walked up to the front lines of fighting between Iraqi Kurds and Islamic State (ISIS), waved his arms at the ISIS militants who have been killing their way across the Middle East, and asked for an interview. Several times.

Here's the video, published by Ahmed's outlet, Rudaw. The good news is that Ahmed, despite sticking his head between the lion's jaws, came away fine. The other good news is that it's pretty funny to watch how casually he saunters up to armed jihadist extremists that any sane person would flee immediately:

My favorite part is how he mostly spends the segment talking about, and demonstrating, that he tried to get an interview with ISIS. "We tried to reach them but they are warning me not to get any closer," he says, wandering aimlessly around the bridge that serves as the front line. Also pretty entertaining are the two ISIS fighters on the far end of the bridge, whose sole job seems to be holding up the black jihadist flag.

More seriously, this does show ISIS acting as a rational, disciplined military force, using heavy industrial equipment to dig in fortifications around a defensible structure. And the fact that they are shown here digging in outside of Kirkuk, a major Kurdish-controlled city that sits on top of vast oil reserves, may help explain why the US is so apparently alarmed by the group's push into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Get Vox in your inbox!

By signing up, you agree to our terms.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.