Ruth Pollard

Ruth Pollard

Ruth Pollard is the Middle East Correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Her job takes her throughout the Middle East and North Africa, reporting on the Arab revolutions from Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and on the conflict in Israel and Palestine.

Baghdad caught in a ring of fear, waiting for US to wave magic wand

Ruth Pollard Along Iraq’s constantly shifting frontline there is little buffer between civilians and the militants’ advance.

Abu Ghraib: a town gripped by fear as ISIL approaches Baghdad

Shia fighter in Iraq

Ruth Pollard Heavily fortified guardposts line the road into Abu Ghraib and more than a dozen military vehicles are on the move alongside the occasional civilian car making the lonely 20-kilometre journey from...

SAS set to rescue Baghdad diplomats

SAS

Ruth Pollard, Iraq and David Wroe, Canberra Australia's elite SAS soldiers are ready to swoop into Baghdad to rescue diplomats if the bloody fighting in Iraq's north reaches the capital, Fairfax Media has been told.

Militants take control of Tal Afar, advance closer to Baghdad

ISIL flag

Ruth Pollard Sunni militants have taken control of the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, raising fears in the predominately ethnic Turkmen town that the extremist group will target its residents, half of whom are...

Fight against Islamic State puts independence on backburner for Kurdish militants

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter holds a position on the front line in the Gwer district, 40 kilometres south of Erbil.

Ruth Pollard As militants closed in around the Kurdish capital last month, prompting panicked families to flee and exposing just how stretched the region's Peshmerga forces were, it was clear the dream of an...

Is Australia arming 'terrorist' PKK fighters?

Commander Nuve Rojhat (centre) with some of the fighters in her unit at the Daquq PKK base.

Ruth Pollard In Daquq A group Australia first designated as a terrorist organisation in December 2005 - the PKK or the Kurdistan Workers Party - is working directly with the Kurdish Peshmerga✓ forces that Australia...

Islamic State offensive opens old sectarian wounds in Iraq

Checkpoint: A Badr Brigade militia guard on a road outside Amerli.

Ruth Pollard in Amerli "Walk in my footprints and do not step off the track." With those softly spoken instructions I follow the Peshmerga fighter, an M4 slung over his soldier, along the small sandy path beside an olive...

On the ground with Kurdish forces

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter.

Ruth Pollard On the vast frontline in the battle with Islamic State forces, Kurdish soldiers with 40-year-old weapons await military supplies from the West.

Iraq delays delivery of RAAF arms to Kurds

Ruth Pollard and David Wroe EXCLUSIVE

Islamic State makes true on 'blood' threat, killing US journalist James Foley

Photo: Manu Brabo shows James Foley who reported in the Middle East for five years. IMAGE SOURCE www.theage.com.au

Ruth Pollard Just hours after the US announced it would begin air strikes on militants in the north of Iraq, a propaganda video from the Islamic State emerged online with the warning: “We will drown you in...

Iraq parliamentary session ends in chaos

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Ruth Pollard Iraq’s first parliamentary session since its April elections – and since Islamic militants took control of its second-largest city and declared a new caliphate – descended into chaos after Kurdish...

Sunni tribes unite with enemies to fight Iraq's rulers

Ruth Pollard Trapped in a state-sponsored campaign of violence and harassment with no end in sight, 27-year-old Bashir al-Ani says he had no choice but to pick up a weapon and join his Sunni tribe in the fight...

Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki rejects calls for unity government, as violence engulfs nation

Ruth Pollard dinkus

Ruth Pollard As Sunni insurgents continued their campaign to seize key towns throughout Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected calls to form a national unity government aimed at healing some of the...

Family forced to flee their home as sectarian tensions in Iraq reach boiling point

Living in fear: Um Ban with her two-month-old daughter Ghufran.

Ruth Pollard in Baghdad When Sunni militants painted an “X” on the front of her house in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Um Ban knew she and her family would have to flee.

Iraqi forces battle to take control of Tikrit

A member of the Iraqi security forces checks an ammunition belt south of Baghdad.

Ruth Pollard Iraqi troops backed by helicopter gunships launched a major assault on Tikrit in an attempt to regain control of the northern city from Sunni insurgents who have been holding it since June 11.

Iraq crisis: ISIL militants declare 'Caliphate'

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Ruth Pollard The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Sunni militants fighting across Syria and Iraq – have proclaimed the establishment of a “caliphate” in a move that experts say could...

Uprising brings civil war threat closer to Iraq

A Mosul family in a UNHCR refugee camp after fleeing their city when it was claimed by insurgents.

Ruth Pollard With the country on the brink of civil war, the situation in Iraq has never been more perilous as the depth of its sectarian fissures are exposed.

Civilians flee as militants bring Iraq closer to break-up

Families fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Mosul arrive at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Erbil.

Ruth Pollard As thousands of civilians continued to pour out of the contested city of Mosul, fleeing both the ferocious advance of Islamist militants and the feared government retaliation, Iraq launched a series...

Call to arms as Iraq sinks into sectarian violence

A masked Pershmerga fighter from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

Ruth Pollard in Erbil Iraq sank deeper into all-out sectarian conflict overnight with the country’s most senior Shiite cleric calling for volunteers to take up arms against Sunni militants who are threatening to...

Civilians flee as Islamist advance brings Iraq closer to break-up

Refugees fleeing from Mosul head to the self-ruled northern Kurdish region in Erbil.

Ruth Pollard As thousands of civilians continued to pour out of the contested city of Mosul, fleeing both the ferocious advance of Islamist militants and the feared government retaliation, Iraq launched a series...