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.

Ruth Pollard

Searching for refuge in a land where there are no safe places

Ruth Pollard AS THE night-time temperature in Syria drops closer to freezing and the rains begin, it is difficult to imagine how those who have barely survived without electricity, water or enough food this year...

Kobane: Fears Kurdish fighters dying at border as Turkey remains unmoved

Rabia Ali mourns at the grave of her son, a Kurdish fighter killed in fighting with Islamic State militants.

Ruth Pollard At the hospital near Suruc volunteers are worried. No injured have arrived in the last 12 hours and they fear patients may be dying at the border, prevented by Turkish military from making it to...

Kurds mourn dead as air strikes give troops boost against Islamic State in Kobane

Up to 200,000 refugees have fled the fighting in Kobane.

Ruth Pollard The shutters were closed tight at shops and businesses all over the Turkish city of Suruc on Thursday as the mostly Kurdish population gathered to mourn those who died fighting to save Kobane.

Islamic State militants raise flag over Kobane as fighting intensifies

Ominous sign: An Islamic State flag waves on a small hill outside Kobane.

Ruth Pollard Kurdish fighters are desperately trying to fend off an onslaught on Kobane. If the Islamic State takes the besieged town, it will give it control of a large swath of land along the Turkish-Syrian...

Islamic State gains ground in besieged Kurdish town despite US air strike

WATCHFUL: A Kurdish man monitors fighting in Kobane.

Ruth Pollard Kurdish politicians have ramped up campaigns to try and convince Turkey to provide support for the YPG militia fighting to defend Kobane.

The man who turned his back on the Islamic State

Abu Hakam, who did not want his face identified for fear of retribution.

Ruth Pollard His fighting name is Abu Hakam and for a few moments of madness he turned away from the Free Syrian Army and allowed himself to court, and be courted by, the Islamic State.

Islamic State once courted this man - now the militants want to kill him

Abu Hakam, who did not want his face identified for fear of retribution.

Ruth Pollard His fighting name is Abu Hakam and during a few moments he allowed himself to be courted by the Islamic State.

Islamic State gains spark exodus and hopes for Turkish action near border

Syrian Kurdish refugee children feed their newborn sister in a camp near the south-eastern Turkish town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province.

Ruth Pollard Surrounding the small border town on three sides, Islamic State militants were shelling Kobane from positions as close as just two-to-three kilometres away, a local Kurdish commander said.

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...

Iraqi woman tells of gang rape ordeal at hands of ISIL

Basra

Ruth Pollard Zeitoun enters the classroom that is now home to more than a dozen people and sits beside me. "For one month and eight days I was in the hands of ISIL," she says.

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...

Australian-supplied weapons have reached the Kurdish frontline

Ruth Pollard dinkus

Ruth Pollard Munitions provided by Australia are already in use in the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Hamas and Israel reach long-term Gaza ceasefire deal after 50 days of war

Palestinian children flash the sign of victory as they celebrate the ceasefire in the streets in East Jerusalem.

Ruth Pollard Fifty days of terror – in which more than 2100 Palestinians and 69 Israelis were killed – has come to an end with a ceasefire agreement that loosens controls on Gaza's borders but has yet...

An unsteady peace in Gaza

A Palestinian father carries his wounded son as they wait to cross into Egypt at the re-opened Rafah border crossing.

Ruth Pollard, Middle East Correspondent The ceasefire in Gaza is just four days old but already the clock is ticking toward the next outbreak of war.