Every nation needs a capital: how Erbil turned itself Kurdish. From flags to statues to street names, the city of Erbil has deliberately embraced Kurdish culture to such an extent that it almost seems a Disneyfied spectacle for tourists – except the intended audience is the Kurds themselves (the Guardian).
‘All Lebanon is against them’: A rape-murder sours a country on its Syrian refugees. Resentment was already simmering, but the killing in a Christian village has triggered a nationwide backlash (the Washington Post).
Raqqa: a journey into the destroyed heart of the Islamic State capital. After months of brutal fighting, the battle to retake Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State caliphate, is almost over. The Guardian follows photographer Achilleas Zavallis and reporter Martin Chulov