Starting with Iraq, it's flying well under the radar here in the U.S., but believe me, in Iraq, people have noticed that the U.S. House Armed Services Committee wants to break up the country. You might think this would be a matter of sufficient interest to people in the U.S. that the corporate media would bother to report on it, but for the most part, they haven't. The committee's markup of the Defense Authorization Act originally called on the U.S. to recognize Kurdistan as an independent country. That's gone, but the bill as sent to the House floor on a vote of 60-2 does call for U.S. arms to go directly to Peshmerga and Sunni Arab tribal forces, not by way of Baghdad.
The Iraqi Parliament voted to reject any direct arming of Kurdish and non-governmental Sunni Arab forces, but that was the Shiite majority and as the linked article notes, the Kurds want those weapons.
I don't link to Fars for hard news because it's not reliable, but in this case, it's the propaganda I'm interested in. An Iranian official condemns the vote in congress as part of a western plan to break up Iraq.
"A specific plot is at work in the region to disintegrate Iraq, Syria and Yemen and the westerners are attempting to disintegrate Iraq into three smaller countries, Syria to two states and Yemen to two a Northern and a Southern state," [Secretary of the Expediency Council Moshen] Rezayee said in a press conference in Tehran on Sunday.Actually this is not paranoid. Many U.S. political leaders, including Joe Biden, have called for the breakup of Iraq over many years now. Don't get me wrong -- it may eventually happen. But the U.S. intentionally making it happen, and giving weapons to the remaining pieces, is another matter.
Back in Afghanistan, the Taliban offensive in Kunduz has resulted in thousands of internally displaced persons. The Afghan security forces -- and their U.S. advisers, special forces, and drone buddies -- failed to detect the massing of Taliban forces ahead of the attack. Afghanistan still does not have a defense minister, 7 months after the election.
Talks between the government and Taliban have begun in Qatar. The sides are not calling these "peace talks," but they attendees are people who would likely participate in peace talks. The meetings are hosted by the Pugwash Conference, which for those who don't know is an association of scientists who originally met to work for nuclear disarmament and which continues to be an informal conduit for communication between hostile powers.
A mass trial in the lynching of Farkhunda is underway. The trial has been postponed for one day to investigate "the nationality of an Arab-speaking man who was arrested soon after the murder on suspicion of having jammed police radios during the incident." Nineteen of the defendants are police officers.