Crop fires in Iraq and Syria may be start of larger disaster

In Iraq and Syria, fires are destroying wheat, barley and lentil crops. Islamic State (IS) sleeper cells may be to blame, but other factors should not be ruled out.

Rainfall was abundant in the north of both countries over the winter, reaching levels that had not been seen in at least two decades. It was a welcome sign of hope for farmers, a prediction of good harvests and a much-needed income in a still harsh economic climate.

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