Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Syrian Rebels Capture Idlib, by Aron Lund

– Guest post for Syria Comment by Aron Lund, editor of Syria in Crisis On March 28, Syrian rebels and jihadi fighters announced that they had captured the city of Idlib, posting pictures and videos online that showed them in control of government buildings and other landmarks. This followed a lightning offensive of several days, […]

The Administration of the Local Council in Azaz

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi Readers of my report on my visit to the north Aleppo town of Azaz near the border with Turkey will recall that authority in Azaz is divided between two bodies: the local council and the Shari’a committee. Broadly speaking, the local council covers the realm of public services, while the Shari’a […]

Meet the Badris

By A.N. Sheikh Abd al-Aziz al-Badri Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the self-declared Islamic State, was not produced in a vacuum. In fact, he comes from a tribe with a long history of support for Salafism. The following is a brief window into this extended family.   In the first letter calling for bayʿa […]

After Burning of Muaz al-Kasasbeh, Jordan & al-Azhar’s Gestures of Vengeance Will Not Heal

by Matthew Barber The following is not research or analysis, but a few reflections on the film released by IS in which Jordanian pilot Muaz al-Kasasbeh was burned alive inside a metal cage. I won’t claim that my moral reflections are especially profound, but I believe the traumatic nature of this event warrants further conversation. […]

Jamaat Ansar al-Islam in Syria Joins The Islamic State?

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi As outlined previously on this site and elsewhere in my writings, Jamaat Ansar al-Islam (JAI) is a jihadi group that originated in Iraq and expanded into Syria in 2011 thanks at least in part to the efforts of one Abu Muhammad al-Muhajir (an Iraqi himself who was later killed near Mosul […]