New ISIS Leaks Reveal Particulars of al-Qaida Strategy

by Matthew Barber A new Twitter account that appeared last month is making waves within the jihadi community and rebel groups of Syria. It has not yet been noticed by the international media, but if the author’s claims are legitimate, it may significantly help to shape our understanding of ISIS. The author of the @wikibaghdady […]

Recapitalising the Syrian Banking System: Costs and Challenges

by Andrew Cunningham with Darien Middle East It is hard to think about reconstructing Syria and its economy at a time when there is so much uncertainty about how the civil war will develop in the months ahead, but, as the fiasco of Iraqi “reconstruction” in the months following the overthrow of Saddam Husain has shown, […]

Problems for Syrians in Egypt; News from Kurdish North; Looting & Oil; Round-up

by Matthew Barber The scale of this propaganda piece is impressive: An ISIS billboard in Raqqa promoting shari’a law. The yellow text at the top says “The state’s civil law is contrary to the religion of Allah,” followed by a verse from the Qur’an (3:83 “Do they, then, seek a religion other than Allah’s, while […]

Round Up: Qusayr, Hezbollah, Regional Sectarianism, Ehsani on Economics, Foreign Jihadis Behead & Kill for Blasphemy, US Intervention Proposal

From Our Readers Yamin sent the following in an email: The Syrian Government ignores 70 percent of the Opposition fighters being Free Syrian Army and label all of them as al-Qaeda or Jabhat al-Nusra. To them any fighters, regardless of their just causes, are Moslem fanatics. Hilarious. The Opposition ignores 95 percent of the forces opposing […]

Is Syria Like Iraq?

Is Syria Like Iraq? By Joshua Landis, May 1, 2012, Syria Comment In my recent discussion with Murhaf Jouejati on PBS Newshour, I argued that the reason the US should avoid taking the lead in Syria is that the conflict is sectarian and resembles that of Iraq, where the US had little success. Murhaf took […]