IS Routs Peshmerga, Takes Control of Sinjar Mountains, Jeopardizes Yazidi Homeland

Summary: IS scores major victory today, breaks Peshmerga forces, conquers strategic Kurdish area and displaces hundreds of thousands of Yazidi Kurds. The expulsion of Mosul’s Christians was devastating, but today’s expulsion of Yazidis is much bigger. This raises the question of whether the Kurds can hold out against IS in Iraq, as well as in […]

The Factions of Raqqa Province

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi Much has been noted of the presence of the Islamic State in Raqqa province, where the group controls all major urban localities (Raqqa city, Tabqa, Ma’adan, and Tel Abyad), as well as the Kurdish militias just west of Tel Abyad, from which town they were expelled back in August 2013 on […]

Starvation: a Twisted Example of the Assad Regime’s Terrorism

  by Matthew Barber A fabulous documentary about the situation of children in Syria is being shown on Canadian and British television. The documentary, “Children on the Frontline,”  will be available for viewing for a limited time online, but unfortunately only for viewers in Canada or the UK. The documentary contains enlightening footage of life inside […]

“Why Syria’s Kurds are beating Al Qaeda,” By Balint Szlanko

Why Syria’s Kurds are beating Al Qaeda By Balint Szlanko – @balintszlanko For Syria Comment, December 16. 2013 The Kurds of Syria have been in the news lately. Fighting—and beating—Al Qaeda-allied groups and other rebel militias in their struggle for Syria’s northeast, in the past year they have in effect set up their own ministate […]

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 […]