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 […]

Jabhat al-Nusra and Other Islamists Briefly Capture Historic Christian Town of Ma’loula

  Jabhat al-Nusra and Other Islamists Briefly Capture Historic Christian Town of Ma’loula By Matthew Barber for Syria Comment   Ma’loula (or Maaloula) is one of those unique places you may be lucky to visit—or perhaps were lucky to have visited, were you fortunate enough to have been in Syria before the conflict began. An […]

Should the Use of Chemical Weapons Prompt a US Attack in Syria?

If it is Determined that the Assad Regime Used Chemical Weapons Against Civilians, Should the United States and its Allies Attack Syria?   In answer to this question, Joshua Landis and Syria Comment provide the following statement:   The US must respond to the use of chemical weapons in a forceful manner, but should not […]

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi Interviewed by Syria Comment

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi Interviewed by Syria Comment by Matthew Barber   In a previous post I revealed that Sheikh Muhammad al-Ya’qoubi was elected as the first non-Ikhwaan-linked religious figure of the National Coalition. This event did take place, even though his followers were disappointed to discover that his tenure would not see the light of […]

Sheikh al-Yaqoubi Elected to the NC—its first non-Brotherhood-aligned religious figure

The Rise of the Sufis by Matthew Barber—This story first appeared on Syria Comment   Newly-elected to the Syrian National Coalition, Sheikh Mohammad al-Yaqoubi is moderate, influential, and ready to go to work   From the beginning of the uprising, mainstream Syrian Sunni ‘ulema—the traditional scholars who have spoken for Islam for centuries and who […]