The Future of ISIS and the Sectarian Response: ISIS has Picked a Fight it Cannot Win

The Future of ISIS in Iraq and the Sectarian Response – by Joshua Landis   A Washington policy analyst asked me what chances I gave to the possibility that Prime Minister Maliki will try to divide Sunnis and isolate ISIS by teaming up with moderate Sunnis. He raised the possibility of Maliki creating a government […]

Middle-East’s Sectarian Balance Shifts as Syrian Uprising Enters Fourth Year — by Jawad Anwar Qureshi

Jawad Anwar Qureshi is a PhD candidate in Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His dissertation explores debates in Damascus on questions of tradition, Salafism, Islamism, and jihad.  http://chicago.academia.edu/JawadQureshi  Twitter: @jqureshi_   This month, Syria’s uprising enters its fourth year. So far, close to 150,000 people are confirmed dead, over nine million Syrians […]

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 […]

Gangs of Latakia: The Militiafication of the Assad Regime

by Aron Lund for Syria Comment   [updated July 24, 2013] MEET ALI KAYALI The murder of the Syrian regime loyalist Mohammed Darrar Jammo in Lebanon, now said to have been an internal family affair, led to much firing in the air. At Jammo’s funeral in Latakia, there was a heavy presence of militiamen, and militiawomen, […]

Obama Owes Syrians and Americans a Vision of Syria’s Future

Obama Owes Syrians and Americans a Vision of Syria’s Future By Joshua Landis June 15, 2013 [Addendum (24 June) See Thomas Friedman’s op-ed of Sunday 23 for comparison of his three Obama options with my three. Putting it in the context of collapsing Ottoman Empire and nation building is also similar. It is still unclear […]