November 1, 2014

Jaysh al-Mujahideen Iraq: Condemnation of the Islamic State: translation and analysis

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Intro and Analysis This document put out by the Shari'a Committee of Jaysh al-Mujahideen- a Salafi nationalist group aiming to overthrow the central government in Iraq and anti-Shi'a in outlook- is to be noted for the following: 1. The context of this lengthy condemnation of what is now the Islamic State was Abu Muhammad al-Adnani's speech for what was then ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham; now just the Islamic State or IS] as infighting had broken out at the start of … [Read more...]

Naqshbandi Army Statement- 22 October: Translation

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Statement by Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshbandia [JRTN] official spokesman denying what was put out in a statement by a new unknown front. 22 October 2014. Oh dignified people of Iraq, Oh sons of our Arab Islamic Ummah, A statement was put out on Internet sites towards the end of Dhu Hijjah 1435 AH, corresponding to 18 Tishreen al-Awal [October] 2014 put out in the name of a new unknown front, and in this regard we affirm the following: 1. We resolutely deny our joining this … [Read more...]

Jabhat Ansar al-Din: Analysis and Interview

JMWA da'wah efforts for children reportedly in north Aleppo countryside.

  Logo of Jabhat Ansar al-Din Jabhat Ansar al-Din [Supporters/Partisans of the Religion Front] is a coalition of four groups originally set up in July of this year, comprising Harakat Sham al-Islam, Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar, The Green Battalion and Harakat Fajr al-Sham al-Islamiya. Of these groups, Harakat Sham al-Islam was set up by Moroccan ex-Gitmo detainee Ibrahim bin Shakaran, who died in the Latakia offensive this spring. Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar (JMWA)- under … [Read more...]

The White Shroud: A Syrian resistance Movement to the Islamic State


Logo of "The White Shroud" I have previously written on Sunni groups created within Iraq to fight against the Islamic State [IS], but what about in Syria? Some attention has been devoted to the group "Al-Kafn Al-Abyad" (The White Shroud), but on social media I have seen some controversy as to the nature of The White Shroud. For example, people ask: is it Jabhat al-Nusra, or 'FSA'? To answer this question, one needs to bear in mind that The White Shroud is an anti-IS outfit originally set … [Read more...]

Iraq Insurgent Profiles: Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna


Logo of Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna Over the years, there has been a good deal of confusion over the use of the name 'Ansar al-Sunna' when it comes to Iraq's Sunni insurgency, both in local and international media. When the name is used, the implied reference is normally to Jamaat Ansar al-Islam, which is the latest incarnation of the al-Qa'ida-linked Ansar al-Islam of Iraqi Kurdistan that was largely destroyed after the U.S. invasion but regrouped as 'Ansar al-Sunna' as a participant in the Sunni … [Read more...]

The men of the al-Qadisiya army: a made-up social media insurgent group


Logo of the Men of the al-Qadisiya Army On this site and elsewhere, I have profiled numerous Iraqi Sunni insurgent brands through use of social media. At the same time, it should go without saying that one has to be careful when using material from social media as a source of information: problems we encounter as analysts of the insurgency include groups appropriating credit from others for certain operations, claimed operations that never happened, and even groups that do not actually exist. … [Read more...]

Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada- threats to Saudi Arabia: translation and analysis

Dhi Qar Media Office: "The Islamic Resistance: Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada'". Dhi Qar is a southern province in Iraq, predominantly Shi'a in population, and serving as a recruitment base for the group. Note the banner featuring Ayatollah Khamenei (Supreme Leader of Iran), indicating Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada's ideological alignment.

Intro and Analysis Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada is an Iranian proxy Iraqi Shi'a militia that first emerged as a participant in the Syrian civil war, fighting against the rebels as part of the 'shrine defence' [Sayyida Zainab] narrative. With the renewal of the Sunni Arab insurgency spearheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq this year, the group has also been participating in fighting alongside the government's regular armed forces and other Shi'a militias against the insurgents. Logo of … [Read more...]

Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian peninsula statement: solidarity with the Islamic State


Intro and Analysis The latest statement from al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP, h/t to Charlie Winter for drawing it to my attention) denounces the coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State [IS] and reiterates its call for an end to infighting among the jihadis in the Iraq-Syria arena. I take this opportunity to emphasize that this statement does not mean a true reconciliation between AQAP and IS, let alone between al-Qa'ida as a whole and IS: as I have outlined before, IS' … [Read more...]

Interview with Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali: commander of the National Ideological Resistance in Syria

Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali, who is based in Tartous.

Following on from my previous post here at Syria Comment on the National Ideological Resistance in Syria (a 'Syrian Hezbollah' militia brand primarily based in Tartous and Hama governorates but also operating militarily at least in Aleppo province as well), below is an interview I recently conducted with the group's leader: Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali. Sayyid Hashim Muhammad Ali, who is based in Tartous. Some things to note in particular about this interview: 1. 'Syrian Hezbollah' … [Read more...]

“I am not content with a life of humiliation”- Nasheed from the Islamic State’s Ajnad Media


Below is a translation by me of this song released early this year by the Islamic State's music media wing Ajnad Media (NB: revised slightly since first published): "A life of humiliation no, I am not content with it. But love of death in glory is an aspiration. For no, by God, I do not fear the fate of death. For the slave has no place in the material world. And indeed death is in the path of Jihad, Verily God's favour is bestowed on whomsoever He wills. Oh path of jihad, … [Read more...]