October 20, 2014

The Shia-Sunni war Reaches Lebanon

jonathan-spyer

Jerusalem Post, 17/10 Hezbollah is under pressure as the consequences of its ongoing intervention in Syria have come back to bite the terrorist organization. There are increasing indications that the sectarian war raging in Iraq and Syria is now moving irrevocably into Lebanon. The Shi’ite group is currently seeking to shore up its legitimacy by reminding its constituents, and other Lebanese citizens, of the role that gains it the most domestic sympathy – resistance against Israel. It is … [Read more...]

MERIA Special Report: Did ISIS Use Chemical Weapons Against the Kurds in Kobani?

nowarning

*** WARNING:  This post contains images which some readers may find disturbing.  Caution is advised.  Please scroll down to view these images. The fate of Kobani city now hangs in the balance, as around 9000 fighters of the Islamic State organization close in on the Kurdish held area.  The current IS assault on the Kobani enclave was not the first attempt by the jihadis to destroy the Kurdish-controlled area.  The Kobani enclave, most of which is now in the hands of the IS, at one … [Read more...]

The National Ideological Resistance in Syria: A ‘Syrian Hezbollah’ Brand

aymenn

Hezbollah's participation in the Syrian civil war in support of the Assad regime is well-known, most notably in the captures of Qusayr in Homs province in May 2013 and Yabroud in Damascus province in March 2014. Considerably less attention has been given though to the emergence of native brands, which, if not actually set up by Hezbollah, are nonetheless identical in ideology and messaging. "The National Ideological Resistance in Syria" (NIR. Arabic: al-muqawama al-wataniya al-'aqa'idiya fi … [Read more...]

Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen: Support for the Islamic State

aymenn

Intro and Analysis The Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen [more fully, Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen in the Environs of Bayt al-Maqdis], a Gaza-Sinai jihadi group and opponent of the Hamas government in Gaza, had previously come out in support of the Islamic State's [IS] predecessor ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and ash-Sham) in February of this year, defending ISIS' supposed right to 'self-defence' in the face of fighting with rebel groups in Syria. This reflected a wider trend ofsympathy for ISIS in … [Read more...]

Western fear of angering Turkey leaves besieged Kurdish town at mercy of Islamic State

Tigris River and bridge in Mosul.

Jerusalem Post, 7/10 The fate of the Kurdish enclave in Kobani appears to be sealed. The greater part of the formerly Kurdish-ruled area has already fallen to the forces of Islamic State. Some 9,000 Islamic State fighters are positioned close to the last remaining redoubt – Kobani city itself. The black flag of the Sunni Islamists is already flying in three neighborhoods of the city. On Monday, the Kurdish authorities ordered the evacuation of all remaining civilians from the city. … [Read more...]

Flawed western strategy in Iraq and Syria

jonathan-spyer

The United States and its allies have launched a military campaign whose stated goal is, in the words of President Barack Obama, to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State (I.S., also known as ISIS or ISIL) established by Sunni jihadis in a contiguous land area stretching from western Iraq to the Syrian-Turkish border. As the aerial campaign begins in earnest, many observers are wondering what exactly its tactical and strategic objectives are, and how they will be achieved. A … [Read more...]

“Provocative Conclusions”: Two New Reviews of Nazis, Islamists

Amin al-Husaini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem between 1921 and 1948.

From a recent review in the St. Louis Jewish Light titled "Book’s provocative conclusions make for fascinating reading": Drawing on European, American and Middle East archives, a large number of which had only recently been opened, the authors maintain that there was a collaboration and connection between Nazi Germany and Islamist forces like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that have determined and still determine the course of events in the Middle East today.   The authors specifically … [Read more...]

Islamic Army of Iraq: Denial of Meeting with the Americans: Translation and Analysis

Intro and AnalysisAs part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS), American officials have been attempting outreach to people connected to the Iraqi Sunni Arab insurgency and based in Amman, Jordan, in the hope of convincing them to help... … [Read more...]

The Dawn of Freedom Brigades: Analysis and Interview

Logo of the Dawn of Freedom Brigades One of the more noted recent trends in rebel dynamics in Syria is the weakening of the Islamic Front, widely noted last year as the most powerful rebel alliance in terms of manpower and fighting capabilities.... … [Read more...]

The Life of Abu Qutayba of Bahrain: A ‘Martyr’ for the Islamic State

Recently the Islamic State (IS) released a video via its media wing al-Itisam Media, which primarily targets Arabic-speaking audiences (notably producing the series 'Windows on the Land of Epic Battles'). The video, entitled 'Message to the People of... … [Read more...]