Author Archives: James Snell

The Prison States

The twentieth century has passed and the world has changed. The great evil of the period can perhaps be assumed to have mutated and changed, too. That era’s gravest sin and greatest threat, totalitarianism, seems less evident today, and its equivalents are assumed to have updated their methods. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Abdelbasset al-Sarout

The death of Abdelbasset al-Sarout has elicited a great tide of grief in Syria which has been echoed and felt across the world. At his death, Sarout was 27 years old. He had fought against the regime of Bashar al-Assad for almost a decade, and had served as a symbol of defiance and hope for as long. Continue reading

The Syrian Regime Still Has No Qualms About Attacking Journalists

Journalists and fixers associated with Britain’s Sky News recently came under fire in Syria. This was not an accident nor was it brief, as video recorded by the crew as they scrambled to escape injury and death attests. No one was killed, but an activist travelling with the party was injured by shrapnel. Continue reading

A New Right Victim Complex

It is always a little difficult, after a massacre, to return to discussing the mundane. Talking about the banal so soon after something wrenching seems somewhat brusque. Hence the need, perhaps, to discuss the global far-right in emotive, epochal, outsized terms after the mass shooting in Christchurch. It is a way to keep the emotional intensity high – a bid to retain hot-blooded feeling, and an attempt to avoid an insensitive and premature return to reality. Continue reading

Iranian Proxies Remain Significant in Syria Amid Rising Tensions

As the drawn-out confrontation between the United States and Iran continues and becomes seemingly more intense, the thoughts of many have turned to war. Continue reading

Idlib’s Unenviable Situation Gets Worse

Last year, Syria’s Idlib province was in direct peril. The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and its Russian allies, having consolidated their control of southern Syria, seemed poised to move on the northern province, where most of the territory was dominated by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Continue reading

Iraqi Militias in Syria Spur Iraqi Criticism

The story of Iraq’s militias is contentious. These forces were undoubtedly significant in the country’s recent fighting – against the Islamic State and against Kurdish forces after the Kurdistan region’s referendum on independence in 2017. Continue reading