At the end of September, in the section of the al-Hol refugee camp in north-eastern Syria that houses foreigners, Russian women – supporters of the Islamic State – severely beat two Turkistani women, apparently because their victims refused sharia indoctrination. Continue reading
Syria’s war has not concluded but for many it is convenient to pretend that it has. To those in the regime of Bashar al-Assad, it is necessary to present the government’s campaign of pacification as having produced peace. For foreign countries that wish to cease their programmes assisting the Syrian people, any opportunity to have their wish fulfilled is seized. Continue reading
The war crimes of Syria’s conflict have been obfuscated and lied about on a vast scale and with great success, but they have never been effectively hidden.
Not hidden from those whose spells in regime prisons included torture and the possibility of execution, not hidden from those whose experience of regime bombardment was a little more than theoretical. Continue reading
The speed with which the Islamic State conquered territory after its advent in 2014 and in the years that followed cannot be denied. Nor can the ferocity and threat of its rule. The apparent self-confidence of its theology and the devotion with which fighters – foreign and local – flocked to its cause made it a threat seen across the world. Continue reading
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
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
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