Tag Archives: Islamic State

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

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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

On Sri Lanka and the Western Far-Right

After an act of evil, silence and solemnity are rarely enough. Even commemoration of the victims, and calls for social stability and solidity, frequently come up short. As attractive, if not more, are demands for action, in extreme cases vengeance, and attacks on those seen to be reacting wrongly or perversely to the tragedy newly witnessed. Continue reading

Shamima Begum’s Media Circus

When, four years ago and at the age of fifteen, Shamima Begum first left her family and her country to join a group of religiously-inspired murderers in the Levant, I doubt she expected that her future life would include so many TV interviews. Continue reading

Terror’s Wars of Words

Even in wartime, bureaucracies continue to produce weights of paper. Baathist bureaucracies are no exception. Throughout Syria’s war, the extent to which the regime of Bashar al-Assad’s worst excesses have found their way onto official paper has surprised onlookers. Couched among the death certificates issued by state-run prisons lies the documentation, officially signed, legally witnessed, describing a campaign of mass murder. It is punctilious, and in plain sight. Continue reading

ISIS Intent on Resurgence as America Contemplates Withdrawal from Syria

The central justification for US President Donald Trump’s demand that the United States evacuates its military presence from Syria is that the Islamic State (ISIS) has been defeated. Superficially, and compared to what came before, this argument may not initially appear outlandish. Continue reading