Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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The Archivist: Stories of the Mujahideen: Women of the Islamic State

October 17, 2016  •  Jihadology

The previous post in The Archivist series looked at the internally distributed series of documents entitled Qisas al-Mujahideen ('Stories of the Mujahideen'), which tell stories of particular individuals in the Islamic State (IS). One of the figures covered in these series was Dr. Iman Mustafa al-Bagha, a Syrian female Islamic scholar who has worked in IS' Diwan al-Iftaa' wa al-Buhuth ('Fatwa Issuing and Research Department') and organization of women's hisba (Islamic morality enforcement) teams in the various provinces of IS. Her activities were characterized as jihad, with the biography of her emphasizing that she was continuing in this jihad despite the loss of her son Abu al-Hassan al-Dimashqi.

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Labawat al-Jabal: A Druze Female Militia in Suwayda' Province

October 14, 2016  •  Syria Comment

Female fighters in the Syrian civil war are foremost associated with the Kurds, in particular the YPJ division of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)'s armed militias. Indeed, a female role in fighting fits in naturally with the secular and leftist ideology of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), of which the PYD is the Syrian affiliate. However, the phenomenon of female fighters and militia members is not confined to this side alone: they can also most notably be found on the regime side. In fact, such a case came to light recently with the killing of one Ghasun Ahmad, who died fighting on the Aleppo front in late August. Also known by the nickname Amirat al-Assad (al-Assad Princess), she was originally from Tartous governorate and was most notably affiliated with the National Ideological Resistance, a Syrian Hezbollah militia that originates from the Tartous and Masyaf areas and has fought in most parts of western Syria. This affiliation became particularly apparent in footage broadcast by Sama TV of her funeral, featuring the appearance of National Ideological Resistance insignia and outfits at the proceedings. Other posts on social media claimed she was in the ranks of the military intelligence militia Quwat Dir' al-Amn al-Askari. It is possible she was affiliated with both groups at the same time. After all, the Syrian Resistance has claimed overlap with the ranks of Quwat Dir' al-Amn al-Askari on the Aleppo front.

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Liwa al-Imam Zain al-Abidain: Building a 'Resistance' in Eastern Syria

September 18, 2016  •  Syria Comment

Banner of Liwa al-Imam Zain al-Abidain. On top: "The Syrian Resistance" (al-muqawama al-suriya). On bottom: Liwa al-Imam Zain al-Abidain ("The Imam Zain al-Abidain Brigade").

In analysis of militiafication on the Assad regime side, one of the most understudied fronts is that of Deir az-Zor province in eastern Syria, as the regime maintains an outpost in parts of Deir az-Zor city, the military airport and some of the surrounding areas, with no supply routes by land in existence. Despite the regime's rather precarious situation, the Islamic State (IS) has not yet completely wiped out the regime presence in the way that it took the regime's isolated bases in Raqqa province by storm in the summer of 2014.

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Archive of Islamic State Administrative Documents (continued...again)

September 17, 2016 at 1:33 pm

This post constitutes a continuation of the previous posts that comprise the archive of Islamic State administrative documents (cf. here and here) and cannot be expanded further owing to technical issues. Thus, this post begins with Specimen 23A, constituting the 599th specimen in the archives.

Specimen 23A: Return form, office of the affairs of the mujahideen, Shirqat

Islamic State
Wilayat Dijla/Office of the affairs of the mujahideen

No. 267
Date: 13 Jumada alAwal 1436 AH/5 March 2015 CE


The brother [...] belongs to the sector of Shirqat/right side [western Shirqat]

May God reward you best.

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Liwa Sayf al-Haq Assad Allah al-Ghalib: A Republican Guard Militia in Sayyida Zainab

September 16, 2016  •  Syria Comment

Emblem of Liwa Sayf al-Haq Assad Allah al-Ghalib. With a balance flanked by two Syrian flags, the bottom of the emblem features the legendary Dhu al-Fiqar sword of Imam Ali, with the inscription: "There is no hero but Ali and no sword but the Dhu al-Fiqar."

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