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Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq is one of the Iraqi formations that fought in Syria on the side of the Syrian government forces. Within a joint formation called the Haydari Force, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq developed its special contingent for fighting in Syria under the name Liwa Kafil Zainab.
To discuss the history of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq's involvement in Syria, I interviewed al-Hajj Amar Abbas Abdullah al-Tamimi, who is the commander of the Fawj Quwat al-Nukhba in Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and a veteran of the group's operations in Syria.
This interview was conducted on 24 May 2019. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: When were you born?
A: 1984. I am from the inhabitants of Baghdad (al-Karrada).
Among the lesser known Hashd formations in Iraq's northern province of Ninawa is the 90th brigade on the Hashd Sha'abi Commission. The 90th ordinal for formations of the Hashd Sha'abi Commission was associated for a time in some media with the group Fursan al-Jubur, but that formation actually designates itself the 48th Regiment at the present time. Meanwhile, a 90th brigade on the Hashd Sha'abi Commission has existed and continues to operate to the south of Mosul city under the leadership of one Aziz Sinjar. On 22 May 2019, I interviewed a media representative of the Hashd's 90th Brigade. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Last month's al-Furqan Media video in which Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first visual appearance since 2014 was partly designed to reassure IS supporters that their caliph was still alive and that he was still very much in control of the organization, being well aware of all developments pertaining to it.
Previously I wrote a profile of the Local Defence Forces unit Fawj al-Nabi al-Akram, which has been deployed in the north Hama countryside amid the latest round of military operations in Syria's northwest.
On 10 May 2019, I interviewed Hassan Halak, who is a member of Fawj al-Nabi al-Akram. We discussed his own history, the Local Defence Forces and the operations in Syria's northwest. The interview is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
A: I am from Aleppo and I worked as a photographer. I was born in 1995.
Q: And you were studying in Damascus at the time of the beginning of the events?
For prior parts in this series, see:
This final article in the Islamic State's al-Naba' newsletter series on the insurgent tactic of temporarily taking control of areas deals with the issue of withdrawal. The article notes that circumstances can vary and unexpected obstacles may arise for a withdrawal plan during an expedition. However, some general guidelines are given.
- The organization of withdrawal may vary. For example, it could be that the groups that assault first should be the first to withdraw, or the groups that launch the deepest incursion into an area should be the first to withdraw.