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

Latest Blog Posts

The Life of Karar Abd al-Amir al-Shahmani: An Early Iraqi 'Martyr' in Syria

April 17, 2019 at 7:38 am

To understand better the history of the involvement of Iraqi fighters in the Syrian civil war, it is useful to consider the earliest publicised 'martyrdom' cases. One of those early 'martyrs' was an individual called Karar Abd al-Amir al-Shahmani (Abu Asad), whose life is the focus of this post. For the information in this post, I have relied in good part on the testimony of a friend of Karar who runs a page dedicated to him.

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The ISIS Hunters

April 14, 2019 at 1:08 pm

During the Syrian civil war, a number of units have arisen that receive some kind of Russian backing. One of these units is the ISIS Hunters (Sa'idu Da'esh), about which little concrete information exists. Here, I will provide a brief overview of the ISIS Hunters, drawing in part on the testimony of someone I know in the formation.

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Liwa Dhu al-Fiqar: Interview

April 12, 2019 at 5:43 pm

Liwa Dhu al-Fiqar (The Dhu al-Fiqar Brigade) is one of the main Iraqi-led groups formed and based in Syria. Previously I have covered the other factions such as Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib, Liwa al-Imam al-Hussein and the Rapid Intervention Regiment.

To explore Liwa Dhu al-Fiqar and its history further, I interviewed Salam al-Safir, who is the spokesman for Liwa Dhu al-Fiqar and the Syria front official for the Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Forces (led by Sheikh Aws al-Khafaji). This interview was conducted on 9 April 2019. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.

Q: When was Liwa Dhu al-Fiqar formed and what is its origin exactly? Was it part of Liwa Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas originally?

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Announcement: The Islamic State Archives

April 11, 2019 at 6:07 am

Over the past few years, I collected thousands of internal Islamic State documents from the ground in Syria in particular. These documents capture what was likely a unique historical moment, when the Islamic State enjoyed the height of its success as a state project in the form of territorial control and governance in Iraq and Syria. For the purposes of the historical record, it is my aim to present the documents I collected to researchers and the wider public, complete with translations and analysis. I have always believed in transparently presenting the original source material (rather than presenting only select excerpts as often happens) so that readers can also form their own judgements and analyses.

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Hashd Formations of Ninawa: Interview with Nawader Shammar

April 6, 2019 at 12:19 pm

In Ninawa province in northern Iraq, a conventional distinction is drawn between the Hashd Sha'abi and the 'tribal Hashd'. In general, the former comprises more familiar Hashd formations with registered brigade numbers on the Hashd Sha'abi Commission, while the latter consists of smaller groups defined by regiment numbers. However, it should be noted that most 'tribal Hashd' formations have a connection with the Hashd Sha'abi Commission.

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