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

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Jamaat Ansar al-Islam in Bilad al-Sham: Blessing Jabhat Ansar al-Din (Analysis and Translation)

July 31, 2014 at 8:50 am

Jamaat Ansar al-Islam is a jihadist Iraqi insurgent group that claims to have expanded into Syria at least two years ago under the name "Ansar ul-Sham", supposedly participating from the start in the rebel operations to capture Mannagh airbase, which fell a year ago in an offensive spearheaded by the Islamic State. Ideologically, as I have documented previously, the group aspires to the establishment of a Caliphate, something neatly summarized in this pro-Jamaat Ansar al-Islam graphic. At the same time, it should be emphasized that Jamaat Ansar al-Islam is NOT an al-Qa'ida affiiate, despite its origins in the original al-Qa'ida-linked Ansar al-Islam of Iraqi Kurdistan. This was made most apparent when Jamaat Ansar al-Islam appealed to Aymenn al-Zawahiri in 2013 to restrain what was then Islamic State of Iraq, referred to as "your wing" in Iraq. Also note the group has an ongoing dispute with the Islamic State both in Syria and Iraq.

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Sample of Jaysh al-Mujahideen Iraq Operations: Translation and Analysis

July 30, 2014 at 8:38 am

Iraq's Jaysh al-Mujahideen, as I have documented previously, is a Salafi faction within the Sunni Arab insurgency aspiring to overthrow the central government. Its rhetoric is explicitly anti-Shi'a in nature (contrasting with JRTN's cross-sectarian messaging), regularly disparaging the 'Rafidite' enemy. The group also featured on social media a training camp it runs. Jaysh al-Mujahideen also denied participating in the non-Islamic State insurgent conference in Amman that was attended by representatives from JRTN and the Islamic Army of Iraq, among other groups. This should perhaps not be surprising in light of the group's tensions with the Islamic Army of Iraq in particular.

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Naqshbandi Army Statement- 21 July: Analysis and Translation

July 29, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Intro and Analysis

As per a new project for this site, I am partly turning my blog into a clearing house for important primary source material on the Iraqi insurgency. The first in this series is the latest official statement from the Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshbandia (JRTN or "Naqshbandi Army").

These are the main analytical points to note in relation to this statement:

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Minority Dynamics in Syria

July 29, 2014  •  Syria Comment

With the Syrian civil war well into its fourth year, it is apparent that political and militia dynamics that have developed with Syria's main minorities (in this analysis, excluding the Kurds)- namely, Alawites, Druze and Christians- have largely remained unchanged and if anything have only solidified. With the Alawites and Druze, political and military dynamics are still largely slanted towards the Assad regime, whose perceived protector status has only been enhanced with the large-scale territorial gains of the Islamic State across eastern Syria. For the Christians, the geographic splits that I documented previously have similarly remained in place.

Alawites

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The Factions of Raqqa Province

July 29, 2014  •  Syria Comment

Much has been noted of the presence of the Islamic State in Raqqa province, where the group controls all major urban localities (Raqqa city, Tabqa, Ma'adan, and Tel Abyad), as well as the Kurdish militias just west of Tel Abyad, from which town they were expelled back in August 2013 on account of cooperation between the Islamic State, Ahrar ash-Sham and other local rebels who have since been subdued by the Islamic State. What then of other groups? Broadly, we can distinguish two kinds: pro-regime forces, and a small rebel insurgency fighting against the Islamic State. They are detailed below. Note that I exclude Jabhat al-Nusra as a separate group here because the history of the group's presence has been sufficiently well documented before.

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