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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

Jabhat Fatah al-Sham removes Jund al-Aqsa from its ranks

January 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Jund al-Aqsa ("Soldiers of al-Aqsa," referring to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem) is a jihadi group that was first set up in 2013 and primarily operates in Idlib and Hama provinces in northwestern Syria. Though it has publicly made clear its ideological alignment with al-Qa'ida, its hardline conduct in dealing with other Syrian rebel factions means that it is often accused of being secretly in league with the Islamic State. It is certainly true that the rank and file has had Islamic State sympathizers, at least some of whom have formally joined the Islamic State. Once a valued member of the Jaysh al-Fatah coalition set up in 2015 that drove out the regime from most of Idlib province, Jund al-Aqsa finds itself widely disliked among the Syrian insurgency, most notably clashing with Ahrar al-Sham, with a round of clashes occurring in October 2016 and now this month again.

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Black Syrians: The Case Of The Yarmouk Basin

January 19, 2017 at 8:21 pm

The existence of people in some parts of the Middle East to the north of the Arabian Peninsula (i.e. to the north of Saudi Arabia) who are ethnically black but Arab in culture and language has been documented in wider media to a certain extent. For example, in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra, a considerable population of such black people can be found, thought to be descended from slaves brought to the area from Africa during past centuries. Known by the Arabic terms zanji or 'abd (plurals zanj and 'abid respectively- the latter considered more derogatory with the connotations of slavery), black Iraqis have suffered problems of discrimination at the hands of their lighter-skinned compatriots.

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Liwa Al-Jabal: A New Loyalist Militia Unity Initiative In Suwayda'

January 19, 2017  •  Syria Comment

Emblem of Liwa al-Jabal.

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Quwat Dir' Al-Qalamoun: Shifting Militia Links

January 17, 2017  •  Syria Comment

Emblem of Quwat Dir' al-Qalamoun. The emblem includes a Qur'an quotation: "If God supports you, no one can overcome you" [3:160].

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"Kindle the fire with the sword"- New nasheed from Ajnad Media

January 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Ajnad Media is the Islamic State's media wing that produces Arabic-language nasheeds and recitations of sections of the Qur'an. The outlet released a new nasheed yesterday. The content of the nasheed is very generic in nature and echoes many prior themes in Islamic State nasheeds. I have provided a preliminary translation of the nasheed below, and have given some explanation of phrases that might seem obscure or odd at first sight.

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