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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

The Life of Abu Hamza Tawheed of Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed

August 19, 2017 at 7:11 am

Previously I wrote on the life of Abu Qasura Kanakari, a security judge in Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed. This post details the life of another figure in Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed who was originally from outside the Yarmouk Basin: Abu Hamza Tawheed, also known by the kunyas of Abu Hamza (al-)Ghadeer and Abu Hamza al-Kawm(a). For this biography, I am largely reliant in the period before he migrated to the Yarmouk Basin on the testimony relayed to me by a friend in Abu Hamza Tawheed's home village of Ghadeer al-Bustan in Quneitra province. This friend studied together with Abu Hamza Tawheed in school and served in a rebel battalion under his command, but lost direct contact with him after Abu Hamza Tawheed's migration, though did continue to receive information regarding his situation. More sources are available for the period after his migration.

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The Life of Abu Qasura Kanakari of Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed

August 12, 2017 at 12:51 pm

To recall, Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed is the Islamic State (IS)-linked organization based in the Yarmouk Basin of southwest Deraa province on the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In light of the importance of clans in Deraa, it may be tempting simply to equate Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed with the clans of the Yarmouk Basin. Indeed, the initial roots of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade- the largest constituent group that came to form Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed in May 2016- lie in the land-owning al-Baridi clan of the Yarmouk Basin.

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Suqur al-Furat: A Pro-Assad Sha'itat Tribal Militia

August 10, 2017 at 9:24 am

In my profile of Quwat Muqatili al-Asha'ir (Forces of the Fighters of the Tribes), a militia affiliated with the military intelligence and promoted by Russia, I noted that the group and similar tribal militias would likely come to greater prominence with the regime offensives to push eastwards and claim areas of Raqqa, Homs and Deir az-Zor provinces from the shrinking Islamic State. Sure enough, Quwat Muqatili al-Asha'ir, under Turki Albu Hamad, who is originally from Raqqa province, has played a notable role in the regime's current offensive in the south Raqqa countryside. Further to the south in the Homs desert, the appearance of Suqur al-Furat (Falcons of the Euphrates) is another case of the rise of tribal militias as the regime and its allies seek to retake areas where the concept of the tribe plays an important part in society.

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Jihad Wins in Idlib

August 10, 2017  •  Foreign Affairs

Most media coverage of Syria focuses on two aspects of the country's civil war: first, the campaign against the Islamic State (or ISIS) in northeastern Syria—including the battle by U.S.-backed Syrian forces to retake ISIS' de facto capital, Raqqa—and second, the broader Russian involvement in the country.

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Syria: Assessing the CIA Program

August 7, 2017  •  American Spectator

Recent news of the Trump administration's decision to end the CIA program of assistance to select Syrian rebel groups has sparked debate about the decision-making process and its soundness. In a report for the Weekly Standard, Thomas Joscelyn highlights that a centerpiece for the discussion was the infamous video from last year featuring members of the Nour al-Din al-Zinki movement, a rebel group with Aleppo origins, beheading a youth accused of fighting for the regime. The group had been a recipient of aid under the CIA's program but was cut off from the program in 2015, likely on account of allegations of criminal behavior and its particularly close working relationship with Syria's al-Qa'ida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. Yet this fact did not stop Trump from demanding to know why the U.S. was backing supposed extremists.

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