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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

Interview with al-Hajj Muhammad Ja'afar of Dir' al-Watan

May 24, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Readers will probably remember that I have written about the Russian-backed V Corps affiliate Dir' al-Watan (Homeland Shield) multiple times. The group has been in existence for more than a year now under the leadership of al-Hajj Muhammad Ja'afar, who is from the Lebanese town of [al-]Qasr in the north Beqaa on the border with Syria. Speaking from Damascus, al-Hajj Muhammad Ja'afar discussed his group and the situation in Syria and Lebanon in an interview with me, as transcribed below with very minor editing and explanations in square brackets for clarity.

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Reconciliation in Syria: The case of Beit Jann

May 22, 2018  •  Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis

The Syrian government has now cleared Damascus and Damascus countryside of insurgents and the Islamic State. Therefore the government's control of the country's most important center of power can no longer be challenged by its rivals.

Many areas in Damascus and its countryside have been brought back under government control through "reconciliation" agreements. One may be inclined to turn one's attention away from these areas since there are no longer reports of battles and airstrikes coming from them that make for "interesting" news and updates.

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Preface to the Panegyric to Emperor Majorian by Sidonius Apollinaris (Arabic translation)

May 18, 2018 at 9:50 am

For Arabic translation and commentary, please follow the link.

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Iran in Syria: "Cognitive Empathy" and Interests

May 13, 2018  •  Syria Comment

How should Iran's intentions in Syria be understood? The question is all the more relevant in light of the recent exchange of missile fire on the border between the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Syria. Writing in The Intercept back in March 2018, Robert Wright argued that DC think-tanks "warp our vision" and prevent us from applying "cognitive empathy" when it comes to Iranian intentions in Syria in particular. By "cognitive empathy," Wright means understanding how a particular side thinks about a situation and why it acts in certain ways in that situation.

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Members of Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed from East Deraa Countryside

May 5, 2018 at 11:31 am

Previous writings have explored the lives of a number of deceased and living members of the Islamic State affiliate Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed that is located in the Yarmouk Basin. So far, those profiles have not documented individuals with origins from the east Deraa countryside (i.e. the area of rebel-held territory in Deraa province east of the strip of government-controlled territory running down the centre of the province). This post looks into two individuals of Jaysh Khalid bin al-Waleed from an east Deraa countryside town called al-Karak al-Sharqi: Abu Hussein al-Karaki and Abu Yahya al-Karaki. As far as is known, they are the only two people from the town who joined the group.

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