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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

A Caliphate under Strain: The Documentary Evidence

April 22, 2016  •  CTC Sentinel

Abstract: Internal Islamic State documents, including documents obtained by the author and published here for the first time, shed new light on how the Islamic State has come under strain as it is degraded by coalition air strikes and loses territory. The internal records make clear these pressures have been felt in the group's military, financial, and administrative domains, forcing it to take measures to react and adapt. But while the so-called Caliphate has come under pressure, there is little prospect of any collapse anytime soon. Populations under Islamic State rule are accustomed to poor living standards, exacerbated by years of civil war, and will likely stomach further decreases in quality of life for the time being rather than rebel and risk a brutal crackdown.

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The Archivist: Unseen Islamic State Military Commanders Manual: Qualities and Manners of the Mujahid Commander

April 11, 2016  •  Jihadology

In keeping with its statehood image, the Islamic State (IS) seeks to present its fighting forces as akin to an organized military, with a bureaucratic department known as the Diwan al-Jund (Soldiers Department) as part of the system of Diwans to cover various aspects of state governance since the declaration of the Caliphate. To be sure, there is still a considerable degree of obscurity as to the nature of organization of the military. From the documentary evidence, names of various battalions have emerged such as the Yarmouk Battalion, the Furqan Brigade, the al-Qa'qaa' battalion, the al-Sadiq Special Battalion. From the battalion names that are known, it would appear that they are wilaya [province] or region specific. For instance, the al-Qa'qaa' battalion seems to be a specific product of the 'Idad al-Fatiheen institute in the town of al-Bab.

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Defections from Harakat al-Muthanna in Deraa: Translation & Analysis

March 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm

In my analysis on the infighting in Deraa province for Jihadology, I noted that although Harakat al-Muthanna al-Islamiya (the Islamic Muthanna Movement- HMI) is actively at war with rebel factions in the western Deraa countryside and is cooperating with the Islamic State [IS]-linked Liwa Shuhada' al-Yarmouk (Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade- LSY) in this regard, there have been no indications of infighting further east between the Deraa al-Balad (southern Deraa city) HMI contingent and rebel forces, as the contingent in the city pledged only to fight the regime. In addition, I speculated that perhaps we would see a fragmenting of HMI between the western and eastern halves.

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Analysis: The Retaking of Palmyra from the Islamic State

March 28, 2016  •  The Daily Beast

The retaking of the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State (ISIS) by the Syrian regime backed with intense Russian airpower is predictably being hailed as a victory over terrorism. Symbolically, of course, the recapture of Palmyra allows for the regime and Russia to portray themselves as the defenders of civilization over barbarism, as ISIS had destroyed some of the most archaeological sites in the area last year. But what do the events tell us about Russia's broader approach towards ISIS? What may unfold in the aftermath of Palmyra's recapture?

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The Fitna in Deraa and the Islamic State Angle

March 26, 2016  •  Jihadology

International attention has justifiably focused on the recent Islamic State [IS] attacks in Brussels, but at the same time within Syria the most intense round of infighting among rebel factions in the southern province of Deraa has broken out. This fighting is said to be tied to the existence of IS cells and affiliates in Deraa, though IS itself has not said anything about the events on its official media channels, and to date there is no wilayat Deraa ('Deraa province') declared in the area. So who are the groups involved? And how far are they connected to IS if at all?

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