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

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog

Guest Post: 'The End of the Life of the Daraweesh'

In late November, Russian air-strikes in the area of north Idlib countryside killed two people from the remaining original inhabitants of the Jabal al-Summaq area (who are originally Druze but were forced many years ago to declare conversion to Sunni Islam, first by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham and then by Jabhat al-Nusra). The two martyrs are Aymenn al-Qouda from the village of Kafr Maris and Ibrahim Najdo from the village of Taltita. While it is important to document the oppression that the remaining original inhabitants of Jabal al-Summaq have suffered at the hands of armed groups, it is also important to document civilian deaths from airstrikes and not think of those killed as mere statistics. In this new guest post, my friend 'Odoacer' of the village Qalb Lawze in Jabal al-Summaq documents the lives of Aymenn al-Qouda and Ibrahim Najdo, whom he refers to as 'daraweesh' (a term for poor people with simple and innocent means of living).

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By  |  Mon, December 6, 2021 9:48 AM  |  Permalink

Guest Post: 'View of Idlib's Ruins for 2022'

I have previously featured a number of guest posts from writers inside Syria. One of these contributors is my friend 'Odoacer' from the village of Qalb Lawze in north Idlib countryside. In this guest post I have translated below, 'Odoacer' provides an overview of the historical ruins of Idlib and the damage of plunder and smuggling to which they have been exposed:

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By  |  Wed, December 1, 2021 11:24 AM  |  Permalink

مقابلة مع الاعلامي <<محمود الحموي>>

ظهر خلال الحرب في سوريا عدد من الاعلاميين لتغطية الأحداث ومنهم الاعلامي <<محمود الحموي>> الذي ينحدر من مدينة اللطامنة بريف حماه الشمالي وهو نازح في مناطق شمال سوريا تحت سيطرة الفصائل حالياً. تابع قناته على يوتيوب هنا وحسابه على تويتر هنا. وفيما يلي مقابلة اجريتها معه في الفترة الأخيرة:

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By أيمن جواد التميمي  |  Tue, November 23, 2021 11:39 AM  |  Permalink

Interview with 'Mahmoud al-Hamawi': Activist from al-Latamina in North Hama

Over the course of the war in Syria, a number of media activists on the ground have emerged to cover the events. One such activist is 'Mahmoud al-Hamawi,' who originates from the town of al-Latamina in north Hama countryside. He is currently displaced in the insurgent-held areas of northern Syria. Follow his current Youtube channel here and his current Twitter account here. Below is an interview I recently conducted with him.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Tue, November 23, 2021 11:07 AM  |  Permalink

Islamic State Claims Suicide Bombings in Uganda

While the Islamic State's 'Central Africa Province' has primarily been associated with operations in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the group's operations have expanded eastward from the DRC into Uganda, which in fact is the ultimate origin of the Islamic State-affiliated insurgency in the DRC, as the insurgency grew out of the majority faction within the so-called 'Allied Democratic Forces' that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. To all African governments: I advise you for the sake of clarity to stop calling Islamic State insurgencies by the names of the groups in which they originated.

Below are today's suicide bombing claims by the Islamic State, translated by me:

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Tue, November 16, 2021 5:50 PM  |  Permalink

Reactions to the Attempted Assassination of Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi

Overnight there were reports of an attempt to assassinate Iraq's prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi via a drone strike. The capabilities displayed in this attack seem to suggest that it was unlikely the Islamic State was involved. Given Kadhimi's tensions with some of the pro-Iranian factions, there are suspicions that one of them could be behind the attack. That said, figures from the main pro-Iranian factions with political influence have largely condemned the attack so far, as has Iran. A somewhat different tone is struck by 'Abu Ali al-Askary,' who is reportedly a leading official in Kata'ib Hezbollah. It is certainly possible that one of the newer brands of pro-Iranian armed groups that claim attacks on U.S. forces in the country and have murky relations with the 'mainstream' factions and Iran are behind the assassination attempt. It seems unlikely though that any group will claim the attack.

Below are some notable reactions to the attack with translation (the post will be updated as necessary).

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sun, November 7, 2021 6:08 AM  |  Permalink

Islamic State Infographic on One Month of Operations in 'Khorasan Province'

While the Islamic State's affiliate in 'Khorasan Province' (primarily based in Afghanistan but also encompassing some border areas with Pakistan at least, if not the entirety of Pakistan now, as I note the last operation claimed in the name of 'Pakistan Province' was in August) did not capitalise on the collapse of the previous Afghan government to seize large amounts of territory, the group has proven to be a security problem for the country's new Taliban government. This week's issue of the Islamic State's al-Naba newsletter features an infographic on a month of operations in 'Khorasan Province' (October-November 2021). Below is the infographic translated.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Fri, November 5, 2021 10:34 AM  |  Permalink

The Life of Abu Rayana al-Britani: British-Born Member of the Islamic State in Yemen

The Islamic State's affiliate in Yemen is one of the group's least successful enterprises around the world. Even so, there has been the occasional report of a foreigner in the Yemen affiliate's ranks. It would seem though that to the extent that there are foreigners in the group's ranks, they are primarily drawn from foreign refugees in Yemen (e.g. the Somali refugee community) or other foreigners with Yemeni roots. The latter is the case for one 'Abu Rayana al-Britani,' a 'martyred' military commander of the Islamic State's Yemen affiliate profiled in this week's issue of the group's newsletter al-Naba'. Abu Rayana, as it turns out, was born in Britain to a family with roots in Dhali' governorate in south Yemen. Early in his life, he was involved in the gangs and had criminal convictions. However, he felt anger at the 'Crusaders' for the invasion of Islam and eventually became religious, travelling to Dammaj (which was a centre of Salafism in northern Yemen) and studying Arabic and Shari'i sciences.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Fri, November 5, 2021 10:11 AM  |  Permalink

Islamic State Editorial on Foreign Fighters in Northwest Syria

Recently there have been tensions between Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and some of the small foreign-fighter-led groups based in the Jabal al-Turkoman area of northeast Latakia province. These groups are officially 'independent' but HTS accuses them of harbouring criminal and extremist elements. For critics of HTS, these accusations are a mere pretext to dismantle independent jihadist groups as part of implementing the wider Turkish-Russian project for the region, while eliminating foreign fighters from the northwest region in general. The Islamic State editorial issued this week in its al-Naba' newsletter pushes this line and says its leaders warned about the threat posed to the foreign fighters years ago.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Fri, October 29, 2021 8:16 PM  |  Permalink

Saraya Qasioun Claims Damascus Bombing

Saraya Qasioun ('Squadrons of Qasioun'- referring to Mt. Qasioun) is an insurgent group operating in the Damascus area that has occasionally claimed attacks on Syrian government forces (see interview I did with the group here). The group has issued a claim of responsibility for the bus bombing attack today in Damascus that killed at least a dozen Syrian military personnel. Statement and translation below:

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Wed, October 20, 2021 1:34 PM  |  Permalink

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