Jawad al-Tamimi traces the transformation of a "moderate" Islamist, ostensibly pro-democracy Syrian militia into an affiliate of ISIS (see below), a process that necessitated a change in logo. Can you tell which is which?
Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a Middle East Forum research fellow, writes extensively about the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) and other armed groups in Syria and Iraq. As his writings and translations tend to be too detailed for a general readership, we periodically compile links and summaries for those wishing to learn about the groundbreaking work of this prolific researcher.
For more general interest writings by Jawad al-Tamimi, click here.
Overview of Some Pro-Assad Militias (Sep. 1)
An in-depth examination of five pro-regime Syrian militias not yet profiled by the author (see his previous profiles of the Muqawama Suriya, the Coastal Shield Brigade and Dir' al-Watan). They are Liwa Suqur al-Quneitra, based in regime-held parts of Quneitra governorate; Liwa al-Quds, a Palestinian militia operating in the Aleppo area; Jaysh al-Tahrir al-Falastini, a Palestinian militia that has fought on numerous fronts; Nusur al-Zawba'a, the militia of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP); and Katibat al-Jabal (The Mountain Battalion), a primarily defensive militia in Latakia province.
The Assassination of Sheikh Abu Fahad al-Bal'ous: Context and Analysis (Sep. 5)
Jawad al-Tamimi examines the September 4 assassination of Sheikh Abu Fahad Waheed al-Bal'ous, a Druze militia leader he characterizes as having been "critical of the regime but not desiring to overthrow it." The killing came in the wake of anti-corruption protests in predominantly Druze Suwayda province targeting its pro-regime governor.
Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa: History, Analysis & Interview (Sep. 14)
An in-depth study of Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, a Syrian Sunni nationalist militia that formed in Raqqa province in 2012. After being expelled from Raqqa city by IS in early 2014, Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa moved into the countryside and became "an uneasy, junior partner" of the Kurdish YPG militia.
Examination of Liwa Shuhada' al-Yarmouk, a Syrian Sunni militia operating primarily in southwest Deraa province. Jawad al-Tamimi traces its evolution from a moderate religious-nationalist force nominally advocating democracy in 2012 to an affiliate of IS today.
Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar's Allegiance to Jabhat al-Nusra (Sep. 27)
Translation and analysis of a statement from Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar ("Army of the Emigrants and the Helpers"), a jihadist group in Syria linked to the Caucasus Emirate, pledging allegiance to Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda.
An Islamic State fatwa
An Islamic State fatwa
Jawad al-Tamimi examines the system by which IS grants repentance (tawba) to former police officers, civil servants, ex-members of rival militias, and others in areas it takes over militarily. In addition to enabling IS to coopt the personnel of existing institutions, there is a financial benefit, as IS charges exorbitant fees for undergoing the process of reeducation. Includes translation of testimony by pro-IS source Omar Fawaz of Mosul.
Unseen Islamic State Fatwas on Jihad and Sabaya (Sep. 25)
An extraordinary collection of 27 IS fatwa translations, hitherto unavailable in English. They cover subjects ranging from spoils of war ("the mujahid who seizes them is to take them or be recompensed in the event that [IS] needs them") to fleeing from battle ("it is forbidden to flee from the ranks except [when] maneuvering for fighting [or] joining another contingent."). A must-read for anyone researching IS.