ISIS

  • Raqqa Falls. Now Comes the Hard Part

    As the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is driven from its strongholds in Syria, US-backed forces face the challenge of stabilizing these conflict-ravaged territories.

    This task is made more urgent by the fact that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Iran-backed militias are swooping in on eastern Syria in an attempt to capitalize on ISIS’ defeat, said Frederic C. Hof, director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

    “If they succeed, the basis for ISIS 2.0 will be set,” said Hof, adding: “After all, it was the Iranian (and Russian)-supported brutality of the Assad regime that created the governance vacuum filled by ISIS in the first place.”

    The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on October 16 that they had seized control of Raqqa, the de facto capital of...

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  • A Difficult Life in Mosul Post-ISIS

    When the extremist group known as the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) was expelled from the northern city of Mosul, locals there were happy. But now, not so much, says Qassim Badran, a former employee of the local power department. The government stopped paying his salary back in 2014 when the Islamic State, or IS, group, took over the city. Even though the federal government said they would start paying civil servants again—and there are many of these because the Iraqi government is the country’s major employer—no money has arrived for Badran and he’s been busy setting up a small store in his garden, so he can actually make some kind of living.

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  • El-Gamal Quoted in CNBC on Las Vegas Shooter and ISIS


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  • Hellyer in The Globe and Mail: Seeing the Human Side of Islamic State Helps to Defeat Them


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  • Leaderless Jihad

    The bombing of a London District line at the Parsons Green station, falls within a long series of terror attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) in the UK. The most recent spat of violence reflects a reversal of ISIS, from ambitioned state building, to a leaderless Jihad.

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  • Alfoneh Quoted in Aftenposten on ISIS in Syria


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  • Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy Turns Up the Heat on Pakistan

    US President Donald J. Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan effectively puts the onus on Pakistan to end its support for terrorists.

    If this strategy is to succeed, the United States must “adopt a very serious policy toward Pakistan,” said C. Christine Fair, the provost’s distinguished associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.

    In an August 21 speech, Trump said Washington could “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations.”

    “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting... that will have to change,” Trump added.

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  • Thinking About Strategy: Part Three

    Parts one and two of this series discussed the difficulties of officials thinking strategically about Syria, given the policy catastrophe bequeathed to the Trump administration by its predecessor. It then offered a list of outcomes the United States might nevertheless try to achieve. Although seeking nothing is an option, American disengagement would be a roll of the dice.

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  • Who Will Take Deir Ezzor from ISIS?

    Observers are focusing increasing attention on the coming battle for Deir Ezzor, which will come next after the battle for Raqqa, the latter having been launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces on June 6, 2017.

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  • Itani Quoted in Christian Science Monitor on CIA Program in Syria


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