Mona Alami

  • The Superficial Removal of Iranian Troops from Southern Syria

    Much has been said in the last week of a possible Israeli-Russian arrangement in Syria aimed at curbing Iranian presence in strategic areas like the country’s southern border with Israel. Contradictory reports of troop movements in Qusayr by Tehran’s proxy, Hezbollah, do not change geopolitical realities: the militant group is there to primarily protect Iranian security interests, which remain focused on a long- term presence across the borders, even if this translates into possible dissensions with its tactical ally Russia.

    Read More
  • Lebanon’s Elections: Hezbollah in the Driver’s Seat?

    Hezbollah’s emergence as the strongest political faction during the Lebanese May elections confirms Iran’s sway over Lebanon, with the party now capable of securing an unchallenged veto at the parliamentary level and an absolute majority if it secures the right alliances. The recent electoral results also underline Hezbollah’s continued grip over its community despite ongoing governance challenges, and could herald instability for the Land of the Cedar amid escalating regional tensions.

    The May 6 Lebanese elections granted Hezbollah a comfortable majority. “Hezbollah’s block is unwavering since 2009, with thirteen seats for the organization. The main difference is that now, with allies such as the Syrian Nationalist Progressive Party, Amal, the Baathist movement, and the Marada’s advances in parliament (included in the hard March 8 core), the coalition...

    Read More
  • Iran-Israel Proxy War Heats Up in Syria

    On the night of April 29, air strikes targeting Syrian military positions in Hama and Aleppo reportedly hit two Iran-linked bases resulting in a giant explosion measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale. According to a former head of military intelligence, this indicates the target may have been a weapons depot that was highly explosive, stating “the level of explosion that even moved the needle of an earthquake detector is not from the munition that attacked these places, but from the target.”

    Read More
  • The Ongoing Israel-Iran Proxy War in Syria

    The next Israeli confrontation with its neighbors will be markedly different from its previous encounters. Recent military escalation in Syria that resulted in the downing of an Israeli F16 in February, points to new trends that could shape future conflict between Israel and Iran.

    Read More
  • Alami in The Arab Weekly: Incoherent Views Hamper Clear US Policy on Hezbollah


    Read More
  • The Role of Hezbollah Among its Shia Constituents

    Hezbollah’s power and resilience at the Lebanese level is not only derived from its military might and Tehran’s constant backing, but more importantly, from the tireless support of its Lebanese Shia Muslim community base. The allegiance of Lebanese Shia to Hezbollah is widely known to be rooted in the party’s capability to win hearts and minds through its social program and the organization’s nearly forty year struggle against Israel and more recently its “war on terror.” Yet ultimately, what makes the bond between Hezbollah and its base so strong is the feeling among many Shia, within the more popular classes, that Hezbollah’s arsenal guarantees political ascendancy and social mobility within the Lebanese system.

    Read More
  • Alami in Asharq Al-Awsat: The Disruptive Regional Role of Iran’s Ideology


    Read More
  • Alami in The New Arab: Syrian Rebel Losses Do Not Mean Victory for Assad


    Read More
  • Alami in The New Arab: Hizballah's New Alliances on Show in Calculated Media Stunt


    Read More
  • HTS Continues to Evolve

    The arrest, this week, of several prominent jihadists in Syria by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is a third and possibly final chapter in the group’s coup against its mother organization al-Qaeda, one that was recognized in a harsh statement by the latter’s leader, Aymen Zawahiri. The controversial move is one way for HTS to finalize its mainstreaming gambit initiated by its leader in 2016.

    On November 27, chat rooms with HTS supporters reported that two prominent jihadists namely sheikh Sami Uraydi and Abu Julaybib had been arrested after being convened to a meeting by HTS. The arrest appears to have targeted a number of members of the former Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), from which HTS eventually branched out. In August 2016, Nusra was dissolved when the group seceded from its parent organization al-Qaeda and rebranded under the name Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS).

    Read More