[Editorial Note: This is not a "best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series]
The men saving Syria’s treasures from Isis (22 September 2015) Jeremy Bowen reports a ”remarkable group of archaeologists are battling to save the country’s ancient artefacts”.
3 AK-47-wielding women reportedly decimate ISIS militants (23 September 2015) A trio of women has formed an all-female fighting force to seek revenge on ISIS for atrocities committed against Yazidi women in Iraq, and it has reportedly been decimating the enemy recently.
ISIS put signatures notebook at the mosques (28 September 2015) ISIS published a decree for Raqqa’s mosques and its countryside which says that the prayers must sign on the notebook after Alesha’a prayer and Aldohr prayer daily with the letter (A) as attended and then the Imam “leader of the prayers at the mosque” appointed by ISIS will be in charge of that notebook.
`They are barbarians`: meet the man defending Syria`s heritage from Isis (29 September 2015) “Maamoun Abdulkarim is tasked with protecting Syrian antiquities, but as the fighting continues he fears more sites and artefacts could be lost forever”
Refugee artists on mission to spread awareness of lost Syrian heritage (29 September 2015) Mahmoud Hariri, a young Syrian refugee, reacted to Daesh’s destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria by creating a piece of art depicting the ancient site. His work was then displayed alongside others at Zaatari, Jordan’s largest refugee camp.
ISIS wages war: Hundreds of jihadis desert the terror group for rival factions after becoming disillusioned when their pay was cut (29 September 2015) Hundreds of jihadis are leaving Islamic State for other extremist organizations after being forced to take a pay cut of almost two hundred pound by chiefs, it was claimed on 28 September 2015.
Syria rebels proclaim unity against Russian fire (6 October 2015) As Russian airstrikes escalate the conflict, non-ISIS Syrian rebels call for a united front and more help from allies.
Russia’s giving ISIS an air force (8 October 2015) “Putin’s air campaign in Syria is not only supporting Assad, it’s giving cover to fighters from the so-called Islamic State.”
Russia just handed ISIS a `big win` in Syria`s largest city (9 October 2015) “ISIS militants seized five villages on the northern edge of Aleppo, putting them within 1 mile of territory held by the Syrian regime.”
Syrian rebels decry Russian airstrikes: `we have not had Isis here in over a year` (11 October 2015) Residents in areas hit by Russian airstrikes describe widespread destruction of civic buildings and housing while the Free Syrian Army largely shelters itself.
Should the U.S. cooperate with Russia on Syria and ISIS? (12 October 2015) A collaborative approach may be the most influential in Syria, with chaos on the rise.
Dozens of ISIS sex slaves have killed themselves to escape rape and torture (13 October 2015) Dozens of Yazidi girls have been driven to suicide by the ISIS fighters who abused them, the people risking their own lives to rescue them have revealed.
`Jihadi John made me tango dance with him and then beat me`: Freed Isis hostage describes torture (17 October 2015) A former Isis hostage held with Alan Henning and James Foley has described how their murderer, “Jihadi John,” forced him to dance the tango as part of a regime of torture and humiliation.
Canada to withdraw fighter jets from Iraq and Syria (20 October 2015) New Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tells Barack Obama his nation will no longer provide jets for the fight against ISIS.
Overextension by the Kurds will only benefit ISIL (25 October 2015) Hassan Hassan on the implications of a Kurdish led offensive in Raqqa. ISIL has turned to low-scale attacks in vulnerable or less strategic areas to avoid air attacks.
ISIS Captives Say They Faced Blade as Rescue Came (27 October 2015) Muhammad Hassan Abdullah al-Jibouri was rescued from an Islamic State prison last week, while his wife and son are still trapped in Hawija, Iraq.
The Military Escalation in Iraq and Syria (28 October 2015) Frustrated by the resilience of ISIS, the Obama administration is taking steps to expand a military campaign that remains untethered to any coherent strategy. Instead of challenging an escalation of American military forces in the Syrian war, several prominent members of Congress are irresponsibly demanding even more hawkish approaches.
Obama orders US special forces to `assist` fight against Isis in Syria (30 October 2015) Barack Obama has ordered up to fifty special operations troops to Syria, US officials announced on Friday 30 October 2015, in an apparent breach of a promise not to put US “boots on the ground” to fight Islamic State militants in the country.
Obama to Send Special Operations Forces to Syria to Help Fight ISIS (30 October 2015) President Obama will deploy a small number of US Special Operations Forces to Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria, a US official said on 30 October 2015.
Islamic State group advances in central Syria, capturing town near highway to Damascus (1 November 2015) ISIS is advancing in central Syria, seizing control of a town that lies near a highway leading to the capital, Damascus, and attacking another, activists and the group said onn 1 November 2015.
New U.S.-Backed Alliance to Counter ISIS in Syria Falters (2 November 2015) American officials announced a new effort to equip newly named ground forces in Syria to fight the jihadists. But ten days of interviews and frontline visits across northern Syria with many of the forces in the alliance made clear that so far it exists in name only, and that the political and logistical challenges it faces are daunting.
Russia Now Has 4,000 People in Syria — And They`re Not in a Rush to Fight the Islamic State (5 November 2015) According to Avi Asher-Schapiro, the Russian presence in Syria has grown to nearly four thousand personnel—including military and civilian support staff—a sign that Russian President Vladamir Putin is digging in long term to prop up the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad.
Why is Russia bombing my town? (6 November 2015) Raed Fares writes: "Americans should not be so passive in the face of Putin’s farcical anti-Islamic State campaign. Kafranbel’s thriving civil society is in many ways modeled after that of the United States, and in some cases has even received U.S. funding."
Anti-ISIL air strikes are in need of greater guidance (8 November 2015) Two foreign-led coalitions take turns in bombing areas under ISIS control and civilians are expected to tell the difference, Hassan Hassan reports.
Syria crisis: UK `letting down` allies over air strikes (8 November 2015) The United Kingdom is "letting down" its allies by failing to launch air strikes in Syria against the terrorist group ISIS, says Britain`s top military commander.
Syrian forces break 2-year ISIS siege on air base (10 November 2015) Syrian government forces broke a siege imposed since 2013 by ISIS on Kweiras, the military air base in the northern province of Aleppo.
Lebanon holds day of mourning after deadly Beirut blasts (13 November 2015) ISIS militant group says it was behind the attacks in Burj al-Barajneh, a mainly Shia southern suburb and Hezbollah stronghold.
IS video threatens attacks in Russia (12 November 2015) ISIS has released a video threatening attacks in Russia "very soon" in revenge for Russian bombing in Syria, the SITE monitoring group said on Thursday (12 November 2015), and the Kremlin said Russian state security services would study the material.
The ruins of Kobane (13 November 2015) The ruins of Kobane says a lot about the destruction of Syria and the five-year conflict.
Attacks in Paris Add Urgency to Talks on Ending Syria War (14 November 2015) The top diplomats from more than a dozen countries agreed Saturday to press forward on an ambitious timetable to engineer a political transition and ceasefire in Syria, but remained deeply divided on major issues after a round of talks that gained intensity following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
My people’s deaths in Beirut do not matter as much as my other people’s deaths in Paris (14 November 2015) On Saturday the world woke up to tragedy. Carnage in Beirut and Paris. In what seems to have been the work of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in both cities, hundreds were killed, hundreds of others wounded, maimed and scarred. The world has condemned the attacks. But in typical fashion- the condemnation and outrage towards the attacks have been asymmetrical, unequal. Joey Ayoub writes from Beirut on how, like life, some deaths matter more than others.
Why our conversations about Paris have been broken from the start (14 November 2015) Zoe Samudzi writes that the rush to fit the horrors of Paris into convenient neo-imperial narratives shows a disturbing lack of empathy.
Why ISIS would attack Paris, according to an expert (14 November 2015) If ISIS was telling the truth when it claimed responsibility for Friday`s Paris terror attacks, then this represents a "major shift in ISIS`s global strategy," according to Will McCants.
Libya IS head `killed in US air strike` (14 November 2015) A US air strike has targeted the leader of the ISIS group in Libya Iraqi national Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi, and probably killed him, the Pentagon said on Saturday 14 November 2015.
We must destroy Isis but not play into their hands – the wrong response would create countless new recruits (14 November 2015) Sunny Hundal agrees with Hollande that response to Isis must be “merciless," but Hundal says that such response must also be strategic so "we don’t fall into their trap."
Paris Gunmen Single Out François Hollande, and Leave Him With Few Palatable Responses (14 November 2015) For the second time this year, France has found itself singled out for calculated terrorist attacks that have at once stunned and united the country. But perhaps no one was singled out by Friday’s carnage more than the nation’s leader, President François Hollande.
Supporting France, Obama Loath to Add Troops to ISIS Fight (15 November 2015) President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met face-to-face here on Sunday (15 November 2015), broaching once again their longstanding disagreement about how to confront the Islamic State and deal with the civil war in Syria.
French Warplanes Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria (15 November 2015) French warplanes struck ISIS militants in Syria on Sunday (15 November 2015), a French government official said, two days after attackers linked to the terrorist group carried out a coordinated assault on Paris that killed 129 people.
Manuel Valls: France must ‘annihilate’ ISIS (15 November 2015) Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday that France needed to scale up military operations in Syria in order to “annihilate” the Islamic State group, a day after assailants killed 129 people in the worst-ever terrorist attack on French soil.
Hillary Clinton Takes a More Defined Stance on ISIS (15 November 2015) The day after a debate in which Democratic presidential candidates tangled over the causes of ISIS terrorism but not how to confront it, Hillary Rodham Clinton offered a more forward-looking view of American leadership in response to the threat.
Iraq: Yazidi mass grave discovered in Sinjar (15 November 2015) A mass grave believed to contain the remains of more than seventy members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority was discovered east of Sinjar town after Kurdish forces claimed victory over ISIS militants in the area, the mayor and locals have said.
Paris Attacks: How Great Are the Terror Dangers Posed by Refugees? (16 November 2015) It has now been confirmed that one of the Paris suicide bombers reached Europe disguised as a refugee. Security officials had long felt that such a scenario was unlikely. How big is the risk?
ISIS-held town rocked by popular unrest: activists (16 November 2015) Residents of Manbij, in Aleppo, have reportedly held a series of protests against ISIS rule.
I was held hostage by Isis. They fear our unity more than our airstrikes (16 November 2015) Nicolas Hénin writes that in Syria he learned that ISIS longs to provoke retaliation and thus we should not fall into the trap.
Anonymous hackers declare war on Islamic State after Paris attacks (16 November 2015) Anonymous, a loose-knit international network of activist hackers, is preparing to unleash waves of cyber attacks on Islamic State following the attacks in Paris last week that killed 129 people, a self-described member said in a video.
Syrians in Raqqa fear new warplanes in crowded skies (16 November 2015) Syrians living under ISIS rule in its de facto capital of Raqqa fear they will pay the price for the group`s Paris attacks with more air strikes.
Islamic State threatens attack on Washington, other countries (16 November 2015) ISIS in a new video on Monday (16 November 2105) that countries taking part in airstrikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington.
Syrians in Raqqa tell of `insane nights` of air strikes (17 November 2015) “Activists say abandoned ISIL bases hit in city suburbs with no civilians or fighters as France carries out air strikes.”
Will Paris Attacks Prompt U.S. Boots on Ground? (17 November 2015) The likelihood of a switch in US strategy to send soldiers to wage ground war against the Islamic State is unlikely.
This is no World War III – ISIS is still weak (18 November 2015) Chris Doyle argues that: "despite all the overblown rhetoric about World War III and existential threats, ISIS is weak and those arrayed against it are strong when united and determined."
Obama`s drone war a `recruitment tool` for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers (18 November 2015) Four former service members – including three sensor operators – issue plea to rethink current airstrike strategy that has “fueled feelings of hatred” toward the United States.
Information minister of the Islamic State killed in U.S. strike near Ramadi (18 November 2015) The Information Minister in the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) was reportedly killed in an airstrike by the US-led coalition on the group’s headquarters in Iraq’s Ramadi, west of Anbar.
Hillary Clinton Goes Beyond President Obama in Plan to Defeat ISIS (19 November 2015) Hillary Clinton called for accelerating the American-led operation to defeat ISIS, going well beyond what President Obama has proposed by urging a no-fly zone with coalition forces to protect Syrians, more airstrikes and an expanded deployment of special operations troops to assist local ground forces.
The Young Women Standing Up to Extremism in the Middle East (19 November 2015) This article shows examples of grassroots activism of young women from the Middle East region who are fighting extremism and building democracy.
Syrian refugees shunned by some in U.S. after attacks in Paris (19 November 2015) More than half the US governors – twenty-seven states -- say they oppose letting Syrian refugees into their states, although the final say on this contentious immigration issue will fall to the federal government.
Is defeating the Islamic State impossible? (19 November 2015) According to Ali Hashem “The Islamic State`s stringing together of religion, power and modernity of sorts is a tough knot to untie.”
It’s not just the Islamic State. Other terror groups surge in West Africa. (20 November 2015) “There had been a dramatic surge in the Nigerian group`s violence in 2014, with the number of deaths caused by the group surging by 317 percent to 6,644. Meanwhile, the ISIS rose to 6,073 deaths. Together, the two group accounted for more than half of the terror-related deaths in the world.”
Syria’s only hope of peace is if Assad is removed (20 November 2015) If Russia abandons its support for the regime, it will find a political opposition ready to defeat ISIS and create a democratic Syria.
Islamic State Authorities Ban Syrian Banknotes (20 November 2015) “ISIS has banned the use of newly pressed 500 and 1,000 Syrian pound notes, and while some residents fear this could be the beginning of a currency switch throughout the jihadist-controlled territory, others told Syria Deeply it`s a ploy by the upper echelon of ISIS to make a quick buck.”
Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It (20 November 2015) Kamel Daoud argues that "Saudi Arabia is a Daesh that has made it," and sees ISIS and Saudi Arabia as two faces for one coin.
ISIS Women and Enforcers in Syria Recount Collaboration, Anguish and Escape (21 November 2015) The three Syrian women interviewed for this article, all former members of the ISIS morality police who escaped to Turkey this year, met with a NYtimes reporter in a southern Turkish city for hours of interviews, together and separately, over the course of two multiday visits.
ISIS and Syria: What to Do -- And Not Do -- About It (24 November 2015) Joseph Bahout on the action(s), or inaction, that will pose as the most durable structural solution to the ISIS problem.
John Bolton: To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State (24 November 2015) “Defeating ISIS means restoring power to Assad in Syria.” John Bolton on a strategic objective for defeating ISIS.
Turkish journalists charged over claim that secret services armed Syrian rebels (26 November 2015) “A court in Istanbul has charged two journalists from the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper with spying after they alleged Turkey’s secret services had sent arms to Islamist rebels in Syria.”
Russia must reconsider its role in the fight against ISIL (29 November 2015) Russian’s decision to “intervene on the side of Syria president Bashar Al Assad had a unifying and galvanizing effect for the anti-government forces.”
Israel admits forces operating in war-hit Syria (1 December 2015) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admits that Israeli forces have been operating in Syria, “where the Iran-backed regime is battling rebels including ISIS.”
The Rise of ISIS in Lebanon (2 December 2015) Mona Alami writes that: "According to Salafi sources, dozens of youth from Tripoli have utilized Lebanese networks to join terrorist organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq. The return of some of these fighters, combined with the presence of hardliners within the Syrian refugee population in Lebanon (9 out of 11 people arrested recently were Syrian), may explain the recent escalation of ISIS activity."
Yes, the rebels can defeat Isis - and the UK`s increased involvement in Syria will help (3 December 2015) Hassan Hassan argues that Britain should not exacerbate the situation by merely deploying jets to fly more sorties onto Isis areas. Instead, most of the time and effort should be used to encourage and prop up local forces to fight ISIS.
If Assad is not forced out, Isis never will be (3 December 2015) Kyle Orton writes that extended airstrikes against ISIS are necessary - but they must be packaged with far more support for the opposition.
ISIL is really a revolt by young Muslims against their parents’ generation (3 December 2015) Emma-Kate Symons reviews Olivier Roy`s “third way” of understanding the new globalized jihadism. Roy, a world-renowned specialist of Islam and the geo-politics of the Middle East, believes that “the underlying cause is a deep generational fracture that has sparked an international jihadi movement from France to Tunisia, and Turkey to Saudi Arabia.”
To Crush ISIS, John Kerry Urges Deft Removal of Syria’s Assad (3 December 2015) While American officials say they want to see Mr. Assad leave office, they clearly do not want to have that transition happen too quickly. An abrupt removal of Mr. Assad could create a vacuum in Damascus that the Islamic State (ISIS) would probably try to exploit.
Will an al Qaeda Ally Be a Peacemaker in Syria? (4 December 2015) Colum Lynch and John Hudson report that “World powers are grappling with whether one of Syria’s most successful rebel groups should be invited to peace talks to help build a new government”
Syria conflict: German MPs vote for anti-IS military mission (4 December 2015) Germany`s parliament has voted to send military support to the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria.
Isis is expanding its international reach. That is hardly a sign of weakness (5 December 2015) Hassan Hassan argues that ISIS is not showing any signs of weakness as they continue to expand their international network, contrary to popular belief.
`How I was tortured in a Syrian jail` (5 December 2015) "Farah" was born in Britain but grew up in Syria. Last year, she was arrested by the Syrian government security forces, who accused her of being an opposition activist. She blames Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the torture that followed, and sees him as a bigger menace than Islamic State.
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:بريطانية تروي فصول اعتقالها في أقبية الأسد.. تعذيب يفوق الوصف واغتصاب جماعي
ISIS Praises San Bernardino Attackers; `We Will Not Be Terrorized,` Obama Says (5 December 2015) After news emerged Friday 4 December 2015 that the female shooter in a deadly attack in California had pledged allegiance to ISIS, the extremist group issued a radio bulletin calling Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook "supporters." The group did not claim to have planned or ordered the attack.
Why ISIS Just Loves Profiling (7 December 2015) Maajid Nawaz writes that the “terrorists of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) can always stay two blood-soaked steps ahead of your religious and racial profiles. Watch behavior, not beards and burqas”.
As long as there is an Assad, there will be an Isil - he`ll make sure of it (7 December 2015) David Blair argues that getting rid of Assad will be the key to defeating ISIS in Syria.
What it takes to smuggle information out of IS strongholds in Syria (7 December 2015) Shelly Kittleson reports that "Media activists in Deir ez-Zor face daily death threats by the Islamic State, but the danger is not stopping many of them from documenting what is happening in the Syrian province".
The Arabic version of this article can be found here: ماذا يلزم لتهريب المعلومات من معاقل الدولة الإسلامية في سوريا؟
How ISIS Makes Radicals (8 December 2015) David Brooks argues that after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino the crucial issue “is what you might call the technology of persuasion — how is it that the Islamic State is able to radicalize a couple living in Redlands, Calif.? What psychological tools does it possess that enable it to wield this far-flung influence?”
Assad Regime Cooperating With ISIS to Provide Electricity to Regime-held Areas (8 December 2015) Security sources reveal the Assad regime dispatched a technical team to ISIS-held areas of Deir-ez-Zor province to repair a crucial gas pipeline.
In Raqqa, a spate of Islamic State executions of women raises questions about why (9 December 2015) Ammar Hamou and Maria Nelson report on the execution of Ruqia Hassan, a female citizen journalist by ISIS in Raqqa. “Ruqia Hassan was the fifth journalist to report on the Islamic State reported killed since October, as those who dare to speak out against IS policies continue to find themselves targeted both inside and outside Syria.”
ISIS issues fatwa to exterminate disabled children, 38 cases of babies killed through lethal injection or suffocation (14 December 2015) According to recent reports, IS has issued a fatwa to “kill newborn babies with Down syndrome and congenital deformities and disabled children.”
Uproar Over Syria Refugees Perfect ‘ISIS Propaganda’ (17 December 2015) As controversy continues in the United States around the resettlement of Syrian refugees, Syria Deeply asked a former US ambassador to Syria to help us make sense of the United States` stance toward refugees coming from the war-torn country and whether or not increased restrictions serve American interests.
Some Are Wives for “Muhajirs”, Others Get Whipped … Tales of Women from Deir ez Zor! (18 December 2015) Adel Al-Ayed writes, "If a woman wears a colorful pair of shoes in Deir ez Zor, this is enough to irritate ISIS Hisbah (‘accountability’) enforcement members and have them punish her."
Pennsylvania Teen Arrested for Allegedly Trying to Help ISIS (18 December 2015) A Pennsylvania nineteen-year-old has been arrested on charges he attempted to provide support to IS.
Fact Check: Did Obama Withdraw From Iraq Too Soon, Allowing ISIS To Grow? (19 December 2015) Alice Fordham breaks down Republican candidates’ talk about IS, such as Jeb Bush`s claim that IS is President Obama`s fault because he withdrew troops from Iraq in 2011 when he should have kept them there to keep a lid on the insurgency.
Behind the Black Flag: The Recruitment of an ISIS Killer (20 December 2015) Since the Syrian rebel leader Hassan Aboud joined IS, taking with him fighters and weapons, he has been behind a sprawling mix of battlefield action and crime.
Syria war: Third of rebels share IS aims, report claims (20 December 2015) About a third of rebel groups in Syria—some one hundred thousand fighters—share the ideology of Islamic State, new research suggests.
Two Years an ISIS Slave (22 December 2015) Newly arrived in Turkey, a native son of eastern Syria recounts why his town surrendered to the terror group and why it now wishes it never had.
U.S. facing `unprecedented threat environment` in wake of ISIS` rise (23 December 2015) IS now is the top national security problem for US authorities. Part of the solution for US officials has been to arrest suspects even if there is not enough proof of terrorist plots.
Evacuation of Damascus militants delayed after rebel leader killed (26 December 2015) UN-brokered deal to evacuate more than two thousand Islamic State (IS) fighters and other militants from rebel-held suburbs of Damascus on Saturday has been delayed after the killing of an insurgent leader, an organization that monitors the Syrian war said.
ISIS leader purportedly tells fighters: `You are on the right path` (26 December 2015) An audio message appears on IS-affiliated social media claiming to be from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The message says, "Soldiers of the Islamic State be patient because you are on the right path." The recording is released as Iraq`s military says it is gaining more ground in fight against IS.
Kurdish Fighters Battling for Control of Syria Dam (27 December 2015) US-backed Kurdish militia says it has captured Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates from Islamic State.
‘We have to save Syria’s culture for all,’ says director of antiquities (27 December 2015) According to Maamoun Abdulkarim, the director general of the Antiquities and Museums Directorate, three hundred thousand objects have been brought to Damascus from provincial museums and sites.
A chasm at the heart of the Syrian crisis (27 December 2015) David Gardner writes that the lack of mainstream Sunni leadership is a blight across the Middle East.
Syria rebel group will survive leader’s death (27 December 2015) Hassan Hassan argues, "the widespread mourning of the former leader—including by his foremost rivals, with the exception of ISIS, which cheered his death—might deflate existing tensions. It will also probably increase military cooperation, which was recently undermined by disagreements, rivalry and measured hostility.”
Syrian journalist planning to leave for France prior to murder (28 December 2015) “Syrian activist and journalist Naji al-Jerf was killed on Sunday after he was threatened over a documentary he produced that covered atrocities committed by a terrorist group and was reportedly planning to leave for France following the murders of two other journalists in southeastern Turkey.”
U.S. sees bearable costs, key goals met for Russia in Syria so far (28 December 2015) Three months into his military intervention in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin has achieved his central goal of stabilizing the Asad government and, with the costs relatively low, could sustain military operations at this level for years, US officials and military analysts say.
Policy and Reports
Meet the American Vigilantes Who Are Fighting ISIS (30 September 2015) A ragtag group of fighters from America and Europe have joined the fight against extremists in Syria. But with little training and no clear leadership, do they know what they are doing?
The U.S. Record Shows Refugees Are Not a Threat (October 2015) According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), “The reality is this: The United States has resettled 784,000 refugees since September 11, 2001. In those 14 years, exactly three resettled refugees have been arrested for planning terrorist activities—and it is worth noting two were not planning an attack in the United States and the plans of the third were barely credible.”
Syria: US ally’s razing of villages amounts to war crimes (13 October 2015) A fact-finding mission to northern Syria has uncovered a wave of forced displacement and home demolitions amounting to war crimes carried out by the Autonomous Administration led by the Syrian Kurdish political party Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (PYD) controlling the area, said a recent Amnesty International report. The Autonomous Administration is a key ally, on the ground, of the US-led coalition fighting against the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) and known as ISIS in Syria.
ISIS as Revolutionary State (21 October 2015) Stephen M. Walt argues that ISIS “is just the latest in a long line of state-building revolutionaries, strikingly similar in many ways to the regimes that emerged during the French, Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Cambodian, and Iranian revolutions. These movements were as hostile to prevailing international norms as ISIS is, and they also used ruthless violence to eliminate or intimidate rivals and demonstrate their power to a wider world.”
The Expert View: U.S. boots on the ground (3 November 2015) Syria Deeply reaches out to experts on Syria and US foreign policy in the Middle East to get their take on the US decision to send special forces into Syria.
TSG IntelBrief: Beyond Sharm El-Sheikh and the Downing of a Russian Jet (9 November 2015) According to Soufan Group`s analysis, “Sharm el-Sheikh represents somewhat of an anomaly, as it is the only place an active and lethal Islamic State affiliate abuts a busy tourist location and airport, but the group has plenty of worldwide supporters”
U.S., Russia, and World Powers (but Not Syrians) Agree to Syria Peace Plan (14 November 2015) A day after the attacks in Paris underlined the global danger posed by the continuing violence in Syria, Russia, the United States, and governments in Europe and the Middle East agreed at talks in Vienna to a road map for ending the devastating and destabilizing war.
You can read the full statement of the International Syria Support Group following their meeting in Vienna here: Statement of the International Syria Support Group
Confessions of an ISIS Spy (15 November 2015) “For all the attention paid to ISIS, relatively little is known about its inner workings. But a man claiming to be a member of the so-called Islamic State’s security services has stepped forward to provide that inside view. This series is based on days of interviews with this ISIS spy. Read part two here, part three here, and part four here.”
Security Council calls for eradicating ISIL safe havens in Syria and Iraq (20 November 2015) The United Nations Security Council on 20 November 2015 called on all countries that can do so to take the war on terrorism to territory controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq and destroy its safe haven, warning that the group intends to mount further terror attacks like those that devastated Paris and Beirut last week.
Experts weigh in: Is ISIS good at governing? (20 November 2015) “To explain the troubles ISIS faces at home, [Brookings] have invited a group of scholars to comment on its governance over the past years and speculate on what they might face in the year ahead. First is Mara Revkin, a J.D./Ph.D. student at Yale who studies governance and lawmaking by insurgent groups such as ISIS.”
Violence comes home: an interview with Arun Kundnani (22 November 2015) In this interview, Arun Kundnani unveils and critiques the ramifications of the “war on terror,” from the conservative and liberal rhetoric of the intellectuals and commentators who have emerged, to the theories of “radicalisation” which have fuelled counter-terrorism programmes in the west. Only an anti-racist, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist politics can provide a genuine alternative to jihadism and ISIS, Kundnani argues.
Why ISIL Will Fail on Its Own (29 November 2015) Eli Berman and Jacob Shapiro argue the ideological benefits of allowing ISIL to fall on its own.
Isis: The munitions trail (30 November 2015) Erika Solomon and Ahmed Mhidi show that “rather than being detained or expelled as they had feared when the jihadi group swept through eastern Syria last year, many black-market traders such as Abu Ali were courted by ISIS. They were absorbed into a complex system of supply and demand that keeps the world’s richest jihadi group stocked with munitions across a self-proclaimed “caliphate” spanning half of Syria and a third of Iraq.”
The Arabic version of this article can be found here: مترجم: داعش...درب الذخائر (19 December 2015)
Russia`s False Narrative in Syria (1 December 2015) Hugo Spaulding, ISW`s Russia and Ukraine Analyst, examines “five of the most prominent and problematic Russian myths and demonstrate why adherence to them in the West produces dangerous policy options.”
Leaked Document Reveals ISIS Nation-Building Plans (8 December 2015) A state-building manual used by IS administrators confirms the complexity and breadth of the group’s efforts to create a functioning state, albeit one ruled by terror. In life under IS, however, many civilian services seem to be suffering.
ISIS and Al-Qaeda’s Expansion: Q&A With Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck (14 December 2015) Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck provides an insight into how jihadist groups continue their expansion in states where services and security are weak.
Is Saudi Arabia to blame for Islamic State? (19 December 2015) Five experts share their views on whether Saudi Arabia is to blame for the rise of Islamic State.
Taking the October Dam: Syria’s Kurds Keep Hitting the Islamic State (28 December 2015) Incremental changes continue to reshape the political landscape in Syria. The Islamic State is now under severe pressure on many fronts.
Analysis: The bombing of ISIS oil fields and what it means for Israel (28 December 2015) According to Owen Alterman,“The attacks on the oil fields matter for international law, and the effects will be felt as soon as Israel’s next conflict.”
Economy and Agriculture
Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists (14 October 2015) “Oil is the black gold that funds Isis’ black flag — it fuels its war machine, provides electricity and gives the fanatical jihadis critical leverage against their neighbors.”
Isis Inc: Syria’s ‘mafia-style’ gas deals with jihadis (15 October 2015) ISIS and the Asad regime remain battleground enemies, but on Syria’s gas fields the need for electricity has forced them into a Faustian bargain.
The Islamic State isn’t the only group looting Syrian archaeological sites (21 October 2015) The Islamic State’s damage to Syria archaeological sites has been well-documented, however, attempts to assess the damage has been limited due to the conflict and chaos in Syria since 2011.
Taking Stock Of ISIS Oil: Part 1 (23 October 2015) This two-part article by Matthew Reed “focuses on ISIS oil operations and how they’ve changed over the last year. It relies on primary sources and common sense and is informed to some extent by my conversations with officials”.
Taking Stock Of ISIS Oil: Part 2 (29 October 2015) “Part 2 tackles two other essential questions: who buys ISIS oil and how exactly has the coalition attacked the network?”
North Syrian food-for-diesel trade routes invite smuggling (9 November 2015) One of the trucks transporting supplies to Islamic State, as part of the food-for-diesel agreement, was found to be carrying ammunition.
Is Turkey Buying Oil From ISIS? After Downed Plane, Putin Slams Islamic State`s Black Market Fuel Sales (25 November 2015) Elizabeth Whitman reports that the “fact that Turkey shot down a Russian plane is not the only reason Russian President Vladimir Putin is furious. Since the jet fighter was downed Tuesday near the Syria-Turkey border, Putin has reiterated concerns -- already raised by other countries -- that Turkey has been buying oil smuggled from the Islamic State group.”
U.S. sanctions businessman helping Syrian government buy oil from Islamic State (25 November 2015) The United States continues to use both financial and military tools to target finances of the Islamic State.
Raqqa`s Rockefellers: How Islamic State oil flows to Israel (26 November 2015) “Oil produced by the Islamic State group finances its bloodlust. But how is it extracted, transported and sold? Who is buying it, and how does it reach Israel?”
How Turkey Exports ISIS Oil To The World: The Scientific Evidence (28 November 2015) Tyler Durden reports about Turkey`s role in facilitating the sale of Islamic State oil
ISIS Oil (3 December 2015) Vijay Prashad reports on ISIS oil and the tanker routes from Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
Russia unveils `proof` Turkey`s Erdogan is smuggling Isis oil across border from Syria (4 December 2015) “Moscow publishes satellite images purporting to show Turkish trucks filling up in Isis-controlled Iraq and Syria.”
Inside Isis Inc: The journey of a barrel of oil (11 December 2015) The progress of a barrel of oil from extraction to end user. This shows how the ISIS production system works, who is making money from it and why it is hard to stop.
The State of the Syrian Economy: An Expert Survey (23 December 2015) As 2015 draws to a close and Syria prepares to enter its sixth year of conflict, the economic conditions and transformations brought by the war are taking center stage.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Smuggler offers allegedly looted Syrian artifacts to CBS News (September 2015) The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra is only the latest casualty in the destruction of the world`s shared cultural heritage. From Syria to Iraq, ISIS has demolished precious artefacts and archaeological sites. Law enforcement sources and archaeologists tell CBS News that what is not being destroyed is being sold on a black market that reaches Europe and even the United States.
Reality Check: Elizabeth May debates the crisis in Syria and fighting ISIS (25 September 2015) The Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May says it is Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad who is responsible for a humanitarian crisis that has seen millions of Syrians flee for their lives and bombing ISIS is not going to stop the desperate situation.
عصابات داعش في درنة تهدد الأهالي بالذبح وسبي النساء (September 28 2015) This is an audio recording of ISIS members in Derna, Libya threatening locals that "1000s of Tunisians" are ready to come, behead them, and enslave their women.
انفوغرافيك يوضح لباس تنظيم “داعش” ودلالته حسب اللون والشكل من إعداد فريقي “الرقة تذبح بصمت” و “صوت وصورة” (29 September 2015) An infographic shows a list of ISIS uniforms.
Michael Weiss: ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (6 October 2015) This is a full video of Michael Weiss talk on ISIS at the Carnegie Council Events. The talk is followed by a question-and-answer session.
Syria: Battle for Daria rages as Syrian Army pushes forward (10 October 2015) Syrian Army troops were seen fighting against militants in Daria, Saturday, as government forces continued to push forward against the Islamic State and other militant groups near Damascus. The Syrian Army reported retaking more than forty blocks from militants in Daria in the latest assault.
"We had nowhere else to go": Forced displacement and demolitions in northern Syria (13 October 2015) “Film produced by Amnesty International showing the researchers` investigation of the abuses committed by the Autonomous Administration, led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish political party. These abuses include forced displacement, demolition of homes, and the seizure and destruction of property. In some cases, entire villages have been demolished, apparently in retaliation for the perceived support of their Arab or Turkmen residents for the group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS) or other non-state armed groups”.
`ISIS…it was just not my cup of tea`: British mum speaks (14 October 2015) Shukee Begum, a mother of five who took her children to Syria to meet her husband, who was fighting with ISIS militants, reveals how she became trapped in ISIS territory after he refused to leave and was kidnapped by smugglers.
Hacker allegedly gave ISIS a `kill list` of U.S. troops (16 October 2015) CNN`s Brian Todd reports on the arrest of an ISIS hacker who reportedly stole US military members` personal information.
What Do You Do When ISIS Steals Your Photo? (23 October 2015) Known for his photos involving children’s toys, Brian McCarty found that ISIS had stolen and repurposed one of his toy photos for their propaganda.
سوريا - "التنظيم" يبتكر طريقة إعدام جديدة (October 27 2015) ISIS militants invented a new way to execute their opponents in Palmyra.
Rasmussen: Air campaign not enough to defeat ISIS (28 October 2015) CNN`s Hala Gorani speaks to former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen about why he thinks the West needs a new strategy to defeat ISIS.
أحمد حسين يونس: لا نستبعد أن يدمر تنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية الآثار في ليبيا (October 30 2015) Ahmed Hussein Younis shares his fears from ISIS targeting of archaeological sites in Libya.
تركيا: مدينة "آديامان" خزانبشريلتنظيم "الدولةالإسلامية"!! (October 30 2015) New report claims that Adıyaman city in southeastern Turkey is a main source of people who have been recruited for ISIS.
ISIS in Afghanistan: School of Jihad (1 November 2015) A FRONTLINE documentary, ISIS in Afghanistan, is one of the first to show the degree to which ISIS has gained a foothold in the country, introducing a new level of brutality to the conflict beyond what the Taliban have practiced.
جيش سوريا الجديد new syrian army (8 November 2015) "New Syrian Army," a new Western-backed rebel group in Syria was formed to fight against ISIS.
الاعترافات الكاملة لـ"أبي الوليد التونسي" بعد انشقاقه عن داعش، تفاصيل خطيرة ومثيرة تؤكد جرم "داعش" (November 7 2015) This video includes the recorded confessions of "Abu al-Walid al-Tunisi" who defected from ISIS.
Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria (11 November 2015) “VICE News filmmaker Medyan Dairieh gains exclusive access to the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, al Nusra, a jihadist group fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and the Islamic State (IS).”
Isis in five charts (14 November 2015) At last count, most “Western” Isis fighters hailed from France or Britain.
Why the Paris attacks could mark the beginning of the end for ISIS (14 November 2015) Ana Swanson interviews William McCants who is a fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy and the author of the recent book "The ISIS Apocalypse." McCants said he is confident that, in the longer run, the ISIS`s government in Syria and Iraq will crumble.
حملة اليونسكو #متحدون_مع_التراث (November 16, 2015) "#Unite4Heritage is a global movement powered by UNESCO that aims to celebrate and safeguard cultural heritage and diversity around the world”
How should the West battle the Islamic State’s shifting strategy? (16 November 2015) The attacks in Paris have raised concern about the threat posed by the Islamic State around the world, and how to counter it. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff talk with William McCants, author of “The ISIS Apocalypse,” Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Hassan Hassan of Chatham House and Richard Barrett, a former British intelligence official.
Islamic State is plotting deadly cyber-attacks - George Osborne (17 November 2015) ISIS militants are trying to develop the ability to launch deadly cyber-attacks on UK targets such as air traffic control or hospitals, Chancellor George Osborne has said.
Prof. Maamoun Abdulkarim on Syria`s Battle to Protect its Past - London, 15th November 2015 (18 November 2015) “WMF Britain`s inaugural talk in The Past, Today series - `Heritage & Conflict: Syria`s Battle to Protect its Past`. Here Prof. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria`s Director General of Antiquities and Museums – a latter-day Monuments Man - gives the human story from behind the headlines. The Royal Geographical Society, London, Thursday 12th November 2015.”
7 Things I Learned Reading Every Issue Of ISIS`s Magazine (19 November 2015) Robert Evans shares the lessons he learned from reading through seven hundred-plus pages of ISIS oddly well-put-together propaganda.
The Syrian Jihad: An Interview with Charles Lister (24 November 2015) In this interview with Syria in Crisis, Charles Lister gives his views on Syria’s armed opposition, the threat posed by jihadi factions, the Vienna process, and the way the conflict is evolving.
Jihadi Archipelago: Blood and joy in the Islamic State. (28 November 2015) Anthropologist Scott Atran explains the revolutionary context of the Islamic State - as a dynamic startup nation, an attractor of the aggrieved, and an existential challenge to Enlightenment ideals of human rights and the secular state - and warns that Western governments are giving ISIS exactly the chaos it needs to grow.
The Internet`s battle to defeat ISIS - one meme at a time (1 December 2015) For every tweet about #supportingISIS, there are now ones suggesting #RickRollDaesh, linking to videos of pop music’s Rick Astley telling the world about how he is “never gonna give you up”
The Fight Against ISIS: Reviewing US Strategy (2 December 2015) In this event, General John Allen, in conversation with Neil Quilliam, will share his views on the fight against ISIS and what this reveals about US foreign policy.
Russia presents proof of Turkey’s role in ISIS oil trade (2 December 2015) “The Russian Defense Ministry has released evidence which it says unmasks vast illegal oil trade by Islamic State and points to Turkey as the main destination for the smuggled petrol, implicating its leadership in aiding the terrorists.”
Russia, Turkey trade accusations over who bought oil from ISIS (2 December 2015) “Russian military officials laid out Wednesday what they say is "hard evidence" that Turkey is involved in an oil trade with ISIS, offering more detail on earlier claims that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has flatly denied.”
Poll: Syria airstrikes make people feel less safe from terrorism (5 December 2015) The results of a poll by YouGov daily showed that thirty-four percent of British people said they would feel--after military action in Syria--less safe from a terror attack, compared to just fourteen percent who said they would feel more safe. Forty-three percent reported they would feel no difference.
من يزود تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية بالإنترنت وكيف؟ This article investigates how European companies provide ISIS with access to the Internet platforms they use to spread their propaganda.
An English related article can be found here: European Satellites: How Islamic State Takes Its Terror To the Web
The Psychology Of Radicalization: How Terrorist Groups Attract Young Followers (15 December 2015) This episode of Hidden Brain looks at the social and psychological drivers behind international terrorism, and why our best efforts to prevent radicalization so often fail.
`ISIL in Aleppo` video director murdered in Turkey (27 December 2015) “Islamic State group militants have shot dead a prominent Syrian journalist and filmmaker [Naji Jerf] on Sunday in Turkey, as part of a campaign to assassinate members of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a citizen journalism effort against the extremist group.”
You can watch Naji Jerf’s last documentary here: داعش في حلب ISIL in Aleppo
ISIS Contests Regime Supply Line to Aleppo City (28 October 2015) “ISIS launched a multi-phase counterattack against the Syrian regime and its allies in Aleppo Province which threatens the regime’s control over its primary ground line of communication (GLOC) to Aleppo City.”
Mapping the Battle for Syria: Russia Continues Airstrikes on Rebel Areas (29 October 2015) On Friday 2 October 2015, the third day of the Russian offensive in Syria, the United States and other nations that have been supporting rebel groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad issued a statement calling on Russia to stop targeting other opposition groups and focus on the Islamic State.
Russia Security Update: November 11-18, 2015 “Russia is attempting to align itself with France in the wake of ISIS’s terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13. Russia took steps to reassert its freedom of action in Syria as France expanded its anti-ISIS air campaign in response to the Paris attacks.”
ISIS`s Regional Campaign: November 2015 (8 December 2015) “ISIS achieved significant successes in its global strategy to expand its caliphate in the Near Abroad and defeat the West in November 2015. ISIS’s directed and inspired attacks in Paris and San Bernardino demonstrated the organization’s reach in the Far Abroad.”
ISIS in Afghanistan: December 3, 2015 “The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)’s affiliate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region is effective, operational, and positioned to expand. The affiliate, Wilayat Khorasan, controls populated areas in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province and has launched attacks on Jalalabad and Kabul.”
Where ISIS Gained and Lost Territory This Year (22 December 2015) An illustrative and visual analysis on IS’s territorial shift in the past year.
Iraqi Security Forces Clear Ramadi’s Government Center (28 December 2015) “The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reportedly recaptured the government complex in central Ramadi on December 28 after clearing ISIS-held areas south of the complex on December 26 and 27.”
تنَظيمُ الدّولةِالإسلامِيّة، بورتريه ذاتي: ماذا نجدُ في “دابق”، مجلَّةِ الدولةِ الإسلاميّة؟ Louise Plun discusses the meanings of concepts that ISIS uses in its ideology and recruitment strategies.
الرياض تحقّق في "بيان الجهاد": لا عودة لزمن أفغانستان Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports that the Saudi authorities will investigate and prosecute the fifty-five clerics who issued a pro-jihad statement (calling for jihad in Syria against Russia) on charges of violating the 2014 anti-terror law.
مسؤولون أمريكيون لـCNN: سقوط صواريخ روسية على إيران كانت متجهة من بحر قزوين إلى سوريا.. وموسكو: القصف أصاب مواقع "داعش" بدقة US officials told CNN`s, Thursday, that some of the missiles that Russia launched from warships in the Caspian Sea toward Syria, landed in Iran.
داعش.. والأعراس المسموحة This article discusses the restrictions that ISIS imposes on local residents in regard to wedding celebrations.
بلير يقر بأن غزو العراق تسبب في ظهور تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية Tony Blair admits that the invasion of Iraq led to the creation of ISIS.
داعش يضيف الإسماعيليين إلى قائمة أهدافه.. من هم إسماعيليو نجران وكيف يعيشون بالسعودية؟ ISIS claimed responsibility for the bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the southwest Saudi city of Najran. ISIS media posting claimed the attack targeted “rejectionist Ismailis” referring to a Shia Islam branch.
اغتصاب الأولاد: فصلٌ من دين داعش This article discusses ISIS and child-rape through the personal story of one of the victims.
بالفيديو.. التنظيم يوثق عملية "ذبح" ناشطين سوريين في تركيا، ويتوعد بـ"نحر كل مرتد" ISIS beheaded two Syrian activists (Ibrahim Abdul Qader and Fares Hamadi) in Turkey. The victims were members of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” who documented the group`s crimes.
A related article in English can be found here: The Death of Two Syrian Journalists
توسيع قائمة «التنظيمات الإرهابية» وعقد اللجان الأربع قبل «فيينا-3» Ibrahim Hamidi discusses some of the background arrangements in relation to the Syria peace talks in Vienna.
كلمة أحد مؤسسي الرقة تذبح بصمت امام لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في البرلمان الهولندي This article includes the speech of Abu Mohammed, one of the co-founders of "Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently," for the Parliament of the Netherlands on 4 November 2015.
An English version of this article can be found here: We will bring back luster to the city of Raqqa
حاملة الطائرات الفرنسية "شارل ديغول" تشارك في عمليات ضد تنظيم الدولة France deploys Charles De Gaulle Aircraft Carrier to Fight ISIS. Hollande described this move as “a rational choice" which would "allow us to be more efficient in coordination with our allies.”
نقطة غيّرت معنى الكلمة.. قطّعت أوصاله وفصلت رأسه في الرقة Ahmed Ibrahim shares his personal accounts about different aspects of oppression in Al-Raqqah during one day.
ابراهيم عبد القادر في سطور This is a short biography of Ibrahim Abdel Qader--one of the co-founder of the citizen-journalist group “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”--who was beheaded with his friend by ISIS members in Turkey.
سرقة الآثار: هل يمكن إنقاذ تاريخ سوريا؟ This is an interview by BBC with art specialist Christopher Marinello, the chief executive of the Art Recovery Group, about what can be done to help stop the theft of Syria`s precious antiquities.
An English version of this article can be found here: The art detective fighting to save Syria`s past
داعش يفرض التجنيد الإجباري في الرقة.. ومعركة كسر العظم تقترب This article reports that ISIS started to implement military conscription in Al-Raqqah.
دفاعًا عن "المجاهدين"! Tariq Azizeh analyzes ISIS as a Salafi terrorist phenomenon and criticizes the "western conspiratorial” analyses.
لماذا يركّز «داعش» على فرنسا؟ Moustafa Al-Ansari answers the questions why ISIS focuses on France by comparing the terrorist priorities of ISIS and Al-Qa’ida.
مسيحيو الرقة في ظل "خلافة داعش" This report covers the situation of Syrian Christians under the rule of ISIS in Al-Raqqah.
الإعلام الفرنسي بعد الهجمات: المهنة بلا رقص فوق الجثث Sahib Ayoub compares between the local Lebanese media coverage of Bourj el-Barajneh’s terrorist attack and the France local media coverage of Paris’ terrorist attack.
بالفيديو.. حملة لفضح إيديولوجية "داعش" من داخل معقله في سوريا This article discusses the vital role of the collective of citizen journalists “Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently” (RBSS) in documenting ISIS violations and exposing ISIS ideology to the public opinion.
غرور «داعش» يعجل بنهايته Raghida Dergham argues that ISIS was never a local terrorist group, and was always a global organization that has cost Syria dearly. She adds that perhaps ISIS now has overplayed its hand and has invited its own doom, even if after a while.
An English version of this article can be found here: ISIS`s Arrogance Will Accelerate Its Demise
ضرائب داعش تتجاوز ضرائب الأسد المفروضة قبل الثورة ISIS imposed harsh taxes on businesses and individuals in Deir ez-Zor
سياسة المكان: الحدود، حركة السكان، والخيال السياسي Yassin Al Haj Saleh writes about the Syrian state and its border
تفجير العريش... "داعش" يستهدف الانتخابات والتنسيق الروسي ISIS in Sinai killed Egyptian election monitors in hotel attack
سورية: "داعش" يطلق دفعة جديدة من المختطفين الآشوريين بالحسكة ISIS released a new group of abducted Assyrians that included ten people; five of them were women.
«داعش» «التتارية» إذ تبقى معنا حيناً.. ولكن إلى متى؟ Mohammed Abdel Shafie Issa compares ISIS to Tatars attack in the thirteenth century in Eastern Asia.
يوم قرّرتُ الخروج من الرقة Marwan shares the story of his work with Doctors Without Borders in Tell Abyad within the Ar-Raqqah Governorate and the reasons that pushed him to leave escaping ISIS threats.
«داعش»: مهاجمو كاليفورنيا من أنصارنا ISIS radio station released a statement on Saturday 5 December 2015 claiming that two of the group’s followers had carried out the shootings that left forteen people dead in San Bernardino, California.
A related article in English can be found here: Islamic State Says ‘Soldiers of Caliphate’ Attacked in San Bernardino
ضباط سوريون منشقون: لامانع من التعاون مع الجيش السوري فى مواجهة الدولة الاسلامية بعد رحيل الاسد كجزء من الحل المقترح محليا وعربيا و دوليا A number of dissident Syrian officers announced that they are ready to fight ISIS and other extremist groups if President Bashar al-Assad will leave office through a transition period as part of a solution to the Syrian conflict.
"داعش" يتخطى النفط: ثروة من الصوامع والضرائب والمخدرات This article highlights the current economic structure of ISIS beyond depending only on oil revenues.
«داعش» والعالم ... علاقة مرآوية Yassin Al Haj Saleh criticizes the overwhelming international media attention paid to ISIS, following the US-Russian agreement to destroy Syria`s arsenal of chemical weapons (September 2013), at the expense of covering the daily crimes committed by the al-Assad regime.
الولايات المتحدة: مشروع قانون لإجبار فيس بوك وتويتر على "الإبلاغ بأي سلوك إرهابي" In the United States a new bill suggests ways to force Facebook and Twitter to report any terrorist activities on their platforms.
داعش يمنع أجهزة اﻻستقبال الفضائي ( الدش ) في كامل أراضي الدولة الإسلامية ISIS issues a new Fatwa that bans the use of satellite dish in all the ISIS-controlled areas.
السويد تحكم بالسجن المؤبد على متهمين بقتل وإعدام في سوريا Sweden sentenced to life imprisonment two individuals who committed terrorist crimes by working with IS in Syria.
أميركا ستدعم عسكرياً إقامة منطقة خالية من «داعش» شمال حلب Ibrahim Hamidi discusses new American-Turkish plans to isolate IS in northern Syria.
اغتيال ناشط سوري انتج وثائقيات معادية لداعش Naji Jerf, editor-in-chief of the independent monthly Hentah and the maker of documentary films on the militant group Islamic State, was shot and killed in broad daylight today by unknown assailants with a silenced pistol in front of a building that houses Syrian opposition news outlets in downtown Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border.
An English related article can be found here: Syrian journalist Naji Jerf shot dead in Gaziantep, Turkey
You can watch Naji Jerf’s last documentary here: داعش في حلب ISIL in Aleppo
تجميد إجلاء مقاتلي #داعش من جنوب دمشق إلى الرقة An agreed-on pullout of a few thousand Syrian militants, including ISIS fighters, and their families from a neighborhood on the southern edge of Damascus has been put on hold.
Books and Publications
HOW THE ISLAMIC STATE’S FAVORITE STRATEGY BOOK EXPLAINS RECENT TERRORIST ATTACKS (24 November 2015) “Many of the answers are found in a strategy manual written by an al-Qaeda sympathizer over a decade ago called The Management of Savagery. The book is revered by al-Qaeda and Islamic State operatives, despite their antipathy for each other. It was one of the first jihadist texts I translated, in an effort to enlighten myself and others about the rationale behind the 9/11 attacks.”
Five books you should read to better understand Islam (15 December 2015) William McCants, author of “The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State,” suggests some books that have helped him better understand Islam.
MER 276 - ISIS (Fall 2015) This issue of Middle East Research and Information Project includes several articles about IS, such as “A Jihadism Anti-Primer,” by Darryl Li; “Regional Responses to the Rise of ISIS,” by Curtis Ryan; “ISIS Is One Piece of the Puzzle,” by Jillian Schwedler; and “The Invisible Alienation of Tunisian Youth,” by Benoît Challand.
The Islamic State`s (ISIS, ISIL) Magazine: Dabiq
“All of the issues of the Islamic State`s glossy propaganda magazine `Dabiq,` named after a key site in Muslim apocalypse mythology can be found here.”
Or you can download the last issue (Issue 12) from here: Islamic State (ISIS) Magazine: Dabiq- Just Terror (Issue 12) (PDF file)
“The twelfth issue of the Islamic State’s propaganda magazine is entitled Just Terror. It boasts about the terrorist attacks in Paris, the double-bombing in Beirut, and the downing of a Russian plane in Sinai among other attacks. It spins terrorism in the language of a fairy story, referring to terrorists as “knights,” acting to defend Muslim honor. This issue is also striking for the high number of Islamic State propaganda videos it advertises, a sign of increased output in that area. Other pieces continue long-running themes, including attacking the legitimacy of other Islamist factions, recounting its military victories and attacking women who oppose polygyny as opposing Islam.”