Shia Militias Diss U.S. Air Strikes, Want American Weapons
Earlier this year, the Iraqi army defeated Islamic State in Tikrit. Optimists thought that the battle might foreshadow the rollback of Sunni militants in Iraq. But it wouldn’t have happened without Iranian-sponsored paramilitary groups which oppose America as much as they do the Islamic State. The Iraqi government has tried uniting... Read more
Iran Builds Up Its Forces in Syria
The news media has focused on Russia increasing its military power in Syria. Iran, however, has been doing the same in recent months, albeit with more subtlety. During the past year, officers and soldiers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps reinforced territory valuable to the Syrian government — in... Read more
Why Did Algeria Fire Its Top Spy?
Algeria, one of the last secularist, socialist countries in the Arab world, has largely avoided the turmoil of the wider region. Despite conflicts with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and a now-defunct subgroup of Islamic State, the Algerian government has secured its cities and borders. Which is why it’s... Read more
Peru’s Maoist Rebels Survive by Selling Drugs and Enslaving People
One of Latin America’s most enduring conflicts is Peru’s war with Shining Path. While mostly destroyed in the 1980s and 1990s, the Sendero Luminoso remains a disturbing example of how an insurgency can survive for decades given the right conditions. Shining Path distinguished itself for its vindictiveness, violence and... Read more
Iran and Russia Are Becoming Even Better Friends in Syria
Iran and Russia — an Islamic dictatorship and a nationalist one, respectively — are strengthening their mutual relationship in Syria. They’re awkward allies in a country that has often copied and hybridized Iranian and Russian ideals. “Senior Russian and Iranian diplomats, generals and strategists have held a string of... Read more
Syria’s Islamist Civil War Moves South
The Islamic State and Jabhat Al Nusra, Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, are fighting for some of Syria’s most obscure territory. ARA News, an Erbil-based news agency, recently reported that Islamic State attacked Jabhat Al Nusra in Daraa Governorate, hundreds of miles from the former’s bases in Raqqa and the latter’s bases in Idlib.... Read more
Russia Wants a Piece of the Syrian Civil War
In true Soviet tradition, Russia supports socialist dictatorships in North Africa and Southwest Asia. Though Russian-allied governments in Iraq and Libya have collapsed in the last two decades, Syria survives — and remains one of Moscow’s most important friends in a region where many people now view Russia as... Read more
China’s Got Its Own War on Terror
The news media has in the last decade focused on conflict-affected Muslim minorities in Chechnya, controlled by Russia; Kashmir, controlled by India; and Mindanao, controlled by the Philippines. But Islamic historical regions elsewhere have received less attention. One such region — known to the Chinese as Xinjiang and its... Read more
Kuwait’s Hidden Terrorism Problem
Dhari Al Jasmi, a Sunni resident of Kuwait City, rechecked his smartphone. Another terrorist organization had bombed another mosque in the Middle East, yet the victims of this bombing looked different from the Libyan and Yemeni casualties who so often appeared on television. “When I saw the bombing on... Read more
Bad Blood Inside Al Qaeda’s Syria Franchise
Islamic State’s past ally and present enemy in Syria, Jabhat Al Nusra, is suffering from factionalism and regionalism. Its subgroups in the south are challenging leaders in the north, and local members have often disagreed with foreign ones. Aron Lund reported for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s blog Syria in... Read more
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