Is Ahrar al Sham Still Fighting the Regime?

Ahrar al Sham (AAS) has been a major player in the Syrian conflict since the group was formed in December 2011. Bringing together a number of Syrian Islamist groups to fight under a single structure, AAS’ primary stated objective was to bring an end to the Assad regime and see the establishment of a Sunni…

IS After ‘Defeat’: Guerilla Tactics in the Desert

A particularly pressing question for policy-makers is the form and intensity of violence to expect from IS now that it lost its control of Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor and Al-Bukamal. Since the defeat in Al-Bukamal (November 2017), IS has split into various groups. One group moved to Idleb where it created havoc for the early months of…

Demonstrations in Iran

Iran has been the stage of a new wave of civil unrest since the final days of December 2017, when citizens gathered in the streets in demonstrations that turned deadly (for more on this, see this past ACLED piece). Thousands amassed in these gatherings to air general popular grievances, mostly related to the country’s economic…

US Involvement in Yemen

The United States military began conducting operations against Al-Qaeda in Yemen shortly after US lawmakers passed Joint Resolution 23, which authorized the use of military force against “those nations, organizations, or persons” involved in the September 11 attacks against the United States in 2001 (S.J.Res.23 – Authorization for Use of Military Force, 18 September 2001).…

Increasing Political Violence in the Central African Republic

In the first half of 2018, political violence in the Central African Republic has both increased and spread to new regions. See the maps of Aug-Dec 2017 and Jan-May 2018 to observe the spread of violence across new regions. In the second half of 2017, only the Haute-Kotto region experienced intense conflict, notably around Bria,…

Demonstrations in Jordan Gaining Momentum

Over the last week, protests and riots occurred across Jordan in response to the proposed income tax bill, which would raise the income tax by at least 5% — dramatically affecting both lower- and middle-class Jordanians. The impact of the IMF-backed proposed tax bill on those groups has sparked already simmering discontent and has the…

Collaboration between YPG and Regime Forces

In early 2018, the YPG publicly requested the support of the Syrian regime to obstruct the Turkish expansion in northern Syria (Reuters, 2018). The call for support fuelled a longer-standing suspicion among analysts about the level of cooperation and collaboration between the Syrian regime and the YPG. Similarly, the Syrian opposition has long argued that…

The Houthis and the Use of Landmines in Yemen

Although air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition continue to account for the highest number of reported civilian fatalities, Houthi-planted landmines are a persistent threat for Yemeni civilians. On May 22, three unarmed citizens were reportedly killed when they stepped on an explosive device planted by the Houthis near the military port of Al Haymah, in…

From the Mali-Niger borderlands to rural Gao – Tactical and geographical shifts of violence

In late April and early May, six massacres took place in the Mali-Niger border corridor. Presumed militants of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) carried out massacres against the Dawsahak community. Militiamen of the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) and the Tuareg Imghad and Allies Self-defence Group (GATIA) carried out massacres…