Targeting of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS)

French forces of ‘Operation Barkhane’ aided by local militias step up operations against ‘Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.’ Since early February 2018, French forces of Operation Barkhane, aided by a coalition of local militias including the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) and the Tuareg Imghad and Allies Self-defence Group (GATIA), have intensified…

Regional Overview – Asia 19 March 2018

There was not a significant change in the levels of political violence and protests in South and Southeast Asia during the week of March 11, with the exception of Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the number of military operations against the Islamic State, as well as the number of reported fatalities stemming from these operations, increased last…

Regional Overview – Middle East 19 March 2018

Last week, new dynamics in political violence involving the Islamic State (IS) were reported in Iraq and Yemen, while notable events of political violence or protest dynamics were also recorded in Israel, Iran, and Palestine. In Syria, government and Turkish forces continue to advance in the Eastern Ghouta and Afrin areas respectively, while advances by…

Regional Overview – Africa 19 March 2018

The week of 11 March has been particularly brutal for civilians in Africa’s largest countries. Dozens of attacks on civilians by non-state armed groups reflected the mounting political tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In Orientale’s Djugu area, a coordinated attack on four villages on 12 March left 41 people killed. The Congolese…

Democratic Republic of Congo Analysis

Political violence in DR-Congo continues to be shaped by ADF activity: on March 3rd, 7 people were killed in Eringiti, close to the location where ADF launched an offensive that killed more than a dozen MONUSCO soldiers towards the end of last year. The same location was again attacked on March 7th, causing another 20…

Loyalist Militia Involvement in Battles in Syria

Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, the Assad regime’s army has faced a manpower issue due to defection and desertion. It has partially solved this problem by fostering and allying with loyalist militias, both domestic and foreign, in order to defend and recapture territory in Syria. A myriad of militias is heavily involved…

Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka

In post-civil war Sri Lanka (2009-2018), communal violence erupted along the religious division of the Muslim-Buddhist fault line. The growth of nationalist Sinhalese-Buddhist organizations – such as Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS) – combined with a political environment of impunity have led to an increase in the number of attacks on the Muslim minority community (Aljazeera,…

Qalamoun Offensive in Lebanon

The Qalamoun Offensive was a military operation conducted against rebel groups on the Lebanese-Syrian border between May and August 2017 by the Lebanese and Syrian militaries and supported by Hezbollah. The offensive resulted in a decisive victory for Lebanese forces, with lower numbers of events and fatalities reported in Lebanon following the conclusion of the…

Regional Overview – Africa 12 March 2018

Political violence and protest events in Africa over the week of 4 March were defined by a number of trends: First, battles involving Boko Haram were less pronounced while violence against civilians continued; multiple forms of violence were present in Sudan and South Sudan and the Somali government deployed extra soldiers to fight Al Shabaab…