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 Islamist state in Syria (Stanford, 2017).[1]…

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.…

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…

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.…

Regional Overview – Africa 28 May 2018

There were important developments in Burkina Faso, Mozambique, the DRC and Somalia on the week of May 20th. In Burkina Faso, the state forces likely thwarted another major attack by Islamist militants in the capital, Ouagadougou.…

The Many Sides of International Peacekeeping in Africa

Of the fourteen United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions currently active around the world, half are based on the African continent. Of these, five—those in Somalia[1], Mali, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo– have ongoing or recently renewed mandates, and a force of over 10,000 personnel, including soldiers and police.…

Violence Against Civilians in Afghanistan: The Taliban and the Islamic State

Late last month in Kabul, an Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber detonated himself outside of a voter registration centre in the predominantly Shiite neighbourhood of Dasht-e-Barchi. At least 69 civilians were reportedly killed and another 120 were reportedly injured in the blast (Pajhwok, 23 April 2018).…