Monthly Archives: May 2015

Yemen may not emerge intact from war

Yemen may never emerge as a united country from a civil war pitting a northern Shiite militia and its allies in the army against fighters in the mostly Sunni south. The latest conflict, now in its third month, has exacerbated long-standing grievances that are regional but also increasingly religious in a country whose unity has always been frail. Secessionist sentiment ...

Read More »

No exit allowed: For female jihadis, Syria is one-way journey

When three British schoolgirls trundled across the Syrian border; when a pregnant 14-year-old ran away from her Alpine home for the second time; when a sheltered girl from the south ofFrance booked her first trip abroad – they were going to a place of no return. Only two of the some 600 Western girls and young women who have joined ...

Read More »

Iraq rebrands campaign against ISIS over fears of sectarianism

A campaign led by Shiite paramilitaries to drive ISISmilitants from Iraq’s Sunni heartland was rebranded Wednesday after criticism that the name chosen for the push was overtly sectarian. The move was a response to fears that Iraq’s reliance on Shiite paramilitaries to defeat ISIS fighters, instead of the disordered and demoralized national army, could alienate Sunni Iraqis and deepen the ...

Read More »

Rebels take Ariha from Assad

Syrian rebel groups Thursday said they had seized the town of Ariha – the last regime-held urban center in Idlib province – after launching their campaign earlier in the day. The latest blow to the regime of President Bashar Assad came at the hands of the Army of Conquest rebel coalition, made up of seven groups and led by the ...

Read More »

Nusra Front seeks image makeover in West

Al-Qaeda’s Syria franchise is striving to reinvent itself as a legitimate opposition force more acceptable to the West, but it is unlikely to succeed, analysts said Thursday. In a rare television interview, Nusra Front chief Abu Mohammad al-Golani vowed not to use Syria as a springboard to attack the West and said he would be willing to protect minorities. “It’s ...

Read More »

Emboldened ISIS may be reaching limits of expansion

With its two biggest victories in nearly a year in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has energized its fighters, littered the streets of two cities with the bodies of its enemies and forced the U.S. to re-examine its strategy. The near simultaneous capture this month of Ramadi west ofBaghdad and Palmyra northeast of Damascus has reinforced the sway of the self-proclaimed ...

Read More »

Syrian soldiers tell of harrowing escape from hospital

When Islamist fighters stormed a besieged hospital in northwest Syria, regime soldier Mohammad Mahmoud Assafnarrowly escaped a brutal fate by pretending he was already dead. The 28-year-old was one of at least 150 soldiers and family members who had been trapped in Jisr al-Shughur hospital for almost a month. As Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front and other Islamist factions overran ...

Read More »

‘Blind judge’ shows up in Ramadi

A senior ISIS figure known as “the blind judge” has made an appearance in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, asserting the militant group’s dominion over it as security forces and Shiite militias prepare a counterattack. Residents of Ramadi said that a blind man with one hand and his head shrouded had delivered a speech in the Anbar provincial capital’s main ...

Read More »

Hezbollah accuses Future of ’embracing terrorists’

Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc Thursday accused theFuture Movement of “embracing” jihadi groups based in Lebanon’s northeastern border region. “The rhetoric by some in the Future Movement comes in the context of creating trouble and [distorting] truth,” the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc said in a statement after its weekly meeting. “It will not succeed to provide cover to their party’s involvement ...

Read More »

Army foils daily infiltration attempts on eastern borders: Kahwagi

The Lebanese Army prevents daily attempts by Islamist militants to infiltrate through Lebanon’s eastern borders and is prepared to defend the country against any attack, military chief Gen. Jean Kahwagi said Thursday. “The exceptional circumstances that the country is experiencing and the internal disputes… will not at all affect the determination of the Army to protect civil peace and coexistence ...

Read More »