TLDR Up Front: When ISIS first captured Palmyra it marked the high-water mark of its expansion in Syria. Now - significantly reduced in territory, ISIS has once again been able to gain ground in the south. Though it is nowhere near as powerful as it once was.
TLDR Upfront: The siege of Mosul has begun. This battle represents the last major offensive in Iraq to clear ISIS of holding territory in the country.
TLDR Upfront: The encirclement of Aleppo by pro-Assad forces has been broken by an unheard of coordinated assault by two rebel coalitions. In response, Iran has sent elite paramilitary units from Iraq and Lebanon into the breach while Russia conducts a sustained air campaign on rebel positions. Once again an “all-in” four-way conflict between five
(INS) Awooga! Awooga! The largest Al-Queda affiliate, the Al-Nusra front in Syria, is being widely reported as having “split off” or “declared independence” from Al-Queda renaming itself the Levant Conquest Front. With nearly 15,000 militants and territory in Idlib province under their direct control, Al-Nusra has adopted elements of ISIS’s emerging-state actor approach. It is
TLDR Up Front: The Syrian government remains holding the most gains in the Aleppo battle, but a counter-offensive by the Al-Nusrah front aims to undermine those gains southwest of the city, while ISIS continues to try and contain the Syrian government's advance east of Aleppo to Kuweyenes air force base.
TLDR Up Front: Evaluate your news sources by applying the Eurocentric Bechdel test! In addition to the Eurocentric lead role upon which the news story will (of course!) primarily focus on, are there *at least* two named indigenous influential actors presented with their own agency, motivations and conflicts/disputes that are not tied to the Eurocentric
TLDR Up Front: The Islamic State of Syria & Iraq (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) is just the latest in a series of names for a salafist takfiri group, each representing a shift in their strategy and geographic perspective, as well as efforts by opponents to portray them in a negative light (eg. Daesh); which have largely
TLDR Upfront: In light of the Paris attacks for those who want to (rightfully) avoid the fallacy of generalizations (1) in describing the attackers I recommend using the term "Salafist Takfiri" to *specifically* describe militant members of groups such as AQ, ISIS, AQAP, Boko Haram etc. who share a common set of behaviors and beliefs.
TLDR Up Front: Although Aleppo has been the Sarajevo of Syria since 2012, it's forming into just such a battle as no less than six distinctly separate major forces converge onto the city from all sides. This is creating a "swirling" effect visible on the map as each group takes, loses and retakes ground. Except
InfoMullet: Another day, another archaeological treasure destroyed by ISIS, this time again in Palmyra.