Skip to main content


Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy Commander of the PMU
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy Commander of the PMU
The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) is seeing the Syrian-Iraqi border as a strategic objective of their military operations against ISIS in Iraq.
“The closure of the Syrian-Iraqi border to ISIS militants is an Iraqi strategic objective”, said Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy Commander of the PMU in an interview on Al-Mayadeen TV channel.
Al-Muhandis pointed out that forces of the PMU will enter the Syrian territory only in case of full coordination between the Syrian and Iraqi governments, and confirmed the existence of official channels with the Syrian government in case of the PMU need to move to the Syrian territory.
“Any movement within Syrian territory without the consent of the government in Syria is considered an invasion and aggression”, Al-Muhandis said and added that “Any direct invasion of Syria will fail as the indirect invasion of terrorist groups failed.”
He emphazied that the PMU would foil any plans to divide countries in the region.
“We are working to break the will of the countries of terrorism and the countries that support it .. and we move to foil any plots to bring Syria or Iraq down.”
One of the commanders of the Syrian military operation on the Al-Tanaf road in southern Syria announced yesterday that the ultimate aim is to secure the Iraqi-Syrian border and that the operation was coordinated with the Iraqi side.
On Friday, the SAA attacked several positions of US-backed Free Syrian Army groups in the northern Suweida countryside and the Damascus desert and on the Al-Tanaf road. Moreover, there were unconfirmed reports that Syrian warplanes were bombing the Free Syrian Army military camp in Al-Tanaf on Saturday.


Popular posts from this blog

Why States Still Use Barrel Bombs

Smoke ascends after a Syrian military helicopter allegedly dropped a barrel bomb over the city of Daraya on Jan. 31.(FADI DIRANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Barrel bombs are not especially effective weapons. They are often poorly constructed; they fail to detonate more often than other devices constructed for a similar purpose; and their lack of precision means they can have a disproportionate effect on civilian populations.

However, combatants continue to use barrel bombs in conflicts, including in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and they are ideally suited to the requirements of resource-poor states.


Barrel bombs are improvised devices that contain explosive filling and shrapnel packed into a container, often in a cylindrical shape such as a barrel. The devices continue to be dropped on towns all over Syria. Indeed, there have been several documented cases of their use in Iraq over the past months, and residents of the city of Mosul, which was recently …

Russia Looks East for New Oil Markets

Click to Enlarge

In the final years of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began orienting his foreign policy toward Asia in response to a rising Japan. Putin has also piloted a much-touted pivot to Asia, coinciding with renewed U.S. interest in the area. A good expression of intent was Russia's hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012 in Vladivostok, near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Although its efforts in Asia have been limited by more direct interests in Russia's periphery and in Europe, Moscow recently has been able to look more to the east.

Part of this renewed interest involves finding new export markets for Russian hydrocarbons. Russia's economy relies on energy exports, particularly crude oil and natural gas exported via pipeline to the West. However, Western Europe is diversifying its energy sources as new supplies come online out of a desire to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

This has forced…

In Yemen, a Rebel Advance Could Topple the Regime

Shia loyal to the al-Houthi movement ride past Yemeni soldiers near Yaz, Yemen, in May. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)


The success of a rebel campaign in northern Yemen is threatening to destabilize the already weak and overwhelmed government in Sanaa. After capturing the city of Amran, a mere 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, in early July, the rebels from the al-Houthi tribe are in their strongest position yet. The Yemeni government is developing plans to divide the country into six federal regions, and the rebels believe this is their chance to claim territory for the future bargaining.

The central government is nearly powerless to fend off the rebels; its forces are already stretched thin. Neighboring Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen before and still supports Sunni tribes in the north, but the risk of inciting a Shiite backlash or creating space for jihadists to move in could deter another intervention.


Followers of Zaidi Islam, a branch of Shiism, rul…