Skip to main content

JAYSH AL-ISLAM OFFICIALLY UNITES WITH AL-QAEDA IN EASTERN GHOUTA

Jaysh al-Islam issued an official video announcing the approval of Jaysh al-Islam on the initiative launched by the Military Council in Damascus and its countryside. The goal is to solve problems between Jaysh al-Islam and the joint forces of Faylaq al-Rahman and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS; formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda). The initiative will dissolve all armed groups in Eastern Ghouta and unite them into one armed organization under any agreed name.
“Despite all the attempts of military escalation against us by the alliance of Faylaq al-Rahman and the Al-Nusra Front, we haven’t been dragged into confrontation with those we see as brothers in religion, arms and revolution like Faylaq al-Rahman, and we have never stood up to any initiative to unite the ranks and heal the rift”. Jaish al-Islam spokesman Hamza Birqdar said in the video. “We declare our agreement, in the leadership of Jaysh al-Islam, to the initiative launched by the Military Council in Damascus and its countryside under the command of Colonel Amar Khaled Al-Nimr on the 5th of this month to end the crisis in the eastern Ghouta.”
Lt. Col. Abu Osama, spokesman for the Military Council in Damascus and its countryside, said:
“The main goal of the initiative is to unite the military factions, followed by the unification or coordination of the work of civilian staffs such as the judiciary, police, service institutions and others that suffer from division in the current situation.”
It’s believed that the foreign supporters, especially Saudi Arabia, are trying to unite all opposition forces in Eastern Ghouta, including HTS under their leadership. The aim of the effort is to counter government fources anti-terror efforts in the area.

Comments

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)

Summary
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.

Analysis


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)

Summary


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.

Analysis


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