Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a graduate from Brasenose College, Oxford University, and a Jihad-Intel Research Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Qatar: Ally of Iran?

 

Is Qatar an ally of Iran? Such is the claim made against it by its two main Gulf rivals: namely, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which have imposed a blockade on the country. One also finds this claim in some punditry. For instance, here is one article from December 2017 dividing the Middle […]

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In Syria, It’s Either Reconciliation or Annexation

 

With the Syrian government’s complete conquest of the southern region, the question of the fate of the country’s remaining rebel-held areas looms ever larger. Those rebel-held areas are now almost exclusively concentrated in the northwest of Syria, with the province of Idlib as the main epicenter, stretching out into Hama, Latakia, and Aleppo provinces. The […]

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Yemen and U.S. Policy: Serious Rethinking Is Imperative

 

Warnings of a potential large-scale famine in Yemen following a Saudi naval and air blockade that the Saudis have agreed to ease have brought that country’s dire humanitarian situation to the forefront of media attention. Implicated in the controversy is U.S. policy in Yemen, since the U.S. has been providing important support to the military […]

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Iraqi Kurdistan’s Crisis: A Failure of Strategy

 

As the war against the Islamic State as an entity controlling territory comes to a close in Iraq, control over territories disputed between the Iraqi central government and the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government (KRG) has come to the forefront. Forces officially affiliated with the Baghdad government, as well as militias aligned with it on this […]

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The Iranian Land Route to the Mediterranean: Myth or Reality?

 

As the Islamic State continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria, one of the more common talking points for debate is the supposed prospect of an Iranian “land-route” running through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and the Mediterranean, and what the U.S. response should be. But how seriously should the idea of the land-route […]

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Syria: Assessing the CIA Program

 

Recent news of the Trump administration’s decision to end the CIA program of assistance to select Syrian rebel groups has sparked debate about the decision-making process and its soundness. In a report for the Weekly Standard, Thomas Joscelyn highlights that a centerpiece for the discussion was the infamous video from last year featuring members of […]

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Behind the Iraq Protests

 

Beginning in December of last year with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s arrest warrant against the bodyguard retinue of Rafi al-Issawi, who has since then announced his resignation as Finance Minister, Iraq has seen continual protests in Sunni Arab areas. At the broadest level, these protests denounce perceived discrimination by the Shia-led central government against Sunni […]

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Turkey, Iraq, and Oil

 

Though the pace of growth of the Turkish economy has slowed significantly, one of Ankara’s priorities over the coming years is to meet the country’s growing energy demands. The clearest solution is to diversify suppliers of oil and gas, with the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan (KRG) area being one potential source for such fuels. Had you […]

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Sunni Reachout to the Shia Crescent

 

When it comes to Middle East analysis, one of the conventional lines of approach taken is to assume the sectarian paradigm whereby regional developments are interpreted through the lens of Shia-Sunni relations that are perceived as becoming ever more tense. To an extent, this paradigm does have valid explanatory power. For example, on the subject […]

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Anti-Islamism in an Islamic Civil War

 

Recently a video emerged in which pro-Assad militiamen can be seen beating and shooting a prisoner to death. What might seem remarkable is that the militiamen are insulting Islam in the process, mocking the takbir — that is, the cry of “Allahu akbar” — the Islamic conception of paradise for martyrs. In the first half […]

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