Understanding the War in Syria

April 18, 2017

With chemical weapon attacks on civilians and US airstrikes on Assad, the war in Syria is not ending anytime soon. To say the Syrian conflict is complicated would be an understatement. Bashar al-Assad, Syrian rebels, the Kurds, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) are all in combat with each...

Losing Christina in War-Torn Iraq

April 06, 2017

The abduction of children in Iraq by IS militants has sent minorities fleeing for their lives. “Infidels, pagans, nonbelievers”—these are terms that Islamic State (IS) militants use when referring to minority groups within their reach. The Islamic State’s offensive in 2014 victimized...

Forming the Digital Caliphate

February 21, 2017

Abdel Bari Atwan’s book is carefully researched and offers new insights into the Islamic State’s inner workings. The digital world has been a central feature of the Islamic State’s (IS) rise to power, driving much of its recruitment as well as building and maintaining its fearsome image....

The Fate of Iraq’s Indigenous Communities

January 25, 2017

The battle for Mosul will very likely push Iraq’s indigenous populations to the fringes of society. Remember who the US military first aided when American warplanes joined the battle against the Islamic State (IS) in 2014? It wasn’t the Iraqi government. It was a religious minority known as...

Turkey Faces Uphill Battle to Defeat Terrorism

January 01, 2017

Internal conflicts and external interests have created the conditions for violence in Turkey. In the last 18 months or so, there have been around 30 terrorist attacks in Turkey, killing over 1,000 people. From a country that was seen as having determined the perfect balance between Islam,...