Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog

Life on the Frontlines: Account of a Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham Fighter

The war in Syria has now lasted for more than 11 years, but the majority of its days have not consisted of active battles. As time passes, this observation will be even more valid if there is maintenance of the status quo since the spring of 2020, when a ceasefire arrangement for northwest Syria was established between Turkey and Russia, ending the most recent major military campaign. The reality of most of the war has been and still is 'ribat': that is, maintenance of the frontlines and keeping on the lookout for enemy movements. This ribat in the present time is sometimes punctuated by skirmishes and exchanges of fire, but not active battles.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Tue, September 20, 2022 8:43 AM  |  Permalink

Islamic State Editorial on New Speech by Spokesman Abu Omar al-Muhajir: Translation and Analysis

Analysts of Islamic State and jihadism in general are sometimes accused of unnecessarily amplifying the messages of jihadist groups. The criticism in my view is not entirely invalid. For example, I see no reason why analysts should be promoting on Twitter the early announcement of a forthcoming release by the Islamic State's al-Furqan Foundation (which these days normally takes the form of a speech by the official spokesman of the group).

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Fri, September 16, 2022 2:08 PM  |  Permalink

A Sermon by Adémar de Chabannes on Famine in 11th-Century France: Translation and Overview

My esteemed friend and colleague Richard Landes, who last year had me translate a letter by Saint Agobard and other bishops on the "Jewish superstitions" in ninth-century CE Carolingian France, has drawn my attention to another interesting medieval text with a suggestion for translation- this time a sermon by the French monk Adémar de Chabannes, who lived in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries CE and is best known for championing the cause of Saint Martial (the first bishop of Limoges) and falsely portraying him as one of the original apostles when in fact he was a third century bishop. To support this false claim regarding Martial, Adémar engaged in literary forgery, and it is probable that his tendencies to fabrication were only exacerbated by the humiliation he endured at the hands of an Italian prior- Benedict of Chiusa- in 1029 CE as the supposed apostolic mass of Martial (which Adémar had invented) was about to be celebrated in front of a public audience. The audience ended up siding with Benedict.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Tue, September 13, 2022  |  Permalink

Iraq's Political Crisis: Interview with Aws al-Khafaji

Iraq currently finds itself in the grip of a political crisis principally rooted in a deadlock between the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr (the 'Sadrists') and the other Shi'a political factions in a coalition called 'The Coordination Framework.' The latter is backed by Iran though this does not mean that all factions of the framework are united by a pro-Iranian affinity or stance. What unites them principally is a negative: opposition to the prospect of Sadr dominating the Iraqi state.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Sun, September 11, 2022  |  Permalink

سيرة بهاء حامد الحيالي: من قدامى حرب سوريا العراقيين

قاتل الكثير من العراقيين في الحرب بسوريا الى جانب الحكومة، وكان بعضهم يقيم في سوريا قبل الحرب ولعب دوراً مهماً في تأسيس التشكيلات مثل لواء أبي الفضل العباس ولواء ذو الفقار ولواء أسد الله الغالب وفوج التدخل السريع ولواء الإمام الحسين ولواء أسود العراق. وأتى البعض من العراق إلى سوريا ليعود الى العراق لاحقاً. أمّا بهاء حامد الحيالي، فتمثّل سيرته ما يجمع بين النوعين، حيث لم يقم في سوريا قبل الحرب ولكنه أتى وكان يقيم هناك تقريباً وقت وفاته. تابعت صفحته على وسائل التواصل الإجتماعي إلا أنني لم أتمكن من اجراء مقابلة معه. وتوفي قبل أكثر من سنة وأوثّق سيرته هنا، معتمداً في الغالب على شهادة أحد أقربائه.

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By أيمن جواد التميمي  |  Mon, September 5, 2022 4:32 PM  |  Permalink

The Life of Baha Hamid al-Hayali: Iraqi Veteran of the War in Syria

Many Iraqis have fought in the Syrian civil war on the side of the government. Of these, some were residing in Syria prior to the war and played an important role in setting up formations like the original Liwa Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas, Liwa Dhu al-Fiqar, Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib, the Rapid Intervention Regiment, Liwa al-Imam al-Hussein, and Liwa Usud al-Iraq. Others came from Iraq to Syria to fight, only to return to Iraq later. The life of Baha Hamid al-Hayali represents a crossover between the two. He was not living in Syria prior to the war, but he came and was virtually living there at the time of his death. I was connected with him on social media though never had the opportunity to do an interview with him. He died over a year ago and I document his life here, relying mainly on the testimony of one of his relatives.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Mon, September 5, 2022 4:07 PM  |  Permalink

مقابلة حصرية مع غرفة عمليات الكتائب المستقلة

، في إطار سياسات هيئة تحرير الشام التي تهدف إلى تعزيز السلطة والقوة في شمال غرب سوريا (أي منطقة إدلب وما حولها) سعت الجماعة الى فرض غرفة عمليات الفتح المبين (التي تقودها) على جميع الفصائل فلا يجوز لها ان توحد جهودها ومواردها والقيام بعمليات عسكرية خارج هذه الغرة. وتُستثنى من ذلك (على ما يبدو) بعض الجماعات الجهادية الصغيرة مثل أنصار التوحيد وأنصار الإسلام حيث تسمح الهيئة لها بأن تعمل في إطار مستقل بشكل كامل: أي من دون تشكيل غرف عمليات مستقلة. فبالتالي تسمح الهيئة لهذه الفصائل الصغيرة بأن ترابط وتشتبك مع قوات الحكومة السورية وحلفائها من دون التسبب في انهيار اتفاق وقف إطلاق النار والذي تفاوضت عليها تركيا وروسيا وتم تنفيذه منذ ربيع ٢٠٢٠.

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By أيمن جواد التميمي  |  Wed, August 31, 2022 1:37 PM  |  Permalink

The Operations Room of Independent Battalions: Interview

As part of its consolidation of authority and power in northwest Syria (the region of Idlib and its environs), Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham has sought to make the "al-Fath al-Mubin Operations Room" (which it leads) the sole avenue by which factions can combine efforts and resources and undertake military operations. The notable exceptions appear to be some smaller jihadist groups (e.g. Ansar al-Tawheed, Ansar al-Islam and others) that are given approval by Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham to operate in a completely independent capacity: that is, without forming separate operations rooms. These smaller factions are thus effectively allowed to engage in frontline manning and their own tit-for-tat skirmishes with the Syrian government and its allies without bringing about a collapse of the broader ceasefire arrangement that was negotiated between Turkey and Russia and has been in place since spring 2020.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Mon, August 29, 2022  |  Permalink

Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham's Security Apparatus on Arresting Killers of Turki Bayas

Just days ago I documented the killing of Turki Bayas and his wife who are of the original Druze inhabitants of the Jabal al-Summaq area in Idlib. I documented Turki's life based on local testimony and noted that there was doubt that the killing was simply a criminal act driven by a desire to commit robbery. I suggested that one possibility was that the killer was of those who declare takfir on the original Druze inhabitants (despite the announced conversion to Sunni Islam) and thus deem it permissible to rob them, attack them and kill them. I offered a similar suggestion in relation to the killing of Hikmat Haddad from the nearby village of Kukku a few weeks earlier.

Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, which imposed conversion on the original Druze inhabitants and outwardly accepts them as Sunni Muslims, has announced the arrest of the killers of Turki Bayas and his wife. It would appear from the details released that the line of thought I offered about this killing and the killing of Hikmat Haddad as being the work of takfiri types was correct.

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By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi  |  Wed, August 24, 2022  |  Permalink

سيرة الشهيد المظلوم تركي بياس من قرية كفتين في جبل السماق

بعد حوالي ثلاثة أسابيع من مقتل الشهيد المظلوم حكمت هداد من قرية كوكو في جبل السماق (وسكّانه من الطائفة الدرزية أصلاً)، يقدّم الجبل شهيدين مظلومين من جديد ألا وهما تركي بياس (أبو مركز) وزوجته (هدى ذيبار). وهنا أقدّم بعض تفاصيل سيرة تركي حتى لا ننساه ونكرّم ذكره.

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By أيمن جواد التميمي  |  Sat, August 20, 2022 8:26 AM  |  Permalink

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