The Global Coalition against Daesh announced Iraq's final offensive today: The Coalition welcomes the commencement of the Iraqi Security Forces' offensive to liberate Al Qaim district from Daesh Oct. 26. Al Qaim is Daesh’s final stronghold in Iraq and approximately 1,500 Daesh fighters are estimated to remain in the immediate vicinity. Al-Qa'im is a dusty … Continue reading Iraq Is About To Remove the “I” From “ISIS”
From Reuters: The fighting was over but the alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias was clearing the stadium of mines and any remaining militants, said Rojda Felat, commander of the Raqqa campaign for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). A formal declaration of victory in Raqqa will soon be made, once the city has been cleared … Continue reading Raqqa Has All But Fallen. Here’s Where ISIS Is Going Next
From Reuters: Islamic State is talking to al Qaeda about a possible alliance as Iraqi troops close in on IS fighters in Mosul, Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi said in an interview on Monday. Allawi said he got the information on Monday from Iraqi and regional contacts knowledgeable about Iraq. "The discussion has started now," … Continue reading Coming Crawling Back: ISIS Seeks Alliance with Al-Qaeda
(A billion apologies for the delay! I'm upstate New York and being near a computer has been a bit difficult. Also, there's also an issue uploading images, so this update will go without until I can fix that when I return to Brooklyn!) We should of course discount rumors that Trump will be deposed … Continue reading The Middle East in the Age of Trump
There are some 100,000 troops involved in the conquest (or reconquest, depending on your perspective) of Mosul. On the surface, the battle is meant to restore the Iraqi government to its full writ; a Baghdad-united Shi'a and Sunni realm, a nation-state on the way to functionality. In other words, a normal country. Ah, dreams. Careful … Continue reading After Mosul Falls, What Then?
It's hard to be fair to totalitarians. The vast majority of us English-reading folks have no concept of totalitarian systems beyond the hard-jawed stereotypes of Nazi movie villains, Thought Police boogeymen of 1984, or Kim Jong Un-like buffoonery. We take for granted the innate moral superiority of our systems so often that we rarely think about the … Continue reading The Islamic State Works, But That’s No Reason for Peace
As battles go, it was a real shocker: less than 1,500 Islamic State fighters defeating perhaps 30,000 Iraqi police and troops. In the course of 6 days, from June 4th to June 10th, 2014, IS militia conquered Iraq's second largest city using little more than suicide bombers and pick-up trucks. They should have been butchered: … Continue reading What the upcoming battle of Mosul tells us about the Iraqi state
Certainly, the end of this year's Ramadan will go down as one of the century's bloodiest. First Istanbul; then, Dhaka, rounded off by Baghdad, Qatif, Medina, and Jeddah. It's not wholly clear just how much the Islamic State controlled or directed these attacks, or merely inspired them, but owing to their scale, scope, and timing, … Continue reading The Bloody End of 2016’s Ramadan
It's now been just about a year since the United States went to war with the Islamic State, which is commonly called ISIL by the Obama administration or ISIS by everyone else who feels awkward about using IS's self-declared name. Here at Geopolitics Made Super, I don't shy away from using the very name IS … Continue reading One Year Later, We Must Still Ask, “Who the Hell is ISIS?”
To secure itself, the Islamic State must destroy its nearest Sunni Arab rivals, and Saudi Arabia is a tempting target.