Who is leading / participating in Iraq’s Fallujah Operation?: A closer look at the ‘Iranian-backed Shi’i militias’ narrative

  France 24 hosted an interesting debate yesterday (30/05/2016) on the current military operations against ISIS in Fallujah and Raqqa. The guests included: journalist Wassim Nasr; former head of the French UN Military Mission to Iraq, Dominique Trinquand; Adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Michael Pregent; and Senior Fellow at SAIS-John Hopkins University, Dr Abbas

Translation: Ali Al-Sistani’s guidance to fighters engaged in Fallujah

Mustafa Al-Khaqani ‏@Khaqani_M shared the an interesting picture (below) showing the guidance on battlefield rules issued a few days ago by Shi’i marja’ Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani spreading amongst fighters engaged in the Fallujah operation. What follows is a rough translation of this guidance with the original Arabic text below: “So it comes to the fight with those

Mapping Iraqi political, legal, military, and intelligence structures and key figures

I have updated my map of key figures in the Iraqi state, legal, military, and intelligence structures to account for recent changes at the Ministry of Interior, Intelligence, and the head of Baghdad Operations. Key sackings and resignations, as a result of ISIS attacks on Baghdad that have resulted in mass civilian casualties, include: Zuhair Gharbaoui

‘Iran prepares to occupy Fallujah, the Kurds prepare to occupy Raqqa, and the Arabs prepare to watch part eight of Bab al-Hara…’ Faisal al-Qassem and Arabist discourse on Fallujah and Iraq.

‘Iran prepares to occupy Fallujah, the Kurds prepare to occupy Raqqa, and the Arabs prepare to watch part eight of Bab al-Hara…’, so tweeted Faisal al-Qassem this morning (27/05/2016) in response to the two operations currently underway against IS in Iraq and Syria. Qassem’s message encapsulates some of the long-established tropes of Arabist discourse, namely

Qassem Soleimani photo causing a stir…

Some interesting images have been circulating on social media regarding the Fallujah operation currently under way in Iraq. This photo was reportedly shared yesterday by Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (which emerged from Asa’b Ahl al-Haq), bearing the group’s logo and stating that it was taken ‘near Fallujah’. It shows Iranian Quds Force commander (the ‘Iranian Karla’ in

Mapping al-hashd al-shaabi (The Popular Mobilisation)

Important notes: Firstly, this is a work in progress, I will be developing it as time goes on. Secondly, I don’t claim that this information is reliable, in fact many of the sources are unverifiable, journalistic, or from information that is recycled by security analysts and think tankers within the defence establishment. Other sources include