The last few days have seen a curious story unfold in Iraq culminating in the arrest of al-Baqiri al-Najafi after he was apparently exposed as an impostor pretending to be a commander in al-hashd al-shaabi. Al-Najafi was apparently rumbled when Iraqis began to question the quality of his written Arabic as he described various ‘official’ visits
This is the first of a series of posts in which I will present analysis on data collected on the networked-public sphere surrounding the ongoing battle for Fallujah. I’ve been messing about with some data mining, analysis, and visualisation techniques and thought a comparison of how the English vs Arabic language twitter spheres have responded to
The front page story of Rudaw Arabic is reporting on a statement made by Hadi al-Amiri, Commander of Badr Organisation and senior leader in al-hashd al-shaabi, which appears to represent a complete reversal of his previous commitment that the hashd militias would only secure the perimeter of Fallujah and would not enter the city, leaving that task to
Another interesting photo of Qassem Soleimani has been circulating, I picked it up from Rudaw’s facebook feed where the news agency was asking its followers to provide their ‘explanation’ of the scene which depicts Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (near) sitting beside Qassem Soleimani (far). Al-Muhandis is the operational commander of the Popular Mobilisation Committee and is thought
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
‘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
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