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
Updated: Muqtada al-Sadr wears military uniform: Some thoughts on the secularisation of Muqtada al-Sadr
Update: 19/07/2016 Following from my post providing some analysis of Muqtada al-Sadr’s recent appearance in military garb, @toaf kindly forwarded some fascinating photos he recently took in Iraq. These photos indicate a strategy of integrating a military, nationalist-secular symbology alongside images of Sadr’s religious heritage (Baqir and Sadeq al-Sadr) in campaigns in various parts of Iraq. These
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
السيد الصافي: الجماعة التكفيرية تستهدف مقدسات جميع العراقيين بمختلف أديانهم ومذاهبهم ويدعو الى مجابهة ومقاتلة هذا البلاء قبل الندم Friday Sermon of Sayid al-Safi, representative of the Marja’ [Sistani]: The takfiri groups are targeting the holy sites of all Iraqis irrespective of their different religions and doctrines, calls for combating this scourge before it is too late.
Dated: 20 June 2014 (Friday Prayers Sermon – Video) Original source (Arabic): http://imamhussain.org/fri/101vie.html Translation starts here: The representative of the Marja’iya [Sistani] his Excellency Saiyd al-Saafy, in his Friday sermon in Holy Karbala, held at the Imam Hussein Shrine, 20th June 2014, dealt with a number of points as follows: The previous Friday, the Marja’iya [Sistani] called