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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (March-April 2015)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series] 

English Articles       

ISIS Threatens Twitter Founder And Employees Over Blocked Accounts (1 March 2015) David Mack reports that ISIS supporters called on jihadis around the world "to kill Twitter employees because of the company’s frequent blocking of their social media accounts."

ISIS releases several captured Christians: activists (1 March 2015) "The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released at least 19 Christians on Sunday who were among the more than 220 people the militants took captive in northeastern Syria last week, activists and a local leader said".

ISIS' Next Prize: Will Libya Join the Terrorist Group's Caliphate? (2 March 2015) Geoffrey Howard writes about how ISIS (or groups affiliated with it) took advantage of the vacuum created by the deepening political crisis and collapse of state institutions in Libya. 

Tikrit ISIS Battle: Top Iranian Commander On Iraq Frontlines Of Crucial Offensive Against Islamic State (3 March 2015) Lora Moftah reports that the top Iranian commander Qassam Soleimani is helping to lead the offensive against ISIS in Tikrit. 

Syrian army and Kurdish forces fight ISIL on two fronts  (3 March 2015) Uncoordinated offensives against ISIL launch in al-Hassakeh, as regime forces and YPG secure villages from ISIL. 

ISIS loses more than 20 villages in Syria (3 March 2015) Kurdish and Assad forces take over 20 villages from ISIS in Syria. 

In Northern Syria, is the US running out of rebel allies? (4 March 2015) “Harakat Hazzm, a US-armed group vetted by the CIA for training, has fallen to an Al Qaeda affiliate that is targeting moderate rebels.” 

Insight - Syria's Nusra Front may leave Qaeda to form new entity (4 March 2015) Syria’s Nusra Front seeks to branch away from al Qaeda in order to create a new entity with support from the Gulf states.

How Yarmouk refugee camp became the worst place in Syria (5 March 2015) Jonathan Steele writes about the ways in which Yarmouk, near the center of Damascus—which used to be a safe refugee camp for Palestinians—become, under siege, the worst place on earth. The camp is currently a prison for its remaining residents, who survive on little food and water, with no hope of escape. The Arabic summary of this article can be found here: الغارديان: مخيم اليرموك أسوأ الأماكن في سوريا

Rising Out of Chaos: The Islamic State in Libya (5 March 2015) Frederic Wehrey and Ala’ Alrababa’h on the spread and integration of jihadism in Syria and Libya, and how this gave rise to a new branch of the Islamic State.   

Meet the "Monuments Men" Risking Everything to Save Syria's Ancient Treasures From ISIS (6 March 2015) Bryan Schatz writes about an underground network of activists secretly documenting the ransacking of Syria's ancient treasures in ISIS-held areas. The article highlights the group achievements and the risks they face. 

The U.S. Needs to Rethink Its Anti-ISIS Approach in Syria (6 March 2015) Faysal Itani argues that "the coalition campaign has contributed to the near-collapse of nationalist forces in northern Syria who, despite their imperfections, were ISIS’s most effective rivals and competed with Jabhat al Nusra for leadership of the insurgency." 

Deaths Reported in Syria of Top Figures in Group Affiliated With Al Qaeda (6 March 2015) Ben Hubbard reports that four Nusra Front leaders, including Samir Hijazi, were killed in Syria, near the Turkish border, but that it remained unclear what had killed them.

Win or lose Tikrit, Isis can only be defeated in Iraq by the Sunni (7 March 2015) Hassan Hassan discusses the reason why the Tikrit offensive has the potential to intensify sectarian tensions and benefit ISIS.

Islamic State Militants Attack Christian Villages in Syria (7 March 2015) Maria Abi-Habib reports that violent clashes occurred on 8 March between ISIS and a mixture of Assyrian Christians and Kurdish fighters when ISIS launched a fresh offensive to overrun a string of Christian towns in northeastern Syria.

Air strike on Islamic State-run refinery in Syria kills 30: monitor (8 March 2015) US-led coalition air strike in Syria hits an oil refinery controlled by the Islamic State.

‘Raising tomorrow’s mujahideen’: the horrific world of Isis’s child soldiers (10 March 2015) Jessica Stern and JM Berger write about ISIS recruitment of children who have been filmed executing prisoners for Isis.

ISIS Syria-Iraq supply lines smashed: coalition (11 March 2015) According to this news article, US-led coalition forces fighting ISIS "have cut critical communication and supply lines used by the extremists between Syria and Iraq after a two-week operation."

War in Syria: how my life has changed (11 March 2015) Mona Mahmood shares the perspectives of six Syrians from across the divide, from rebel officers to regime supporters. 

Battered but Unbowed, ISIS Is Still on Offensive (13 March 2015) Though the Islamic State has been facing many military and financial pressures, the group remains expanding its ideological influence in the region.

US does not want to see Syrian regime 'collapse': CIA (14 March 2015) CIA Director John Brennan states that the U.S. fears chaotic collapse of Syria, and that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime would allow extremist takeover.

What's distracting us from the Syrian conflict? (16 March 2015) Omar Imady writes about major events, such as ISIL, effectively distracted "all the major players, and observers from the daily killing, imprisonment, torture, homelessness and psychological trauma of the new generation of Syrians in refugee camps."

France says Assad talks would be 'scandalous gift' to IS (16 March 2015) “French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday rejected any role for President Bashar al-Assad in Syrian peace talks, saying it would be a "scandalous gift" to the Islamic State group.”

Islamism in the IS age (17 March 2015) Marc Lynch writes about challenges that confront the academics who study Islamic State.

ISIS Urges Sympathizers to Kill U.S. Service Members It Identifies on Website (21 March 2015) Michael s. schmidt & Helene Cooper reports about recent threat to American military personnel imposed by ISIS, “the Islamic State has called on its members and sympathizers in the United States to kill 100 service members whose names, photos and purported addresses it posted on a website.”

Under ISIS, Life In Mosul Takes A Turn For The Bleak (21 March 2015) The push against ISIS is not making any progress in Mosul or Tikrit, but ISIS is losing support daily.

Syria has long been a country divided (23 March 2015) Stephen Starr on the amount of blood lost in Syria in the last four years, and why it is not surprising that the conflict lasted this long.

Islamic State recruits 400 children since January: Syria monitor (24 March 2015) The Islamic State has encouraged parents to send their children to be trained and recruited by the group. Children are easier to brainwash, and the Islamic State has had difficulty recruiting adults recently.

The Children of ISIS (25 March 2015) Janet Reitman follows the story of three American kids from the suburbs of Chicago who tried to join ISIS and questions if the Feds should treat them as terrorists.

Iraq Isn't the Right Front A Syria-First Strategy to Fight ISIS (29 March 2015) Hassan Hassan comments on the battle for Tikrit against ISIS and argues that the real battlefield on which to fight ISIS is in Syria.

Iraq and Syria are 'finishing schools' for foreign extremists, says UN report (1 April 2015) The number of fighters joining the Islamic State and al-Qaida increases according to UN report.

The Islamic State's child soldiers (3 April 2015) Ash Gallagher reports that The Islamic State has been recruiting child soldiers in preparation for a new generation of extremist fighters. The Arabic version of this article can be found here: الجنود الأطفال في داعش

As-Salamiyah Coordination Committee: A Response to Suleiman Hraki (3 April 2015) Coordination Committee issues statement denouncing remarks by Coalition member Suleiman al-Hraki regarding the massacre committed by ISIS against civilians in al-Maboujah (Salamiyah). 

“Catastrophe” in Yarmouk as ISIS seizes camp (5 April 2015) Maureen Clare Murphy comments on the recent reports about ISIS controlling of large areas of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp and the fears over the safety of the 18,000 civilians trapped there.  

ISIL’s Yarmouk offensive has profound implications (6 April 2015) Hassan Hassan on the strategic implications of the ISIS offensive in the Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk, and what this means for Syria’s civil war.

‘Beyond Inhumane’: Catastrophe in Yarmouk (7 April 2015) A brief outline of the history of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, Syria and the current humanitarian crisis.

Twitter Says It Suspended 10,000 ISIS-Linked Accounts in One Day (9 April 2015) Rick Gladstone reports that the social media network’s violations department suspended approximately 10,000 ISIS-linked accounts on April 2 “for tweeting violent threats." 

Deir al-Zor Suffers Under Islamic State’s Harsh Rules on Aid (10 April 2015) Hussam al-Jaber reports about difficulties and indignities that people in Deir al-Zor suffer during the distribution of aid packages under the rule of ISIS.

Making sense of the Islamic State (10 April 2015) Forward This Week interviews Charles R. Lister, visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, who shines light on how the Islamic State came into being and how it can possibly be defeated.

Radicalized Western mothers lead children into Islamic State (13 April 2015) Brenda Stoter reports that many Western women have joined the Islamic State, often bringing their children along with them to Syria, where they train and go to school. The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
 أمّهات غربيّات متطرّفات يدفعن بأولادهنّ للانضمام إلى تنظيم الدولة الإسلاميّة

ISIS withdraws from Yarmouk camp, Nusra remains: residents (15 April 2015) ISIS fighters withdraw from Yarmouk, leaving Nusra as the main group inside the camp.

Russia hopes U.N. Syria talks will lead to united fight with IS (16 April 2015) Russian envoy to the United Nations, Alexey Borodavkin, said "latest U.N. efforts to resolve the Syria crisis could succeed this time and lead to a united front against Islamic State followed by a political transition."  

Al-Mabouja: Civilian Martyrs, or Shabeeha? (18 April 2015) Hasan Arfeh comments on Al-Mabouja village massacre that was committed by ISIS and the controversy around it. The Arabic version of this article can be found here: المبعوجة.. شهداء مدنيون أم شبيحة؟ 

Isis stalemate forces US into a cold assessment of Iraq government and other potential allies (19 April 2015) “Iraqi army failures quietly edge Washington towards support for Iranian-backed militias. Patrick Cockburn reports”

Six youths arrested in US for trying to travel to Syria to join Islamist militants (20 April 2015)  “Authorities said a handful of Minnesota residents have gone to Syria to fight with militants within the last year. At least one has died while fighting for the Islamic State group.”

Isis militants embrace 'gay' men before 'stoning them to death in public' in Syria (24 April 2015) Heather Saul writes about the newly released pictures by ISIS that "show two allegedly homosexual men being embraced by militants before they were brutally stoned to death in public."

Abductions in Syria cause widespread fear (27 April 2015) Massoud Hamed reports that "The Islamic State and the Kurdish People's Protection Units have been carrying out kidnappings in Syria, both seemingly working toward the same goal: terrorizing those who do not support them." The Arabic version of this article can be found here: الحراك الثوريّ وعمليّات الخطف الممنهجة ضدّهم في سوريا

Iraq's refugee crisis: 100,000 people displaced by fighting as Isis regains ground from Iraqi army in Anbar province (27 April 2015) Cathy Otten reports that "thousands more Iraqis have been forced to flee from the western province of Anbar since the beginning of April after their homes were destroyed in brutal Isis attacks"

ISIL seems to be losing appeal and here’s why (28 April 2015) The Islamic State is losing a degree of support to Syrian rebel coalition, according to Hassan Hassan.

Debate about ISIS 

Note: Graeme Wood’s article on ISIS in The Atlantic touched off a national debate about the insurgent group’s uses and abuses of Islam. In response to Wood’s article, William McCants, a fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of the Project on US Relations with the Islamic World, organized a series of debates between scholars of ISIS and political Islam to think through some of the issues raised by Wood, giving him a chance to weigh in along the way. In each post, the authors debate the philosophical and policy challenges posed by the confluence of Islam and politics.

Experts Weigh In (part 1): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (13 March 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 2): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (17 March 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 3): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (19 March 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 4): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (31 March 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 5): Is quietist Salafism the alternative to ISIS? (1 April 2015) 

Experts Weigh In (part 6): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (1 April 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 7): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (7 April 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 8): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (8 April 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 9): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (9 April 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 10): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS? (27 April 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 11): How does ISIS approach Islamic scripture? (24 March 2015)

Experts Weigh In (part 12): How does ISIS approach Islamic scripture? (26 March 2015)

Policy and Reports 

Here's all of the area that ISIS controls (5 March 2015) Jessica Lewis McFate, Institute For The Study Of War, analyzes ISIS sanctuary map to account for ISIS’s losses and gains inside Iraq and Syria after the anti-ISIS operations.

The ideology of the Islamic State (March 2015) Cole Bunzel explores the ideology of the Islamic State in a new analysis paper. 

What ISIS Really Wants (March 2015) Graeme Wood answers, in this article, questions like where did ISIS come from, and what are its intentions? What is its strategy and how to stop it.

The ISIS Twitter census: Defining and describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter (March 2015) “Although much ink has been spilled on ISIS’s activity on Twitter, very basic questions about the group’s social media strategy remain unanswered. In a new analysis paper, J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan answer fundamental questions about how many Twitter users support ISIS, who and where they are, and how they participate in its highly organized online activities.”

The Islamic State is Losing, But No One Is Winning (13 March 2015) Aron Lund discusses the Islamic State and the obvious pressures they are facing. Despite that, he argues that the Islamic state will not stop or disappear, but rather, will remain on the offensive. 

ISIS and the sectarian conflict in the Middle East (15 March 2015) The radical jihadis of ISIS still control large areas of Iraq and Syria, despite the international campaign against them. But who are they really? This report was produced by the British parliamentary research services and the information was provided to Members of Parliament in support of their parliamentary duties 

Life under Isis: The everyday reality of living in the Islamic 'Caliphate' with its 7th Century laws, very modern methods and merciless violence (15 March 2015) “Inside the 'Islamic State' - part one: Patrick Cockburn today begins a groundbreaking week-long series of dispatches which will explore the creation of this so-called Islamic State, what it’s like to live under the jihadis’ rule, and what if anything the West can do about it. Today, he talks to people living in the ‘caliphate’ to find out how they regard Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s merciless but powerful new state and how it treats them” 

Life under Isis: Why I deserted the 'Islamic State' rather than take part in executions, beheadings and rape - the story of a former jihadi (16 March 2015) “Inside the 'Islamic State' - part two: Continuing his landmark series on life inside the Islamic State, Patrick Cockburn hears the story of a former Isis fighter who chose to desert rather than take part in the barbarity visited on the jihadis’ enemies”

ISIS Struggles With Infighting, Defections (18 March 2015) In this interview with CBC Radio The Current's Marc Apollonio, Lina Khatib, heads the Carnegie Middle East Center, and Faysal Itani, a Middle East specialist with the Atlantic Council, discuss the revealing "signs of genuine disunity inside the ISIS ranks [that] would be something new, and a potentially important development for the countries locked in battle with the group."

Are Syrian Islamists moving to counterbalance Al-Qaeda? Will it last? (23 March 2015) Charles Lister analyzes the pragmatic relationships between Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, and the Syrian armed opposition.

The State of the Islamic State (2 April 2015) Mona Alami discusses ISIS’s strategy and its rapid increase in the Middle East region. 

The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein’s (4 April 2015) Liz Sly on the similarities between ISIS’s ideology and Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party rule. They overlap in their “reliance on fear to secure the submission of the people under the group’s rule.” 

ISIS is the Product of Muslim Humiliation and the New Geopolitics of the Middle East (7 April 2015) Hooshang Amirahmadi analyzes the geopolitics of the Middle East and argues that “the contemporary Middle East is the product of these three geopolitical waves and the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) represents one of its ugliest humiliating consequences”.

ISIS: Is the Caliphate Cracking? (9 April 2015) There are signs of internal dissension within the self-proclaimed Islamic State. But even if it is in partial retreat, it is a likely threat in the Middle East—and to Western interests—for years to come. Maha Yahya, Rod Nordland, Christopher Gunness, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, and Wayne White discuss these issues with TV/Radio Broadcast, KCRW’s To the Point. 

Isis: Inside the struggling Islamic State economy in Iraq and Syria (11 April 2015) Orlando Crowcroft on the method through which the Islamic State earns its revenue.

Report Finds Alarming Outflow Of Kosovars To Islamic State (15 April 2015) The Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS) found in a new report that at least 232 Kosovo citizens are fighting alongside militants in Syria and Iraq, making Kosovo rank eighth overall (and first per capita) among the 22 Western states with citizens fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Iraq: ISIS Escapees Describe Systematic Rape/ Yezidi Survivors in Need of Urgent Care (15 April 2015) Human Rights Watch's report shows that ISIS has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq. The Arabic version of this report can be found here:  
العراق ـ الهاربات من داعش تصفن عمليات اغتصاب ممنهجة

The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State (18 April 2015) Spiegel has been given exclusive access to the papers of an Iraqi officer who planned Islamic State's takeover in Syria. The papers portray an organization that, while seemingly driven by religious fanaticism, is actually coldly calculating. The Arabic version of this article can be found here: مترجم: خطة الإرهاب.. ملفات سرية تكشف بنية الدولة الإسلامية   

ISIS and Migrant Smugglers Exploit Lawless Libya (21 April 2015) "Speaking on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, Carnegie’s Frederic Wehrey discussed important recent developments in Libya, including the capsized boat carrying immigrants from Libya to Italy and the killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya by the self-proclaimed Islamic State."

Exclusive: Pentagon Map Hides ISIS Gains (22 April 2015) Tim Mak analyzes the Pentagon Map which Hides ISIS Gains,“[t]he Pentagon’s map assessing the so-called Islamic State’s strength has only two categories: territory held by ISIS currently, and territory lost by ISIS since coalition airstrikes began in August 2014. The category that would illustrate American setbacks—where ISIS has actually gained territory since the coalition effort began—is not included.”

ISIS Replace Injured Leader Baghdadi With Former Physics Teacher (22 April 2015) Jack Moore writes about the recent reports that claim "the terror group's caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was seriously wounded in a U.S. coalition airstrike in western Iraq in March, leaving him with injuries which allegedly rendered him incapable of carrying out the day-to-day duties as caliph." 

Where the Islamic State Gets Its Weapons (27 April 2015) C. J. Chivers writes about the recent investigation by Conflict Armament Research in Syria, which led to the discovery of Chinese CQ, an M-16 knockoff that resembles its predecessor but has a starkly different arms-trafficking history.

ISIL’s Small Ball Warfare: An Effective Way to Get Back into a Ballgame. (29 April 2015) Craig Whiteside provides his deep insights into Christoph Reuter' recent report in Der Spiegel that chronicles the activities and personal papers of Haji Bakr, a high ranking member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Whiteside analyzes the Iraqi context in which ISIL’s tactics have emerged.

Economy and Agriculture

TAKFIRINOMICS: How ISIS funds its caliphate  (2 March 2015) An excerpt from ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, by Hassan Hassan and Michael Weiss, how ISIS war economy actually works.

Regime and ISIS Agree to Share Electricity in Aleppo Countryside (17 March 2015) According to this article, an agreement has been reached between the Syrian regime and ISIS to share a power station with over half of the facility's output going to ISIS-held areas of Aleppo.

Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media 

طبيبة سورية تهرب من تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية وتروي قصتها (March 1 2015) A Syrian physician tells her story of escaping the Syrian conflict and ISIS.

"The Management of Savagery" gives insight into ISIS' strategy (2 March 2015) “"The Management of Savagery", written by an al-Qaeda strategist was translated into English by Brookings Institution fellow Will McCants. The book gives insight into tactics being used by extremist groups.”

People & Power - Western Jihadis in Syria (4 March 2015) People & Power meets young Muslims who have abandoned the West to fight in Syria.

The Islamic State’s ideology & propaganda (11 March 2015) “On March 11, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World convened a panel of the papers’ authors and experts on the Islamic State’s propaganda to discuss what the group wants and how to counter it.”

لمحة داخل حياة المقاتلات الكرديات ضد "داعش"  (March 18, 2015) A collection of photos that shows the lives of female Kurdish fighters against ISIS. 

بالصور .. داعش يبدأ بانشاء نظام اتصالات لاسلكية في مناطق سيطرته (March 20, 2015) According to Anadolu Agency, ISIS began setting up wireless networks in the areas under their control near the Syrian-Turkish borders, as shown in the pictures. 

حصري وثائقي: "ثائرة من الرقة".. الشابة السورية التي تحدت تنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية" (March 21, 2015) This documentary tells the story of Haya Ali who challenged ISIS by going back to her home city Raqqa between 2013 and 2014 in order to document the daily life of people there under the rule of ISIS.

Afghanistan's changing of the guard: ISIS recruits in Taliban territory (6 April 2015) Nick Paton Walsh reports that a group of fighters in Afghanistan agreed to be filmed by a CNN cameraman parading their ISIS flags in a valley not far to the south of Kabul. 

عمّ يتساءلون: حُكُم تدمير الآثار التاريخية والتماثيل (April 6, 2015) Radio Al-Kul hosts a religious debate explaining Islamic provisions in regard to Daesh (ISIS) actions that aim at destroying monuments and statues. 

Assad and the Palestinians: from Tal al-Zaatar to Yarmouk (7 April 2015) Ibrahim Halawi argues that the emergence of ISIS inside Yarmouk camp has led to simplistic and dangerous impressions that isolate the Palestinians in the camp from the history and geography of the Syrian Uprising.

ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (9 April 2015) On Wednesday, April 8th, IPI hosted a Distinguished Author Series event, featuring Michael Weiss, co-author with Hassan Hassan of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.

ISIS release latest propaganda video showing jihadists threatening another 9/11 and to 'burn America' (12 April 2015) ISIS militants have released a sickening new video warning America of a new 9/11-style attack. The full 11-minute video can be found here: We Will Burn America IslamicState ISIS IS

Meeting IS group prisoners captured by Kurdish forces (16 April 2015) France 24’s Middle East Matters video includes interviews with Islamic State group jihadists taken prisoner by Kurdish forces in Syria. Also, it includes interviews in Egypt where a survivor of the attack on Egyptian Christians in Libya in February tells his story.

Photo/Video Essay From Yarmouk Denouncing Syria UN Representative Claims: “Yarmouk is Empty” (26 April 2015) On the 25th of April 2015, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari claimed that Yarmouk’s population doesn’t exceed 1000 person following ISIS assault on the camp. Consequently, Yarmouk’s residents gathered today under the slogan: “We Are Here To Remain….In Yarmouk”, in order to convey a clear and sharp message to Jaafari, the Syrian government and any other party.

In Search of a Syria Strategy (30 April 2015) What is the United States trying to accomplish in Syria? Are its goals achievable with current strategies? Moderated by Justin Logan, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute, panelists, Emma Ashford; Erica Borghard; and Nicholas Heras discuss how we reached this point, and the extent to which the U.S. should or should not be involved in the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Arabic Articles

 سعاد نوفل… السورية الشجاعة تخجل أن تفرح لوحدها! Duha Ashour interviews Souad Nowfal a Syrian activist who was recently awarded The Homo Homini Award in recognition of her activism.   

داعش : "خلافة بوك" بدل "فايسبوك"... ISIS announces the launch of its new social media network "5elafbook" as an alternative to Facebook.

«داعش» إذ يتغلغل في أفريقيا Tariq Azizeh writes about the expansion of ISIS in west and north Africa and the African Union response to that. 

دولة «الحشد الشعبي» في مواجهة دولة «الخلافة» Isam al Khafaji reflects on Iran and ISIS struggle for controlling Iraq.

عسكري أمريكي سابق ينفي تهم الارهاب المسندة اليه A former US Air Force veteran has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly trying to join ISIS. 

 اليونيسف تطالب الحكومات بالتفاوض مع داعش لتوصيل المساعدات Countries should negotiate with Islamic State to persuade it to let UN children's agency UNICEF into areas the militants control, says the aid organization’s representative in Syria

واقع إغاثة دير الزور في عهد الخليفة Hussam Al-Jaber discusses the humanitarian situation in Deir ez-Zor under the domination of ISIS. 

إلى داعش... الإنترنت أم الجدران العازلة؟ Fatima al-Issawi discusses the influences of factors like Internet usage and cultural isolation on ISIS's online recruitment efforts that target young people. 

ظهور داعش.... ربّ ضارة نافعة، آن الأوان لرفع الغطاء عن الاسلام الموروثMuhammad Shahrour criticizes the phenomenon of ISIS and the authority of hadith by providing Quranist analysis.  

صرخة من أجل اليرموك Dler Yoseph reflects on the recent reports about ISIS controlling of large areas of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp. 

ماذا بعد دخول داعش إلى مخيم اليرموك؟ Ammar Daioub analyzes the situation and future possibilities of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp after the control of ISIS. 

 داعش يعدم قيادات حركة النقشبندية في الموصل  ISIS executed the leaders of Naqshbandi movement in Mosul accusing them of conspiring against the organization's members.  

مأساة الرمادي: «داعش» يهجّر 90 ألفاً More than 100,000 new internal Iraqi refugees fled the fighting around the provincial capital, Ramadi, as ISIS has attempted to complete its takeover of the city. 

"داعش" يصدر هوية ثلاثية الأبعاد ISIS issued identity cards with a three-dimensional chip and an electronic SIM card “ to help Islamic State fighters securely move between the Iraqi stronghold of Mosul and their self-declared capital of Raqqa, in Syria”.

هل الدولة الإسلامية هي الحل؟ Muhammad Shahrur provides a Quranist analysis about if the Islamic state is the solution after the Arab Spring.   

تنظيم الدولة يضع قفصاً حديدياً في مدينة الطبقة لمعاقبة المدخنين وتاركي الصلاة Syrian activists from "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently" campaign reported that ISIS put an iron cage in a public square in al-Tabqah, a city located in Ar-Raqqah Governorate. The cage is to punish civilians smokers and those who do not go to pray in the mosque.

 العراق: "داعش" يفتح جبهات ثانوية بمقاتلين مستوردين Safaa Abdel-Hamid comments on news that ISIS transferred around 800 of its fiercest fighters from Syria to the Anbar province in Iraq. 

 مأساة في الرمادي Amer Mohsen provides an insight into the crucial role of the Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Committees) in the fighting against ISIS in Iraq.

قوانين دولة الخلافة تتحكم بمصير المرضى Hussam Al-Jaber demonstrates the ways in which ISIS laws negatively affects the lives, health and well-being of Syrians.


The Islamic State: A Brief Introduction (25 March 2015) “What is the Islamic State? Is it a threat as potent and large as Al Qaeda in the early 2000s? Charles R. Lister, a Brookings fellow and journalist with long experience in the region, provides answers to these and other questions in The Islamic State: A Brief Introduction. He shows that IS is not a new phenomenon but has long historical roots in the region and has evolved from a small terrorist group into a functional state.”

Review: ‘ISIS: The State of Terror,’ by Jessica Stern and J. M. Berger, and ‘ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror,’ by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan (2 April 2015) Michiko Kakutani reviews the book “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror” by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, which draws upon the authors’ extensive reporting to give insights at the organization’s evolution and its operations today.  

The Islamic State's (ISIS, ISIL) Magazine: Dabiq

“All of the issues of the Islamic State's glossy propaganda magazine 'Dabiq,' named after a key site in Muslim apocalypse mythology can be found here.” 

Or you can download the last issue (Issue 8) from here: Islamic State (ISIS) Magazine: Dabiq - "Shari'ah Alone Will Rule Africa" (Issue 8)  "The eighth issue of the Islamic State's Dabiq magazine is called Shari'ah Alone Will Rule Africa. Like other issues of Dabiq it focuses on Islamic State successes, leaving out the group's defeats in strategic areas of Iraq and Syria to focus on Africa. It emphasizes the pledge of allegiance from Boko Haram in Nigeria and terror attacks in Libya and Tunisia. It tries to portray an organization with a future by glorifying its child soldier program and undermining the legitimacy of Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra by attacking its allies as 'nationalists' and therefore un-Islamic."

About the Photography Page

The photography page aims to provide a space for reflection on photography in its various forms and uses in the Middle East. We showcase the work of photographers active in the region and cultivate critical thinking about photographic practices, representations, and history. The page publishes photo essays, articles, interviews, reviews and more. It also provides information on photographic archives, agencies, and institutions, exhibits, events, and publications.