Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts

Friday, May 30, 2014

IN PICTURES & VIDEO: Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, American "Martyrdom-seeker" for Jabhat al-Nusra


Abu Hurayra al-Amriki (the American) was killed participating in a joint attack launched by the Syrian jihadi-rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra in coordination with the Falcons of al-Sham Brigades on a Syrian government checkpoint in Idlib.  He was killed after detonating a 16-ton vehicle bomb on May 25, 2014.  He took his nom de guerre from Abu Hurayra ('Abd al-Rahman bin Sakhr al-Azdi), one of the prophet Muhammad's companions (Sahaba), as accepted by Sunnis, and a prolific transmitter of Sunni hadith.

His death was announced on May 27 by Abu Sulayman al-Muhajir, an Australian member of Jabhat al-Nusra's shari'a committee via his Twitter account as well as in an official communiqué from Jabhat al-Nusra.



JABHAT AL-NUSRA STATEMENT:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم



جبهة النصرة – البيان رقم (492)

الهجوم على مراكز الجيش النصيري في جبل الأربعين بـ 4 عمليات استشهادية في إدلب


الحمد لله الذي وعد المجاهدين في سبيله الحسنى وزيادة، وشرع لنا تحريض المؤمنين عبادة، والصلاة والسلام على من بُعث بالسيف بين يدي الساعة، وعلى آله وصحبه أولي النهى والسيادة، أمَّا بعد؛

جهز مجاهدو جبهة النصرة بالاشتراك مع ألوية صقور الشام (الجبهة الإسلامية) ما استطاعوا من عدة وعتاد لدك النظام النصيري في قمة الأربعين والتي تعدُّ آخر القمم التي يسيطر عليها النظام في إدلب فأعدوا 3 سيارات مفخخة مجهزة بأطنان من المتفجرات ومدرعة BMP محملة بـ 6 أطنان.
وفي الساعة السادسة من صباح يوم الأحد 26 من رجب 1435هـ، الموافق 25/ 5/ 2014 انطلق الأخ أبو هريرة الأمريكي -تقبله الله- بشاحنته المفخخة بـ 16 طنًا ليدكّ بها مطعم الفنار وهو أحد أهم نقاط تمركز الجيش النصيري في الجبل، لينطلق بعده الأخ أبو تراب المهاجر -تقبله الله- لدك مبنى القيادة في شارع الغار بشاحنته المحملة بـ 6 طن، ثم ينطلق الأخ دادا الله المهاجر -تقبله الله- ليدك حاجز الشامي بشاحنة تزن 7 طن من المتفجرات. أما العملية الرابعة فكانت تزن 1.5 طن وانطلق بها الأخ أبو الريش الأنصاري ليدك مبنى العرم فاستطاع ركنها -بفضل الله- وانحاز إلى إخوانه.
وبعد تنفيذ العمليات الأربع بدأت مجموعات الاقتحام تتقدم باتجاه أهدافها وما لبث المجاهدون أن مشَّطوا مبنى الفنار والبنايات الشرقية ومبنى السبع طوابق ومبنى الخمس طوابق وأحكموا الحصار على مبنى القصر الكويتي حيث قُتل عدد كبير من جنود الجيش النصيري، ولكن نتيجة القصف العنيف الذي تعرضت له المنطقة من معسكر القرميد ومعسكر المسطومة وحاجز جسر (أريحا - إدلب) بالدبابات والمدافع والرشاشات الثقيلة، فاضطر الإخوة إلى الانحياز عن المناطق التي تم تمشيطها وذلك نتيجة تهدمها بشكل شبه كامل جراء العملية الاستشهادية الأولى والقصف العنيف من النظام.
وبعد الانحياز بدأ دك المنطقة من قبل المجاهدين بالهاونات والرشاشات الثقيلة ومدفع جهنم ويستمر الرباط إلى لحظة كتابة هذا البيان على جميع نقاط التماس مع العدو النصيري.


{ وَاللهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَى أَمْرِهِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ }


(( جَبْهَةُ النُّصْرَة ))
|| مؤسسة المنارة البيضاء للإنتاج الإعلامي ||


لا تنسونا من صالح دعائكم


والحمد لله ربِّ العالمين


تاريخ نشر البيان: يوم الثلاثاء 28 من رجب 1435 للهجرة، الموافق 27/ 5/ 

2014

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My New Article: "Zaynab's Guardians: The Emergence of Shi'a Militias in Syria"



I have a new article, "Zaynab's Guardians: The Emergence of Shi'a Militias in Syria," in this month's issue of the CTC Sentinel.  The article focuses on 5 main issues: (1) the politics of sectarianism, (2) sectarianization as a gradual, parallel and mutually reinforcing process between communities in conflict, (3) overview of the composition of the militias, (4) ways in which historical memory & idioms are tapped in formulating mobilization frames for social movement creation/mobilization of social movements, & (5) why these frames resonate with the target audience(s).  These are issues which will be a part of my doctoral dissertation and I will be starting to draft more traditionally academic article drafts on some of these issues in relation to these militias and their conceptions and narratives of self-sacrifice and martyrdom (which is a social practice promoted by every community around the globe, most of all the nation-state), funery and commemorative practices, and comparing and contrasting contemporary Sunni and Shi'i Muslim conceptions and narratives of martyrdom.

INTRODUCTION:

"The public emergence of Twelver Shi`a foreign fighter militias operating with Syrian government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, together with the recent public admission by Lebanese Hizb Allah that it is also operating alongside them, is the latest in the increasing sectarianization of Syria’s civil war. Sectarianism has long been a tool used for social and political mobilization by a variety of actors, and has historically been employed as much in struggles within the same community as in struggles between different communities. Historically, sectarianism has been driven by politics and competition over group identity, and has been a part of social processes to mobilize large numbers of people against other groups. This remains true today. As conflicts break down along sectarian or ethnic lines, identifiers (differentiating one group from another)—such as religious affiliation, nationality, or tribe—become increasingly salient. Mobilization frames, which draw upon cultural idioms, are created and utilized to drive social mobilization.

This article examines the gradual sectarianization of the Syrian civil war with a particular focus on the emergence, composition, mobilization frames and media campaigns of pro-Assad Shi`a militias. Close attention is paid to the historical and cultural significance of the mobilization frames and idioms used to inspire support from a broad public, particularly Shi`a, for these groups’ participation. Understanding these frames and their historical and cultural resonance, referred to as “frame resonance” in social movement theory literature, is vital to comprehending the drivers of the mobilization and recruitment of Shi`a foreign fighters in Syria. It finds that these frames, in turn, are the central element at play in the formulation of a sectarian counter-narrative aimed at delegitimizing the Syrian opposition and Sunni rebel groups as well as attracting Shi`a foreign fighters from abroad to fight for al-Assad."

 Read the rest HERE.

There is a typo in this sentence: "For their part, pro-Assad, Sunni rebel groups have drawn upon historical narratives and polemics to counter the information operations and messaging of the al-Abbas Brigade, Hizb Allah, and other Shi`a actors in Syria."

I unfortunately missed this typo during the editing process.  The article went through numerous drafts and edits.  Clearly I did not intend to describe the rebels as pro-Assad, mea culpa. I've contacted the publication's editor-in-chief to see if it can b e fixed in the online version.

Photographic and visual primary sources referenced in the article may be viewed here:
http://occidentblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/visual-references/ 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

My Middle East Week Podcast Discussion on Conceptions of Military Jihad & Martyrdom among Contemporary Sunni and Shi'i Militants



Last week I appeared on the Middle East Week podcast hosted by Karl Morand.  We discussed conceptions of military jihad and battlefield martyrdom among contemporary Sunni and Shi'i militants, the different and often competing Sadrist groups in Iraq, Twelver Shi'i Islam, and Shi'i foreign fighters in Syria.

You can listen and download the podcast at the Middle East Week SITE.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My New Article: "Egyptian Salafis Protest Warming Relations with Iran amidst Rising Regional Sectarian Tensions" at Tahrir Squared



I have a new article that was published today at Tahrir Squared, a web site dedicated to covering issues related to the ongoing "Arab Spring."  Since my own research doesn't really focus on Egypt, I normally wouldn't have thought to write on this topic.  However, I was recently invited to by Dr. Hisham Hellyer, an Egypt specialist and one of the site's editors. 

The piece is centered on recent, growing protests by Egyptian Salafi Sunnis against warming diplomatic and economic ties with Iran as well as against Shi'ite Muslims generally, whom they view as not being Muslim. 

I also analyze the religious and political roots of their animus against both the Iranian government and Shi'ite Islam generally.

"Egyptian Salafi criticisms of Iran and Shi’ites generally are rooted in both religion and politics. On the political side, they are highly critical of the Iranian government’s continued alliance with the besieged Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, which continues to wage a brutal war against both Syrian civilians as well as rebel factions, a war which has killed an estimated 70,000 according to the United Nations.  Indiscriminate air strikes, shelling, and summary arrests, torture, and executions by government forces and allied militias have rallied most  of the region’s governments and predominantly Sunni populations against al-Assad and his government’s few remaining international supporters, namely the Iranian, Russian, and Chinese governments and various Arab Shi’ite political movements such as Hizbullah in Lebanon and Iraqi Shi’ite political parties. Political opposition to political positions vis-à-vis Syria taken by the Iranian government and other Shi’ite political actors in the region is certainly not unique to Salafis, in either Egypt or elsewhere."

Read the rest at Tahrir Squared.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

IN PICTURES: Syria in Transnational Jihadi Art, Part III: Jabha al-Nusra





















Part 1 of the series is HERE


Part 2 of the series is HERE