Islamic State

Turkey Takes Aim at the Kurds

PKK Flag Turkish Kurds cc Flickr hughes_leglise

With all eyes on Kobane, the Turkish government decided to launch on attack not on the Islamic State fighters besieging the town, but the Kurds desperate to defend it.

Briefing: The Battle for Kobane

Flag of the Islamic State, cc GlobalPanorama

The Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain-al-Arab, has been the site of fierce fighting between Syrian Kurds and Islamic State (ISIS) for over three weeks. Some have even come to see it as a crucible for President Obama’s military strategy, arguing that if ISIS can still make territorial gains despite US air strikes, the chances for total victory over Islamic State are pretty bleak.

Does Obama Really Want to Defeat Islamic State?

Air strikes in Syria

President Obama’s plan to destroy Islamic State is ineffective at best. Rather, NATO allies should aim towards forcing the terrorist organization to implode from within.

Iraq: Divided They Prosper

Iraq Flag CC Nicolas Raymond

While it’s expected that it will be the Kurds who separate from Iraq, the real beneficiaries from a break-up of the country would be the Shia. They’re the ones who control 80 percent of the country’s oil wealth, and they would prefer not to share it with hostile neighbors.

Threat Assessment: The Khorasan Terror Cell More Dangerous Than Islamic State?

Mushin-al-Fadhli, Khorasan

Unlike Islamic State, this new terror cell - known as ‘Khorasan’ - is far more interested in attacking targets in Europe and North America than they are in creating an Islamic Caliphate or toppling the Assad Regime.

Islamic State Online: Jihadist Propaganda 2.0

Twitter cc Andreas Eldh

Islamic State has a deep and sophisticated internet presence unlike any of the jihadist groups that came before it.

Assessing the Threat of Returning Foreign Fighters from Central Asia

The Caucasus and Central Asia Political Map 2000

Much has been made of the potentially destabilizing effects of foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria to their home countries in Central Asia. But how real is the actual threat?

Obama’s Flawed Islamic State Strategy: From Saudi Arabia with Love

Obama Speech cc Mike Brice

President Obama’s strategy for defeating Islamic State is weak, overly ideological, and it just isn’t going to work.

Boko Haram Carving the Next ‘Islamic State’ out of Nigeria

Map of the Boko Haram Offensive in Northern Nigeria

Boko Haram is fighting to carve its own Caliphate out of the Nigerian state, and early indications suggest they might just accomplish their goal.

Saudi Arabia & Islamic State: Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Saudi Arabia Flag - cc Nicolas Raymond

Though the Saudi government may have been amenable to the rise of ISIS back when the militant group was seen as curbing Iranian influence in the region, recent developments in Iraq have likely changed a few minds in the Kingdom.

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