Latest Articles about Middle East


Attacks Demonstrate IS-CAP Evolution in Mozambique Brian M. Perkins Northern Mozambique has witnessed a significant escalation of operations by Islamic State Central Africa Province (IS-CAP) in recent weeks, with the group claiming two substantial attacks over a span of just three days. The attacks, which... MORE

Coronavirus and Continued Conflict Push Syria Into Greater Chaos

The first quarter of 2020 saw a serious escalation of combat in Syria, albeit without much alteration in the political trends, and the arrival of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has exacerbated a fraught situation. Under the Astana process, which began in late 2016, Turkey, Russia,... MORE

The Leadership and Future of Kata’ib Hezbollah

On February 26, the U.S. State Department designated Ahmed al-Hamidawi, the new secretary general of the Iraqi Shia militia, Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH), as a specially designated global terrorist (, February 26). The designation came amid ongoing tension between the United States and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia... MORE

AQAP’s New Emir: Who is Khalid Batarfi?

On February 23, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video message from its prominent scholar Hamid al-Tamimi confirming the death of the group’s leader, Qasim al-Raymi, from a U.S. drone strike in Yemen (NewsYemen, February 23; al-Arabiya, February 23). In the same message,... MORE


The Shifting Power of al-Qaeda’s Affiliates Brian M. Perkins Several significant developments with broad implications for al-Qaeda and its global affiliates have taken place since early 2019. Leadership losses and changing conflict dynamics have led to a notable reshuffling in terms of the strength and... MORE

The Houthis’ War to Lose: The Battle for Marib

Yemen’s Houthis have defied the forecasts of numerous analysts who predicted that their grip on northwest Yemen would erode. Rather than being weakened, Houthi and allied forces are stronger and better organized than at any point over the last two years. The Houthis’ recent offensives... MORE

China-Iran Relations: The Not-So-Special “Special Relationship”

Introduction Over the years, unremitting hostility between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran has created opportunities as well as dilemmas for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May... MORE


Iraq’s Political Crisis Further Hinders Anti-IS Security Collaboration Brian M. Perkins Iraq's political crisis continues to worsen as Abdul Mahdi's intended successor, Mohammed Allawi, withdrew his candidacy (Al Jazeera, March 2). Allawi cited opposition from the public and other political leaders as the reason for... MORE