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The Orton Report

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June 19, 2017

Viewing the Coalition’s Flawed Anti-Islamic State Strategy From Raqqa’s Frontlines

At the end of May, Christoph Reuter, a journalist with Der Spiegel, embedded with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as it made its way, supported by the U.S.-led Coalition, toward Raqqa city, the Syrian “capital” of the Islamic State’s (IS) …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
June 16, 2017

American Sanctions Hit Islamic State’s Finances, Propaganda, and Terrorism

Just three days after the U.S. government sanctioned two Islamic State (IS or ISIS) operatives for their role in helping the jihadists develop chemical weapons of mass destruction, another raft of sanctions were issued on 15 June against four IS …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
June 13, 2017

America Sanctions Operatives of the Islamic State’s Chemical Weapons Department

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced financial sanctions against an individual involved in the “development” of chemical weapons of mass destruction (CWMD) for the Islamic State (IS) on 12 June. Simultaneously, the State Department labelled …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
June 11, 2017

Senior Islamic State Cleric Turki al-Binali Killed in an Airstrike

It was reported on jihadist websites and by local activists that Turki al-Binali, a senior cleric of the Islamic State (IS) and perhaps the most important public proponent of the caliphate’s formation, had been killed in Syria by an airstrike …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
June 8, 2017

The West’s Partners in Syria and the Risks to Turkey

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) issued a threat against Turkey on Tuesday, at the very moment the U.S.-led Coalition was announcing the commencement of the operation to evict the Islamic State (IS) from its Syrian capital, Raqqa, in alliance with …

Posted in The Orton Report
June 7, 2017

Islamic State Continues To Keep Its Enemies Divided

This article was originally posted at The Telegraph
In its choice of target and timing, Isil has shown, once again, its skill in exploiting the rivalries of its enemies – setting them against one another to buy itself greater room for …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
June 6, 2017

The West’s Plan for Defeating the Islamic State in Syria is Fatally Flawed

This article was originally published in The New York Times
The United States recently committed itself to arming the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, known as the Y.P.G., to help evict the Islamic State from its Syrian stronghold, Raqqa. This decision is likely to …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
May 30, 2017

Analysis: Raqqa Doesn’t Want to Be Liberated By the West’s Partners

We are now on the eve of the operation to evict the Islamic State (IS) from its Syrian capital, Raqqa, and, as expected, the United States will partner with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the front-group for the Democratic Union …

Posted in The Orton Report
May 16, 2017

Analysis: Coalition Policy Is Ensuring Islamic State’s Survival

This blog is part of the Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) research series The Day After ISIS: the Middle East after Islamic State.
Within the next month, the Islamic State (IS) will likely lose its grip on its Iraqi …

Posted in The Orton Report
May 12, 2017

Analysis: Crackdown Continues in Syrian Kurdish Areas

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) controls areas of northern Syria, operating under the name of the Democratic Union Party or PYD (its political wing) and the People’s Protection Units or YPG (its military wing). On Tuesday, President Donald Trump approved …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
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