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The Orton Report

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February 17, 2017

Analysis: ‘Liberating Raqqa from the Islamic State’

As the new administration of Donald Trump works through the United States’ options in dealing with Syria, and the Islamic State (IS) specifically, one option apparently under consideration is the use of greater numbers of combat troops to accelerate the …

Posted in The Orton Report
February 7, 2017

Analysis: ‘Assad’s Crimes Against Humanity and Trump’s Options in Syria’

Amnesty International released a report today, “Human Slaughterhouse,” documenting the conditions in Sednaya prison, run by the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, which amount to extermination as a crime against humanity. In addition to the deliberately insanitary conditions, routinized …

Posted in The Orton Report
February 6, 2017

Analysis: ‘Al-Qaeda Reshapes the Insurgency in Northern Syria’

A series of clashes broke out on 19 January between al-Qaeda’s rebranded Syrian branch, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (JFS), and its heretofore close ally and portal into the Syrian rebellion, Ahrar al-Sham. By 23 January, JFS had expanded its targets, engaging …

Posted in The Orton Report
February 4, 2017

Analysis: ‘How the Islamic State Claims Terrorist Attacks’

With the attempted terrorist attack using machetes at the Louvre museum in Paris yesterday by Abdullah Reda al-Hamamy, whose social media history shows statements at least sympathetic to the Islamic State (IS), it raises once again the question, making no …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
February 1, 2017

Analysis: ‘Kuwaiti Islamic State Military Official Killed in Syria’

In September 2014, Kuwait undertook a series of raids against terrorists loyal to the Islamic State (IS). It was found by authorities that one of the “great influence[s]” over the jihadi-Salafists in Kuwait was Abdulmuhsin al-Taresh. Al-Taresh was an important …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
January 25, 2017

Analysis: ‘What to Expect in Syria in 2017’

Syria has broken down as a functioning entity. There were some who saw in the takeover of Aleppo City last month by the coalition of states and militias that supports Bashar al-Assad’s regime the beginning of the end of the …

Posted in The Orton Report
January 18, 2017

Analysis: ‘Chelsea Manning Is No Hero’

It might have been thought that a consistent opposition to treason was not all that difficult. But President Barack Obama’s surprise decision last night to commute the sentence of Bradley, now Chelsea, Manning, showed how deeply political partisanship has penetrated …

Posted in The Orton Report
January 13, 2017

Analysis: ‘International Taboo on Chemical Weapons Frays As U.S. Steps Back’

Yesterday, the United States Treasury Department imposed sanctions on eighteen senior officials in the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The sanctions come in response to reports in August and October 2016 by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
January 7, 2017

Analysis: ‘Islamic State Likely To Increase Terrorism Against Turkey’

It was an hour into 2017 that the Islamic State (IS) carried out its first act of mass-murder: an IS jihadist attacked the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, massacring thirty-nine people. IS has been attacking Turkey with increasing frequency over the …

Posted in The Orton Report
January 6, 2017

Analysis: ‘The Assad Regime Admits to Manipulating the Islamic State’

From the beginning of the uprising in Syria in 2011, there have been accusations that Bashar al-Assad’s regime was in a de facto partnership with the Islamic State (IS) against the mainstream opposition. These accusations have a considerable basis in …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
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