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The Orton Report

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August 17, 2017

The Forgotten Fighters: The PKK in Syria

A new report from The Henry Jackson Society, “The Forgotten Foreign Fighters: The PKK in Syria”, has highlighted the urgent need for the government to prevent British citizens joining a violent organisation with a record of war crimes.
We report on how …

Posted in Publication, Spotlight, Syria, The Orton Report, Turkey
August 16, 2017

Turkey’s Role in Syria

The Turkish government has gotten more and more deeply involved in Syria since the uprising began in 2011. But Turkey now finds its original aim, namely the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, unattainable, creating tensions with the Syrian armed opposition, …

Posted in Opinion Editorial, Syria, The Orton Report, Turkey
August 5, 2017

Iran and Russia Are Using the Taliban Against the West

The New York Times reported on the growing closeness of relations between the governments in Iran and Russia, and the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, something that became especially salient earlier this year and which has been visible for at least two …

Posted in The Orton Report
August 4, 2017

Coalition Targets Islamic State Recruiters and Terrorism Planners

The Coalition announced yesterday that it had killed eight Islamic State (IS) “leaders involved in directing external operations, as well as bomb-making, directed at regional and Western targets”.
The Coalition killed “an ISIS explosives specialist”, Abu Futtum, and an associate …

Posted in The Orton Report
July 31, 2017

The Latest Chapter of Syria’s Media War: A ‘Gay Unit’ Fighting the Islamic State

Earlier this month, it was announced that an LGBT military unit had been formed to fight the Islamic State (IS) in its Syrian “capital”, Raqqa city. There does appear to be such a unit in existence, though it is militarily …

Posted in The Orton Report
July 29, 2017

The Coalition Targets Islamic State Propagandists and External Terrorists

The United States announced on 27 July that it had killed seven “senior ISIS propagandists and facilitators in Iraq and Syria” since late March. The removal of these terrorists takes from the Islamic State “extensive experience and training, and degrades …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
July 28, 2017

The Fall of Islamic State’s Caliphate Won’t End the Foreign Attacks

The Islamic State (IS) has escalated a campaign of global terrorism over the past few years, exactly as it was losing overt control of territory. In 2016, IS consolidated a model of guiding and claiming attacks in the West and …

Posted in Spotlight, The Orton Report
July 12, 2017

In Assad’s Prisons Are Horrors Beyond the Islamic State

In Syria, the West has been keen not to repeat the mistakes of Iraq—defined as being drawn into an open-ended ‘war of choice’ in the Middle East. This insight led to watching with folded arms as the regime of Bashar …

Posted in The Orton Report
July 9, 2017

The Coalition’s Partner Against the Islamic State: The Syrian Democratic Forces

The offensive to expel the Islamic State (IS) from its primary urban stronghold in Syria, Raqqa city, began on 6 November 2016 with shaping operations and commenced in earnest on 6 June 2017. Backed by the U.S.-led Coalition, the operation, …

Posted in The Orton Report
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
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