Monday, February 15

Syrian Officer Gave a View of War. ISIS Came, and Silence Followed.

"BEIRUT, Lebanon — Ours was an unusual, sometimes operatic, correspondence that unfolded over more than a year. Abu al-Majd, a Syrian police officer who was being deployed more and more often like a soldier, texted at all hours, sending news from the front lines and grumbling about boring, sunbaked patrols, his complaints sometimes punctuated by expressions of terror, pride or doubt. For us, it was a critical window into the raging war in Syria that we were too often forced to follow from afar. For him, it seemed, as much as anything, about having a connection to people who lived outside the claustrophobia of war, yet cared about what he was going through. On May 19 last year, Abu al-Majd sent a pair of snapshots. One showed him in fatigues, smoking a water pipe and starting to smile, as if a friend had just walked in; two cups of Turkish coffee, still foamy, stood on a table. ..."
NY Times

2014 August: The Islamic State, 2014 September: How ISIS Works, 2015 February: The Political Scene: The Evolution of Islamic Extremism, 2015 May: Zakaria: How ISIS shook the world, 2015 August: ISIS Blows Up Ancient Temple at Syria’s Palmyra Ruins, 2015 November: Times Insider: Reporting Europe's Refugee Crisis, 2015 November: Three Teams of Coordinated Attackers Carried Out Assault on Paris, Officials Say; Hollande Blames ISIS, 2015 November: The French Emergency, 2015 December: A Brief History of ISIS, 2015 December: U.S. Seeks to Avoid Ground War Welcomed by Islamic State, 2016 January: Ramadi, Reclaimed by Iraq, Is in Ruins After ISIS Fight.