This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to experts Dareen Khalifa and Jerome Drevon about ISIS in Syria after the death of its leader Abdullah Qardash, the precarious calm that prevails across the country and the evolution of al-Qaeda’s former affiliate in the north west, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Jailbreaks and prison riots were a central component of IS resurgence in Iraq and are a serious threat in Syria today.
As long as the election cycle and current tensions [in Somalia] drag on, the attention of the political elite will be more inwardly focused, while other priorities lag behind.
When the political elite [in Somalia] are focused on each other, attention turns away from the battle against al-Shabab.
Unfortunately, while in much of the world 9/11 is viewed as in the past, in Africa, the legacy of those attacks lives on.
If France is to withdraw [from the Sahel] in a drastic manner as the U.S. did [from Afghanistan], the balance of power is likely to shift in favor of the jihadists.
Maybe this is a mistake. But the French are downsizing, they’re not withdrawing [from the Sahel]. They’re still the biggest military force in the region.