ENGAGING PRACTITIONERS: LUNCH WITH PHILLIP SMYTH

CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES
in Partnership with

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES PROGRAM &

FARES CENTER

Hosted by

Fletcher Countering Violent Extremism Working Group

Thursday, November 29th, 2018
12:00-1:30pm
Cabot 703

 

ENGAGING PRACTITIONERS: LUNCH WITH PHILLIP SMYTH

The Middle East’s Shia Militias: Militancy, Iran, and What These Groups Mean for the Region

Iran’s Network of Shia jihadist militia groups has been around for decades. Following their utilization in Syria (starting in 2012) and then their use as a response to the Islamic State’s advances in Iraq (in 2014), the power of these organizations has expanded. Why does Iran use these types of groups, what types of militias has the Islamic Republic helped construct, how are they used, and what is Iraq’s al-Hashd al-Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization Forces)?

Currently a Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Phillip Smyth has pioneered research focused on Shia militia groups through field research and the development of primary sources, particularly via social media. In 2013, he created the widely acclaimed Hizballah Cavalcade blog, which was the first blog devoted to analyzing and tracking Shia militia groups and their movements throughout the Middle East. He was among the first researchers to spot the mobilization of a Bahraini Shia militant groups and the creation of new Shia jihadist organizations in the Middle East.

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