Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi is a research fellow at the Middle East Forum where he focuses on violent non-state Islamic and Middle Eastern groups. He is a specialist on the Syrian Civil War, Iraqi Civil War and the Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant. With his family originally from Mosul, Iraq, Aymenn has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East including to YPG-controlled areas of Syria where he observed the graduation of unites of the Syrian Border Security Force in January 2018.
Alexey Khlebnikov is an international relations analyst and expert on the Middle East at the Russian International Affairs Council. He previously worked as a consultant to various think tanks and institutions in the U.S., Middle East, and Russia. He received his Master’s degree in Global Public Policy the University of Minnesota and is currently a Ph.D. candidate. During his Master’s and Ph.D. studies, he has made several research trips working and studying in Syria, Israel, Egypt, and Hungary.