via CNN

The first version of the article has been published in the European Eye on Radicalization, December 21, 2020, under “Western Withdrawal is Helping ISIS’s Resurgence”.


October 20, without much media hype, Turkish forces stationed in the Syrian city of Morek began withdrawing from the base. Morek is the most important Turkish post north of the Syrian government-held city of Hama and borders the rebel-controlled northwestern part of the country. The base is surrounded by Russian-backed military units and militias that are officially part of the Syrian army. They serve as a kind of buffer to avoid new clashes like at the beginning of the year. According to the latest figures, Turkey has reached an agreement with Russia to withdraw its units from several posts and…


The article was originally published in Acta Fabula.

On the evening of June 16, 2016, journalists Khaled al-Issa and Hadi Abdullah returned to their place of residence in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The day was hard — earlier that day, they covered the continuous airstrikes over residential areas in the city. Just as they enter the building of their offices, a bomb exploded. The blast throws Hadi and Khaled back. They both faints, Hadi is seriously injured in the leg, his cheekbones are sunk inwards by the explosion. Khaled is in serious condition — blood is flowing from his…


My article on Russia in Libya and the international clash over the country, published in the specialized German magazine, Zenith: https://magazin.zenith.me/de/politik/russland-und-die-tuerkei-libyen-und-syrien


In 2018, three Russian investigative journalists were killed in the Central African Republic (CAR). The same year, dozens of fighters died in an exchange of fire in the desert regions of eastern Syria, and a Russian journalist was found dead –officially ruled as having fallen from his balcony in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Although these events appear unrelated, they all have one thing in common: Russian mercenaries. These events are significant among researchers because they confirm a new model for warfare in the twenty-first century, as well as the return of so-called invisible armies, as mercenary groups are also known. …


Terrorist groups and international organized crime often make common cause, as I have detailed previously at EER. The crime syndicates in the European Union (EU) make alliances with their counterparts in the wider world and sometimes through mediators communicate with terrorist organizations in the Sahel, Central Asia, and West Africa The modern version of globalization is no different than the Medieval or Antique version. Now, as then, profit overcomes ideology in many cases. Modern communications and new tools of exchanging information make creating such unions much more profitable and more difficult to stop. …


“Arms trade here is easier than in other parts of the world. We can rely on problematic borders and corruption — you have no idea how many doors can open with a few thousand euros.” The man who said this* is referring to the arms trade in the Balkans and southern Europe. His past is proof of what he says, a long career of undetected criminality. The reason why such criminal networks are not under the magnifying glass is the fact that for local authorities the issue of arms trafficking to Europe is a more special and difficult issue.


My article on Syria was published in the new issue of Zenith Magazine. This long-read is a mix of memories of Syria, history, the role of the Syrian embassy in Bulgaria, and how the regime has survived.

Part of the information included in this article I have written in Bulgarian in my book on the Syrian War, “The Murder of a Revolution” (2017, Ciela). The title is also the name of one of the chapters in the book. …


Authors: Kiril Avramov, Ruslan Trad (an edited version was published in EA World View)

https://iz.ru/777460/kirill-gulov-dmitrii-laru-aleksei-zabrodin/iz-damaska-v-petergof

When discussing Moscow’s role in the Syrian conflict, much of the public and scholarly attention is squarely focused on the multiple dimensions of Russian “hard power” and exercise of brute force and rightfully so. Thus, relatively under scrutinized remains the quest for strategic influence through “soft power” exploits that aims to cement Moscow’s role in Damascus and adjacent Middle Eastern capitals for extended period of time. …


Co-authored with Kiril Avramov. Read the full article in The Globe Post.

August, Chayetina, Western Serbia. The mountainous region of Zlatibor is pristine and peaceful. The pine woods come to life as dozens of children and young people gather for a summer camp. Spirits are high, and smiles are seen all around. This could be any summer youth camp. The youngsters, however, are dressed and geared in fatigues, line up and listen to a middle-aged drill instructor issuing commands. This is not just any summer youth camp, but the military Zlatibor 2018 camp for youth aged 12 to 23, organized…

Ruslan Trad

Author, freelance journalist. 🔍Syria | Middle East | Sahel | Balkans | hybrid warfarе | mercenaries. Co-founder of De Re Militari.

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