Syria

3rd December 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s ‘external communications officer’ weighs in on dispute over Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

A jihadist known as Abu Abdullah has responded to claims made by a senior Hay'at Tahrir al Sham figure. Abu Abdullah identifies himself as al Qaeda's "external communication officer," a previously undisclosed position, and says that al Qaeda's senior leaders are able to communicate with their representatives around the globe on an "almost daily" basis. more...

Analysis & Commentary

6th December 2017 – Quoted by Daniel Byman - Lawfare

An al-Qaeda Setback in Syria?

Thomas Joscelyn

Unheralded amid the recent political chaos in Washington and upheavals in the Middle East was a potential bit of good news: revelations that the al-Qaeda core’s split from its Syrian affiliate did not resemble a gentle parting but rather an acrimonious divorce. The revelations, which emerged from a statement by a senior Syrian jihadist, a public chastisement from Ayman Zawahiri, and then and a back-and-forth involving various jihadists in Syria, suggests that al-Qaeda wields less influence than previously feared and that U.S. efforts to isolate al-Qaeda in Syria are bearing some fruit. more...

6th December 2017 – Quoted by Eleena Frisco - Tribu Magazine

Damascus accuses Israel of coordinating airstrikes with ‘terrorists’

David Adesnik

Arab media reported that Israeli warplanes struck the Jamarya military installation and research center on the outskirts of Damascus overnight; this, just days after the destruction of an Iranian weapons facility near the Syrian capital was attributed to Israel. more...

5th December 2017 – Quoted by Matthew R.J. Brodsky - The Weekly Standard

With Syria Strikes, Israel Atempts to Send a Message to Trump and Putin

Tony Badran

When it comes to Syria, Israel has a message and the government hopes a wider audience is listening. It was delivered in the form of two strikes inside Syria over the last week. By itself, an Israeli strike inside Syria is nothing extraordinary. more...

3rd December 2017 – Quoted by Joyce Karam - The National

US senior official estimates 80% of Assad fighting force is Iranian sourced

Jonathan Schanzer

Senior members of the Trump administration upped the ante against Iran over the weekend, revealing a warning sent to Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani and promising a regional strategy to roll back Tehran’s proxies across the Middle East. more...