The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

19th December 2017 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

North Africa Braces for Impact as Islamic State Fighters Return

North African officials say a large number of foreign recruits who joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have returned to their countries and remain loyal to the extremist organization. They fear the returnees are planning to unleash terrorist attacks in the coming months, adding to a jihadist menace that includes well-entrenched al-Qaida affiliates. more...

19th December 2017 – Quoted by Jacob Atkins - i24 News

EXCLUSIVE: How sanctioned airlines in Iran and Syria outfoxed the US and won

Emanuele Ottolenghi

On April 13 last year an unmarked wide-body passenger jet slowly climbed out of Sanford International Airport near Orlando, Florida, its four engines roaring as it set course across the Atlantic Ocean to Kazakhstan’s commercial hub, Almaty. more...

19th December 2017 – Quoted by Sean Savage - Jewish News Service

Jerusalem protests, study on migrants show ‘potent recipe’ for anti-Semitism in Germany

Benjamin Weinthal

Due to the wars in Syria and Iraq as well as other conflicts in Asia and Africa, Germany took in more than 1 million migrants in 2015 and 2016, fundamentally reshaping the country. While the migration has significantly slowed in 2017, to around 200,000, Germany has been grappling with backlash from anti-immigration political parties and the threat of Islamic terrorism. more...

15th December 2017 – Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

The problem with Trump’s Middle East policy: He doesn’t have one

Eric S. Edelman

Eleven months into the Trump presidency, our Middle East policy amounts to a series of stunts — an isolated retaliatory attack on Syria for use of chemical weapons, “decertifying” the Iran deal (to the consternation of those egging on the administration, hoping that the European Union and Congress would act, exactly nothing has happened since President Trump’s announcement a month ago) and now an announcement that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (but won’t be moving the embassy for years, says the secretary of state). more...

15th December 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Long Island woman allegedly used Bitcoin to fund ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

Zoobia Shahnaz allegedly defrauded financial institutions as part of a scheme to fund the Islamic State. She is also accused of seeking to join the so-called caliphate this past summer. Shahnaz was stopped for questioning at JFK International Airport on July 31, but not arrested until this week. more...

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...

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...

2nd December 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Ayman al Zawahiri calls for ‘unity’ in Syria amid leadership crisis

Thomas Joscelyn

The jihad in Syria has unleashed another leadership crisis for al Qaeda. more...

25th November 2017 – Quoted by Natalie Johnson - The Washington Free Beacon

Experts: Trump Must Detail a Clear Syria Strategy to Block Iranian Influence Post-ISIS

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

As the Trump administration winds down the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Iran is gearing up to expand its territorial gains in the region, stoking concern among U.S. allies and partners. more...

22nd November 2017 – The Washington Times

The battle for the lands of the caliphate

Clifford D. May

Soon after taking office, President Trump ordered his national security advisers to provide “a complete strategic review of our policy toward the rogue regime in Iran.” Last month, based on that review, he announced a new strategy “to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions,” including its development of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, its support for terrorists, and its neo-imperialist aggressions. This month that strategy is facing its first serious test. more...

20th November 2017 – Quoted by the Middle East Monitor

Images released of Iran military chief Soleimani in Syria

Pictures have emerged of the Commander of the Quds Force affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Qasem Soleimani, in Abu Kamal, Syria. more...

18th November 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Understanding al Qaeda through the massive trove of Osama bin Laden’s files

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

On Nov. 17, The Foundation for Defense of Democracies and FDD's Long War Journal held an event to discuss the findings from the recently released documents from Osama bin Laden’s compound. more...

18th November 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iraqi militia publicizes Iranian Qods Force chief by Syrian border town

Amir Toumaj

The Iraqi Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba has posted photos of its Iranian commander, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani, inspecting positions near Al Bukamal in Syria near the Iraqi border. more...

15th November 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Coalition kills 2 Islamic State external operations commanders in Iraq and Syria

Bill Roggio, Alexandra N. Gutowski

Coalition forces killed 15 senior and mid-level Islamic State leaders and commanders, including two external operations planners, in a series of airstrikes that have taken place in eastern Syria and Western Iraq over the past two months. more...

13th November 2017 – Quoted by Mosaic Magazine

Has Donald Trump Lost Syria to Iran?

John Hannah

Three weeks ago, the White House released an official strategy for checking the Islamic Republic’s growing influence in the Middle East. more...

13th November 2017 – Quoted by Joel Gehrke - The Washington Examiner

Turkey’s Erdogan: US, Russia should leave Syria

Aykan Erdemir

American and Russian military forces should withdraw from Syria, according to the leader of a key NATO ally. more...

8th November 2017 – Foreign Policy

Does Trump Realize That His New Iran Strategy Could Suffer a Fatal Blow in Syria?

John Hannah

Note to President Trump: The new Iran strategy that you announced just three weeks ago is hanging by a thread. Its fate will likely be decided in the next few months on the Syria-Iraq border. more...

Experts

Tony Badran

Research Fellow

Events

9th June 2016 - 4:00 PM

Genocide by ISIS: The Plight of Yazidis in Iraq & Syria

When ISIS began attacking the Yazidi community in Iraq’s Sinjar Mountains in 2014, Ms. Dakhil brought international attention to the catastrophe through an impassioned parliamentary address, pleading for protection and assistance for a civilian population facing enslavement or execution.

13th May 2015 - 11:30 AM

Disputed Borders and the Struggle for Order: Addressing Security Threats in the Middle East

With continued Hezbollah activity emanating from Lebanon, Iran and the IRGC trying to set up a base of operations in the Golan Heights, the decline of the Assad regime in southern Syria, and rising tensions in the Sinai Peninsula, Israel's security situation has become increasingly complex and dangerous. What is the Israeli security outlook for the near and mid-term future?