The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

13th July 2018 – Foreign Policy

Putin Sees Trump as an Easy Mark on Syria

John Hannah

As U.S. President Donald Trump approaches his July 16 summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, there’s much speculation that Syria will be near the top of the agenda. more...

13th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Turkish-speaking jihadist group holds Assad loyalist captive in Latakia

Thomas Joscelyn

Shortly after Ansar al-Islam announced its responsibility for a successful raid against Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Latakia, another small jihadist group advertised its own participation. more...

11th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Ansar al-Islam raids Assad regime position in Latakia

Thomas Joscelyn

Ansar al-Islam, a small Sunni jihadist group, has claimed responsibility for a raid against Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Latakia province. The group released a set of photos documenting the raid, which took place yesterday in the Jabal Turkman (Turkmen Mountain) region. More than two dozen of Assad’s fighters were killed in the attack, according to multiple sources. more...

11th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State claims suicide attack on Syrian and Russian forces in southern Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State claimed a suicide bombing west of Daraa in southern Syrian yesterday, saying 50 men from the “Crusader Russian Forces” and “the Apostate Nusayri Army” (a derogatory reference to Bashar al Assad’s soldiers) were killed or wounded in the explosion. The so-called caliphate identified the “martyrdom-seeking” jihadist as “brother Abu al-Zubayr al-Ansari” and added an interesting note. Al-Ansari was dispatched by a new Islamic State “province,” Wilayah Hawran, which was apparently established to operate in southwestern Syria, near the Jordanian border. more...

11th July 2018 – FDD Research

Controlled Chaos: The Escalation of Conflict between Israel and Iran in War-Torn Syria

Tony Badran, Jonathan Schanzer

On the night of February 9, Iran dispatched an armed drone from Syria that penetrated Israeli airspace just south of the Golan Heights. Israel destroyed it with an Apache helicopter. more...

10th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: The Turkistan Islamic Party’s jihad in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

On May 21, the Turkistan Islamic Party’s (TIP) arm in Syria released an hour-plus, documentary-style video encouraging Muslims in the West to emigrate for jihad. There is a deluge of jihadist-related content online these days, with much of it being redundant. But the production was noteworthy because the TIP, which is predominately comprised of ethnic Uighurs, framed its jihad as part of al Qaeda’s global struggle. more...

6th July 2018 – The Hill

US must renew sanction enforcement on Syria’s Assad

David Adesnik

Assad is reportedly bombing hospitals again. He understands there will be no American airstrikes if he resists the temptation to use chemical weapons. more...

3rd July 2018 – Foreign Podicy

Podcast: Syria’s World War

Clifford D. May, John Hannah, David Adesnik

Syria has been at war for seven long years. More than a half million people have been killed. More than 11 million – close to half Syria’s pre-war population – have been displaced either internally or as refugees in other countries. more...

3rd July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Baghdadi’s son killed fighting Syrian and Russian forces, Islamic State says

Thomas Joscelyn

According to the text on the image, Hudhayfah al-Badri “was killed in an inghimasi operation against the Nusayriyyah and the Russians at the thermal power station in” the Homs province. “Nusayriyyah” is a derogatory reference to Bashar al Assad’s regime and its Alawite supporters. more...

2nd July 2018 – The Jerusalem Post

German intel: Iran wants to expand weapons into nuclear arsenal

Benjamin Weinthal

A German intelligence report from the state of Bavaria concluded the Islamic Republic of Iran is working to turn its conventional military weapons into a system for weapons of mass destruction. more...

29th June 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Should Not Abandon Strategic Base Near Syrian Border

Alexandra N. Gutowski

The White House announced yesterday that President Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month in Helsinki, even though Russian airstrikes in southwest Syria are devastating areas inside the ceasefire zone that Trump and Putin endorsed last November. more...

27th June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Jihadists try to rally opposition in southern Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadist groups in Syria are attempting to rally insurgents against an offensive launched by the Assad regime, Russia and their allies in the southwest part of the country. Syrian and Russian warplanes have been pounding locations inside the city of Daraa, as well as areas in the surrounding countryside, for more than a week. more...

27th June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Confirmed: First evidence of Iranian-controlled militia involvement in southern Syria

The Iraqi Shia militia Liwa Zulfiqar, which is controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, released a picture of its forces in the southern Syria town of Busra al Harir. The photo offers first confirmed evidence of the Iraqi militia’s – and thereby Iran’s – involvement in the current Syrian offensive on rebel-held areas in southern Syria. more...

24th June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Assad offensive creeps closer to southwest Syria ceasefire zone

Alexandra N. Gutowski

The Assad regime has launched its offensive southwest of Syria, a zone ostensibly under a Russian-American ceasefire. Although Iranian-aligned forces have reportedly agreed to withdraw from a buffer zone near the Jordanian and Israeli borders, the threat of Iranian expansion remains high. more...

31st May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

State Department amends terror designation for Al Nusrah Front

Thomas Joscelyn

The State Department has amended the terrorist designation for Al Nusrah Front to include the "alias" Hay'at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). State's announcement indicates that the US government still considers HTS to be part of al Qaeda's network, despite the jihadists' vitriolic disputes over its formation. State didn't explain its reasoning behind the move. more...

13th May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Shabaab advertises its al Qaeda allegiance

Thomas Joscelyn

Since late April, Shabaab has released a series of videos emphasizing its place in al Qaeda's global network. Two of the videos were recorded by the group's emir, Abu Ubaydah Ahmad Umar, a normally reclusive figure. Abu Ubaydah refers to the Taliban's emir as the "Commander of the Faithful" and Ayman al Zawahiri as the "father-emir" while addressing the mujahideen in Syria and Yemen. more...

7th May 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State continues to battle Assad regime, allies

Thomas Joscelyn

Since mid-April, the Islamic State and the Assad regime have been engaged in an intense battle in the southern neighborhoods of Damascus. ISIS claims to have killed or wounded hundreds of Assad's soldiers, but its figures cannot be independently verified. Meanwhile, the so-called caliphate continues to fight the Syrian government and its allies in other areas as well, including in eastern Syria. more...

5th May 2018 – The Hill

Deal or no deal, Trump should punish Iran’s aviation sector

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The decision on whether or not Boeing should sell passenger aircraft to Iran should not be made by Boeing, but by President Trump, says FDD’s Emanuele Ottolenghi in his latest piece for The Hill. He also argues why targeting Iran’s aviation sector should be a priority of President Trump’s – independent of the nuclear deal. more...

24th April 2018 – Foreign Podicy

Podcast: Of Strikes and Strategy: U.S. Policy in Syria

Clifford D. May, John Hannah

Foreign Podicy host Clifford D. May is joined by John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has served on the national security teams of both democratic and republican administrations, to discuss the ongoing crises and potential ways forward in Syria and the broader region. more...

24th April 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Islamic State spokesman says ‘new phase’ of jihad has begun

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Al-Furqan Media released a lengthy speech from its spokesman, Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir, on Apr. 22. In the 49-minute message, titled “So Follow Their Guidance,” al-Muhajir summarizes his organization’s war against its many enemies, both in the region and abroad. Far from conceding defeat, he says the fight continues. 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?