The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

12th March 2016 – FOX News

America’s News HQ

Mark Dubowitz

FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz discusses ISIS violence against Christians. more...

10th March 2016 – Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS

Does the Syrian civil war make Hezbollah less or more of a threat to Israel?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The seemingly endless five-year-old Syrian civil war has presented Israel with a number of complex threats, including the rise of the Islamic State terror group. Yet most Israeli leaders believe that the Iranian-funded Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah remains by far the Jewish state’s most formidable enemy to the north. more...

10th March 2016 – Quoted by Katherine Gypson, Jeff Seldin, Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

Concerns Dampen Hopes of Major Break in IS Data Breach

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Nagging doubts are tempering expectations that a purported trove of data files stolen from Islamic State will help unmask the terror group's foreign fighter network and perhaps lead to a crippling blow against the self-declared caliphate. more...

9th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

US targeted senior Islamic State military commander in airstrike in Syria

Bill Roggio

The US military said it targeted and may have killed a senior military commander in an airstrike on March 4 in northern Syria. The commander, Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, who is better known as Omar al Shishani (the Chechen), played an important role in the Islamic State’s military operations, and was listed by the US as a specially designated global terrorist in 2014. more...

4th March 2016 – Quoted by Mosaic

What Is the U.S. Doing in Syria?

Tony Badran

According to Tony Badran, Washington has been pressuring the rebel forces fighting Bashar al-Assad to give in, and pressuring the Sunni states to reduce their backing of these forces. more...

2nd March 2016 – Quoted by Duane Bean - IJ Review

Ex-Gitmo Detainee Arrested in Spain for Leading an ISIS Recruiting Cell

Bill Roggio

Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed, a former Gitmo detainee released in 2004 to Spain, was arrested for leading a ISIS recruiting cell. more...

2nd March 2016 – Tablet Magazine

What the United States Is Really Doing in Syria

Tony Badran

Whether they support or oppose it, most observers converge on viewing President Barack Obama’s Syria policy as generally marked by passive detachment. After all, the president ignored the recommendations of many of his cabinet members and close advisers to arm Syrian rebels in 2012, or to enforce his “red line” against the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons to massacre civilians. more...

2nd March 2016 – Foreign Policy

If the Kurds Go Broke, It’s Lights Out for Obama’s War on the Islamic State

John Hannah

Here’s a worrying bit of news: America’s best ally in the war against the Islamic State, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), is nearly broke. That’s a major problem, especially as the U.S.-led coalition gears up for its most difficult battle yet: the effort to liberate Mosul, the heart of the Islamic State’s power in Iraq. more...

1st March 2016 – Standpoint

Syria: Barack’s Boomerang?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Barack Obama no doubt views his foreign policy legacy as a list of successes. He disentangled the US from the imbroglio of Iraq. He turned the page with Cuba. And he sealed the nuclear deal with Iran. Yet this list of seemingly impressive achievements — many of which, like the Iran deal, may yet prove a boomerang for Obama and his place in history — is overshadowed by his complete paralysis over Syria. more...

29th February 2016 – CTV

CTV News

Tony Badran

Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, discusses the Syrian cease-fire. more...

27th February 2016 – Quoted by Deniz Arslan - Today's Zaman

Turkey needs to readjust Syria policy to avoid further damage

Turkey's policies concerning Syria have eroded the country's international position more than any other factor due to their encouragement of radical jihadists in the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, stirring up of sectarian conflicts and mismanagement of relations with the Syrian Kurds and simultaneously damaging its relations with Russia, the US and the EU. more...

26th February 2016 – 105.1 WAVA

The Don Kroah Show

Clifford D. May

FDD President Cliff May discusses his Washington Times Column "Bystanders to Genocide." more...

26th February 2016 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

David Andrew Weinberg

FDD senior fellow David Andrew Weinberg discusses Saudi Arabia, possible intervention in Syria, and more. more...

25th February 2016 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Russia says there is no ‘plan B’ for Syria - but its airstrikes tell a different story

Tony Badran

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Thursday that there is no "plan B" on Syria's ceasefire agreement and will not be one, according to Reuters. more...

25th February 2016 – Quoted by Michael Weiss - The Daily Beast

Does Obama Want to Carve Up Syria?

Tony Badran

A stray comment by John Kerry this week—laying out a last-ditch, now-don’t-hold-me-to-this prescription for ending a modern and globally transformative holocaust—acknowledges an unfolding reality. more...

24th February 2016 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

The Saudis are ‘drawing lines in the sand’ — and showing they are serious about confronting Iran

Tony Badran

Saudi Arabia warned its citizens against traveling to Lebanon on Tuesday after one of its biggest allies, the United Arab Emirates, banned travel to Lebanon altogether. more...

24th February 2016 – CBC Radio

The Current with Anna Tremonti

Merve Tahiroglu

FDD research associate Merve Tahiroglu joins a panel to discuss the actions of the major players in Syria and their end goal. more...

23rd February 2016 – Quoted Michael Rubin - Commentary

Are Syria’s Kurds Really Pro-Assad?

Tony Badran

Among supporters of the Syrian opposition, there is increasing cynicism (if not occasional disdain) toward the People’s Protection Units, better known by their Kurdish acronym the YPG. more...

23rd February 2016 – War on the Rocks

Neither Remaining Nor Expanding: The Islamic State’s Global Expansion Struggles

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Judging from the Islamic State’s propaganda, it would appear the group is rapidly overtaking the Muslim world. The Islamic State has declared wilayats (provinces) in ten countries spanning from Nigeria to the Caucasus region. It has executed high-profile attacks in several otherwise stable countries, including Tunisia, Turkey, Kuwait, France, and the United States. The group has championed its victories and downplayed its defeats at every turn, portraying itself as a military behemoth destined to restore the caliphate to its former glory. In short, the Islamic State would like the world — and especially prospective recruits — to believe it is “remaining and expanding” (baqiya wa tatamaddad), a slogan that defines the group’s propaganda. more...

23rd February 2016 – Quoted by Eli Lake - Bloomberg

Where Islamic State Stumbles in Its War With Al-Qaeda

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Since al-Qaeda expelled it from its ranks a little more than two years ago, the Islamic State has been on a tear. It has taken Iraq's second-largest city, declared itself a caliphate, won over al Qaeda affiliates in Sinai and Nigeria, and conducted high-profile terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East. more...


Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

John Hannah

Senior Counselor

Tony Badran

Research Fellow

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Senior Fellow

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq


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?

7th February 2014 - 12:00 PM

The Levant Unraveling: How the Crisis in Syria is Impacting the Region

A Conversation with Jonathan Spyer, Tony Badran, Michael Doran, Oubai Shahbandar and John Hannah

How has Assad’s strategy evolved? With various factions and stakeholders pitted against each other, how are the competing endgames and tactics of groups like ISIS and Nusra impacting the dynamic of the conflict? How are the reverberations from the ever-bloodier conflict in Syria being felt far beyond its borders in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and the Palestinian territories? What will the Montreux talks mean for Syria and the path forward for the international community? How are Iran and Hezbollah influencing the conflict and altering the situation on the ground? What is the way forward?