The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

6th May 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jaysh al Fath coalition launches new offensive in Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

Jaysh al Fath (the “Army of Conquest”), a jihadist-led alliance of rebel groups, has launched a new offensive south of the Syrian city of Aleppo. The early fighting centered on the town of Khan Tuman, where a suicide bomber detonated a large vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in an area controlled by fighters defending Bashar al Assad’s regime. more...

4th May 2016 – The Long War Journal

Assad regime and Islamic State battle for control of Shaer gas field in Homs

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State and forces loyal to Bashar al Assad’s regime are battling for control of the Shaer gas field in Syria’s Homs province once again. The two sides have fought at Shaer and other nearby gas facilities on multiple occasions since 2014. more...

2nd May 2016 – The Long War Journal

Series of deadly operations named after fallen Islamic State leader

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State has named a series of deadly attacks throughout Iraq and Syria in honor of one of its most senior leaders: Abu Ali al Anbari. Suicide bombers and other fighters have killed dozens of people since the campaign was launched on Apr. 30. more...

29th April 2016 – Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

Worshippers killed in Syria’s Aleppo as government plans new offensive

Tony Badran

An attack on a mosque in a government-held part of Aleppo resulted in 15 deaths Friday, as the Syrian government and its allies announced both a planned cease-fire in the country’s west and expansion of operations around the city. more...

29th April 2016 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

The Obama administration is now ‘giving full cover to the Russians’ in Syria

Tony Badran

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad pounded the Syrian city of Aleppo with airstrikes on Thursday, targeting a hospital and killing at least 55 civilians in a new offensive that is believed to have been months in the making. more...

28th April 2016 –

Crowded Skies Over Syria Raise Risk of Unintended Clashes

John Cappello

Russian forces in Syria have fired upon Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft on at least two different occasions, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week. Officials in Moscow unsurprisingly dismissed the report, but the possibility of Russian-Israeli clashes over Syria is actually more plausible than it may seem. more...

28th April 2016 – War on the Rocks

How the Islamic State’s Propaganda Feeds Into Its Global Expansion Efforts

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Even before the dramatic blitzkrieg the Islamic State launched through northern Iraq in June 2014, the group had been focused on expanding its presence beyond Syria and Iraq. The group has by now declared wilayats (provinces) in West Africa (Wilayat Ifriqiyah, the organization formerly known as Boko Haram), in the Caucasus region of Russia, and in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. more...

28th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda-linked cleric leads new recruiting campaign for jihadists in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Sheikh Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, one of the most influential jihadist ideologues in Syria, has launched a new recruiting campaign that aims to indoctrinate thousands of young men. The mobilization effort, named “Take Up Arms, Do Not Sit Still,” began online and throughout Syria on Apr. 20. more...

27th April 2016 – BBC


Tony Badran

FDD fellow Tony Badran joined BBC to discuss the cessation of hostilities in Syria and the discussions on the conflict in Geneva. more...

27th April 2016 – Tablet Magazine

Why Bashar al-Assad, the ‘Teflon Don’ of the Middle East, Can’t Be Touched

Tony Badran

John Gotti may have once held the title, but the late Gambino crime family boss had nothing on the “Teflon Don” of the Middle East, Bashar Assad. Had Gotti lived to see it, he would be astounded by how easily the two-bit head of a Syrian crime family is getting away with mass murder. more...

27th April 2016 – Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

IS at Weakest Point Since Start of Bombing Campaign, US Says

Thomas Joscelyn

Efforts to squeeze the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria have put the self-declared caliphate on shaky ground, leaving the terror group in perhaps its most vulnerable state since the start of the U.S.-led bombing campaign, according to U.S. officials. more...

27th April 2016 – Jamestown Foundation

Recent Attacks Illuminate the Islamic State’s Europe Attack Network

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The recent major terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels represent a watershed moment not just for the Islamic State (IS), but for the entire jihadist movement. more...

26th April 2016 –

The Saudi-Led Coalition Is Not Ready To Fight The Islamic State

Patrick Megahan

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited Saudi Arabia last week hoping to reassure nervous Gulf allies that American security commitments remain in force in the wake of last year’s Iran nuclear deal. In exchange, the White House was hoping to encourage the Gulf states to play a more active role in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). more...

26th April 2016 – Quoted by Ruthie Blum - The Algemeiner

Former White House Adviser: Thanks to Israel, the US ‘Dodged a Bullet in Syria’

John Hannah

The United States “dodged a bullet in Syria… all courtesy of the Israelis,” former US Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser asserted on Monday. more...

25th April 2016 – Foreign Policy

It’s the Proliferation, Stupid

John Hannah

As the world prepares for a possible fifth nuclear weapons test by North Korea (and second since January), here’s something worth keeping in mind: The greatest threat we face from Kim Jong Un is probably not a suicidal attack against the United States or our allies in Northeast Asia with nuclear missiles. Rather, the more likely danger is that North Korea’s tyrant sells part of his ever-expanding nuclear arsenal to other rogue actors that mean us harm. more...

25th April 2016 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss al-Qaeda's fights in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Libya. more...

25th April 2016 – i24 News

i24 News Evening Edition

Tony Badran

FDD fellow Tony Badran comments on the U.S. decision to send additional special operators into Syria. more...

22nd April 2016 – Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS

As Israel asserts Golan control, the move is a civil war’s one point of agreement

Jonathan Schanzer

With Syria’s civil war raging on in its sixth year, neighboring Israel has largely managed to keep a comfortable distance from the bloody conflict, in no small part thanks to the Jewish state’s strong presence in the strategic Golan Heights—a territory that has belonged to Israel for nearly 50 years, but is considered disputed territory by the international community. After acquiring and defending the Golan in wartime, Israel now faces a diplomatic battle over its control there. more...

22nd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Syrian jihadist group Sham al Islam appoints new leader

Bill Roggio

Harakat Sham al Islam, a Moroccan-founded group allied with al Qaeda and other Syrian jihadist organizations, appointed a new leader after its previous emir resigned due to “his health and work-related issues.” The jihadist group, founded by former Guantanamo Bay detainees, is listed by the US government as a specially designated global terrorist entity, and is known to operate a training camp in Syria. more...

22nd April 2016 – Quoted by Shane Harris - The Daily Beast

Parents Sue Assad for Son’s Beheading by ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

There may be some justice after all for Steven Sotloff, the journalist whose gruesome killing at the hands of an ISIS executioner was seen around the world in a propaganda video in 2014. more...


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Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

John Hannah

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Tony Badran

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Emanuele Ottolenghi

Senior Fellow

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq


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?