The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

24th June 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda and allies gain more ground in Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

In mid-June, the Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of Conquest”) alliance began a new offensive targeting three villages south of the city of Aleppo: Khalsa, Bernah, and Zeitan. The jihadist-led coalition quickly claimed success. more...

23rd June 2016 – Quoted by Lee Smith - The Weekly Standard

Amid Dissent at State, Obama Stays the Bloody Course on Syria

Tony Badran

Last week, an internal State Department memo criticizing the administration's Syria policy was leaked to the press. Fifty-one American officials variously involved with Middle East policy signed a letter calling for military action against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. "A judicious use of stand-off and air weapons," reads the document, to "undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process." more...

22nd June 2016 – Quoted by Benny Avni - New York Post

US troops in Syria is starting to look inevitable

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

If Hillary Clinton is the next US president, prepare for a deeper American military involvement in Syria’s civil war — one that won’t seek to maintain a status quo but to crush ISIS where it’s strongest, perhaps with American boots on the ground. more...

22nd June 2016 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State claims 3 Russian soldiers killed in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Three Russian soldiers were allegedly killed when a roadside bomb exploded in northern Syria, according to Amaq News Agency, which is one of the Islamic State’s main propaganda arms. more...

21st June 2016 – The Washington Times

Reconsidering safe zones in Syria

John Cappello, Patrick Megahan

The situation in Syria remains bleak, with no end in sight to its five-year civil war. President Bashar Assad’s forces and their Russian and Iranian backers continue to lay waste to rebel-held territory, leaving the rebels with shrinking leverage to pressure the regime into a lasting political settlement. more...

16th June 2016 – Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

US Efforts Doing Little to Dent Islamic State’s Global Reach

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Despite losing critical ground in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State terror group has no intention of slowly fading away, and instead it has been shifting its focus to ensure it remains the world's top terror organization, according to a top U.S. intelligence official. more...

14th June 2016 – The Long War Journal

IRGC officer college mourns comrade killed in Syria

Amir Toumaj

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its allies, particularly Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba, have been heavily engaged in combat against Jaish al Fath and Jabhat al Nusra (al-Qaeda’s Syria branch) in southern Aleppo in the past two weeks, with the IRGC losing at least 13 men since the beginning of June. more...

13th June 2016 – Quoted by Jeremy Diamond, Nicole Gaouette - CNN

Does it matter if Obama uses the term ‘Islamic terrorism’?

Mark Dubowitz

As millions of Americans processed the news that a terror attack had left 49 people dead at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Donald Trump reignited a political debate. more...

9th June 2016 – Quoted by Nancy A. Youssef - The Daily Beast

CIA and Pentagon Bicker While Russia Wipes Out U.S.-Backed Rebels

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

U.S.-backed opposition forces in Syria’s largest city are facing a ferocious Russian-led assault, raising fears that the rebels could be eliminated in a matter of weeks. more...

8th June 2016 – The Long War Journal

The Islamic State’s prolific ‘martyrdom’ machine

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State claims to have executed 489 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq, Syria and Libya during the first five months of 2016. The figure comes from monthly data published by Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the so-called caliphate that releases infographics summarizing the group’s suicide attacks. more...

6th June 2016 – The Long War Journal

Senior al Qaeda religious official in Syria returns to social media

Thomas Joscelyn

A senior al Qaeda religious official in Syria has returned to social media in the past 24 hours after a prolonged absence. The jihadist known as Abu Sulayman al Muhajir has launched a new Telegram channel and Twitter feed. more...

4th June 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front and allies launch new offensive in Syria’s Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

The Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of Conquest”) coalition, which was cofounded by Al Nusrah Front and its closest allies, has launched a new offensive in the southern part of Syria’s Aleppo province. more...

3rd June 2016 – Quoted by Lee Smith, Jenna Lifhits - The Weekly Standard

Sanctioned Terrorist Addresses National Press Club Audience Via Skype

Tony Badran

Thursday morning Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's political and media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, spoke via Skype to an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. more...

2nd June 2016 – FDD Press

Russian Hybrid Warfare: How to Confront a New Challenge to the West

Russian Hybrid Warfare: How to Confront a New Challenge to the West

Pasi Eronen

In 2013, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s Armed Forces, publicly unveiled a fresh idea. In what came to be called the Gerasimov Doctrine,1 he described “new-generation” warfare – pre-emptive operations employing a mixture of nonmilitary and military measures to achieve political goals, deploying all elements of society. more...

2nd June 2016 – Quoted by Jay Solomon - The Wall Street Journal

Allies of Syrian President Assad Seek an Opening in Washington

Tony Badran

A senior official of the Syrian regime made a rare and controversial appearance before a U.S. audience on Thursday, calling for a united front with the Obama administration in the fight against Islamic State and other international terrorist groups. more...

1st June 2016 – Quoted by Pamela Engel - Business Insider

A new US plan against ISIS might be ‘dangerously counterproductive’

Thomas Joscelyn

US-backed forces are finally moving toward Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital in Syria. more...

1st June 2016 – The Washington Times

Putting Hezbollah ‘out of business’

Jonathan Schanzer

“After many years of sanctions targeting Hezbollah, today the group is in its worst financial shape in decades,” stated Adam Szubin, the acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence before a congressional hearing last week. “And I can assure you that, alongside our international partners, we are working hard to put them out of business.” more...

31st May 2016 – Quoted by Neville Teller - The Jerusalem Post

The jihadist civil war

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The bloodthirsty jihadist organization that calls itself Islamic State (IS) sprang from the loins of al-Qaeda, once the supreme bane of the western world, which achieved its apogee with the destruction of the twin towers in New York. more...

29th May 2016 – Quoted by Sarah El Deeb, Bassem Mroue - Associated Press

Syria’s cease-fire strengthens al-Qaida branch

Thomas Joscelyn

Al-Qaida's branch in Syria has recruited thousands of fighters, including teenagers, and taken territory from government forces in a successful offensive in the north, illustrating how the cease-fire put in place by Russia and the United States to weaken the militants has in many ways backfired. more...

25th May 2016 – Quoted by Louis Jacobsen - Politifact

Donald Trump’s Pants on Fire claim that US is letting in ‘tens of thousands’ of terrorists now

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Donald Trump has advocated for a "temporary" ban on Muslims coming into the United States to prevent any terrorists from crossing the border. But are there already tens of thousands of terrorists coming into the country now? That’s what he claimed in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. more...

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cia, iran, iraq

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?