The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

29th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

US-led coalition kills 3 Islamic State ‘drone experts’ in eastern Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition announced that three Islamic State figures were killed in airstrikes in Mayadin, Syria between Sept. 12 and 14. All three worked for the so-called caliphate's drone program. The US has carried out a targeted air campaign against the group's personnel in or near Mayadin since earlier this year. more...

27th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

IRGC promotes more drone strikes against the Islamic State

Amir Toumaj

This week, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Corps (IRGC) publicized more drone strikes in eastern Syria, allegedly against Islamic State positions by the Iraqi border. more...

27th September 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Preventing a “Fait Accompli” in Syria

Preventing a “Fait Accompli” in Syria

David Adesnik

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with representatives of 17 like-minded nations to discuss the future of Syria last week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Following the meeting, Ambassador David Satterfield, acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, said the U.S. and its partners were firmly opposed to “accepting a fait accompli” in which the Assad regime and its Iranian patrons consolidate their grip on Syria with the expected defeat of the Islamic State. more...

26th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State radio tries to quell controversy over takfir

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State's Al Bayan radio station has released several religious lectures dealing with an internal controversy over takfir, the practice of excommunicating other Muslims and denouncing "polytheists." The so-called caliphate tried to quell the controversy by repealing a problematic memo earlier this month. more...

24th September 2017 – Quoted by Thomas Seibert - The Arab Weekly

Turkey to launch intervention into Syria — and maybe into Iraq

Aykan Erdemir

Turkey is preparing to send troops into northern Syr­ia, months after ending an intervention that an­gered the United States. At the same time, Ankara is ponder­ing a military response to the Kurd­ish independence vote in Iraq. more...

21st September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iran highlights Qods Force commander killed by the Islamic State

Amir Toumaj

Iran has divulged more details about a senior officer from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force who was killed in Syria last month. The 32-year old Col Morteza Hosseinpour-Shalmani (AKA Hossein Qomi) died afteran Islamic State ambush near Jamouna, which is about 37 miles northeast of the US base of Tanf by the Iraqi border in eastern Syria. The operations commander of the Iranian-led Iraqi contingent in Syria, he was leading a unit of Seyyed al Shuhada Brigades that included Iranian-embedded soldiers. more...

19th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Hezbollah publicizes commander’s role in defending Deir Ezzor city

Amir Toumaj

After pro-Syrian regime forces broke the siege of Deir Ezzor city this month, Lebanese Hezbollah media outlet Al Mayadeen released a rare interview with Hezbollah field commander “al Haj Abu Mustafa,” crediting the gray-bearded, southern Lebanese native with playing a key role in leading the defense against the Islamic State. more...

16th September 2017 – Quoted by Kathy Gannon - The Associated Press

Iran recruits Afghan and Pakistani Shiites to fight in Syria

Amir Toumaj

Thousands of Shiite Muslims from Afghanistan and Pakistan are being recruited by Iran to fight with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, lured by promises of housing, a monthly salary of up to $600 and the possibility of employment in Iran when they return, say counterterrorism officials and analysts. more...

16th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Russia struck Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria, US says

Thomas Joscelyn

The US says that Russian forces struck and wounded several fighters belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The incident highlights the fact that despite "de-confliction," the US and Russia are often not on the same page in Syria. more...

15th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

IRGC-led Afghan militiamen hoist flags in Deir Ezzor city

Amir Toumaj

An Iranian-controlled Afghan Shia militia advertises its role in the battle for Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria. more...

14th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Hamza bin Laden tries to rally jihadists in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

In a new message, Hamza bin Laden praises the jihadists fighting to establish an "Islamic government" in Syria. But he warns that their enemies seek to "divide" their "ranks." more...

12th September 2017 – Quoted by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin and Ellen Francis - Reuters

Iran Strikes Deal With Syria to Repair Power Grid

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Iran signed deals with Damascus on Tuesday to repair Syria's power grid, state media said, a potentially lucrative move for Tehran that points to a deepening economic role after years of fighting in the Syrian conflict. more...

12th September 2017 – The Cipher Brief

Get Tough on Beirut to Rein in Hezbollah Threat

Tony Badran

Hezbollah – an Iran-backed militia that controls southern Lebanon – boasts a medium-sized army and a whopping arsenal of up to 150,000 rockets and missiles. Since 2011, much of that army has been engaged in Syria supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. While this has thinned Hezbollah’s ranks, it has also given the group valuable field experience and is opening up new routes of military supply to Iran. more...

11th September 2017 – Quoted by Sean Savage - Jewish News Service

Syrian airstrike shows Israel’s resolve against Hezbollah

Tony Badran

A recent purported Israeli airstrike against a Syrian chemical weapons facility has added another layer of complexity to an already combustible situation in Syria. more...

9th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Coalition-backed forces push into Syria’s Kahbur River valley

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition has announced a new offensive against the Islamic State in eastern Syria. The offensive, named “Operation Jazeera Storm,” aims to clear the so-called caliphate out of territory north of the city of Deir Ezzor. more...

9th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

The IRGC touts drone strikes against the Islamic State

Amir Toumaj

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has promoted its drone strikes against the Islamic State near the Iraqi border in Syria. The IRGC says the strikes were carried out as “revenge” for an Iranian soldier who was beheaded by the so-called caliphate. more...

8th September 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

The Assad Regime’s Chemical Weapons Problem

David Adesnik

Israeli warplanes struck a suspected chemical weapons facility yesterday morning in northwest Syria. Local observers said the airstrikes also targeted an adjacent military site where Iranian and Hezbollah personnel had previously been spotted. more...

7th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

US says 2 more senior Islamic State leaders killed near Mayadin, Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition announced today that two more senior Islamic State leaders were killed near Mayadin, which has become a hub for the self-declared caliphate in eastern Syria. The US has announced the deaths of at least fourteen key Islamic State figures in the area since April. more...

7th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Israeli airstrikes target suspected chemical weapons facility in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Israel struck a suspected chemical weapons facility near Masyaf, Syria earlier today. The facility may have been run by the Syrian regime's Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which has been sanctioned by the US government for its role in producing chemical weapons and the means to deploy them. more...

6th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State loses more ground in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor

Thomas Joscelyn

As US-backed forces seize the city of Raqqa, the Syrian regime moves to retake ground in Deir Ezzor, where the Islamic State has laid siege to Bashar al Assad's forces since 2014. Assad's regime has received a boost from Iranian-sponsored militias, as well as the Russians, during its recent offensive in eastern Syria. 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?