The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

5th February 2014 – Voice of Russia

News Update

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

On February 2, al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri announced he has broken ties with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, better known as ISIS. ISIS was... more...

5th February 2014 – FDD Policy Brief

Understanding Al-Qaeda’s ISIS Expulsion

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Al-Qaeda announced on Sunday that it was no longer affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The statement shunning this former Iraqi affiliate... more...

4th February 2014 – House Armed Services Committee

The Arab Spring and Al-Qaeda’s Resurgence

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, distinguished members of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you to discuss the state of al-Qaeda, its affiliates... more...

4th February 2014 – Quoted by Oren Dorell, USA Today

Syria Holding Onto Chemical Weapons?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Syria will miss a second deadline to turn over its chemical weapons components for destruction Wednesday amid a British report that Bashar Assad's regime... more...

3rd February 2014 – The Long War Journal

Pro-al Qaeda Saudi Cleric Calls on ISIS Members to Defect

Thomas Joscelyn

Not long after al Qaeda's general command yesterday disowned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS), a popular Saudi cleric who has relocated to Syria more...

3rd February 2014 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s General Command Disowns the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda's senior leadership has disowned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) in a statement released online. ISIS and its leader, more...

3rd February 2014 – Quoted by J. Dana Stuster, Foreign Policy

Will al Qaeda’s Disowned Syria Affiliate Rival Its Old Boss?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

For more than a decade, al Qaeda has been aggressively extending its reach through a sort of franchising strategy, signing up an ally here and a subsidiary there to fight... more...

3rd February 2014 – Quoted by Michelle Shephard, The Star

Al Qaeda Disavows Ruthless Syrian Group

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Al Qaeda has squabbled about its leadership, debated its flag and even reprimanded members over tardy expense forms. But on Monday, the terrorist group took... more...

3rd February 2014 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Infighting between Syrian rebels and al Qaeda's split with ISIS. more...

3rd February 2014 – Quoted by Hannah Allam and Mitchell Prothero, McClatchy

U.S. Officials Said Tuesday that an Interim Deal with Iran that Promises to Curb Its Nuclear Program

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Al Qaida’s central command publicly has disowned its Iraqi affiliate over that group’s brutal activities in Syria in an unprecedented break that analysts say may weaken... more...

2nd February 2014 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front Launches Another Suicide Attack in Lebanon

Bill Roggio

The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, an al Qaeda branch in Syria, claimed credit for another suicide attack that targeted Hezbollah more...

31st January 2014 – The Long War Journal

Report: Senior al Qaeda Facilitator ‘Back on the Street’ in Iran

Thomas Joscelyn

A senior al Qaeda operative based in Iran and known as Yasin al Suri (a.k.a. Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil) is "more active than ever" and facilitating more...

31st January 2014 – NOW

Formalizing the Status Quo

Tony Badran

The talks at the Geneva conference for Syria have gone nowhere. This is hardly surprising, as the regime does not even recognize the stated goal of the conference... more...

30th January 2014 – The Long War Journal

ISIS Suicide Team Assaults Iraqi Ministry

Bill Roggio

A suicide assault team likely from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, al Qaeda's branch inside Iraq, killed at least 18 people after attempting... more...

29th January 2014 – The Long War Journal

Ahrar al Sham Leader Criticizes Head of Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham

Thomas Joscelyn

A top official in Ahrar al Sham and the Islamic Front, Hassan Abboud, has sharply criticized the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) and its emir,... more...

24th January 2014 – National Review Online

Obama’s Syria Debacle

Benjamin Weinthal

Secretary of State John Kerry helped to jump-start the Geneva II international conference to end the civil war in Syria on Wednesday. He correctly pinpointed... more...

23rd January 2014 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda Head Addresses Infighting in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The emir of al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, has released a new audio message addressing the infighting between jihadist groups in Syria. Zawahiri does not mention... more...

23rd January 2014 – Quoted by Benny Avni, Newsweek

Ban’s Syrian Bungle Defriends Iran’s Mullahs

Tony Badran

This week's near-fiasco about who should be invited to the Syrian peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland, that resulted from a private telephone conversation between... more...

23rd January 2014 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Tony Badran

The Syrian peace talks in Geneva. more...

23rd January 2014 – FDD Policy Brief

Turkish Flotilla Charity Tied to Terrorism Again

Jonathan Schanzer

Serbian news agencies reported this week that a Turkish charity, best known for organizing a 2010 flotilla to Gaza that led to conflict with Israeli commandos on... more...


Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

John Hannah

Senior Fellow

Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Senior Fellow

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq

Toby Dershowitz

Vice President, Government Relations and Strategy


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?

5th February 2014 - 12:00 PM

Understanding al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Threat or JV Squad?

A Conversation with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bruce Hoffman, Thomas Joscelyn and Jonathan Schanzer

Speaking about organizations claiming allegiance to al Qaeda, President Barack Obama stated that "if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant." The president’s remarks have sparked yet another debate about whether al Qaeda is weakened, whether it is resurgent, or whether it was ever weakened in the first place.  Has the Arab Spring spawned a surge in jihadism? Are these organizations taking advantage of the new environment in the region, or is the expansion of jihadist groups largely independent of the revolutions? How well is Washington’s current approach to al Qaeda working? If the group is growing despite U.S. efforts, how do we put our policies on the right track?