The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

15th September 2014 – The Weekly Standard

They Have a Strategy

Thomas Joscelyn

During a press conference on August 28, Barack Obama had a rare moment of candor. more...

15th September 2014 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

Who Are These ‘Moderate’ Syrians Obama Wants to Pit Against ISIS?

Jonathan Schanzer

There were few modern democrats among the armed opposition to Assad two years ago. There are far fewer now. So who can Obama trust not to turn Western-supplied weapons against us later? more...

15th September 2014 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn outline the shortcomings of President Obama's IS strategy. more...

14th September 2014 – Podcast

On the Money with Charles Ortel

Clifford D. May

FDD President Clifford May discusses the foundation of the Islamic State's beliefs and President Obama's strategy to defeat them. more...

13th September 2014 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State Beheads British Citizen, Threatens Another

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State released a video of the beheading of David Cawthorne Haines, a British citizen who was kidnapped while providing security for an aid group in Syria's Idlib province in March 2013. more...

13th September 2014 – Fox News

America’s News HQ

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer reacts to breaking news on the latest action from the Islamic State. more...

12th September 2014 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: Al Nusrah Front Explains Decision to Release UN Peacekeepers

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, explained its decision to release more than 40 UN peacekeepers in a video released earlier this week. The group disputes published reports saying that it demanded to be taken off the UN's list of designated terrorist organizations. And it says the hostages were freed in compliance with sharia law. more...

12th September 2014 – CTV

CTV News

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer discusses the building of a coalition against the Islamic State. more...

12th September 2014 – AM 560 The Answer, Chicago, IL

John Howell & Amy Jacobson

Clifford D. May

FDD President Clifford May discusses President Obama's recent address on IS strategy. more...

12th September 2014 – Cited by Andrew C. McCarthy - National Review Online

From No Strategy to Sorry Strategy

Benjamin Weinthal, Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

Two weekends ago, i.e., between President Obama’s admission that he had no strategy for confronting the Islamic State terrorist organization and his adoption of a sorry strategy this week, I contended here that... more...

12th September 2014 – Cited by Benjamin Weinthal - The National Review Online

No Time to Forget Iran’s Terrorism

Bill Roggio

To confront America’s enemies, the Obama administration needs to relentlessly confront al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the most potent sponsor of state-sponsored terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran. more...

12th September 2014 – Now Media

A Chronically Fractured Kurdistan

Tony Badran

As the Islamic State (ISIS) made gains in Iraq in recent months, the Kurds have come to the forefront of media analysis. more...

12th September 2014 – Quoted by Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd - CNN

Obama’s Critics Dismiss Yemen, Somalia Airstrikes as Model to Fight ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

When President Barack Obama said that U.S. strategy to combat the terror group ISIS could follow the models of strikes in Yemen and Somalia, it drew a swift rebuttal from some top Republicans. more...

12th September 2014 – Quoted by Krishnadev Calamur - NPR

Are Yemen And Somalia Good Examples Of U.S. Anti-Terror Strategy?

Bill Roggio

President Obama in his speech Wednesday night said the strategy the U.S. would pursue against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria would be similar to how it targeted al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen and Somalia. more...

11th September 2014 – VOA Persian

VOA Persian

Ali Alfoneh

FDD Senior Fellow Ali Alfoneh participates in a debate on the Obama administration's policy towards the Islamic State. more...

11th September 2014 – CBN

CBN News Today

Bill Roggio

FDD Senior Fellow Bill Roggio discusses the shortcomings of President Obama's strategy against ISIS. more...

11th September 2014 – Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

How should Republicans respond to Obama’s speech on the Islamic State?

Clifford D. May

As Republicans contemplate their response to the president’s speech, they would do well to consider his omissions and strange notions about whom we are fighting and what sort of threat our foes pose. more...

11th September 2014 – CNN

The Situation Room

Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellow Thomas Joscelyn discusses the potential ineffectiveness of US airstrikes based on past operations in Yemen and Somalia. more...

11th September 2014 – The Long War Journal

US Strategy Against Islamic State to Mirror Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen, Somalia

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Obama described the counterterrorism strategy in Yemen and Somalia as "one that we have successfully pursued ... for years." However, several years of cooperation with willing partners have yielded questionable results. more...

11th September 2014 – Cited by Ishaan Tharoor - The Washington Post

Yemen and Somalia Are Examples of U.S. Mission Creep, Not Success

In his speech Wednesday night, President Obama laid out in somewhat unclear terms the planned U.S. campaign to combat the Islamic State, a murderous terrorist organization that has gained strength in the midst of political chaos in Iraq and Syria. more...

Experts

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

Events

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?