The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

5th September 2015 – Quoted by Michael Weiss - The Daily Beast

Exposing Russia’s Secret Army in Syria

Tony Badran

Russian military officers are now in Damascus and meeting regularly with Iranian and Syrian counterparts, according to a source with close contacts in the Bashar al-Assad regime. “They’re out in restaurants and cafes with other high officials in the Syrian Army,” the source told The Daily Beast, “mainly concentrated in Yaafour and Sabboura, areas that are close to each other, and in west Mezze,” referring to a district in the capital where Assad’s praetorian Fourth Armored Division keeps an important airbase. more...

5th September 2015 – New York Daily News

Europe Should Take Syria’s Assad to War

Benjamin Weinthal

The photograph of a drowned 3-year-old boy washed up on a Turkish beach put the Syrian refugee crisis front and center of Europe’s immigration policy. more...

2nd September 2015 – Quoted by Nancy A. Youssef - The Daily Beast

Where Did ISIS Get Its Chemical Weapons?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

An infamous Dutch soldier turned ISIS fighter says the group has acquired chemical weapons once belonging to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, resurrecting fears that what was supposed to be the regime’s destroyed program has instead fallen into jihadi hands. more...

1st September 2015 – Quoted by John Ford - War on the Rocks

Is the Islamic State Winning or Losing?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

A little over a year ago, thousands of Yazidi refugees huddled at the top of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. They faced extermination at the hands of the Islamic State, or ISIL, and their plight was grave enough to trigger the United States to launch a humanitarian rescue mission to deliver food and protect the refugees. The United States military started dropping food to the refugees on August 7 and on August 8 started dropping bombs on Islamic State fighters. more...

27th August 2015 – Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Al-Qaida’s Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Thomas Joscelyn

The almost singular focus by the United States and some of its coalition partners on defeating the group known as the Islamic State appears to be giving new life to the group's chief rival. more...

26th August 2015 – Quoted by Alessandria Masi - International Business Times

NATO Ally Turkey Finds A New Friend In Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Omar Khatib began his conversation with International Business Times last April with this disclaimer: “I am not a terrorist. I just wanted to tell you that.” Khatib, who preferred not to disclose his real name for security reasons, had reason to be cautious -- the Syrian rebel had just returned from battle in the northwestern province of Idlib. more...

24th August 2015 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellows Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio discuss Syria, Iraq, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. more...

24th August 2015 – CNN

New Day

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross discusses the foiled terror attack in France. more...

23rd August 2015 – The Long War Journal

The Islamic State’s Supporters Want Mokhtar Belmokhtar Dead

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s supporters in Libya have continued their “wanted dead” campaign by targeting Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an al Qaeda leader who has long been loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri. The Islamic State’s loyalists have released an online poster for Belmokhtar (seen above), just as they have done for dozens of other pro-al Qaeda jihadists in North Africa. more...

21st August 2015 – 1041. KQTH

The Jon Justice Show

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross discusses the latest news on ISIS. more...

21st August 2015 – The Arab Weekly

Iran’s Mounting Losses in Syria Point to Build-Up

Ali Alfoneh

Hardly a week passes without Iranian media coverage of funeral and memorial services held across the Islamic Re­public for Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani fighters killed in Syria.The rising casualty toll is a graph­ic indication of how, despite Tehran denials, Iran’s direct involvement in the 4-1/2-year-old conflict is growing. more...

21st August 2015 – Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

US Claims Airstrike Kills Islamic State’s Second-in-Command

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

U.S. airstrikes raining on Iraq and Syria appear to have killed another top leader of the group known as the Islamic State. Officials said Friday the man thought to be the Islamic State’s second-in-command, Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, was killed August 18 while traveling near the Iraqi city of Mosul. An Islamic State media operative known as Abu Abdullah also was killed. more...

20th August 2015 – WJTN

The Jim Roselle Show

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Husain Haqqani discuss the Middle East. more...

19th August 2015 – Quoted by Sam Flynn - The Chautauquan Daily

Haqqani, Gartenstein-Ross Relate Past and Future Paths of the Middle East

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Husain Haqqani and Daveed Gartenstein-Ross said the person who “solves” the Middle East situation would be very rich, but both men did their best to simply relate the troubling circumstances of the world hotspot to the Chautauqua audience. more...

14th August 2015 – Quoted by Scott Canon - The Kansas City Star

Ammo Made in Independence Ends Up with ‘Islamic State’ Fighters

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

When a fighter with the self-described Islamic State pulls the trigger in a gun battle with an American ally, there’s a chance he’ll unleash a bullet manufactured in suburban Kansas City for U.S. troops. Experts say battlefield victories virtually assured that the jihadists would restock their arsenals with captured firepower made at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in northeast Independence. more...

13th August 2015 – Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Hillary Clinton Blames Syria Policy for Rise of Islamic State

Jonathan Schanzer

From the Republican opposition research firm America Rising, we get this portion of Hillary Clinton’s interview on Univision: You know, ISIS is a phenomenon and ISIS came out of the terrible turmoil in Syria. more...

11th August 2015 – Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Iran Moving to Capitalize on Diplomatic Gains From Nuclear Accord

Tony Badran

Iran appears to be trying to leverage the momentum gained from the conclusion of the nuclear deal, and improved relations with the West, in order to achieve some kind of deal that safeguards its interests in Syria and Lebanon. more...

10th August 2015 – Quoted by Sharona Schwartz - The Blaze

Iran Deal Would Ease Sanctions on Iranian Bodies Linked to International Terrorism

Jonathan Schanzer

Under the Iran nuclear agreement, dozens of companies with links to the country’s Revolutionary Guard military force, as well as individuals accused of having links to terrorism, will secure sanctions relief from either the U.N., European Union or U.S., Reuters reported. more...

10th August 2015 – The Long War Journal

Proposed Buffer Zone Leads al Qaeda to Withdraw Fighters From Northern Aleppo Province

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a statement saying its fighters have been ordered to withdraw from their frontline positions north of Aleppo. Al Nusrah’s jihadists had been fighting against the Islamic State in the area. more...

7th August 2015 – Quoted by Mike Giglio - Buzzfeed News

Senate Bill Hopes To Stop Looted Syrian Artifacts From Reaching The U.S.

Jonathan Schanzer

A new Senate bill that aims to stop looted Syrian antiquities from being sold in the U.S. is also intended to telegraph a warning to American buyers. more...


Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

John Hannah

Senior Counselor

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


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?

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?