The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

9th December 2015 – FOX Business

Cavuto Coast to Coast

James Woolsey

Chairman of FDD's Leadership Council Jim Woolsey on the intel community & ISIS. more...

9th December 2015 – Quoted by Alessandria Masi - International Business Times

Turkey, Russia, Iraq And Syria

Jonathan Schanzer

Oil has long been the dark, viscous gold fueling the Islamic State group’s vicious insurgency. As the group known as ISIS has captured broad swaths of Iraq and Syria, it has financed the purchase of arms and recruits in large part by seizing fertile oil fields, harvesting revenues reaching $2 million a day, according to American officials. more...

9th December 2015 – Quoted by Howard LaFranchi - The Christian Science Monitor

Breaking The ISIS Economy, Bit By Bit

Jonathan Schanzer

The finance ministers set to meet at the United Nations can’t put the Islamic State in a financial vise. But they can deliver some critical blows to an organization already showing signs of financial strain. more...

8th December 2015 – Foreign Policy

Can the Pentagon Still Save the U.S. from Obama’s ISIS Failure?

John Hannah

It's about time. More than three weeks after the massacres in Paris, four days after the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11, and only after he’d completed a foreign jaunt to rally the world to fight the scourge of, umm, climate change, U.S. President Barack Obama at last spoke to the nation about what he’s doing to keep America safe from the so-called Islamic State. more...

7th December 2015 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Russia Appears to Have ‘Gone Ballistic’ in Syria — and It May Be Helping ISIS

Boris Zilberman, Tony Badran

Russia is showing no signs that it intends to forgive and forget Turkey's decision to down a Russian warplane two weeks ago. more...

7th December 2015 – Hoover Institution

“Fighting” The Islamic State

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Can the United States stop the Syrian refugee crisis and destroy the Islamic State without sending tens of thousands of soldiers into Syria and Iraq? Hillary Clinton and the Republican presidential candidates—with the notable exception of Senator Lindsey Graham—have so far studiously avoided describing how their battle plans would seriously differ from Barack Obama's. more...

7th December 2015 – OANN

The Tipping Point with Liz Wheeler

Clifford D. May

FDD President Cliff May discusses U.S. foreign policy, San Bernardino, and radicalization. more...

7th December 2015 – The Rebel Media

The Ezra Levant Show

Clifford D. May

FDD President Clifford May says the US needs to adopt a different strategy if it wants to win the fight against ISIS. more...

7th December 2015 – Quoted by Shane Dixon Kavanaugh - Vocativ

ISIS And Americans Agree On Something: War

David Andrew Weinberg

For the first time, a majority of Americans are gunning to send U.S. combat troops into Syria and Iraq to battle the Islamic State. The terror group wants exactly the same thing, according to the president and a number of foreign policy experts. more...

7th December 2015 – Quoted by The Tower

Iran Declares Assad Must Stay Amid Mounting Evidence That He Is Working with ISIS

Tony Badran, Reuel Marc Gerecht

An advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the removal of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was a “red line” that Iran would not cross, Reuters reported on Sunday. more...

4th December 2015 –

Putin’s S-400 Power-Play in Syria

Patrick Megahan

Russia is upping the ante in the Eastern Mediterranean in response to the downing of its fighter jet by Turkish F-16s last week. more...

4th December 2015 – Quoted by Lee Smith - Tablet Magazine

Special Treatment for Mideast Christians Is Un-American, and Dumb

Tony Badran

Jeb Bush says he’s not sorry that he thinks Middle East Christians warrant special attention and protection from America. He’s defending himself against President Barack Obama who says that the former governor of Florida is wrong to say Christians deserve preferential treatment since they are more threatened. It’s un-American, says Obama, to discriminate between Syrian refugees according to religion. more...

4th December 2015 – The Long War Journal

Why The Islamic State Tells Supporters To Swear Allegiance Before Dying

Thomas Joscelyn

The FBI announced today that the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif. were an “act of terrorism.” The FBI’s conclusion is undoubtedly based on multiple pieces of evidence, including what may turn out to be a key fact. more...

4th December 2015 – Quoted by Steven Lee Myers and Somini Sengupta - The New York Times

U.S. Presses for U.N. Resolution to Fight ISIS’ Financing

David Andrew Weinberg

The United States and Russia are negotiating a new resolution at the United Nations Security Council intended to strengthen international efforts to cut off revenues that the Islamic State raises to govern territory and spread its ideology. more...

4th December 2015 – Interviewed by Eric Heyl - The Pittsburgh Tribune

‘This Is Not a War We Can’t Win’: Fighting ISIS

Clifford D. May

Clifford D. May is the founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C., policy institute specializing in national security and foreign policy issues. He spoke to the Trib regarding how best to thwart the threat posed by ISIS and other jihadist groups. more...

3rd December 2015 – Quoted by Jeremy Bender - Business Insider

Report: Russia Is Building A Second Military Airbase In Syria

Boris Zilberman

Russia is planning on expanding an Assad regime air base in central Syria into a second base of operations for Moscow's air assets in the war-torn country, various sources report. more...

3rd December 2015 – Tablet Magazine

Understanding Syria: Whose Side Are We On, Anyway?

Tony Badran

The White House and the Kremlin are currently working in parallel toward a common objective in Syria: cutting off support to Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime by closing the Turkish-Syrian border. more...

3rd December 2015 – 105.9 WMAL

Washington’s Drive at Five

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer comments on ISIS terror finance. more...

2nd December 2015 – The Wall Street Journal

How Turkey’s Porous Border With Syria Ties Into Islamic State Financing

Jonathan Schanzer

Turkey must “do more within its own territory, so it controls its border, which it has not done effectively since [Islamic State] first arose,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. more...

2nd December 2015 – Quoted by Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Iran To Hit ‘Jackpot’ With Sanctions Relief, GOP Lawmaker Claims

Ali Alfoneh

While a key Republican on foreign policy says Iran about to hit the “jackpot” of sanctions relief, a former top Obama administration counterterrorism official argues that Iran can be trusted to not use money for expanding its military proxy and terrorist-support operations in the Middle East, asserting that Tehran makes “rational calculations about advancing its interests.” 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?