The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

4th May 2015 – Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Despite Iranian-Hezbollah Support, ‘In the Long Run it is Hard to See How Assad Can Survive’

Tony Badran

The balance of power between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces and the rebels seems to be leaning in the rebels’ favor in the long-run, but the regime is not at risk of collapsing in the coming weeks, experts told The Jerusalem Post. more...

2nd May 2015 – The Long War Journal

An Al Qaeda Front Group in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

On April 26, Jund al Aqsa, a jihadist group based in Syria, posted a martyrdom notice for its “military commander” on its official Twitter feed. (The tweet, in Arabic, can be seen above.) Of course, jihadist groups frequently mourn their members and leaders on social media. But the identity of this particular commander was especially noteworthy. more...

28th April 2015 – Quoted by The Tower

Analyst: Hezbollah Exploiting Power Vacuum in Syria to Escalate Violence on Israeli Border

Benjamin Weinthal

Hezbollah has been taking taking advantage of the power vacuum in Syria to try and create a “deterrent balance” against Israel, according to an analysis written by Avi Issacharoff and published Monday in The Times of Israel. more...

28th April 2015 – Quoted by Tim Mak - The Daily Beast

U.S. Defense Biz Sees Cash from Mideast Chaos

Jonathan Schanzer

War in Yemen. The continued threat of ISIS. Ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria. Increasing Iranian influence. As America’s Middle Eastern allies watch their neighborhood burn, the U.S. defense industry is viewing increased instability as a money-making opportunity. more...

27th April 2015 – Quoted by Steven Edwards -

UN Plan to Settle 1M Refugees an Invitation to Terror, Critics Warn

Benjamin Weinthal

The humanitarian disaster unfolding on the Mediterranean is likely already providing a "shield" for Islamist terrorists to infiltrate waves of migrants attempting the perilous crossing from North Africa to Europe, terrorism experts and other strategic observers are warning. And they say a UN plan to resettle 1 million refugees in Western nations would turn the situation into a full-blown security crisis. more...

25th April 2015 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda, Jihadist Allies Declare Victory Over Syrian Regime in Key City

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and its allies have declared victory over the Syrian regime in the city of Jisr Al Shughur. more...

23rd April 2015 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front, Allies Launch New Offensives Against Syrian Regime

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and its rebel allies have launched multiple new military offensives against the Syrian regime. more...

22nd April 2015 – Quoted by Nancy A. Youssef - The Daily Beast

ISIS Now Says It Didn’t Bomb Afghanistan

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

ISIS loyalists may have claimed credit for Saturday bombing that killed at least 35 people in eastern Afghanistan. But U.S. officials now believe that Taliban fighters—not the Middle East-based extremist group—carried out the strike. Had ISIS been responsible, it would have been among the deadliest attacks by the group outside the Middle East. more...

21st April 2015 – The Long War Journal

Lebanese Army Defector Portrayed as ‘Martyr’ in Al Nusrah Front Video

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a video honoring a man who defected from the Lebanese Army to the jihadists’ cause before he was killed. The video, which was posted online last week, is part of Al Nusrah’s ongoing attempt to rally Sunnis to its cause by portraying the Lebanese government as an agent of Iran and its terror proxy Hezbollah. more...

20th April 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists Claim Wanted Al Qaeda Operative Killed in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadists on Twitter are claiming that a Saudi al Qaeda operative named Adel Radi Saker al Wahabi al Harbi was recently killed in Syria. The US Treasury Department designated al Harbi as a terrorist in October 2012, saying that he was “a key member of an al Qaeda network operating in Iran” at the time. The State Department offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his location. more...

17th April 2015 – The Arab Weekly

The Islamic World’s Thirty Years War

Ali Alfoneh

Even as Iran’s Islamic revolutionaries were toppling the Shah in 1979, at the core of their thinking was that their Shia revolution should not be limited to their homeland but expand to the entire Muslim world. This approach would not only secure Tehran’s dominance but would also keep the United States busy so it could not topple the new and aggressive regime. more...

14th April 2015 – Sinclair Broadcast Group

FOX 11

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross discusses ISIS threats and social media use. more...

2nd April 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jordan Closes Border Crossing as Rebels, Al Nusrah Front Advance

Thomas Joscelyn

Jordan has closed access to the Nasib border crossing with Syria after rebels, including the Al Nusrah Front, took control of the site. more...

1st April 2015 – Quoted by Mitch Potter -

Don’t Believe Talk of an Islamic State Truce

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Every day is April Fool’s when it comes to Dabiq, the slick propaganda sheet the Islamic State uses to play with the minds of English readers. more...

1st April 2015 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front Leader Preaches Jihadist Unity in Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Abu Muhammad al Julani, the emir of the Al Nusrah Front, has released a 15-minute audio speech in which he discusses the fall of Idlib to jihadist forces. more...

31st March 2015 – News Service

Amid Nuclear Talks, Iran Forges Ahead with Middle East Power Play

Emanuele Ottolenghi

As the world awaits the results of nuclear negotiations in Switzerland, the Middle East continue to struggle with various conflicts across the region. more...

28th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadist coalition claims control of Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadist groups belonging to the Jaysh al Fateh coalition say they have seized control of the city of Idlib, or at least much of it, from Bashar al Assad’s forces. more...

27th March 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadist coalition captures checkpoints around city of Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Jaysh al Fateh, the jihadist coalition established for the battle of Idlib, has captured more than a dozen checkpoints from Syrian regime forces. The alliance’s member groups have posted a steady stream of propaganda online after launching the offensive earlier this week. The propaganda messages — including maps, videos, and pictures — show the jihadists controlling key checkpoints and other ground in and around the city. more...

19th March 2015 – Now Media

Kerry’s Assad Accommodation

Tony Badran

On the fourth anniversary of the Syrian uprising, Secretary of State John Kerry reminded everyone—in case anyone still harbored doubts—that the Obama administration had no intention of removing Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, from power. more...

18th March 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Kerry’s Remarks on Assad Widen Gap Between U.S. and Turkey

Merve Tahiroglu

“Collapse of U.S. policy in Syria as Assad continues massacres,” thundered the headline of the government-aligned Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah on Tuesday, in an apparent response to Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks two days prior contemplating possible negotiations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 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?