The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

20th April 2016 – Quoted by Edwin Mora - Breitbart

Islamic State Committing ‘Cultural Genocide’ by Selling Priceless Antiques to Westerners

Yaya J. Fanusie

Expert witnesses, while testifying before a House panel about the unprecedented level of looting and destruction of priceless antiques by jihadist groups across the Middle East, identified collectors from Europe and the United States as top buyers of ancient artifacts illegally sold by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS). more...

20th April 2016 – Quoted by Tracy Wilkinson, Michael A. Memoli - Los Angeles Times

Obama goes to Saudi Arabia to rebuild a relationship strained by Iran, Islamic State and 9/11

David Andrew Weinberg

President Obama begins a delicate mission Wednesday both to reinforce his strategic aims in the Middle East and to ease tension with an aggrieved longtime ally, Saudi Arabia. more...

19th April 2016 – Quoted by Jim Randle - Voice of America

IS Terror Group Raises Millions from Plundered Relics

Yaya J. Fanusie

The Islamic State (IS) may have raised as much as $100 million by digging up and selling priceless antiquities from territory it controls, according to experts consulted by a U.S. congressional panel. more...

19th April 2016 – Quoted by Matt Piotrowski - The Fuse

Oil Sits At Center Of Next President’s Foreign Policy Challenges

Clifford D. May, Mark Dubowitz, Aykan Erdemir

With international events happening at a quick pace and relationships with allies and enemies in flux, the next president will have a long list of foreign policy challenges, with major oil-producing countries as top concerns. Speakers at this week’s Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) event in Washington, DC debated what direction the next administration should take, with a variety of viewpoints being presented. A number of critics vented their frustration at President Obama’s passive approach in dealing with U.S.’s opponents and lack of bellicose rhetoric, while others supported staying along the current course with some modifications. more...

15th April 2016 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

In Race to Capture Syria’s Raqqa, Assad May Have Edge

Jonathan Schanzer, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria has shrunk by nearly a quarter in the past few months, but Kurds, Syrian rebels and forces loyal to embattled President Bashar al-Assad have all grabbed pieces of the self-styled caliphate. more...

13th April 2016 – Quoted by Russ Read - The Daily Caller

One Of The Most Important Forces Fighting ISIS Hasn’t Been Paid For Months

The Kurdish Peshmerga, one of the premier forces fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq, is buckling under budget deficits to the point it hasn’t been able to pay its troops for months. more...

13th April 2016 – Quoted by Russ Read - The Daily Caller

Former Top US General In Iraq Says Beating ISIS Would Require 50,000 Troops

Retired Army Gen. Ray Odierno believes it will take around 50,000 troops to destroy Islamic State, and as the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq for several years during the wave and occupation, he knows what it takes to fight terrorism. more...

13th April 2016 – Quoted by Catherine Herridge - Fox News

Top general: 50,000-troop coalition needed in order to crush ISIS

It will take a coalition of 50,000 troops on the ground to defeat the Islamic State, according to the former army chief of staff who spent more than four years serving in Iraq and who is credited, along with retired General David Petraeus, with being the architect of the successful 2007 troop surge there. more...

13th April 2016 – Quoted by David Francis - Foreign Policy

Odierno: 50,000 Troops Needed To Defeat the Islamic State

It will take around 50,000 troops to destroy the Islamic State, according to the Army’s recently retired chief, but they don’t necessarily all have to be American. more...

13th April 2016 – Quoted by Matthew Rosenberg, Helene Cooper, and Nicholas Kulish - The New York Times

ISIS Expands Reach Despite Military and Financial Setbacks

Jonathan Schanzer

American airstrikes have killed 25,000 Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria and incinerated millions of dollars plundered by the militants, according to Pentagon officials. more...

11th April 2016 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Assad has taken Russia ‘hostage’ — and what comes next could be ‘the worst the war has seen’

Boris Zilberman

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is only growing more defiant as negotiators prepare to descend on Geneva once again in an attempt to broker the terms of a political transition and end the five-year civil war. more...

11th April 2016 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

FDD senior fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss members of the Khorasan group being killed in action, and Obama's Libya lamentations. more...

8th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US strikes al Qaeda’s ‘Khorasan Group’ in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The US struck senior al Qaeda leaders in Syria twice this week. “These airstrikes were focused on targeting key Al Qaeda leaders who pose a threat to the US, our allies and our national security interests,” CENTCOM announced today. CENTCOM added that the slain jihadists were “core” al Qaeda members. more...

7th April 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

Hezbollah’s Sunni Support Network

Tony Badran

Hezbollah announced the death this weekend of seven of its fighters in Syria during fighting in southern Aleppo. Among them was a curious name: 19-year old Muhammad al-Kabash, a Sunni from Sidon. more...

7th April 2016 – CNN

New Day

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross discusses the ISIS network in Europe. more...

6th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front confirms al Qaeda veteran killed in US airstrike

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front confirmed today that Abu Firas al Suri, a veteran jihadist who served al Qaeda since the 1980s, was killed in an American airstrike on Apr. 3. The group eulogized Abu Firas in a statement released online that was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. more...

5th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Syrian fighter jet downed in Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

A Syrian fighter jet was reportedly downed in the Aleppo province earlier today. “A warplane was exposed to [a] surface-to-air missile during its reconnaissance mission over the countryside of Aleppo which led to its downfall,” the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported. more...

5th April 2016 – Quoted by Deb Riechmann - Associated Press

US Says Iran Forces Pulling Back in Syria; Others Say No

Tony Badran

The Obama administration is making the case that Iran is drawing down its elite fighting force from Syria in an effort to allay fears that Tehran is using its powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria to strengthen its influence across the Middle East. Yet the Iranian government said Monday it has dispatched commandos to the war and it is still taking high-ranking casualties. more...

5th April 2016 – International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague

The Islamic State’s Global Propaganda Strategy

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

This Research Paper aims to analyse in depth the global propaganda strategy of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) by looking at the methods through which this grand strategy is carried out as well as the objectives that IS wants to achieve through it. more...

4th April 2016 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellow Thomas Joscelyn discusses the latest al-Qaeda news and work from The Long War Journal. more...


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Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

John Hannah

Senior Counselor

Tony Badran

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Emanuele Ottolenghi

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Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq


9th June 2016 - 4:00 PM

Genocide by ISIS: The Plight of Yazidis in Iraq & Syria

When ISIS began attacking the Yazidi community in Iraq’s Sinjar Mountains in 2014, Ms. Dakhil brought international attention to the catastrophe through an impassioned parliamentary address, pleading for protection and assistance for a civilian population facing enslavement or execution.

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?