The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

9th June 2015 – Quoted by David Pugliese - Ottawa Citizen

Islamic State Makes Use of Captured U.S. Supplied TOW Missile Systems

In a new video released by the Islamic State, the jihadist group shows the capture of the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria…the video also shows at least one US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile being used against Syrian troops, the Long War Journal reports. more...

9th June 2015 – Quoted by Sangwoon Yoon - Bloomberg

Countries Don’t Report Iran Sanctions Violations, UN Report Says

Mark Dubowitz

United Nations monitors said governments reported no new incidents of Iran violating Security Council sanctions against its nuclear program, even though some have unfolded in plain sight. more...

8th June 2015 – Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

Islamic Extremism, Explained

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is nothing if not ambitious. In a speech last July, Baghadi promised his fighters much more than their already large empire in Iraq and Syria: "if you hold to [the Islamic State]," he said, "you will conquer Rome and own the world." more...

8th June 2015 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn comment on the conflicts in the Middle East. more...

8th June 2015 – Iran-e-Farda TV

Iran-e-Farda TV

Ali Alfoneh

FDD Senior Fellow Ali Alfoneh discusses the Islamic Republic of Iran's Syria policy. more...

8th June 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadist-led Coalition Continues to Make Gains in Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of Conquest”), a jihadist-led coalition of several groups, swept through several towns and villages in the Syrian province of Idlib in recent days. The coalition’s military successes began in March, when the alliance was announced and quickly overran Assad’s forces in the city of Idlib. more...

6th June 2015 – PJ Media

Who is IS?

Michael Ledeen

Who are they anyway? IS, the Islamic State, that is. more...

5th June 2015 – Quoted by Jacob Siegel - The Daily Beast

The Myth of Iran’s Military Mastermind

Tony Badran

He’s been called the “single most powerful operative in the Middle East today” and nicknamed “Supermani,” but is Qasem Suleimani, the suddenly omnipresent commander of Iran's expeditionary Quds Force, suddenly coming down to earth? more...

5th June 2015 – The Long War Journal

The Al Nusrah Front’s ‘Inherited Jihad’

Thomas Joscelyn

On Wednesday (June 3), Al Jazeera aired the second part of its interview with Abu Muhammad al Julani, who leads the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. The interviewer, Ahmad Mansur, once again provided a friendly forum for Julani to portray his organization in a positive light. more...

4th June 2015 – Quoted by Sean Savage - The Christian Post

As Syria’s Assad Suffers Civil War Setbacks, What’s the Best Outcome for Israel?

Tony Badran

With the Syrian civil war well into its fifth year, President Bashar al-Assad's government has outlasted many observers' predictions of his demise. more...

4th June 2015 – Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Syria: Too Little, Too Late

Jonathan Schanzer

The Post reports: The U.S. military is gradually expanding a new program to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters, but building a force that can effectively take on the Islamic State may take longer than expected, President Obama’s top military adviser said Wednesday. more...

4th June 2015 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand, Michael B. Kelley - Business Insider

The Startlingly Simple Reason Obama Ignores Syria

Tony Badran

While the US embassy in Syria accuses Syrian President Bashar Assad of acting as an air force for the Islamic State, the Obama administration does not seem to be concerning itself with the Syrian regime. more...

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

Nasrallah Tries Once More to Mobilize Base to Support Assad

Tony Badran

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave yet another speech on Wednesday in an effort to motivate Shi’ite supporters in Lebanon to help keep Syrian President Bashar Assad in power. more...

3rd June 2015 – Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Islamic State Undeterred by Mounting Body Count

Bill Roggio

The United States and other countries fighting to push back and ultimately destroy the group known as Islamic State are being forced to confront an unpleasant quandary: an enemy unafraid of death and seemingly undeterred by a mounting death toll. more...

3rd June 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State Continues to Clash with Multiple Foes in Aleppo, Hasakah

Thomas Joscelyn

Four days after the Islamic State launched a sudden assault on towns and villages in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, the heavy fighting continues. Not only is the Islamic State battling a consortium of rebel groups and jihadists in Aleppo, the “caliphate” is attempting to push into the predominately Kurdish city of Hasakah, which is the capital of the northeastern province with the same name. more...

2nd June 2015 – Quoted by Sophia Jones - Huffington Post

Russian Dad Fears Missing Daughter Ran Away To Join ISIS

Jonathan Schanzer

It’s been a week since Pavel Karaulov has heard from his daughter, Varvara Karaulova, a shy 19-year-old philosophy student from Moscow State University. Now, he doesn’t know if he will ever see her again. more...

1st June 2015 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

FDD Senior Fellows Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio discuss the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. more...

1st June 2015 – The Long War Journal

With Sudden Advances in Aleppo, Islamic State Provokes Counteroffensive

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State has launched yet another new offensive in Syria, just weeks after its fighters captured the ancient city of Palmyra and the Iraqi city of Ramadi. The so-called “caliphate” is attempting to take more territory from anti-Assad rebels in the province of Aleppo, not far from the Turkish border. more...

1st June 2015 – Quoted by Pamela Engel - Business Insider

The ISIS Economy Just Got a Huge Boost

Jonathan Schanzer

The US is trying to choke off the Islamic State's revenue streams in Iraq and Syria. But the biggest slice of the ISIS budget may come from taxing the "Caliphate's" captive population, a source of wealth for the group that's harder for international actors to control. more...

29th May 2015 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: Al Nusrah Front ‘Committed’ to Ayman al Zawahiri’s ‘Orders’

Thomas Joscelyn

On Wednesday (May 27), Al Jazeera aired the first part of its lengthy interview with Abu Muhammad al Julani, who heads the Al Nusrah Front in Syria. The broadcast portrayed Julani and his organization, which is an official branch of al Qaeda, in an overwhelmingly positive light. more...


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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?