The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

27th January 2017 – The Hill

Trump needs a new approach to Syria: Bottom-up defense

John Cappello

A draft executive order that awaits President Donald Trump’s signature directs the State Department and Pentagon to produce a plan, within 90 days, for providing safe zones in Syria. more...

26th January 2017 – Quoted by Lee Smith - Tablet Magazine

Gabbard’s Assad Trip—Courtesy of an Anti-Semitic Middle East Organization

Tony Badran

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, admitted to CNN that she met Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on her recent secret 4-day "fact-finding" trip to Damascus. more...

23rd January 2017 – CGTN

The Heat

Aykan Erdemir

FDD senior fellow Aykan Erdemir participates on a panel discussing the Astana peace talks. more...

23rd January 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State offensive against Assad regime cuts city of Deir Ezzor in two

Thomas Joscelyn

On Jan. 15, the Islamic State launched a new offensive in Deir Ezzor. The eastern Syrian city has been divided between the so-called caliphate and Bashar al Assad’s regime since July 2014. In the two and half years since, the jihadists and Assad’s loyalists have regularly clashed, leading to an ongoing humanitarian crisis. more...

22nd January 2017 – Defense News

Defense News TV

Aykan Erdemir, Behnam Ben Taleblu

FDD senior fellow Aykan Erdemir and senior Iran analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu discuss Syria, the Moscow declaration, Iran, Turkey and Middle East. more...

20th January 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

US kills more than 100 al Qaeda operatives in strike on Syrian training camp

Bill Roggio

Last evening, the US military killed more than 100 al Qaeda fighters in an airstrike on a training camp in Syria. The US has launched five attacks against al Qaeda’s network in Syria since the beginning of 2017. more...

19th January 2017 – Quoted by Benoit Faucon, Ahmed Al Omran - The Wall Street Journal

Islamic State Steps Up Oil and Gas Sales to Assad Regime

Jonathan Schanzer

Islamic State has ramped up sales of oil and gas to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. and European officials said, providing vital fuel to the government in return for desperately needed cash. more...

19th January 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

US kills al Qaeda facilitator and external ops planner in Syrian airstrikes

Bill Roggio

The US military announced that it killed an al Qaeda facilitator who was “trained by the Taliban,” as well as an external operations leader in two separate airstrikes in Syria within the last week. The US has launched four strikes against al Qaeda’s network in Syria since the beginning of 2017. more...

18th January 2017 – Quoted by The Tower

Military Expert: Strike on Syrian Airport Prevented Hezbollah from Getting Iranian Missiles

Jonathan Schanzer

The strike last Friday on a military airport near Damascus was likely the latest salvo in Israel’s attempt to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining highly-accurate Iranian surface-to-surface missiles, Ynet military analyst Ron Ben Yishai wrote Tuesday. more...

17th January 2017 – Quoted by Lee Smith - Tablet Magazine

What Obama Owes Putin—and Why Donald Trump Is Left Holding the Bag

Tony Badran

Is Donald Trump a Russian secret agent? Did he pay FSB hookers to pee on the bed the Obamas slept in at the Ritz in Moscow, overlooking the Kremlin? It’s silly season, so any drunk on a fat oppo-research expense account can write down any crazy foolishness they want and Buzzfeed will let you decide if it’s true because that, as Buzzfeed’s editor, Ben Smith, solemnly explained to The New York Times, is where American journalism is at in 2017. more...

12th January 2017 – Quoted by Middle East Online

As Caliphate Shrinks, ISIS Expected to Head for the Hills

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In Syria, where ISIS is still a fighting force to be reckoned with,the thinking is the jihadists will retreat into the country’s vast eastern desert around oil-rich Deir ez-Zor province where it is strongly entrenched, says James Bruce. more...

11th January 2017 – InFocus Quarterly

Weaponizing Refugees

Benjamin Weinthal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Willkomenskultur (“Welcome culture”) refugee policy of last year has screeched to a grinding halt. more...

9th January 2017 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio

FDD senior fellow Bill Roggio discusses the last weeks of Obama and the increased attacks on ISIS in Syria. more...

6th January 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

US airstrike kills Islamic State external operations facilitator in Raqqah

Bill Roggio

An Islamic State leader who also worked as a facilitator for its external operations network, which is tasked with hitting targets outside of Iraq and Syria, was killed in an airstrike in Raqqah on New Years Eve, according to the US military. The Pentagon said 16 “significant members” of the organization’s external operations network have been killed in 2016. more...

5th January 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Pentagon: Airstrikes kill 20 or more al Qaeda fighters in northern Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Department of Defense announced today that multiple airstrikes killed an estimated 20 or more al Qaeda “militants” in northern Syria at the beginning of the month. more...

5th January 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

US military kills 4 mid-level Islamic State commanders in Iraq and Syria

Bill Roggio

The US has killed four mid-level Islamic State commanders in airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria since the beginning of December 2016, the military announced over the past week. The Islamic State commanders were involved in military, suicide, chemical, and financial operations, according to the US military. more...

28th December 2016 – FDD's Long War Journal

Coalition intensifies air campaign against Islamic State stronghold in Raqqah

Bill Roggio

Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTFOIR), the US led coalition that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has intensified its air campaign against the Islamic State’s stronghold and the seat of its so-called caliphate in the Syrian city of Raqqah. Over the past eight days, CJTFOIR has more than three times the number of airstrikes in Raqqah than it has in Mosul, where the Iraqi forces backed by Iranian-supported Shiite militias and the Kurdish Peshmerga are attempting to wrest the Iraqi city from the Islamic State. more...

23rd December 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

Treasury Sanctions Airline Ferrying Fighters for Assad

Emanuele Ottolenghi, David Daoud

The U.S. Treasury announced new Syria sanctions on Friday, including on Cham Wings, Syria’s second-largest carrier. Privately owned by businessman Issam Shammout, Cham Wings has been blacklisted by the Department of Commerce since 2011. more...

21st December 2016 – Quoted by Barbara Opall-Rome - Defense News

Israel Claims Suggest Lebanese Violation of US Export Law

Tony Badran

A senior Israeli defense official on Wednesday confirmed what US experts had been questioning for more than a month: that US troop carriers provided by Washington to Beirut are being operated by Hizbollah in Syria in support of the Bashar Assad regime, which experts note as a violation of export controls. more...

21st December 2016 – The Washington Times

The sorrow and the pity in Syria

Clifford D. May

Over the last five years, Syria has been descending into a hell on Earth. Over the last four months, the lowest depths of the inferno have been on display in Aleppo, an ancient city, once among the most diverse and dynamic in the Middle East. On Friday, in the final press conference of his presidency, Barack Obama addressed this still-unfolding humanitarian and strategic catastrophe. more...

Experts

Tony Badran

Research Fellow

Amir Toumaj

Research Analyst

David Daoud

Research Analyst

Events

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?