The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest

20th October 2015 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand and Jeremy Bender - Business Insider

Insanely Clear Drone Footage Shows a Syrian Army Offensive in a Rebel Stronghold of Damascus

Boris Zilberman

Unnervingly clear drone footage shows an ongoing Syrian army offensive against a rebel stronghold in Damascus. more...

19th October 2015 – The Wall Street Journal

Opinion Journal

Thomas Joscelyn

Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Fellow Thomas Joscelyn on the death of Al Qaeda leader Sanafi al Nasr. more...

19th October 2015 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss al Qaeda and the Taliban. more...

19th October 2015 – Hoover Institution

The Middle East After The Iranian Nuclear Accord

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Not long ago the Obama administration tried to explain Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s budgetary priorities. The White House’s assertion that the Islamic Republic’s future spending would overwhelmingly be used for domestic, non-military needs was a response to the bipartisan fear that the clerical regime might use some of its new, post-sanctions cash—likely between $100 and $150 billion—on its expeditionary efforts in Syria and Iraq and its not-so-covert arms program to the Shi’ite Houthi rebels in Yemen. more...

19th October 2015 – FOX News

Happening Now

Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellow Thomas Joscelyn comments on death of Sanafi al-Nasr in Syria and the Khorasan Group. more...

18th October 2015 – The Long War Journal

US Military Confirms it Killed Senior al Qaeda Strategist Sanafi al Nasr in Airstrike in Syria

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

The US military confirmed that it killed Sanafi al Nasr, a senior al Qaeda strategist who was dispatched by the jihadist group years ago to Syria, in an airstrike in the war torn country on Oct. 15. Nasr’s death, and that of two other jihadists, was first reported by al Qaeda members late last week. more...

16th October 2015 – Newsmax TV

The Hard Line

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Richard Brennan, senior political scientist at RAND and Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, discuss Russia's military operation in Syria. Is Russia making the gains they expected thus far? Is Russia in for the long haul, possibly getting itself into a quagmire in the region? more...

16th October 2015 – The Weekly Standard

Victory Without Soldiers?

Reuel Marc Gerecht

With the war in Syria becoming ever more complex and murderous, it’s worthwhile to revisit a guiding principle of Barack Obama: The use of American military power is likely to do more harm than good in the Middle East, and even in the region’s violent struggles, soft power is important, if not decisive, in resolving conflicts. If Islamic militancy is to be defeated, better ideas, advanced by Muslims, backed up if necessary by Muslim soldiers, must be the principal means. more...

15th October 2015 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer comments on Russia, Syria, and the threat of a new Cold War. more...

15th October 2015 – FOX Business

Lou Dobbs Tonight

Jonathan Schanzer

Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland and Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies discuss President Obama’s decision to drop his plan to withdraw most forces from Afghanistan. more...

14th October 2015 – The Long War Journal

Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani Rallies Iranian Officers, Hezbollah in Syria

Bill Roggio

Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – Qods Force, has been seen addressing Iranian military officers and members of Lebanese Hezbollah in western Syria. more...

14th October 2015 – Forbes

The New Axis Of Evil At War In Syria

Michael Ledeen

The Iranian-Russian alliance now operating in Syria must fill Bashar Assad with great hope for his own survival. more...

14th October 2015 – The Washington Times

Why Turkey is Now a Target and a Tinderbox

Clifford D. May

“We will manage the wave of change in the Middle East. Just as we have an ideal in our minds about Turkey, we have an ideal of a new Middle East.” more...

13th October 2015 – Quoted by Raymond Tanter - Foreign Policy

How to Negotiate with a Bully

Reuel Marc Gerecht

On Oct. 7, RT reported that four Russian missile ships in the Caspian Sea attacked 11 targets inside Syria with 26 cruise missiles. “According to objective control data, all the targets were destroyed. No civilian objects sustained damage,” said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. The missile barrage — and, one might argue, the whole Russian adventure in Syria — illustrates Russian bullying. When a former University of Chicago professor encounters a former KGB agent, one plays a “win-win” game where both stand to benefit while the other plays, “I win, you lose.” more...

13th October 2015 – The Long War Journal

Head of al Qaeda’s Syrian Branch Threatens Russia in Audio Message

Thomas Joscelyn

The head of Al Nusrah Front, Abu Muhammad al Julani, has released an audio message addressing Russia’s role in the Syrian war. more...

13th October 2015 – Quoted by Eli Lake & Josh Rogin - Bloomberg

Turkey Angers the Jihadists It Once Tolerated

Aykan Erdemir

With Turkish authorities now singling out the Islamic State as the chief suspect in this weekend's terrorist attack in Ankara, many media outlets have turned their anger toward the government. Did Ankara invite this attack with a lax policy toward jihadists in Syria? more...

13th October 2015 – Quoted by Armin Rosen - Business Insider

This Iranian Airline is One of the Assad Regime’s Lifelines

Emanuele Ottolenghi

It's hard to fly to Damascus these days. Even if Russia's military intervention in the country has the ruling Assad regime breathing easier after months of infighting, manpower shortages, and territorial losses, Syria's government is still one of the most diplomatically isolated in the world. more...

13th October 2015 – The National Interest

Blowback: Saudi Arabia vs. Russia in Syria

Jonathan Schanzer, Boris Zilberman

After deploying its ground and air assets across Syria, Russia entered into an agreement with the Shiite leaders of Iran and Iraq to coordinate military efforts. At the podium of the United Nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin looked as if he had pulled off a masterful power play in the Middle East. more...

12th October 2015 – Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

FDD Senior Fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn on Afghanistan and Syria. more...

12th October 2015 – 660 AM The Answer

The Mark Davis Show

Clifford D. May

FDD President Cliff May comments on ISIS, Syria, and Iran. 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?