The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest Articles

9th September 2015 – The Long War Journal

Syrian Regime Airbase in Idlib Falls to Al Nusrah Front, Allies

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in the Levant, claims to have overrun the Abu Duhour airbase in the Idlib province. more...

8th September 2015 – The Jerusalem Post

Analysis: Iran Sanctions Relief Will Feed Europe’s Syrian Refugee Crisis

Benjamin Weinthal

While Germany and Austria are in a celebratory mood about absorbing Syrian refugees, European politicians have ignored Iran’s role in producing the waves of desperate Syrians fleeing to Europe. more...

7th September 2015 – The Long War Journal

Prime Minister Says 2 British Nationals Killed in Airstrikes Were Plotting Attacks

Thomas Joscelyn

In a speech before the UK parliament today, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the Syrian refugee crisis, the counterterrorism measures being taken to combat the Islamic State, and other related issues. more...

5th September 2015 – New York Daily News

Europe Should Take Syria’s Assad to War

Benjamin Weinthal

The photograph of a drowned 3-year-old boy washed up on a Turkish beach put the Syrian refugee crisis front and center of Europe’s immigration policy. more...

23rd August 2015 – The Long War Journal

The Islamic State’s Supporters Want Mokhtar Belmokhtar Dead

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s supporters in Libya have continued their “wanted dead” campaign by targeting Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an al Qaeda leader who has long been loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri. The Islamic State’s loyalists have released an online poster for Belmokhtar (seen above), just as they have done for dozens of other pro-al Qaeda jihadists in North Africa. more...

21st August 2015 – The Arab Weekly

Iran’s Mounting Losses in Syria Point to Build-Up

Hardly a week passes without Iranian media coverage of funeral and memorial services held across the Islamic Re­public for Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani fighters killed in Syria.The rising casualty toll is a graph­ic indication of how, despite Tehran denials, Iran’s direct involvement in the 4-1/2-year-old conflict is growing. more...

10th August 2015 – The Long War Journal

Proposed Buffer Zone Leads al Qaeda to Withdraw Fighters From Northern Aleppo Province

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a statement saying its fighters have been ordered to withdraw from their frontline positions north of Aleppo. Al Nusrah’s jihadists had been fighting against the Islamic State in the area. more...

7th August 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jaysh al Fateh Coalition Continues to Battle Syrian Regime Forces in Important Plain

Thomas Joscelyn


4th August 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists in Syria Honor Mullah Omar, Praise Taliban’s Radical State

Thomas Joscelyn

Just one day after the Taliban confirmed that Mullah Omar was dead, the Syria-based jihadist group Ahrar al Sham heaped praise on the Taliban leader in a statement released online. more...

3rd August 2015 – The Washington Institute

Shiite Combat Casualties Show the Depth of Iran’s Involvement in Syria

During a televised address on July 26, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad admitted for the first time that his regime is suffering from "a lack of human resources" in the ongoing civil war, implicitly acknowledging the casualties inflicted on the various Iranian-sponsored forces assisting his troops. more...

31st July 2015 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria says it captured US-backed rebels

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a statement claiming that it has captured US-trained rebels belonging to a group called “Division 30.” more...

31st July 2015 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s Branch in Syria Says it Captured US-backed Rebels

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a statement claiming that it has captured US-trained rebels belonging to a group called “Division 30.” The statement, seen below, was released today on one of the group’s official Twitter feeds. more...

28th July 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadist-led Coalition Launches New Offensive Against Assad Regime in Strategic Plain

Thomas Joscelyn

Jaysh al Fateh (the “Army of Conquest”), a coalition of anti-Assad forces that overran much of the Idlib province earlier this year, has launched a new offensive against the Assad regime. The jihadist-led alliance is using its stronghold in Idlib to push south into the Al Ghab plain, which is considered strategically important for both the Syrian government and its opposition. more...

28th July 2015 – NOW Lebanon

Obama’s Equilibrium Fantasy

Tony Badran

With the nuclear deal finally out of the way, President Obama can now get down to what, for him, has always been the real business—engaging Iran on regional issues. As one administration official has acknowledged, the US president sees Iran as “the key to peace” in the Middle East. But first, as Obama told Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in one of his letters, the formality of the nuclear deal had to be concluded. more...

22nd July 2015 – The Long War Journal

Pentagon Says Al Qaeda Veteran Killed in ‘Kinetic Strike’ in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Defense Department announced today that Muhsin al Fadhli, a longtime al Qaeda operative from Kuwait, was killed on July 8 “in a kinetic strike” while “traveling in a vehicle near Sarmada, Syria.” more...

20th July 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadist Front Established to Represent Foreign Fighters in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

In mid-June, a new jihadist brand appeared online. “Al Muhajirun,” which claims to represent fighters who have emigrated to Syria to wage jihad, posted its first statement in several languages on Twitter. The message makes it clear that Al Muhajirun is not a new organization, but instead represents “a community” of foreign fighters “from different groups and with different interests united in order to show the ummah [community of worldwide Muslims] the true face of the muhajirun [emigrant helpers], the mujahideen and jihad.” more...

12th July 2015 – The Canberra Times

Iran’s Very Active Posture Against IS in Iraq Finds No Match in Syria

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Since her return from Tehran in April, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has argued that Iran can be a reliable partner in the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. At the Paris talks this month she called for Iran to be included in the coalition fighting IS. more...

10th July 2015 – The Long War Journal

Chechen Commander in Syria Pledges to Islamic Caucasus Emirate

Bill Roggio

Salahuddin Shishani, the former emir of the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar who now leads a group of jihadists from the Caucasus in Syria, swore allegiance to the new leader of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate. Shishani and his deputy, Abdul Karim Krymsky, were removed from the leadership of Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar (the Army of the Emigrants and Helpers, or Muhajireen Army) just last month. more...

7th July 2015 – NOW Lebanon

The Sixth Annex

Tony Badran

In Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry has been racing to put the final touches on the deal over the Iranian nuclear program. The agreement will include a main text and five annexes, each of which will spell out the details of a specific issue. more...

6th July 2015 – Politico

Should America and Israel Let Their Enemies Kill Each Other Off?

Jonathan Schanzer

As some see it, what’s happening now in the Mideast provides the best excuse the Israelis have had in a long time to just sit back and let their worst enemies rub each other out. 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?