The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest Articles

2nd November 2015 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda Chief Calls for Jihadist Unity to ‘Liberate Jerusalem’

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda has released a new audio message from Ayman al Zawahiri, who addresses recent events at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The audio speech is embedded in a video that is nearly 16 minutes long and features archival footage of Osama bin Laden, a still image of Zawahiri, and scrolling text throughout. more...

30th October 2015 – Tablet Magazine

Obama Licenses Iran To Ship Missiles to Hezbollah

Tony Badran

The logical endgame of President Obama’s Iran policy and his “roundtable” approach to Syria has always been to offer American protection for Iranian missile shipments to Hezbollah. more...

29th October 2015 – The Arab Weekly

Key Differences in the Tehran-Moscow Axis

Ali Larijani wore black during the Ashura days of Shia mourning for the Prophet’s grandson Hussein while attending the Valdai International Discussion Club’s October 23rd plenary ses­sion. more...

29th October 2015 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists in Syria Train for Urban Warfare

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State and its jihadist rival Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, are training forces to conduct urban warfare at camps inside Syria. more...

29th October 2015 – Standpoint Magazine

Flirting With Disaster

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The Syrian refugee crisis has so far elicited both solidarity and anxiety in Europe. Neither response offers a policy solution. more...

29th October 2015 – War on the Rocks

The Social Science of Online Radicalization

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

As Charlie Winter noted recently at War on the Rocks, the Islamic State’s robust social media apparatus has been propagating a remarkably effective, multi-faceted communications strategy that incorporates narratives of statehood, military success, and religious legitimacy. more...

25th October 2015 – PJ Media

Who’s Winning in Syria?

Michael Ledeen

Who’s winning the Middle East war? It’s never an easy question to answer, even for the most skilled and informed analysts. 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...

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 – 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...

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 – 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 – 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...

11th October 2015 – The Long War Journal

Iraqi Military Targets Islamic State Emir’s Convoy in Anbar

Bill Roggio

The Iraqi military claimed it targeted Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State, as he was traveling to meet with other commanders of his organization at a location on the border with Syria. The fate of Baghdadi, who has been reported killed or wounded several times in the past, is unknown. more...

10th October 2015 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front, Free Syrian Army Battle Assad Regime for UN Hill in Southern Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Southern Front of the Free Syrian Army announced earlier today that its fighters had captured the so-called UN Hill in Quneitra, a southwestern province in Syria. But the Al Nusrah Front, an official branch of al Qaeda, and Ahrar al Sham, an al Qaeda-linked group that is closely allied with Al Nusrah, have also posted images from the hill, saying their fighters drove the Assad regime’s forces out. more...

9th October 2015 –

Suspected ‘Honor Killing’ Stokes German Fears About Customs, Crimes of Middle Eastern Refugees

Benjamin Weinthal

The alleged “honor killing” last month of a young pregnant woman who fled Syria after being gang raped is the latest case to leave Germans horrified by the crimes and customs of some of the refugees pouring in from the war-torn Middle East. more...

9th October 2015 – Interviewed by Stewart Bell - The National Post

Obama Failing to Check Russian Imperialism, Former CIA Head Says

James Woolsey

In the eyes of former CIA director James Woolsey, Russian President Vladimir Putin is like the farmer Abraham Lincoln once recalled, who said he wasn’t greedy for land, he only wanted what adjoined what he already owned. more...

9th October 2015 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State Claims Gains in Aleppo Province During Chaotic Fight

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State has issued a statement (seen above) claiming that is fighters have seized key several towns north of the city of Aleppo. In addition, the group’s propaganda arm has released a series of photos documenting its newly-gained territory. The photos can be seen below. more...


Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

John Hannah

Senior Counselor

Tony Badran

Research Fellow

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Senior Fellow

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq


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?