The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest Articles

2nd May 2016 – The Long War Journal

Series of deadly operations named after fallen Islamic State leader

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State has named a series of deadly attacks throughout Iraq and Syria in honor of one of its most senior leaders: Abu Ali al Anbari. Suicide bombers and other fighters have killed dozens of people since the campaign was launched on Apr. 30. more...

28th April 2016 –

Crowded Skies Over Syria Raise Risk of Unintended Clashes

John Cappello

Russian forces in Syria have fired upon Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft on at least two different occasions, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week. Officials in Moscow unsurprisingly dismissed the report, but the possibility of Russian-Israeli clashes over Syria is actually more plausible than it may seem. more...

28th April 2016 – War on the Rocks

How the Islamic State’s Propaganda Feeds Into Its Global Expansion Efforts

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Even before the dramatic blitzkrieg the Islamic State launched through northern Iraq in June 2014, the group had been focused on expanding its presence beyond Syria and Iraq. The group has by now declared wilayats (provinces) in West Africa (Wilayat Ifriqiyah, the organization formerly known as Boko Haram), in the Caucasus region of Russia, and in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. more...

28th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda-linked cleric leads new recruiting campaign for jihadists in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Sheikh Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, one of the most influential jihadist ideologues in Syria, has launched a new recruiting campaign that aims to indoctrinate thousands of young men. The mobilization effort, named “Take Up Arms, Do Not Sit Still,” began online and throughout Syria on Apr. 20. more...

27th April 2016 – Tablet Magazine

Why Bashar al-Assad, the ‘Teflon Don’ of the Middle East, Can’t Be Touched

Tony Badran

John Gotti may have once held the title, but the late Gambino crime family boss had nothing on the “Teflon Don” of the Middle East, Bashar Assad. Had Gotti lived to see it, he would be astounded by how easily the two-bit head of a Syrian crime family is getting away with mass murder. more...

27th April 2016 – Jamestown Foundation

Recent Attacks Illuminate the Islamic State’s Europe Attack Network

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The recent major terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels represent a watershed moment not just for the Islamic State (IS), but for the entire jihadist movement. more...

26th April 2016 –

The Saudi-Led Coalition Is Not Ready To Fight The Islamic State

Patrick Megahan

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited Saudi Arabia last week hoping to reassure nervous Gulf allies that American security commitments remain in force in the wake of last year’s Iran nuclear deal. In exchange, the White House was hoping to encourage the Gulf states to play a more active role in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). more...

25th April 2016 – Foreign Policy

It’s the Proliferation, Stupid

John Hannah

As the world prepares for a possible fifth nuclear weapons test by North Korea (and second since January), here’s something worth keeping in mind: The greatest threat we face from Kim Jong Un is probably not a suicidal attack against the United States or our allies in Northeast Asia with nuclear missiles. Rather, the more likely danger is that North Korea’s tyrant sells part of his ever-expanding nuclear arsenal to other rogue actors that mean us harm. more...

22nd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Syrian jihadist group Sham al Islam appoints new leader

Bill Roggio

Harakat Sham al Islam, a Moroccan-founded group allied with al Qaeda and other Syrian jihadist organizations, appointed a new leader after its previous emir resigned due to “his health and work-related issues.” The jihadist group, founded by former Guantanamo Bay detainees, is listed by the US government as a specially designated global terrorist entity, and is known to operate a training camp in Syria. more...

8th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

US strikes al Qaeda’s ‘Khorasan Group’ in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The US struck senior al Qaeda leaders in Syria twice this week. “These airstrikes were focused on targeting key Al Qaeda leaders who pose a threat to the US, our allies and our national security interests,” CENTCOM announced today. CENTCOM added that the slain jihadists were “core” al Qaeda members. more...

7th April 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

Hezbollah’s Sunni Support Network

Tony Badran

Hezbollah announced the death this weekend of seven of its fighters in Syria during fighting in southern Aleppo. Among them was a curious name: 19-year old Muhammad al-Kabash, a Sunni from Sidon. more...

6th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front confirms al Qaeda veteran killed in US airstrike

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front confirmed today that Abu Firas al Suri, a veteran jihadist who served al Qaeda since the 1980s, was killed in an American airstrike on Apr. 3. The group eulogized Abu Firas in a statement released online that was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. more...

5th April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Syrian fighter jet downed in Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

A Syrian fighter jet was reportedly downed in the Aleppo province earlier today. “A warplane was exposed to [a] surface-to-air missile during its reconnaissance mission over the countryside of Aleppo which led to its downfall,” the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported. more...

5th April 2016 – International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague

The Islamic State’s Global Propaganda Strategy

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

This Research Paper aims to analyse in depth the global propaganda strategy of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) by looking at the methods through which this grand strategy is carried out as well as the objectives that IS wants to achieve through it. more...

3rd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists say airstrike killed veteran al Qaeda leader in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadists on social media reported earlier today that Abu Firas al Suri, who served al Qaeda since the 1980s, was killed in an airstrike in Syria. more...

3rd April 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front, allies launch offensive south of Aleppo

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front and allied rebel groups launched an offensive in the countryside south of the city of Aleppo on April 1. The battle began when three Al Nusrah suicide bombers struck positions occupied by Shiite militias and Syrian regime forces near the Talat al-‘Iss hill. more...

29th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Syrian Army, allies retake Palmyra from the Islamic State

Thomas Joscelyn

The Syrian Army and its Iranian-backed allies have retaken the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State. After several days of heavy fighting, Bashar al Assad’s regime claimed victory over the so-called caliphate’s fighters. more...

25th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Pentagon announces death of senior Islamic State leader

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

The Pentagon announced today that a senior Islamic State leader named Abd al Rahman Mustafa al Qaduli (also known as Hajji Iman and Abu Ala al Afri, among other aliases) has been killed. more...

22nd March 2016 – The Weekly Standard

ISIS Overwhelming Europe’s Counterterrorism Forces

Thomas Joscelyn

The Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the Islamic State (or ISIS), has claimed responsibility for today's attacks in Brussels. The claim is hardly surprising: The Islamic State has had Belgium in its crosshairs since at least 2014. more...

16th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda insider returns to Twitter, discusses group’s global leadership

Thomas Joscelyn

An al Qaeda media operative known as Shaybat al Hukama returned to Twitter on Feb. 15. Hukama’s account has been shuttered several times, only to reappear under a new handle after each suspension. Hukama has used his social media accounts to provide new information about al Qaeda’s operations in the past. And this occasion has been no different. more...


Tony Badran

Research Fellow

Amir Toumaj

Research Analyst

David Daoud

Research Analyst


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?