The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest Articles

24th March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Insurgents launch major offensive against Assad regime in Hama province

Thomas Joscelyn

Insurgent organizations — including jihadists, Islamists and rebel groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) — launched a large-scale offensive against Bashar al Assad’s regime in Hama province earlier this week. The battle began on Mar. 21, when the insurgents assaulted more than a dozen towns and villages north of the city of Hama. more...

23rd March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

IRGC-controlled Iraqi militia deploys to eastern Damascus battle

Amir Toumaj

The Tehran-controlled Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba has announced its participation in a battle raging east of Damascus, joining pro-regime forces in the Jobar and Abbasin districts. Earlier this week, jihadists, Islamists and rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched a surprise offensive in the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital. The al Qaeda-led joint venture Haya’t Tahrir al Sham has a significant role in the insurgent assault and launched several suicide bombings early on in the battle. more...

21st March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Israel carries out two strikes against Assad Regime, Hezbollah targets in Syria

In the wake of threats by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the Israel Air Force (IAF) carried out two strikes against Assad regime and Hezbollah targets in Syria on Sunday and early Monday morning. These latest airstrikes come only two days after an IAF raid on Hezbollah weapons shipments in Palmyra, and seemingly as a response to an attempt by the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF) to shoot down the attacking Israeli jets. more...

19th March 2017 – The Cipher Brief

After Nuclear Deal, Iran Looks to Profit in Syria

Tony Badran, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s powerful, ideological military force, is one of the country’s most influential institutions, with major stakes in key sectors of the economy and supervision of Tehran’s vast network of militias and terrorist proxies in conflicts throughout the Middle East. more...

17th March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Israel’s airstrikes in Palmyra likely targeted Hezbollah weapons shipments

Rocket alert sirens sounded in north eastern Israel Thursday night, shortly past midnight. News reports Friday morning revealed that the Israel Air Force had carried out strikes against several targets in the city of Palmyra, the deepest such raid into Syrian territory since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. The rockets that fell in Israel appear to have been Syrian anti-air missiles – likely Russian-made SA-5s – fired at the returning Israeli jets. The target of the strikes looks to have been a weapons shipment to Hezbollah at Palmyra’s T-4 military base. The incident is the most serious clash between Syria and Israel since the Syrian civil war broke out six years ago. more...

16th March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Hezbollah is preparing Syria as second battlefield against Israel

Hezbollah intends to wage its next war against Israel from deep within Syria, according to a report on a pro-Hezbollah news site last week. more...

12th March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Al Qaeda front group claims responsibility for suicide attacks in Damascus

Thomas Joscelyn

Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a group formed by al Qaeda’s branch in Syria and several other organizations, has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Damascus yesterday. Dozens were killed and many more wounded when the bombers struck Shiite pilgrims visiting holy sites in the Syrian capital. Many of the victims were from neighboring Iraq. more...

12th March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

IRGC-controlled Iraqi militia forms ‘Golan Liberation Brigade’

Amir Toumaj

The Iranian-controlled Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba this week announced the formation of its “Golan Liberation Brigade.” While it is not uncommon for entities to name themselves after areas they aim to “liberate,” the militia’s spokesman has said that the unit could assist the Syrian regime in taking the Golan Heights, a region in the Levant that has been controlled by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War. more...

3rd March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Zawahiri’s deputy sought to ‘unify’ Syrian rebels

Thomas Joscelyn

On Feb. 26, jihadist social media sites reported that Abu al Khayr al Masri, one of al Qaeda’s top leaders, had been killed in a US drone strike in Idlib, Syria. more...

25th February 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Syrian military intelligence official killed in suicide assault in Homs

Thomas Joscelyn

A senior military intelligence official who was reportedly close to Syrian president Bashar al Assad was killed during a complex suicide assault in the city of Homs earlier today. The official, General Hassan Daabul, died after a suicide bomber penetrated security and made his way into Daabul’s office, according to a witness cited by Al Jazeera. more...

22nd February 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Al Qaeda-linked Uzbek groups advertise operations in Afghanistan

Bill Roggio

Two al Qaeda-linked Uzbek jihadist groups have released videos touting their operations inside Afghanistan. The two groups, Katibat Imam al Bukhari (aka the Imam Bukhari Jamaat) and the Islamic Jihad Union, have claimed attacks in eastern and northern Afghanistan. more...

18th February 2017 – The Cipher Brief

Syria: Options Remain If America is Willing to Take Them

Tony Badran

One of the biggest foreign policy challenges that President-elect Donald Trump will face is Syria. Here are how things look on the ground today and some of the scenarios the new American president may have to deal with. more...

14th February 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Jihadists and other rebels assault Syrian regime positions in southern city

Thomas Joscelyn

On Feb. 12, the newly formed Hay'at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) and other insurgent groups launched an offensive against Bashar al Assad's regime in the southern city of Daraa. Two HTS suicide bombers were deployed at the beginning of the battle. HTS includes al Qaeda's arm in Syria. more...

13th February 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Jihadists and other rebels assault Syrian regime positions in southern city

Thomas Joscelyn

On Feb. 12, the newly formed Hay’at Tahrir al Sham and its allies launched an offensive against Syrian regime forces in the southern city of Daraa. The assault was led by two suicide bombers who detonated their vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in the regime-controlled neighborhood of al Manshiyeh. Daraa, which lies just several miles from Syria’s border with Jordan, has long been divided between the insurgents on one side and forces loyal to Bashar al Assad on the other. more...

12th February 2017 – Foreign Affairs

Egypt Picks Sides in the Syrian War

On February 1, a military transport plane left a Russian airbase in Latakia, Syria, landed at an airfield near Egypt’s border with Libya, then returned to Syria. For months there had been unconfirmed reports that Cairo had sent forces to assist the Syrian regime in the country’s civil war and at first glance the flight appeared to have corroborated those suspicions. more...

11th February 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

US-led coalition targeted key online operative for Islamic State near Mosul

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition targeted Rachid Kassim, an aspiring rapper turned Islamic State operative, near Mosul, Iraq earlier this week. Kassim, who is pictured above, has been involved in several terror plots in the West. more...

10th February 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Hay’at Tahrir al Sham leader calls for ‘unity’ in Syrian insurgency

Thomas Joscelyn

Yesterday (Feb. 9), the jihadi known as Abu Jaber released his first speech as the leader of the newly formed Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), or “Assembly for the Liberation of Syria.” more...

8th February 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Pentagon: 11 al Qaeda terrorists killed in airstrikes near Idlib, Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Defense Department announced today that 11 al Qaeda terrorists were killed in a pair of airstrikes near Idlib, Syria earlier this month. Ten al Qaeda men were reportedly killed on Feb. 3, when the US struck a building they were using as a “meeting place.” more...

8th February 2017 – Tablet Magazine

Assad’s Fundraiser at the World Bank

Tony Badran

For all the controversy surrounding it, there was one silver lining to President Trump’s now suspended executive order that barred nationals from seven Middle Eastern and African countries, including Syria, from entering the U.S.: It had kept an old associate of Bashar al-Assad from entering the United States and rattling the tin can on behalf of the Syrian butcher. more...

30th January 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State faces multiple adversaries in Al Bab, Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

In mid-November of last year, the government of Turkey began an assault on the Islamic State stronghold of Al Bab, Syria. The effort, which was led by fighters from Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield, eventually stalled. The jihadis have held onto Al Bab, which is located in the northern part of the Aleppo province, for more than two months since. more...


Tony Badran

Research Fellow


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?