The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest Articles

5th December 2016 – FDD's Long War Journal

New Islamic State spokesman seeks to rally Sunnis against Iran, West

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Furqan Media Foundation has released an audio message from the group’s new spokesman, Abu al Hassan al Muhajir. Abu Muhammad al Adnani served as the organization’s top propagandist for years until he was killed in an American airstrike in August. The Islamic State had not named a successor since then, meaning no jihadist had served in quite the same role as Adnani for more than three months. more...

1st December 2016 – FDD's Long War Journal

Turkey is on a collision course with the Syrian regime and its backers

Merve Tahiroglu

Last Thursday an attack struck Turkish positions near the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab in northern Syria, killing three soldiers and wounding 10. Centered between Turkish and rebel forces in the north, the Kurds in the east and west, and the Syrian regime forces in the south, al-Bab is the point of convergence for the three competing interests in northern Syria. more...

29th November 2016 – FDD's Long War Journal

North Carolina man pleads guilty to conspiring with Islamic State recruiter

Thomas Joscelyn

Justin Nojan Sullivan, a 20-year-old man from Morganton, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges today after admitting that he had conspired online with Junaid Hussain, who was one of the Islamic State’s key digital operatives. more...

22nd November 2016 – FDD's Long War Journal

US adds Islamic State leader, external operations planners to global terrorist list

Bill Roggio

The US State Department added a senior Islamic State leader and two external operations planners to its list of specially designated global terrorists today. The US government has identified the Islamic State’s external operations network, which is assigned to conduct attacks against the West and its interests abroad, as a significant threat and has targeted its leadership in Iraq and Syria. more...

17th November 2016 – Tablet Magazine

Obama Tries to Pin his Syria Policy on Trump

Tony Badran

Talking to reporters in Germany on Thursday, President Barack Obama expressed the hope that President-elect Donald Trump will be “willing to stand up to Russia where they are deviating from our values and international norms.” more...

14th November 2016 – Tablet Magazine

How the Syria Echo Chamber Works

Tony Badran

Over the past five-and-a-half years, the Obama White House has used the Syria echo chamber it created in the American press and on social media to defend and advance the president’s policy of nonintervention against the Assad regime. After the White House’s attempt to negotiate a deal to cooperate militarily with Russia in Syria fell apart last month, one of the administration’s most experienced Syria echo-chamber hands—Steven Simon—sprang into action. more...

10th November 2016 – Tablet Magazine

Taking Dictation From a Dictator

Tony Badran

Last week, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, through his father-in-law’s organization in Britain, invited a number of correspondents for American media outlets—including The New York Times, the L.A. Times, The New Yorker and NPR—to attend a conference in Damascus, where they could meet with the great man and his aides. The regime was looking, in the words of The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins, “to argue their case.” more...

7th November 2016 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State defends Mosul with dozens of suicide bombers

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State carried out 120 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq and Syria in October, according to an infographic posted online by the group’s Amaq News Agency. more...

3rd November 2016 – The Long War Journal

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s ‘grand jihad’ against the world

Thomas Joscelyn

For the first time in nearly a year, the Islamic State has released an audio message from its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. more...

3rd November 2016 – FDD's Long War Journal

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s ‘grand jihad’ against the world

Thomas Joscelyn

For the first time in nearly a year, the Islamic State has released an audio message from its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The audio file was released online late yesterday by Al Furqan Establishment for Media Production, one of the group’s media arms. more...

2nd November 2016 – FDD's Long War Journal

Pentagon: Al Qaeda veteran in Syria was planning attacks against the West

Thomas Joscelyn

The Defense Department announced today that Haydar Kirkan, an al Qaeda veteran who was trained in Afghanistan during the 1990s, was killed in an airstrike in Idlib, Syria on Oct. 17. US intelligence officials concluded that Kirkan was planning attacks against the West. more...

30th October 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists and other rebels launch new offensive in Aleppo

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda’s rebranded guerrilla army in Syria and its jihadist allies are fighting alongside other rebels in an offensive intended to break the siege of Aleppo. The new effort is aimed at forces loyal to Bashar al Assad’s regime, as well as Assad’s Russian and Iranian-backed partners. more...

28th October 2016 – The Long War Journal

IRGC commander killed on eve of Aleppo battle

Amir Toumaj

The Jaysh al Fath and Fath Halab coalitions and their allies launched an anticipated major offensive today west of Aleppo in another bid to break the siege of rebel-held eastern Aleppo, according to Reuters. more...

26th October 2016 – The Long War Journal

Islamic State continues to plot against the West, US military warns

Thomas Joscelyn

The US military warned today that the Islamic State continues to plot attacks against the West from its headquarters in Raqqa, Syria. more...

18th October 2016 – The Long War Journal

A ‘lasting defeat’ of the Islamic State will be elusive

Bill Roggio

As the Iraqi government and Coalition forces launched the offensive to retake Mosul, the US military has optimistically said that the campaign will deal a “lasting defeat” to the Islamic State. But, if the recent history of the fight against jihadist groups in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia is any indicator, a lasting defeat of the Islamic State will remain elusive. more...

17th October 2016 – The Long War Journal

Town of Dabiq falls to Turkish-backed forces

Thomas Joscelyn

Dabiq, a town in northern Syria that has been central to the Islamic State’s apocalyptic messaging, has fallen to rebel groups backed by Turkey. more...

14th October 2016 – The Long War Journal

Russian influence evident in Palestinian militia in Syria

Amir Toumaj

Senior commanders in the Sunni Palestinian Quds Brigade, known as the Liwa al Quds or the Syrian Arab Army Fedayeen, have been photographed receiving medals from Russian military officers for battlefield action. more...

10th October 2016 – The Long War Journal

Number of suicide attacks claimed by the Islamic State dipped in September

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency claims that the group launched 53 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq and Syria during the month of September. more...

10th October 2016 – The Long War Journal

Qassem Soleimani: Islamic State was created to fight Iran

Amir Toumaj

The top commander and clerical representative of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) external operations wing, the Qods Force, recently delivered speeches in Tehran and Damascus commemorating the first anniversary of the death of Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani, the most senior IRGC commander killed in the Syrian civil war. more...

5th October 2016 – The Weekly Standard

The Potential of a Chinese Terror Threat

Jonathan Schanzer

Eighteen billion dollars in new contracts were signed during the fifth China-Eurasia Expo held in China's western Xinjiang region last week, reported the Chinese news agency Xinhua. The contracts are part of China's push to pursue President Xi Jinping's One Belt One Road initiative, which aims to establish a new "silk road" between China, Eurasia, and the Middle East. more...

Experts

Tony Badran

Research Fellow

Amir Toumaj

Research Analyst

Events

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?