The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest Articles

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...

16th March 2016 – The Washington Times

Call it genocide

Clifford D. May

In the Yemeni port city of Aden earlier this month, Islamists attacked a Catholic home for the indigent elderly. The militants, believed to be soldiers of the Islamic State, shot the security guard, then entered the facility where they gunned down the old people and their care-givers, including four nuns. At least 16 people were murdered. more...

13th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front raids rebel group’s headquarters in Idlib province, seizes weapons

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front and the 13th Division, a Syrian rebel group that has received US-made anti-tank TOW missiles, clashed in the past two days. The two sides have fought in Maarat al Numan, a town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, as well as in the surrounding area. more...

9th March 2016 – The Long War Journal

US targeted senior Islamic State military commander in airstrike in Syria

Bill Roggio

The US military said it targeted and may have killed a senior military commander in an airstrike on March 4 in northern Syria. The commander, Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, who is better known as Omar al Shishani (the Chechen), played an important role in the Islamic State’s military operations, and was listed by the US as a specially designated global terrorist in 2014. more...

2nd March 2016 – Tablet Magazine

What the United States Is Really Doing in Syria

Tony Badran

Whether they support or oppose it, most observers converge on viewing President Barack Obama’s Syria policy as generally marked by passive detachment. After all, the president ignored the recommendations of many of his cabinet members and close advisers to arm Syrian rebels in 2012, or to enforce his “red line” against the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons to massacre civilians. more...

2nd March 2016 – Foreign Policy

If the Kurds Go Broke, It’s Lights Out for Obama’s War on the Islamic State

John Hannah

Here’s a worrying bit of news: America’s best ally in the war against the Islamic State, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), is nearly broke. That’s a major problem, especially as the U.S.-led coalition gears up for its most difficult battle yet: the effort to liberate Mosul, the heart of the Islamic State’s power in Iraq. more...

1st March 2016 – Standpoint

Syria: Barack’s Boomerang?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Barack Obama no doubt views his foreign policy legacy as a list of successes. He disentangled the US from the imbroglio of Iraq. He turned the page with Cuba. And he sealed the nuclear deal with Iran. Yet this list of seemingly impressive achievements — many of which, like the Iran deal, may yet prove a boomerang for Obama and his place in history — is overshadowed by his complete paralysis over Syria. more...

23rd February 2016 – War on the Rocks

Neither Remaining Nor Expanding: The Islamic State’s Global Expansion Struggles

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Judging from the Islamic State’s propaganda, it would appear the group is rapidly overtaking the Muslim world. The Islamic State has declared wilayats (provinces) in ten countries spanning from Nigeria to the Caucasus region. It has executed high-profile attacks in several otherwise stable countries, including Tunisia, Turkey, Kuwait, France, and the United States. The group has championed its victories and downplayed its defeats at every turn, portraying itself as a military behemoth destined to restore the caliphate to its former glory. In short, the Islamic State would like the world — and especially prospective recruits — to believe it is “remaining and expanding” (baqiya wa tatamaddad), a slogan that defines the group’s propaganda. more...

20th February 2016 – The Long War Journal

Aleppo-based rebel groups unite behind Ahrar al Sham’s former top leader

Thomas Joscelyn

Several rebel groups based in and around the Syrian city of Aleppo have united their military efforts under the leadership of Hashem al Sheikh, the former emir of Ahrar al Sham, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group. more...

19th February 2016 – The Jerusalem Post

Containing ISIS, keeping Assad weak

Benjamin Weinthal

Israel should favor a Kurdish state and Druse autonomy in Syria; must prevent Islamic State from securing a presence on its border; has the tools to deter Hezbollah; and would like to see President Bashar Assad’s regime remain on the ropes, former national security adviser Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan says in a wide-ranging interview with The Jerusalem Post. more...

17th February 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jund al Aqsa leaders join Al Nusrah Front

Thomas Joscelyn

Twelve jihadists who are purportedly senior figures in Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda-linked group, have joined Al Nusrah Front. The dozen jihadists explained their decision to join al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria in a statement that was released on social media earlier today. Their declaration has been translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. more...

17th February 2016 – The Washington Times

Bystanders to genocide

Clifford D. May

It’s surprising how time slips away: Five years ago next month, President Obama proclaimed a “responsibility to act” when American “interests and values are at stake.” more...

16th February 2016 – Civis mit Sonde

The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Can Turkey be an Effective Partner?

Aykan Erdemir

Numbers alone are sufficient to convey the grim reality of Syrian refugees in Turkey: Of the 4.3 million displaced Syrians who have been registered as persons of concern by the UNHCR, 2.2 million currently reside in Turkey, comprising a community more populous than six of the EU member states. more...

15th February 2016 – FDD Policy Brief

Gulf States Pledge Forces for Syria, but Challenges Remain

David Andrew Weinberg

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates made new military commitments this week at a defense summit in Brussels, agreeing to deploy special forces and increase airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria. The pledges came in response to a concerted effort by U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter for an increased Gulf contribution to the anti-IS coalition. more...

Experts

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

Amir Toumaj

Research Analyst

David Daoud

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?