The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest Articles

14th April 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

State Department designates 2 Canadian citizens for joining jihadist groups

Thomas Joscelyn

The State Department announced yesterday (Apr. 13) that two Canadian citizens have been added to the US government’s list of designated terrorists. more...

12th April 2017 – New York Daily News

We can’t punish Syria and ignore Iran: Assad’s allies have been complicit in his crimes

Benjamin Weinthal

The Iranian regime’s role in enabling Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s chemical attacks on civilians last week has sadly been ignored, in part because of Tehran’s accurate assertion that its forces were themselves the victims of nerve agent warfare during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. more...

12th April 2017 – The Washington Times

The (limited) mission accomplished in Syria

Clifford D. May

If you’re still unsure about whether President Trump did the right thing when he launched 59 cruise missiles at Syria’s Shayrat air base last week, consider the alternative. more...

9th April 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Syria policy must reflect the complex reality on the ground

Thomas Joscelyn

On the night of Apr. 6, the US opened a third air campaign in Syria, targeting Bashar al-Assad’s air force. The US has been bombing the Islamic State and select al Qaeda targets in Syria since 2014. But the Syrian regime, which is responsible for most of the civilian casualties in the country, was not hit with America’s air power until President Trump drew a new red line over Assad’s use of chemical weapons. more...

7th April 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

How a US citizen became a key player in the Islamic State’s rivalry with al Qaeda

Thomas Joscelyn

Ahmad Abousamra, a US citizen who graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, became one of the Islamic State’s top propagandists and “chief editor” of its English-language magazine. His story is told in the the eighth edition of the Islamic State’s Rumiyah (“Rome”) magazine, which was released online in several languages earlier this week. He is identified as “Abu Sulayman ash-Shami” and “Shaykh Ahmad ‘Abdul-Badi’ Abu Samrah” in Rumiyah. The cover of the publication, seen above, features him. more...

6th April 2017 – PJ Media

The Real War in ‘Syria’ and the Strategy for Long-Term Victory

Michael Ledeen

Of course I loathe Assad. And of course I despise the Obamans for that phony red line and the subsequent retreat-and-bogus-Russian-deal. But just carrying out vengeance against Assad isn’t good enough. It fails to address the central problem of our time: the global anti-American alliance. more...

2nd April 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Qassem Soleimani reportedly spotted in Syria’s Hama province

Amir Toumaj

A photo surfaced on Friday claiming to show Major General Qassem Soleimani, chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) extraterritorial branch aka the Qods Force, in the northern countryside of Syria’s central province of Hama. Meanwhile, a senior Guard commander and two Iranians have been announced killed in Syria. more...

30th March 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

EU Delists Syrian Tycoon, Highlighting Global Sanctions Pitfalls

Yaya J. Fanusie, Alex Entz

The European Union’s second-highest court nullified sanctions last week on a businessman with Syrian and Russian citizenship for his role in aiding both the Islamic State (IS) and the Assad regime. more...

28th March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

IRGC members killed in Syria’s Hama province

Amir Toumaj

At least two Iranians have been killed in combat in the central Syrian province of Hama, according to Iranian officials. The Assad regime and its allies are attempting to counter a major insurgent offensive, which was launched earlier this month in the northern part of the province. more...

24th March 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Assad regime bolstered in Hama province by Iranian-controlled Iraqi militia

Amir Toumaj

The Tehran-controlled Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba announced today that it is joining pro-Syrian regime forces in the battle raging in Hama province. Earlier this week, jihadists, Islamists and Free Syrian Army-branded rebels launched an offensive in the northern Hama countryside. This followed a separate battle that began in eastern Damascus, where Harakat al Nujaba has also deployed. more...

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...

Experts

Tony Badran

Research Fellow

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?