The Latest - Syria

Syria Latest Articles

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...

13th February 2016 – The Long War Journal

The IRGC’s involvement in the battle for Aleppo

Amir Toumaj, Max Peck

On Feb. 11, the US, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar agreed in Munich to a ceasefire in Syria. But the Russian Foreign Minister announced that his country would not stop its bombing against “terrorists.” more...

6th February 2016 – The Long War Journal

Jihadists reinforce other rebels during key battle in Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, sent a massive convoy of fighters to the Aleppo province in late January. The jihadists’ redeployment was promoted in a short video posted on Twitter. more...

4th February 2016 – Tablet Magazine

America Makes a U-Turn in the Middle East

Tony Badran

The administration of President Barack Obama seldom missed an opportunity to insist that the alternative to the Iran nuclear deal was a war with Iran, a prospect that has now presumably been kicked further down the road. Middle Easterners are not so lucky: They get to fight their wars with Iran right now. more...

4th February 2016 – Forbes

What Makes A Great President?

Michael Ledeen

We moved to Washington from Rome early in 1977, and I worked at CSIS, then home to many luminaries of the Republican Establishment. There was a lot of talk about Ronald Reagan, running for the Republican presidential nomination, and most of that talk was anything but flattering. more...

3rd February 2016 – The Wall Street Journal Europe

Flying in the Face of U.S. Sanctions

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Mahan Air is an Iranian passenger airline that also happens to be a favorite with the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC uses Mahan planes to ferry weapons and personnel to aid the Syrian regime. That’s according to the U.S. government, which has repeatedly committed itself to grounding the airline. Yet Mahan continues to fly the friendly Middle East skies and is even expanding its operations. more...

25th January 2016 – CNBC

To defeat ISIS, study the antiquity trade

Yaya J. Fanusie

The Islamic State's destruction of ancient sites in Syria and Iraq has dominated the headlines recently, along with claims that the group reaps enormous profits from looted antiquities. more...

25th January 2016 – The Long War Journal

Before Paris attack, Islamic State terrorists committed grisly executions

Thomas Joscelyn

A new video released by the Islamic State (titled “Kill Them Wherever You Find Them”) features the terrorists responsible for the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks in Paris. Several of the jihadists are shown executing captives in Iraq and Syria. They threaten the West and implore Muslims to join the “caliphate’s” cause as they behead or shoot their victims from behind. The footage was filmed in the months before the coordinated assault in France’s capital city. more...

22nd January 2016 – FOX News

Germans battle refugee sex assaults with signs, cartoons

Benjamin Weinthal

Rocked by a wave of sexual assaults committed by migrant men, Germany is fighting back with cartoons, in a PC campaign critics say would be comical if it didn’t address such a serious issue. more...

19th January 2016 – The Daily Beast

The CIA’s Syria Program and the Perils of Proxies

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Almost every aspect of the Obama administration’s policy toward Syria has been scrutinized, lambasted or praised in recent months, but one of the most significant facets, the CIA’s covert aid program to Syrian rebels, has largely slipped below the radar. more...

14th January 2016 – The Cipher Brief

How ISIS Makes Money: Oil Sales

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State, popularly known as ISIS, is in many ways an innovative economic actor. But its method of bringing oil to market has been anything but cutting-edge. ISIS took advantage of a black market that had been sharpened long ago, when Saddam Hussein’s regime looked for ways to skirt the sanctions imposed on it after the first Gulf War. more...

12th January 2016 – Foreign Policy

Obama’s Failed Command

John Hannah

However hard President Barack Obama tries on Tuesday night to convince the American people that his seven years of wartime leadership have left the country safer and stronger, I’d venture to guess that history is not going to look particularly kindly on his tenure as America’s commander-in-chief. more...

11th January 2016 – The Huffington Post

In Dangerous Gamble, the Obama Administration Is Abandoning Decades-Old Mideast Alliances

Tony Badran

In response to the crisis in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, following the latter's assault on the Saudi consulate and embassy in Iran, the Obama administration has taken to the media to unleash a furious rebuke. more...

11th January 2016 – FDD Press

Doubling Down on Damascus: Iran’s Military Surge to Save the Assad Regime

Max Peck

Iran’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s civil war reached new heights in 2015. more...

4th January 2016 – War on the Rocks

Fixing How We Fight the Islamic State’s Narrative

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Over the past couple of years, counter-messaging has been driven to the forefront of countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts undertaken by the United States and its allies. more...


Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

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


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?