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Analysis & Commentary - Amir Toumaj

Amir Toumaj's Latest

13th April 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

IRGC-controlled Syrian militia declares jihad against US forces in Syria

Amir Toumaj, Romany Shaker

A Syrian militia led by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) declared on April 6 jihad against US and allied forces in Syria. The IRGC is likely to boost its military support to the group as it explores avenues to drive the US out of Syria. more...

9th April 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Israel kills Iranian Guard Corps members in Syria

Amir Toumaj

Earlier today, Israel struck the T-4 military air base in Syria’s Homs Governorate. At least seven Iranians including a Colonel died in the attack, according to Iranian media outlets affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which set out to retract the articles before releasing full details. more...

26th March 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

The U.S. Should Clarify Its Position on Third-Party Participation in Syrian Reconstruction

Amir Toumaj

Forces fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian air power, have all but crushed the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, one of the last insurgent strongholds in Syria, leaving it devastated, like most of the country. more...

23rd March 2018 – War on the Rocks

Death of a General: What Shaban Nasiri Reveals About Iran’s Secretive Qods Force

Amir Toumaj

One of the most experienced founding members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its secretive expeditionary Qods Force was Shaban Nasiri – a general who died near Iraq's Mosul last year after stepping on an improvised explosive device. In his latest op-ed for War on the Rocks, Amir Toumaj explains how Nasiri’s decades-long career provides a unique lens through which to better understand the Guard Corps – including the conception and evolution of both the Qods Force and Badr Organization against the backdrop of the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, the Syrian war and rise of the Islamic State. more...

9th March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Qods Force chief: Israel’s destruction the blood debt of Hezbollah commander’s death

Amir Toumaj

Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, addressed last month a commemoration held in Iran for slain Lebanese Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh (AKA Hajj Radwan). more...

8th March 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

The Islamic State is Far From Finished in Iraq

Amir Toumaj, Romany Shaker

Deadly attacks by the Islamic State are calling into question Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s declaration of a “final victory” over the so-called Caliphate. With national elections set for May, further attacks could threaten Abadi’s bid for a second term while benefiting pro-Iranian forces. more...

28th February 2018 – FDD's Iran Project

FDD Profiles of Leading Iranian-Backed Militias

Amir Toumaj, David Adesnik

Iran has built a network of Shiite militias, now fighting across the Middle East, whose fighters number in the tens of thousands. These militias include battle-hardened fighters as well as poorly trained recruits. They hail from countries across the Muslim world and have varying motivations and interests, but they have one thing in common: they project the Islamic Republic’s power and promote its revolutionary ideology. Iran’s Shiite foreign legion has played an indispensable role in preserving the Assad regime in Syria, but all the groups have expressed a readiness to wage war against all enemies of the Islamic Republic. more...

28th February 2018 – Quoted by Carlo Muñoz - The Washington Times

Iran reaches new stage in proxy wars in Iraq, Syria

Amir Toumaj, David Adesnik

Iranian military leaders are elevating their proxy wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen to a new and dangerous stage, funneling more money, weapons and advisers to Shia militias in those nations in an attempt to further cement Tehran’s growing influence in the post-Islamic State Middle East, a former high level American diplomat in the region said Wednesday. more...

23rd February 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

The Dire Consequences of Iran’s Water Crisis

Amir Toumaj, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Islamic Republic’s decades-long mismanagement of water resources has led to a shortage of fresh water, a problem compounded by drought and rising temperatures due to climate change. The shortage is acutely felt across Iran and has fueled recent protests against the government. more...

23rd February 2018 – Arutz Sheva

ANALYSIS: How Israel is intervening in Syria to contain Iran

Amir Toumaj

We will probably witness a major war between Israel and the Iranian axis this year, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, the commander of IDF Operations, said during an interview with Galatz, Israel’s Army Radio on Monday this week. more...

21st February 2018 – Quoted by Ynet News

Report: Iran already entrenched in Syria, ready to confront Israel

Amir Toumaj

A New York Times investigative report published Monday revealed the scope and depth of Iranian entrenchment in Syria. Iran, through its presence in Syria, was "redrawing the strategic map of the region," as per the paper. more...

20th February 2018 – Quoted by The Tower

NYTimes: Iran is “Embedded” in Syria, Threatening Israel

Amir Toumaj

The recent infiltration of Israeli airspace by an Iranian drone and the subsequent Israeli counter-strikes draw attention to “to how deeply Iran has embedded itself in Syria” and “redrawing the strategic map of the region,” The New York Times reported Monday. more...

20th February 2018 – Quoted by The Israel Project

NYTimes: Iran is “Embedded” in Syria, Threatening Israel

Amir Toumaj

The recent infiltration of Israeli airspace by an Iranian drone and the subsequent Israeli counter-strikes draw attention to "to how deeply Iran has embedded itself in Syria,” The New York Times reported Monday. more...

19th February 2018 – Quoted by Ben Hubbard, Isabel Kershner, and Anne Barnard - The New York Times

Iran, Deeply Embedded in Syria, Expands ‘Axis of Resistance’

Amir Toumaj

When an Iranian drone flew into Israeli airspace this month, it set off a rapid series of strikes and counterstrikes that deepened fears over whether a new, catastrophic war was brewing in the Middle East. more...

10th February 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iran sends drone into Israeli airspace one day before 1979 revolution anniversary

Amir Toumaj

In the early hours of Feb. 10, a day before the 39th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, an Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) entered Israeli airspace from Syria. more...

25th January 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iranian-backed Iraqi militias form coalition ahead of parliamentary elections

Amir Toumaj, Romany Shaker

Ahead of Iraq’s May parliamentary elections, Iranian-backed militias this month announced a coalition called al-Fatah al Mubin (Manifest Victory). It is led by Hadi al Ameri, the chief of the Badr Organization and current parliamentarian with close ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) - Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani called him a “living martyr” last year. more...

28th December 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Top Iraqi-Shiite cleric endorses incorporation of PMF into the state

Amir Toumaj

Iraqi-Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani announced his support of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and "requested that all weapons come under government's control." more...

6th December 2017 – Quoted by Joseph Colonna - Egypt Today

Yemen: As Saleh falls, Iran will push forward

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Amir Toumaj

When Ali Abdullah Saleh, the ousted former strongman president of Yemen, indicated on Saturday that he would realign his forces with the Saudi-led coalition, there was hope his shift would signify a turning point in the war. more...

21st November 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

US designates Qods Force counterfeit cash operation

Amir Toumaj

The US Treasury Department designated a counterfeit ring that has procured material and equipment to help finance the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) operations in Yemen. This announcement answers an important question about at least one of force's method of financing its operations in Yemen. more...

18th November 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iraqi militia publicizes Iranian Qods Force chief by Syrian border town

Amir Toumaj

The Iraqi Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba has posted photos of its Iranian commander, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani, inspecting positions near Al Bukamal in Syria near the Iraqi border. more...