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Analysis & Commentary - Amir Toumaj

Amir Toumaj's Latest Articles

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...

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...

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...

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...

19th October 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Russia and Iran help capture Syria’s al Mayadeen from Islamic State

Amir Toumaj

Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Russia have spearheaded the operation to capture the Islamic State-held city of al Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria. more...

16th October 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard threatens the US over terrorism designation

Amir Toumaj

Before President Donald Trump levied a terrorism designation against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC and the Islamic Republic threatened the US over the move. One senior Iranian official initially called it a "declaration of war" and then he tampered it down. more...

11th October 2017 – The Cipher Brief

Hezbollah Calls the Shots in Iran’s Syria Policy

Tony Badran, Amir Toumaj

President Donald Trump is reportedly about to extend a terrorism designation to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its entirety. The IRGC is both the dominant force inside Iran and the instrument through which the Islamic Republic projects power abroad. Operating throughout the region, the IRGC is deeply entrenched in Lebanon; the domain of Hezbollah. more...

27th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

IRGC promotes more drone strikes against the Islamic State

Amir Toumaj

This week, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Corps (IRGC) publicized more drone strikes in eastern Syria, allegedly against Islamic State positions by the Iraqi border. more...

27th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Tensions mount as Iraqi militias boost numbers in contested areas while Kurds hold referendum

Amir Toumaj

As tensions mount between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, several Iranian-backed group have deployed more troops to contested areas near Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu. As both sides remain steadfast in their claims to the oil rich province, tensions continue to mount and the risk of military escalation rises. more...

21st September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iran highlights Qods Force commander killed by the Islamic State

Amir Toumaj

Iran has divulged more details about a senior officer from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force who was killed in Syria last month. The 32-year old Col Morteza Hosseinpour-Shalmani (AKA Hossein Qomi) died afteran Islamic State ambush near Jamouna, which is about 37 miles northeast of the US base of Tanf by the Iraqi border in eastern Syria. The operations commander of the Iranian-led Iraqi contingent in Syria, he was leading a unit of Seyyed al Shuhada Brigades that included Iranian-embedded soldiers. more...

19th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Hezbollah publicizes commander’s role in defending Deir Ezzor city

Amir Toumaj

After pro-Syrian regime forces broke the siege of Deir Ezzor city this month, Lebanese Hezbollah media outlet Al Mayadeen released a rare interview with Hezbollah field commander “al Haj Abu Mustafa,” crediting the gray-bearded, southern Lebanese native with playing a key role in leading the defense against the Islamic State. more...