Analysis & Commentary


29th April 2016 - Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

Worshippers killed in Syria’s Aleppo as government plans new offensive

Tony Badran

An attack on a mosque in a government-held part of Aleppo resulted in 15 deaths Friday, as the Syrian government and its allies announced both a planned cease-fire in the country’s west and expansion of operations around the city.

29th April 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

The Obama administration is now ‘giving full cover to the Russians’ in Syria

Tony Badran

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad pounded the Syrian city of Aleppo with airstrikes on Thursday, targeting a hospital and killing at least 55 civilians in a new offensive that is believed to have been months in the making.

28th April 2016 - MilitaryEdge.org

Crowded Skies Over Syria Raise Risk of Unintended Clashes

John Cappello

Russian forces in Syria have fired upon Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft on at least two different occasions, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week. Officials in Moscow unsurprisingly dismissed the report, but the possibility of Russian-Israeli clashes over Syria is actually...

28th April 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

IAEA Takes a Light Touch on Iran’s Heavy Water

Olli Heinonen

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the international community limits Tehran’s heavy water inventory to no more than 130 metric tons for the current Arak reactor before reconfiguration to a smaller capacity.

28th April 2016 - War on the Rocks

How the Islamic State’s Propaganda Feeds Into Its Global Expansion Efforts

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Even before the dramatic blitzkrieg the Islamic State launched through northern Iraq in June 2014, the group had been focused on expanding its presence beyond Syria and Iraq. The group has by now declared wilayats (provinces) in West Africa (Wilayat Ifriqiyah, the organization formerly known...

28th April 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

Exclusive: Israeli envoy slams Austria’s hosting of Palestinian hijacker terrorist

Benjamin Weinthal

The Austrian government and organizations that enabled a Palestinian terrorist to hold an April talk in Vienna faced a firestorm of criticism from Israel’s ambassador and the local Jewish community.

28th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda-linked cleric leads new recruiting campaign for jihadists in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Sheikh Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, one of the most influential jihadist ideologues in Syria, has launched a new recruiting campaign that aims to indoctrinate thousands of young men. The mobilization effort, named “Take Up Arms, Do Not Sit Still,” began online and throughout Syria on...

27th April 2016 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Major Iranian Missile Test to Coincide With U.S. Presidential Inauguration

Amir Toumaj

Iran is preparing to conduct a major ballistic missile test in February 2017, following the inauguration of the next U.S. president into the Oval Office, according to a timetable issued by the Islamic Republic.

27th April 2016 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

Hezbollah Develops New Skills in Syria, Posing Challenges for Israel

John Cappello

When Hezbollah first intervened on the side of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Israeli defense analysts saw the foray as a blessing — better to have their Lebanese arch-enemy entangled in a war in Syria.

27th April 2016 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Obama Admin Withholding Details of ‘Potentially Illegal’ Deal to Buy Iranian Nuke Materials

Mark Dubowitz

Obama administration officials are declining to provide specific details about an unprecedented upcoming purchase of Iranian nuclear materials, an $8.6 million exchange that is likely to be funded using American taxpayer dollars, according to conversations with multiple administration...

27th April 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

Exclusive: French government indicates giant bank violates anti-BDS law

Benjamin Weinthal

The French embassy in Israel announced that an account held by Campaign BDS France with Credit Mutuel bank appears to violate the law.

27th April 2016 - BBC

Newsday

Tony Badran

FDD fellow Tony Badran joined BBC to discuss the cessation of hostilities in Syria and the discussions on the conflict in Geneva.

27th April 2016 - Quoted by Jennifer Williams - Vox

This bill would let 9/11 victims’ families sue Saudi Arabia. Here’s how it could backfire.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Obama administration is trying to block a bill, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), that would seek to allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for its alleged financial support of al-Qaeda.

27th April 2016 - Tablet Magazine

Why Bashar al-Assad, the ‘Teflon Don’ of the Middle East, Can’t Be Touched

Tony Badran

John Gotti may have once held the title, but the late Gambino crime family boss had nothing on the “Teflon Don” of the Middle East, Bashar Assad. Had Gotti lived to see it, he would be astounded by how easily the two-bit head of a Syrian crime family is getting away with mass murder....

27th April 2016 - The National Interest

Hezbollah: Iran’s Henchmen in Brazil

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Across Latin America, Iran’s public face appears innocuous: mosques, cultural centers, schools, halal meat inspectors, religious literature, social work and even Boy Scout groups. Yet beneath the veneer of piety, outreach and interfaith dialogue, Tehran leverages connections with...

27th April 2016 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

IS at Weakest Point Since Start of Bombing Campaign, US Says

Thomas Joscelyn

Efforts to squeeze the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria have put the self-declared caliphate on shaky ground, leaving the terror group in perhaps its most vulnerable state since the start of the U.S.-led bombing campaign, according to U.S. officials.

27th April 2016 - Jamestown Foundation

Recent Attacks Illuminate the Islamic State’s Europe Attack Network

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The recent major terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels represent a watershed moment not just for the Islamic State (IS), but for the entire jihadist movement.

27th April 2016 - The Long War Journal

US military searches for Kabul Attack Network members

Bill Roggio

The US military made an unusual public plea for information yesterday in its hunt for eight members of a terrorist network which is plotting attacks in four provinces in eastern Afghanistan. The organization, known as the Kabul Attack Network, is comprised of fighters from various jihadist...

27th April 2016 - The Washington Times

The Mr. Rogers Doctrine

Clifford D. May

Barack Obama last week visited Saudi Arabia, an unusual nation with which the United States has had a relationship that can be accurately characterized as both strategic and strange — and one that is now severely strained. To understand how we got to this juncture requires at least a...

26th April 2016 - MilitaryEdge.org

The Saudi-Led Coalition Is Not Ready To Fight The Islamic State

Patrick Megahan

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited Saudi Arabia last week hoping to reassure nervous Gulf allies that American security commitments remain in force in the wake of last year’s Iran nuclear deal. In exchange, the White House was hoping to encourage the Gulf...

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