Analysis & Commentary


31st July 2015 - The Long War Journal

The Taliban’s New Leadership is allied With Al Qaeda

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

The Taliban has announced that a new emir and two deputy emirs have been chosen to lead the organization following the confirmation of Mullah Omar’s death.The Taliban’s new emir is Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, a longtime deputy to Omar.

31st July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s Branch in Syria Says it Captured US-backed Rebels

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a statement claiming that it has captured US-trained rebels belonging to a group called “Division 30.” The statement, seen below, was released today on one of the group’s official Twitter feeds.

31st July 2015 - The World Affairs Journal

Iran’s Expendable President Rouhani

Ali Alfoneh

While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif celebrate their recent nuclear negotiating triumph, neither they nor their Washington-based fans should pop the Zamzam cola just yet.

31st July 2015 - The Wall Street Journal

History Contradicts the Dream of Iranian Moderation

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Most backers of the nuclear accord with Iran hopefully insist that the theocratic regime will moderate once sanctions are lifted. Plugged back into the global economy, Iran will become less militant.

31st July 2015 - The Arab Weekly

After Iran Deal, EU to Lift Sanctions on Guards’ Business Empire

Ali Alfoneh

While persuading Iranian negotiators to accept the July 14th Vienna Agreement, and per­haps in an attempt to entice Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) not to oppose the controversial nuclear deal, the European Union has decided to lift sanctions imposed on key figures in the...

30th July 2015 - The Daily Beast

Mullah Omar’s Death Is A Big Blow To Al Qaeda—And A Win For ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has confirmed on his official Twitter account that Mullah Omar is dead. And the Taliban’s political office has apparently conceded that the initial reports, first confirmed by the Afghan government, were accurate: Omar died more than two years ago, in...

30th July 2015 - The Long War Journal

The Taliban Confirms Mullah Omar is Dead

Thomas Joscelyn

The Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihulla Mujahid, released a statement via Twitter earlier today confirming that Mullah Omar, the group’s first emir, is dead. The statement is attributed to Omar’s family and the Taliban’s shura council. A screen shot of one of his tweets concerning...

30th July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Taliban Seize District in Helmand Province

Bill Roggio

The Taliban overran the district center and several military and police installations in Now Zad in the southern Afghan province of Helmand yesterday. The fall of Now Zad is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Afghan security forces and government, which are struggling to maintain...

30th July 2015 - National Review Online - Co-written by Saba Farzan

How the West Can Use the Iran Deal to Foster Regime Change

Benjamin Weinthal

Since the comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear-weapons program was reached, technical aspects of the agreement have been discussed, but a crucially unremarked-upon topic deserves significant attention: what the deal means for the Iranian people’s deep longing for a democratic future in...

30th July 2015 - The Tower Magazine

Gold Rush: The Dismantling of the Sanctions Regime Against Iran

Emanuele Ottolenghi

With most sanctions scheduled to be lifted on Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal signed in Vienna by Iran with the six world powers charged with negotiating over its nuclear program will inaugurate the rapid revival of Iran’s economy.

30th July 2015 - Politico Europe

Turkish Grey Wolves Target ‘Chinese’

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit Wednesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing came at an awkward time. So far this month, Turkish ultranationalists have attacked two Chinese restaurants in Istanbul, assaulted Koreans (whom they mistook for Chinese) at an iconic...

29th July 2015 - Militaryedge.org

Turkey at War: A New, Complicated, Phase in the Fight Against ISIS

Patrick Megahan, Merve Tahiroglu

The Turkish cabinet formally approved opening the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey on Wednesday to the coalition fighting Islamic State (ISIS). The U.S. has been pressuring Turkey to allow operations from Incirlik for months, but the deadly suicide bombing in the Turkish border town of...

29th July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Emir Killed in Shootout With Pakistani Police

Bill Roggio

Pakistani police killed Malik Ishaq, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, in a shootout in Muzaffargarh on the evening of July 28. The jihadist group’s fighters were attempting to free Ishaq and his two sons, who were in police custody. The jihadist leader had been in and...

29th July 2015 - CBN

CBN News

Merve Tahiroglu

FDD Research Associate Merve Tahiroglu discusses the latest developments in Turkey's fight against ISIS and the PKK.

29th July 2015 - NOW Lebanon

The ISIS Attack and Turkey’s Islamist Kurds

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

An ISIS-linked suicide bomber attacked the southern Turkish border town of Suruç on Monday, killing 32 and wounding 100. The victims were preparing for a trip to reconstruct the war-torn Syrian town of Kobane, which has held by the Kurdish People’s Democratic Union (PYD) since late...

29th July 2015 - Forbes

European Companies: Enter The Iranian Market At Your Own Risk

Benjamin Weinthal

With the signing of an Iranian nuclear agreement earlier this month, European companies along with leading politicians have moved at astonishingly fast pace to enter Iran’s markets.

28th July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Taliban Overruns Another District in Northern Afghanistan

Bill Roggio

The Taliban continues to press its offensive on multiple fronts in the Afghan north, taking control of Kohistanat district in the once calm province of Sar-i-Pul after a police commander and his officers defected to the jihadist group. According to the Taliban, its forces “raised the white...

28th July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jihadist-led Coalition Launches New Offensive Against Assad Regime in Strategic Plain

Thomas Joscelyn

Jaysh al Fateh (the “Army of Conquest”), a coalition of anti-Assad forces that overran much of the Idlib province earlier this year, has launched a new offensive against the Assad regime. The jihadist-led alliance is using its stronghold in Idlib to push south into the Al Ghab plain,...

28th July 2015 - NOW Lebanon

Obama’s Equilibrium Fantasy

Tony Badran

With the nuclear deal finally out of the way, President Obama can now get down to what, for him, has always been the real business—engaging Iran on regional issues. As one administration official has acknowledged, the US president sees Iran as “the key to peace” in the Middle East. But...

28th July 2015 - The Washington Times

Defeating Civilization’s Enemies

Clifford D. May

“The enemy has to be defeated,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter last week told American forces stationed in the Middle East. That is a simple truth, one that, regrettably, is not heard often from officials in the current administration.

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