Analysis & Commentary


16th December 2016 - The Hill

One way to push back in Syria? Target Iranian airlines.

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Iran's commercial fleet is helping the Bashar Assad regime and its allies commit vast-scale atrocities in Syria. The Obama administration should have punished Tehran's war crimes by going after Iran's aviation sector, without which Iran could not deliver weapons and fighters to Aleppo's...

16th December 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Turkey’s Dubious Case against a U.S. Pastor

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish courts last week charged U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson with “membership in an armed terrorist organization,” transferring him to a high-security prison after two months in solitary confinement in a detention center.

16th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

State Department increases reward for Baghdadi to $25 million

Bill Roggio

The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program more than doubled the bounty for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State and its self-professed caliphate, making him one of the two most wanted men in the world. The $25 million reward now puts Baghdadi on par with Ayman...

15th December 2016 - The American Interest

Iranian Kurds Join the Fight

Benjamin Weinthal

The instability that has swept over the Middle East over the past half-decade has its winners and its losers. For the most part, the much-beleaguered Kurds are to be numbered in the former camp.

15th December 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran Concessions Would Erode Anti-Money Laundering Standards

Annie Fixler

The 10-year extension of the Iran Sanction Act (ISA) – a 1996 law imposing sanctions on Tehran’s trade, energy, defense, and banking sectors over its nuclear program, ballistic-missile tests, support for terrorism, and other illicit activities – became law overnight.

14th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

US military: 250 al Qaeda operatives killed or captured in Afghanistan this year

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

American counterterrorism forces have killed or captured approximately 250 al Qaeda operatives in 2016, according to US military officials.

14th December 2016 - The National Interest

Should the United States Sell Fighter Jets to the Gulf?

Patrick Megahan, John Cappello

The timing and phasing of recent U.S. arms deals in the Middle East underscore the complicated balance for the United States of addressing the concerns and needs of multiple partners in the region who frequently view each other with suspicion.

14th December 2016 - The Washington Times

How Barack is like Ike

Clifford D. May

The Islamic Republic of Iran is, according to no less an authority than the U.S. government, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, suicide-bombed U.S. Marines in Beirut in 1983. Iranian-backed Shia militias killed hundreds of American troops in Iraq...

13th December 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Pick for Basij Chief is Versed in Repression

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Amir Toumaj

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei issued a decree last Wednesday appointing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Qolam-Hossein Qeibparvar as commander of the country’s Basij paramilitary force.

13th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Pentagon: 2 Paris attack facilitators killed in US airstrike in Raqqa, Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Department of Defense announced today that three Islamic State “external attack operatives” were killed in a “precision airstrike” in Raqqa, Syria on Dec. 4.

12th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

US confirms death of high-profile Tunisian Islamic State assassin

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Defense Department has confirmed that Boubaker al-Hakim, a French-Tunisian Islamic State leader pictured above, was killed in airstrikes carried out in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 26.

12th December 2016 - USIP Press

The Jihadi Threat

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross co-authored a report covering ISIS and al-Qaeda, exploring their movements, possible strategies, the future scenarios, and policy considerations.

12th December 2016 - Newsweek

Iran’s Hostages-for-Cash Scheme Continues - How Should the West Respond?

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Annie Fixler

Iran is currently holding Iranian-British charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hostage to pressure London to pay back hundreds of million pounds it allegedly owes the Islamic Republic.

12th December 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

World’s first BDS account closure, says German bank

Benjamin Weinthal

The Bank fur Sozialwirtschaft (Bank for Social Economy) announced on Monday that it has shut down the account of a German group because it advocates a boycott against the Jewish state, fails to meet the bank’s ethical standards and stokes antisemitism.

11th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State claims full control of Palmyra, Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State released a statement via its Amaq News Agency earlier today claiming that the jihadists have taken complete control of the ancient city of Palmyra. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has also reported that the jihadists seized the city.

11th December 2016 - Politico

Trump Wants to Shake Up the World Order? Here’s Where He Should Start

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Jonathan Schanzer

The specifics have often fluctuated, but the core of Donald Trump’s foreign policy vision has remained steady. He believes, as the Brookings Institution’s Thomas Wright has noted, “that America gets a raw deal from the liberal international order it helped to create and has led since...

10th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

US bombs oil tanker trucks as Islamic State battles Syrian regime near Palmyra

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) reportedly “destroyed a fleet of 168 ISIL [Islamic State] oil tanker trucks near Palmyra, Syria” on Dec. 8. According to an OIR statement, it is “the largest air strike of its kind to date.”

9th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Array of pro-Syrian government forces advances in Aleppo

Amir Toumaj

Twelve days after launching the latest assault on Nov. 15, forces fighting on behalf of Bashar al Assad captured approximately a third of total rebel-held territory in the northern sector, positioning them to tighten the siege. These forces have been making steady gains on that front,...

9th December 2016 - Foreign Policy

Will Trump Stay or Go in Iraq?

John Hannah

Though the battle for Mosul has slowed to a crawl, the collapse of the Islamic State’s territorial caliphate — at least in its Iraqi incarnation — remains only a matter of time.

9th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban rejects peace talks, emphasizes alliance with al Qaeda in new video

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

The Taliban rejects “peace talks” with the West and advertises its continuing alliance with al Qaeda in a newly released video entitled, “Bond of Nation with the Mujahideen.”


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