Analysis & Commentary

9th June 2015 - Quoted by David Pugliese - Ottawa Citizen

Islamic State Makes Use of Captured U.S. Supplied TOW Missile Systems

In a new video released by the Islamic State, the jihadist group shows the capture of the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria…the video also shows at least one US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile being used against Syrian troops, the Long War Journal reports.

9th June 2015 - Quoted by Sangwoon Yoon - Bloomberg

Countries Don’t Report Iran Sanctions Violations, UN Report Says

Mark Dubowitz

United Nations monitors said governments reported no new incidents of Iran violating Security Council sanctions against its nuclear program, even though some have unfolded in plain sight.

9th June 2015 - Quoted by Mike Giglio - Buzzfeed News

Can Turkey’s Ruling Party Fix Its Erdogan Problem?

Aykan Erdemir

The glowing reputation Turkey’s ruling party built early in its decade-plus in power seemed a distant memory on Sunday as voters punished it at the polls.

9th June 2015 - Quoted The Tower

UN Report: Iranian Sanctions Violations Are Routinely Ignored by West

Mark Dubowitz

A United Nations panel found that Western nations have systematically ignored Iranian violations of international sanctions so as not to jeopardize the talks over Iran’s illicit nuclear program, Bloomberg News reported today. The sanctions were put in place because of the country’s...

8th June 2015 - Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

Islamic Extremism, Explained

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is nothing if not ambitious. In a speech last July, Baghadi promised his fighters much more than their already large empire in Iraq and Syria: "if you hold to [the Islamic State]," he said, "you will conquer Rome and own the world."

8th June 2015 - Quoted by The Economist

Autocracy Blocked

Aykan Erdemir

FOR Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has won every campaign he has run since being elected mayor of Istanbul in 1994, it was a first taste of defeat. Voters denied his Justice and Development (AK) party a majority in Sunday’s parliamentary polls, thwarting his dreams...

5th June 2015 - Quoted by Jacob Siegel - The Daily Beast

The Myth of Iran’s Military Mastermind

Tony Badran

He’s been called the “single most powerful operative in the Middle East today” and nicknamed “Supermani,” but is Qasem Suleimani, the suddenly omnipresent commander of Iran's expeditionary Quds Force, suddenly coming down to earth?

5th June 2015 - International Policy Digest

What Will Happen After Turkey’s Elections?

Jonathan Schanzer, Merve Tahiroglu

When Turkish voters go to the polls this Sunday, it will mark the end of what has been an interminable 15 month long election cycle in Turkey encompassing municipal elections, a presidential election, and finally parliamentary elections.

4th June 2015 - Quoted by Sean Savage - The Christian Post

As Syria’s Assad Suffers Civil War Setbacks, What’s the Best Outcome for Israel?

Tony Badran

With the Syrian civil war well into its fifth year, President Bashar al-Assad's government has outlasted many observers' predictions of his demise.

4th June 2015 - Quoted by Blake Seitz - The Washington Free Beacon

Amanpour: U.S. Fight Against Islamic State ‘Not Going Well Right Now’

Bill Roggio

CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour delivered an indictment of the Obama administration’s passive response to Middle East unrest on Wednesday, quoting senior CIA sources who worry about the administration’s lack of strategy for the region.

4th June 2015 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Syria: Too Little, Too Late

Jonathan Schanzer

The Post reports: The U.S. military is gradually expanding a new program to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters, but building a force that can effectively take on the Islamic State may take longer than expected, President Obama’s top military adviser said Wednesday.

4th June 2015 - Quoted by Isaiah Narciso - The Gospel Herald

Christian Persecution in Iran: 18 Sent to Prison by Revolutionary Court for Practicing Faith

Benjamin Weinthal

Although Iran recognizes Christians as an official minority group, its revolutionary court sentenced 18 of them to harsh prison sentences last week.

4th June 2015 - Quoted by Jeremy Bender - Business Insider

Here’s Why Russia Selling S-300 Advanced Missile Systems to Iran is Such a Big Deal

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Patrick Megahan

Russia has publicly announced that it is willing to sell Iran one of the world's most advanced air defense systems. And that poses the potential of radically altering the balance of power in the Middle East.

4th June 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand, Michael B. Kelley - Business Insider

The Startlingly Simple Reason Obama Ignores Syria

Tony Badran

While the US embassy in Syria accuses Syrian President Bashar Assad of acting as an air force for the Islamic State, the Obama administration does not seem to be concerning itself with the Syrian regime.

4th June 2015 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Nasrallah Tries Once More to Mobilize Base to Support Assad

Tony Badran

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave yet another speech on Wednesday in an effort to motivate Shi’ite supporters in Lebanon to help keep Syrian President Bashar Assad in power.

3rd June 2015 - Quoted by Max Boot - Commentary

Obama Is Losing Iraq Just as LBJ Lost Vietnam

Bill Roggio

The Obama White House’s mental synapses must be short-circuiting right now.

3rd June 2015 - Quoted by Armin Rosen - Business Insider

The Key to Obama’s Iran Deal Might Not Actually Work

Mark Dubowitz

Despite US Secretary of State John Kerry's broken femur, the signing of a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran appears to be on track.

3rd June 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Iran Sentences 18 Christians to Prison as Human Rights Worsen under Rouhani

Benjamin Weinthal

An Iranian court sentenced 18 Christians to prison for practicing their faith, Ben Weinthal, a research fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies reported Tuesday for Fox News.

3rd June 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

One Year On, Palestinian “Unity” Government That Ended Peace Talks is Still Divided

Grant Rumley

None of the issues that last year’s Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement were supposed to address have been solved, according to a policy brief written yesterday by Grant Rumley, a research analyst for the Foundation of Defense of Democracies.

3rd June 2015 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Islamic State Undeterred by Mounting Body Count

Bill Roggio

The United States and other countries fighting to push back and ultimately destroy the group known as Islamic State are being forced to confront an unpleasant quandary: an enemy unafraid of death and seemingly undeterred by a mounting death toll.


Ali Alfoneh

Senior Fellow

Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Aykan Erdemir

Nonresident Fellow


Yaya J. Fanusie

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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