Analysis & Commentary


29th March 2016 - The Long War Journal

Syrian Army, allies retake Palmyra from the Islamic State

Thomas Joscelyn

The Syrian Army and its Iranian-backed allies have retaken the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State. After several days of heavy fighting, Bashar al Assad’s regime claimed victory over the so-called caliphate’s fighters.

27th March 2016 - BBC

BBC World News

Tony Badran

FDD fellow Tony Badran discusses the battle to retake Palmyra from ISIS.

17th March 2016 - Quoted by Kyle Orton - The New Arab

What Kurdish federalism means for Syria

Tony Badran

The PKK has very deep and old connections with Russia and the Assad regime.

17th March 2016 - Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS

With the Russian drawdown in Syria, Israel seeks reassurances

Emanuele Ottolenghi

On March 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise announcement that he would withdraw the “main part” of Russian forces from Syria, shocking many of the countries concerned about the ongoing conflict in the country, including Israel. Putin’s move came as peace talks began...

10th February 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

A new UN report ‘shatters’ one of the biggest myths about Syria and Assad

Tony Badran

A UN report detailing the "massive and systematized" violence perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar Assad against his own people "shatters the notion that the regime is somehow a lesser evil" than ISIS.

9th February 2016 - Quoted by Ishaan Tharoor - The Washington Post

What the fall of Aleppo would mean for Syria and the world

Patrick Megahan

Over the past week, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have nearly encircled the city of Aleppo, once the war-torn country's most populous urban center.

8th February 2016 - Quoted by Selcan Hacaoglu, Henry Meyer and Dana Khraiche - Bloomberg

Advantage Assad After Five Years of War in Syria

Patrick Megahan

After five years of war and a quarter-million dead, President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies now have the upper hand in Syria, and they’re seeking to drive home a growing battlefield advantage rather than negotiate.

8th February 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Strategic Expert: Assad, Backed by Russia & Iran, Making Gains Due to U.S. Betrayal of Rebels

Tony Badran

2016 will be a year when Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad “will lock in significant political and military gains” due to the U.S.’s betrayal of anti-Assad rebels, Emile Hokayem, a Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote Friday...

4th February 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Expert: U.S. Must Ground Iranian Airline that Transports Troops, Weapons to Syria

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The United States’ failure to ground a sanctioned Iranian airline that provides logistical support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Syria underscores a severe loss of American credibility, which the Obama administration should immediately act to restore by penalizing...

4th February 2016 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Kerry is the only one who couldn’t see that Syria talks were fruitless

Jonathan Schanzer

Talks on the future of Syria predictably have stalled. Just a few days after they began, the United Nations “suspended” the proceedings.

4th February 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

World Pledges Over $10 Billion to Help Syrian Refugees as Peace Talks Stall

Tony Badran

International donors pledged over $10 billion to assist refugees fleeing from Syria’s civil war, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

27th January 2016 - Quoted by Jeremy Bender and Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Unnervingly clear drone footage shows the toll Syria’s war has taken on one of its oldest cities

Boris Zilberman

Unnervingly clear drone footage shows the Damascus suburb of Darayya in ruins nearly five years after the city served as the site of some of the earliest anti-government protests in Syria's civil war.

27th January 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Russia holds the ‘highest value card’ in Syria, but is nowhere near ready to play it

Boris Zilberman, Tony Badran

Two Western intelligence sources told the Financial Times last week that Russia sent an envoy to Syria late last year to ask Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, raising questions about whether Moscow's support for the embattled leader has dwindled over the past four months.

17th January 2016 - Quoted by Josh Rogin - Bloomberg

Prisoner Swap May Help Iran Arm Assad

Emanuele Ottolenghi

In exchange for the release of four American prisoners, the Barack Obama administration agreed to free seven Iranians in U.S. custody and stop trying to arrest 14 others, two of whom the U.S. government had accused of funneling weapons to the Bashar al-Assad regime and Hezbollah in Syria....

15th January 2016 - CNN

The Lead with Jake Tapper

Mark Dubowitz

FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz discusses Iran's capture of 10 sailors and sanctions relief.

11th January 2016 - The Huffington Post

In Dangerous Gamble, the Obama Administration Is Abandoning Decades-Old Mideast Alliances

Tony Badran

In response to the crisis in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, following the latter's assault on the Saudi consulate and embassy in Iran, the Obama administration has taken to the media to unleash a furious rebuke.

11th January 2016 - i24 News

Morning Edition

Benjamin Weinthal

FDD fellow Benjamin Weinthal comments on the refugee crisis in Europe.

11th January 2016 - FDD Press Release

New Report by FDD Details Iran’s Military Assistance to the Assad Regime

As parties under the auspices of the United Nations prepare for a new rounds of talks on Syria, a new report published by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) explores the deepening and disturbing relationship between Iran and the Assad regime and provides policy recommendations...

7th January 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

This Was the Moment Obama Decided Not to Intervene in Syria

Tony Badran

US President Barack Obama decided to delay launchign airstrikes against the Syrian government in 2013 during a walk in the White House garden with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, according to an in-depth profile of McDonough from Politico Magine's Glenn Thrush.

18th December 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Obama’s Former Defense Secretary Confirmed A Suspicion About The White House’s Approach To Syria

Tony Badran

Two years after the war in Syria had broken out, the Obama administration had still not formulated a coherent policy response to the crisis that has now claimed more than 200,000 lives.

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