Analysis & Commentary

22nd September 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Betrand and Pamela Engel - Business Insider

John Kerry is Helping Putin Validate Assad’s Dubious Narrative on the Refugee Crisis

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

US Secretary of State John Kerry said recently that ISIS is "the most significant player" driving the refugee crisis in Europe, which goes against expert opinion and helps support the narrative of a dictator who's desperate to hold onto power in the Middle East.

17th September 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Iran Still Operating U.S.-Sanctioned Airline in Support of Assad, IRGC

Benjamin Weinthal, Emanuele Ottolenghi

An Iranian airline is still operating in Europe, which it uses as a base to provide arms, fighters, and logistical support to the Syrian regime despite American sanctions against it. Benjamin Weinthal and Emanuele Ottolenghi, fellows at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, reported...

17th September 2015 - The Jerusalem Post

Analysis: What Are Europe’s Options in War-Torn Syria?

Benjamin Weinthal

With European leaders scrambling to contain a growing Syrian refugee crisis within EU borders, there are now fresh initiatives for military intervention in Syria. France’s Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced Wednesday that his country will launch military strikes “in the coming...

14th September 2015 - Quoted by Charles Hoskinson - The Washington Examiner

Critics: U.S. Reaps Harvest of Its Inertia in Syria

Benjamin Weinthal

The lack of a coherent Syria policy has come back to bite the Obama administration in the form of hundreds of thousands of refugees pouring into Europe, putting pressure on Western countries to resettle them.

11th September 2015 - AM 770 CHQR

Kingkade and Breakenridge

Tony Badran

FDD Senior Fellow Tony Badran comments on Russia's involvement in defending Assad.

11th September 2015 - Quoted by Lee Smith - The Weekly Standard

The Putin Solution

Tony Badran

A photograph of a drowned 3-year-old boy washed up on a Turkish beach after his family failed to find refuge from the war in Syria seems to have finally gotten the world’s attention. The conflict has been an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe for more than four years. A quarter of a...

10th September 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

We’re Reportedly About to See Some Familiar Russian Faces in Syria — and That’s Trouble

Boris Zilberman

Some of the Russian troops reportedly being sent to Syria are from the same brigade that helped annex Crimea, according to a lengthy investigation conducted by Ruslan Leviev, a specialist in social-media intelligence.

10th September 2015 - BBC Radio 5

Up All Night

Tony Badran

FDD Senior Fellow Tony Badran comments on Russia presence in the Syrian conflict and its implications for Europe.

9th September 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand and Michael B. Kelley - Business Insider

The US Just Called Out Putin Over ISIS as Russian Soldiers Join the Fight in Syria

Boris Zilberman

A Reuters report confirms that Russians are taking part in the fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

7th September 2015 - The Long War Journal

Prime Minister Says 2 British Nationals Killed in Airstrikes Were Plotting Attacks

Thomas Joscelyn

In a speech before the UK parliament today, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the Syrian refugee crisis, the counterterrorism measures being taken to combat the Islamic State, and other related issues.

6th September 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Expert: Nuclear Deal Will Worsen Europe’s Refugee Crisis

Benjamin Weinthal

The nuclear deal with Iran will give Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “fresh economic shot in the arm,” which will strengthen the dictator and add to Europe’s growing refugee crisis, Benjamin Weinthal, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote Saturday in...

5th September 2015 - Quoted by Michael Weiss - The Daily Beast

Exposing Russia’s Secret Army in Syria

Tony Badran

Russian military officers are now in Damascus and meeting regularly with Iranian and Syrian counterparts, according to a source with close contacts in the Bashar al-Assad regime. “They’re out in restaurants and cafes with other high officials in the Syrian Army,” the source told The...

13th August 2015 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Hillary Clinton Blames Syria Policy for Rise of Islamic State

Jonathan Schanzer

From the Republican opposition research firm America Rising, we get this portion of Hillary Clinton’s interview on Univision: You know, ISIS is a phenomenon and ISIS came out of the terrible turmoil in Syria.

11th August 2015 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Iran Moving to Capitalize on Diplomatic Gains From Nuclear Accord

Tony Badran

Iran appears to be trying to leverage the momentum gained from the conclusion of the nuclear deal, and improved relations with the West, in order to achieve some kind of deal that safeguards its interests in Syria and Lebanon.

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 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Senior Western Official: Links Between Turkey and ISIS Are Now ‘Undeniable’

Jonathan Schanzer

A US-led raid on the compound housing the Islamic State's "chief financial officer" produced evidence that Turkish officials directly dealt with ranking ISIS members, Martin Chulov of the Guardian reported recently.

20th July 2015 - Quoted by Sean D. Naylor - Foreign Policy

Will Curbing Iran’s Nuclear Threat Boost Its Proxies?

The nuclear deal with Iran defers one looming confrontation with Tehran, but it may accelerate others by emboldening and enriching Hezbollah and the other proxy forces that the Islamic Republic uses to advance its interests across the Middle East and beyond.

16th July 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Expert: Flawed Nuclear Deal Allows Iran to Emerge As “Regional Power”

Tony Badran

The flawed nuclear deal reached yesterday “maps Iran’s emergence as a regional power, with the full blessing … of the United States,” Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, wrote in an op-ed published today in The New York Daily News....

16th July 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand, Michael B. Kelley - Business Insider

Obama May Now Have to Do Some ‘Mullah-Coddling’ in Syria

Tony Badran

President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement — a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran — was finalised this week after more than a decade of coercive diplomacy and 20 months of grueling negotiations.

15th July 2015 - Quoted by Michael Weiss and Nancy A. Youssef - The Daily Beast

Syria’s Butcher Really Won the Iran Deal

Mark Dubowitz

There’s one person ecstatic about the Iran deal and Washington would probably prefer he just keep his mouth shut: Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Professing in a cable to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the newly agreed upon nuclear accord between the world’s major powers was...


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