Analysis & Commentary


30th September 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US resumes strikes against Islamic State in Libya

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

US Africa Command launched airstrikes against the Islamic State in Libya for the first time in eight months. AFRICOM also revealed to FDD's Long War Journal that an estimated 800 to 900 Islamic State fighters were killed during Operation Odyssey Lightning's air campaign in Sirte last year....

29th September 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US-led coalition kills 3 Islamic State ‘drone experts’ in eastern Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition announced that three Islamic State figures were killed in airstrikes in Mayadin, Syria between Sept. 12 and 14. All three worked for the so-called caliphate's drone program. The US has carried out a targeted air campaign against the group's personnel in or near Mayadin...

9th September 2017 - Fortune

Terrorists Are Using Drones Now. And That’s Not the Worst of It.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Sixteen years after the 9/11 attacks and the onset of the “war on terror,” the jihadist movement has grown stronger in almost every measurable way.

7th July 2017 - Mentioned by Tara Kartha - FirstPost

India to get armed UAVs from Israel

Away from the media hype that surrounded the first ever visit of an Indian prime minister to Israel, is the news of another "first". The delivery of Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from a country that can justly claim to have revolutionised the use of such platforms in battle.

26th April 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Why the UK launched its first targeted drone strike ever

Thomas Joscelyn

On Aug. 21, 2015, the UK government launched its first targeted drone strike ever. The jihadist in the drone’s crosshairs was Reyaad Khan, a UK national who was remotely directing recruits to carry out terrorist attacks in his home country. Khan, also known as Abu Dujana al Hindi, was...

18th March 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State uses improvised weapons of war in Mosul, Iraq

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Ninawa province has released a 30-plus minute video promoting the jihadists’ role in the battle for Mosul, Iraq. The propaganda production is intended to buttress perceptions of the group’s capabilities, even as it loses ground in and around the city.

13th March 2017 - MilitaryEdge.org

Dawn of the Jihadi Drone Wars

John Cappello

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported February 23 that it had downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the Mediterranean after it was launched from the Gaza Strip.

7th February 2017 - Quoted by David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt - The New York Times

Yemen Withdraws Permission for U.S. Antiterror Ground Missions

Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Trump, Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country, according to American officials....

1st July 2016 - Quoted by Phil Stewart, Jonathan Landay and Roberta Rampton - Reuters

U.S. says kills up to 116 civilians in strikes outside war zones

President Barack Obama's government accepted responsibility on Friday for inadvertently killing up to 116 civilians in strikes in countries where America is not at war, a major disclosure likely to inflame debate about targeted killings and use of drones. Obama's goal for the release of the...

24th June 2016 - Quoted by Ken Dilanian, Courtney Kube - NBC News

Officials: U.S. Report Will Say Drones Have Only Killed 100 Civilians

The Obama administration is preparing to announce as early as next week that it believes around 100 civilians have died in nearly 500 U.S. drone strikes since 2009, U.S. officials tell NBC News.

7th June 2016 - Quoted by Michael Kugelman - War On The Rocks

Why Did Washington Wait So Long To Take Its Drone War To Baluchistan

The Hellfire missile that incinerated Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour on May 21 set a major new precedent: It marked the first time we know of that a U.S. drone strike was used in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

3rd June 2016 - Quoted by Robert Chesney - Lawfare

Has the U.S. Quietly Ramped Up the Air Campaign Against AQAP in Yemen?

CENTCOM has just released a summary of publicly-acknowledged airstrikes conducted against AQAP targets in Yemen over the first five months of 2016.

1st June 2016 - Quoted by Aru Pande - Voice of America

US Drone Strike in Pakistan Renews Calls for Transparency

John Hannah

For the first time, a U.S. drone struck Pakistan outside its lawless border area with Afghanistan, killing the leader of the Afghan Taliban in the country’s southwestern province of Baluchistan.

31st May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda branches eulogize Taliban leader Mullah Mansour

Thomas Joscelyn

Three of al Qaeda’s official branches have jointly published a eulogy for Mullah Mansour, the Taliban leader who was killed in an American drone strike on May 21. The statement of condolences is signed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and...

31st March 2016 - The Long War Journal

US strike on camp targeted local AQAP fighters, not external network, commander claims

Bill Roggio

A US airstrike on a training camp in Yemen that killed more than 50 jihadists two weeks ago targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s local operations, not its external operations network, an AQAP commander claimed. While the AQAP commander’s statement may be technically true, it...

1st March 2016 - The Long War Journal

Osama Bin Laden’s Files: Al Qaeda relocated operatives out of northern Pakistan

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

Months prior to his death, Osama bin Laden ordered one of his chief lieutenants to evacuate “the brothers” from Pakistan’s tribal agencies of North and South Waziristan to “Afghanistan and Pakistan,” according to a letter seized by US forces in the al Qaeda master’s Abbottabad,...

25th February 2016 - Quoted Oriana Pawlyk - Air Force Times

Remember the war in Yemen? The U.S. Air Force is there

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Since beginning an air war against in Houthi rebels in Yemen last year, the Saudis and their allies have relied on U.S. tankers to refuel their aircraft in flight.

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.

8th September 2015 - Quoted by Siobhan O'Grady - Foreign Policy

The U.S. and Israel Aren’t the Only Countries Killing People With Drones

Thomas Joscelyn

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s disclosure that his military used a drone to kill two British jihadis in Syria puts the United Kingdom into an exclusive but growing club of nations that acknowledge using unmanned aircraft to target their own citizens.

12th August 2015 - The Long War Journal

US Drones Target AQAP Near Eastern Stronghold in Yemen

Bill Roggio

The US killed five al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters in a drone strike near a city in southeastern Yemen where the terror organization openly rules, and where the group’s previous emir was killed two months ago.

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