Analysis & Commentary


18th May 2016 - Quoted by Lisa Daftari - The Foreign Desk

Iran using commercial airliner to fly fighters, weapons to Syria

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Iran is using a commercial airliner with ties to the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to ferry fighters and weapons to Syria.

18th May 2016 - The Washington Times

A death in Damascus, a funeral in Beirut

Clifford D. May

Five years ago, during the hopefully named Arab Spring, Syrians staged peaceful protests against the ruling dynasty that had long oppressed them. President Bashar al Assad responded brutally: In May 2011, he sent tanks into the suburbs of Damascus, Deraa, Homs and other cities to crush his...

14th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Syrian rebels deny Hezbollah’s military commander killed in ‘artillery shelling’

Bill Roggio

Hezbollah said an investigation shows that its military commander, Mustafa Badreddine, died on May 12 in rebel “artillery shelling” at Damascus International Airport. However, an independent news organization that diligently monitors the Syrian civil war said that rebel groups have not...

14th May 2016 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Did Israel take advantage of Middle East mayhem to take out Hezbollah leader?

Tony Badran

It remains unclear who killed the top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine this week in Syria, but if Israel turns out to be responsible as a Hezbollah MP claimed, it signals an aggressive tactical move by Israel to take advantage of the mayhem in the region to take out its enemies.

13th May 2016 - Quoted by Lee Smith - The Weekly Standard

Zarif Sends Moderate Condolences to Hezbollah

Tony Badran

Today Iranian foreign minister Mohamed Javad Zarif sent his condolences to Hezbollah general secretary Hassan Nasrallah on the day the party is burying Mustafa Badreddine.

13th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Storied Hezbollah commander killed in Syria

David Daoud

Hezbollah announced the death of Mustafa Badreddine, its notorious senior military commander, in Syria early Friday morning.

13th May 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Hezbollah Military Commander Killed in Syria

Tony Badran

Mustafa Badreddine, Hezbollah’s military commander, was killed in Syria on Thursday night according to Lebanese television channels close to Hezbollah. Al-Mayadeen TV claimed Badreddine was killed in an Israeli strike near Damascus airport, and eventually Hezbollah itself confirmed the...

11th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

IRGC, allies sustained significant losses in battle for Khan Touman

Amir Toumaj

On May 6, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) lost the Syrian village of Khan Touman, strategically located near the Aleppo-Damascus highway southwest of Aleppo, to Jaysh al Fath, a jihadist-led alliance of rebel groups. Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s Syria branch, and other jihadi...

3rd May 2016 - U.S. News & World Report

Moderation Is a Misnomer in Iran

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Proponents of a nuclear deal with Iran have expressed hope that it would put Tehran on a more moderate course. President Obama, on the eve of the deal, suggested that it could "strengthen the hand of those more moderate forces inside of Iran."

27th April 2016 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

Hezbollah Develops New Skills in Syria, Posing Challenges for Israel

John Cappello

When Hezbollah first intervened on the side of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Israeli defense analysts saw the foray as a blessing — better to have their Lebanese arch-enemy entangled in a war in Syria.

27th April 2016 - Tablet Magazine

Why Bashar al-Assad, the ‘Teflon Don’ of the Middle East, Can’t Be Touched

Tony Badran

John Gotti may have once held the title, but the late Gambino crime family boss had nothing on the “Teflon Don” of the Middle East, Bashar Assad. Had Gotti lived to see it, he would be astounded by how easily the two-bit head of a Syrian crime family is getting away with mass murder....

27th April 2016 - The National Interest

Hezbollah: Iran’s Henchmen in Brazil

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Across Latin America, Iran’s public face appears innocuous: mosques, cultural centers, schools, halal meat inspectors, religious literature, social work and even Boy Scout groups. Yet beneath the veneer of piety, outreach and interfaith dialogue, Tehran leverages connections with...

19th April 2016 - Quoted by Teresa Welsh - U.S. News & World Report

Why Lebanon Could Be the Next Middle East Hot Spot

Tony Badran

Saudi Arabia has made a gamble in its regional proxy war with longtime foe Iran by retreating from Lebanon, an arena where the two have long competed for influence.

12th April 2016 - Quoted by Caroline B. Glick - The Jerusalem Post

Our World: Obama’s nuclear contrition

Tony Badran

Then and now, Obama and his advisers argued that ballistic missiles are not part of the mullahs’ nuclear project. This claim, which made little sense at the time, makes no sense whatsoever today.

7th April 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Hezbollah’s Sunni Support Network

Tony Badran

Hezbollah announced the death this weekend of seven of its fighters in Syria during fighting in southern Aleppo. Among them was a curious name: 19-year old Muhammad al-Kabash, a Sunni from Sidon.

7th April 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Report: Hezbollah Doubles Down on Support for Assad, Building Fortified Base in Syria

Tony Badran

Hezbollah is building a fortified base in Syria, the global intelligence company Stratfor reported Wednesday.

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.

28th March 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Kuwait Expels 60 for Ties to Hezbollah

Tony Badran

Kuwait issued orders to deport 60 Lebanese nationals for their alleged ties to the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, Agence France-Press reported Monday. The move comes weeks after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

24th March 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Expert: Hezbollah Arms Buildup in Civilian Areas Puts “Big Target” on All of Lebanon

Tony Badran

Experts on the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah discussed its increased dominance in Lebanon at a House hearing on Tuesday, including how the group’s activities and strategies increase the likelihood of a future, more deadly war with Israel.

20th March 2016 - Foreign Affairs

The Iran Deal’s Bigger Loser

Jonathan Schanzer

The decision to fork over $100 billion in sanctions relief to Iran as part of last summer’s nuclear deal could be the worst thing that’s happened to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah in years.

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