Analysis & Commentary


24th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Treasury, UN sanction 2 senior leaders in al Qaeda’s Syrian branch

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department and the United Nations have designated two senior jihadists in Syria as terrorists. Both of them were leaders in Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official arm in Syria.

24th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Iraq monument underscores Iranian commander’s role in Qods Force

Amir Toumaj

A monument dedicated to an Iranian general has been erected in Iraq for the first time in the country’s history. The landmark commemorates Hamid Taghavi (also known as “Abu Maryam”), a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) extraterritorial branch the Qods Force,...

22nd February 2017 - Fox Business

Countdown to the Closing Bell

John Hannah

FDD senior counselor John Hannah comments on the retaking of western Mosul, US foreign policy towards Russia and possible talks with North Korean officials.

20th February 2017 - FDD Press Release

Despite Recent Losses, Islamic State Still Threatens North and West Africa, FDD Study Finds

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The decline of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria may paradoxically help the group in Africa, particularly as state and non-state actors shift resources from combating ISIL to other urgent issues, giving the group breathing room to regenerate, according to a report issued today by the...

11th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US-led coalition targeted key online operative for Islamic State near Mosul

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition targeted Rachid Kassim, an aspiring rapper turned Islamic State operative, near Mosul, Iraq earlier this week. Kassim, who is pictured above, has been involved in several terror plots in the West.

7th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

IRGC adviser killed near Tal Afar in Iraq

Amir Toumaj

A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was embedded with Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) was killed on Saturday by an Islamic State booby trap near the Tal Afar airport, which is to the west of Mosul, according to Iranian media. The PMF, the umbrella...

19th January 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran Taps Quds Force Official as Envoy to Iraq

Amir Toumaj

Iran has appointed a high-ranking officer from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) extraterritorial branch, the Quds Force, as ambassador to Iraq. Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi, a senior advisor to Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani, replaces Hassan Danaeifar (who himself is a Quds...

17th January 2017 - Quoted by Saagar Enjeti - The Daily Caller

Obama’s Terror Legacy: While ‘Ending’ One War, Making Two Much Worse

Bill Roggio

President Barack Obama pledged throughout the 2008 campaign to end the “bad war” in Iraq and win “the good war” in Afghanistan. Now, days away from the end of his tenure, it’s clear all he’s done is make both worse.

12th January 2017 - Quoted by Middle East Online

As Caliphate Shrinks, ISIS Expected to Head for the Hills

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In Syria, where ISIS is still a fighting force to be reckoned with,the thinking is the jihadists will retreat into the country’s vast eastern desert around oil-rich Deir ez-Zor province where it is strongly entrenched, says James Bruce.

9th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

PMF deputy commander Muhandis details Hezbollah ops in Iraq

David Daoud

Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), gave an in-depth interview last week with the pro-Iranian, pan-Arab satellite television channel Al Mayadeen, in which he confirmed the presence of Lebanese Hezbollah in Iraq. In the interview,...

6th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US airstrike kills Islamic State external operations facilitator in Raqqah

Bill Roggio

An Islamic State leader who also worked as a facilitator for its external operations network, which is tasked with hitting targets outside of Iraq and Syria, was killed in an airstrike in Raqqah on New Years Eve, according to the US military. The Pentagon said 16 “significant members” of...

5th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US military kills 4 mid-level Islamic State commanders in Iraq and Syria

Bill Roggio

The US has killed four mid-level Islamic State commanders in airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria since the beginning of December 2016, the military announced over the past week. The Islamic State commanders were involved in military, suicide, chemical, and financial operations, according to...

28th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Coalition intensifies air campaign against Islamic State stronghold in Raqqah

Bill Roggio

Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTFOIR), the US led coalition that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has intensified its air campaign against the Islamic State’s stronghold and the seat of its so-called caliphate in the Syrian city of Raqqah. Over the...

17th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Iraq’s PMF is IRGC’s “next step,” senior Qods Force commander says

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

The establishment of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) is an extension of Iran’s plan to export the revolution, which keeps war against Sunni extremists from reaching the country’s borders, argued Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi, senior adviser to the commander of the Islamic...

16th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

State Department increases reward for Baghdadi to $25 million

Bill Roggio

The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program more than doubled the bounty for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State and its self-professed caliphate, making him one of the two most wanted men in the world. The $25 million reward now puts Baghdadi on par with Ayman...

13th December 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Pick for Basij Chief is Versed in Repression

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Amir Toumaj

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei issued a decree last Wednesday appointing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Qolam-Hossein Qeibparvar as commander of the country’s Basij paramilitary force.

12th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

US confirms death of high-profile Tunisian Islamic State assassin

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Defense Department has confirmed that Boubaker al-Hakim, a French-Tunisian Islamic State leader pictured above, was killed in airstrikes carried out in Raqqa, Syria on Nov. 26.

9th December 2016 - Quoted by Molly Hennessy-Fiske - The Los Angeles Times

Islamic State video of captured British photographer signals a shift in the group’s propaganda

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The latest Islamic State video showing captured British war photographer John Cantlie signals a shift in the extremist group’s propaganda as it loses territory, analysts say.

9th December 2016 - Foreign Policy

Will Trump Stay or Go in Iraq?

John Hannah

Though the battle for Mosul has slowed to a crawl, the collapse of the Islamic State’s territorial caliphate — at least in its Iraqi incarnation — remains only a matter of time.

8th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

US military bombs Mosul hospital as Iraqi troops retreat

Bill Roggio

The US military launched an airstrike against a hospital in eastern Mosul that was used as a command center by the Islamic State as Iraqi troops failed to seize the complex over the past several days. The strike highlights the difficulties ahead in retaking the city, as the Islamic State...

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