Analysis & Commentary


28th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

US continues airstrikes in Tikrit despite involvement of Iranian-backed Shiite militias

Bill Roggio

The US military continues to launch airstrikes in Tikrit against the Islamic State despite the presence of Iranian-backed Shiite militias. Claims, including those from US military commanders, that the militias have withdrawn are incorrect, and have even been rebutted by a Pentagon spokesman....

25th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

US begins airstrikes against Islamic State in Tikrit, supports Shiite militias

Bill Roggio

The US-led military Coalition in Iraq is openly supporting Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Iraqi forces who are battling Islamic State fighters entrenched in Tikrit.

24th March 2015 - NewsChannel 8

New Terror Threat: Countdown

Clifford D. May

NewsChannel 8 on Tuesday evening hosted a live Your Voice, Your Future town hall roundtable discussion with top experts entitled "The New Terror Threat: The Countdown."

20th March 2015 - Mentioned by The Tower

Report: Iran-Backed Shiite Militias Went on Anti-Sunni Rampage After Freeing Key Iraqi Town

Bill Roggio

After freeing the city of the Iraqi town of Amerli, which had been under siege by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Iranian-backed Shiite militias rampaged through the area carrying out reprisal raids against Sunnis in the area.

19th March 2015 - The National Interest

Oil Prices Cripple Iraq’s ISIS War

David Andrew Weinberg

Iraq had a miserable 2014. The Islamic State (IS) reentered the country in large numbers early in the year, routing the Iraqi security forces in June with its swift territorial conquests and gaining tacit support from a large segment of Iraq’s Sunnis in the process.

18th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Iranian-Backed Militias Rampaged in Central Iraq After Freeing Town: HRW

Bill Roggio

A Human Rights Watch report says that the militias looted, burned thousands of buildings, and abducted at least 11 people during the Amerli offensive last summer.

17th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Analysis: Shiite Pakistani Casualties of the Wars in Syria and Iraq

Ali Alfoneh

Seven Pakistani Shiites who were killed while fighting for Bashar al Asad's regime in Syria appear to have been recruited and trained inside Iran.

15th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Islamic State Overruns Iraqi Army Brigade Headquarters North of Fallujah

Bill Roggio

The Thar Thar area, where the attack took place, is key terrain between Anbar and Salahaddin provinces. The assault on the base comes as fighting has escalated in Anbar's provincial capital of Ramadi.

13th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Foreign Suicide Bombers Launch Assault on Ramadi

Bill Roggio

At least 13 suicide bombers, including jihadists from Belgium, Australia, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia launched a coordinated assault on Anbar's provincial capital.

12th March 2015 - Quoted by Armin Rosen - Business Insider

ISIS Accepted a Pledge of Allegiance from Africa’s Deadliest Terror Group

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State militant group just accepted Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance. The Nigerian jihadist group, which has killed 11,000 people since 2011 and 6,000 people in 2014 alone, pledged itself to the Islamic State last Saturday.

10th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Shiite Militias, Iraqi Forces Surround Tikrit

Bill Roggio

Shiite militias closely linked to Iran and Qods Force commander Qassem Suleimani have taken control of key towns surrounding the central Iraqi city.

9th March 2015 - Quoted by Maggie Ybarra - The Washington Times

Jordan Expands Islamic State Bombing Raids Into Iraq After Pilot Burning Death

Patrick Megahan

Jordan has expanded its bombing raids against Islamic State militants from Syria to neighboring Iraq, adding another dynamic to a U.S.-led multinational military operation intent on defeating the extremist group.

5th March 2015 - Quoted by James Rosen - Fox News

Quds Force Leader, Commanding Iraqi Forces Against ISIS, Alarms Washington

Ali Alfoneh

Twice designated a terrorist by the United States government, considered responsible for up to 20 percent of American casualties in the Iraq war, Major General Qasem Suleimani, the legendary Iranian spymaster and leader of the Quds Force – the elite special operations wing of the hardline...

4th March 2015 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

Militants Stubbornly Resist Tikrit Offensive

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Jihadi militants are employing guerrilla tactics -- everything from planting improvised explosives to hit-and-run attacks -- in an effort to impede Iraqi forces in their efforts to retake Tikrit.

4th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Iranian-Backed Shiite Militias Lead Iraq’s Fight to Retake Tikrit

Bill Roggio

Massive columns of Shiite militas, including some groups that are listed by the US as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, have been leading the fight in Tikrit. Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani has been spotted at the front lines.

4th March 2015 - Fox News

Special Report with Bret Baier

Ali Alfoneh

FDD Senior Fellow Ali Alfoneh discusses Iran's influence in the fight against the Islamic State.

4th March 2015 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Video Claims to Show Shi’ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

Oren Adaki

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet purporting to show Iraqi forces and Shi'ite militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy.

3rd March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Islamic State Claims American Suicide Bomber Attacked Iraqi Troops

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State claimed that Abu Dawoud al Amriki executed a suicide attack against Iraqi troops and Iranian-backed Shiite militias as they massed in the central city of Samarra in preparation for the newly launched offensive in Tikrit.

23rd February 2015 - Huffington Post

Washington’s Bad Military Bets in the Middle East

Jonathan Schanzer

Last month, the Houthis took over Yemen, delivering a blow to Washington's counterterrorism strategy, which held out Yemen as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise chaotic Middle East.

23rd February 2015 - Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

ISIS is Losing

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

If you want to understand what's happening in the Middle East today, you need to appreciate one fundamental fact: ISIS is losing its war for the Middle East.

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