Analysis & Commentary


26th August 2016 - The Long War Journal

Zawahiri says jihadists should prepare for guerrilla war in Iraq

Thomas Joscelyn

As Sahab, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, released the third episode of Ayman al Zawahiri’s “Brief Messages to a Victorious Ummah” series on Aug. 25. The latest installment is subtitled “Fear Allah in Iraq.”

18th August 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

U.S. Official: 80,000 Iran-Backed Shi’ite Militia Members Fighting in Iraq

Amir Toumaj, Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

Around 80,000 Iran-backed Shiite militia members are currently operating in Iraq, a U.S. military official told Fox News on Tuesday.

17th August 2016 - Fox News

Special Report with Bret Baier

Bill Roggio

FDD senior fellow Bill Roggio discusses the Iranian nuclear deal and its influence on Iranian backed militias in Iraq.

16th August 2016 - Quoted by Lucas Tomlinson - Fox News

US officials: Up to 100,000 Iran-backed fighters now in Iraq

Thomas Joscelyn

As many as 100,000 Iranian-backed Shiite militia are now fighting on the ground in Iraq, according to U.S. military officials -- raising concerns that should the Islamic State be defeated, it may only be replaced by another anti-American force that fuels further sectarian violence in the...

3rd August 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Iraq Opens its Gates to Iran’s Trojan Horse

Tyler Stapleton, Amir Toumaj

The Al-Arabiya satellite station published an Iraqi government document last week revealing that Baghdad had established an “independent military formation” in Iraq’s security forces, beyond Defense Ministry control.

28th July 2016 - The Long War Journal

Iraq’s PM establishes Popular Mobilization Front as a permanent ‘independent military formation’

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

The Iraqi government has officially incorporated the Iranian-supported Popular Mobilization Front (PMF) as an “independent military formation” in Iraqi’s security forces. The move, which was approved by Iraq’s prime minister in February, is disturbing as it establishes the PMF as a...

20th July 2016 - Quoted by Stephen Kalin, Phil Stewart - Reuters

Mosul assault in focus two years after Islamic State takeover

Bill Roggio

When Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi pledged in December that Iraq would retake Islamic State's de facto capital Mosul by the end of 2016, the target was greeted with scepticism by Western allies and officials within his own government.

19th July 2016 - Quoted by Ben Watson - Defense One

Weapons of the Syrian War: Suicide Bombers

Jonathan Schanzer

The tactic is often used in offensive operations, just after an artillery barrage and before the advance of hundreds of foot soldiers.

18th July 2016 - The Long War Journal

US troops ‘are a target for us,’ Iraq’s Muqtada al Sadr says

Bill Roggio

Radical Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr said that US troops supporting the Iraqi military’s offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State should be targeted by his militias.

15th July 2016 - The Weekly Standard

The Chilcot Report

Reuel Marc Gerecht

The Chilcot report on the Iraq war ought to elicit two emotions: sympathy and pity for former British prime minister Tony Blair. As was evident by late 2002, when Europeans saw the frightful resolve of George W. Bush and began earnestly debating how evil Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was and...

13th July 2016 - The Long War Journal

Abu Omar al Shishani killed south of Mosul, Islamic State says

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

A propaganda arm of the Islamic State says that Abu Omar al Shishani, the elite Islamic State commander who earned international infamy, was killed fighting south of Mosul in recent days.

12th July 2016 - The Long War Journal

Iraqi forces retake Q-West airbase south of Mosul

Bill Roggio

The Iraqi military seized control of a key airbase that will be instrumental in the campaign to retake the northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State. Their takeover of Qayyarah Airfiled West, or Q-West, coincided with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s visit to Iraq and the...

8th July 2016 - The Long War Journal

Islamic State claims nearly 600 suicide attacks in first six months of 2016

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State claims to have executed 589 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq, Syria and Libya during the first six months of 2016.

7th July 2016 - CTV

CTV News

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer, spoke with CTV yesterday about the UK's involvement in the Iraq war and their ability to gather reliable intelligence.

7th July 2016 - Quoted by Louis Jacobson - Politifact

Was Saddam Hussein good at killing terrorists, as Donald Trump says?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

To the surprise of some observers, Donald Trump has recently given a few campaign-trail shout-outs to Saddam Hussein -- a man the United States twice went to war with.

6th July 2016 - Quoted by Raymond Tanter - Foreign Policy

Iran and its Protégées

Tony Badran, Jonathan Schanzer

What if we understood al Qaeda and the Islamic State as protégées of Iran, rather than merely its rivals?

6th July 2016 - Quoted by The Economist

Islamic state is losing its caliphate, but it remains deadly

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The self-proclaimed caliphate of Islamic State (IS) is weakening fast. In June the jihadists were kicked out of Fallujah by the Iraqi army, then pounded by airstrikes as they fled.

4th July 2016 - Fox News

Happening Now

Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellow Thomas Joscelyn discusses the terror attacks in Iraq and Bangladesh.

2nd July 2016 - Quoted by Rukmini Callimachi - The New York Times

ISIS Seems to Tailor Attacks for Different Audiences

Thomas Joscelyn

The first to be killed was a jogger, gunned down last September during his daily run in the leafy diplomatic quarter of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

1st July 2016 - Quoted by Charlie Savage, Scott Shane - The New York Times

U.S. Reveals Death Toll From Airstrikes Outside War Zones

Bill Roggio

Partially lifting the secrecy that has cloaked one of the United States’s most contentious tactics for fighting terrorists, the Obama administration on Friday said that it believed that airstrikes it has conducted outside conventional war zones like Afghanistan have killed 64 to 116...

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