Analysis & Commentary


20th May 2016 - The Blaze

The Buck Sexton Show

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer discusses radical jihadist groups and militias fighting in Syria on both sides of the ongoing civil war.

20th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Treasury sanctions al Qaeda, Islamic State ‘financiers and facilitators’

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department announced terror designations for six jihadists yesterday. Five of them allegedly serve al Qaeda’s international organization, while the sixth is a key figure in the Islamic State’s operations in Libya and the Sinai.

19th May 2016 - Quoted by Mosaic Magazine

A Terrorist Mastermind’s Career Comes to an End

Clifford D. May

Last week, one of Hizballah’s highest-ranking military commanders, Mustafa Badreddine, was killed in Damascus under mysterious circumstances.

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...

17th May 2016 - FOX News

Happening Now

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for research Jon Schanzer discusses the U.S.'s fight against ISIS and today's attack in Baghdad.

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 - 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...

10th May 2016 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Obama Admin Under Pressure for Lax Approach to Terror Financers

Jonathan Schanzer

The Obama administration is facing criticism over what some lawmakers say is an overly permissive attitude toward terrorism financing by foreign nations, according to new congressional communication obtained by the Washington Free Beacon that presses U.S. officials to hold these nations...

9th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Osama bin Laden’s son says jihad in Syria key to ‘liberate Palestine’

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, As Sahab, has released a new message from Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamzah.

8th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Ayman al Zawahiri discusses al Qaeda’s goal of building an Islamic emirate in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda has released a new audio message from Ayman al Zawahiri entitled, “Go Forth to the Levant.” Zawahiri is known for his long-winded lectures. By his standard, the new audio is mercifully short at just over ten minutes long. It was disseminated via social media yesterday.

5th May 2016 - Quoted by Mark Hay - VICE

Iran Is Offering Citizenship to Families of Migrants Who Died Fighting Iran’s Battles

Amir Toumaj

On Monday, the Islamic Republic News Agency—Iran's official press outlet—reported that the nation's parliament had passed a law allowing the state to grant citizenship to the children, parents, and wives of foreigners killed while fighting for Iran.

4th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Assad regime and Islamic State battle for control of Shaer gas field in Homs

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State and forces loyal to Bashar al Assad’s regime are battling for control of the Shaer gas field in Syria’s Homs province once again. The two sides have fought at Shaer and other nearby gas facilities on multiple occasions since 2014.

2nd May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Series of deadly operations named after fallen Islamic State leader

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State has named a series of deadly attacks throughout Iraq and Syria in honor of one of its most senior leaders: Abu Ali al Anbari. Suicide bombers and other fighters have killed dozens of people since the campaign was launched on Apr. 30.

29th April 2016 - Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

Worshippers killed in Syria’s Aleppo as government plans new offensive

Tony Badran

An attack on a mosque in a government-held part of Aleppo resulted in 15 deaths Friday, as the Syrian government and its allies announced both a planned cease-fire in the country’s west and expansion of operations around the city.

29th April 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

The Obama administration is now ‘giving full cover to the Russians’ in Syria

Tony Badran

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad pounded the Syrian city of Aleppo with airstrikes on Thursday, targeting a hospital and killing at least 55 civilians in a new offensive that is believed to have been months in the making.

28th April 2016 - MilitaryEdge.org

Crowded Skies Over Syria Raise Risk of Unintended Clashes

John Cappello

Russian forces in Syria have fired upon Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft on at least two different occasions, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week. Officials in Moscow unsurprisingly dismissed the report, but the possibility of Russian-Israeli clashes over Syria is actually...

28th April 2016 - War on the Rocks

How the Islamic State’s Propaganda Feeds Into Its Global Expansion Efforts

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Even before the dramatic blitzkrieg the Islamic State launched through northern Iraq in June 2014, the group had been focused on expanding its presence beyond Syria and Iraq. The group has by now declared wilayats (provinces) in West Africa (Wilayat Ifriqiyah, the organization formerly known...

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