Analysis & Commentary


9th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Array of pro-Syrian government forces advances in Aleppo

Amir Toumaj

Twelve days after launching the latest assault on Nov. 15, forces fighting on behalf of Bashar al Assad captured approximately a third of total rebel-held territory in the northern sector, positioning them to tighten the siege. These forces have been making steady gains on that front,...

7th December 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Liberman Acknowledges Strikes on Syria, Pledges to Deprive Hezbollah of Advanced Weapons

Jonathan Schanzer

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman acknowledged his country’s recent airstrikes against Syrian targets, saying in an address to European Union ambassadors on Wednesday that the strikes were meant to prevent Hezbollah from receiving “advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons...

6th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State has claimed more than 1,000 suicide attacks thus far in 2016

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency releases an infographic summarizing the total number of “martyrdom operations” (suicide attacks) carried out by its followers each month. The latest infographic, which was released yesterday and can be seen below, indicates that 132 suicide bombings...

6th December 2016 - Quoted by Sirwan Kajjo - Voice of America

Israel Casts Wary Eye on IS Threat on Syrian Border

David Daoud

As civil war grinds on in Syria, neighboring Israel has been largely uninvolved - even as the Islamic State (IS) said it considers Israel a prime target.

5th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

New Islamic State spokesman seeks to rally Sunnis against Iran, West

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Furqan Media Foundation has released an audio message from the group’s new spokesman, Abu al Hassan al Muhajir. Abu Muhammad al Adnani served as the organization’s top propagandist for years until he was killed in an American airstrike in August. The Islamic State...

3rd December 2016 - Quoted by Vivian Salama - Associated Press

Russia Bets on Trump as Gateway to Eased Sanctions

Boris Zilberman

Vladimir Putin wants to make Russia great again. For that, he may need a hand from Donald Trump.

3rd December 2016 - Quoted by Joyce Karam - Arab News

Congress and Trump agree to turn the heat up on Iran

Jonathan Schanzer

In Washington, where Democrats and Republicans are bracing for a showdown on a set of healthcare and economic issues, increasing sanctions on Iran appears to be the one legislative item where the two parties and the new President-Elect Donald Trump have found consensus.

1st December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Turkey is on a collision course with the Syrian regime and its backers

Merve Tahiroglu, Patrick Megahan

Last Thursday an attack struck Turkish positions near the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab in northern Syria, killing three soldiers and wounding 10. Centered between Turkish and rebel forces in the north, the Kurds in the east and west, and the Syrian regime forces in the south, al-Bab is...

29th November 2016 - bloggingheads.tv

Foreign Entanglements

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross looks at foreign policy in the next administration.

29th November 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

North Carolina man pleads guilty to conspiring with Islamic State recruiter

Thomas Joscelyn

Justin Nojan Sullivan, a 20-year-old man from Morganton, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges today after admitting that he had conspired online with Junaid Hussain, who was one of the Islamic State’s key digital operatives.

23rd November 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces close in on Tal Afar

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

More than a month has passed since Iraqi ground forces backed by Iraqi and Coalition air power launched operation “We Are Coming, Ninevah” to retake the province and its capital of Mosul from the Islamic State, which captured the area in June 2014.

23rd November 2016 - The Weekly Standard

A Tale of Two Trumps

David Andrew Weinberg

There seem to be at least two Donald Trumps on how to deal with Saudi Arabia, and it's difficult to know which one will trump the other in office.

22nd November 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

US adds Islamic State leader, external operations planners to global terrorist list

Bill Roggio

The US State Department added a senior Islamic State leader and two external operations planners to its list of specially designated global terrorists today. The US government has identified the Islamic State’s external operations network, which is assigned to conduct attacks against the...

18th November 2016 - Quoted by David Gerstman - The Tower

Week in Review—Oberlin Ousts Anti-Semitic Professor; Hezbollah Rising; Israeli Tech Takes Off

David Daoud

The recent election of Michel Aoun as president of Lebanon has one again raised concerns about the intentions of the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, which had prevented the election of anyone other than Aoun for the post.

17th November 2016 - Quoted by Rukmini Callimachi - The New York Times

Protest of U.S. Terror Listing Offers a Glimpse at Qaeda Strategy

Thomas Joscelyn

American officials accuse him of being part of the “inner leadership circle” of Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, most widely known as the Nusra Front, and of raising as much as $5 million for the terrorist group while signing up thousands of fighters.

17th November 2016 - Tablet Magazine

Obama Tries to Pin his Syria Policy on Trump

Tony Badran

Talking to reporters in Germany on Thursday, President Barack Obama expressed the hope that President-elect Donald Trump will be “willing to stand up to Russia where they are deviating from our values and international norms.”

14th November 2016 - Tablet Magazine

How the Syria Echo Chamber Works

Tony Badran

Over the past five-and-a-half years, the Obama White House has used the Syria echo chamber it created in the American press and on social media to defend and advance the president’s policy of nonintervention against the Assad regime. After the White House’s attempt to negotiate a deal to...

14th November 2016 - Quoted by Lee Smith - The Weekly Standard

The Lebanese Army Is Misusing U.S. Aid

Tony Badran

Over the weekend, pictures of a Hezbollah parade in the Syrian city of Qusayr showed Hezbollah fighters using American-made M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs).

10th November 2016 - Quoted by Barney Breen-Portnoy - The Algemeiner

VP Biden: No Reason for Jewish Anxiety About Future Trump Administration Commitment to Israel

Jonathan Schanzer

American Jews have no reason to be concerned about the future of US-Israel ties after President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January, outgoing Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday at a World Jewish Congress (WJC) gala dinner in New York City.

10th November 2016 - Tablet Magazine

Taking Dictation From a Dictator

Tony Badran

Last week, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, through his father-in-law’s organization in Britain, invited a number of correspondents for American media outlets—including The New York Times, the L.A. Times, The New Yorker and NPR—to attend a conference in Damascus, where they could meet...

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