Analysis & Commentary


20th October 2017 - Quoted by Jeff Daniels - CNBC

CIA director: ISIS still ‘enormous threat’ despite group’s battlefield setbacks

CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Thursday said ISIS remains an "enormous threat" despite setbacks the terror group has suffered on the battlefield, including being driven from the group's self-declared capital of Raqqa.

19th October 2017 - Quoted by The Associate Press

CIA boss says IS can attack US even after losing Raqqa

Islamic State militants are capable of orchestrating and carrying out an attack against the United States, possibly downing an airplane, even after being evicted from their self-declared Syrian capital of Raqqa, the CIA director said Thursday.

19th October 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Russia and Iran help capture Syria’s al Mayadeen from Islamic State

Amir Toumaj

Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Russia have spearheaded the operation to capture the Islamic State-held city of al Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria.

18th October 2017 - Quoted by Agence France Presse

After Raqa, what’s next for the US military in Syria

John Hannah

The Islamic State group's defeat in Raqa, their de facto Syrian capital, raises a thorny question for the US forces that have been training and arming the victorious local fighters: What comes next?

18th October 2017 - Quoted by Margaret Coker, Eric Schmitt and Rukmini Callimachi - The New York Times

With Loss of Its Caliphate, ISIS May Return to Guerrilla Roots

Bill Roggio

Its de facto capital is falling. Its territory has shriveled from the size of Portugal to a handful of outposts. Its surviving leaders are on the run.

16th October 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

CJTF-OIR: Kirkuk a ‘misunderstanding’ attributed to ‘limited visibility conditions’

Bill Roggio

CJTF-OIR made the statement despite the fact that it was abundantly obvious that the Iraqi government sought to seize Kirkuk from the Kurdish Peshmerga, and had signaled its intentions days before.

15th October 2017 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - VOA News

Trump Administration Accused of Aiding Iranian Militias in Syria

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

U.S. President Donald Trump lambasted Iranian expansionism in the Middle East Friday when disavowing the international nuclear deal with Tehran, citing in particular Iran’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But analysts charge his strategy to check Iran in the region remains...

11th October 2017 - The Cipher Brief

Hezbollah Calls the Shots in Iran’s Syria Policy

Tony Badran, Amir Toumaj

President Donald Trump is reportedly about to extend a terrorism designation to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its entirety. The IRGC is both the dominant force inside Iran and the instrument through which the Islamic Republic projects power abroad. Operating throughout...

9th October 2017 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD's Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discusses ISIS bites back on Al Qaeda's HTS in Syria.

9th October 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State attacks rival jihadists in Hama province

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State claims to have captured several villages from its jihadist rivals in Hay'at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) in Hama province. The Islamic State's assault on HTS came just days after HTS launched its own offensive against Assad regime positions in Hama.

5th October 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Ayman al Zawahiri argues jihadists can’t deceive America

Thomas Joscelyn

In a new message, Ayman al Zawahiri holds up the Taliban-al Qaeda relationship as a model for jihadists around the globe. He also critiques the jihadists and Islamists in Egypt and Syria who think they can "deceive" America and achieve power by placating the US.

1st October 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State claims its ‘soldier’ stabbed two women at Marseille train station

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State's Amaq News Agency claimed that two stabbings at the Saint-Charles train station in Marseille, France were the work of its "soldier." Separately, an attack in Edmonton, Canada is being investigated as a terrorist act.

29th September 2017 - Quoted by Franco Ordonez and Teresa Welsh - McClatchy

Venezuela sees Iran, Syria riding to the rescue

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Facing potentially debilitating oil sanctions from the Trump administration, the Caracas government is searching desperately for new ways to get its most valuable commodity — oil — to awaiting buyers.

29th September 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US-led coalition kills 3 Islamic State ‘drone experts’ in eastern Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition announced that three Islamic State figures were killed in airstrikes in Mayadin, Syria between Sept. 12 and 14. All three worked for the so-called caliphate's drone program. The US has carried out a targeted air campaign against the group's personnel in or near Mayadin...

27th September 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Preventing a “Fait Accompli” in Syria

David Adesnik

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with representatives of 17 like-minded nations to discuss the future of Syria last week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Following the meeting, Ambassador David Satterfield, acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, said...

26th September 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State radio tries to quell controversy over takfir

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State's Al Bayan radio station has released several religious lectures dealing with an internal controversy over takfir, the practice of excommunicating other Muslims and denouncing "polytheists." The so-called caliphate tried to quell the controversy by repealing a problematic...

24th September 2017 - Quoted by Thomas Seibert - The Arab Weekly

Turkey to launch intervention into Syria — and maybe into Iraq

Aykan Erdemir

Turkey is preparing to send troops into northern Syr­ia, months after ending an intervention that an­gered the United States. At the same time, Ankara is ponder­ing a military response to the Kurd­ish independence vote in Iraq.

21st September 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Iran highlights Qods Force commander killed by the Islamic State

Amir Toumaj

Iran has divulged more details about a senior officer from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force who was killed in Syria last month. The 32-year old Col Morteza Hosseinpour-Shalmani (AKA Hossein Qomi) died afteran Islamic State ambush near Jamouna, which is about 37...

19th September 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Hezbollah publicizes commander’s role in defending Deir Ezzor city

Amir Toumaj

After pro-Syrian regime forces broke the siege of Deir Ezzor city this month, Lebanese Hezbollah media outlet Al Mayadeen released a rare interview with Hezbollah field commander “al Haj Abu Mustafa,” crediting the gray-bearded, southern Lebanese native with playing a key role in leading...

18th September 2017 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD's Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss Russia attacks US Syrian allies and what is to be done.

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