Analysis & Commentary


23rd April 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front, Allies Launch New Offensives Against Syrian Regime

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and its rebel allies have launched multiple new military offensives against the Syrian regime.

21st April 2015 - The Long War Journal

Lebanese Army Defector Portrayed as ‘Martyr’ in Al Nusrah Front Video

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a video honoring a man who defected from the Lebanese Army to the jihadists’ cause before he was killed. The video, which was posted online last week, is part of Al Nusrah’s ongoing attempt to rally Sunnis to its...

21st April 2015 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Saudi-Funded French Weapons Arrive in Lebanon

Tony Badran

The first shipment of French weapons and military equipment arrived in Lebanon on Monday under a Saudi-funded deal worth $3 billion. The arms and supplies will supposedly bolster the Lebanese army’s fight against Sunni terrorists encroaching from Syria, though thoughts of countering...

20th April 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jihadists Claim Wanted Al Qaeda Operative Killed in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadists on Twitter are claiming that a Saudi al Qaeda operative named Adel Radi Saker al Wahabi al Harbi was recently killed in Syria. The US Treasury Department designated al Harbi as a terrorist in October 2012, saying that he was “a key member of an al Qaeda network operating in...

20th April 2015 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellow Thomas Joscelyn discusses Chechen jihadists and the Islamic Caucasus Emirate.

17th April 2015 - The Arab Weekly

The Islamic World’s Thirty Years War

Ali Alfoneh

Even as Iran’s Islamic revolutionaries were toppling the Shah in 1979, at the core of their thinking was that their Shia revolution should not be limited to their homeland but expand to the entire Muslim world. This approach would not only secure Tehran’s dominance but would also keep...

15th April 2015 - The Long War Journal

Benghazi Suspect Designated by UN, State Department

Thomas Joscelyn

Both the US State Department and the UN have designated Ali Ouni Harzi as a terrorist. The UN designation notes Harzi's alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, whereas the State Department does not.

2nd April 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jordan Closes Border Crossing as Rebels, Al Nusrah Front Advance

Thomas Joscelyn

Jordan has closed access to the Nasib border crossing with Syria after rebels, including the Al Nusrah Front, took control of the site.

1st April 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front Leader Preaches Jihadist Unity in Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Abu Muhammad al Julani, the emir of the Al Nusrah Front, has released a 15-minute audio speech in which he discusses the fall of Idlib to jihadist forces.

31st March 2015 - JNS.org News Service

Amid Nuclear Talks, Iran Forges Ahead with Middle East Power Play

Emanuele Ottolenghi

As the world awaits the results of nuclear negotiations in Switzerland, the Middle East continue to struggle with various conflicts across the region.

30th March 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Lausanne Dispatch: Secret Facilities in NK, Syria a Possible New Issue in Iran Nuke Talks

Ali Alfoneh, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Claudia Rosett

Iran has dispersed elements of its nuclear program to North Korea, introducing redundancy into its nuclear infrastructure that will undermine the usefulness of any deal, according to recently published articles by a range of journalists and policy analysts.

28th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jihadist coalition claims control of Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadist groups belonging to the Jaysh al Fateh coalition say they have seized control of the city of Idlib, or at least much of it, from Bashar al Assad’s forces.

27th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jihadist coalition captures checkpoints around city of Idlib

Thomas Joscelyn

Jaysh al Fateh, the jihadist coalition established for the battle of Idlib, has captured more than a dozen checkpoints from Syrian regime forces. The alliance’s member groups have posted a steady stream of propaganda online after launching the offensive earlier this week. The propaganda...

19th March 2015 - Now Media

Kerry’s Assad Accommodation

Tony Badran

On the fourth anniversary of the Syrian uprising, Secretary of State John Kerry reminded everyone—in case anyone still harbored doubts—that the Obama administration had no intention of removing Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, from power.

18th March 2015 - FDD Policy Brief

Kerry’s Remarks on Assad Widen Gap Between U.S. and Turkey

Merve Tahiroglu

“Collapse of U.S. policy in Syria as Assad continues massacres,” thundered the headline of the government-aligned Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah on Tuesday, in an apparent response to Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks two days prior contemplating possible negotiations with Syrian...

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.

12th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Analysis: Shiite Afghan Casualties of the War in Syria

Ali Alfoneh

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps - Qods Force is backing the Fatemiyoun Brigade, a unit comprise of Shiite Afghans living in Iran. The leader of the Fatemiyoun Brigade have been pictured with Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

11th March 2015 - Quoted by Meredith Buel - VOA News

US Efforts to Arm Syrian Rebels Suffer Setbacks

Jonathan Schanzer

U.S. efforts to provide weapons to moderate rebels in Syria are suffering setbacks as al-Qaida-linked militants force the collapse of mainstream insurgent groups fighting the Syrian military.

6th March 2015 - Cited by Nic Robertson and Paul Cruickshank - CNN

Source: Syrian Warplanes Kill Leaders of al Qaeda Affiliate

As many as 13 senior leaders of al-Nusra Front, including the terror group's military commander, were killed in two Syrian airstrikes Thursday, a Middle Eastern security source who was briefed by Syrian intelligence told CNN.

6th March 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda Veteran Reportedly Targeted in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

Abu Hamam al Suri, an al Qaeda veteran who served as a senior military official in the Al Nusrah Front, was reportedly targeted in a recent strike in Syria.

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