Analysis & Commentary


18th January 2017 - Quoted by The Tower

Military Expert: Strike on Syrian Airport Prevented Hezbollah from Getting Iranian Missiles

Jonathan Schanzer

The strike last Friday on a military airport near Damascus was likely the latest salvo in Israel’s attempt to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining highly-accurate Iranian surface-to-surface missiles, Ynet military analyst Ron Ben Yishai wrote Tuesday.

18th January 2017 - FDD Press

Qatar and Terror Finance

David Andrew Weinberg

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicated as the emir of Qatar in June of 2013, making his son Tamim the youngest ruler in the Arab world. Hamad’s reign was characterized by persistent negligence toward local U.S.-designated funders of al-Qaeda, but some American officials have expressed hope...

17th January 2017 - Quoted by Lee Smith - Tablet Magazine

What Obama Owes Putin—and Why Donald Trump Is Left Holding the Bag

Tony Badran

Is Donald Trump a Russian secret agent? Did he pay FSB hookers to pee on the bed the Obamas slept in at the Ritz in Moscow, overlooking the Kremlin? It’s silly season, so any drunk on a fat oppo-research expense account can write down any crazy foolishness they want and Buzzfeed will let...

12th January 2017 - Quoted by Middle East Online

As Caliphate Shrinks, ISIS Expected to Head for the Hills

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In Syria, where ISIS is still a fighting force to be reckoned with,the thinking is the jihadists will retreat into the country’s vast eastern desert around oil-rich Deir ez-Zor province where it is strongly entrenched, says James Bruce.

11th January 2017 - InFocus Quarterly

Weaponizing Refugees

Benjamin Weinthal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Willkomenskultur (“Welcome culture”) refugee policy of last year has screeched to a grinding halt.

9th January 2017 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio

FDD senior fellow Bill Roggio discusses the last weeks of Obama and the increased attacks on ISIS in Syria.

9th January 2017 - Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

ExxonMobil and Iran did business under secretary of State nominee Tillerson

Mark Dubowitz

ExxonMobil did business with Iran, Syria and Sudan through a European subsidiary while President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State was a top executive of the oil giant and those countries were under U.S. sanctions as state sponsors of terrorism, Securities and Exchange...

8th January 2017 - Quoted by Ed Blanche - The Arab Weekly

Israel’s new ‘quantum leap’ strike jets challenge Iran

Patrick Megahan, Behnam Ben Taleblu

Israel recently took delivery of the first of 50 F-35I stealth fighters, considered the most advanced combat jet in the world, from the United States, an event that marks a new and po­tentially critical phase in the Jewish state’s dealings with Iran.

6th January 2017 - Quoted by The Tower

Venezuela’s New VP is a Suspected Drug Smuggler with Ties to Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The newly appointed vice president of Venezuela is suspected by American intelligence of drug smuggling as well as close ties to Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, Business Insider reported Thursday.

6th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US airstrike kills Islamic State external operations facilitator in Raqqah

Bill Roggio

An Islamic State leader who also worked as a facilitator for its external operations network, which is tasked with hitting targets outside of Iraq and Syria, was killed in an airstrike in Raqqah on New Years Eve, according to the US military. The Pentagon said 16 “significant members” of...

5th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Pentagon: Airstrikes kill 20 or more al Qaeda fighters in northern Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Department of Defense announced today that multiple airstrikes killed an estimated 20 or more al Qaeda “militants” in northern Syria at the beginning of the month.

5th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US military kills 4 mid-level Islamic State commanders in Iraq and Syria

Bill Roggio

The US has killed four mid-level Islamic State commanders in airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria since the beginning of December 2016, the military announced over the past week. The Islamic State commanders were involved in military, suicide, chemical, and financial operations, according to...

28th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Coalition intensifies air campaign against Islamic State stronghold in Raqqah

Bill Roggio

Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTFOIR), the US led coalition that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has intensified its air campaign against the Islamic State’s stronghold and the seat of its so-called caliphate in the Syrian city of Raqqah. Over the...

23rd December 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Treasury Sanctions Airline Ferrying Fighters for Assad

Emanuele Ottolenghi, David Daoud

The U.S. Treasury announced new Syria sanctions on Friday, including on Cham Wings, Syria’s second-largest carrier. Privately owned by businessman Issam Shammout, Cham Wings has been blacklisted by the Department of Commerce since 2011.

21st December 2016 - Quoted by Barbara Opall-Rome - Defense News

Israel Claims Suggest Lebanese Violation of US Export Law

Tony Badran

A senior Israeli defense official on Wednesday confirmed what US experts had been questioning for more than a month: that US troop carriers provided by Washington to Beirut are being operated by Hizbollah in Syria in support of the Bashar Assad regime, which experts note as a violation of...

21st December 2016 - The Washington Times

The sorrow and the pity in Syria

Clifford D. May

Over the last five years, Syria has been descending into a hell on Earth. Over the last four months, the lowest depths of the inferno have been on display in Aleppo, an ancient city, once among the most diverse and dynamic in the Middle East. On Friday, in the final press conference of his...

20th December 2016 - Quoted Menekse Tokyay - Arab News

Assassination in Ankara: Cop guns down Russian ambassador

Aykan Erdemir

Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was assassinated Monday night during the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition in Ankara when he took to the podium to make a speech.

19th December 2016 - Quoted by Benjamin Harvey, Selcan Hacaoglu - Bloomberg

Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey by Gunman Invoking Syria

Aykan Erdemir

Russia’s ambassador was shot dead in the Turkish capital on Monday in an assassination apparently linked to Syria’s civil war, heightening tensions over a conflict that’s drawn in almost all the region’s main powers.

16th December 2016 - The Hill

One way to push back in Syria? Target Iranian airlines.

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Iran's commercial fleet is helping the Bashar Assad regime and its allies commit vast-scale atrocities in Syria. The Obama administration should have punished Tehran's war crimes by going after Iran's aviation sector, without which Iran could not deliver weapons and fighters to Aleppo's...

16th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

State Department increases reward for Baghdadi to $25 million

Bill Roggio

The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program more than doubled the bounty for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State and its self-professed caliphate, making him one of the two most wanted men in the world. The $25 million reward now puts Baghdadi on par with Ayman...

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