Analysis & Commentary


31st July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda’s Branch in Syria Says it Captured US-backed Rebels

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a statement claiming that it has captured US-trained rebels belonging to a group called “Division 30.” The statement, seen below, was released today on one of the group’s official Twitter feeds.

30th July 2015 - Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

Map: ISIS Has Lost 9.4 Percent of Its Territory This Year

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

SIS has lost almost 10 percent of its territory so far in 2015, yet another indication that the group, for all the terror it has sown in Syria and Iraq, is losing the war. Defense analysis group IHS Jane's 360 detailed the territorial loss in a report, which includes this map below...

28th July 2015 - 104.1 KQTH

The Jon Justice Show

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross discusses the latest in the fight against ISIS.

28th July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jihadist-led Coalition Launches New Offensive Against Assad Regime in Strategic Plain

Thomas Joscelyn

Jaysh al Fateh (the “Army of Conquest”), a coalition of anti-Assad forces that overran much of the Idlib province earlier this year, has launched a new offensive against the Assad regime. The jihadist-led alliance is using its stronghold in Idlib to push south into the Al Ghab plain,...

28th July 2015 - NOW Lebanon

Obama’s Equilibrium Fantasy

Tony Badran

With the nuclear deal finally out of the way, President Obama can now get down to what, for him, has always been the real business—engaging Iran on regional issues. As one administration official has acknowledged, the US president sees Iran as “the key to peace” in the Middle East. But...

28th July 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Senior Western Official: Links Between Turkey and ISIS Are Now ‘Undeniable’

Jonathan Schanzer

A US-led raid on the compound housing the Islamic State's "chief financial officer" produced evidence that Turkish officials directly dealt with ranking ISIS members, Martin Chulov of the Guardian reported recently.

27th July 2015 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellows Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio discuss the conflicts across the Middle East.

25th July 2015 - CCTV

CCTV America

Merve Tahiroglu

FDD Research Associate Merve Tahiroglu comments on the Incirlik air base and the conflict in Syria.

23rd July 2015 - Quoted Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

ISIS Incorporated: See How the Terror Network is Raising Millions in Sophisticated Scheme

Thomas Joscelyn

They’re known for the grisly, videotaped mass beheadings of Christians and other enemies, but the jihadis running the Islamic State are doing far more than that.

22nd July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Pentagon Says Al Qaeda Veteran Killed in ‘Kinetic Strike’ in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Defense Department announced today that Muhsin al Fadhli, a longtime al Qaeda operative from Kuwait, was killed on July 8 “in a kinetic strike” while “traveling in a vehicle near Sarmada, Syria.”

21st July 2015 - Quoted by Sean D. Naylor, Lara Jakes - Foreign Policy

Pentagon Says It Killed Senior Khorasan Figure — Again

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Defense Department said Tuesday that the United States killed the leader of an al Qaeda offshoot in Syria earlier this month. But a top terrorism analyst believes there’s an even more powerful commander of the so-called Khorasan Group who must still be reckoned with.

20th July 2015 - Quoted by Sean D. Naylor - Foreign Policy

Will Curbing Iran’s Nuclear Threat Boost Its Proxies?

Ali Alfoneh

The nuclear deal with Iran defers one looming confrontation with Tehran, but it may accelerate others by emboldening and enriching Hezbollah and the other proxy forces that the Islamic Republic uses to advance its interests across the Middle East and beyond.

20th July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jihadist Front Established to Represent Foreign Fighters in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

In mid-June, a new jihadist brand appeared online. “Al Muhajirun,” which claims to represent fighters who have emigrated to Syria to wage jihad, posted its first statement in several languages on Twitter. The message makes it clear that Al Muhajirun is not a new organization, but instead...

19th July 2015 - Quoted by Shane Harris, Nancy A. Youssef - The Daily Beast

Town Shames ISIS Chief ‘Cersei Lannister-Style’—and Then Executes Him

Thomas Joscelyn

In a scene of medieval brutality, a jihadi group fighting to control a strategically important Libyan port captured ISIS’s local commander there, paraded him through the streets amid the taunts of onlookers, and then walked him to a gallows, where he was hanged.

17th July 2015 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Progress Seen in Stemming Flow of Foreign Fighters to IS

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria may be starting to have impact, though there are concerns some would-be jihadists are now looking to join the battle elsewhere.

16th July 2015 - Quoted by The Tower

Expert: Flawed Nuclear Deal Allows Iran to Emerge As “Regional Power”

Tony Badran

The flawed nuclear deal reached yesterday “maps Iran’s emergence as a regional power, with the full blessing … of the United States,” Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, wrote in an op-ed published today in The New York Daily News....

16th July 2015 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand, Michael B. Kelley - Business Insider

Obama May Now Have to Do Some ‘Mullah-Coddling’ in Syria

Tony Badran

President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement — a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran — was finalised this week after more than a decade of coercive diplomacy and 20 months of grueling negotiations.

16th July 2015 - Quoted by Brian Bennett - Los Angeles Times

Iran Unlikely to Spend Most of its Post-Sanctions Funds on Militants, CIA Says

Mark Dubowitz

A secret U.S. intelligence assessment predicts that Iran’s government will pump most of an expected $100-billion windfall from the lifting of international sanctions into the country's flagging economy and won't significantly boost funding for militant groups it supports in the Middle...

13th July 2015 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

FDD Senior Fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss the latest conflicts in the Middle East.

10th July 2015 - The Long War Journal

Chechen Commander in Syria Pledges to Islamic Caucasus Emirate

Bill Roggio

Salahuddin Shishani, the former emir of the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar who now leads a group of jihadists from the Caucasus in Syria, swore allegiance to the new leader of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate. Shishani and his deputy, Abdul Karim Krymsky, were removed from the leadership of Jaish...

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