Analysis & Commentary


9th February 2016 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Saudi Arabia preapared for ground war in Syria, military spokesman says

David Andrew Weinberg

Saudi military spokesman Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Asiri said his country is prepared for a land war in Syria, the Saudi-backed Asharq al-Awsat reported on Tuesday.

9th February 2016 - Quoted by Ishaan Tharoor

What the fall of Aleppo would mean for Syria and the world

Patrick Megahan

Over the past week, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have nearly encircled the city of Aleppo, once the war-torn country's most populous urban center.

8th February 2016 - Quoted by Selcan Hacaoglu, Henry Meyer and Dana Khraiche - Bloomberg

Advantage Assad After Five Years of War in Syria

Patrick Megahan

After five years of war and a quarter-million dead, President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies now have the upper hand in Syria, and they’re seeking to drive home a growing battlefield advantage rather than negotiate.

8th February 2016 - The Tower

Strategic Expert: Assad, Backed by Russia & Iran, Making Gains Due to U.S. Betrayal of Rebels

Tony Badran

2016 will be a year when Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad “will lock in significant political and military gains” due to the U.S.’s betrayal of anti-Assad rebels, Emile Hokayem, a Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote Friday...

6th February 2016 - The Long War Journal

Jihadists reinforce other rebels during key battle in Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, sent a massive convoy of fighters to the Aleppo province in late January. The jihadists’ redeployment was promoted in a short video posted on Twitter.

4th February 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Expert: U.S. Must Ground Iranian Airline that Transports Troops, Weapons to Syria

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The United States’ failure to ground a sanctioned Iranian airline that provides logistical support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Syria underscores a severe loss of American credibility, which the Obama administration should immediately act to restore by penalizing...

4th February 2016 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Kerry is the only one who couldn’t see that Syria talks were fruitless

Jonathan Schanzer

Talks on the future of Syria predictably have stalled. Just a few days after they began, the United Nations “suspended” the proceedings.

4th February 2016 - Tablet Magazine

America Makes a U-Turn in the Middle East

Tony Badran

The administration of President Barack Obama seldom missed an opportunity to insist that the alternative to the Iran nuclear deal was a war with Iran, a prospect that has now presumably been kicked further down the road. Middle Easterners are not so lucky: They get to fight their wars with...

4th February 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

World Pledges Over $10 Billion to Help Syrian Refugees as Peace Talks Stall

Tony Badran

International donors pledged over $10 billion to assist refugees fleeing from Syria’s civil war, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

4th February 2016 - Sirius XM Canada

The Arlene Bynon Show

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer discusses Saudi Arabia's willingness to send troops to Syria.

4th February 2016 - Forbes

What Makes A Great President?

Michael Ledeen

We moved to Washington from Rome early in 1977, and I worked at CSIS, then home to many luminaries of the Republican Establishment. There was a lot of talk about Ronald Reagan, running for the Republican presidential nomination, and most of that talk was anything but flattering.

3rd February 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

‘Weakest position in Syria in years’

Aykan Erdemir

Pro-government forces in Syria have reportedly broken a rebel siege of two villages northwest of Aleppo, effectively cutting off Turkey's supply line to opposition groups operating in and around Syria's largest city.

3rd February 2016 - The Wall Street Journal Europe

Flying in the Face of U.S. Sanctions

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Mahan Air is an Iranian passenger airline that also happens to be a favorite with the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC uses Mahan planes to ferry weapons and personnel to aid the Syrian regime. That’s according to the U.S. government, which has repeatedly committed...

2nd February 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

‘The Russians are going to have a cow’: The US’ latest message to Putin ‘is a really big deal’

Tony Badran

The US will devote a substantial portion of its defense spending to building up its military presence in Eastern Europe in an effort to deter Russian aggression in the region, Obama administration officials told The New York Times.

2nd February 2016 - CTV

CTV News

Tony Badran

Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition leaders have officially begun. This was announced by the U.N. special envoy after meeting with members from Syria’s main opposition group in Geneva on Monday. Tony Badran, Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies...

2nd February 2016 - Quoted by Bill Gertz and Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

U.S. Spots Russian Commandos in Syria

David Daoud, Boris Zilberman

Russian special operations troops are working covertly in Syria to support an array of Iranian-backed fighters, including members of the international terrorist group Hezbollah, U.S. defense officials and counterterror experts say.

29th January 2016 - Quoted by Noor Zahid and Medhi Jedinia - Voice of America

Iran Sending Afghan Refugees to Fight in Syria

Iran has sent thousands of undocumented Shi'ite Afghan refugees to Syria to fight alongside forces of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard forces in support of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, sources in Iran and Afghanistan told...

27th January 2016 - Quoted by Jeremy Bender and Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Unnervingly clear drone footage shows the toll Syria’s war has taken on one of its oldest cities

Boris Zilberman

Unnervingly clear drone footage shows the Damascus suburb of Darayya in ruins nearly five years after the city served as the site of some of the earliest anti-government protests in Syria's civil war.

27th January 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Russia holds the ‘highest value card’ in Syria, but is nowhere near ready to play it

Boris Zilberman, Tony Badran

Two Western intelligence sources told the Financial Times last week that Russia sent an envoy to Syria late last year to ask Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, raising questions about whether Moscow's support for the embattled leader has dwindled over the past four months.

26th January 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Syrian Opposition: Kerry Threatened to Cut Aid Unless We Agreed with Iran’s Terms for Talks

Tony Badran

Leading Syrian opposition figures have accused Secretary of State John Kerry of threatening to cut aid to forces fighting dictator Bashar al-Assad unless they agreed to attend peace talks on terms dictated by Assad’s backers, Iran and Russia.

Experts

Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Aykan Erdemir

Senior Fellow

turkey

Yaya J. Fanusie

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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