Analysis & Commentary

24th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Treasury, UN sanction 2 senior leaders in al Qaeda’s Syrian branch

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department and the United Nations have designated two senior jihadists in Syria as terrorists. Both of them were leaders in Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official arm in Syria.

22nd February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Al Qaeda-linked Uzbek groups advertise operations in Afghanistan

Bill Roggio

Two al Qaeda-linked Uzbek jihadist groups have released videos touting their operations inside Afghanistan. The two groups, Katibat Imam al Bukhari (aka the Imam Bukhari Jamaat) and the Islamic Jihad Union, have claimed attacks in eastern and northern Afghanistan.

20th February 2017 - FDD Press Release

Despite Recent Losses, Islamic State Still Threatens North and West Africa, FDD Study Finds

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The decline of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria may paradoxically help the group in Africa, particularly as state and non-state actors shift resources from combating ISIL to other urgent issues, giving the group breathing room to regenerate, according to a report issued today by the...

14th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Jihadists and other rebels assault Syrian regime positions in southern city

Thomas Joscelyn

On Feb. 12, the newly formed Hay'at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) and other insurgent groups launched an offensive against Bashar al Assad's regime in the southern city of Daraa. Two HTS suicide bombers were deployed at the beginning of the battle. HTS includes al Qaeda's arm in Syria.

14th February 2017 - Quoted by Ben Norton - Salon

A new “moderate” coalition: U.S.-armed Syrian rebels join Al-Qaeda’s “Bin Laden Front”

So-called moderate rebels in Syria that have been vetted and previously armed by the U.S. government and its allies have officially partnered with al-Qaeda’s rebranded local affiliate in a new organization called Tahrir al-Sham.

13th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Jihadists and other rebels assault Syrian regime positions in southern city

Thomas Joscelyn

On Feb. 12, the newly formed Hay’at Tahrir al Sham and its allies launched an offensive against Syrian regime forces in the southern city of Daraa. The assault was led by two suicide bombers who detonated their vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in the regime-controlled...

13th February 2017 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio

FDD senior fellow Bill Roggio comments on al-Qaeda launching offensive in Syria.

12th February 2017 - Foreign Affairs

Egypt Picks Sides in the Syrian War

Oren Kessler

On February 1, a military transport plane left a Russian airbase in Latakia, Syria, landed at an airfield near Egypt’s border with Libya, then returned to Syria. For months there had been unconfirmed reports that Cairo had sent forces to assist the Syrian regime in the country’s civil...

11th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

US-led coalition targeted key online operative for Islamic State near Mosul

Thomas Joscelyn

The US-led coalition targeted Rachid Kassim, an aspiring rapper turned Islamic State operative, near Mosul, Iraq earlier this week. Kassim, who is pictured above, has been involved in several terror plots in the West.

10th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Hay’at Tahrir al Sham leader calls for ‘unity’ in Syrian insurgency

Thomas Joscelyn

Yesterday (Feb. 9), the jihadi known as Abu Jaber released his first speech as the leader of the newly formed Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), or “Assembly for the Liberation of Syria.”

8th February 2017 - Quoted by Jonah Bennett - The Daily Caller

Marine Captain: Russia Has Embarrassed US In Ukraine, Syria With Fraction Of Our Military Budget

John Hannah

Active-duty Marine Capt. Joshua Waddell has written an op-ed arguing that Russia has utterly embarrassed the U.S. in Syria and Ukraine, while only maintaining a military budget a fraction of the Pentagon’s total budget.

8th February 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Pentagon: 11 al Qaeda terrorists killed in airstrikes near Idlib, Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

The Defense Department announced today that 11 al Qaeda terrorists were killed in a pair of airstrikes near Idlib, Syria earlier this month. Ten al Qaeda men were reportedly killed on Feb. 3, when the US struck a building they were using as a “meeting place.”

8th February 2017 - Tablet Magazine

Assad’s Fundraiser at the World Bank

Tony Badran

For all the controversy surrounding it, there was one silver lining to President Trump’s now suspended executive order that barred nationals from seven Middle Eastern and African countries, including Syria, from entering the U.S.: It had kept an old associate of Bashar al-Assad from...

7th February 2017 - Sirius XM


Behnam Ben Taleblu

FDD senior Iran analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu comments on the Trump administrations sanctions towards Iran, and the conflict in Syria.

4th February 2017 - Quoted by Rukmini Callimachi - The New York Times

Not ‘Lone Wolves’ After All: How ISIS Guides World’s Terror Plots From Afar

When the Islamic State identified a promising young recruit willing to carry out an attack in one of India’s major tech hubs, the group made sure to arrange everything down to the bullets he needed to kill victims.

1st February 2017 - Quoted by Wladimir van Wilgenburg - Arab News

Syrian government disagrees with Russia on Kurdish autonomy

Tony Badran

The Syrian government completely rejected any form of Kurdish autonomy and has reportedly proposed amendments to change the Russian draft proposal for a new Syrian constitution.

30th January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State faces multiple adversaries in Al Bab, Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

In mid-November of last year, the government of Turkey began an assault on the Islamic State stronghold of Al Bab, Syria. The effort, which was led by fighters from Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield, eventually stalled. The jihadis have held onto Al Bab, which is located in the northern...

27th January 2017 - The Hill

Trump needs a new approach to Syria: Bottom-up defense

John Cappello

A draft executive order that awaits President Donald Trump’s signature directs the State Department and Pentagon to produce a plan, within 90 days, for providing safe zones in Syria.

26th January 2017 - Quoted by Lee Smith - Tablet Magazine

Gabbard’s Assad Trip—Courtesy of an Anti-Semitic Middle East Organization

Tony Badran

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, admitted to CNN that she met Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on her recent secret 4-day "fact-finding" trip to Damascus.

23rd January 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State offensive against Assad regime cuts city of Deir Ezzor in two

Thomas Joscelyn

On Jan. 15, the Islamic State launched a new offensive in Deir Ezzor. The eastern Syrian city has been divided between the so-called caliphate and Bashar al Assad’s regime since July 2014. In the two and half years since, the jihadists and Assad’s loyalists have regularly clashed,...


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