Analysis & Commentary

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.

3rd March 2015 - Quoted by Menekse Tokyay - SES Türkiye

ISIL Smuggles Syrian Antiquities Through Turkey

Merve Tahiroglu

Along with illegal oil, human organ sales and kidnapping, smuggling the cultural heritage of Syria has become an important source of funding for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

24th February 2015 - Cited by The Tower

Reports: ISIS Abducted More Than 70 Assyrian Christians in Syria

Benjamin Weinthal

Terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have kidnapped at least 70 Assyrian Christians after raiding their villages according to the activist group A Demand For Action, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.

23rd February 2015 - Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

ISIS is Losing

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

If you want to understand what's happening in the Middle East today, you need to appreciate one fundamental fact: ISIS is losing its war for the Middle East.

20th February 2015 - Now Media

The Weakness of the “Wait and See” Approach

Tony Badran

Even if Israel desired to stay out of the Syrian war, the Iranians, seeing a green light from Washington, have ideas of their own.

20th February 2015 - Quoted by Lee Smith - The Weekly Standard

Friend and Foe in Syria

Tony Badran

Last week, outgoing chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces Benny Gantz told an American audience that it’s important the international community defeat both camps of regional extremists.

20th February 2015 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Obama Blew it on Syria, By His Own Admission (Sort Of)

Clifford D. May

The Wall Street Journal reports: “President Barack Obama suggested Thursday that U.S. and international efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State militant group may only be achieved after a political transition in Syria.”

19th February 2015 - Cited by Ross Keith - Vocativ

How Many Fighters Does ISIS Have?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Nobody knows how big ISIS is—especially not Jeb Bush.

19th February 2015 - Cited by Michael B. Kelley - Business Insider

Turkey ‘Created a Monster and Doesn’t Know How to Deal With It’

Jonathan Schanzer

Turkey's notoriously lax border policies during the Syrian war are starting to catch up with Ankara and its allies who are trying to counter ISIS, Yaroslav Trofimov of The Wall Street Journal reports.

16th February 2015 - Quoted by Lucas Tomlinson -

ISIS Empire: Smuggling, Shakedowns, Donations Feed Swelling Terror Budget

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

As the Islamic State seeks to export its brand of barbaric terror to would-be affiliates, the U.S. faces a growing challenge to find the sources of ISIS funding and blunt its flow to allied militants.

13th February 2015 - The Long War Journal

New Al Nusrah Front Video Features Interview with Leader, Military Gains in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

An audio recording of Abu Muhammad al Julani, the emir of the Al Nusrah Front, introduces a newly-released video produced by the group. The video highlights Al Nusrah's purported military gains and ends with a clip of Ayman al Zawahiri calling for jihadist unity.

11th February 2015 - Quoted by Eli Lake - Bloomberg View

Foreign Recruits Are Islamic State’s Cannon Fodder

Thomas Joscelyn

Aspiring jihadists looking to join the Islamic State army are often lured to the front lines with promises of changing the course of history and reclaiming a lost Islamic empire.

11th February 2015 - FDD Press Release

U.S. Needs To Avoid Alliances With Iranian Proxies In Middle East, FDD Scholar Tells Congress

Tony Badran

Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday that Iran’s interest in becoming a Middle Easter power extends beyond the goal of nuclear weapons, and the United States must resist forming de facto alliances...

11th February 2015 - CNN

New Day

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD Senior Fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross on estimates of the number of foreign fighters with the Islamic State.


Ali Alfoneh

Senior Fellow

Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Yaya J. Fanusie

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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