Analysis & Commentary


9th February 2015 - The Long War Journal

Rebel Coalition in Syria Mourns al Qaeda Official Killed in US Airstrike in Yemen

Thomas Joscelyn

The Ansar al Din Front in Syria has released a statement mourning the death of Harith al Nadhari, a sharia official in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a US drone strike on Jan. 31. The statement is further evidence that Ansar al Din is, at a minimum, closely allied with...

9th February 2015 - War on the Rocks

How Many Fighters Does the Islamic State Really Have?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Estimates of the number of fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are extraordinarily wide-ranging. On the low end of things, CNN’s Barbara Starr recently reported that “U.S. intelligence estimates that ISIL has a total force of somewhere between 9,000...

9th February 2015 - The Long War Journal

State Department Designates German Rapper Turned Islamic State ‘Operative’

Thomas Joscelyn

The State Department today announced that Denis Cuspert has been added to the US government's list of specially designated global terrorists.

7th February 2015 - Fox News

America’s News HQ

Mark Dubowitz

FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz discusses how US foreign policy contributes to situations like the current unrest in Syria and Ukraine.

6th February 2015 - The Long War Journal

Analysis: The Islamic State Claims Jordanian Airstrikes Killed an American Hostage

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State claims that an American hostage was killed during Jordanian airstrikes earlier today. However, the statement could very well be a propaganda ploy.

6th February 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jihadists Continue to Advertise Training Camps in Iraq and Syria

Bill Roggio

Training camps belonging to the Islamic State, Ansar al Islam, the Al Nusrah Front, Ansar Sham, the Kurdish Islamic Front, the Turkistan Islamic Party, and the small Uzbek group Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad have been identified in Iraq and Syria. The total number of training camps identified...

5th February 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda Jihadists Celebrate Release of Anti-Islamic State Ideologue

Thomas Joscelyn

Jordan has reportedly released Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi. The move was celebrated by al Qaeda jihadists on social media, including those belonging to the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria.

4th February 2015 - The Long War Journal

Analysis: DIA Head Warns al Qaeda in Syria May Gain Ground in 2015

Thomas Joscelyn

Lieutenant General Vincent R. Stewart, the director of the DIA, testified before the House Armed Services Committee yesterday. Stewart warned that al Qaeda in Syria may gain ground in 2015, the Islamic State remains capable of launching offensive operations despite the coalition's air...

4th February 2015 - Fox News

The O’Reilly Factor

Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellow Thomas Joscelyn discusses what it would take to defeat the Islamic State.

3rd February 2015 - The Long War Journal

Islamic State Burns Captured Jordanian Pilot Alive

Bill Roggio

First Lieutenant Mu'adh Yusuf al Kasasibah was burned alive in a cage by Islamic State fighters.

3rd February 2015 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

New Video Overshadows IS Obsession With Kobani, Possible Flaws

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Photos and video of Jordanian Air Force pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive at the hands of his Islamic State captors had U.S. officials searching for words, trying to describe another act of violence committed by a group that has continually found a way to shock the Western world....

2nd February 2015 - 770 WABC-AM - New York, New York

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD Senior Fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss the topics of their latest pieces for the Long War Journal, including: US drone strikes in Yemen, the Islamic State, and the green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan.

2nd February 2015 - Business Insider

Iran’s Push Into Syria Means Another War Between Hezbollah and Israel is All but Inevitable

Tony Badran

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah finally delivered his long-postponed speech on Friday, after his group claimed responsibility for the attack against an Israeli patrol in the Shebaa area two days earlier.

31st January 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front Battles Western-Backed Rebels Outside Aleppo

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front has taken the fight to the Hazm Movement in the areas surrounding Aleppo. Hazm is one of the few rebel groups to receive Western aid and arms in the Syrian war.

27th January 2015 - Quoted by Steve Contorno - Politifact

Barack Obama Says America ‘Is Stopping’ Islamic State’s Progress in Iraq and Syria

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

President Barack Obama briefly updated Americans on the state of the Islamic State during his State of the Union address.

27th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

Islamic State is Forced From Kobane

Bill Roggio

After months of fighting for control of the Syrian border town, the Islamic State has withdrawn from Kobane in the face of advances by Kurdish forces and Syrian rebels.

27th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

Analysis: Islamic State Sleeper Cells a Threat to Turkey

Jonathan Schanzer, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey's lax border policies backfire as the Islamic State threatens to bite the hand that feeds.

26th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front, Western-Backed Rebels Overrun Key Regime Base South of Damascus

Thomas Joscelyn

The Al Nusrah Front and Ahrar al Sham fought side-by-side with Western-backed rebels in a battle to take a key Assad regime base in southern Syria.

25th January 2015 - Cited by Simon Tisdall - The Guardian

US Changes its Tune on Syrian Regime Change as ISIS Threat Takes Top Priority

Tony Badran

US backing for Syria peace talks hosted by the Russian government in Moscow this week is being seen as further evidence that the Obama administration has quietly dropped its longstanding demand that President Bashar al-Assad step down as part of any settlement.

24th January 2015 - The Long War Journal

Iranian Political and Military Leaders Laud Qods Force General Killed in Syria

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Political and Military elites of the Islamic Republic weigh-in on the death of Brigadier General Mohammad-Ali Allah-Dadi, the IRGC-QF member killed in Syria by an Israeli helicopter attack.Their commentary indicates a desire to establish deterrence, at least rhetorically, and tout their...

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