Analysis & Commentary


6th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Senior al Qaeda religious official in Syria returns to social media

Thomas Joscelyn

A senior al Qaeda religious official in Syria has returned to social media in the past 24 hours after a prolonged absence. The jihadist known as Abu Sulayman al Muhajir has launched a new Telegram channel and Twitter feed.

4th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Al Nusrah Front and allies launch new offensive in Syria’s Aleppo province

Thomas Joscelyn

The Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of Conquest”) coalition, which was cofounded by Al Nusrah Front and its closest allies, has launched a new offensive in the southern part of Syria’s Aleppo province.

3rd June 2016 - Quoted by Lee Smith, Jenna Lifhits - The Weekly Standard

Sanctioned Terrorist Addresses National Press Club Audience Via Skype

Tony Badran

Thursday morning Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's political and media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, spoke via Skype to an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

2nd June 2016 - FDD Press

Russian Hybrid Warfare: How to Confront a New Challenge to the West

Pasi Eronen

In 2013, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s Armed Forces, publicly unveiled a fresh idea. In what came to be called the Gerasimov Doctrine,1 he described “new-generation” warfare – pre-emptive operations employing a mixture of nonmilitary and military measures to achieve...

2nd June 2016 - Quoted by Jay Solomon - The Wall Street Journal

Allies of Syrian President Assad Seek an Opening in Washington

Tony Badran

A senior official of the Syrian regime made a rare and controversial appearance before a U.S. audience on Thursday, calling for a united front with the Obama administration in the fight against Islamic State and other international terrorist groups.

1st June 2016 - Quoted by Pamela Engel - Business Insider

A new US plan against ISIS might be ‘dangerously counterproductive’

Thomas Joscelyn

US-backed forces are finally moving toward Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital in Syria.

1st June 2016 - Quoted by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross - The Daily Beast

Big Win Over ISIS Could Mean a New War

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Troops fighting ISIS appeared to on the verge of another victory over the self-proclaimed Islamic State Wednesday, as they moved into a city that has served as the main thoroughfare for ISIS foreign fighters and weapons.

1st June 2016 - The Washington Times

Putting Hezbollah ‘out of business’

Jonathan Schanzer

“After many years of sanctions targeting Hezbollah, today the group is in its worst financial shape in decades,” stated Adam Szubin, the acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence before a congressional hearing last week. “And I can assure you that,...

31st May 2016 - Quoted by Neville Teller - The Jerusalem Post

The jihadist civil war

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The bloodthirsty jihadist organization that calls itself Islamic State (IS) sprang from the loins of al-Qaeda, once the supreme bane of the western world, which achieved its apogee with the destruction of the twin towers in New York.

29th May 2016 - Quoted by Sarah El Deeb, Bassem Mroue - Associated Press

Syria’s cease-fire strengthens al-Qaida branch

Thomas Joscelyn

Al-Qaida's branch in Syria has recruited thousands of fighters, including teenagers, and taken territory from government forces in a successful offensive in the north, illustrating how the cease-fire put in place by Russia and the United States to weaken the militants has in many ways...

25th May 2016 - Quoted by Louis Jacobsen - Politifact

Donald Trump’s Pants on Fire claim that US is letting in ‘tens of thousands’ of terrorists now

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Donald Trump has advocated for a "temporary" ban on Muslims coming into the United States to prevent any terrorists from crossing the border. But are there already tens of thousands of terrorists coming into the country now? That’s what he claimed in an interview with Fox News’ Bill...

20th May 2016 - The Blaze

The Buck Sexton Show

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer discusses radical jihadist groups and militias fighting in Syria on both sides of the ongoing civil war.

20th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Treasury sanctions al Qaeda, Islamic State ‘financiers and facilitators’

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department announced terror designations for six jihadists yesterday. Five of them allegedly serve al Qaeda’s international organization, while the sixth is a key figure in the Islamic State’s operations in Libya and the Sinai.

19th May 2016 - Quoted by Mosaic Magazine

A Terrorist Mastermind’s Career Comes to an End

Clifford D. May

Last week, one of Hizballah’s highest-ranking military commanders, Mustafa Badreddine, was killed in Damascus under mysterious circumstances.

18th May 2016 - Quoted by Lisa Daftari - The Foreign Desk

Iran using commercial airliner to fly fighters, weapons to Syria

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Iran is using a commercial airliner with ties to the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to ferry fighters and weapons to Syria.

18th May 2016 - The Washington Times

A death in Damascus, a funeral in Beirut

Clifford D. May

Five years ago, during the hopefully named Arab Spring, Syrians staged peaceful protests against the ruling dynasty that had long oppressed them. President Bashar al Assad responded brutally: In May 2011, he sent tanks into the suburbs of Damascus, Deraa, Homs and other cities to crush his...

17th May 2016 - FOX News

Happening Now

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for research Jon Schanzer discusses the U.S.'s fight against ISIS and today's attack in Baghdad.

14th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Syrian rebels deny Hezbollah’s military commander killed in ‘artillery shelling’

Bill Roggio

Hezbollah said an investigation shows that its military commander, Mustafa Badreddine, died on May 12 in rebel “artillery shelling” at Damascus International Airport. However, an independent news organization that diligently monitors the Syrian civil war said that rebel groups have not...

14th May 2016 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Did Israel take advantage of Middle East mayhem to take out Hezbollah leader?

Tony Badran

It remains unclear who killed the top Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine this week in Syria, but if Israel turns out to be responsible as a Hezbollah MP claimed, it signals an aggressive tactical move by Israel to take advantage of the mayhem in the region to take out its enemies.

13th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

Storied Hezbollah commander killed in Syria

David Daoud

Hezbollah announced the death of Mustafa Badreddine, its notorious senior military commander, in Syria early Friday morning.

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