Analysis & Commentary

20th December 2016 - Quoted Menekse Tokyay - Arab News

Assassination in Ankara: Cop guns down Russian ambassador

Aykan Erdemir

Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was assassinated Monday night during the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition in Ankara when he took to the podium to make a speech.

19th December 2016 - Quoted by Benjamin Harvey, Selcan Hacaoglu - Bloomberg

Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey by Gunman Invoking Syria

Aykan Erdemir

Russia’s ambassador was shot dead in the Turkish capital on Monday in an assassination apparently linked to Syria’s civil war, heightening tensions over a conflict that’s drawn in almost all the region’s main powers.

16th December 2016 - The Hill

One way to push back in Syria? Target Iranian airlines.

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Iran's commercial fleet is helping the Bashar Assad regime and its allies commit vast-scale atrocities in Syria. The Obama administration should have punished Tehran's war crimes by going after Iran's aviation sector, without which Iran could not deliver weapons and fighters to Aleppo's...

16th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

State Department increases reward for Baghdadi to $25 million

Bill Roggio

The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program more than doubled the bounty for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State and its self-professed caliphate, making him one of the two most wanted men in the world. The $25 million reward now puts Baghdadi on par with Ayman...

15th December 2016 - CNN

New Day

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD's senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross comments on the various actors in the Syrian civil war.

15th December 2016 - Quoted by Sohrab Ahmari - The Wall Street Journal

The Mullahs’ Syrian Airlift Gets a Boost

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Iran’s flagship carrier, Iran Air, agreed Sunday to purchase 80 passenger jets from Boeing Co. The $16.6 billion sale exemplifies the ethical and strategic hazards of President Obama’s signature foreign-policy legacy—the Iranian nuclear deal.

15th December 2016 - Quoted by Jay Solomon, Maria Abi-Habib - The Wall Street Journal

In Syria, Russia Acts as U.S. Pulls Back

Tony Badran

The recapture of Aleppo by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces presents a stark example of Washington’s pullback in the Middle East at a time when Russia and its partners have stepped in to drive events in the nearly six-year conflict, said U.S., European and Arab officials.

14th December 2016 - NewsTalk Am 1130

Justice & Drew

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross talks on Russian hacking, Aleppo and terror in Minnesota.

13th December 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Pick for Basij Chief is Versed in Repression

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Amir Toumaj

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei issued a decree last Wednesday appointing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Qolam-Hossein Qeibparvar as commander of the country’s Basij paramilitary force.

12th December 2016 - Quoted by Jenna Lifhits - The Weekly Standard

Rubio, Experts Rip Obama Administration for Trivializing Iranian Influence in Syria

Tony Badran

The Obama administration is downplaying Iran's role in atrocities committed by the Syrian regime in order to avoid endangering last summer's landmark nuclear deal, a top lawmaker and experts tell The Weekly Standard.

12th December 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Syrian Opposition: Israeli Airstrike Hit Chemical Weapons Intended for Hezbollah

Jonathan Schanzer

An Israeli air raid on a depot controlled by the Syrian regime two weeks ago hit a supply of chemical weapons being transferred to the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah, a spokesperson for a Syrian opposition group said Sunday.

9th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Array of pro-Syrian government forces advances in Aleppo

Amir Toumaj

Twelve days after launching the latest assault on Nov. 15, forces fighting on behalf of Bashar al Assad captured approximately a third of total rebel-held territory in the northern sector, positioning them to tighten the siege. These forces have been making steady gains on that front,...

8th December 2016 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Tony Badran

FDD senior fellow Tony Badran discusses the recent updates on Aleppo, and comments on the many other devolving conflicts in Syria.

7th December 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Liberman Acknowledges Strikes on Syria, Pledges to Deprive Hezbollah of Advanced Weapons

Jonathan Schanzer

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman acknowledged his country’s recent airstrikes against Syrian targets, saying in an address to European Union ambassadors on Wednesday that the strikes were meant to prevent Hezbollah from receiving “advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons...

6th December 2016 - Newsweek

A Donald Trump Anti-ISIS Campaign That Spares Assad Would Only Empower Hezbollah

In late October, Hezbollah scored an achievement by pushing through its favored candidate, Michel Aoun, to the Lebanese presidency. Six thousand miles away, the group now stands to indirectly benefit from the results of another election: America’s.

6th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State has claimed more than 1,000 suicide attacks thus far in 2016

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency releases an infographic summarizing the total number of “martyrdom operations” (suicide attacks) carried out by its followers each month. The latest infographic, which was released yesterday and can be seen below, indicates that 132 suicide bombings...

6th December 2016 - Quoted by Sirwan Kajjo - Voice of America

Israel Casts Wary Eye on IS Threat on Syrian Border

As civil war grinds on in Syria, neighboring Israel has been largely uninvolved - even as the Islamic State (IS) said it considers Israel a prime target.

5th December 2016 - FDD's Long War Journal

New Islamic State spokesman seeks to rally Sunnis against Iran, West

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Furqan Media Foundation has released an audio message from the group’s new spokesman, Abu al Hassan al Muhajir. Abu Muhammad al Adnani served as the organization’s top propagandist for years until he was killed in an American airstrike in August. The Islamic State...

3rd December 2016 - Quoted by Vivian Salama - Associated Press

Russia Bets on Trump as Gateway to Eased Sanctions

Boris Zilberman

Vladimir Putin wants to make Russia great again. For that, he may need a hand from Donald Trump.

3rd December 2016 - Quoted by Joyce Karam - Arab News

Congress and Trump agree to turn the heat up on Iran

Jonathan Schanzer

In Washington, where Democrats and Republicans are bracing for a showdown on a set of healthcare and economic issues, increasing sanctions on Iran appears to be the one legislative item where the two parties and the new President-Elect Donald Trump have found consensus.


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