Analysis & Commentary


25th February 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Russia says there is no ‘plan B’ for Syria - but its airstrikes tell a different story

Tony Badran

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Thursday that there is no "plan B" on Syria's ceasefire agreement and will not be one, according to Reuters.

25th February 2016 - Quoted by Michael Weiss - The Daily Beast

Does Obama Want to Carve Up Syria?

Tony Badran

A stray comment by John Kerry this week—laying out a last-ditch, now-don’t-hold-me-to-this prescription for ending a modern and globally transformative holocaust—acknowledges an unfolding reality.

24th February 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

The Saudis are ‘drawing lines in the sand’ — and showing they are serious about confronting Iran

Tony Badran

Saudi Arabia warned its citizens against traveling to Lebanon on Tuesday after one of its biggest allies, the United Arab Emirates, banned travel to Lebanon altogether.

24th February 2016 - CBC Radio

The Current with Anna Tremonti

Merve Tahiroglu

FDD research associate Merve Tahiroglu joins a panel to discuss the actions of the major players in Syria and their end goal.

23rd February 2016 - Quoted by Zack Beauchamp - Vox

Beyond Syria and Iraq: ISIS is losing ground around the world

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Libyan fighters are celebrating a major victory on Tuesday: They've driven ISIS out of parts of Benghazi, eastern Libya's largest city, building on advances in and around the city on Sunday.

23rd February 2016 - Quoted Michael Rubin - Commentary

Are Syria’s Kurds Really Pro-Assad?

Tony Badran

Among supporters of the Syrian opposition, there is increasing cynicism (if not occasional disdain) toward the People’s Protection Units, better known by their Kurdish acronym the YPG.

23rd February 2016 - War on the Rocks

Neither Remaining Nor Expanding: The Islamic State’s Global Expansion Struggles

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Judging from the Islamic State’s propaganda, it would appear the group is rapidly overtaking the Muslim world. The Islamic State has declared wilayats (provinces) in ten countries spanning from Nigeria to the Caucasus region. It has executed high-profile attacks in several otherwise stable...

23rd February 2016 - Quoted by Eli Lake - Bloomberg

Where Islamic State Stumbles in Its War With Al-Qaeda

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Since al-Qaeda expelled it from its ranks a little more than two years ago, the Islamic State has been on a tear. It has taken Iraq's second-largest city, declared itself a caliphate, won over al Qaeda affiliates in Sinai and Nigeria, and conducted high-profile terror attacks in Europe and...

22nd February 2016 - The Long War Journal

2 Damascus-based jihadist groups swear allegiance to Al Nusrah Front

Thomas Joscelyn

Two small jihadist groups based in the Syrian capital of Damascus – Ansar al Sharia and Al Muntasir Billah – have sworn allegiance to Abu Muhammad al Julani, the head of Al Nusrah Front.

22nd February 2016 - BBC

Newsday

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer discusses current situation in Aleppo.

19th February 2016 - The Jerusalem Post

Containing ISIS, keeping Assad weak

Benjamin Weinthal

Israel should favor a Kurdish state and Druse autonomy in Syria; must prevent Islamic State from securing a presence on its border; has the tools to deter Hezbollah; and would like to see President Bashar Assad’s regime remain on the ropes, former national security adviser Maj.-Gen. (res.)...

18th February 2016 - Quoted by Erin Banco - International Business Times

Airport In Northern Syria Linked To Russian Military Buildup

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Bulldozers rumble along a patch of vacant land in the town of Nusaybin, digging up large piles of thick mud. The construction of the trench-like holes is a part of the Turkish military’s effort to counter the buildup of a Syrian regime air base just across the border and to keep the civil...

18th February 2016 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon and Yaakov Lappin - The Jerusalem Post

Analysis: Why did Nasrallah focus on Israel when Hezbollah is busy in Syria?

Tony Badran

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah checked off all the boxes for harsh anti-Israel rhetoric during his speech, but his aim was to rally Shi’ite support behind him and even try to improve his group’s drab image in the Sunni Arab world.

17th February 2016 - Quoted by Kivanc Dundar, Menekse Tokyay - IntelliNews

Turkey’s nightmare comes true in Syria

Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey has been drawn further into the Syrian conflict as its army shells positions held by the Kurdish militia YPG in Northern Syria, ignoring calls from Washington and Brussels to cease military actions there.

17th February 2016 - The Long War Journal

Jund al Aqsa leaders join Al Nusrah Front

Thomas Joscelyn

Twelve jihadists who are purportedly senior figures in Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda-linked group, have joined Al Nusrah Front. The dozen jihadists explained their decision to join al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria in a statement that was released on social media earlier today. Their...

17th February 2016 - The Washington Times

Bystanders to genocide

Clifford D. May

It’s surprising how time slips away: Five years ago next month, President Obama proclaimed a “responsibility to act” when American “interests and values are at stake.”

16th February 2016 - BBC

Newsday

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

FDD senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross comments on the Syrian hospital attacks.

16th February 2016 - Civis mit Sonde

The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Can Turkey be an Effective Partner?

Aykan Erdemir

Numbers alone are sufficient to convey the grim reality of Syrian refugees in Turkey: Of the 4.3 million displaced Syrians who have been registered as persons of concern by the UNHCR, 2.2 million currently reside in Turkey, comprising a community more populous than six of the EU member...

16th February 2016 - Quoted by Fred Lambert - United Press International

Syria: Kurds capture strategic town from Arab rebels in Aleppo province

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Kurdish rebels captured a strategic town during overnight fighting with Arab rebel forces in northwestern Syria's Aleppo province, according to activists.

16th February 2016 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

Bitter Rebels Blame Kurds for Looming Tide of Syrian Refugees

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Intense fighting in northern Syria, near the Turkish border, has raised sharp concerns that a huge new wave of Syrian refugees will soon be pouring into Turkey.

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