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  • al-Nusra

    Al-Qaeda: 'Spreading Like Wildfire'

    Last week, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee held a hearing provocatively titled “Is Al-Qaeda Winning?” The answers that the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade received were profoundly unsettling. Former Senator Joseph Lieberman (I–Conn.) testified that Syria had become a key focal point of al-Qaeda’s efforts. He noted that there … More

    The Obama Administration’s Syria Policy Meltdown

    Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the Obama Administration’s policy on Syria was failing and needed to be changed, according to two Republican Senators. Senators John McCain (R–AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R–SC), who were part of a congressional delegation attending the Munich Security Conference, revealed that Kerry, in a … More

    Al-Qaeda Seeks American Recruits in Syria

    Al-Qaeda forces in Syria are actively seeking recruits from Americans who have traveled there to fight or to assist opposition forces, according to U.S. officials quoted in today’s New York Times. At least 70 American citizens have traveled to Syria, and most of them are still there, according to U.S. … More

    U.S. Suspends Aid to Syrian Rebels as Islamists Seize Supplies

    Washington has suspended nonlethal aid to Syrian rebels after Islamist militants seized warehouses containing U.S.-provided supplies close to the Turkish border, U.S. officials announced Wednesday. General Salim Idris, commander of the Free Syrian Army, the non-Islamist rebel group that the United States has weakly supported, was forced to flee Syria … More

    Who Are the Rebels in Syria?

    No one knows for certain the number of organized opposition groups in Syria and opposition militia forces fighting in the Syrian civil war. These irregular guerrilla forces fighting primarily against the Syrian army range from secular groups to Salafi Islamist militants. The Islamist factions are reportedly split between groups that … More

    Obama Punts to Congress on Syria

    Having carelessly established a “red line” for intervening in the Syrian civil war without a clear strategy or appropriate course to protect U.S. interests, the President has now dumped the whole mess in the lap of Congress. It is appropriate for the President to consult Congress, but he has a … More

    Obama Mulls Response to Syrian Chemical Attacks

    The Obama Administration is now seeking the least bad option for responding to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s increasingly brazen use of chemical weapons against Syrian opposition forces. The most recent chemical attack, on rebel positions in the eastern edge of Damascus on August 21, killed hundreds of people. Secretary of … More

    Obama Administration Backs into Policy of Arming Syrian Rebels

    The White House announced yesterday that President Obama has authorized the transfer of arms to Syria’s rebels after concluding that Bashar al-Assad’s regime had violated the president’s red line against the use of chemical weapons. The Obama Administration needed to reverse course and take stronger action in Syria to enforce … More

    Syria: Obama Administration Slow-Walks Decision on Chemical Weapons

    The Obama Administration has been moving very slowly on the Syrian chemical weapons issue. Caution is in order, because the President’s credibility is on the line. President Obama has repeatedly warned Bashar al-Assad’s regime not to use its huge chemical weapons arsenal. In a December speech he proclaimed, “The use … More

    Bedlam in Baghdad: Q&A on Iraq with James Phillips

    I sat down with James Phillips, Heritage’s Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs, to get his take on the violence in Iraq. Why the sudden spike in violence in Iraq? Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has made a strong comeback due to the spillover effect of rising sectarian tensions in … More