Homeland Security Portal

Homeland Security Portal

Area Studies: Syria

Does the U.S. Attack in Syria Risk a Regional War?

, April 9, 2017

Commentators in the Arab world fail to find a logical explanation for the behavior of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his decision to use chemical weapons against rebels in the Idlib region. Read More »

Why the Islamic State Is in Retreat

, June 7, 2016

Two years ago the Islamic State’s blitz assault across a swath of land as big as the United Kingdom led to the establishment of the self-proclaimed Caliphate and fragmented both Syria and Iraq. Today, the American-led and the Russian-led coalitions succeeded to contain the advance of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq because of several factors: attrition, manpower, firepower inferiority, and diminishing financial support. Read More »

Explaining the Islamic State Phenomenon

, January 20, 2016

The Islamic State is a terrorist state with almost all of a typical state’s governing elements. ISIS rules today over a swath of land bigger than the United Kingdom, with a population of almost 10 million. Never in the modern history of the Muslim world has a conflict drawn so many jihadists, who seek to participate in the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate to rule the world after the defeat in battle of the Western powers and their local Arab allies. Read More »

Terror Is Terror Is Terror

, November 23, 2015

Iran keeps promoting its long-term strategic policy in Syria; it views the country as an integral component of its national security. Russia, which has moved urgently to help Assad’s regime survive, has paid a heavy price with the downing of a Russian passenger plane by the Islamic State. Iran is exploiting the West’s weakness, especially the United States’ fecklessness and lack of a clear policy on the Middle East’s future in general and on Assad’s in particular. Read More »

Are There Any Moderate Rebels in Syria?

, November 22, 2015

In the Syrian Civil War, the CIA has assisted those it considers "moderate rebels." In the face of this policy, The Free Syrian Army has chosen to cease its cooperation with other, more Islamist groups like Ahrar Al-Sham, ceding its role as the leader in the fight against the Assad regime to said Islamist groups. Many of the different Islamist coalitions present on the ground today can hardly be defined as being "a moderate opposition." Read More »

Iran’s Stake in Syria

, October 22, 2015

According to Hojjat al-Islam Mehdi Taeb, a former senior official of Iran's Basij militia, Iran's line of defense passes through Syria, and that is why the Iranian government proposed creating battalions of Basij-style militias in Syria.The crisis in Syria is gradually turning from a protracted regional crisis into an international one. For Iran, Syria constitutes the first line of defense against Israel, and also a line of defense for the Shiite population in Lebanon against Islamic State incursion. Read More »

The Disintegration of Syria and Its Impact on Israel

, August 31, 2015

Syria's fragmentation into separate, battling enclaves is intensifying. The two main enclaves are "central Syria," controlled by the Assad regime, and the Islamic State. The nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers has boosted Iran's capacity to support the Assad regime. Iran and Hizbullah's attempts to create a base for terror activity against Israel from the northern Golan Heights continue, relying on released terrorist Samir Kuntar and Druze elements. Read More »

Implications of the Fall of Key Syrian and Iraqi Cities to ISIS

, May 27, 2015

The fall of the major cities of Palmyra in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq to the Islamic State is part of the disintegration of the Middle East’s nation-states​. ​Assad-controlled Syria has shrunk to half its size and lost control of almost all of its borders. The Islamic State (IS) finds itself almost within shelling distance from Baghdad and bordering Saudi Arabia and Jordan, raising acute fears in both countries. The battles have proven that the Shiite armies had no resolve or will to fight the Sunni jihadists. This leaves open the option of Iran and its proxies enlarging their involvement.​ ​ Read More »

Israeli Security Policy in Syria

, April 28, 2015

The attempted Hizbullah attack thwarted in the northern Golan Heights on April 26, 2015, and the air strikes apparently carried out by the Israeli Air Force on April 21 and 24 against military targets in Syria, as reported in Arab media, join a series of similar incidents over the past three years. Apart from isolated cases, Israel has avoided directly responding to reports on the strikes and merely made declarations about its general policy. Hizbullah's involvement in Syria creates legitimacy for anti-Lebanese activity by Sunni radicals. Its deep involvement in the Syrian civil war is nowhere near its conclusion and will continue to exact a heavy price. Read More »

The Syrian Constellation and the Geneva 2 Peace Talks

, January 22, 2014

Since the Egyptian Revolution, many of Egypt’s 2.2 million Shiites began demanding rights after the repression of the Mubarak era. However, these requests have been met with threats from hardline Salafi groups. The election of Mohammad Morsi radicalized the issue. In response, Iran has distanced itself from Egyptian Shiites. However, with the growing sectarian divide between Sunni and Shia, this could easily strain relations between Egypt and Iran and ignite a regional flashpoint. Read More »

Syria: Lessons from Past Weapons Inspections

, September 17, 2013

In light of the Russian/US agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, the world’s accumulated hands-on experience in Middle Eastern arms control in Iraq, Iran, and Libya should be remembered. Read More »

The Role of Iranian Security Forces in Syria

, June 20, 2012

Iran views the confrontation in Syria as a critical battleground with the West regarding the reshaping of the Middle East and its own role in the region as a key, vital and influential player. Hizbullah is currently serving under Iran’s command as a part of Assad’s forces, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been involved in Syrian events. Iran’s aid to Assad illustrates Iran’s goal of becoming a power capable of countering the West’s influence. Read More »

Homeland Security Articles from Daily Alert

Airport Security

Israeli Expert Questions New Airport Security Rules (March 23, 2017)
Belgium Takes Tips from Israel on Airport Security (November 23, 2016)
After Brussels Attack, World Looks to Israel as Model for Airport Security (March 23, 2016)
Sniffer Mice Are Being Trained in Israel to Detect Explosives at Airports (June 19, 2015)

Social Media Investigation

How Israel Spots Lone-Wolf Attackers (June 9, 2017)
Israeli Monitoring of Social Media Thwarts Terror Attacks by 2200 Palestinians (April 19, 2017)
Israeli Soldiers Scour Social Media to Stop Violence (March 10, 2017)
EU Eyes Israeli Technologies for Spotting Militants (July 20, 2016)
Israel is Using Social Media to Prevent Terrorist Attacks (April 21, 2016)

Civilian Self-Defense

Civilian Self-Defense is Esential to Combat Modern Terrorism (June 14, 2017)

Terrorism Prevention

Israel Speeds Up Camera Placements in West Bank in Effort to Deter Terrorism (June 18, 2017)
Israel Capitalizes on Expertise in Counter-Terrorism (June 7, 2017)
Netanyahu: Israel Taking Steps to Deal with Terrorists (January 10, 2017)
How to Prevent the Next “Lone Wolf” Terror Attack (August 9, 2016)
What the World Can Learn from Israel after July’s Wave of Deadly Attacks (August 4, 2016)
Israel’s Counterterrorism Lessons For Europe (July 19, 2016)
Can an Orlando-Style Attack Happen in Israel? (June 17, 2016)
Police Tactics, Intelligence-Sharing Tip Scales in Jerusalem’s War on Terror (March 31, 2016)

Other

Israeli “Eye in the Sky” Drone Can Watch 80 Sq. Km. in Real Time (June 16, 2017)
Israeli Biometric Startup Sees Surge in Demand as Security Woes Weigh (July 28, 2016)
IDF to Defend Against Cyber Attacks on Vital Infrastructure (February 18, 2016)

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