Syria Project

Al Qaeda and ISIS: Existential Threats to the U.S. and Europe

The Institute for the Study of War and AEI's Critical Threats Project conducted an intensive multi-week exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to defeat the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. This first report examines America’s global grand strategic objectives as they relate to ISIS and al Qaeda and considers the nature of those enemy groups in depth and in their global context.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: December 22, 2015 - January 3, 2016

The Russian air campaign in Syria continues to bolster the position of the Assad regime ahead of negotiations between pro- and anti-regime representatives scheduled for January 25. The overwhelming majority of Russian airstrikes continue to support ongoing regime operations, targeting rebel positions in Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, Homs, Damascus, and Dera’a Provinces from December 28, 2015 to January 3, 2016. Russia targeted ISIS-held terrain with only a limited number of strikes in Aleppo, Raqqa, and Deir ez-Zour Provinces.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: December 18 - 27, 2015

Russian airstrikes continue to weaken the position of the Syrian armed opposition ahead of negotiations between pro- and anti-regime forces scheduled for January 25. An alleged Russian airstrike in Eastern Ghouta on December 25 killed leading Salafist rebel commander Zahran Alloush, the commander of prominent Damascus-based group Jaysh al-Islam.

S-400 Missile Radius Map

In response to Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet on November 24, 2015, Russia deployed its most advanced surface-to-air missile system to Bassel al-Assad International Airport in Latakia Province, eastern Syria. The S-400 SAM system is capable of contesting most of the airspace over Syria, southern Turkey, northern Jordan, a significant portion of Israel, as well as all of Lebanon and Cyprus. This map shows the potential reach of the S-400 missiles stationed in Latakia which have an effective range of up to 250 miles (400km).