Long War Journal & Threat Matrix

Iran highlights Qods Force commander killed by the Islamic State

Iran has divulged more details about a senior officer from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force who was killed in Syria last month. The 32-year old Col Morteza Hosseinpour-Shalmani (AKA Hossein Qomi) died afteran Islamic State ambush near Jamouna, which is about 37 miles northeast of the US base of Tanf by the Iraqi border in eastern Syria. The operations commander of the Iranian-led Iraqi contingent in Syria, he was leading a unit of Seyyed al Shuhada Brigades that included Iranian-embedded soldiers. Read more →

Islamic State claims its ‘soldiers’ carried out London tube bombing

The Islamic State claims its "soldiers" carried out the London tube bombing earlier today. Twenty-nine people were injured in the attack. Earlier this month, the British government reported a surge in terror-related arrests. As of June 30, 204 people were in custody in the UK for suspected terrorism-related offenses and the "majority" of them, 91 percent, hold "Islamist extremist views." Read more →

Islamic State loses more ground in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor

As US-backed forces seize the city of Raqqa, the Syrian regime moves to retake ground in Deir Ezzor, where the Islamic State has laid siege to Bashar al Assad's forces since 2014. Assad's regime has received a boost from Iranian-sponsored militias, as well as the Russians, during its recent offensive in eastern Syria. Read more →

Iraqi government announces liberation of Tal Afar from Islamic State

The Iraqi government announced the liberation of Tal Afar in northern Iraq earlier today. The offensive to retake the city began on Aug. 20 and progressed quickly. Three Iraqi army divisions, the Counterterrorism Service, Federal Police, the Popular Mobilization Forces and Kurdish Regional Government Peshmerga all took part and were backed by the US-led coalition. Read more →

US must retreat from Afghanistan for there to be ‘peace’, Taliban leader says

The Taliban released a statement attributed to its emir, Hibatullah Akhundzada, who says that "peace" is only possible if the "occupation" is ended. The statement is entirely self-serving and contains absurd claims. For example, Akhundzada writes that the Taliban wants a "free, independent and progressive Afghanistan," which is completely inconsistent with the group's ideology and history. Read more →

Trump takes hard line on Pakistan for supporting terrorist groups

With words unprecedented for a US president, Trump called out Pakistan for harboring and supporting terrorist groups that target and kill US citizens and said there would be a radical change in policy toward the South Asian nation. Trump indicated the US would work to increase ties with India, Pakistan's neighbor and greatest enemy, a move sure to both enrage as well as frighten Pakistani elites. Read more →