Long War Journal & Threat Matrix

Making sense of Iranian escalation

Should Iran have taken the decision to attack civilian vessels that carry oil, it could represent one way to do damage to global oil shipments without inviting massive retaliation. Such a move would be consistent with Iran’s highly graduated approach to escalation and desire to respond to the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign. Read more →

Islamic State loyalists fight on in Libya

The Islamic State's loyalists raided a military camp in southern Libya on May 4, targeting a prison inside the facility. In an appearance late last month, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi praised the jihadists in Libya, saying that they and other Islamic State representatives are fighting a "battle of attrition." Read more →

Tehran appoints new IRGC chief commander

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appointed Hossein Salami as the new chief commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on April 21, replacing Mohammad Ali Jafari after 12 years in command. Salami previously served as deputy commander to Jafari for a decade. Read more →

Taliban announces ‘Al-Fath Jihadi Operations’ for 2019

Unlike previous years, the Taliban does not prioritize attacks on US and NATO forces, but instead sets its crosshairs on those working for the Afghan government, military, and police. The statement is yet another clear indication that the Taliban will not share power with the Afghan government, but instead seeks to impose its will on the country. Read more →

Islamic State releases first combat video from Mali

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency, one of the jihadist group’s official media arms, released its first combat video from Mali earlier today. The brief video claimed to show an ambush on French forces somewhere near Mali’s border region with Niger. While no specific date was given, the video likely... Read more →