Update and Assessment: October 20, 2015

October 21, 2015

Key Takeaways:

  1. The U.S. confirmed that a coalition airstrike killed senior al Qaeda operative Sanafi al Nasr outside of Aleppo, Syria. Sanafi al Nasr was the highest ranking leader of al Qaeda’s Khorasan group, a cell advising Syrian al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra. His death will deal a blow to al Qaeda operations in Syria, but will not generate lasting effects.
  2. National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi and Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stated that Iran could expand its military presence in Syria if asked by Damascus or Moscow.
  3. The leader of an al Qaeda-linked Malian group Ansar al Din condemned recent steps taken by a Tuareg coalition to reconcile with the Malian government and promised future attacks against the French troops in Mali.