Spotlight on Iran* (August 14-28, 2016)

Issued on 28/08/2016 Type Article
Iran allowed the Russian air force to use its base at Hamedan (western Iran) for air strikes in Syria. A high ranking commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) claimed Iran had established a "Shi'ite liberation army" operating in Syria, Iraq and Yemen under the command of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC's Qods Force. He said the objective of the "liberation army" was to ensure that Israel would not exist within 23 years. Osama Hamdan, responsible for Hamas' international relations, claimed the relations between Iran and Hamas had improved. He denied a report in a Saudi Arabian-sponsored newspaper that Tehran had conditioned Iran's continued financial support of Hamas on a pledge of loyalty to Iran.

The Campaign West of the Euphrates: Analysis of Turkish Army and Rebel Organizations' Capture of Jarabulus (Initial assessment, morning of August 25, 2016)

Issued on 25/08/2016 Type Article
On August 24, 2016, the city Jarabulus, located near the Turkish border, was captured from ISIS by Turkish army armored and special forces along with Syrian rebel organizations. From the Turkish perspective, the objective of the so-called Operation Euphrates Shield was to repel ISIS from proximity to its border and prevent the Kurdish forces from making additional gains west of the Euphrates. The ISIS operatives in Jarabulus did not put up significant resistance and retreated from the city to the organization's strongholds in al-Bab and Tabqa.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 18-24, 2016)

Issued on 24/08/2016 Type Article
This week, the fighting in Syria was concentrated in and around the city of Aleppo and in the area west of the Euphrates River, near the Syrian-Turkish border In Aleppo, the rebel organizations (led by the Fateh al-Sham Front) managed to fend off attacks by the Syrian Army and maintain the logistical corridor in the south of the city. In the area west of the Euphrates River, the collapse of ISIS’s strongholds continues: on August 24, a Turkish military force along with rebel forces captured the city of Jarabulus, near the Syrian-Turkish border.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 11-17, 2016)

Issued on 17/08/2016 Type Article
The main event of the week was the liberation of the city of Manbij, west of the Euphrates River, near the Syrian-Turkish border. In the Aleppo region, the Syrian forces, with Russian air support, failed in their attempt to retake the logistics corridor that the rebel organizations had managed to open in the southern part of the city.

Spotlight on Iran* (July 31 – August 14, 2016)

Issued on 14/08/2016 Type Article
At least six Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fighters and one regular army officer were killed during the past two weeks battling Syrian rebels in the Aleppo region. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC's Qods Force praised the brigade, which so far has lost about 400 of its fighters in combat in Syria. A delegation of members of the Majlis (Iranian parliament) national security and foreign policy committee visited Lebanon and Syria. Meeting with senior Lebanese and Syrian officials they stressed Iran's continuing support for the "resistance front" in the fight against radical Sunni Islamic organizations and Israel.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 4-10, 2016)

Issued on 10/08/2016 Type Article
The main event of the week was the successful lifting of the siege on the city of Aleppo by the rebel organizations with which the Fateh al-Sham Front (formerly the Al-Nusra Front) collaborates. The Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are gradually completing the takeover of the city of Manbij, west of the Euphrates River, near the Turkish border.
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Information on Syria
For years Syria has supported the Palestinian terrorist organizations and Hezbollah. Syria is home to the headquarters of many such organizations, including the political bureaus of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as other, smaller organizations which operate from Syria. Not only does Syria provide them with political asylum, it gives them military training, and arms and finances them. The organization heads are protected in Syria and the Syrian regime allows them to hold conventions and conferences in government facilities.
Syria also provides political and material support for Hezbollah, which operates in close conjunction with its ally, Iran. The existence of the ties between Syria and Hezbollah was illustrated by the death of Imad Mughniyeh, commander of Hezbollah operations, which occurred in Damascus, the capital of Syria.
In 1979 the United States State Department designated Syria as a terrorist-sponsoring country.