Lebanon

Iranian Website Published a Speech Delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General at a Closed Forum Expressing Total Devotion to Iran’s Supreme Leader. Similar Statements were Issued Previously by Hezbollah Officials

On March 12, the conservative Iranian website Farda News published a full transcript of a speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, at a conference of Iranian nationals residing in Lebanon. In the speech, Nasrallah declared that his organization is wholly committed to the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and that the commitment to Khamenei trumps the organization’s commitment to the Lebanese constitution.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 21 – 27, 2018)

In Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip demonstrations and riots continue, although small in scope. The most serious event was in Jericho, where a Palestinian was killed during an Israeli security force activity. During January and February 2018 the Israeli security forces detained three Arab Israelis from Umm al-Fahm. The three had planned to carry out a terrorist attack on the Temple Mount similar to the one carried out in July 2017 which killed two Israeli policemen. The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip continues to be serious.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 15-21, 2018)

In the Euphrates River area north of Albukamal, ISIS operatives continued intensive guerrilla warfare against the SDF forces and the local Syrian forces. ISIS continues to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias (the Popular Mobilization) in the various provinces in Iraq. The Egyptian security forces continue their operation (Sinai 2018) against outposts of ISIS’s Sinai Province. The Egyptian operation is focused on northern Sinai.
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The leader of the Movement of the Noble Ones, an Iranian-operated Shi’ite militia in Iraq, said during a memorial ceremony for Imad Mughnieh that the militia would support Hezbollah if Israel attacked it.

On February 13, 2018, Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, the secretary general of the Iraqi Shi'ite Movement of the Noble Ones, visited the grave of senior Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughnieh in the southern suburb of Beirut on the anniversary of the deaths of three senior Hezbollah leaders. During the visit he told the local and other Arab media that his organization was committed to supporting Hezbollah in the event of any Israeli attack.
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An interview granted by Hassan Nasrallah intended to reinforce the deterrent message towards Israel by emphasizing Hezbollah’s military capabilities, especially high-precision missiles enabling Hezbollah  to damage essential infrastructure facilities in the next war

According to Nasrallah, the Israelis have said that these missiles could damage essential infrastructure facilities and cause a very serious disaster in Israel. Nasrallah noted that Hezbollah’s military capabilities created a “balance of terror” between it and Israel and deter Israel from starting a war.
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Iran in the Post-Islamic State Era: Aims, Opportunities and Challenges Updated Review

In Syria and Iraq, the gradual collapse of the Islamic State, established in Iraq and Syria, has come to an end. Following the conclusion of this process of disintegration, ISIS has returned to its “natural state” of a jihadist terror organization, which does not need to administer or protect a state with territorial borders.
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Lebanon

Lebanon is a small country with a population of only about 4.1 million. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon borders on Israel in the south and Syria in the east and north. It gained its independence from France on November 22, 1943. Due to Lebanon’s varied ethnic composition, its history is rife with schisms, conflicts and civil wars based on sectarian allegiances. Since its independence, Lebanon has had a unique political system of ethnic distribution with a parliamentary democracy based on ethnic-sectarian-religious representation. The most important offices are divided among the various religious groups, in accordance with the national charter of 1943.


Lebanon’s social complexity, the weakness of its central government, and the social and economic gaps between the various ethnic groups led to the rise of many armed sectarian-political militias, some of which turned to terrorism. The most prominent Shiite terrorist organization in Lebanon is Hezbollah, which was founded in the summer of 1982 during the First Lebanon War. It is not only a terrorist organization which owes its allegiance to the Iranian regime, it has also been incorporated into the Lebanese political system.


Lebanon has traditionally served as an arena for foreign forces, both Middle Eastern and international. In the past, Syria’s intervention in Lebanon was most conspicuous. Today, Iran’s intervention is most conspicuous: it provides Hezbollah in Lebanon with weapons, ammunition, financing and military training. The border between Israel and Lebanon has undergone some tense periods and several confrontations where IDF forces entered the Lebanese territory. Since the Second Lebanon War (2006), the border between Israel and Lebanon has been relatively quiet, a situation exploited by Hezbollah to advance its military buildup and intensely intervene in the civil war in Syria, under Iranian direction.