Lebanon

Spotlight on Iran (October 29 – November 12, 2017)

Iranian reactions to the resignation of the Lebanese prime minister. In light of the Assad regime’s gains in the campaign against ISIS, Iran is persisting with its effort vis-à-vis the leaderships of Syria and Russia to shape the Syrian arena. In Iraq, Iran has intensified its efforts to increase its economic foothold in the post-ISIS era.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (November 2 – 8, 2017, 2017)

The conquest of the regions controlled by the Islamic State has reached the last lap. Abu Kamal, ISIS's last stronghold, is currently under combined pressure from the Syrian army, the Shi'ite militias and Hezbollah operatives, and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advancing on the city from both sides of the Euphrates. The strategically significant events in Syria were overshadowed this week by potentially explosive local events in the northern Golan Heights.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (24-30 August 2017)

This week Islamic State (ISIS) suffered two more setbacks, tagged onto a string of failures: SIS was forced to agree to a ceasefire with Hezbollah, under which it evacuated its operatives from the West Qalamoun mountains The city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, fell within a week into the hands of the Iraqi forces and the “Popular Mobilization” (Shiite militias sponsored by Iran).
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Iran in the Post-ISIS Era: Aims, Opportunities and Challenges

The “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria is undergoing a process of disintegration and ISIS will return to its “natural state” of a jihadist terror organization, not a “state” with territorial borders. The defeats experienced by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, central among them the loss of Mosul, the battle in Raqqa and the advances of Syrian forces in Deir Ezzor, create new opportunities for Iran to increase its influence in Syria, Iraq and the entire Middle East.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 17 – 23, 2017)

ISIS, which is facing growing pressure in Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility for three terrorist attacks this week. It is unclear whether there is a connection between the attacks in these countries. On the ground, the pressure on ISIS continues.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 3-9, 2017)

The Syrian forces continued to advance towards Deir ez-Zor. The SDF forces are encountering difficulties in Al-Raqqah. Iraq: Iraqi forces and Shiite militias are preparing to take over the ISIS enclave in Tal Afar, some 70 km west of Mosul. In view of the “success” (from ISIS’s perspective) of the attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul, ISIS called on its supporters to attack the embassies and diplomatic corps of the “infidel countries” around the world.
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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.