The Collapse of the Islamic State: What Comes Next?

On the ground, the Islamic State no longer exists as a functioning territorial entity. It has lost almost all of its territories, including its "capital cities" of Mosul and Raqqa, as well as its core territories along the Euphrates in Iraq and Syria. Apparently, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's vision of an Islamic Caliphate has come to an end, at least for the time being, although ISIS still maintains a presence in Syria and Iraq, and will continue to exist.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (November 9-15, 2017)

In the city of Albukamal, a fierce battle is being waged over the last stronghold of the Islamic State in Syria The Iraqi army, which liberated the city of Al-Qaim and the surrounding villages. Russia, the United States, and Jordan have signed a Memorandum of Principles (November 8, 2017). Moreover, the Memorandum of Principles deals with southwestern Syria and does not mention the removal of foreign forces from Syria.
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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 (October 26 – November 1, 2017)

A ramming attack was carried out this week in New York City (Lower Manhattan) on a bicycle path, by means of a rented pickup truck. In Syria and Iraq, Syrian and Iraqi forces are advancing in the Euphrates Valley in order to take over the last remaining “core areas” along the Euphrates River still under ISIS’s control, in the area between Rawa and Al-Qaim (Iraq) and Abu Kamal (Syria). In the ITIC’s assessment, the return of the foreign fighters to their home countries is expected to pose a serious security problem.
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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 Iran (October 15-29, 2017)

At the center of events of the past two weeks was the visit to Syria of the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri. Alongside its military effort, Iran is acting to increase its reliagious influence in Syria. The visit of the Commander of the Qods Force of the IRGC, Qasem Soleimani, to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq was at the center of events in Iraq.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 19-25, 2017)

The predominantly Kurdish SDF officially announced this week that the city of Al-Raqqah had been fully liberated. The United States and the Kurds are trying to enlist the Saudis to assist in the rebuilding of Al-Raqqah. This week, around 200 ISIS operatives were evacuated from the town of Al-Qaryatayn, southeast of Homs.
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Spotlight on Iran (October 1-15, 2017)

Turkish-Iranian coordination is increasingly invigorated following the independence referendum in the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Senior Iranian officials rebuked the reports about the intension of the U.S. administration to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. Iran continues to be involved in the campaign against the last pockets of ISIS resistance in Iraq. Bolstering of the economic cooperation between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon continues apace.
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A Hamas-affiliated Palestinian in Britain admitted the flotilla project to the Gaza Strip was not intended to “break the siege” and bring humanitarian aid, but rather to promote the battle for hearts and minds against Israel.

Zaher Birawi is a Palestinian activist who lives in Britain affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. He has extensive experience in dispatching flotillas from Europe to the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of "breaking the siege" of the Gaza Strip.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 3-18, 2017)

Over the past week, the rapid collapse of the Islamic State, which is about to lose its last remaining strongholds in Syria and Iraq, has accelerated. In the face of ISIS’s defeats in Syria and Iraq, the operational capabilities of ISIS’s Sinai Province are noteworthy.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (October 3 – 17, 2017)

At the beginning of October there was a stabbing attack that killed an Israeli civilian from Elkana. This past week two rockets were fired. On October 12, 2017, a reconciliation agreement was signed by Fatah and Hamas with the stated goal of "ending the Palestinian division."
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (19-27 September 2017)

The Islamic State is disintegrating in Syria and Iraq. Its territorial areas of control Iraq are falling to the two anti-ISIS coalition forces one after another, although in some important strongholds ISIS operatives continue stubborn fighting.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 1-7, 2017)

This past week in Judea and Samaria rallies, marches and demonstrations were held to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. The IDF announced it was holding the bodies of the five Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operatives who had been trapped when the IDF blew up a terrorist tunnel.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (October 25 – 31, 2017)

This past week events focused on Israel's blowing up a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) tunnel extending from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. Blowing up the tunnel is a clear illustration of the key problem facing Mahmoud Abbas in implementing the internal Palestinian reconciliation. On November 2, 2017, the centenary of the Balfour Declaration will be celebrated.
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