Iran

Profile of Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the New Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leader

On September 28, 2018, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) spokesman Da'ud Shehab announced the election of Ziyad al-Nakhalah as secretary general. Al-Nakhalah, the organization’s third leader, replaced Ramadan Abdallah Shalah, who has been in a coma for the past six months (following a series of strokes).
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Spotlight on Iran (October 7, 2018 – October 21, 2018)

Iran is intensifying the efforts to entrench its economic hold in the region. Syrian opposition sources reported in recent weeks that Iran removed all of its forces from the T-4 airbase near Homs and from the Deir Ezzor region in eastern Syria. Following the new appointments for Iraq’s top leadership positions, the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad met, for the first time, Iraq’s new President
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Spotlight on Iran (September 20, 2018 – October 7, 2018)

In response to an attack that took place on September 22 against a military parade in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran, on the night of October 1, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched six ballistic missiles toward the Albu Kamal region in eastern Syria. Iran and Russia continue to deliberate regarding Syria. Iran is accelerating its efforts to expand its economic influence in post-war Syria. In Iraq, Iran made gains in the competition with the United States surrounding the formation of a new government in Baghdad. Iran welcomed the election of Ziad Nakhala as the new Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 17 – October 3, 2018)

On September 17, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met in Sochi, Russia. Their talks centered on the Syrian regime’s planned attack on the rebel organizations in the Idlib area. The Sochi agreement marks a breakthrough in the contacts between Russia, Turkey, and Iran to resolve the situation in Idlib, after. On September 22, 2018, five armed operatives in Ahwaz, southern Iran, attacked a parade by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. As a result, Iran responded by firing missiles and carrying out drone attacks against ISIS targets in the Albukamal area.
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Spotlight on Iran (September 9 – September 20, 2018)

Iran, Russia and Turkey continue to negotiate regarding Idlib’s fate. Two Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps members were killed in Syria. The Iranian ambassador to Iraq inaugurated a new building for the Iranian consulate in Basra, after the previous consulate building was set ablaze on September 7, 2018, by Iraqi protesters. Iran continues to closely follow and try to influence the process of new government formation in Baghdad, as the current Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced that he does not intend to run for a second term. Senior Iranian military and political officials justified the September 8, 2018, missile strike by the IRGC on the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in northern Iraq
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 6-16, 2018)

In the Idlib region, preparations for the impending campaign continue. These preparations included continued reinforcement of northern Syria and the Turkish-Syrian border by the various sides. Concurrently, intensive political activity is taking place. While ISIS is under severe pressure in Syria, its operatives continue to carry out suicide bombing attacks in various places around the world.
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