Iran

Spotlight on Iran (April 7, 2019 – April 18, 2019)

On April 8, the United States Department of State announced that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) will be designated as a foreign terrorist organization starting April 15. In response, Iran designated the Central Command of the U.S. Armed Forces (CENTCOM), which covers the Middle East, as a terrorist organization. The American designation aroused a wave of sharp condemnations and threats from senior Iranian officials and supporters of Iran in the region. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Khamenei, declared that the U.S. decision is “a vicious move” that will not bear fruit, while the Commander of the IRGC, Ja'fari, threatened that if the U.S. dares to threaten Iran’s national security, Iran will act against U.S. forces in the region.
Read more...

Hezbollah’s Martyrs Foundation: purpose, mode of operation and funding methods

Hezbollah maintains an extensive network of social foundations in Lebanon that deal with health, education, welfare and media. Their main goal is to serve as a supportive framework for the organization’s military infrastructure, to disseminate its ideology and to strengthen its position among the Shiite community and the internal Lebanese political arena. Of these institutions, the Lebanese Martyrs Foundation is of key importance. It was established by Iran in 1982, the year in which Hezbollah was established.
Read more...

Spotlight on Iran (March 24, 2019 – April 7, 2019)

Syrian opposition sources reported that at least seven people were killed in the strike attributed to Israel in the Sheikh Najjar area in northwestern Aleppo city, on the night of March 27-28. Senior Iranian officials condemned the decision of President Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and described it as a grave violation of international law. The Syrian government approved the agreement signed between the Syrian Electricity Ministry and the Iranian energy and infrastructure giant, MAPNA, to build a power plant in Lattakia. The Deputy Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Salah al-Arouri, declared in a media interview that Hamas is determined to bolster ties with Iran, and that the practical implications of this improvement in relations is already evident on the ground.
Read more...

Spotlight on Iran (March 10 – March 24, 2019)

Last week, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces arrived for a visit in Syria to take part in a joint anti-terrorism summit attended by Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi officials. Syrian sources recently reported that following the visit of President Assad to Tehran, Iran and Syria agreed to form a Syrian team, headed by the executive director of the Lattakia Port, which will negotiate handing over management of the Lattakia Port or the container terminal within it to Iran. Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, conducted his first official visit in Baghdad, during which he met Iraqi government officials, public representatives and senior Shi’ite clerics.
Read more...

Ali Mussa Daqduq (Abu Hussein Sajed): portrait of the commander of Hezbollah’s military network in the Syrian Golan Heights (“the Golan Portfolio”)

The IDF spokesman recently exposed the existence of a military network which Hezbollah started to establish in the Syrian Golan Heights since the summer of 2018 (following the Syrian army’s takeover of the Golan Heights from the rebels, with Hezbollah operatives alongside the Syrian army ). The network includes dozens of operatives residing in the villages of the northern Golan Heights who are also equipped with weapons. The network structure, referred to as “the Golan Portfolio,” is still at the first stages of establishing its presence near the Israeli border and has not yet reached operational capability.
Read more...

Estimate of Hezbollah’s fatalities during the Syrian civil war and the conclusions arising from the analysis of their identity

As part of a study on the fatalities (shahids) of Hezbollah in Syria, the names of 1,139 operatives, killed in 2011-2018, were identified. To this number, the ITIC believes that we can add a possible deviation range of 10% of fatalities whose names were not found due to various reasons. Thus, the number of Hezbollah fatalities in Syria may reach about 1,250 (updated to late December 2018). The study is based on dozens of sources, mostly Facebook pages and Internet websites affiliated with Hezbollah and dedicated to commemorate the organization’s fatalities.
Read more...