Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 25 – July 1, 2020)

The ceasefire is being maintained in the Idlib region of northern Syria, but there has been an increase in the number of local incidents between the warring sides. The Iraq Province continues to be ISIS’s most active province, but there has also been a resurgence in the activity of the Syria Province. According to a report in the newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a joint military operation against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula carried out by the Egyptian army and Bedouin tribesmen failed.
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Spotlight on Iran (June 14, 2020 – June 28, 2020)

An Iranian news website published an article discussing the changing patterns of activity of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) following the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. The Iranian news agency Tasnim reported that the Commander of the IRGC's Qods Force, Esmail Qa'ani, visited the Albu Kamal area on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Iraqi border. Following the entry into force of the Caesar Act, which tightened sanctions on Syria, Iran reiterated its commitment to maintain economic cooperation with Syria. Iran is maintaining its efforts to preserve its interests in Iraq under the changing circumstances created following the appointment of Mustafa al-Kazimi as Iraq’s Prime Minister.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 18-24, 2020)

The ceasefire is being maintained in the Idlib region of northern Syria, but there has been an increase in the intensity of local incidents. ISIS’s activity around the globe continues at low intensity, a trend that has been going on for several weeks. At the same time, disruptions of ISIS’s media system continue, The Iraq Province continues to be ISIS’s most active province.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 11-17, 2020)

This week there was an additional decline in the scope of ISIS’s activity around the globe, as part of a trend that has lasted for several weeks. In Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria, ISIS’s West Africa Province (reportedly) carried out a series of multi-casualty attacks. ISIS’s difficulties with its media network: ISIS’s Amaq News Agency has significantly reduced its publications. Routine reports from the various provinces have been significantly reduced, and Telegram (which serves as ISIS’s central distribution platform) continues to shut down ISIS-affiliated accounts.
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The Nujaba Movement, an Iraqi Shi’ite militia handled by the Iranian Qods Force, carried out a display of propaganda in the Gaza Strip aimed at glorifying Iran

The Nujaba Movement (Movement of the Noble Ones), an Iraqi Shi'ite militia handled by the Iranian Qods Force, recently carried out a display of propaganda in the Gaza Strip. Its objective was to glorify Iran and Iranian support for the Palestinians and the "resistance axis."
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Spotlight on Iran (May 31, 2020 – June 14, 2020)

Sources tracking the movement of freighter planes reported intensive activity between Iran and Syria, which included both Syrian and Iranian cargo planes. The spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lambasted the tightening of sanctions against Syria ahead of the entry into force of the Caesar Act, which places sanctions against any company and actor that will maintain economic ties with Syria in several sectors of the economy. Ahead of the start of the strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Esmail Qa’ani, visited Baghdad, likely to coordinate a united front with senior commanders of the Iraqi factions loyal to Iran.
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Iraq

The Republic of Iraq (الجمهورية العراقية – Al-Jumhūrīyya Al-‘Irāqīyya) borders with Turkey in the north, Syria and Jordan in the west, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the south, and Iran in the east. Iraq has a population of over 31 million, the vast majority of whom are Arabs (97% Muslim, 65% Shiite and 35% Sunni). In northeastern Iraq there is an autonomous Kurdish entity known as Iraqi Kurdistan. There are no relations between the State of Israel and Iraq, and Iraq refuses to recognize Israel.

After the Iraq war, the country was run by a coalition of countries that had invaded Iraq, headed by the United States. In 2005, civilian control was transferred to the interim Iraqi government that was appointed after a general election for a temporary parliament, which was held for the first time in the history of Iraq. In 2006, a permanent Shiite government was formed, and thus a change of government took place in Iraq, which had been in the hands of the Sunnis up to that time. In December 2011, the last American soldiers stationed in Iraq left the country.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, a branch of Al-Qaeda was established in Iraq, headed by Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi. This branch later evolved into ISIS. This branch, which enjoyed widespread support among the Sunni population in Iraq, carried out terrorist attacks directed against Shiite civilians and against the Iraqi regime. In 2014, in the city of Mosul, ISIS declared the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate and took control of vast areas in western and northwestern Iraq, with the intention of taking control of the Iraqi capital Baghdad as well. In the years that followed, through efforts by the Iraqi security forces and local militias supported by the United States, these areas were liberated and ISIS slowly began to lose its power.