Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 21-26, 2020)

The synchronized wave of attacks known as the Raids of Attrition, which began on May 14, ended on May 24, 2020. Over a period of 10 days, more than 100 attacks were carried out, the vast majority in Iraq (about 40) and Syria (about 30). After them, by a wide margin, are Nigeria (8 attacks) and other provinces in Africa and Asia (a few attacks in each province). Hence, an analysis of the current wave of attacks indicates an improvement in ISIS’s operational capability, mainly in the Iraqi arena and to some extent in the Syrian arena as well, in contrast with ISIS’s other provinces around the world.
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The Nujaba Movement, an Iraqi Shiite militia handled by Iran, also operates in the Gaza Strip

The Nujaba Movement is an Iraqi Shiite militia handled by the Iranian Qods Force. It was established in 2013 by Sheikh Akram al-Ka’abi, who has had a close connection with Iran since the time he was fighting against the American forces in Iraq.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 14-20, 2020)

On May 14, 2020, ISIS carried out a synchronized wave of terrorist attacks, accompanied by a media campaign, called Raids of Attrition. The waves of attacks and the accompanying media campaigns are intended to convey a message of strength to ISIS’s operatives, to its enemies, and to the international community. Most of the attacks carried out as part of the Raids of Attrition were carried out in Iraq, which continues to stand out as ISIS’s main arena.
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Spotlight on Iran (May 3, 2020 – May 17, 2020)

A fighter with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was killed in Syria. Conflicting reports emerged in Syrian pro-opposition websites with regards to the staging of the Shia militias operating under Iranian patronage in Syria. Iran welcomed the appointment of Mustafa al-Kazimi as the incoming Iraqi Prime Minister. For the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, due to the outbreak of the Corona virus, Iran announced the cancellation of the International Qods Day rallies.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 7-13, 2020)

In the Idlib region in northern Syria, the ceasefire is still surviving but the intensity and severity of the incidents have recently been increasing. In Iraq, ISIS is continuing its intensive activity, taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced activity of the US-led International Coalition. The most noteworthy incident in ISIS’s provinces abroad was a suicide bombing attack in the Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 1-6, 2020)

In the Idlib region in northern Syria, the ceasefire was generally maintained. In Iraq, ISIS’s high-intensity activity continues, taking advantage of the spread of COVID-19 and the reduction in the activity of the US-led International Coalition. ISIS’s other provinces in Africa and Asia continued their “routine” attacks, in the shadow of the COVID-19 crisis.
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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.