Iraq

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...

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 7-13, 2019)

The decisive battle being waged by the SDF forces in the village of Al-Baghouz continued this week. Following are additional incidents in the various Syrian arenas: Idlib: Incidents continue between the Syrian army and the jihadi organizations. Al-Sukhnah: The clashes continued between the Syrian Army and ISIS operatives in the desert area near the village of Al-Sukhnah. Manbij: An ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up near American vehicles traveling on the main road between Manbij and Al-Bab. According to a US media report, four American soldiers were killed. While ISIS is about to lose its significant stronghold in Syria, ISIS’s provinces abroad continue to carry out attacks and conduct fierce fighting against the local armies and regimes.
Read more...

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

In a major development, Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, paid a visit to Tehran. The senior adviser to the Iranian minister of foreign affairs acknowledged in a media interview that despite the cooperation and shared interests of Iran and Russia in Syria, the two countries disagree regarding Israel. Meanwhile, Iran continues to expand its economic activity in Syria and Iraq. Iran strongly condemned the decision of the United Kingdom to list Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and outlaw it.
Read more...

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 28 – March 6, 2019)

On March 1, 2019, the SDF forces began the decisive battle in the village of Al-Baghouz, in the Lower Euphrates Valley. The Syrian army continued to fire artillery at the targets of the rebels (mainly the jihadi organizations). ISIS continues its intensive terror and guerrilla activity in the city of Al-Raqqah. There were clashes in the village of Al-Sukhnah between ISIS and the Syrian army. Concurrently, ISIS’s Iraq Province continued its intensive terror and guerrilla activity.
Read more...

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 21-27, 2019)

The Kurdish SDF forces are preparing for the decisive attack against what remains of ISIS (many hundreds of operatives) who are holding the village of Al-Baghouz Fawqani. In the Idlib area, high-intensity incidents continued between the Syrian army and the jihadi organizations. In spite of President Trump’s statement that the United States will pull out its 2,000 troops from Syria, according to US media reports from this week, 400 military personnel will remain in Syria.
Read more...

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

The summit held in Sochi of the Russian, Iranian and Turkish presidents failed to conclude with a concrete agreement. Senior Iranian officials continue to issue warnings against continued Israeli efforts to counter Iranian entrenchment in Syria. Iranian minister of foreign affairs conducted a two-day visit in Lebanon. During a hearing held at the Syrian parliament, the Syrian minister of communications and technology confirmed that there are ongoing talks with an Iranian cellphone network operator to establish a third cellular network in the country. In Baghdad, Iranian and Iraqi representatives signed an agreement on scientific and cultural cooperation between the Iranian Azad University and Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Read more...

Previous years bulletins

201920182017

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.