Iraq

Spotlight on Iran (December 15, 2019 – December 29, 2019)

Iranian-Israeli confrontation in Syria: Ali-Akbar Velayati, the Senior Adviser on International Affairs of the Supreme Leader of Iran, warned in an interview to a Following a pause lasting eight years, the Iranian Pilgrimage Organization renewed sending Iranian pilgrims to visits in the Shi’ite holy sites in Syria. Iran continues to try and influence the process of appointing a temporary prime minister in Iraq, in an effort to protect Iran’s interests in the country. The Spokesman of Iraq’s Joint Operation’s, that the security cooperation between Iraq, Iran, Russia and Syria is continuing at the highest levels in an effort to maintain stability along the Iraq-Syria border and to prevent ISIS from gaining a foothold in the region.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 12-18, 2019)

In the Syrian arena, ISIS continues its intensive activity, mainly in the area of Al-Mayadeen, in the Euphrates Valley. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS continues its intensive activity, with an emphasis on the Diyala Province north of Baghdad. At the same time, ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued their routine activity.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 1 –15, 2019)

Iran is continuing to try to minimize the impact of the ongoing protests in Iraq on Iranian interests in the country, and particularly economic interests. Against the backdrop of ongoing Iranian efforts to entrench its foothold in Albu Kamal, on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Iraqi border, Arab media outlets reported about recent strikes carried out against targets linked to Iran and pro-Iranian militias. A Lebanese news website reported about an unusual deployment of Hezbollah and forces linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force near the town of Rankous on the Qalamoon mountain range, north of Damascus, ahead of a possible revenge attack in retaliation to IDF strikes in Syria.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 5-11, 2019)

In the Syrian arena, local clashes continued between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations in the Idlib region, accompanied by airstrikes and artillery exchanges, with no significant change in the situation on the ground. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS has continued its intensive activity, mainly in the Diyala Province, north of Baghdad. The most common attacks were mortar shell fire, activation of IEDs, light weapons fire and sniper fire.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (November 28 – December 4, 2019)

In the Syrian arena, the Syrian army repulsed counterattacks by the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the rebel organizations in the area southeast of Idlib. The Iraqi arena has seen an increase in the intensity of ISIS’s attacks this week, with an emphasis on the Diyala Province north of Baghdad. ISIS’s main activity abroad was a stabbing attack carried out in London by a jihadi operative (two dead, three wounded). Among ISIS’s provinces abroad
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Spotlight on Iran (November 17, 2019 – December 1, 2019)

In response to the launch of rockets from Syria toward Israel on November 19, the next day, the IDF struck targets of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Syrian Army. Iran maintained ambiguity with regards to the IDF strike on IRGC targets. The American TV network, Fox News, published satellite imagery showing that Iran is rebuilding the Imam Ali base near Albu Kamal, on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Iraqi border. As part of the ongoing protests in Iraq, on the night of November 27, protesters torched the Iranian consulate in Najaf, southern Iraq. The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, spoke with the Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad
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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.