Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 9 – 16, 2021)

This week, ISIS’s activity in the various provinces continued at a "routine" level: Syria: In the desert region (Al-Badia), Russian warplanes made over 40 sorties against ISIS targets. However, ISIS’s activity did not stop. Iraq: The main event was an attack carried out by ISIS in Jalam Samarra, about 30 km north of the city of Samarra. Sinai: A senior official in ISIS’s Sinai Province was reported killed in an operation by an Egyptian elite unit south of Rafah. Another senior official of the province was arrested in the operation. Afghanistan: This week, the increase in ISIS’s activity in the country continued, similar to recent weeks. Africa: There has been a decline in the volume of ISIS’s activity, with northeastern Nigeria continuing to be the epicenter.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 2-9, 2021)

This week, ISIS’s activity in the various provinces continued at a "routine" level: Syria: The main event this week was an attack, apparently carried out by ISIS operatives, against a convoy of the Syrian army and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Al-Sukhnah Desert, on the Palmyra-Deir ez-Zor highway. Iraq: ISIS claimed responsibility for detonating an IED near the tomb of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in the Shiite Kadhimiya neighborhood in northern Baghdad. The Sinai Peninsula: ISIS operatives carried out a combined attack on an Egyptian army camp south of Sheikh Zuweid. There has been a downtrend in ISIS’s activity in Africa. Libya: After a long period with no ISIS attacks in the country, this week ISIS carried out a suicide bombing attack at a roadblock set up by General Haftar’s army about 670 km south of Tripoli. At least four military personnel were killed, including an officer.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 27 – June 2, 2021)

This week, the downtrend in ISIS’s activity in the various provinces continued. Syria: In the desert area (Al-Badia), several Syrian soldiers were wounded when a mine exploded in the Palmyra region. Russian planes carried out over 100 airstrikes against ISIS targets in the desert region. Iraq: The main event was a car bomb explosion against the Tribal Mobilization forces in Haditha, in western Iraq. The Sinai Peninsula: The commander of the Egyptian army's Counterterrorism Unit was killed by sniper fire during an Egyptian army operation against terrorist elements in Sheikh Zuweid, in northern Sinai. The battle for hearts and minds: This week, ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly published a poster detailing the goals of ISIS’s propaganda activity, to which the organization attaches great importance.
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Spotlight on Iran (May 13, 2021 – May 27, 2021)

During the Israeli military operation in Gaza (“Guardian of the Walls”), senior Iranian officials maintained constant contact with the senior leaderships of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On May 22, following the visit of the Iranian minister of foreign affairs to Damascus, Iran opened a consulate in the city of Aleppo. The Iranian minister of defense met with deputies of the ministers of trade and industry in Syria and discussed with them the participation of conglomerates linked to the Iranian ministry of defense in Syria’s reconstruction.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 19-26, 2021)

Syria: ISIS continued its attacks against the SDF in the Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region. In the Al-Raqqah region, two oil tankers of the Al-Qaterji company (which serves the Syrian regime) were targeted by gunfire. In the Aleppo region, a Syrian army camp near the Syrian-Turkish border was targeted by gunfire. Iraq: This week there was a decrease in the number of attacks carried out by the ISIS operatives in the various provinces in the country. Asia: There was a decrease in activity in Afghanistan as well.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 13-20, 2021)

This week, at the end of the month of Ramadan, there was a decrease in ISIS’s activity in the various arenas around the globe. Syria: In the desert region (Al-Badia), ISIS operatives ambushed a Syrian army convoy. Two vehicles and a motorcycle were destroyed and those on board were killed or wounded. This week, there was a significant decrease in the scope of ISIS’s activity in Iraq. Operation Guardian of the Walls in the Gaza Strip and the issue of Jerusalem elicited a variety of statements by jihadist organizations around the globe.
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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.