Iraq

Spotlight on Iran (June 24 – July 8, 2018)

The campaign in Syria continues to exact a price from Iranian forces. As reports emerge about negotiations between the United States and Russia concerning Syria’s future and military operations intensify in the country, Tehran and Moscow continue to deliberate concerning developments in Syria. While negotiations concerning the establishment of a new government in Baghdad continue apace, the National Security Adviser of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Faleh Fayyad, visited Tehran and met senior Iranian officials. Internal public criticism of Tehran’s policy of investing beyond the country’s borders, and in particular the support for the Assad regime, Hezbollah and the Palestinians is growing in Iran, as Iranian citizens face a worsening economic crisis.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 28 – July 4, 2018)

The main event of this past week was the progress of the Syrian army in the eastern enclave of the rebel organizations (east and northeast of Daraa) with the support of the Russian and Syrian air forces. The Syrian army is supported by Iraqi Shiite militias handled by Iran, but their weight in the Syrian order of battle participating in the campaign appears to be insignificant. In the wake of the fighting, there is a mass exodus of an estimated 270,000 displaced persons (UN website, updated to July 2, 2018).
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 21-27, 2018)

The battle in southern Syria has begun: After a few weeks of preparation, the Syrian army launched an attack against the rebel organizations in southern Syria. The attack is concentrated on a rebel-controlled enclave northeast of Daraa, extending from the Syrian-Jordanian border to a distance of about 70 km northwards. The objective of the attack, in the ITIC’s assessment, is to divide the enclave by taking over the village of Basr al-Harir (located around 40 km from the Syrian-Jordanian border).
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 14-20, 2018)

The Syrian army continued reinforcing its troops in the Daraa region and preparing for an attack in southern Syria. On June 18, 2018, an airstrike was carried out near the city of Albukamal against Iraqi Shiite militias - handled by Iran on Syrian soil. ISIS continued its intensive terror and guerrilla activity in Afghanistan
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Spotlight on Iran (June 10 – June 21, 2018)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asserted once again that Iran’s military presence in Syria is limited to that of “advisers” alone. The Commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, labeled the results of the latest elections in Lebanon “a great victory” for Hezbollah. Iran continues to maintain political and security coordination with its partners in the campaigns in Syria and Iraq.
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Officer and fighter in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, senior Hezbollah officer, and Shiite militia operatives killed in ISIS attacks in Albukamal. The Albukamal border crossing is of major importance to Iran since a route promoting Iran’s strategic interests in Syria and Lebanon passes through it.

During the first half of June 2018, ISIS carried out several attacks against the city of Albukamal near the border between Syria and Iraq. The city and its surroundings are defended by forces of the Syrian army, supported by Shiite forces handled by Iranian officers of the Revolutionary Guards.
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