Iraq

The Establishment of ISIS in Syria in the Lower Euphrates Valley

In November 2017, the city of Albukamal near the Syrian-Iraqi border was taken over by the Syrian army and the pro-Iranian militia forces that support it. The city of Albukamal, which is located near an important border crossing between Syria and Iraq, was the last significant outpost of the Islamic State to fall into the hands of the Syrian forces and their allies.
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Spotlight on Iran (February 18 – March 4, 2018)

While Iran continues to downplay its involvement in the ongoing campaign in eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, emphasized that "the cleansing of the Damascus suburbs controlled by the terrorists" will continue. While Iran continues to downplay its involvement in the ongoing campaign in eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, emphasized that "the cleansing of the Damascus suburbs controlled by the terrorists" will continue. In Iraq, where preparations are underway for the general election in May of this year, Iran continues to pursue its efforts to establish ties with various political and social groups in the country.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 22-28, 2018)

The focus of the fighting in Syria has been moved to the area of eastern Ghouta (east of Damascus. The shift in the focus of the fighting to eastern Ghouta gave a timeout to the rebel organizations in the Idlib region. In various provinces in Iraq, the Iraqi security forces continue to exert pressure on local ISIS networks. The Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate uncovered an ISIS network of 17 operatives.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 15-21, 2018)

In the Euphrates River area north of Albukamal, ISIS operatives continued intensive guerrilla warfare against the SDF forces and the local Syrian forces. ISIS continues to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias (the Popular Mobilization) in the various provinces in Iraq. The Egyptian security forces continue their operation (Sinai 2018) against outposts of ISIS’s Sinai Province. The Egyptian operation is focused on northern Sinai.
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Major Challenges Faced by Iran in the Regional Arena in 2018

The far-reaching political transformations that have occurred in recent years in the Arab world created new opportunities for Iran to increase its regional clout.
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Spotlight on Iran (February 4 – February 18, 2018)

Tehran continues to deny Israeli reports about Iranian involvement in the clashes last weekend in Syria. Meanwhile, senior Iranian officials continue to emphasize that Iran sees the continuation of its involvement in Syria as a vital national interest and that its presence in the country is based on a formal request of the Damascus government. In the Iraqi arena, Iran continues to try and promote its economic role as part of Iraq’s forthcoming reconstruction.
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