Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 27 – March 4, 2020)

This week, high-intensity battles took place in the Idlib region between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it (including the Lebanese Hezbollah) and the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the other rebel organizations. Against the backdrop of the intensive fighting in the Idlib region, clashes between the Syrian army and the Turkish army escalated this week. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s intensive attacks continued, while in Iraq there was a relative drop in the scope of its activity.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 20-26, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army refrained from making a significant advance towards the city of Idlib. The Syrian and Turkish armies continued to reinforce their troops in the Idlib region. In the Euphrates Valley in Syria, ISIS’s intensive attacks continue, taking the form of planting IEDs, detonating car bombs, and killing fighters and “agents” affiliated with the SDF forces. In ISIS’s provinces abroad, there was an increase in attacks against the Nigerian army, in northeastern Nigeria (dozens of Nigerian army fatalities).
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Spotlight on Iran (February 9, 2020 – February 23, 2020)

Senior Iranian officials avoided commenting regarding reports on deaths among the ranks of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in a strike, carried out in the Damascus area on February 13, which was attributed to Israel. Another fighter of the IRGC was killed in Syria, likely in a strike of an anti-tank guided missile deployed by Syrian rebels in the Aleppo area. In mid-February, the Speaker of the Iranian Majlis, Ali Larijani, conducted an official visit to Syria and Lebanon. Further evidence for the growing challenges facing Iran’s efforts to increase its economic clout in the region.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 13-19, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army’s campaign for the takeover of Idlib, with Russian air support and political backing, centered on the western neighborhoods of Aleppo and the rural areas west and northwest of the city. Because of the fighting, hundreds of thousands of displaced persons continue to flee the battle zones, mainly to areas near the Turkish border. This week, nearly 150,000 displaced persons reportedly fled. Turkish President Erdoğan and other senior Turkish officials continue to threaten to exert force against the Syrian army if it does not withdraw to the area where it was deployed at the time of the Sochi Conference (2018) by the end of February 2020. This week, ISIS continued its intensive activity in the Euphrates Valley and other areas in Syria. On the other hand, in Iraq, ISIS carried out relatively low-intensity activity.
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The Killing of Qasem Soleimani is a Major Loss to Iran, But May Serve as an Opportunity to Reexamine Iran’s Modus Operandi in the Region

The killing of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, in early 2020, dealt a serious blow to Iran’s ability to promote its strategic goals in the Middle East.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 6-12, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army, with Russian air support, continued its attack on the Idlib region and managed to take over the city of Saraqib The Syrian army is now preparing to take over the city of Idlib. Violent friction continues between the Syrian army and Turkish forces in the area where the Syrian forces operate. The Syrian General Staff announced that the Turkish attacks would not prevent the Syrian army from continuing its military operation in the Idlib area and Aleppo. This week saw decrease in its activity in the Iraqi arena. Outside of these two “core countries,” ISIS’s Sinai Province carried out intensive activity.
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