Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (24-30 August 2017)

This week Islamic State (ISIS) suffered two more setbacks, tagged onto a string of failures: SIS was forced to agree to a ceasefire with Hezbollah, under which it evacuated its operatives from the West Qalamoun mountains The city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, fell within a week into the hands of the Iraqi forces and the “Popular Mobilization” (Shiite militias sponsored by Iran).
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Iran in the Post-Islamic State Era: Aims, Opportunities and Challenges

The “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria is undergoing a process of disintegration and ISIS will return to its “natural state” of a jihadist terror organization, not a “state” with territorial borders. The defeats experienced by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, central among them the loss of Mosul, the battle in Raqqa and the advances of Syrian forces in Deir Ezzor, create new opportunities for Iran to increase its influence in Syria, Iraq and the entire Middle East.
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Spotlight on Iran (August 13 – 27, 2017)

As part of the growing Iranian involvement in Syria’s economy, about 30 Iranian companies took part in the international trade fair, held in mid-August in Damascus Iran continues to watch the upcoming independence referendum in the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Tehran continues to warily monitor the efforts of Saudi Arabia to improve its relations with Iraq and senior Shi'ite leaders, chief among them the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who visited the kingdom in late July.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 17 – 23, 2017)

ISIS, which is facing growing pressure in Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility for three terrorist attacks this week. It is unclear whether there is a connection between the attacks in these countries. On the ground, the pressure on ISIS continues.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 10 – 16, 2017)

Syria - the fighting in Al-Raqqah is still bogged down, and the SDF forces are encountering fierce resistance. Iraq - the campaign to take over the city of Tal Afar from ISIS began, with the participation of the Iraqi army and the Iranian-affiliated Shiite militias (“the Popular Resistance”).
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Spotlight on Iran (July 30 – August 13, 2017)

A bloody week for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Forces (IRGC) in Syria. Iran is clearly concerned with the improvement in relations between Saudi Arabia and the Baghdad. Hamas-Iran ties continue to improve.
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