Syria is preparing to open the new, upgraded Albukamal Border Crossing with Iraq, with Iran support. The crossing is expected to serve as an Iranian land bridge through Iraq to Syria and from there to Lebanon.

The Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese media recently reported that preparations were made to open the Albukamal border crossing between Syria and Iraq. So far no formal statement has been issued regarding the date of its opening. According to a number of reports the crossing is supposed to open within two months. The preparations included security coordination meetings held in Damascus and attended by high-ranking Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian military commanders.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 18-24, 2019)

The Syrian army’s ground offensive against the rebel organizations in the Idlib region is still bogged down. Since the fall of ISIS’s stronghold in the Lower Euphrates River, there has been a clear and ongoing increase in the scope and intensity of ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity throughout Syria. In Iraq, the extensive security operation against ISIS continues. In ISIS’s various provinces in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, “routine” activity continued.

The “Foundation of the Oppressed” – A Tool for Entrenching Iranian Influence in Iraq and Syria

“The Foundation of the Oppressed” is the largest charitable foundation in Iran and the second largest economic entity in the country. Since the late 1980s, the Foundation of the Oppressed has become a large economic holding company controlling firms and groups in the sectors of services, industry, mining, energy, construction and agriculture.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 11-17, 2019)

The Syrian army’s ground offensive against the rebel organizations in the Idlib area is still bogged down. The Iraqi security forces’ extensive security operation in northern and western Iraq continues. There have been reports on the arrest of ISIS operatives, destruction of tunnels and logistics facilities, and seizure of car bombs. In ISIS’s various provinces in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, routine activity continued: In Afghanistan.

Spotlight on Iran (June 30, 2019 – July 14, 2019)

Iran, Russia and Turkey are preparing for another summit of the three countries’ presidents, set to be held in Ankara in August. In recent weeks, Iran has stepped up efforts to expand its economic influence in Syria and Iraq, signaling its desire to increase its economic clout in the region. Following the completion of formation of the new Iraqi cabinet, the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad met with the incoming Iraqi Minister of Interior, Yassin al-Yasiri, while the Iranian military attaché to Baghdad met with the incoming Minister of Defense. The commentator Hamza Abu Shanab, published an article in which he detailed Iranian assistance to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The Imam Al-Mahdi Scouts Association: Hezbollah’s youth movement which indoctrinates youth with Iranian radical Shiite Islam and serves as a source of youngsters who join Hezbollah

Hezbollah maintains an extensive network of social foundations in the Shiite community in Lebanon. These foundations deal with healthcare, education, finance, welfare, and media. They support Hezbollah’s military infrastructure. They also serve as a means of disseminating Hezbollah’s ideology and strengthening its position among the Shiite community and in Lebanon in general.

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