Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 19-25, 2019)

The unilateral ceasefire in the Idlib region declared by the Syrian army was also maintained this week. At the same time, artillery exchanges continued, and the Syrian army apparently thwarted local attempted assault by the rebel organizations. ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity continued this week in various sectors in eastern Syria. In the various provinces in Iraq, ISIS’s terror and guerrilla activity continued. ISIS’s “routine” attacks continued in its various provinces in Africa and Asia. This week, among others, attacks were carried out in Nigeria, Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Recently, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a new audio recording. The recording apparently reflects his increased self-confidence in view of ISIS’s successful resumption of its activity. He calls on his adherents to step up terrorist attacks worldwide, especially actions promoting the release of ISIS captives from jail.

On September 16, 2019, ISIS’s Al-Furqan media arm released an audio recording of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi entitled “And Say, Do”. The audiotape is about 30 minutes long. Al-Baghdadi tries to raise his operatives’ morale by mentioning ISIS attacks in the various fighting zones (Africa, Afghanistan, and the Far East).

Spotlight on Iran (September 8, 2019 – September 22, 2019)

On September 16, the fifth round of talks between the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey concerning Syria’s future was held in Ankara. Dozens of Iranian companies participated in the fifth Damascus International Fair on reconstruction of the country, which was held in the Syrian capital in mid-September. Following attacks attributed to Israel against targets in western Iraq and ongoing escalation between Iran and the United States, Iran and the Shi’ite militias in Iraq are expanding their coordination. Iran rejected U.S. claims about its direct involvement is striking two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on September 14. Despite the responsibility claim by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the United States blamed Iran for the attack, which significantly disrupted Saudi Arabia’s oil output.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 12-18, 2019)

The unilateral ceasefire in the Idlib region declared by the Syrian army (August 31, 2019) was generally maintained and occasionally interrupted by Syrian (and possibly also Russian) airstrikes and artillery fire. In Iraq, ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity continues. In the various provinces in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, ISIS’s “routine” attacks continued. Special attention should be paid to Al-Baghdadi’s calls on the organization’s operatives to attack judges, investigators and security personnel at prisons where ISIS operatives are incarcerated.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 5-11, 2019)

With the exception of several local shooting incidents, as at September 10, 2019, the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Syrian army in the Idlib area is being maintained. According to a report by the Turkish Ministry of Defense, as part of the first phase of the plan to establish the safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, joint patrols by US and Turkish army forces along the Syria-Turkey border have begun. ISIS’s terrorist and guerilla warfare activities continued in Syria and Iraq. ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued to carry out “routine” attacks. This week, attacks were reported in the Sinai Peninsula, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Yemen.

Spotlight on Iran (August 25 – September 8, 2019)

The responses of senior Iranian officials to the Israeli strike in Syria on August 24, which aimed to stop the launch of attack drones toward Israel, reflected a media strategy intended to prevent Iran’s implication in the operation. In the economic domain, Iran and Syria continue to expand their cooperation in the spheres of finance and trade. The Iranian consul in Erbil met with the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in northern Iraq and discussed ways to expand ties between Iran and the Kurdish region. A senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official declared in an interview with a Palestinian news website that his organization does not take orders, but only support, from Iran.

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