Iraq

Spotlight on Iran (April 5, 2020 – April 19, 2020)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage Iran and the world, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Shi’ite militias backed by Iran continue to entrench their presence in Syria. Iran welcomed the appointment the Director of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS), Mustafa al-Kazemi, to the position of prime minister-designate. Meanwhile, Iran continues to stress the need for a complete pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, senior Iranian officials joined Hamas’ call for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (April 2-6, 2020)

In the Idlib region, the ceasefire continued, with occasional exchanges of artillery fire. In the background is the rival sides’ fear of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Idlib region. In the Euphrates Valley in Syria, ISIS’s intensive activity continued, despite the threat of COVID-19. In the Iraqi arena as well, ISIS’s intensive activity continues. In Afghanistan, ISIS suffered a severe blow with the capture of the Emir (leader) of the Khorasan Province along with senior commanders of the organization (according to a report issued by the Afghan National Intelligence Directorate).
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 26 – April 1, 2020)

In the Idlib region, the ceasefire was generally maintained, with the exception of local incidents of artillery fire between the Syrian army and rebel organizations. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS has continued its intensive activity against the SDF. In Iraq, there has been an increase in ISIS’s activity in recent weeks. Among ISIS’s provinces outside Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan was prominent this week.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 19-25, 2020)

In the Idlib region, the ceasefire was generally maintained, with the exception of local incidents, one of which resulted in the deaths of two Turkish soldiers. In the meantime, there is an imminent threat of an uncontrollable outbreak of the coronavirus in the Idlib region, where there are about one million refugees, living in substandard conditions in refugee camps and makeshift facilities. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS continued its activity in the form of sniper fire, launching rockets at an SDF headquarters, eliminating an “agent,” and activating an IED against a vehicle. ISIS operatives in the various provinces continued their routine activity this week.
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Initial Assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Iran’s Regional Activities

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis finds Iran is one of the toughest points in its modern history. The withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear agreement (the JCPOA) and re-imposition of economic sanctions exacerbated the economic troubles the country is facing, pushing Iran’s economy to an unprecedented crisis.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 8, 2020 – March 22, 2020)

Iran, which is currently busy dealing with the Corona virus outbreak, is still maintaining its effort to affect developments in Syria and Iraq, although the magnitude of the crisis may challenge its ability to continue pursuing this policy over time.
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