Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 18-24, 2018)

In the Idlib enclave, there is still no progress in the establishment of the demilitarized zone, even after the extension for the implementation of the Sochi agreement. In eastern Syria, the Kurdish SDF forces continue to attack the ISIS enclave north of Albukamal, with Coalition air support. In the area of As-Suwayda, in southern Syria, ISIS continues its relentless fighting against the Syrian army. A ceasefire was achieved in order to enable a deal to be carried out in which six Druze abductees (two women and their four children) were released in exchange for wives of ISIS operatives detained by the Syrian regime
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Spotlight on Iran (October 7, 2018 – October 21, 2018)

Iran is intensifying the efforts to entrench its economic hold in the region. Syrian opposition sources reported in recent weeks that Iran removed all of its forces from the T-4 airbase near Homs and from the Deir Ezzor region in eastern Syria. Following the new appointments for Iraq’s top leadership positions, the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad met, for the first time, Iraq’s new President
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 11-17, 2018)

The establishment of the demilitarized zone in the Idlib region, which was agreed upon between Russia and Turkey at the Sochi summit, was not actually carried out on the ground (it was supposed to end on October 15, 2018). In eastern Syria, the SDF continues its offensive against the ISIS enclaves in the Euphrates Valley north of Albukamal, with the support of the United States and the Coalition.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 4-10, 2018)

Operatives of the National Liberation Front (which is affiliated with the Free Syrian Army and operates under the protection of Turkey and with its support) began implementing the Russian-Turkish agreement and withdrawing heavy weapons from the Idlib area, which has been declared a demilitarized zone. In the area to the north of Albukamal, SDF forces, with the help of International Coalition forces, continue to attack ISIS outposts. The center of the fighting was in the Al-Susah area. ISIS continues to threaten targets in European countries, this time focusing on concerts such as the May 2017 attack in Manchester, England.
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Spotlight on Iran (September 20, 2018 – October 7, 2018)

In response to an attack that took place on September 22 against a military parade in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran, on the night of October 1, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched six ballistic missiles toward the Albu Kamal region in eastern Syria. Iran and Russia continue to deliberate regarding Syria. Iran is accelerating its efforts to expand its economic influence in post-war Syria. In Iraq, Iran made gains in the competition with the United States surrounding the formation of a new government in Baghdad. Iran welcomed the election of Ziad Nakhala as the new Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 17 – October 3, 2018)

On September 17, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met in Sochi, Russia. Their talks centered on the Syrian regime’s planned attack on the rebel organizations in the Idlib area. The Sochi agreement marks a breakthrough in the contacts between Russia, Turkey, and Iran to resolve the situation in Idlib, after. On September 22, 2018, five armed operatives in Ahwaz, southern Iran, attacked a parade by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. As a result, Iran responded by firing missiles and carrying out drone attacks against ISIS targets in the Albukamal area.
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