Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (November 16-22, 2017)

This week marked the end of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, which was declared by ISIS’s leader on June 29, 2014. The Islamic State has collapsed, but ISIS continues to exist as a terrorist and guerrilla organization in Syria, Iraq and abroad. Over the past two months, ISIS’s Khorasan Province (Afghanistan/Pakistan) has carried out four mass-casualty suicide bombing attacks in the capital Kabul.
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The Collapse of the Islamic State: What Comes Next?

On the ground, the Islamic State no longer exists as a functioning territorial entity. It has lost almost all of its territories, including its "capital cities" of Mosul and Raqqa, as well as its core territories along the Euphrates in Iraq and Syria. Apparently, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's vision of an Islamic Caliphate has come to an end, at least for the time being, although ISIS still maintains a presence in Syria and Iraq, and will continue to exist.
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Spotlight on Iran (October 29 – November 12, 2017)

Iranian reactions to the resignation of the Lebanese prime minister. In light of the Assad regime’s gains in the campaign against ISIS, Iran is persisting with its effort vis-à-vis the leaderships of Syria and Russia to shape the Syrian arena. In Iraq, Iran has intensified its efforts to increase its economic foothold in the post-ISIS era.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 26 – November 1, 2017)

A ramming attack was carried out this week in New York City (Lower Manhattan) on a bicycle path, by means of a rented pickup truck. In Syria and Iraq, Syrian and Iraqi forces are advancing in the Euphrates Valley in order to take over the last remaining “core areas” along the Euphrates River still under ISIS’s control, in the area between Rawa and Al-Qaim (Iraq) and Abu Kamal (Syria). In the ITIC’s assessment, the return of the foreign fighters to their home countries is expected to pose a serious security problem.
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Spotlight on Iran (October 15-29, 2017)

At the center of events of the past two weeks was the visit to Syria of the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri. Alongside its military effort, Iran is acting to increase its reliagious influence in Syria. The visit of the Commander of the Qods Force of the IRGC, Qasem Soleimani, to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq was at the center of events in Iraq.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 19-25, 2017)

The predominantly Kurdish SDF officially announced this week that the city of Al-Raqqah had been fully liberated. The United States and the Kurds are trying to enlist the Saudis to assist in the rebuilding of Al-Raqqah. This week, around 200 ISIS operatives were evacuated from the town of Al-Qaryatayn, southeast of Homs.
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