Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 12-18, 2020)

The ceasefire in the Idlib region entered into effect on March 15, 2020 following the agreement between Russia and Turkey. The Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham, and probably other rebel organizations as well, launched a campaign to disrupt the movement of the joint Russian and Turkish patrols on the M-4 highway (the Aleppo-Latakia highway. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s attacks continued this week, focusing on the elimination of local SDF intelligence personnel in the Al-Mayadeen-Albukamal region.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 5-11, 2020)

On March 5, 2020, an agreement was signed in Moscow between Russia and Turkey, which is intended to end the fighting in the Idlib region. In the ITIC’s assessment, this is a shaky ceasefire (like its predecessors). In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s intensive attacks continued, mainly in the form of activating IEDs. In Iraq, ISIS’s activity consisted mainly of activating IEDs, sniper fire and targeted killings. With regard to noteworthy ISIS activity abroad, the Khorasan Province recently resumed its activity and carried out two showcase attacks in the capital Kabul
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Spotlight on Iran (February 23, 2020 – March 8, 2020)

In light of the escalating confrontation between Turkey and the forces backing the Assad regime in Idlib, the Advisory Center of the Iranian Military in Syria published an extraordinary statement, threatening to retaliate against Turkey if it persists with its attacks. The former Iraq Prime Minister, Iyad al-Allawi, accused the Adviser of the Supreme Leader of Iran on International Affairs, Ali-Akbar Velayati, of meddling in the process of new government formation in Iraq. Senior Palestinian officials praised the extensive assistance Qasem Soleimani provided to Palestinian militant groups
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 27 – March 4, 2020)

This week, high-intensity battles took place in the Idlib region between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it (including the Lebanese Hezbollah) and the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the other rebel organizations. Against the backdrop of the intensive fighting in the Idlib region, clashes between the Syrian army and the Turkish army escalated this week. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s intensive attacks continued, while in Iraq there was a relative drop in the scope of its activity.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 20-26, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army refrained from making a significant advance towards the city of Idlib. The Syrian and Turkish armies continued to reinforce their troops in the Idlib region. In the Euphrates Valley in Syria, ISIS’s intensive attacks continue, taking the form of planting IEDs, detonating car bombs, and killing fighters and “agents” affiliated with the SDF forces. In ISIS’s provinces abroad, there was an increase in attacks against the Nigerian army, in northeastern Nigeria (dozens of Nigerian army fatalities).
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Spotlight on Iran (February 9, 2020 – February 23, 2020)

Senior Iranian officials avoided commenting regarding reports on deaths among the ranks of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in a strike, carried out in the Damascus area on February 13, which was attributed to Israel. Another fighter of the IRGC was killed in Syria, likely in a strike of an anti-tank guided missile deployed by Syrian rebels in the Aleppo area. In mid-February, the Speaker of the Iranian Majlis, Ali Larijani, conducted an official visit to Syria and Lebanon. Further evidence for the growing challenges facing Iran’s efforts to increase its economic clout in the region.
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