Spotlight on Iran (November 1, 2020 – November 15, 2020)

The Senior Adviser to the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali-Asghar Khaji visited Damascus and met with President Assad and discussed the ongoing negotiations process concerning the settlement of the war in Syria, regional developments and bilateral relations. The Iranian deputy minister of defense visited Baghdad at the helm of a delegation made up of senior military and security officials, and met with high-ranking Iraqi officials, chief among them the national security adviser and the Iraqi minister of interior. Growing Iranian concerns about efforts to stymie its economic activity in Syria and Iraq. Iranian media outlets reported that the agreement, reached during the visit to Iraq of the governor of the Iranian Central Bank concerning the release of Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks, is gradually being implemented.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (November 5-11, 2020)

In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations, mainly Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). ISIS continues its routine activity in the various provinces. At the propaganda level, ISIS’s campaign for terrorist attacks against the West in general, and France in particular, continues. This included posters on Instagram in Arabic, English and French, showing Europe/the West going up in smoke and the Eiffel Tower in ruins.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 29- November 4, 2020)

The main event of the week was a shooting attack in the Vienna city center, carried out by a young ISIS supporter of Albanian descent who grew up in Austria. In addition, two terrorist attacks were carried out in France this week, as part of the wave of jihadi terrorism following the beheading of a history teacher. Concurrently with the wave of jihadi terrorist attacks, ISIS is conducting a media campaign calling its supporters to carry out terrorist attacks against Western countries in general and France in particular. As part of this campaign, ISIS supporters were called on to carry out attacks in every possible way: using bombs, knives, bullets, vehicles “and even kicking or punching.”

Spotlight on Iran (October 18, 2020 – November 1, 2020)

The new Iranian trade center was officially inaugurated in Damascus. The Representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader to Syria, Abolfazl Tabatabaei Ashkezari, completed his tenure in Syria and was replaced by Hamid Saffar Harandi. The U.S. Treasury Department announced the imposition of sanctions on the Iranian Ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi. In late October, the secretary general of the Iraqi Shia pro-Iranian militia, Harakat al-Nujabaa’, visited Tehran and met with senior Iranian officials. Iran appointed - for the first time after five years - Hassan Eyrolou, its new ambassador to Yemen.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 22-28, 2020)

In the Idlib region, two airstrikes were carried out last week by Syria and Russia: Russian fighter jets attacked a training camp of the Turkish-sponsored rebel organization Faylaq al-Sham (dozens killed, more than 100 wounded). The reason for this is unclear. ISIS has announced a new campaign of attacks, entitled Raids of Response to the Call (i.e., response to the call of ISIS’s spokesman last week). To date, ISIS has carried out over 50 attacks as part of the campaign, most of them in Iraq (27), but the two most noteworthy attacks were carried out in Afghanistan.

Analysis of the new statement of ISIS spokesman following the normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain

On October 18, 2020, ISIS’s Al-Furqan Media Foundation released an audiotape of the organization’s spokesman Abu Hamza Al-Qurashi. The title of the tape is a verse from the Quran – “So narrate to them stories of the past, so perhaps they will reflect ”. In the 32-minute tape, the spokesman calls for the overthrow of the “tyrannical” rulers in Arab countries, following the normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.

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