Studies

The significance of the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Initial assessment)

The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdad by an elite American force is a serious blow to ISIS. A charismatic, authoritarian leader, he was the dominant figure in the ISIS leadership. His uniqueness was his unsuccessful attempt, the first of its kind, to establish an Islamic Caliphate, here and now, which would restore to Islam the glory of its beginnings.
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Turkey’s Invasion of Syria and Its Influence on ISIS

On October 9, 2019, the Turkish army launched a broad military operation in northeastern Syria (called "Peace Spring"). Its stated objective is to establish a "safe zone" in Syria, 18-22 miles deep by 250 miles wide from the Euphrates River to the Syria-Iraq border.
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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in an interview with an Iranian magazine affiliated with Supreme Leader Khamenei, emphasizes the importance of its civilian institutions

In September 2019, the Arabic website of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published an interview conducted by the Al-Masir magazine with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Among the issues addressed by Nasrallah in a long interview (about five hours) are Hezbollah’s civilian activity and civilian institutions.
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Iran’s Conduct in Recent Months Indicates a Shift to Direct Military Action over Use of Proxies

Since abandoning its “strategic patience” policy in May 2019, which Iran adopted following the announcement by U.S. President, Donald Trump, in May 2018, to withdraw from the JCPOA and re-impose sanctions against it, Tehran initiated a number of offensive operations in the Persian Gulf region
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Resistance society: Hezbollah’s municipal activity

Hezbollah’s civilian activity also includes the municipal field in municipalities of regions with a Shiite population. In view of the rural nature of most of Shiite society, Hezbollah attaches major importance to local government in towns and villages and maintains regular representation there. Through power positions at the municipal level (see below) and the provision of services to the local residents in cities, towns and villages, Hezbollah wins major influence on the ground.
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Recently, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a new audio recording. The recording apparently reflects his increased self-confidence in view of ISIS’s successful resumption of its activity. He calls on his adherents to step up terrorist attacks worldwide, especially actions promoting the release of ISIS captives from jail.

On September 16, 2019, ISIS’s Al-Furqan media arm released an audio recording of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi entitled “And Say, Do”. The audiotape is about 30 minutes long. Al-Baghdadi tries to raise his operatives’ morale by mentioning ISIS attacks in the various fighting zones (Africa, Afghanistan, and the Far East).
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