Studies

Has ISIS Been Defeated? Overview and possible developments after the fall of ISIS’s enclave in the lower Euphrates Valley

On March 23, 2019 the SDF Kurdish forces announced that they had destroyed the ISIS forces and brought to an end their control over the last pocket in the village of al-Baghuz. Thus the campaign waged by the SDF and their American and coalition supporters ended, after more than six months of battle.
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ISIS’s Response to the Fall of Their Last Stronghold in al-Baghuz

On the eve of the fall of al-Baghuz Fawqani, the last stronghold of ISIS in the lower Euphrates Valley, ISIS began a media campaign. Its objectives are to encourage the organization's fighters and supporters, and to send the message that ISIS has lost the battle but not the war. A key person in the campaign is ISIS spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajer.
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ISIS military activity in northwestern Tunisia, possibly in advance of establishing a new province in this country

Recently, media outlets affiliated with ISIS reported on military activity carried out by ISIS in northwestern Tunisia. The focus of this activity is Al-Qasrin Province in the western part of the country, near the border with Algeria. The Tunisian security forces carry out counterterrorist activities against the ISIS networks, reportedly having killed the leader (emir) of ISIS in Tunisia in one of them (Tunisian News Agency, March 19, 2019).
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Ali Mussa Daqduq (Abu Hussein Sajed): portrait of the commander of Hezbollah’s military network in the Syrian Golan Heights (“the Golan Portfolio”)

The IDF spokesman recently exposed the existence of a military network which Hezbollah started to establish in the Syrian Golan Heights since the summer of 2018 (following the Syrian army’s takeover of the Golan Heights from the rebels, with Hezbollah operatives alongside the Syrian army ). The network includes dozens of operatives residing in the villages of the northern Golan Heights who are also equipped with weapons. The network structure, referred to as “the Golan Portfolio,” is still at the first stages of establishing its presence near the Israeli border and has not yet reached operational capability.
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Protest Demonstrations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip because of Economic Distress

During the past few days the economic distress in the Gaza Strip has led to protest demonstrations against Hamas. The demonstrators protest the high cost of living, unemployment and the taxes imposed by Hamas, with the slogan is "We want to live." The demonstrations began a few days ago in the southern Gaza Strip but quickly spread throughout the Gaza Strip, including to Gaza City. So far it is unclear if the demonstrations were spontaneous or organized.
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ISIS’s media response to the imminent defeat in the village of Al-Baghouz

While the fighting in Al-Baghouz is drawing to a close, ISIS released a video entitled “The significance of the steadfastness in Al-Baghouz.” The messages of the video are intended to cope with the (additional) blow sustained by ISIS, by emphasizing that the loss in the battle does not indicate a loss in the campaign, which is not over yet, and it is too early to declare ISIS’s defeat (a video released by ISIS’s Al-Barakah Province through Shabakat Shumukh, March 11, 2019).
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