Syria

Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 7-13, 2021)

Last week, ISIS published several infographics, summing up the activity of its provinces in Iraq and Syria in 2020. The Iraqi Province remains the epicenter of ISIS’s activity and reorganization. The Syria Province is in second place among the various provinces in the volume of attacks (593). The West Africa Province (Nigeria and its neighbors): This province ranks third among ISIS’s provinces in the number of attacks (385) and first in terms of the number of fatalities in these attacks. The Sinai Peninsula: In the northern Sinai Peninsula, ISIS operatives continued to carry out successful guerrilla attacks against the Egyptian security forces, which repeatedly failed to provide an effective response to ISIS’s activity. Afghanistan (Khorasan Province): In Afghanistan, ISIS recovered from the blow that it had suffered at the hands of the Afghan army with US support in the Nangarhar Province (southwest of Kabul).
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Spotlight on Iran (December 27, 2020 – January 10, 2021)

Over the past week, ceremonies to commemorate Qasem Soleimani were held in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza. The anniversary of the killing of Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was used by Iran and its proxies to stress Iran’s support for the “resistance axis” and the central role Soleimani played in developing the military capabilities of Iran’s proxies in the region, particularly in enlarging and increasing the deadliness of their arsenals rockets and missiles.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 31, 2020 – January 6, 2021)

This year’s Christmas festivities throughout the Christian world, which were held on a limited scale due to the spread of COVID-19, passed without attacks by ISIS supporters, despite their public threats. Routine attacks continued in ISIS’s various provinces in Syria, Iraq and throughout Africa and Europe. Syria: ISIS operatives continued their intensive activity in the desert region west of the Euphrates Valley. Iraq: ISIS’s activity in northern and western Iraq focused on activating IEDs and sniper fire, and attacks on the Iraqi security forces, with no unusual incidents.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 24-30, 2020)

Like every year, ISIS supporters have posted posters on social media threatening to carry out attacks against Christians around the world with the approach of Christmas. In practice, no such terrorist attacks have been carried out to date by ISIS operatives or their supporters. In Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria, ISIS claimed responsibility for burning down houses and churches in Christian villages (although it is unclear whether this was done in the context of Christmas).
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Spotlight on Iran (December 13, 2020 – December 27, 2020)

In recent days, senior Syrian officials declared that Damascus does not intend to demand the withdrawal of Iranian forces from the country. An adviser to President Assad stated that Syria does not demand the departure of Iran or Hezbollah from the country, and that Russia too can not ask Syria to remove Iranian forces from its territory. Syrian sources reported about an agreement reached between Iran and Russia concerning the deployment of their forces in the Albu Kamal region along the Syrian-Iraqi border. In an interview to an Afghan television station, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, discussed the activities of the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade, a militia operating under the guidance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 17-23, 2020)

Routine attacks continued in ISIS’s various provinces in Syria, Iraq and throughout Africa and Asia. Noteworthy examples . Syria: routine activity continued in the area of Deir al-Zor and Al-Mayadeen and in the desert region west of the Euphrates Valley. Prominent modus operandi of ISIS’s attacks included targeted killings and the activation of IEDs against vehicles and soldiers of the SDF and the Syrian army. Iraq: the activity in northern and western Iraq consisted primarily of activating IEDs and targeted killings. The Iraqi Counterterrorism Unit has issued a report summarizing its activity against ISIS in 2020. According to the report, in the past year, 206 ISIS operatives were killed and 292 were apprehended.
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Syria

Syria is a central factor in the Arab-Israeli conflict and has been in conflict with the State of Israel since its establishment. Syria’s basic position rejects the Zionist idea and views the State of Israel as a foreign element that must be uprooted. Since its establishment, Syria has led the political and military struggle against pre-state Israel and the State of Israel. Syria is demanding that Israel give up its control over an area of about 1,200 square kilometers in the Golan Heights, which was occupied by Israel in 1967. In view of its profound hostility to Israel, Syria has supported the Palestinian terrorist organizations and Hezbollah for many years. Syria was designated as a terrorism-supporting state by the US State Department back in 1979.  

Despite repeated attempts since the early 1990s to reach a peace agreement with Syria, an official state of war still exists between it and Israel. These relations have been influenced by the involvement of elements such as the Soviet Union and Iran, Syria’s relations with other Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon) and its relations with the Palestinians. These relations have also been influenced by the fact that Syria perceives Israel’s territory as part of what it calls Greater Syria.

Since early 2011, there has been a civil war in Syria between President Bashar Assad and the forces loyal to him, and rebel organizations with various ideologies and political orientation. The civil war has led to the destruction of the country’s infrastructure, the removal of Syria from the Arab League, and tension in its relations with Sunni countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey). Syria’s relations with the United States and Western countries have also deteriorated. On the other hand, the Syrian regime is supported by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, and by Shiite militias supported by Iran.