Syria

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 19-25, 2020)

In the Idlib region, the ceasefire was generally maintained, with the exception of local incidents, one of which resulted in the deaths of two Turkish soldiers. In the meantime, there is an imminent threat of an uncontrollable outbreak of the coronavirus in the Idlib region, where there are about one million refugees, living in substandard conditions in refugee camps and makeshift facilities. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS continued its activity in the form of sniper fire, launching rockets at an SDF headquarters, eliminating an “agent,” and activating an IED against a vehicle. ISIS operatives in the various provinces continued their routine activity this week.
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Initial Assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Iran’s Regional Activities

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis finds Iran is one of the toughest points in its modern history. The withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear agreement (the JCPOA) and re-imposition of economic sanctions exacerbated the economic troubles the country is facing, pushing Iran’s economy to an unprecedented crisis.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 8, 2020 – March 22, 2020)

Iran, which is currently busy dealing with the Corona virus outbreak, is still maintaining its effort to affect developments in Syria and Iraq, although the magnitude of the crisis may challenge its ability to continue pursuing this policy over time.
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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 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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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.