Syria

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 15-21, 2020)

In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), albeit at a somewhat lower intensity. In Iraq, Syria and the Sinai Peninsula, ISIS has continued its routine activity. ISIS Spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi released an audiotape in which he calls, inter alia, for the overthrow of the “tyrannical” Arab rulers, against the backdrop of the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Read more...

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

Negotiations are continuing apace between Iran and Russia concerning the war in Syria: following the visit of the Iranian minister of foreign affairs to Moscow in late September, the Iranian ambassador met with the Russian deputy foreign minister and discussed developments in Syria. The bodies of eight fighters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who were killed in the vicinity of the town of Khan Touman southwest of Aleppo city, were identified as part of ongoing efforts of the IRGC in Syria to identify the location of dozens of Iranian fighters who have gone missing in action during the Syrian civil war. Media sources in Iraq reported that the Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, Esmail Qa’ani, arrived for a visit in Baghdad and met with senior commanders of the Shia militias, as part of ongoing discussions between the Iraqi government, the Shia militias and the Iranian regime.
Read more...

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 1-14, 2020)

In the Idlib area, there was an increase in the intensity of the incidents between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Syrian army in the first half of October 2020. At the same time, HTS is carrying out intensive military activity against rival jihadist groups with the aim of strengthening its control in the Idlib region. Routine activity continued in ISIS’s various provinces. The Syrian Democratic Council, the civilian wing of the SDF, announced (October 5, 2020) its intention to release 25,000 wives and children of ISIS operatives detained in the Al-Hawl camp. The intention is to release them gradually.
Read more...

Spotlight on Iran (September 20, 2020 – October 1, 2020)

On September 23, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, arrived for a visit in Moscow and met with his Russian colleague. The Iranian minister of energy conducted a video call with the Syrian minister of water, during which the two agreed to establish a strategic committee to facilitate the implementation the bilateral cooperation agreement in the water sector, which was signed last year by the two countries. On September 26, the Iraqi foreign minister arrived for a two-day visit in Tehran, during which he met with senior Iranian government officials. At the same time, a military delegation headed by the deputy Iranian Chief of Staff for International Affairs arrived for a visit in Baghdad.
Read more...

ISIS gaining in strength in the Iraqi arena

Following the collapse of the Islamic caliphate, ISIS is undergoing a process of change, being transformed from a state-like entity, which in its heyday (2014) controlled vast territories in Iraq and Syria, to a terrorist and guerrilla organization. In the ITIC's assessment, about 5,000-6,000 operatives are active in ISIS’s Iraq Province furthering processes of rehabilitation and reorganization (which are still ongoing).
Read more...

Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 24-30, 2020)

In the Idlib region, the incidents continued, consisting mainly of exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued their routine activity. One noteworthy attack this week was carried out by West Africa Province operatives who attacked a convoy of the Nigerian security forces escorting residents returning to their homes, killing dozens of soldiers and policemen.
Read more...

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.