Syria

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 13-19, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army’s campaign for the takeover of Idlib, with Russian air support and political backing, centered on the western neighborhoods of Aleppo and the rural areas west and northwest of the city. Because of the fighting, hundreds of thousands of displaced persons continue to flee the battle zones, mainly to areas near the Turkish border. This week, nearly 150,000 displaced persons reportedly fled. Turkish President Erdoğan and other senior Turkish officials continue to threaten to exert force against the Syrian army if it does not withdraw to the area where it was deployed at the time of the Sochi Conference (2018) by the end of February 2020. This week, ISIS continued its intensive activity in the Euphrates Valley and other areas in Syria. On the other hand, in Iraq, ISIS carried out relatively low-intensity activity.
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The Killing of Qasem Soleimani is a Major Loss to Iran, But May Serve as an Opportunity to Reexamine Iran’s Modus Operandi in the Region

The killing of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, in early 2020, dealt a serious blow to Iran’s ability to promote its strategic goals in the Middle East.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 6-12, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army, with Russian air support, continued its attack on the Idlib region and managed to take over the city of Saraqib The Syrian army is now preparing to take over the city of Idlib. Violent friction continues between the Syrian army and Turkish forces in the area where the Syrian forces operate. The Syrian General Staff announced that the Turkish attacks would not prevent the Syrian army from continuing its military operation in the Idlib area and Aleppo. This week saw decrease in its activity in the Iraqi arena. Outside of these two “core countries,” ISIS’s Sinai Province carried out intensive activity.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 30 – February 5, 2020)

The Syrian army, with Russian air support, continued to advance towards Idlib. The Syrian army’s operation in an area where there are Turkish observation posts, and hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled from the battle zones (some towards the border with Turkey), have created friction on the ground and diplomatic tension between Turkey and Syria (which enjoys Russian support). On February 2, 2020, a Muslim terrorist, a released prisoner with a jihadist ideology, carried out a stabbing attack in south London
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ISIS’s spokesman calls on Muslims around the globe to spearhead the struggle to thwart President Trump’s plan and calls on ISIS operatives in Sinai and Syria to attack Israeli communities

On January 27, 2020, ISIS’s new spokesman released an audiotape with an explicit call on ISIS operatives in Sinai and Syria to attack Israeli communities and turn them into a proving ground for ISIS’s weapons. In addition, he calls on Muslims in Palestine and worldwide to spearhead the struggle to thwart US President Trump's Deal of the Century.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 23-29, 2020)

The Syrian forces, with Russian air support, took the initiative once again and carried out attacks in the Idlib region this week. ISIS continued its activity in the Euphrates Valley and the Al-Hasakah region in eastern and northeastern Syria. This week, ISIS carried out intensive activity in the provinces outside its core countries, i.e., Iraq and Syria. The most prominent attacks were carried out in northern Sinai and Africa (mainly in northeastern Nigeria and in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo). On January 27, 2020, ISIS’s new spokesman released an audiotape which included an unusual and explicit call on ISIS operatives in Sinai and Syria to attack Israeli communities
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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.