Syria

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 25 – April 7, 2021)

The main event was the takeover of the city of Palma by operatives of ISIS’s Central Africa Province. Syria: In the Idlib region, artillery exchanges continued between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it and the rebel forces. Iraq: ISIS’s activity in the past two weeks focused on carrying out attacks against police and army posts in the Kirkuk Province. The Sinai Peninsula: Over the past two weeks, ISIS operatives continued to carry out targeted attacks against the Egyptian security forces, as well as abducting civilians suspected of collaborating with the security forces.
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Analysis of the activity of ISIS’s branches in Congo and Mozambique following the imposition of US sanctions

Following the expansion of ISIS’s activity in the past year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Mozambique, the US Department of State announced on March 10, 2021, the imposition of economic sanctions on ISIS’s branch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its leader, Seka Musa Baluku, and ISIS’s branch in Mozambique and its leader, Abu Yasir Hassan (website of the US Department of State, March 10, 2021)
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Spotlight on Iran (March 21, 2021 – April 4, 2021)

The activity of Iran and its proxies in eastern Syria: fighters of the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade, which operates under the guidance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria held training maneuvers in southeastern Syria. An investigation of Agence France-Presse revealed that the control of Shia pro-Iranian militias of Iraq’s border crossings has allowed them to funnel billions of dollars in customs duties, which ought to have been collected by the State, to their own coffers, to political parties connected to them and corrupt officials. In the economic sphere: the head of the Joint Iranian-Syrian Chamber of Commerce estimated that the volume of trade between Iran and Syria will rise in the coming year. The Iranian ambassador to Yemen rejected the Saudi peace proposal for resolving the crisis in Yemen and declared that any real initiative to end the war will entail lifting the siege placed on Yemen, withdrawing of Saudi armed forces, and an end to Saudi Arabia’s support for its “mercenaries” in the country.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 18-24, 2021)

Syria: In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it, and the rebel forces. In the Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region, ISIS operatives continued to attack Kurdish SDF forces. Iraq: This week, there was a decrease in the volume of ISIS’s terrorist activity. As part of ISIS’s “economic war,” its operatives blew up two high-voltage pylons in the Al-Khales region, about 10 km northwest of Baqubah. Sinai: There was a decrease in ISIS’s terrorist activity in the Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid region. Africa: ISIS’s intensive activity in Africa continues. In the United States: a man opened fire in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. At least 10 people were killed, including a police officer.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 7, 2021 – March 21, 2021)

Two fighters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) were killed in a mine explosion in al-Mayadin, eastern Syria. The advisor on foreign affairs to the supreme leader of Iran met with the incoming Syrian ambassador to Tehran and passed on the wishes of speedy recovery from the supreme leader of Iran to the Syrian president, who recently contracted COVID-19. In an extraordinary statement, a former Iranian Majlis member stated that it can not be ruled out that Syria will change its approach toward Iran is the future, and hence Iran must not place all its eggs in President Assad’s basket. The Iranian ambassador to Baghdad met with the Iraqi minister of finance and discussed the issue of releasing Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks due to Western sanctions. Esmail Qa’ani, the Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, stated in a commemoration ceremony in the city of Mashhad that Israel is forced to wall itself off to protect itself, and warned “the Zionists” that they should know that this wall too will be destroyed.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 11-17, 2021)

Syria: In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued south and southwest of Idlib between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it, and the rebel forces. Iraq: ISIS’s activity in the Salah al-Din Province this week consisted mainly of breaking into the homes of those suspected of collaborating with the authorities. Africa: In view of the recent expansion of ISIS’s activity in Africa, the US Department of State has approved the imposition of economic sanctions on ISIS’s branch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its leader, and on ISIS’s branch in Mozambique and its leader.
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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.