Syria

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 26 – March 3, 2020)

This past week there was relative quiet after the most recent round of escalation in the Gaza Strip. Monday, the day of Israel's general elections, passed without exceptional incident. A delegation of senior Hamas figures headed by Isma'il Haniyeh, head of Hamas' political bureau, visited Russia. An IDF force identified a vehicle in the northern Golan Heights whose passengers had apparently been involved in an attempted sniper attack against targets in Israel.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 20-26, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army refrained from making a significant advance towards the city of Idlib. The Syrian and Turkish armies continued to reinforce their troops in the Idlib region. In the Euphrates Valley in Syria, ISIS’s intensive attacks continue, taking the form of planting IEDs, detonating car bombs, and killing fighters and “agents” affiliated with the SDF forces. In ISIS’s provinces abroad, there was an increase in attacks against the Nigerian army, in northeastern Nigeria (dozens of Nigerian army fatalities).
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A New Round of Escalation in the Gaza Strip (Updated to February 24, 2020, 14:00)

On February 23 and 24, 2020, there was another round of escalation in the Gaza Strip. It began on the morning of February 23 when IDF forces killed a terrorist operative from the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). He was one of two Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operatives placing an IED near the security fence. The other operative was wounded. The body of the dead operative was removed by the IDF.
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Spotlight on Iran (February 9, 2020 – February 23, 2020)

Senior Iranian officials avoided commenting regarding reports on deaths among the ranks of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in a strike, carried out in the Damascus area on February 13, which was attributed to Israel. Another fighter of the IRGC was killed in Syria, likely in a strike of an anti-tank guided missile deployed by Syrian rebels in the Aleppo area. In mid-February, the Speaker of the Iranian Majlis, Ali Larijani, conducted an official visit to Syria and Lebanon. Further evidence for the growing challenges facing Iran’s efforts to increase its economic clout in the region.
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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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