Syria

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 21-27, 2019)

The area of the village of Al-Baghouz fell this week into the hands of the SDF forces, ending the campaign which lasted more than six months to take over ISIS’s control area in the Lower Euphrates Valley. SDF spokesmen announced the destruction of ISIS and the end of ISIS’s control in the last “pocket” of Al-Baghouz. President Trump and senior US officials announced that the United States and its allies had liberated all the areas that had been under ISIS’s control in Syria and Iraq. At the propaganda level, ISIS continues its efforts to address its defeat. The loss of ISIS’s control area in the Lower Euphrates Valley marks the end of a process in which ISIS lost the rest of its control areas in Syria over the past year. Against the backdrop of the fall of ISIS in Syria, the intensive activity of the organization’s provinces throughout the world is salient. Prominent events that took place this week
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Spotlight on Iran (March 10 – March 24, 2019)

Last week, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces arrived for a visit in Syria to take part in a joint anti-terrorism summit attended by Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi officials. Syrian sources recently reported that following the visit of President Assad to Tehran, Iran and Syria agreed to form a Syrian team, headed by the executive director of the Lattakia Port, which will negotiate handing over management of the Lattakia Port or the container terminal within it to Iran. Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, conducted his first official visit in Baghdad, during which he met Iraqi government officials, public representatives and senior Shi’ite clerics.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 14-20, 2019)

The battle for the takeover of the ISIS outpost in Al-Baghouz is coming to an end. In the Upper Euphrates River (the Al-Mayadeen area), this week ISIS engaged in intensive activity against the SDF forces and the civilians collaborating with them. In the Idlib area, exchanges of artillery fire continue between the Syrian army and the jihadi rebel organizations. In the city of Manbij and its environs, the SDF forces and the SDF-backed local military council launched an operation aimed at exposing ISIS and pro-Turkish elements. In light of the pressure exerted on ISIS in Syria, ISIS’s provinces in Iraq and abroad carried out intensive activities
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 7-13, 2019)

The decisive battle being waged by the SDF forces in the village of Al-Baghouz continued this week. Following are additional incidents in the various Syrian arenas: Idlib: Incidents continue between the Syrian army and the jihadi organizations. Al-Sukhnah: The clashes continued between the Syrian Army and ISIS operatives in the desert area near the village of Al-Sukhnah. Manbij: An ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up near American vehicles traveling on the main road between Manbij and Al-Bab. According to a US media report, four American soldiers were killed. While ISIS is about to lose its significant stronghold in Syria, ISIS’s provinces abroad continue to carry out attacks and conduct fierce fighting against the local armies and regimes.
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ISIS’s media response to the imminent defeat in the village of Al-Baghouz

While the fighting in Al-Baghouz is drawing to a close, ISIS released a video entitled “The significance of the steadfastness in Al-Baghouz.” The messages of the video are intended to cope with the (additional) blow sustained by ISIS, by emphasizing that the loss in the battle does not indicate a loss in the campaign, which is not over yet, and it is too early to declare ISIS’s defeat (a video released by ISIS’s Al-Barakah Province through Shabakat Shumukh, March 11, 2019).
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Estimate of Hezbollah’s fatalities during the Syrian civil war and the conclusions arising from the analysis of their identity

As part of a study on the fatalities (shahids) of Hezbollah in Syria, the names of 1,139 operatives, killed in 2011-2018, were identified. To this number, the ITIC believes that we can add a possible deviation range of 10% of fatalities whose names were not found due to various reasons. Thus, the number of Hezbollah fatalities in Syria may reach about 1,250 (updated to late December 2018). The study is based on dozens of sources, mostly Facebook pages and Internet websites affiliated with Hezbollah and dedicated to commemorate the organization’s fatalities.
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