Syria

Spotlight on Iran (December 27, 2020 – January 10, 2021)

Over the past week, ceremonies to commemorate Qasem Soleimani were held in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza. The anniversary of the killing of Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was used by Iran and its proxies to stress Iran’s support for the “resistance axis” and the central role Soleimani played in developing the military capabilities of Iran’s proxies in the region, particularly in enlarging and increasing the deadliness of their arsenals rockets and missiles.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 31, 2020 – January 6, 2021)

This year’s Christmas festivities throughout the Christian world, which were held on a limited scale due to the spread of COVID-19, passed without attacks by ISIS supporters, despite their public threats. Routine attacks continued in ISIS’s various provinces in Syria, Iraq and throughout Africa and Europe. Syria: ISIS operatives continued their intensive activity in the desert region west of the Euphrates Valley. Iraq: ISIS’s activity in northern and western Iraq focused on activating IEDs and sniper fire, and attacks on the Iraqi security forces, with no unusual incidents.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 24-30, 2020)

Like every year, ISIS supporters have posted posters on social media threatening to carry out attacks against Christians around the world with the approach of Christmas. In practice, no such terrorist attacks have been carried out to date by ISIS operatives or their supporters. In Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria, ISIS claimed responsibility for burning down houses and churches in Christian villages (although it is unclear whether this was done in the context of Christmas).
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Spotlight on Iran (December 13, 2020 – December 27, 2020)

In recent days, senior Syrian officials declared that Damascus does not intend to demand the withdrawal of Iranian forces from the country. An adviser to President Assad stated that Syria does not demand the departure of Iran or Hezbollah from the country, and that Russia too can not ask Syria to remove Iranian forces from its territory. Syrian sources reported about an agreement reached between Iran and Russia concerning the deployment of their forces in the Albu Kamal region along the Syrian-Iraqi border. In an interview to an Afghan television station, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, discussed the activities of the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade, a militia operating under the guidance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 17-23, 2020)

Routine attacks continued in ISIS’s various provinces in Syria, Iraq and throughout Africa and Asia. Noteworthy examples . Syria: routine activity continued in the area of Deir al-Zor and Al-Mayadeen and in the desert region west of the Euphrates Valley. Prominent modus operandi of ISIS’s attacks included targeted killings and the activation of IEDs against vehicles and soldiers of the SDF and the Syrian army. Iraq: the activity in northern and western Iraq consisted primarily of activating IEDs and targeted killings. The Iraqi Counterterrorism Unit has issued a report summarizing its activity against ISIS in 2020. According to the report, in the past year, 206 ISIS operatives were killed and 292 were apprehended.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 16-10, 2020)

Routine attacks continued in ISIS’s various provinces in Syria, Iraq and throughout Africa and Asia. Noteworthy examples: Syria: Clashes continue between ISIS and the Syrian army and forces supporting it in the desert region in eastern Syria. Iraq: ISIS’s intensive activity in northern and western Iraq continued, in the form of sniper fire, mortar shell fire, and attacking positions and compounds of the Iraqi security forces. The Sinai Peninsula: ISIS’s activity in northern Sinai continued, in the form of activating IEDs, targeted killings, and sniper fire. Somalia: ISIS released a video vehemently attacking Al-Qaeda and its affiliated Al-Shabaab movement. Afghanistan: ISIS fired 10 rockets, claiming that they were aimed at the military part of Kabul International Airport.
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