Syria

ISIS gaining in strength in the Iraqi arena

Following the collapse of the Islamic caliphate, ISIS is undergoing a process of change, being transformed from a state-like entity, which in its heyday (2014) controlled vast territories in Iraq and Syria, to a terrorist and guerrilla organization. In the ITIC's assessment, about 5,000-6,000 operatives are active in ISIS’s Iraq Province furthering processes of rehabilitation and reorganization (which are still ongoing).
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 24-30, 2020)

In the Idlib region, the incidents continued, consisting mainly of exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued their routine activity. One noteworthy attack this week was carried out by West Africa Province operatives who attacked a convoy of the Nigerian security forces escorting residents returning to their homes, killing dozens of soldiers and policemen.
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Law, politics and Terrorism: Special Tribunal for Lebanon for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri – the verdict and its weaknesses

On February 14, 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated by a truck bomb detonated near his convoy on the Beirut promenade. The blast left 22 people dead and more than 200 wounded. Blame was directed at the Assad regime (which was in control of Lebanon at the time) and Hezbollah, its political ally, both of which had a clear interest in eliminating Hariri, a prominent opponent of the “Syrian order” in Lebanon and of Hezbollah. Hariri’s assassination led to political turmoil in Lebanon.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 17-23, 2020)

In the Idlib region, there was an increase in the intensity of the incidents this week. ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued their routine activity. Syria – ISIS’s intensive activity continued in the Euphrates Valley and in the desert region to its east (activating IEDs, shooting at vehicles, targeted killings, attacking military facilities and positions). Iraq – most of the activity centered on the provinces of Diyala and Kirkuk (sniper fire, activating IEDs, attacking facilities and security forces). In the northern Sinai Peninsula, relative calm prevailed in the conflict zone in the Bir al-Abd-Rabi’a region. ISIS is using its media to leverage its achievements in northern Sinai. ISIS continued to carry out guerrilla warfare against the Egyptian army in the regions of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah.
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Spotlight on Iran (September 6, 2020 – September 20, 2020 )

The Adviser to the Speaker of the Majlis on International Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, declared that Syria continues to be a strategic matter for Iran, and that relations between the two countries are a “red line” that Iran will not allow anyone to cross. In mid-September, Iranian media outlets published the image of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Esmail Qa’ani, during a prayer in Sayyeda Zainab south of Damascus. In mid-September, the former Iraqi Prime Minister and the Head of the State of Law Coalition, Nouri al-Maliki, arrived for a visit in Iran for medical treatment and meetings with senior Iranian officials, including the secretary general of the Supreme National Security Council, the adviser to the supreme leader on international affairs, and the speaker of the Majlis.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 10-16, 2020)

Syria: ISIS operatives ambushed an Al-Quds Brigade force carrying out searches in the desert region west of Deir ez-Zor. Many casualties were reported. Iraq: This is the second week that there has been a decrease in ISIS’s activity and an increase in the Iraqi security forces’ counterterrorist measures. Northern Sinai: ISIS continues its intensive activity against the Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai.
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