Turkey

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 5-11, 2020)

On March 5, 2020, an agreement was signed in Moscow between Russia and Turkey, which is intended to end the fighting in the Idlib region. In the ITIC’s assessment, this is a shaky ceasefire (like its predecessors). In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s intensive attacks continued, mainly in the form of activating IEDs. In Iraq, ISIS’s activity consisted mainly of activating IEDs, sniper fire and targeted killings. With regard to noteworthy ISIS activity abroad, the Khorasan Province recently resumed its activity and carried out two showcase attacks in the capital Kabul
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 4 – 10, 2020)

This past week the Gaza Strip was relatively quiet. A stabbing attack was attempted at the Nablus Gate in the Old City in Jerusalem. A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government announced that so far 26 people infected with the coronavirus have been identified, most of them in Bethlehem. In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continue throwing stones at Israel vehicles driving on the roads
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Spotlight on Iran (February 23, 2020 – March 8, 2020)

In light of the escalating confrontation between Turkey and the forces backing the Assad regime in Idlib, the Advisory Center of the Iranian Military in Syria published an extraordinary statement, threatening to retaliate against Turkey if it persists with its attacks. The former Iraq Prime Minister, Iyad al-Allawi, accused the Adviser of the Supreme Leader of Iran on International Affairs, Ali-Akbar Velayati, of meddling in the process of new government formation in Iraq. Senior Palestinian officials praised the extensive assistance Qasem Soleimani provided to Palestinian militant groups
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 27 – March 4, 2020)

This week, high-intensity battles took place in the Idlib region between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it (including the Lebanese Hezbollah) and the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the other rebel organizations. Against the backdrop of the intensive fighting in the Idlib region, clashes between the Syrian army and the Turkish army escalated this week. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s intensive attacks continued, while in Iraq there was a relative drop in the scope of its activity.
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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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Turkey

Since the victory of the Islamic Party in Turkey in 2008 and the election of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as Turkish Prime Minister, Turkey has adopted an active and assertive regional foreign policy that reflects considerable self-confidence. Turkey’s policy seeks to strengthen Turkey’s relations with its neighbors, especially Iran, Iraq, and Syria, in order to give Turkey strategic depth and turn it into an influential regional power. This is to be accomplished by taking advantage of the regional upheaval perceived by the Turkish government as an opportunity to promote Turkey’s regional interests and influence.

As one of the instruments to promote its influence, Turkey makes use of NGOs. One of these organizations is the IHH, a radical Islamic organization that sees itself, among other things, as an aid to Turkish policy. This organization was an active participant in the organization of flotillas and convoys to the Gaza Strip, the most prominent of which was the Mavi Marmara flotilla.  

In light of this policy of the Turkish government headed by Erdoğan, relations between Israel and Turkey gradually changed. Turkey has increasingly begun to stand by the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel, particularly the Hamas movement. The Turkish government transfers funds and aid to Hamas, and Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan has repeatedly condemned Israel’s policy.

The height of the escalation in Israeli-Turkish relations followed the events of the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010. Nine Turkish nationals, members of the IHH, were killed in a violent attack that they mounted against the Israel Navy’s efforts to prevent them from entering the Gaza port. As a result, the level of diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey was lowered. After lengthy negotiations, the Mavi Marmara affair was resolved and in 2016, after a long break, Turkey and Israel renewed diplomatic relations.