Turkey

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 25-31, 2018)

In the Idlib enclave there is still no progress in the establishment of the demilitarized zone. Local clashes occur between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations. In eastern Syria strong fighting continues in the ISIS enclave in the Euphrates Valley. In the al-Ghurabaa’ region fighting was renewed in the al-Safa enclave after a ceasefire which was used for the exchange of prisoners (abducted Druze women in return for the wives of ISIS operatives).
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 17 – October 3, 2018)

On September 17, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met in Sochi, Russia. Their talks centered on the Syrian regime’s planned attack on the rebel organizations in the Idlib area. The Sochi agreement marks a breakthrough in the contacts between Russia, Turkey, and Iran to resolve the situation in Idlib, after. On September 22, 2018, five armed operatives in Ahwaz, southern Iran, attacked a parade by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. As a result, Iran responded by firing missiles and carrying out drone attacks against ISIS targets in the Albukamal area.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 6-16, 2018)

In the Idlib region, preparations for the impending campaign continue. These preparations included continued reinforcement of northern Syria and the Turkish-Syrian border by the various sides. Concurrently, intensive political activity is taking place. While ISIS is under severe pressure in Syria, its operatives continue to carry out suicide bombing attacks in various places around the world.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 30 – September 5, 2018)

In the Idlib region, preparations for the impending campaign continue. The Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and other rebel organizations continue to reinforce the front lines opposite the Syrian army, with an emphasis on the area south and southwest of Idlib. Russia and Turkey are in contact with the rebel organizations and local power centers. The goal is to prevent friction and prepare the ground for reconciliation arrangements (i.e., surrender arrangements) in the Idlib region, similar to those achieved in southern Syria. In eastern Syria, ISIS carried out a series of attacks against Syrian army bases in the Euphrates Valley
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 23-29, 2018)

In the Idlib region, the warring sides continue their preparations for the campaign. Concurrently with the military preparations on the ground, intensive diplomatic talks are underway between Russia and Turkey. The local leader (Emir) of ISIS’s Khorasan Province was reportedly killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 16-22, 2018)

The Syrian army’s offensive against the ISIS enclave in the As-Suwayda area continues. In the Idlib area, the Syrian army and the rebel organizations, the most prominent of which is the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham, are preparing for the impending campaign. In Afghanistan, fighting continues between ISIS and the Taliban. At the same time, ISIS carried out three deadly suicide bombing attacks in Kabul.
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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.