Turkey

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 14-20, 2019)

The campaign waged by the SDF forces against the ISIS enclave, which has lasted for over five months, is drawing to a close. Idlib and its environs: This week, the exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations continued, at a higher intensity than in the previous weeks. In the deserts in eastern and southern Syria, the Syrian army carried out offensive operations against ISIS operatives, who continued to conduct guerrilla warfare. While ISIS’s main control zone in the Lower Euphrates Valley is about to fall into the hands of the SDF, ISIS continued to fight in other arenas.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 7-13, 2019)

The “pocket” of ISIS’s operatives along the Euphrates River, which is a few square kilometers in size, is shrinking. In the Idlib area, incidents continue between the Syrian army (which continues to bring in reinforcements) and the jihadi organizations. In the city of Manbij and its environs, there has been no change on the ground. Of late, there has been an increase in the number of attacks by local ISIS networks in the city of Al-Raqqah While ISIS is under pressure in the Syrian arena, the organization continues its intensive terrorist and guerrilla activity in the Iraqi arena
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 31 – February 6, 2019)

In the “pocket” along the Euphrates Valley, ISIS operatives halted the SDF forces and regained control of two villages in the southern part of their control area. In the city of Manbij and its environs there has been no change on the ground. In the Idlib area, clashes continued between the Syrian army and the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and other jihadi organizations. In the United States, there is a debate about the severity of the threat posed by ISIS (in the ITIC’s assessment, the reason for the debate is the assessment that the campaign against ISIS in the enclave along the Euphrates River may end within a few weeks
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 24-30, 2019)

The ISIS-controlled enclave on the east bank of the Euphrates River continues to shrink. In the city of Manbij and its environs, there has been no significant change on the ground. In the Idlib area, the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham continues to establish its control, mainly at the expense of the Turkish-affiliated rebel organizations. The main event in ISIS’s provinces abroad this week was a multi-casualty attack during a ceremony in a cathedral on the island of Sulu in the southern Philippines.
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Muhammad Sawalha, senior Hamas operative living in London, continues participating in Hamas-supported political activities

Muhammad Kazem Sawalha, a senior Hamas operative living in London, continues his participation in Hamas political activities for recently participated in a conference in Istanbul which opposed Mahmoud Abbas' dissolution of the Palestinian Legislative Council (against which Hamas is waging a political, propaganda and legal campaign).
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 17-23, 2019)

The ISIS-controlled enclave on the east bank of the Euphrates River continues to shrink. The US and Kurdish forces have not yet completed their evacuation from the city of Manbij. In the Idlib area, the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham continues to consolidate its control, while weakening the Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations. Turkish President Erdoğan continues to threaten to carry out a military operation against the Kurds east of the Euphrates River
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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.