Spotlight on Global Jihad (November 7-13, 2019)

About two weeks after the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS’s intensive activity in Syria continues. In Syria, attacks continue to focus on the SDF forces, the Kurdish military force. In Iraq, ISIS’s activity continues, at low intensity. Among ISIS’s various provinces around the world, one of the main events of the past week was a series of attacks against Nigerian army bases and vehicles in the northeast of the country.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 24-30, 2019)

The main event of the week was the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by an elite force of the US Army in northwestern Syria, near the border with Turkey. A few hours after the killing of Al-Baghdadi, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was also killed. Even after the killing of Al-Baghdadi, ISIS’s routine activity on the ground continued in Syria and Iraq and in the various provinces in Africa and Asia.

The significance of the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Initial assessment)

The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdad by an elite American force is a serious blow to ISIS. A charismatic, authoritarian leader, he was the dominant figure in the ISIS leadership. His uniqueness was his unsuccessful attempt, the first of its kind, to establish an Islamic Caliphate, here and now, which would restore to Islam the glory of its beginnings.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (October 7 – 23, 2019)

The return marches in the Gaza Strip held on October 11 and 18, 2019, were characterized by varying levels of violence. A delegation of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figures headed by its leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah paid a visit to Egypt and met with senior officials in Egyptian General Intelligence. In Judea and Samaria there was an attempted vehicular attack of Israeli security forces operating in the al-Am'ari refugee camp (near Ramallah). The contradictory reactions of Hamas and the PIJ to the Turkish invasion of Syria illustrates their different orientations.

Turkey’s Invasion of Syria and Its Influence on ISIS

On October 9, 2019, the Turkish army launched a broad military operation in northeastern Syria (called "Peace Spring"). Its stated objective is to establish a "safe zone" in Syria, 18-22 miles deep by 250 miles wide from the Euphrates River to the Syria-Iraq border.

Spotlight on Iran (October 6, 2019 – October 20, 2019)

Iran condemned the Turkish invasion of northern Syria and demanded that Turkey halt the operation. Iranian officials and media have been presenting the wave of protests that rocked Iraq in early October as a sign of a “Western plot” and blamed the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Western media for fanning the flames of the protests. In mid-October, over three million Iranian pilgrims arrived in Iraq to mark the ‘Arbaeen holy day, which marks the end of the 40 mourning days of the death of the Shia Imam Hussein (marked on the ‘Ashoura holy day).

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