Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (January 12, 2020 – January 26, 2020)

il Qa’ani was officially appointed as the new commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) instead of Qasem Soleimani, who was assassinated on January 3. Iranian-Syrian deliberations: in mid-January, a delegation headed by the Syrian Prime Minister, Imad Khamis, visited Tehran and met with senior Iranian regime officials, chief among them the president of Iran. A Syrian opposition website reported that the IRGC recently established a new military base in the Albu Kamal region near the Iraq-Syria border. The Iranian ambassador to Iraq met with the head of the supreme political council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in northern Iraq and discussed political developments in Iraq and the region.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 16-22, 2020)

In the Idlib region, fighting resumed on the initiative of the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham, after a three-week hiatus (despite the ceasefire agreement reached by Russia and Turkey on January 12, 2020). In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS has continued its intensive activity against the Syrian army and the SDF. The most noteworthy event was the killing of 15 soldiers in a Syrian army convoy ambushed by ISIS operatives.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 15 – 21, 2020)

This past week the security situation in the Gaza Strip heated up with the renewal of IED balloon launchings into Israeli territory, on almost a daily basis. In ITIC assessment Hamas is behind the renewal of IED balloon launchings. On January 15, 2020, four rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. In Judea and Samaria this past week there were two stabbing attacks

Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 9-15, 2020)

January 12, 2020, a ceasefire agreed upon between Turkey and Russia entered into effect in the Idlib region. Even after the ceasefire was declared military friction continued between the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the Syrian forces. In Iraq, there was a meeting of senior commanders from the Popular Mobilization which examined the continuation of the campaign against ISIS following the killing of Qassem Soleimani and of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization). In Niger, ISIS operatives attacked a Niger army base near the border with Mali. The Niger army sustained about 100 fatalities.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 14-8, 2020)

This past week as well no return march was held in the Gaza Strip. Several dozen Palestinian demonstrators gathered near the border fence in two locations. This past week the Sons of al-Zawari unit announced that it was renewing its activities. The Palestinian terrorist organizationsissued a joint announcement about their visits to Tehran and participation in Qassem Soleimani's funeral.." In the Gaza Strip the terrorist leadership continued eulogizing Soleimani and referring to the great contribution he and Iran had made to the construction of the Palestinians' military capabilities.

Spotlight on Iran (December 29, 2019 – January 12, 2020)

Last week’s events were marked by a significant escalation between the United States and Iran following the assassination of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, in an American strike in Baghdad. In an initial response to Soleimani’s elimination, the IRGC launched ballistic missiles toward the Ayn al-Assad base in western Iraq, in which U.S. forces are present. Shortly after Soleimani’s assassination, his deputy, Esmail Qa’ani, was appointed in his stead, as the commander of the Qods Force. Qa’ani vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death, persist in his path and remove the United States from the region. Qasem Soleimani’s assassination provided an opportunity for a meeting between the heads of the Palestinian factions, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with senior Iranian officials. A delegation of both organizations, who came to Tehran to participate in Soleimani’s funeral, met during their visit with the incoming Qods Force commander.

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