Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (December 15, 2019 – December 29, 2019)

Iranian-Israeli confrontation in Syria: Ali-Akbar Velayati, the Senior Adviser on International Affairs of the Supreme Leader of Iran, warned in an interview to a Following a pause lasting eight years, the Iranian Pilgrimage Organization renewed sending Iranian pilgrims to visits in the Shi’ite holy sites in Syria. Iran continues to try and influence the process of appointing a temporary prime minister in Iraq, in an effort to protect Iran’s interests in the country. The Spokesman of Iraq’s Joint Operation’s, that the security cooperation between Iraq, Iran, Russia and Syria is continuing at the highest levels in an effort to maintain stability along the Iraq-Syria border and to prevent ISIS from gaining a foothold in the region.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 19-25, 2019

The main event in the Syrian arena was a large-scale attack by the Syrian army against the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and other rebel organizations, east and southeast of the city of Maarat Nu'man. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS continued its intensive activity against the SDF forces, consisting mainly of shooting attacks, attacking headquarters, eliminating soldiers and intelligence personnel and attacking convoys and checkpoints. On December 22, 2019, ISIS launched a “campaign of revenge” for the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir. So far, some 60 attacks have been carried out as part of the campaign, most of them in Syria and Iraq

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (December 18 – 24, 2019)

On December 20, 2019, the 85th return march was held in the Gaza Strip, with a level of violence similar to that of past weeks. Sporadic rocket fire from the Gaza Strip has continued since the most recent round of escalation. Hamas and other organizations participating in the return marches have recently deliberated the continuation of the marches. In Judea and Samaria a broad terrorist network of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was exposed.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 12-18, 2019)

In the Syrian arena, ISIS continues its intensive activity, mainly in the area of Al-Mayadeen, in the Euphrates Valley. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS continues its intensive activity, with an emphasis on the Diyala Province north of Baghdad. At the same time, ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued their routine activity.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (December 17-11, 2019)

On December 13, 2019, return march events were held in three locations in the Gaza Strip instead of the usual five. About 2,200 Palestinians participated, a relatively low number. The Palestinian and Arab media reported that deliberations were currently being held to determine the nature of future return marches. Isma'il Haniyeh, head of Hamas' political bureau, is currently heading a Hamas delegation visiting a number of foreign countries.

Spotlight on Iran (December 1 –15, 2019)

Iran is continuing to try to minimize the impact of the ongoing protests in Iraq on Iranian interests in the country, and particularly economic interests. Against the backdrop of ongoing Iranian efforts to entrench its foothold in Albu Kamal, on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Iraqi border, Arab media outlets reported about recent strikes carried out against targets linked to Iran and pro-Iranian militias. A Lebanese news website reported about an unusual deployment of Hezbollah and forces linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force near the town of Rankous on the Qalamoon mountain range, north of Damascus, ahead of a possible revenge attack in retaliation to IDF strikes in Syria.

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