Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (May 27, 2021 – June 10, 2021)

Two senior officers, IRGC advisers to the Syrian army, were ambushed by ISIS and killed in Syria on their way from Deir ez-Zor to Palmyra. The Iranian media avoided referring to them as senior officers. On June 9, the commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force arrived for talks in Baghdad with senior Iraqi politicians and commanders of Shia militias. The New York Times reported that Iran is behind several attacks carried out in recent months against American targets in Iraq using advanced armed drones. The Iranian minister of energy announced that Iraq agreed to release 125 million dollars of the Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks to allow Iran to purchase vaccines against COVID-19.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 2-9, 2021)

This week, ISIS’s activity in the various provinces continued at a "routine" level: Syria: The main event this week was an attack, apparently carried out by ISIS operatives, against a convoy of the Syrian army and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Al-Sukhnah Desert, on the Palmyra-Deir ez-Zor highway. Iraq: ISIS claimed responsibility for detonating an IED near the tomb of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in the Shiite Kadhimiya neighborhood in northern Baghdad. The Sinai Peninsula: ISIS operatives carried out a combined attack on an Egyptian army camp south of Sheikh Zuweid. There has been a downtrend in ISIS’s activity in Africa. Libya: After a long period with no ISIS attacks in the country, this week ISIS carried out a suicide bombing attack at a roadblock set up by General Haftar’s army about 670 km south of Tripoli. At least four military personnel were killed, including an officer.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (June 2 – 8, 2021)

Flag parade: Israel's intention to hold the flag parade, cancelled because of Hamas rocket fire targeting Jerusalem (the beginning of Operation Guardian of the Walls) enraged the Palestinians, whose responses included threats to renew the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Judea and Samaria: A shooting attack was carried out near Elon Moreh (east of Nablus), targeting an Israeli civilian vehicle. No casualties were reported. Rebuilding the Gaza Strip: The Egyptian army sent engineers and heavy equipment to clear the rubble in the Gaza Strip. Egypt: The heads of the Palestinian organizations have been summoned to Cairo for two days of talks to discuss the internal Palestinian reconciliation. The Palestinian Authority (PA): PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh completed a round of visits to the Gulf States, with Qatar as his final stop.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 27 – June 2, 2021)

This week, the downtrend in ISIS’s activity in the various provinces continued. Syria: In the desert area (Al-Badia), several Syrian soldiers were wounded when a mine exploded in the Palmyra region. Russian planes carried out over 100 airstrikes against ISIS targets in the desert region. Iraq: The main event was a car bomb explosion against the Tribal Mobilization forces in Haditha, in western Iraq. The Sinai Peninsula: The commander of the Egyptian army's Counterterrorism Unit was killed by sniper fire during an Egyptian army operation against terrorist elements in Sheikh Zuweid, in northern Sinai. The battle for hearts and minds: This week, ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly published a poster detailing the goals of ISIS’s propaganda activity, to which the organization attaches great importance.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (May 26 – June 1, 2021)

Operation Guardian of the Walls: Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas are negotiating to stabilize the ceasefire declared on May 22, 2021. Hamas objects to creating a linkage between the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip and the return of Israel's MIAs and prisoners. Despite the loss of life and destruction of the Gazan infrastructure, Hamas continues branding the operation a victory for Hamas, claiming it changed the "equation" with Israel and returned the Palestinian cause to the international agenda.

Spotlight on Iran (May 13, 2021 – May 27, 2021)

During the Israeli military operation in Gaza (“Guardian of the Walls”), senior Iranian officials maintained constant contact with the senior leaderships of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On May 22, following the visit of the Iranian minister of foreign affairs to Damascus, Iran opened a consulate in the city of Aleppo. The Iranian minister of defense met with deputies of the ministers of trade and industry in Syria and discussed with them the participation of conglomerates linked to the Iranian ministry of defense in Syria’s reconstruction.

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