Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (February 7, 2021 – February 21, 2021)

The Senior Adviser to the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali-Asghan Khaji, met with the Syrian president and discussed with him developments in the country and the ongoing negotiations concerning the settlement of the war. The American Arabic TV channel al-Hurra reported, based on foreign intelligence sources, about the smuggling of heavy weaponry by the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) across the Syria-Iraq border. The Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ibrahim Raisi, arrived for a visit in Iraq, lasting a number of days, during which the two countries signed three memoranda of understanding concerning cooperation in the legal sphere, prisoner exchanges and combatting corruption. The spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied any Iranian involvement in the rocket attack on the Erbil International Airport and its environs, which killed a contractor of the U.S. armed forces.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 11-17, 2021)

In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it, and the rebel forces, south and southeast of Idlib. Iraq: ISIS continued its activity against the Iraqi security forces, mainly in the form of sniper and machine gun fire and activating IEDs. Africa: ISIS carried out intensive activity this week, mainly in Nigeria. This week, there was also an increase in ISIS’s attacks against the Afghan security forces, mainly in Jalalabad in the Nangarhar Province.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 10-16, 2021)

This past week the number of active Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip continued to decline. However, in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem there was a significant increase in the number, including 186 cases of the British variant. In Judea and Samaria there was a significant increase in the number of stones, rocks, Molotov cocktails and bottles of paint thrown at vehicles on the main roads. In Cairo the meeting of the Palestinian organizations ended with an agreement on a framework for holding elections. The Palestinians are pleased with the ruling of the International Criminal Court (ICC) judges regarding the opening of an investigation and are urging the chief prosecutor to begin it immediately.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 4-10, 2021)

Syria: During the week, the Syrian army and the forces supporting it suffered heavy losses at the hands of ISIS operatives in the desert region (Al-Badia). Iraq: The Popular Mobilization forces announced the killing of ISIS’s commander of North Baghdad and Karmah. In the Sinai Peninsula, after a period of relative calm, ISIS operatives ambushed and killed six fighters of the tribal militias that support the Egyptian regime and abducted another fighter. Afghanistan: ISIS’s terrorist activity continued. Most of the attacks were carried out in the city of Jalalabad and were directed mainly at Afghan Intelligence and government officials. Africa: ISIS’s attacks continued, mainly against Nigerian army forces in the northeast of the country.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 3-9, 2021)

This past week the decrease in Covid-19 infection in the Gaza Strip continued, leading to further easing of restrictions. In Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, on the other hand, the number of verified active cases increased (1,158 additional cases over the past week). Attention is now focused on the arrival of the vaccines and initiating public inoculation. On February 5, 2021, a panel of International Criminal Court (ICC) judges issued a majority ruling that the ICC had the authority to judge cases in the PA territories which were occupied in 1967. Preparations continue for the PA elections.

Spotlight on Iran (January 24, 2021 – February 7, 2021)

Iranian and Syrian cargo planes continue to make frequent flights between Damascus and Tehran. In early February, the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs arrived for a visit in Tehran during which he met with senior Iranian officials, chief among them the president, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and the Iranian minister of foreign affairs. In late January, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert, visited Tehran and met with senior Iranian officials, including the senior adviser on international affairs to the supreme leader of Iran, and the special adviser to the speaker of the Majlis.

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