Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (February 10 – February 24, 2019)

The summit held in Sochi of the Russian, Iranian and Turkish presidents failed to conclude with a concrete agreement. Senior Iranian officials continue to issue warnings against continued Israeli efforts to counter Iranian entrenchment in Syria. Iranian minister of foreign affairs conducted a two-day visit in Lebanon. During a hearing held at the Syrian parliament, the Syrian minister of communications and technology confirmed that there are ongoing talks with an Iranian cellphone network operator to establish a third cellular network in the country. In Baghdad, Iranian and Iraqi representatives signed an agreement on scientific and cultural cooperation between the Iranian Azad University and Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 14-20, 2019)

The campaign waged by the SDF forces against the ISIS enclave, which has lasted for over five months, is drawing to a close. Idlib and its environs: This week, the exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations continued, at a higher intensity than in the previous weeks. In the deserts in eastern and southern Syria, the Syrian army carried out offensive operations against ISIS operatives, who continued to conduct guerrilla warfare. While ISIS’s main control zone in the Lower Euphrates Valley is about to fall into the hands of the SDF, ISIS continued to fight in other arenas.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 13 – 19, 2019)

This past week the Friday "return march" was again characterized by a high level of violence. The event illustrate Hamas' warning that it would raise the level of violence if its demands were not met. After friction and a series of confrontations with PA officials, Hamas completed its takeover of the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom Crossing. The Israeli political-security cabinet decided to implement the law allowing Israel to deduct about 502 million shekels (about $139 million), transferred to the Palestinian prisoners and their families from the tax revenues Israel collects for the PA However, the PA does not intend to stop payments to prisoners, their families and the families of shaheeds.

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

The “pocket” of ISIS’s operatives along the Euphrates River, which is a few square kilometers in size, is shrinking. In the Idlib area, incidents continue between the Syrian army (which continues to bring in reinforcements) and the jihadi organizations. In the city of Manbij and its environs, there has been no change on the ground. Of late, there has been an increase in the number of attacks by local ISIS networks in the city of Al-Raqqah While ISIS is under pressure in the Syrian arena, the organization continues its intensive terrorist and guerrilla activity in the Iraqi arena

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 6-12, 2019)

At the "return march" in the Gaza Strip on Friday, February 8, 2019, there was a relatively high level of violence. In ITIC assessment, behind the rise in the level of violence lies the failure of the most recent round of talks in Cairo and the differences of opinion between Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) regarding the desirable dose of violence. In Judea and Samaria terrorist events focused on the stabbing attack that killed a young Israeli woman near the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority (PA) media ignored the murder.

Spotlight on Iran (January 27, 2019 – February 10, 2019)

Against the backdrop of the latest escalation between Iran and Israel and Israeli threats to continue acting against Iranian expansionism in Syria, Iran is issuing menacing statements at Israel. Iran and Russia continue to hold discussions regarding the settlement of the war in Syria ahead of the summit of Iranian, Russian and Turkish leaders. Meanwhile, Iran is continuing to strive to expand its economic influence in post-war Syria. Iraq continues to serve as an arena for contestation between Iran and the United States.

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