Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (December 30, 2018 – January 13, 2019)

Against the backdrop of President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Iran welcomed the announcement by the spokesman of the Syrian Arab Army claiming that the Syrian military entered the city of Manbij, currently under control of the U.S.-backed Kurds, and raised the Syrian flag there. Meanwhile, the former Iranian Minister of Defense, Ahmad Vahidi, declared that whether the U.S. remains or withdraws from Syria, its decision does not matter, since it is clear that the American have been defeated in Syria.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 3-9, 2019)

Following is an overview of the situation on the ground in Syria, against the backdrop of President Trump’s announcement of the pullback of US military personnel: In the enclave controlled by ISIS on the east bank of the Euphrates River, fierce fighting continues between ISIS and the SDF forces (with US and Coalition air support). The city of Hajin, ISIS’s stronghold, has not yet been mopped up, and fighting is still ongoing there. Fighting also continued in the town of Al-Sha'fah, north of Albukamal. According to reports, the SDF forces took over half of the town and the fighting was still ongoing.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 2 – 8, 2019)

This past week there was an increase in the level of violence from the Gaza Strip. The increase in tension on the ground was accompanied by Hamas complaints about the freezing of the third payment of money from Qatar and threats that if the funds did not reach the Gaza Strip by the end of the week they would gradually return to activity on the Israel border. Meanwhile, tensions between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) reached a new high
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 27, 2018 – January 2, 2019)

Around two weeks after President Trump announced the pull-out of the American soldiers from Syria, the attention of the key players in the Syrian arena was diverted to eastern and northern Syria/ In the city of Hajin and its environs, the SDF campaign against ISIS continues. The Kurdish-controlled city of Manbij, is attracting considerable political and military attention in the wake of the Trump statement. In the Idlib area, incidents between the Syrian army and jihadi organizations continue. According to Arab media, the Americans have begun to evacuate their soldiers from Syria to the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (December 26, 2018 – January 1, 2019)

In the Gaza Strip there was a decrease in the number of participants at the events of the "return march" (the 40th) on Friday, December 28, 2018, compared with the previous week. In 2018 about 1,130 rocket and mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory, almost all of them since May 2018. This past week there was a vehicular attack in Samaria (no casualties were reported
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