Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (March 18 – March 28, 2018)

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, used his annual speech on the occasion of the Iranian New Year (Nowruz) to justify, once again, Iran’s regional involvement. The growing dissatisfaction in Iran due to the obstacles placed by Baghdad and Damascus, which are frustrating Tehran’s efforts to cement its economic influence in those countries, has now manifested in Friday sermons as well. Tehran continues to apprehensively monitor the improvement in relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia against the backdrop of the looming visit of the Saudi crown prince to Baghdad.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 21 – 27, 2018)

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are carrying out intensive preparations for the "great return march." During preparations for the "great return march" Hamas has allowed a controlled increase in tension with Israel. On March 25-26, 2018 Hamas' military wing held a broad exercise in the Gaza Strip. In ITIC assessment, the exercise was held to send a message of deterrence to Israel, saying that Hamas was prepared for escalation that might occur during the "great return march."
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 15-21, 2018)

In eastern Al-Ghouta, the Syrian army continued to attack the three enclaves of the rebel groups, whose territory is shrinking. According to Syrian sources, around 75% of the area of eastern Al-Ghouta has been taken over by the Syrian Army. On March 18, 2018, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the Turkish army and the Syrian forces cooperating with it had completed the takeover of the city of Afrin, in northwestern Syria. Kurdish fighters from the SDF forces have moved from the lower Euphrates Valley to the enclave of Afrin in order to take part in the fighting against the Turkish army.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 14 – 20, 2018)

This past week two deadly terrorist attacks were carried out killing a civilian and two IDF soldiers. In the northern Gaza Strip a number of IEDs exploded near the border security fence. Preparations continue for the "great return march.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 4 – March 18, 2018)

Against the backdrop of European efforts to place limitations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and curtail its regional influence so as to prevent the collapse of the nuclear agreement, Iran continues to emphasize its refusal to negotiate over these matters. In parallel with the ongoing campaign in eastern Ghouta, Iran continues to deliberate with Turkey, Russia and the Syrian regime as part of the negotiations concerning the settlement of the war in Syria. Meanwhile, senior Iranian officials continue to publicly demand an end to the American presence in Syria.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 8-14, 2018)

This week, the fighting in Syria was concentrated in eastern Al-Ghouta, where the Syrian forces managed to divide the area controlled by the rebel organizations into three parts. South of the city of Damascus, ISIS, which controls most of the area of the Yarmouk refugee camp, is preparing for the possibility that the Syrian effort will be directed against it after the fall of eastern Al-Ghouta. Another site of fighting is the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria. The Egyptian security forces, which are carrying out intensive security operations against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, continue to report on their successes against ISIS
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