Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (March 24, 2019 – April 7, 2019)

Syrian opposition sources reported that at least seven people were killed in the strike attributed to Israel in the Sheikh Najjar area in northwestern Aleppo city, on the night of March 27-28. Senior Iranian officials condemned the decision of President Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and described it as a grave violation of international law. The Syrian government approved the agreement signed between the Syrian Electricity Ministry and the Iranian energy and infrastructure giant, MAPNA, to build a power plant in Lattakia. The Deputy Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Salah al-Arouri, declared in a media interview that Hamas is determined to bolster ties with Iran, and that the practical implications of this improvement in relations is already evident on the ground.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 28 – April 3, 2019)

Even after the fall of ISIS’s “pocket” in the Al-Baghouz region, SDF forces continue to mop up the village and the surrounding area. In the meantime, ISIS continues to carry out acts of terrorism and guerrilla warfare in the Syrian arena. The Syrian army and the security forces of the SDF are employing counterterrorism measures against ISIS’s guerrilla activity.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 27– April 2, 2019)

Events this past week focused on the return march held on Saturday, March 30, 2019, which marked the first anniversary of the return marches as well as Israeli Arab Land Day. In the meantime, tensions increased in the jails in Israel in the wake of the intention of the Israeli Prison Service to install devices to block the prisoners' cellular reception. Senior Hamas figures raised before the members of the Egyptian mediators' delegation the so-called "worsening" of the prisoners' conditions. Hamas also complained to the UN envoy to the Middle East.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 21-27, 2019)

The area of the village of Al-Baghouz fell this week into the hands of the SDF forces, ending the campaign which lasted more than six months to take over ISIS’s control area in the Lower Euphrates Valley. SDF spokesmen announced the destruction of ISIS and the end of ISIS’s control in the last “pocket” of Al-Baghouz. President Trump and senior US officials announced that the United States and its allies had liberated all the areas that had been under ISIS’s control in Syria and Iraq. At the propaganda level, ISIS continues its efforts to address its defeat. The loss of ISIS’s control area in the Lower Euphrates Valley marks the end of a process in which ISIS lost the rest of its control areas in Syria over the past year. Against the backdrop of the fall of ISIS in Syria, the intensive activity of the organization’s provinces throughout the world is salient. Prominent events that took place this week

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 20– March 26, 2019)

This past week events focused on another round of escalation. It began following a rocket fired by Hamas (which claimed it had been launched by mistake), that hit a house in a community north of Tel Aviv (seven injured). The rocket launch and the subsequent round of escalation climaxed the events this past week, during which the level of violence from the Gaza Strip was particularly high. In Judea and Samaria the routine throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails at Israel vehicles continued

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

Last week, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces arrived for a visit in Syria to take part in a joint anti-terrorism summit attended by Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi officials. Syrian sources recently reported that following the visit of President Assad to Tehran, Iran and Syria agreed to form a Syrian team, headed by the executive director of the Lattakia Port, which will negotiate handing over management of the Lattakia Port or the container terminal within it to Iran. Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, conducted his first official visit in Baghdad, during which he met Iraqi government officials, public representatives and senior Shi’ite clerics.

Previous years bulletins