Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (February 17, 2022 – March 3, 2022)

In late February, the Syrian National Security Adviser, Ali Mamlouk, visited Tehran and met with the Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Council, Ali Shamkhani. The Iranian minister of foreign affairs met with his Iraqi colleague on the sidelines of the Munich International Security Conference and discussed political developments in Iraq, as well as the possibility of restarting the dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia, mediated by Iraq. Representatives of Iraq, Iran, Russia and Syria took part in a meeting of the joint center for counter-terrorism intelligence exchange in Baghdad and discussed security developments along the Iraqi-Syrian border. The former Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad al-Allawi, opined in an interview to a Turkish news agency that since the outbreak of popular protests in Iraq in October 2019, during which protesters chanted against Iranian meddling in Iraq, Iranian influence in the country has diminished.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 24 – March 2, 2022)

Similar to recent weeks, the epicenter of ISIS activity was in Africa, particularly Nigeria and Mozambique. Syria: ISIS carried out relatively low-intensity activity. Iraq: The downtrend in ISIS activity in Iraq continued. The Sinai Peninsula: During the week, ISIS operatives continued to attack the Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union which supports it. Afghanistan: The downtrend in ISIS activity against the Taliban continues. Lebanese security forces detained a Palestinian ISIS squad in the Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp. The members of the squad, which was handled by an ISIS operative in Syria, planned to carry out three attacks in the Hezbollah stronghold of south Beirut. The battle for hearts and minds: The lead article in Al-Naba’ weekly was devoted to those who adhere to the path of ISIS, in spite of the difficulties.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 23 – March 1, 2022)

This past week the Israeli security forces carried out counterterrorism activities throughout Judea and Samaria. In view of the decision by Palestinian terrorist prisoners in Israeli jails to go on a hunger strike to protest "recent events," March 1, 2022 was declared a "day of rage." The Israeli defense minister signed an order for the seizure of tens of thousands of dollars worth digital currency. Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) figures have almost completely abstained from publicly relating to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and have not taken a position on the events, despite the extensive media coverage. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said in a speech that Jerusalem was the eternal capital of the Jewish people, earning him a series of condemnations from Hamas and the PIJ. Coronavirus infection: In Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip the number of active coronavirus cases continues to decline.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 17-23, 2022)

Syria: ISIS continued to carry out relatively low-intensity activity. Iraq: The decrease in the scope of ISIS’s terrorist activity continued. The Sinai Peninsula: Three residents were killed and two were wounded in two IED explosions in the Sheikh Zuweid region in northern Sinai. Africa: There was an increase in ISIS activity this week, mainly against the Nigerian security forces in northeastern Nigeria. Afghanistan: The decline in ISIS activity continued this week. The battle for hearts and minds: The lead article in this week's issue of Al-Naba’ weekly was devoted to stressing the importance of the principle of sowing fear among the enemies of Islam.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 16-22, 2022)

This past week tensions remained high in Judea and Samaria, with Hamas and other terrorist organizations fanning the flames. In Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem rioting continued, although not as intensely as previously. Zaher Jabarin, who holds the prisoners' portfolio in Hamas, regarding the issue of prisoners and MIAs, claimed Israel was procrastinating to avoid concluding the prisoner exchange deal and trying to draw it out as much as possible. Hamas denied reports in the Philippine and Israeli media about the prevention of an attack on the Israeli legation and Israelis in the Philippines. Mahmoud Abbas held a series of political meeting this past week. On February 17, 2022, the PLO's Executive Committee met in Ramallah; the meeting was chaired by Mahmoud Abbas.
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Spotlight on Iran (February 3, 2022 – February 17, 2022)

Ceremonies marking the 43rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution were held in Syria and Iraq, at the initiative of the Iranian embassies and consulates in Damascus, Baghdad and Erbil. The head of the Joint Iranian-Syrian Chamber of Commerce reported that the volume of trade between the two countries in the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 2021 – January 2022) has risen by 90 percent, compared to the same period in the year prior. The Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Esmail Qa’ani, made a third visit to Iraq in the span of one month, against the backdrop of the ongoing government formation negotiations in Iraq. Iranian pilgrims to Syrian and Iraq: The Syrian ambassador to Tehran met with the representative of the supreme leader of Iran on Hajj and pilgrimage affairs, and congratulated him for increasing the number of Iranian pilgrims visiting Syria.
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