Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (September 8, 2019 – September 22, 2019)

On September 16, the fifth round of talks between the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey concerning Syria’s future was held in Ankara. Dozens of Iranian companies participated in the fifth Damascus International Fair on reconstruction of the country, which was held in the Syrian capital in mid-September. Following attacks attributed to Israel against targets in western Iraq and ongoing escalation between Iran and the United States, Iran and the Shi’ite militias in Iraq are expanding their coordination. Iran rejected U.S. claims about its direct involvement is striking two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on September 14. Despite the responsibility claim by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the United States blamed Iran for the attack, which significantly disrupted Saudi Arabia’s oil output.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 12-18, 2019)

The unilateral ceasefire in the Idlib region declared by the Syrian army (August 31, 2019) was generally maintained and occasionally interrupted by Syrian (and possibly also Russian) airstrikes and artillery fire. In Iraq, ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity continues. In the various provinces in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, ISIS’s “routine” attacks continued. Special attention should be paid to Al-Baghdadi’s calls on the organization’s operatives to attack judges, investigators and security personnel at prisons where ISIS operatives are incarcerated.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (September 11-16, 2019)

This week, the return march was characterized by a relatively high level of violence. Many IEDs, grenades and Molotov cocktails were thrown at IDF forces. Palestinians attempted to damage the security fence and even crossed into Israeli territory. During the week, five rockets were launched at Israel in two separate incidents. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that if he is elected his administration will apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley has led to a wave of condemnations among the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority spokesmen threatened that if Israel carried out its intention, all agreements between it and Israel would be canceled.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 5-11, 2019)

With the exception of several local shooting incidents, as at September 10, 2019, the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Syrian army in the Idlib area is being maintained. According to a report by the Turkish Ministry of Defense, as part of the first phase of the plan to establish the safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, joint patrols by US and Turkish army forces along the Syria-Turkey border have begun. ISIS’s terrorist and guerilla warfare activities continued in Syria and Iraq. ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued to carry out “routine” attacks. This week, attacks were reported in the Sinai Peninsula, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Yemen.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (September 4-10, 2019)

On Friday, September 6, 2019, the 73rd return march was held in the Gaza Strip. The march was particularly violent, and two Palestinians were killed. Following their deaths five rockets were fired at the Sderot region from the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian youth carried out a stabbing attack in the village of Azoun (near Qalqilya), wounding two Israelis, a father and son. On September 8, 2019, Bassem al-Saeh, a Palestinian prisoner who had been suffering from a terminal disease for a number of years, died in an Israeli prison. Senior Palestinian figures and spokesmen in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip accused Israel and the Israeli prison service of responsibility for his death, claiming he died because of medical negligence.

Spotlight on Iran (August 25 – September 8, 2019)

The responses of senior Iranian officials to the Israeli strike in Syria on August 24, which aimed to stop the launch of attack drones toward Israel, reflected a media strategy intended to prevent Iran’s implication in the operation. In the economic domain, Iran and Syria continue to expand their cooperation in the spheres of finance and trade. The Iranian consul in Erbil met with the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in northern Iraq and discussed ways to expand ties between Iran and the Kurdish region. A senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official declared in an interview with a Palestinian news website that his organization does not take orders, but only support, from Iran.

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