Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (September 2 – September 6, 2018)

A week following the visit of the Iranian minister of defense to Damascus, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also paid a visit to Syria. On September 1, 2018, the quadrilateral security summit, attended by deputy chiefs of staff from Iran, Russia, Iraq and Syria, was held in Baghdad. Earlier this week, Tehran denied reports published in Western media about the transfer of ballistic missiles from Iran to the Shi’ite militias in Iraq
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 30 – September 5, 2018)

In the Idlib region, preparations for the impending campaign continue. The Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and other rebel organizations continue to reinforce the front lines opposite the Syrian army, with an emphasis on the area south and southwest of Idlib. Russia and Turkey are in contact with the rebel organizations and local power centers. The goal is to prevent friction and prepare the ground for reconciliation arrangements (i.e., surrender arrangements) in the Idlib region, similar to those achieved in southern Syria. In eastern Syria, ISIS carried out a series of attacks against Syrian army bases in the Euphrates Valley
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 29 – September 4, 2018)

The "return march" and Gaza flotillas continued this past Friday. Rioters threw stones, burned tires and broke into Israeli territory in the northern Gaza Strip. Senior Hamas figure Khalil al-Haya said Hamas had accepted the demands of Egypt and the UN to decrease the launching of incendiary balloons. He said Hamas also invested great effort in dealing with those who launch the balloons. The main event in Judea and Samaria was the prevention of a stabbing attack at the entrance to a neighborhood in Kiryat Arba
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Spotlight on Iran (August 19 – September 2, 2018)

The focal point of the week was the visit to Damascus of Iranian Minister of Defense, Amir Hatami. The United States and Russia continue to hold deliberations regarding Iran’s presence in Syria. In Iraq, Iran continues to operate through political forces close to it in an effort to maintain its influence in Iraq after the upcoming formation of the new government in Baghdad.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 23-29, 2018)

In the Idlib region, the warring sides continue their preparations for the campaign. Concurrently with the military preparations on the ground, intensive diplomatic talks are underway between Russia and Turkey. The local leader (Emir) of ISIS’s Khorasan Province was reportedly killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 22 – 28, 2018)

The "return marches" were held at the Israeli-Gaza Strip border this past Friday with a relatively small number of participants. The level and intensity of violence were relatively low. A Fatah delegation arrived in Cairo and held a short round of talks with the Egyptians. The talks again illustrated the negative role played by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which links the arrangement with Israel with the internal Palestinian reconciliation.
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