Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (February 23, 2020 – March 8, 2020)

In light of the escalating confrontation between Turkey and the forces backing the Assad regime in Idlib, the Advisory Center of the Iranian Military in Syria published an extraordinary statement, threatening to retaliate against Turkey if it persists with its attacks. The former Iraq Prime Minister, Iyad al-Allawi, accused the Adviser of the Supreme Leader of Iran on International Affairs, Ali-Akbar Velayati, of meddling in the process of new government formation in Iraq. Senior Palestinian officials praised the extensive assistance Qasem Soleimani provided to Palestinian militant groups

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 27 – March 4, 2020)

This week, high-intensity battles took place in the Idlib region between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it (including the Lebanese Hezbollah) and the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the other rebel organizations. Against the backdrop of the intensive fighting in the Idlib region, clashes between the Syrian army and the Turkish army escalated this week. In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s intensive attacks continued, while in Iraq there was a relative drop in the scope of its activity.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 26 – March 3, 2020)

This past week there was relative quiet after the most recent round of escalation in the Gaza Strip. Monday, the day of Israel's general elections, passed without exceptional incident. A delegation of senior Hamas figures headed by Isma'il Haniyeh, head of Hamas' political bureau, visited Russia. An IDF force identified a vehicle in the northern Golan Heights whose passengers had apparently been involved in an attempted sniper attack against targets in Israel.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 20-26, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army refrained from making a significant advance towards the city of Idlib. The Syrian and Turkish armies continued to reinforce their troops in the Idlib region. In the Euphrates Valley in Syria, ISIS’s intensive attacks continue, taking the form of planting IEDs, detonating car bombs, and killing fighters and “agents” affiliated with the SDF forces. In ISIS’s provinces abroad, there was an increase in attacks against the Nigerian army, in northeastern Nigeria (dozens of Nigerian army fatalities).

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (February 19 –25, 2020)

This past week terrorist events focused on another round of escalation from the Gaza Strip, initiated by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) (February 23-24, 2020). More than 110 rockets were fired at the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip and the southern Israeli cities of Sderot and Ashqelon. The rocket fire began two days after Israel announced unprecedented measures to ease daily life in the Gaza Strip, part of the understandings for an arrangement. The round of escalation was preceded by two PIJ attempts to attack IDF soldiers near the security fence in the Khan Yunis region. In Judea and Samaria popular terrorism continues, focusing on stabbing attacks in Jerusalem.

Spotlight on Iran (February 9, 2020 – February 23, 2020)

Senior Iranian officials avoided commenting regarding reports on deaths among the ranks of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in a strike, carried out in the Damascus area on February 13, which was attributed to Israel. Another fighter of the IRGC was killed in Syria, likely in a strike of an anti-tank guided missile deployed by Syrian rebels in the Aleppo area. In mid-February, the Speaker of the Iranian Majlis, Ali Larijani, conducted an official visit to Syria and Lebanon. Further evidence for the growing challenges facing Iran’s efforts to increase its economic clout in the region.

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