Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (March 7, 2021 – March 21, 2021)

Two fighters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) were killed in a mine explosion in al-Mayadin, eastern Syria. The advisor on foreign affairs to the supreme leader of Iran met with the incoming Syrian ambassador to Tehran and passed on the wishes of speedy recovery from the supreme leader of Iran to the Syrian president, who recently contracted COVID-19. In an extraordinary statement, a former Iranian Majlis member stated that it can not be ruled out that Syria will change its approach toward Iran is the future, and hence Iran must not place all its eggs in President Assad’s basket. The Iranian ambassador to Baghdad met with the Iraqi minister of finance and discussed the issue of releasing Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks due to Western sanctions. Esmail Qa’ani, the Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, stated in a commemoration ceremony in the city of Mashhad that Israel is forced to wall itself off to protect itself, and warned “the Zionists” that they should know that this wall too will be destroyed.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 11-17, 2021)

Syria: In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued south and southwest of Idlib between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it, and the rebel forces. Iraq: ISIS’s activity in the Salah al-Din Province this week consisted mainly of breaking into the homes of those suspected of collaborating with the authorities. Africa: In view of the recent expansion of ISIS’s activity in Africa, the US Department of State has approved the imposition of economic sanctions on ISIS’s branch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its leader, and on ISIS’s branch in Mozambique and its leader.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 10 – 16, 2021)

Coronavirus: In the Gaza Strip there was a moderate increase in the number of active cases. Vaccines donated by the UAE and with the personal involvement of Muhammad Dahlan arrived and Gazans are being vaccinated. In Judea and Samaria the number of active cases continues rising. Terrorist attacks: The Gaza Strip has been relatively quiet. In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continue throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israel vehicles and communities. The Gaza Strip: The ministry of the interior in Gaza announced that according to the results of the investigation into the explosion on the fishing boat off the Khan Yunis coast on March 7, 2021, which killed three fisherman, Israel was responsible for the deaths. Yahya al-Sinwar won a close race in Hamas' internal elections and will serve as head of Hamas' political bureau for four more years.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 3 –9, 2021)

Coronavirus: In the Gaza Strip there was a slight rise in the number of active cases. Public health figures are concerned that a variant might enter for which they have do not have the ability to test. In Judea and Samaria coronavirus infections continue to spread. Terrorist attacks: There were two stabbing attacks, one targeting a civilian living in the Ephraim Farms and the other targeting IDF forces operating in the Tubas region. The Gaza Strip: On March 7, 2021, Hamas' military wing fired a number of rockets from the central Gaza Strip towards the sea. The International Criminal Court (ICC): The Palestinians were very pleased that the ICC's chief prosecutor decided to initiate an investigation of Israel. In Palestinian perspective the decision was a historic achievement in the Palestinian struggle against Israel. Incitement: The Palestinian media continue anti-Israeli incitement and glorifying terrorists.

Spotlight on Iran (February 21, 2021 – March 7, 2021)

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the American strike against targets of the Iraqi pro-Iranian militias on the Syrian side of the Iraqi-Syrian border, on the night of February 25-26. In late February, the Spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, visited Damascus. A conference to examine opportunities to expand the commercial cooperation between Iran and Syria was held in Tehran. The Iraqi minister of foreign affairs arrived for a second visit in less than a month in Tehran. Tensions between Iran and Turkey after the Iranian ambassador to Iraq gave an interview to a Kurdish TV channel, during which the ambassador lambasted Turkey’s intervention in northern Iraq.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 25 – March 3, 2021)

Syria: In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it, and the rebel forces south of Idlib. Iraq: The main event this week was a car bomb explosion in the western Al-Anbar Province, killing and wounding at least 15 Iraqi soldiers and Tribal Mobilization fighters. Egypt: Three Egyptian soldiers were killed, including an officer with the rank of colonel, when an IED was activated against an Egyptian army foot patrol south of the city of Rafah. Africa: ISIS carried out noteworthy attacks in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Counterterrorism in Europe: In Germany, a Muslim preacher of Iraqi descent was sentenced to prison for recruiting ISIS fighters throughout Germany.

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