Weekly Updates

Spotlight on Iran (June 10 – June 24, 2021)

Leaders of the “Resistance Front” and Middle Eastern officials congratulated the elected Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, for his victory in the presidential elections, held on June 18, and wished him success in his role. Iran’s incoming Ambassador to Syria, Mehdi Sobhani, presented his credentials to Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. An Iranian delegation made up of senior economic officials, headed by Iran’s minister of transportation and urban development, conducted a visit to Syria, lasting several days, and met with senior Syrian officials. The Lebanese paper al-Akhbar reported that the head of Hamas’ Politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, intends to visit Iran soon and meet with senior regime officials in Tehran.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 17 – 23 2021)

This week, ISIS’s activity in the various provinces continued at a "routine" level: Syria: Tension returned to the rebel enclave in Idlib after the Syrian army intensified its artillery fire, possibly in preparation for a ground attack. Iraq: ISIS has stepped up its activity in what it calls its economic war. As part of this activity, ISIS operatives targeted high-voltage pylons and refineries. Sinai: In the Sinai Province, ISIS has stepped up its activity against the Egyptian army. Afghanistan: ISIS’s activity in Afghanistan continues. Africa: The downtrend in ISIS’s activity in Africa continues. The battle for hearts and minds: On June 21, 2021, ISIS’s Al-Furqan Media Foundation released an audiotape of the speech by ISIS Spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (June 16 – 22, 2021)

There were two terrorist attacks this past week: A Palestinian woman was killed attempting a combined vehicular-ramming and stabbing attack in Hizma, south of Nablus; a Palestinian woman tried to carry out a stabbing attack in Hebron and was detained. The flag march in the Old City of Jerusalem, June 15, 2021 and reactions: Despite threats from Hamas and the other terrorist organizations, the flag march in Jerusalem ended without significant repercussions. Addenda to Operation Guardian of the Walls: Given what is described by Hamas as lack of progress in contacts for defining the situation in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas leadership is increasing its efforts to ease daily life for the Gazan population by exerting pressure on Israel. The coronavirus vaccine crisis: The delivery of soon-to- expire coronavirus vaccines from Israel to the Palestinian Authority (PA) was severely criticized, and after the first batch was delivered the PA cancelled the deal.

Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 9 – 16, 2021)

This week, ISIS’s activity in the various provinces continued at a "routine" level: Syria: In the desert region (Al-Badia), Russian warplanes made over 40 sorties against ISIS targets. However, ISIS’s activity did not stop. Iraq: The main event was an attack carried out by ISIS in Jalam Samarra, about 30 km north of the city of Samarra. Sinai: A senior official in ISIS’s Sinai Province was reported killed in an operation by an Egyptian elite unit south of Rafah. Another senior official of the province was arrested in the operation. Afghanistan: This week, the increase in ISIS’s activity in the country continued, similar to recent weeks. Africa: There has been a decline in the volume of ISIS’s activity, with northeastern Nigeria continuing to be the epicenter.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (June 9 – 15, 2021)

Tension at an all-time high before the flag march: Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have warned Israel not to "play with fire" while calling for a general mobilization and confrontations near the Damascus Gate. Hamas threatened to renew rocket fire at Israel and called for confrontations in east Jerusalem. In the meantime, Egypt is trying to prevent Hamas from attacking southern Israel.

Spotlight on Iran (May 27, 2021 – June 10, 2021)

Two senior officers, IRGC advisers to the Syrian army, were ambushed by ISIS and killed in Syria on their way from Deir ez-Zor to Palmyra. The Iranian media avoided referring to them as senior officers. On June 9, the commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force arrived for talks in Baghdad with senior Iraqi politicians and commanders of Shia militias. The New York Times reported that Iran is behind several attacks carried out in recent months against American targets in Iraq using advanced armed drones. The Iranian minister of energy announced that Iraq agreed to release 125 million dollars of the Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks to allow Iran to purchase vaccines against COVID-19.

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