Spotlight on Iran (September 6, 2020 – September 20, 2020 )

The Adviser to the Speaker of the Majlis on International Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, declared that Syria continues to be a strategic matter for Iran, and that relations between the two countries are a “red line” that Iran will not allow anyone to cross. In mid-September, Iranian media outlets published the image of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Esmail Qa’ani, during a prayer in Sayyeda Zainab south of Damascus. In mid-September, the former Iraqi Prime Minister and the Head of the State of Law Coalition, Nouri al-Maliki, arrived for a visit in Iran for medical treatment and meetings with senior Iranian officials, including the secretary general of the Supreme National Security Council, the adviser to the supreme leader on international affairs, and the speaker of the Majlis.
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Iran following the UAE-Israeli Normalization Agreement: Responses and Analysis

The agreement to normalize relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, was, as expected, met with harsh criticism in Iran. Senior Iranian officials presented the agreement as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause and the Muslim world, and threatened the Emirates not to grant Israel a foothold in the Persian Gulf. Senior Iranian officials conveyed explicit threats toward the Emirates of the grave consequences of expanding Israeli activities and influence in the country to the security and stability of the Emirates, and even the lives of the Emirates’ rulers.
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Spotlight on Iran (August 23, 2020 – September 6, 2020 )

The deliberations concerning the settlement of the war in Syria have resumed as part of the ongoing Astana Process: a delegation headed by the senior adviser to the Iranian minister of foreign affairs, which visited Damascus in mid-August, met in Geneva with the Turkish deputy foreign minister, and with the special representative of the Russian president to Syria. In late August, the Iranian deputy of the minister of defense and executive director of the organization for social security of the armed forces of Iran visited Syria. The visit of the Iraqi prime minister to Washington, as part of the strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States, aroused criticism in Tehran. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, lambasted the normalization deal reached between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, calling it “a betrayal of the Muslim world, the Arab world, the countries of the region and Palestine.”
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 10-16, 2020)

Syria: ISIS operatives ambushed an Al-Quds Brigade force carrying out searches in the desert region west of Deir ez-Zor. Many casualties were reported. Iraq: This is the second week that there has been a decrease in ISIS’s activity and an increase in the Iraqi security forces’ counterterrorist measures. Northern Sinai: ISIS continues its intensive activity against the Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 3-9, 2020)

Syria: in the Idlib area, routine incidents continued, consisting mainly of exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations, chiefly the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham. In Iraq, the intensity of ISIS’s attacks this week decreased, after several weeks of intensive activity. However, the Iraq Province continues to be the epicenter of ISIS’s activity. In northern Sinai, the Egyptian army appears to have regained control of most of the area of Rabi’a. In Mozambique, the security forces of Tanzania and Mozambique failed to regain control of the port of Mocimboa da Praia, in the northeast of the country. According to ISIS, 20 Tanzanian soldiers were killed or wounded in the failed counterattack.
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The COVID-19 Infection in Lebanon

Until recently the number of reported cases was stable and it seemed that the spread of the disease was under control. Even locations that were potential hotspots, such as the Palestinian refugee camps, reported only isolated cases. However, this past week there was a rise in the number of infections detected, raising concern over a second outbreak, and prompting the Lebanese government to impose a four-day general lockdown on the entire country.
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Germany outlaws Hezbollah, joining other countries which designated it as a terrorist organization

On April 30, 2020, Germany banned Hezbollah from operating on German soil and designated it as a terrorist organization. Immediately after doing so, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer instructed the security forces to conduct searches in mosques, in gathering places of Hezbollah followers and in a number of suspects’ homes in several cities (including Berlin, Bremen, Münster and Dortmund).
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 27 – September 2, 2020)

ISIS's provinces in Asia and Africa continue their routine activities. ISIS continues its intensive attacks detonating IEDs, carrying out targeted killings, firing mortars and attacking posts and facilities of the Iraqi security forces. Egyptian security forces attacked ISIS operatives in the five villages in the Rabi'a area occupied by ISIS on July 21, 2020. ISIS operatives took control of an important port in the northeastern part of the country on August 12, 2020.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 20-26, 2020)

In the Idlib region, clashes continued between the Syrian army and the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham mainly in the areas southwest and south of Idlib. ISIS continued its routine activity in the various provinces around the world. ISIS operatives killed a senior Iraqi officer with the rank of colonel (aqid) during a chase. The Sinai Province continues to wage war against the Egyptian army in villages in the Rabi’a region, over a month after the showcase attack against the army camp near Rabi’a. According to several reports (requiring verification), ISIS leader (emir) in Yemen was ambushed and killed by the Houthi rebels this week.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 5-11, 2020)

On March 5, 2020, an agreement was signed in Moscow between Russia and Turkey, which is intended to end the fighting in the Idlib region. In the ITIC’s assessment, this is a shaky ceasefire (like its predecessors). In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s intensive attacks continued, mainly in the form of activating IEDs. In Iraq, ISIS’s activity consisted mainly of activating IEDs, sniper fire and targeted killings. With regard to noteworthy ISIS activity abroad, the Khorasan Province recently resumed its activity and carried out two showcase attacks in the capital Kabul
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 4 – 10, 2020)

This past week the Gaza Strip was relatively quiet. A stabbing attack was attempted at the Nablus Gate in the Old City in Jerusalem. A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government announced that so far 26 people infected with the coronavirus have been identified, most of them in Bethlehem. In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continue throwing stones at Israel vehicles driving on the roads
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 6-12, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army, with Russian air support, continued its attack on the Idlib region and managed to take over the city of Saraqib The Syrian army is now preparing to take over the city of Idlib. Violent friction continues between the Syrian army and Turkish forces in the area where the Syrian forces operate. The Syrian General Staff announced that the Turkish attacks would not prevent the Syrian army from continuing its military operation in the Idlib area and Aleppo. This week saw decrease in its activity in the Iraqi arena. Outside of these two “core countries,” ISIS’s Sinai Province carried out intensive activity.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 30 – February 5, 2020)

The Syrian army, with Russian air support, continued to advance towards Idlib. The Syrian army’s operation in an area where there are Turkish observation posts, and hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled from the battle zones (some towards the border with Turkey), have created friction on the ground and diplomatic tension between Turkey and Syria (which enjoys Russian support). On February 2, 2020, a Muslim terrorist, a released prisoner with a jihadist ideology, carried out a stabbing attack in south London
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Wave of orchestrated ISIS terrorist retaliation attacks around the globe: overview and assessment

During four days, between April 8 and 11, 2019, the various ISIS provinces in Syria, Iraq and around the globe carried out a wave attacks in retaliation for the blow ISIS suffered in Syria. ISIS reported that eight of its provinces carried out more than 92 attacks in more than 80 areas. The attacks were accompanied by a media campaign and claims of responsibility entitled "Battle of vengeance for blessed [Province of] Sham" [Syria].
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (19-27 September 2017)

The Islamic State is disintegrating in Syria and Iraq. Its territorial areas of control Iraq are falling to the two anti-ISIS coalition forces one after another, although in some important strongholds ISIS operatives continue stubborn fighting.
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Strong condemnation of Iran for its support of terrorism and calling Hezbollah a terrorist organization at an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo

On November 19, 2017, the Arab League's foreign ministers held an emergency meeting in Cairo at the request of Saudi Arabia. The meeting focused on Iranian intervention in the internal affairs of the Arab states. Saudi Arabia complained of the launching of an Iran-manufactured ballistic missile into Saudi territory by the Iranian-supported Houthis.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 23-29, 2020)

The ceasefire is being maintained in the Idlib region of northern Syria, but there has been an increase in the intensity of the incidents between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations. On July 22, 2020, ISIS launched a synchronized wave of attacks known as the Raids of Attrition, (which has not yet ended). The most notable was a large-scale combined attack in the northern Sinai Peninsula, near the village of Rabi’a, west of Bir al-Abd (near the coastal highway, about 30 km from the Suez Canal). Another notable attack carried out as part of the Raids of Attrition was the killing of a senior Syrian Military Security operative in Daraa by an ISIS suicide bomber.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 21-26, 2020)

The synchronized wave of attacks known as the Raids of Attrition, which began on May 14, ended on May 24, 2020. Over a period of 10 days, more than 100 attacks were carried out, the vast majority in Iraq (about 40) and Syria (about 30). After them, by a wide margin, are Nigeria (8 attacks) and other provinces in Africa and Asia (a few attacks in each province). Hence, an analysis of the current wave of attacks indicates an improvement in ISIS’s operational capability, mainly in the Iraqi arena and to some extent in the Syrian arena as well, in contrast with ISIS’s other provinces around the world.
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