Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 14-20, 2019)

The battle for the takeover of the ISIS outpost in Al-Baghouz is coming to an end. In the Upper Euphrates River (the Al-Mayadeen area), this week ISIS engaged in intensive activity against the SDF forces and the civilians collaborating with them. In the Idlib area, exchanges of artillery fire continue between the Syrian army and the jihadi rebel organizations. In the city of Manbij and its environs, the SDF forces and the SDF-backed local military council launched an operation aimed at exposing ISIS and pro-Turkish elements. In light of the pressure exerted on ISIS in Syria, ISIS’s provinces in Iraq and abroad carried out intensive activities
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Ali Mussa Daqduq (Abu Hussein Sajed): portrait of the commander of Hezbollah’s military network in the Syrian Golan Heights (“the Golan Portfolio”)

The IDF spokesman recently exposed the existence of a military network which Hezbollah started to establish in the Syrian Golan Heights since the summer of 2018 (following the Syrian army’s takeover of the Golan Heights from the rebels, with Hezbollah operatives alongside the Syrian army ). The network includes dozens of operatives residing in the villages of the northern Golan Heights who are also equipped with weapons. The network structure, referred to as “the Golan Portfolio,” is still at the first stages of establishing its presence near the Israeli border and has not yet reached operational capability.
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Estimate of Hezbollah’s fatalities during the Syrian civil war and the conclusions arising from the analysis of their identity

As part of a study on the fatalities (shahids) of Hezbollah in Syria, the names of 1,139 operatives, killed in 2011-2018, were identified. To this number, the ITIC believes that we can add a possible deviation range of 10% of fatalities whose names were not found due to various reasons. Thus, the number of Hezbollah fatalities in Syria may reach about 1,250 (updated to late December 2018). The study is based on dozens of sources, mostly Facebook pages and Internet websites affiliated with Hezbollah and dedicated to commemorate the organization’s fatalities.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 7-13, 2019)

The decisive battle being waged by the SDF forces in the village of Al-Baghouz continued this week. Following are additional incidents in the various Syrian arenas: Idlib: Incidents continue between the Syrian army and the jihadi organizations. Al-Sukhnah: The clashes continued between the Syrian Army and ISIS operatives in the desert area near the village of Al-Sukhnah. Manbij: An ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up near American vehicles traveling on the main road between Manbij and Al-Bab. According to a US media report, four American soldiers were killed. While ISIS is about to lose its significant stronghold in Syria, ISIS’s provinces abroad continue to carry out attacks and conduct fierce fighting against the local armies and regimes.
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ISIS’s media response to the imminent defeat in the village of Al-Baghouz

While the fighting in Al-Baghouz is drawing to a close, ISIS released a video entitled “The significance of the steadfastness in Al-Baghouz.” The messages of the video are intended to cope with the (additional) blow sustained by ISIS, by emphasizing that the loss in the battle does not indicate a loss in the campaign, which is not over yet, and it is too early to declare ISIS’s defeat (a video released by ISIS’s Al-Barakah Province through Shabakat Shumukh, March 11, 2019).
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Reactions to Britain’s decision to ban Hezbollah

On March 1, 2019, the British Parliament approved the decision to recognize Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. According to the decision, any person charged with belonging to or supporting Hezbollah in British territory is liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years. This is a significant decision as up to now only Hezbollah’s military wing (since 2001) and foreign security unit (since 2008) have been designated in Britain as a terrorist organization.
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Funding Terrorism: The method for transferring donations to Hezbollah through the Islamic Resistance Support Association

Hezbollah recently launched a campaign to raise money for its military activities. The campaign was waged by the Islamic Resistance Support Association (IRSA), Hezbollah's main fund-raising institution. The campaign is waged in the Shi'ite communities in Lebanon and abroad at the beginning of every year. The funds collected are mainly used to buy weapons for Hezbollah operatives (through what is called the "equip a jihad fighter" project).
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Spotlight on Iran (February 24, 2019 – March 10, 2019)

In a major development, Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, paid a visit to Tehran. The senior adviser to the Iranian minister of foreign affairs acknowledged in a media interview that despite the cooperation and shared interests of Iran and Russia in Syria, the two countries disagree regarding Israel. Meanwhile, Iran continues to expand its economic activity in Syria and Iraq. Iran strongly condemned the decision of the United Kingdom to list Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and outlaw it.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 28 – March 6, 2019)

On March 1, 2019, the SDF forces began the decisive battle in the village of Al-Baghouz, in the Lower Euphrates Valley. The Syrian army continued to fire artillery at the targets of the rebels (mainly the jihadi organizations). ISIS continues its intensive terror and guerrilla activity in the city of Al-Raqqah. There were clashes in the village of Al-Sukhnah between ISIS and the Syrian army. Concurrently, ISIS’s Iraq Province continued its intensive terror and guerrilla activity.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 14-20, 2019)

The campaign waged by the SDF forces against the ISIS enclave, which has lasted for over five months, is drawing to a close. Idlib and its environs: This week, the exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations continued, at a higher intensity than in the previous weeks. In the deserts in eastern and southern Syria, the Syrian army carried out offensive operations against ISIS operatives, who continued to conduct guerrilla warfare. While ISIS’s main control zone in the Lower Euphrates Valley is about to fall into the hands of the SDF, ISIS continued to fight in other arenas.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 7-13, 2019)

The “pocket” of ISIS’s operatives along the Euphrates River, which is a few square kilometers in size, is shrinking. In the Idlib area, incidents continue between the Syrian army (which continues to bring in reinforcements) and the jihadi organizations. In the city of Manbij and its environs, there has been no change on the ground. Of late, there has been an increase in the number of attacks by local ISIS networks in the city of Al-Raqqah While ISIS is under pressure in the Syrian arena, the organization continues its intensive terrorist and guerrilla activity in the Iraqi arena
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 6– March 12, 2019)

This past week the Palestinians continued to demonstrate a high level of violence at the "return march" and the days afterwards. In the meantime, Egypt continued its efforts to bring calm and to formulate an arrangement acceptable to Israel and Hamas. Hamas and the other organizations are planning a variety of activities for Saturday, March 30, 2019 (the first anniversary of the "return marches"). Popular terrorism continues in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian media reported that Mahmoud Abbas appointed Dr. Muhammad Ashtiya, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, as the new Palestinian prime minister.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 21-27, 2019)

The Kurdish SDF forces are preparing for the decisive attack against what remains of ISIS (many hundreds of operatives) who are holding the village of Al-Baghouz Fawqani. In the Idlib area, high-intensity incidents continued between the Syrian army and the jihadi organizations. In spite of President Trump’s statement that the United States will pull out its 2,000 troops from Syria, according to US media reports from this week, 400 military personnel will remain in 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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The dilemma of ISIS captives held by SDF forces (and an analysis of possible solutions)

The SDF campaign against the ISIS enclave on the lower Euphrates Valley is about to come to an end after five months of fighting. The collapse of the enclave led to the capture of a large number of ISIS fighters by the Kurdish SDF forces.
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Drive for donations using Bitcoin on an ISIS-affiliated website

On January 15, 2019, the ISIS-affiliated website Akhbar al-Muslimin (which recently renewed its activity) began a drive for donations using Bitcoin. The site posted a link to its virtual wallet. The link forwards the potential donor to the website of a digital currency exchange located in Vienna.
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