Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 15-21, 2019)

This week, the Syrian army forces completed the takeover of the rural area west and northwest of the city of Khan Shaykhun. In view of these developmentsTurkey sent a military convoy that included dozens of armored vehicles and tank transporters. The convoy was attacked from the air, reportedly by Russian and Syrian aircraft. The incident created the first friction of its kind between Turkey, on the one hand, and Russia and Syria on the other. In response to the airstrike, the Turkish foreign minister warned Syria “not to play with fire” In the Iraqi arena, ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla operations in the various provinces continued, in the form of sniper fire, IEDs, and mortar shells. This week as well, Afghanistan was the scene of many of the attacks carried out by ISIS operatives in its provinces in Africa and Asia.
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The Islamic Health Organization: Hezbollah institution providing health services to Hezbollah operatives and the Shiite population in general as a means for gaining influence and creating a Shiite mini-state within Lebanon

One of the most important social institutions is the Islamic Health Organization, which provides medical services to Hezbollah operatives and the entire Shiite population. This organization, has an extensive network of hospitals, medical centers and clinics among the Shiite population throughout Lebanon. This medical infrastructure provides medical services to nearly two million people, i.e., most of the Shiite residents of Lebanon. These services are either subsidized or provided free of charge, so they are most attractive in a country where medical services are very expensive.
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Spotlight on Iran (July 28 – August 11, 2019)

In late July, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, visited the Albu Kamal crossing connecting Syria and Iraq and met with commanders of pro-Iranian militias in the region. In the economic sphere, Iran is preparing to participate in the international fair set to be held in Damascus soon. In early August, a delegation of high-ranking commanders of the Iraqi Shi’ite pro-Iranian militia, Harakat al-Nujaba’, visited Iran. Recent reports about the visit of the Hamas delegation to Tehran at the end of July indicate that during the visit, the representatives of Iran and Hamas agreed to expand cooperation between them. These reports indicate that Iran promised Hamas to advocate on its behalf with the Syrian regime, to allow Hamas’ leadership to return to Damascus and improve relations between the Palestinian faction and the Syrian leadership, after the rift emerged between the two sides following the outbreak of the civil war in Syria.
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Developments in the Idlib Region (Updated to the morning of August 20, 2019)

During the past two weeks the Syrian army scored a series of victories southwest of the Idlib region, the first of their kind since the ground offensive at the beginning of May 2019. Syrian army forces took control of a number of villages west and northwest of the city of Khan Sheikhoun. Syrian advance forces entered the western outskirts of the city and set up a roadblock on the M5 highway (the Damascus-Hama-Aleppo road)
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 8-14, 2019)

Following the collapse of the ceasefire in the Idlib region, the Syrian army launched a series of ground attacks in several zones. In the Euphrates Valley in eastern Syria, ISIS continues its increased activity in the area of Al-Raqqah and Deir ez-Zor–Al-Mayadeen. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity in the various provinces continues, as does the widespread operation by the Iraqi security forces to mop up northern and western Iraq. On August 3-11, 2019, ISIS carried out its Raids of Attrition Campaign, which is intended to encourage ISIS’s supporters and to reinforce the message that ISIS is enhancing its presence and activity around the globe.
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Hezbollah’s Iranian identity: Ceremony of Hezbollah operatives in southern Lebanon with conspicuous personality cult of Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei

Since its inception, the Lebanese Hezbollah has been inculcating the ideology of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in the Shiites in Lebanon, establishing the personality cult of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Imam Ruhollah Khomeini, and emphasizing that Hezbollah is totally subject to the Supreme Leader (see appendices A, C and D
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Spotlight on Iran (July 14 – July 28, 2019)

The former commander of Iranian forces in Syria revealed for the first time details from the meeting between the Commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, and Russian President Putin in the summer of 2015. In mid-July, the Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs to the Chairman of the Majlis, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, paid a visit to Syria and Lebanon and met with senior officials from both countries. On July 22, Iraq’s Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, arrived for a visit in Tehran and met with President Rouhani. The spokesman of the Popular Mobilization Units (al-Hashd al-Shaabi), the pro-Iranian Iraqi militias, denied the reports about presence of Iranian forces in the Amerli base in northern Iraq. A senior delegation of Hamas officials, led by the Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of the organization, Saleh al-Arouri, visited Tehran and met high-ranking Iranian officials.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 1-7, 2019)

On August 2, 2019, the Syrian army announced a ceasefire in the Idlib area following the statement that was made by participants of the Astana meeting (August 1, 2019). The Astana statement called for a calm on the ground in the Idlib area based on the implementation of the Sochi Memorandum The ceasefire lasted four days until the Syrian army announced the resumption of military activity. Following the Syrian army’s announcement, exchanges of fire in the Idlib area resumed. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS’s intensive activity in the various provinces continues. On August 3, 2019, ISIS renewed its Raids of Attrition campaign in Syria, Iraq and the various provinces around the globe. Intensive activity in Afghanistan was the major part of ISIS’s attacks around the globe. In addition, “routine” attacks by ISIS operatives continued in the Sinai Peninsula, Nigeria, Niger, Mozambique, Somalia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Yemen.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 25-31, 2019)

The Syrian army managed to record an achievement in the Idlib area after many weeks of being bogged down. At the same time, ISIS’s process of recovery in Syria continued. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS continues its intensive terrorist and guerrilla activity in the various provinces. ISIS’s routine activity in the various overseas provinces and regions continued
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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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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 (July 18-24, 2019)

The Syrian army’s ground offensive against the rebel organizations in the Idlib region is still bogged down. Since the fall of ISIS’s stronghold in the Lower Euphrates River, there has been a clear and ongoing increase in the scope and intensity of ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity throughout Syria. In Iraq, the extensive security operation against ISIS continues. In ISIS’s various provinces in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, “routine” activity continued.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July 10 – 16 , 2019)

On Friday, July 12, 2019, return march events were held in the Gaza Strip with about 6,500 participants. The level of violence was higher than in previous weeks. In recent weeks there has been a significant decrease in the number of incendiary and IED balloons launched into Israel. on July 11, 2019, the IDF accidentally shot and killed a Hamas military wing operative near the security fence. Hamas announced it would respond. This past week an Egyptian General Intelligence delegation visited the Gaza Strip. This past week registration began for the summer camps organized by Hamas' military wing. The camps provide paramilitary training and ideological indoctrination to prepare the youths for future integration into Hamas' military and political networks in the Gaza Strip.
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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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Argentina designates Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and freezes all its assets, joining other countries, led by the United States. That gives the Argentine government better tools to deal with Hezbollah’s activities in Argentina and Latin America.

On July 18, 2019, Argentina designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The announcement was made two days after Argentine President Mauricio Mauri announced a list of terrorist organizations, institutions and operatives, enabling the Argentine authorities to take punitive steps against them. The announcement was made on the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires (the AMIA building ), July 18, 1994, at a time when high-ranking American officials, headed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, were visiting the country.
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Muhammad Sawalha, a senior Hamas operative living in Britain, recently participated in a Hamas delegation to Russia. In an attempt to conceal the presence of a Britain-based senior operative, Hamas did not report his participation.

On July 15, 2019, a Hamas delegation headed by Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, visited Russia. The delegation met with Mikhail Bogdanov, deputy Russian foreign minister and the Russian presidential representative for the Middle East and Africa. Also a member of the delegation was Muhammad Sawalha, a senior Hamas operative who lives in London, where he collaborates with the Muslim Brotherhood (Britain is the European center of their activities).
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