Spotlight on Iran (July 8-22, 2021)

On July 9, an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fighter was killed in Syria, likely in a mine explosion. The Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, Esmail Qa’ani, recently visited Syria, during which he stopped over at the headquarters of the Fatemiyoun Brigade, an Afghan militia operating under IRGC control in Syria. In late July, an Iranian trade delegation is set to visit Syria to further cooperation between the cement industries of the two countries. The Iranian President-Elect, Ebrahim Raisi, spoke on the phone with the head of Hamas’ Politburo and the secretary general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
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Spotlight on Iran (June 24, 2021 – July 8, 2021)

The President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, spoke on the phone with Iranian President-Elect, Ebrahim Raisi, and wished him success in his role. The two stressed the need to bolster cooperation between the two countries and to maintain coordination between them. In light on the ongoing confrontation between the United States and Shia militias along the Syria-Iraq border, the commander of Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), condemned the American presence in the region. The Iranian embassy in Beirut issued a statement insisting that the arrival of oil tankers from Iran to Lebanon does not require approval by the United States. In a TV interview, the former head of Hamas’ Politburo, Khaled Mashal, confirmed once again that Iran provides Hamas with weaponry and technology. He added, however, that Hamas is interested in also improving its ties with Saudi Arabia.
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ISIS spokesman releases an audiotape calling on the operatives to intensify their attacks, lashing out against Iran, Turkey and the leaders of the Arab states, and expressing support for the Palestinians but not for Hamas

ISIS Spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi. The tape, which lasts about 38 minutes, is entitled “You are the sublime ones if you believe.” It mainly contains words of encouragement to ISIS’s fighters around the world, calls on them to intensify their activity and asks them to choose more substantial targets for their attacks (Telegram, June 22, 2021).
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 15-21, 2021)

Syria: Idlib region – 10 soldiers were killed and several others were wounded in exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebels. Iraq: One noteworthy attack this week was a deadly attack carried out by ISIS operatives on the eve of Eid al-Adha in a crowded open market in a Shiite neighborhood in east Baghdad. Africa: ISIS announced the resumption of hostilities between its operatives and the joint forces of Mozambique, South Africa and Portugal in the Palma region, northeast of Mozambique. Afghanistan: ISIS operatives continued to attack government and Taliban targets.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 8 –14, 2021)

Syria: In the Idlib region, several wanted ISIS operatives were arrested as part of a counterterrorism operation carried out by HTS, the dominant organization in the rebel enclave. Iraq: This week, ISIS’s activity focused on the electricity infrastructure as part of what it calls its economic war. Africa: Most ISIS’s activity this week focused on Nigeria. Afghanistan: The Taliban movement continues to take over large areas of the country following the pullback of the international forces from the country and the weakness of the local government. The battle for hearts and minds: This week, the main article in ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly dealt with the failure of the International Coalition against ISIS to defeat the organization, against the backdrop of the June 2021 summit in Rome.
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Escalation in the Gaza Strip – Operation Guardian of the Walls (Updated to 12:00 noon, May 20, 2021)

Operation Guardian of the Walls entered its eleventh day. With reports of an upcoming ceasefire rocket and mortar fire continues, although slightly smaller in number. During the 24 hours between 0700, May 19 and May 20, 2021, 270 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip. So far, since the beginning of Operation Guardian of the Walls, 3,153 rockets have been fired at Israel. About 90% of those attacking populated areas were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system. Most of the rockets fired during the past 24 hours had ranges of about 40 kilometers (25 miles) and targeted the southern Israeli coastal cities of Ashqelon and Ashdod, and the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip border.
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Hezbollah’s response to the economic crisis in Lebanon

For over a year, there has been a severe economic and political crisis in Lebanon, whose end is not in sight. Underlying the crisis are fundamental problems, mainly firmly-rooted corruption and a chronic state of political instability. Additional difficulties have been added to the fundamental problems: the COVID-19 crisis; the negative effects of US sanctions on the Lebanese economy and banking system; the explosion at the Port of Beirut; difficulties stemming from the Syrian civil war (the problem of Syrian refugees who fled to Lebanon); and the lack of external assistance due to Lebanon’s failure to carry out the reforms required by the international community
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 1-7, 2021)

Syria: In the Idlib region, exchanges of fire continued between the Syrian army and the rebels. In one incident (July 3, 2021), eight people were killed by Syrian army gunfire. The fatalities included six children and one woman. Iraq: This week as well, ISIS operated in the various provinces in Iraq, but there has been a decrease in the number of attacks. The Sinai Peninsula: According to Gazan sources, a Palestinian from Rafah who joined ISIS several years ago was killed in an exchange of fire with Egyptian soldiers in the Bir al-Abd region.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (June 24-30, 2021)

Syria: The exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebel forces in the Idlib enclave continued this week. Iraq: ISIS continued to attack targets of the Iraqi security forces. Sinai: The province's activity against the Egyptian security forces was relatively limited this week. In one noteworthy attack, two soldiers were killed by an IED south of Bir al-Abd, in northern Sinai. In Africa, the relative downtrend in ISIS’s activity continues. Afghanistan: ISIS’s activity continued, mainly against Afghan government targets. One noteworthy incident this week was an attack on economic targets (an oil tanker and a high-voltage pylon) as part of what ISIS calls its economic war.
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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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Analysis of the new statement of ISIS spokesman following the normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain

On October 18, 2020, ISIS’s Al-Furqan Media Foundation released an audiotape of the organization’s spokesman Abu Hamza Al-Qurashi. The title of the tape is a verse from the Quran – “So narrate to them stories of the past, so perhaps they will reflect ”. In the 32-minute tape, the spokesman calls for the overthrow of the “tyrannical” rulers in Arab countries, following the normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.
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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 (June 2-9, 2021)

This week, ISIS’s activity in the various provinces continued at a "routine" level: Syria: The main event this week was an attack, apparently carried out by ISIS operatives, against a convoy of the Syrian army and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Al-Sukhnah Desert, on the Palmyra-Deir ez-Zor highway. Iraq: ISIS claimed responsibility for detonating an IED near the tomb of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in the Shiite Kadhimiya neighborhood in northern Baghdad. The Sinai Peninsula: ISIS operatives carried out a combined attack on an Egyptian army camp south of Sheikh Zuweid. There has been a downtrend in ISIS’s activity in Africa. Libya: After a long period with no ISIS attacks in the country, this week ISIS carried out a suicide bombing attack at a roadblock set up by General Haftar’s army about 670 km south of Tripoli. At least four military personnel were killed, including an officer.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 6-12, 2021)

The fourth week of Ramadan was also marked by a relatively high number of attacks, mainly in Iraq and Africa. Syria: An IED was activated against a Syrian army ATV in the desert region (Al-Badia). The vehicle was destroyed and the passengers were killed or wounded. Iraq: The week, ISIS concentrated its activity mainly in the Kirkuk Province, where its operatives carried out several attacks against camps of the Iraqi security forces. Africa: There appears to have been a slight decrease in ISIS’s activity this week. Afghanistan: This week, for the first time, ISIS carried out activity against infrastructure in the country, as part of what it calls its economic war. Germany has outlawed several Islamic organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Somalia and Syria.
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