Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 13-19, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army’s campaign for the takeover of Idlib, with Russian air support and political backing, centered on the western neighborhoods of Aleppo and the rural areas west and northwest of the city. Because of the fighting, hundreds of thousands of displaced persons continue to flee the battle zones, mainly to areas near the Turkish border. This week, nearly 150,000 displaced persons reportedly fled. Turkish President Erdoğan and other senior Turkish officials continue to threaten to exert force against the Syrian army if it does not withdraw to the area where it was deployed at the time of the Sochi Conference (2018) by the end of February 2020. This week, ISIS continued its intensive activity in the Euphrates Valley and other areas in Syria. On the other hand, in Iraq, ISIS carried out relatively low-intensity activity.
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The Killing of Qasem Soleimani is a Major Loss to Iran, But May Serve as an Opportunity to Reexamine Iran’s Modus Operandi in the Region

The killing of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, in early 2020, dealt a serious blow to Iran’s ability to promote its strategic goals in the Middle East.
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Iranian support for Palestinian terrorism: Distribution of Iranian funds to shaheeds’ families in the Gaza Strip by PIJ-affiliated Al-Ansar Charity Association

In late January 2020, the Al-Ansar Charity Association, affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), distributed Iranian financial support to families of shaheeds killed from the beginning of the Second Intifada (2000) until Operation Protective Edge (2014).
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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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Spotlight on Iran (January 26, 2020 – February 9, 2020)

The issuance of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” aroused harsh criticism in Iran, expectedly.. During the ongoing battles between Syrian regime forces and its backers against the rebels in Idlib and western and southern Aleppo, an officer with the Qods Force was killed. Against the backdrop of political developments in Iraq and Lebanon, Iran welcomed the formation of a new government in Lebanon
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 26 – December 3, 2019)

On November 29, 2019, for the third consecutive week, the return march in the Gaza Strip was postponed. The Supreme Authority called on the Palestinians to participate in the return march events this coming Friday (December 6, 2019), whose theme will be "The march continues." Despite the postponement of the march events, several young Palestinian rioters gathered in the southern Gaza Strip and threw Molotov cocktails, IEDs and stones at IDF forces. A field hospital is currently being constructed by an American NGO in the northern Gaza Strip near the Erez Crossing. Its construction has been severely criticized, especially by Fatah.
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ISIS’s spokesman calls on Muslims around the globe to spearhead the struggle to thwart President Trump’s plan and calls on ISIS operatives in Sinai and Syria to attack Israeli communities

On January 27, 2020, ISIS’s new spokesman released an audiotape with an explicit call on ISIS operatives in Sinai and Syria to attack Israeli communities and turn them into a proving ground for ISIS’s weapons. In addition, he calls on Muslims in Palestine and worldwide to spearhead the struggle to thwart US President Trump's Deal of the Century.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 23-29, 2020)

The Syrian forces, with Russian air support, took the initiative once again and carried out attacks in the Idlib region this week. ISIS continued its activity in the Euphrates Valley and the Al-Hasakah region in eastern and northeastern Syria. This week, ISIS carried out intensive activity in the provinces outside its core countries, i.e., Iraq and Syria. The most prominent attacks were carried out in northern Sinai and Africa (mainly in northeastern Nigeria and in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo). On January 27, 2020, ISIS’s new spokesman released an audiotape which included an unusual and explicit call on ISIS operatives in Sinai and Syria to attack Israeli communities
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 9-15, 2020)

January 12, 2020, a ceasefire agreed upon between Turkey and Russia entered into effect in the Idlib region. Even after the ceasefire was declared military friction continued between the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the Syrian forces. In Iraq, there was a meeting of senior commanders from the Popular Mobilization which examined the continuation of the campaign against ISIS following the killing of Qassem Soleimani and of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization). In Niger, ISIS operatives attacked a Niger army base near the border with Mali. The Niger army sustained about 100 fatalities.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 26, 2019 – January 1, 2020)

The Syrian army’s attack against the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and other rebel organizations, which began on December 20, 2019, subsided this week and came to a (temporary) end on December 26, 2019. As a result of the Syrian army’s advance, residents of Maarat Nu'man and the surrounding rural areas have fled ISIS also carried out intensive activity this week in its provinces overseas, most notably in Borno State in northern Nigeria.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 1 –7, 2020)

In the days after the killing of Qassem Soleimani the Gaza Strip has been almost completely quiet. This past week no return march was held. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which receive military and financial support from Iran, issued mourning notices for the death of Qassem Soleimani. A Hamas delegation led by Isma'il Haniyeh arrived in Tehran to participate in Soleimani's funeral. In March 2018 the ITIC reported that Turkey had transmitted many documents from the Ottoman State Archives to the PA, mainly those dealing with the ownership of real estate. The Israeli media recently reported that Palestinian lawyers have already begun to use the documents in the legal battles being waged regarding land registration, especially in Jerusalem.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 12-18, 2019)

In the Syrian arena, ISIS continues its intensive activity, mainly in the area of Al-Mayadeen, in the Euphrates Valley. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS continues its intensive activity, with an emphasis on the Diyala Province north of Baghdad. At the same time, ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued their routine activity.
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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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ISIS-inspired stabbing attack in London

On February 2, 2020, a Muslim terrorist, a released prisoner with a jihadist ideology, carried out a stabbing attack in south London (just over two months after a Pakistani terrorist carried out a stabbing attack on London Bridge). In the ITIC’s assessment, the attack was inspired by ISIS. Three passersby were wounded, one of them seriously. The terrorist was shot and killed by police. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was carried out in response to calls to attack the Coalition countries.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 29, 2019 – January 12, 2020)

Last week’s events were marked by a significant escalation between the United States and Iran following the assassination of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, in an American strike in Baghdad. In an initial response to Soleimani’s elimination, the IRGC launched ballistic missiles toward the Ayn al-Assad base in western Iraq, in which U.S. forces are present. Shortly after Soleimani’s assassination, his deputy, Esmail Qa’ani, was appointed in his stead, as the commander of the Qods Force. Qa’ani vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death, persist in his path and remove the United States from the region. Qasem Soleimani’s assassination provided an opportunity for a meeting between the heads of the Palestinian factions, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with senior Iranian officials. A delegation of both organizations, who came to Tehran to participate in Soleimani’s funeral, met during their visit with the incoming Qods Force commander.
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