Iran’s Conduct in Recent Months Indicates a Shift to Direct Military Action over Use of Proxies

Since abandoning its “strategic patience” policy in May 2019, which Iran adopted following the announcement by U.S. President, Donald Trump, in May 2018, to withdraw from the JCPOA and re-impose sanctions against it, Tehran initiated a number of offensive operations in the Persian Gulf region
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Resistance society: Hezbollah’s municipal activity

Hezbollah’s civilian activity also includes the municipal field in municipalities of regions with a Shiite population. In view of the rural nature of most of Shiite society, Hezbollah attaches major importance to local government in towns and villages and maintains regular representation there. Through power positions at the municipal level (see below) and the provision of services to the local residents in cities, towns and villages, Hezbollah wins major influence on the ground.
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Spotlight on Iran (September 22 – October 6, 2019)

Recently, the official website of the Supreme Leader of Iran uncharacteristically published photos documenting a meeting of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, and the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani. Iranian media reported extensively about the re-opening of the Albu Kamal-al-Qaem border crossing between Iraq and Syria. The Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad, Iraj Masjedi, threatened that Iran will strike American forces stationed in Iraq if the U.S. carries out an attack against it. The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Baqeri, confirmed that Iran is providing assistance in the form of military advice to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. He denied, however, the allegations that Iran is transferring missiles to Yemen.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 26 – October 6, 2019)

The unilateral ceasefire in the Idlib region declared by the Syrian army continues. Intensive guerilla activity by ISIS continues in the Euphrates Valley, in the area of Al-Raqqah and in the area between Deir ez-Zor and Albukamal. In the northern Sinai Peninsula, ISIS continues its high-intensity terrorist and guerrilla activities against the Egyptian security forces and local residents who collaborate with them. Apart from Egypt, noteworthy activity took place in two provinces: In the states of Borno and Yobe, in northwestern Nigeria and Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan,
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 19-25, 2019)

The unilateral ceasefire in the Idlib region declared by the Syrian army was also maintained this week. At the same time, artillery exchanges continued, and the Syrian army apparently thwarted local attempted assault by the rebel organizations. ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity continued this week in various sectors in eastern Syria. In the various provinces in Iraq, ISIS’s terror and guerrilla activity continued. ISIS’s “routine” attacks continued in its various provinces in Africa and Asia. This week, among others, attacks were carried out in Nigeria, Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 28 – September 3, 2019)

This past week a rocket was fired at Israel, falling in the Gaza Strip. In response Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked a Hamas post in the northern Gaza Strip. On Friday, August 30, 2019, the 72nd return march was held. About 6,000 Palestinians participated in the events, gathering at the five return camps. On the night of August 27, 2019, there were two explosions in the Gaza Strip near Hamas police roadblocks. The explosions killed three policemen. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is acting to end the division of Palestinian territory into Areas A, B and C. At 1600 hours on September 1, 2019, anti-tank missiles were fired at an IDF post and vehicle near the community of Avivim on Israel's northern border. No casualties were reported. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack, adding that the squad firing the missiles was named for the two Hezbollah operatives killed in the attack on Aqrabeh in Syria.
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Hezbollah’s Women’s Organizations Unit

Ever since its establishment, Hezbollah has been constructing a Shiite “mini-state” among the Shiite community in Lebanon, which caters for the needs of Shiite inhabitants in all spheres of life. For this purpose, Hezbollah, with massive Iranian support, is engaged in establishing a civilian system, which operates alongside its military infrastructure.
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Recently, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a new audio recording. The recording apparently reflects his increased self-confidence in view of ISIS’s successful resumption of its activity. He calls on his adherents to step up terrorist attacks worldwide, especially actions promoting the release of ISIS captives from jail.

On September 16, 2019, ISIS’s Al-Furqan media arm released an audio recording of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi entitled “And Say, Do”. The audiotape is about 30 minutes long. Al-Baghdadi tries to raise his operatives’ morale by mentioning ISIS attacks in the various fighting zones (Africa, Afghanistan, and the Far East).
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Spotlight on Iran (September 8, 2019 – September 22, 2019)

On September 16, the fifth round of talks between the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey concerning Syria’s future was held in Ankara. Dozens of Iranian companies participated in the fifth Damascus International Fair on reconstruction of the country, which was held in the Syrian capital in mid-September. Following attacks attributed to Israel against targets in western Iraq and ongoing escalation between Iran and the United States, Iran and the Shi’ite militias in Iraq are expanding their coordination. Iran rejected U.S. claims about its direct involvement is striking two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on September 14. Despite the responsibility claim by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the United States blamed Iran for the attack, which significantly disrupted Saudi Arabia’s oil output.
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New designations recently published by the US Department of State and Department of the Treasury reveal Turkey’s central role as a hub from which Hamas handles its financial matters, including funding terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria

In the designations published by the US Department of the Treasury, Turkey occupies a prominent place as a hub in which and from which terrorist organizations, including Hamas, run their financial activities. According to the American report, Hamas operatives and facilitators in Turkey are engaged in fundraising and money transfer to Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip, funding terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria, and operating currency exchange and wire transfer companies in Turkey, which launder terror funds
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 5-11, 2019)

With the exception of several local shooting incidents, as at September 10, 2019, the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Syrian army in the Idlib area is being maintained. According to a report by the Turkish Ministry of Defense, as part of the first phase of the plan to establish the safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, joint patrols by US and Turkish army forces along the Syria-Turkey border have begun. ISIS’s terrorist and guerilla warfare activities continued in Syria and Iraq. ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued to carry out “routine” attacks. This week, attacks were reported in the Sinai Peninsula, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Yemen.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (September 4-10, 2019)

On Friday, September 6, 2019, the 73rd return march was held in the Gaza Strip. The march was particularly violent, and two Palestinians were killed. Following their deaths five rockets were fired at the Sderot region from the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian youth carried out a stabbing attack in the village of Azoun (near Qalqilya), wounding two Israelis, a father and son. On September 8, 2019, Bassem al-Saeh, a Palestinian prisoner who had been suffering from a terminal disease for a number of years, died in an Israeli prison. Senior Palestinian figures and spokesmen in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip accused Israel and the Israeli prison service of responsibility for his death, claiming he died because of medical negligence.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 29 – September 4, 2019)

On the morning of August 31, 2019, a unilateral ceasefire entered into effect in the Idlib area. The Syrian announcement of a ceasefire was preceded by the takeover of 10 communities, including the town of Al-Tamanah, east of Khan Shaykhun. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS’s intensive activity continues. ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued to carry out “routine” attacks. This week, attacks were reported in the Sinai Peninsula, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Chad, the Philippines, and Yemen.
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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 (September 12-18, 2019)

The unilateral ceasefire in the Idlib region declared by the Syrian army (August 31, 2019) was generally maintained and occasionally interrupted by Syrian (and possibly also Russian) airstrikes and artillery fire. In Iraq, ISIS’s terrorist and guerrilla activity continues. In the various provinces in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, ISIS’s “routine” attacks continued. Special attention should be paid to Al-Baghdadi’s calls on the organization’s operatives to attack judges, investigators and security personnel at prisons where ISIS operatives are incarcerated.
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Paraguay has designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization, joining Argentina. It gives Paraguay’s government better tools to deal with Hezbollah’s activities, especially in the Tri-Border Area, which serves as the center for smuggling and organized crime.

On August 19, 2019, Paraguay's government announced it was designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization. At the same time, ISIS and al-Qaeda were also designated as international terrorist organizations. According to Paraguay's minister of the interior, that will allow financial enforcement institutions to intensify and coordinate their efforts to combat the threats posed by those organizations.
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