Spotlight on Iran (September 9 – September 20, 2018)

Iran, Russia and Turkey continue to negotiate regarding Idlib’s fate. Two Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps members were killed in Syria. The Iranian ambassador to Iraq inaugurated a new building for the Iranian consulate in Basra, after the previous consulate building was set ablaze on September 7, 2018, by Iraqi protesters. Iran continues to closely follow and try to influence the process of new government formation in Baghdad, as the current Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced that he does not intend to run for a second term. Senior Iranian military and political officials justified the September 8, 2018, missile strike by the IRGC on the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in northern Iraq
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 6-16, 2018)

In the Idlib region, preparations for the impending campaign continue. These preparations included continued reinforcement of northern Syria and the Turkish-Syrian border by the various sides. Concurrently, intensive political activity is taking place. While ISIS is under severe pressure in Syria, its operatives continue to carry out suicide bombing attacks in various places around the world.
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Spotlight on Iran (September 2 – September 6, 2018)

A week following the visit of the Iranian minister of defense to Damascus, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also paid a visit to Syria. On September 1, 2018, the quadrilateral security summit, attended by deputy chiefs of staff from Iran, Russia, Iraq and Syria, was held in Baghdad. Earlier this week, Tehran denied reports published in Western media about the transfer of ballistic missiles from Iran to the Shi’ite militias in Iraq
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 30 – September 5, 2018)

In the Idlib region, preparations for the impending campaign continue. The Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and other rebel organizations continue to reinforce the front lines opposite the Syrian army, with an emphasis on the area south and southwest of Idlib. Russia and Turkey are in contact with the rebel organizations and local power centers. The goal is to prevent friction and prepare the ground for reconciliation arrangements (i.e., surrender arrangements) in the Idlib region, similar to those achieved in southern Syria. In eastern Syria, ISIS carried out a series of attacks against Syrian army bases in the Euphrates Valley
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Violent power struggles in the Euphrates Valley between rival militias affiliated with Iran and the Syrian regime

In August 2018, several cities in the Euphrates Valley witnessed violent clashes between the Syrian army and Syrian militias affiliated with it on the one hand, and Shiite militias handled by Iran on the other. The clashes took place in the region between Albukamal and Deir ez-Zor, and both sides sustained dozens of casualties.
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Hamas spread the false claim an infant who died as a result of a heart defect was killed during the “return marches” to defame the IDF and Israel

On May 14, 2018, the Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported the death of Layla Anwar Ghandour, an eight-month-old infant. The story of her death was accompanied by a Palestinian campaign to defame the IDF and the State of Israel. The infant's cousin, a terrorist operative detained by the IDF said during interrogation that Yahya al-Sinwar, head of Hamas' political bureau in the Gaza Strip, paid the family a large sum of money to say she had died from tear gas inhalation and to hide the fact she had died from heart disease.
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Spotlight on Iran (June 10 – June 21, 2018)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asserted once again that Iran’s military presence in Syria is limited to that of “advisers” alone. The Commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, labeled the results of the latest elections in Lebanon “a great victory” for Hezbollah. Iran continues to maintain political and security coordination with its partners in the campaigns in Syria and Iraq.
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Spotlight on Iran (August 19 – September 2, 2018)

The focal point of the week was the visit to Damascus of Iranian Minister of Defense, Amir Hatami. The United States and Russia continue to hold deliberations regarding Iran’s presence in Syria. In Iraq, Iran continues to operate through political forces close to it in an effort to maintain its influence in Iraq after the upcoming formation of the new government in Baghdad.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 23-29, 2018)

In the Idlib region, the warring sides continue their preparations for the campaign. Concurrently with the military preparations on the ground, intensive diplomatic talks are underway between Russia and Turkey. The local leader (Emir) of ISIS’s Khorasan Province was reportedly killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 16-22, 2018)

The Syrian army’s offensive against the ISIS enclave in the As-Suwayda area continues. In the Idlib area, the Syrian army and the rebel organizations, the most prominent of which is the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham, are preparing for the impending campaign. In Afghanistan, fighting continues between ISIS and the Taliban. At the same time, ISIS carried out three deadly suicide bombing attacks in Kabul.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 10-15, 2018)

Despite the exchange of blows between the IDF and the Iranian forces in Syria, the Syrian army and SDF forces continued to fight against ISIS uninterruptedly in the two main arenas. While ISIS is facing severe pressure in its “core countries” (Iraq and Syria), its operatives or supporters, influenced by its ideology, continue to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the world. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Muslims (May 14, 2018) to carry out jihad against the United States and Western countries following the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (August 22 – 28, 2018)

The "return marches" were held at the Israeli-Gaza Strip border this past Friday with a relatively small number of participants. The level and intensity of violence were relatively low. A Fatah delegation arrived in Cairo and held a short round of talks with the Egyptians. The talks again illustrated the negative role played by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which links the arrangement with Israel with the internal Palestinian reconciliation.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Aug 15 – 21, 2018)

This past week talks were held in Cairo attended by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and several small terrorist organizations in order to reach an arrangement that would lead to the end of the hostilities in the Gaza Strip. While the arrangement is being discussed Hamas continues to implement its policy of controlled violence on the ground. The most prominent event in Judea and Samaria was a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem, carried out by an Israeli Arab from the central city of Umm al-Fahm.
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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 Iran (August 5 – August 19, 2018)

The future of cooperation between Syria and Iran following the settlement of the Syrian war: the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces spoke on the phone with the Syrian Minister of Defense who invited the Iranian for a visit in Damascus. The statement made by Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, confirming that his country intends to abide by the renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, aroused an outcry in Tehran and among some in the Iraqi political arena.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 9-15, 2018)

The Syrian army campaign to take over the ISIS enclave northeast of As-Suwayda is about to end. ISIS operatives have been repelled to the area of Al-Safa, their main stronghold, and are now surrounded and cut off from supplies. This week, the Syrian army continued to reinforce its troops in key areas around Idlib.
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