Spotlight on Iran (January 12, 2020 – January 26, 2020)

il Qa’ani was officially appointed as the new commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) instead of Qasem Soleimani, who was assassinated on January 3. Iranian-Syrian deliberations: in mid-January, a delegation headed by the Syrian Prime Minister, Imad Khamis, visited Tehran and met with senior Iranian regime officials, chief among them the president of Iran. A Syrian opposition website reported that the IRGC recently established a new military base in the Albu Kamal region near the Iraq-Syria border. The Iranian ambassador to Iraq met with the head of the supreme political council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in northern Iraq and discussed political developments in Iraq and the region.
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Implications of the Appointment of Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi as the Deputy Commander of the Qods Force

On January 20, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) appointed Seyyed Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi to the position of the deputy commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force. Hejazi replaced Esmail Qa’ani, who was appointed as the commander of the Qods Force following the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. Hejazi is considered one of the most prominent officers in the IRGC as a whole and the Qods Force in particular.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 14-8, 2020)

This past week as well no return march was held in the Gaza Strip. Several dozen Palestinian demonstrators gathered near the border fence in two locations. This past week the Sons of al-Zawari unit announced that it was renewing its activities. The Palestinian terrorist organizationsissued a joint announcement about their visits to Tehran and participation in Qassem Soleimani's funeral.." In the Gaza Strip the terrorist leadership continued eulogizing Soleimani and referring to the great contribution he and Iran had made to the construction of the Palestinians' military capabilities.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 16-22, 2020)

In the Idlib region, fighting resumed on the initiative of the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham, after a three-week hiatus (despite the ceasefire agreement reached by Russia and Turkey on January 12, 2020). In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS has continued its intensive activity against the Syrian army and the SDF. The most noteworthy event was the killing of 15 soldiers in a Syrian army convoy ambushed by ISIS operatives.
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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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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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Soccer in the use of terrorism: Hezbollah’s Al-Ahed soccer team is used as a means by Hezbollah to increase its popularity and acquire legitimacy

As part of this extensive activity, in the 1990s, Hezbollah adopted the Al-Ahed Sport Club, which operates one of the leading soccer teams in Lebanon. The club maintains a close connection with Hezbollah’s Sports Mobilization and is possibly subordinate to it. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is described as a great fan of the Al-Ahed soccer team.
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Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, profile of an Iraqi Shiite militia handled by the Iranian Qods Force

Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (“League of the Righteous”) is an Iraqi Shiite militia handled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force. It is one of the three most important Shiite militias which are prioritized by the Qods Force in terms of military and financial support. The two other militias are the Hezbollah Battalions (Kataeb Hezbollah) and the Nujaba Movement (Harakat al-Nujaba or Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba). These three militias played a key role during the fighting against the US forces while they were deployed in Iraq. They consist of commanders and operatives who had acquired extensive fighting experience and maintain particularly strong ties with the Qods Force. In recent years, these militias were handled by Iran in various missions promoting Iranian interests, including support of the Syrian regime, fighting against ISIS, and the suppression of protesters against the Iraqi regime. The US has imposed sanctions on all three militias.
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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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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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Turkey as a Terrorism-Sponsoring State: Turkey allows Hamas to conduct terrorist activities from its territory, including the handling of terrorist squads in Judea and Samaria and the transfer of funds to Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to finance terrorism.

A Hamas delegation headed by Isma'il Haniyeh, head of Hamas' political bureau, recently paid a visit to Turkey. The delegation was accompanied by Jihad Yaghmour, who for the first was officially mentioned as Hamas' representative in Turkey. Yaghmour is a Hamas terrorist operative from Beit Hanina in east Jerusalem who was involved in the abduction of IDF soldier Nahshon Waxman 1994.
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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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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 8-2, 2020)

The dramatic events that occurred this week, especially the elimination of Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and the firing of missiles in response at two US bases in Iraq couldimpair the effectiveness of the US-led campaign against ISIS. In the Syrian arena, there was no change in the situation on the ground this week. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS conducted its activity at low intensity. This week, there has been a decrease in ISIS’s activity around the world, with the exception of Northern Sinai, where “routine” attacks against the Egyptian security forces continued. There was one unusual incident in Russia, where two Caucasus Province operatives carried out a stabbing and ramming attack against members of the Ingushetia police force (two dead).
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Responses in Iran and Initial Assessment of the Impact of Eliminating Qasem Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

On January 2, 2020, American drones struck two vehicles in Baghdad ferrying senior commanders of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The strikes killed Qasem Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Deputy Commander of the Hashd al-Shaabi (the pro-Iranian Shi’ite militias in Iraq) and several Qods Force and Hashd al-Shaabi members who were in the targeted convoy.
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