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Syria: Islamic State calls for attacks in Syria during Ramadan

An audio message purportedly released by the Islamic State on June 12 calls for members to carry out attacks in Syria; remain vigilant

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/14/2017, 12:00 AM until 6/25/2017, 11:59 PM (Asia/Damascus). COUNTRY/REGION Syria

Event

An audio message purportedly released by the Islamic State (IS) on Monday, June 12, calls on members to carry out attacks on a specific group of countries during the remainder of the holy month of Ramadan, which ends on June 25. In the message - which has yet to be independently authenticated - a man whose voice reportedly matches that of IS spokesman Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer instructs members to carry out attacks in Iraq, Syria, Iran, the United States, Russia, Australia, the Philippines, and Europe.

Context

In recent years, IS, as well as other groups, have called on their fighters to perpetrate attacks during the holy month of Ramadan, which the group has called a "holy month of jihad." So far during Ramadan in 2017, major attacks have been carried out in London, Baghdad, and Tehran, killing dozens. In Turkey, on the evening of June 28, 2016, an attack was perpetrated at Istanbul-Atatürk International Airport (IST), leaving 44 people dead and scores more injured. On June 26, 2015, IS fighters killed 39 people in an attack targeting Sousse, Tunisia. The same day, a similar attack also claimed by IS targeted a Mosque during Friday's noon prayers in Kuwait City, killing 27.

Syria is enmeshed in a complex civil war that started between the Assad government and opposition forces in March 2011. Today, the conflict in Syria involves many parties, including the Syrian government, the Jordanian government, the Iranian government, the Turkish government, the Russian government, a United States-led coalition, and numerous armed groups on the ground (including IS) with competing goals.

Advice

Individuals in Syria are advised remain aware of their surroundings and on alert against any suspicious behavior due to the high terrorist threat. It is advised not to eat, drink, or smoke in public throughout this period to avoid drawing undue attention to yourself.

Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some countries banning all travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to the country.

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