Update and Assessment: November 4, 2015

November 4, 2015

Key Takeaways:

  1. Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri called for attacks against Western, particularly American, interests. Zawahiri also called on jihadist factions to unify in what he described as a war against a Russian-Iranian-American axis.
  2. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei forbade non-nuclear negotiations with the U.S. on November 1, indicating that Iran's participation in the Syria peace talks does not mark a new willingness to negotiate on regional issues. Khamenei also dismissed Western rhetoric regarding shifting foreign policy priorities in Iran.
  3. The Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham-linked group in Sirte, Libya, continued to consolidate control over the city’s population and the surrounding environs. Warplanes targeted ISIS positions in the vicinity of Sirte, Libya, on October 27.