A battle is underway between the Iraqi Government, backed by Iran, and Iraqi Kurds for control of Kirkuk, Iraq. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Counterterrorism Services (CTS), Federal Police, and Iranian-backed popular mobilization forces (PMF) launched a combined offensive with intent to seize the K1 military base, the Kirkuk airport, and Kirkuk’s oilfields from Kurdish Peshmerga forces at 2:00 a.m. on October 15th.
Catherine is a graduate of ISW’s 2017 Hertog War Studies Program and a Research Assistant on the Russia/Ukraine portfolio at ISW, where she focuses her research on the Kremlin’s global objectives. She previously interned with ISW where she contributed research on Russia’s role in the former Soviet Union. Catherine holds a B.A. in International Relations and Global Studies from the University of Texas at Austin where she also studied Russian language.
Rose is a fomer CT/Iraq Team Intern, graduate of ISW’s Hertog War Studies Program and the Institute’s third Evans Hanson Fellow. This Fellowship is for outstanding alumni of the War Studies Program and seeks to help build the next generation of national security leaders. Rose received her B.A. from Claremont College and has spent time living abroad in the Middle East.
Omer is ISW's Iraq Research Assistant, focusing on Iraqi political and security dynamics. Omer will enable ISW to help shape the post Mosul debate over U.S. strategy in Iraq by contributing to a report on the development and future of the Iraqi security forces. He holds a BA in Middle East Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously conducted research on Iraqi politics at the Middle East Institute.
This graphic marks the latest installment of our Syria SITREP Map made possible through a partnership between the Institute for the Study of War and Syria Direct. This graphic depicts significant developments in the Syrian Civil War from September 27 – October 10, 2017. The control of terrain represented on the graphic is accurate as of October 10, 2017.
Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to leverage uncontested basing in the Eastern Mediterranean to demonstrate Russian naval capabilities, while asserting its freedom of action on NATO’s southern flank. Russia focused on showcasing the increased cruise missile capability of its Black Sea Fleet’s permanent Mediterranean Task Force (MTF) from August – October 2017.
Iraqi Kurdistan’s drive for independence is generating new regional alignments that deepen Iranian – and potentially Russian – influence in Iraq at the expense of the United States. Turkey, Iran, and Iraq adopted a coordinated, aggressive force posture in retaliation for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) independence referendum on September 25, 2017.