Iraq

Iraq Situation Report: March 22 - 28, 2016

Pressure continues to mount on Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to reshuffle the cabinet. Abadi misses Sadrist deadline leading to Muqtada al-Sadr staging a sit-in in the Green Zone.

Iraq Euphrates River Valley Activity: December 22, 2015-March 2, 2016

The Iraqi Security Forces launched operations to retake Ramadi from ISIS on Dec. 22 and established control of the city on Feb. 9. The ISF will need to target remaining ISIS safe havens in the Euphrates River Valley in order to consolidate these gains.

Iraq Control of Terrain Map: February 9, 2016

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Sunni Arab tribal ­fighters backed by Coalition air support recaptured central Ramadi on January 9, the completion of a six-month operation. Iraqi Security Forces entered the city center on December 22.

The Pitfalls of Relying on Kurdish Forces to Counter ISIS

American over-reliance on Kurdish forces as the primary ground partner in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) threatens the long-term success of the anti-ISIS campaign.

Ramadi Control Map: December 28, 2015

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reportedly recaptured the government complex in central Ramadi on December 28 after clearing ISIS-held areas south of the complex on December 26 and 27.

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Overview

The Iraq Project at the Institute for the Study of War produces detailed publications that monitor and analyze the changing security and political dynamics within Iraq. Topics include: understanding the evolving nature of Iraqi politics and Iraq’s democratic transition; evaluating Iraq’s security after U.S. forces withdraw; and analyzing the influence and behavior of regional actors in Iraq.

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ISW Tracking of Iraq’s 2016 Political Crisis

Updated on May 24: Iraq’s Federal Court will issue an important ruling on May 25 that could have a major impact on the political crisis. The issues at stake are the legitimacy of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s ministerial appointments and the speakership of the Council of Representatives. This page provides a comprehensive collection of ISW reporting and analysis of this political crisis, which ISW has covered since it began.

Iraq Control of Terrain Map: May 23, 2016

The ISF has made significant gains in the Euphrates River Valley over the past two months, recapturing almost the entirety of the southern bank. 

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ISW in the News

LTG Dubik on the Fight for Tikrit

“The concern [over Shi’a militias] is what happens after the battle.  Will there be sectarian violence?…  Or will there be a relatively inclusive kind of governance and even-handed governance?  If it’s the latter, that will bode well for the future.  If it’s the former, these will be big problems.”

The Fight for Mosul

Mosul is a “very big target to start the counter-offensive with and the stakes will be pretty high to make sure that it’s successful.”  Signaling the move on Mosul by U.S. was “really foolish.”