The Syrian regime and its allies launched a major, multi-pronged offensive in Aleppo Province on October 15 in order to bolster the regime's foothold in Aleppo City. Both Russia and Iran likely aim to enable Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to reassert control over Syria’s largest city given the heavy involvement of their military forces in these operations.
Turkey is preparing to launch a new military operation in Syria that will undermine key U.S. national security interests. The Syrian Democratic Forces will be forced to de-prioritize the fight against ISIS while key oil infrastructure in Eastern Deir ez-Zour Province will be put at greater risk of targeting by the pro-Assad coalition.
ISIS has mounted low-level efforts to replenish its ranks from members held in detention facilities and displacement camps across Syria and Iraq since late 2018. ISIS is likely preparing more coordinated and sophisticated operations to free its detained members in Iraq and Syria.
Overwatch is a new ISW podcast series launched in September 2019. The series examines the national security challenges that lie ahead for the U.S. through interviews with ISW's experts and featured guests. Listen to the episodes on your favorite podcast service!
ISIS’s latest global campaign began in late April 2019, two weeks before the start of Ramadan on May 5. ISIS has orchestrated an annual campaign of intensified attacks around the Islamic holy month of Ramadan since 2012.
Growing Turkish-Russian military cooperation in Syria is a dangerous sign of a wider shift to a closer strategic relationship between Turkey and Russia.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent decision to keep a residual force of at least 400 troops in Syria prevents the immediate takeover of valuable natural resources and infrastructure in Eastern Syria by Iran, Assad, and Russia. These actors nonetheless still have options that could lead to the defeat or expulsion of U.S. forces.
The latest Syria Situation Report Map from ISW and Syria Direct details key developments in the war in Syria, including an uptick in violence in opposition-held Idlib Province.
ISIS’s post-Caliphate insurgency in Iraq is accelerating faster than efforts to prevent it. ISIS is re-establishing capable insurgent networks in multiple historic strongholds, setting the conditions for future offensive operations against the Government of Iraq.
The Kremlin is successfully increasing its political influence in Moldova. The pro-Kremlin Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova won the largest share in the February 24 Moldovan Parliamentary Elections.