ISW's latest map assessing Iranian and Russian positions in Southwest Syria near the Israeli and Jordanian borders (April 2018).
Assad targeted a hospital and related sites with a chemical attack to inflict maximum civilian casualties. Enabled by his allies Russia and Iran, Assad likely also sought to test his freedom of action and impunity. What is at stake for the U.S. as it considers a response?
This updated map depicts control of terrain in Syria and the posture of the Bashar al Assad regime-Iran-Russia coalition as of April 2018.
This ISW Control of Terrain Map provides an assessment of the approximate territory held in Syria by various actors on the ground. The map is updated through March 22, 2018.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to conduct military operations across six locations in eastern Syria and Iraq following the Syrian Kurdish withdrawal from Afrin City in northwest Syria. Russia and Iran seek to use Turkey to undermine the U.S. and may encourage Turkey to prioritize operations in areas that would undermine American interests.
Watch ISW President Kimberly Kagan speak at a March 19, 2018 town hall discussion on Syria and failing and fragile states for Public Radio International.
If Putin's March 2018 election fails to meet the Russian president's own standards for success, it may cause reverberations in his foreign and domestic policies. U.S. decision-makers must therefore focus on the nuance behind the "election" results, Nataliya Bugayova writes in an essay for Fox News.
Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi is presenting himself as a viable Shi’a reformist alternative to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the upcoming Iraqi legislative elections slated for May 12, 2018. Allawi will likely leverage his opposition to the expansion of the Iranian influence in Iraq, reformist stance and support for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to draw Shi’a Sadrist and some Kurdish support in the post-election premier selection phase.