The Jaysh al-Fatah Operations Room - a coalition led by Jabhat Fatah a-Sham and Ahrar a-Sham - and the Fatah Halab Operations Room launched a new offensive to break the siege of Eastern Aleppo City on October 28. Meanwhile, Russia began a new ten-hour ‘humanitarian pause’ on November 4 in order to allow civilians and opposition fighters to evacuate the besieged districts of Eastern Aleppo City.
Key Takeaway: Russia is preparing to escalate its military operations in Syria in order to tout its standing as a great power, reinforce its claims to be a credible partner against violent extremism, and reinvigorate domestic support for its continued participation in the Syrian Civil War.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) began advancing into Mosul’s eastern and southeastern neighborhoods on November 1-3, marking the first time the ISF has had any presence in the city since ISIS captured it in mid-2014.
ISIS launched a major counter-attack in Kirkuk Province in response to advances by Iraqi and Kurdish security forces towards Mosul on October 20 and 21.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with counterparts from Russia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt in Lausanne, Switzerland on October 15 to open a new multilateral initiative to end the Syrian Civil War. Meanwhile, Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu announced a temporary halt to pro-regime airstrikes in Eastern Aleppo City on October 18 in preparation for a series of three consecutive eleven-hour ‘humanitarian pauses’ scheduled for October 20 - 22.
The Coalition-led operation to secure Mosul from ISIS advanced towards the city from two directions in the first 72 hours as of October 19, 2016. U.S. Forces are participating in the operation as advisers and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs).
ISIS will continue to demonstrate its legitimacy and vitality, despite major losses to its core landholdings. ISIS lost control of the Turkish border on September 4 and the town of Dabiq in Northern Syria on October 16.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the launch of operations to retake Ninewa Province and Mosul from ISIS at dawn on October 17.
Former PM Nouri al-Maliki continues to shape the political landscape in Iraq. Turkish President Recep Erdogan and PM Abadi traded bombastic rhetoric over Turkish force presence northeast of Mosul.