Russia announced the start of a “major operation” allegedly targeting ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Western Syria. The operation included fighter jets launched from the Russian Aircraft Carrier ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea as well as cruise missile strikes by naval warships and strategic bombers. Local activists also reported the resumption of intense airstrikes against Aleppo City.
ISIS escalated its execution campaign in and around Mosul while reactivating networks in Anbar.
As the fight between the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and ISIS in and around Mosul compresses, the high stakes of the operation and close-contact warfare are increasingly placing Mosul’s civilian population in the crossfire.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched ‘Operation Euphrates Wrath’ on November 6 with a stated goal to isolate the IS stronghold of A-Raqqa City. The announcement comes after the U.S. and Turkey reached an initial agreement on November 5 to allow the Syrian Kurdish YPG to participate in the isolation phase of the offensive. In exchange, Sunni Arabs will lead the final effort to “seize, hold, and govern” A-Raqqa City.
ISIS has organized a number of external attacks worldwide in the past year, some of which have been thwarted.
ISIS is attacking various locations and forces in Iraq in order to find and exploit a seam that can unravel the anti-ISIS Coalition.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) moved deeper into Mosul’s eastern neighborhoods as the ISF and Peshmerga made significant gains on Mosul’s eastern and southern axes in an effort to encircle the city.
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.