Russia launched airstrikes from the Shahid Nojeh Airbase in Hamedan Province in Western Iran following the conclusion of a basing agreement and U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces seized full control of Manbij
Outgoing Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) Commander Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland gave his final briefing, as the Council of Representatives (CoR) approved five ministers in a partial Cabinet reshuffle.
An ongoing Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders may indicate preparations for conventional military conflict. It certainly marks a dramatic escalation of tensions that will have significant repercussions in Ukraine. Russia has deployed additional military forces and systems to Ukraine’s northern, eastern, and southern borders.
The Popular Mobilization, including major Iranian-backed Shi’a militias, sought to formalize their participation in operations in northern Iraq.
This graphic marks the latest installment of our Syria SITREP Map made possible through a partnership between the Institute for the Study of War and Syria Direct. The graphic depicts significant recent developments in the Syrian Civil War. The control of terrain represented on the graphic is accurate as of July 22, 2016.
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford arrived in Iraq on July 30 to discuss upcoming operations in Mosul with Coalition, Iraqi, and Kurdish officials.
Pro-regime forces completed the encirclement of Aleppo City on July 28, isolating the main stronghold of mainstream opposition groups in Northern Syria. Meanwhile, Jabhat al-Nusra head Abu Muhammad al-Jolani issued a video statement announcing the formation of a new group called ‘Jabhat Fatah a-Sham’ with “no affiliation to any external entity” in a symbolic break with Al-Qaeda. The rebranding represents a calculated move to facilitate the unification of armed opposition groups in a “grand merger” that continues to pursue the long-term strategic vision of Al-Qaeda to establish an Islamic Emirate in Syria.
Russia enabled pro-regime forces to complete the physical encirclement of Aleppo City on July 28, isolating the primary nexus of the non-jihadist opposition in Northern Syria. These gains threaten the long-term survival of mainstream opposition groups that could serve as potential partners against ISIS and Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi accepted the resignation of seven ministers on July 19 and July 20, suggesting that PM Abadi will seek to restart the Cabinet reshuffle process.