ISIS is waging a renewed offensive campaign in recaptured areas that could exploit vulnerabilities in the Iraqi Government’s ability to respond amidst accelerating political competition before upcoming elections.
Pressure continues to mount on Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to reshuffle the cabinet. Abadi misses Sadrist deadline leading to Muqtada al-Sadr staging a sit-in in the Green Zone.
The Iraqi Security Forces launched operations to retake Ramadi from ISIS on Dec. 22 and established control of the city on Feb. 9. The ISF will need to target remaining ISIS safe havens in the Euphrates River Valley in order to consolidate these gains.
Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Sunni Arab tribal fighters backed by Coalition air support recaptured central Ramadi on January 9, the completion of a six-month operation. Iraqi Security Forces entered the city center on December 22.
American over-reliance on Kurdish forces as the primary ground partner in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) threatens the long-term success of the anti-ISIS campaign.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reportedly recaptured the government complex in central Ramadi on December 28 after clearing ISIS-held areas south of the complex on December 26 and 27.
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The Iraq Project at the Institute for the Study of War produces detailed publications that monitor and analyze the changing security and political dynamics within Iraq. Topics include: understanding the evolving nature of Iraqi politics and Iraq’s democratic transition; evaluating Iraq’s security after U.S. forces withdraw; and analyzing the influence and behavior of regional actors in Iraq.
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The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) slowed its advance into western Mosul on March 26 in order to regroup and prepare for an assault on the Old City, the densest part of western Mosul in terms of both population and infrastructure. The U.S. is deploying an additional 240 soldiers to Mosul, likely to support a final push through the Old City. The ISF has also slowed its operation out of continued concerns of civilian casualties throughout the western Mosul operation. Humanitarian concerns flared when local sources claimed that a Coalition airstrike on March 17 killed as many as 200 civilians. Meanwhile, Iran is deepening the role of its proxy Badr Organization in Ninewa Province to influence the post-ISIS security and political structure in the province.
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“The concern [over Shi’a militias] is what happens after the battle. Will there be sectarian violence?… Or will there be a relatively inclusive kind of governance and even-handed governance? If it’s the latter, that will bode well for the future. If it’s the former, these will be big problems.”
Mosul is a “very big target to start the counter-offensive with and the stakes will be pretty high to make sure that it’s successful.” Signaling the move on Mosul by U.S. was “really foolish.”