Control of Terrain in Syria
ISIS seized the last regime-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq with the capture of the al-Tanf crossing on May 22 following a regime withdrawal.
ISIS seized the regime-held town of al-Sukna west of Deir ez-Zour City on May 14 and then seized the regime stronghold of Palmyra on May 20 after regime forces reportedly executed a full withdrawal from the city, prison, and military airbase.
Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) and rebel forces seized control of the Nasib border crossing with Jordan in Dera’a Province on April 2,
Rebel forces participating in the “Jaysh al-Fatah Operations Room” led by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) seized the city of Idlib on March 28, 2015, following a four day offensive.
YPG forces have taken Ayn al-Arab/Kobani from ISIS and swept outward to clear the surrounding countryside.
On August 28, JN and rebel forces seized control of the Golan Heights border crossing with Israel in Quneitra province.
Jennifer Cafarella is the inaugural National Security Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a position created to sponsor rising national security leaders. Ms. Cafarella’s work focuses on U.S. defense strategy including how the U.S. must adapt to current and future threats. She is an established expert on Syria, the Middle East, and jihadism.
Control of the urban terrain in Syria is parceled among a number of armed groups, including the Syrian regime, opposition groups including Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).