Russia in Review: Kremlin Attempts to Exploit COVID-19 Crisis to Remove Sanctions on Russia and its Partners

April 3, 2020 - Press ISW

The Kremlin is exploiting calls by the United Nations for limited sanctions waivers to combat COVID-19, to advance the Kremlin’s longstanding objective of removing international sanctions on Russia and its partners. The Kremlin has launched an information campaign on this issue and is leveraging its sanctioned allies around the world, alongside networks of Russia-amenable actors in Europe, to amplify the Kremlin’s message.

Iraq Situation Report: Mach 25 - 31, 2020

April 3, 2020 - Press ISW

Iran advanced multiple lines of effort in Iraq to compel the U.S. withdrawal from the country. Iran successfully organized political opposition from the most powerful Iraqi Shi’a blocs to deny parliamentary backers to Prime Minister-designate Adnan al-Zurfi. Zurfi, who enjoyed tacit U.S. and international support, is now unlikely to win a vote of confidence. The U.S. completed pre-planned consolidations from three major Iraqi bases and several smaller camps, while several European nations either completely or partially withdrew their forces from Iraq over COVID-19 concerns.

Syria Situation Report: March 18 - 31, 2020

April 2, 2020 - Press ISW

Syria Situation Report: March 18 - 31, 2020

Iran's Proxies Accelerate Soleimani's Campaign to Compel U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

April 2, 2020 - Press ISW

Iran continues to escalate proxy attacks against the U.S. in Iraq, demonstrating that it remains undeterred despite the January 3 strike that killed IRGC - Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and key Iraqi proxy leader Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis and subsequent U.S. strikes. Iran’s proxy network in Iraq is advancing its campaign to compel an American withdrawal by increasing the operational tempo of its attacks on U.S. and allied personnel. Iran’s proxies are responsible for at least 15 attacks on American and U.S.-led Coalition personnel since January 3. A new militia group, Usbat al-Thairen, claimed several recent attacks, indicating that the proxy network may be reorganizing in observance of the shared vision of Soleimani and Muhandis and that Iran may have reached a new phase in its campaign to expel U.S. forces form Iraq.

Turkey’s Military Buildup in Syria’s Idlib Province

March 31, 2020 -

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) deployed roughly a division (over 20,000 soldiers) to Greater Idlib Province between February 1 and March 31, 2020. This map provides a partial assessment of which types of units Turkey deployed to each location based on publicly available information.

Iraq Situation Report: March 18 - 24, 2020

March 27, 2020 - Press ISW

U.S. forces began one of three planned withdrawals from small bases in Iraq, two of which have been targets of frequent Iranian-proxy mortar attacks. The Pentagon described the withdrawal as a planned consolidation of forces.

Putin Accelerates Ukraine Campaign Amid Converging Crises

March 24, 2020 - Press ISW

Russia in Review is a weekly intelligence summary (INTSUM) produced by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). This ISW INTSUM series sheds light on key trends and developments related to the Russian government’s objectives and its efforts to secure them.

Syria Situation Report: March 4 - 17, 2020

March 20, 2020 - Michael Land


By Michael Land (ISW Syria Team) and Nada Atieh (Syria Direct)

Iraq Situation Update: March 11 - 17, 2020

March 20, 2020 - Press ISW

The U.S. began a planned drawdown from three Iraqi bases after Iran’s proxy network in Iraq intensified its campaign of rocket attacks against U.S.-led Coalition forces.

US-Iran Escalation Timeline: March 2020 Update

March 20, 2020 - Press ISW

Iranian proxies in Iraq have sustained attacks since the killing of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in an attempt to provoke a US response that will lead to the expulsion of American forces from the country. View the latest interactive timeline and map within.