Indirect fire exchanges have persisted across the front line as reports show Ukraine continuing to withdraw heavy weapons and unverified separatist claims assert their own complete withdrawal.
The operation to re-capture Tikrit, prosecuted by the ISF, Shi’a militias, and Sunni tribal forces, has begun with main efforts targeting two areas east of the city, Alam and Dour.
ISIS core control zones inside Iraq and Syria have not shifted significantly since anti-ISIS operations began in June 2014, though anti-ISIS forces have cleared ISIS from several of its major frontier positions in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS Forces Defeated on Multiple Fronts: Continued victories by YPG forces supported by local militias, rebel groups, and U.S.–led coalition air strikes have considerably challenged ISIS in northern Syria.
Intense clashes erupted today as the ISF, Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias, and Iraqi Sunni anti-ISIS fighters advanced toward ISIS positions on the outskirts of the Tikrit and strategic areas south, north, and east of the city.
The ground operation to retake Tikrit and its surrounding areas has begun.
ISIS has been taking defensive measures in Mosul in anticipation of an operation to retake the city.
In the week following the Ukrainian surrender of Debaltseve, a strategic rail junction between the separatist strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, the conflict has exhibited a pattern of hostilities reminiscent of the frequently violated ceasefire period from September 2014 to January 2015.
ISIS has likely reconstituted in areas in the southern Baghdad belt in a way that enables it to launch VBIED attacks against Baghdad.
Rebel Forces Repel Regime Advance North of Aleppo: The success of rebel forces in blunting and reversing the regime offensive north of Aleppo city indicates that regime forces remain unable to decisively complete the encirclement of Aleppo without the risk of overextension.