Publications

Syria Situation Report: May 28 - June 10, 2016

June 10, 2016 - Chris Kozak

ISIS faces mounting pressure upon its stronghold of Ar-Raqqa City and its access to the Syrian-Turkish Border via Aleppo Province. The Syrian Democratic Forces successfully isolated Manbij in Eastern Aleppo Province in an operation that began on May 31. Meanwhile, Pro-regime forces advanced into Ar-Raqqa Province on June 2. These overlapping pressures forced ISIS to abandon an ongoing offensive against key opposition strongholds in Northern Aleppo Province.

Fallujah Control of Terrain Map: June 9, 2016

June 10, 2016 - Patrick Martin

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilization completed the encirclement of Fallujah on June 5 after retaking Saqlawiyah on Fallujah’s western axis.  The joint forces had recaptured Albu Shajal, west of Fallujah, on June 1, and consolidated terrain south of Fallujah around the Tuffah Bridge, likely as condition setting to retake the Fallujah Dam. The ISF, without Popular Mobilization forces, began operations into Fallujah city on June 6, when they surrounded the southern neighborhoods of Jubeil and Hayy al-Shuhada.

Russia in Central Asia and the Caucasus

June 9, 2016 - Franklin Holcomb

Russia took steps to expand and solidify its spheres of influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus to secure its dominance in the region while continuing to increase its military influence globally. Russia continues to project itself as an effective actor against terrorism in an effort to gain global legitimacy.

Fallujah Control of Terrain Map: June 9, 2016

June 9, 2016 - Patrick Martin

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilization completed the encirclement of Fallujah on June 5 after retaking Saqlawiyah on Fallujah’s western axis. The joint forces had recaptured Albu Shajal, west of Fallujah, on June 1, and consolidated terrain south of Fallujah around the Tuffah Bridge, likely as condition setting to retake the Fallujah Dam.

Iraqi Parliament Update: Quorum Reached as Reform Front Fractures, Kurds Lose Leverage

June 8, 2016 - Institute for the Study of War

The Council of Representatives (CoR) successfully reached quorum and convened two sessions on May 29 and May 31. The CoR struggled to reach this threshold since members formed a rump CoR on April 12. Despite the limited success of May 29 and 31, the CoR has not returned to its pre-April 12 state and many political blocs remain withdrawn.

Iraq Situation Report: June 1-7, 2016

June 7, 2016 - Patrick Martin

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilization completed the encirclement of Fallujah on June 5, retaking Saqlawiyah on Fallujah’s western axis. Hadi al-Amiri gave Fallujah residents a ten-day deadline to leave on June 4.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: May 13 - June 2, 2016

June 3, 2016 - Genevieve Casagrande

The tempo of Russian air operations has dramatically escalated in Syria. The rate and breadth of Russian airstrikes nearly tripled from May 29 – June 2 in comparison to the previous five day period. ISW was able to assess a total of 29 Russian airstrikes with low and high confidence beginning on May 29 and only 10 locations from May 24 -28.

ISIS Collapses Opposition Frontline in Northern Aleppo Province

June 3, 2016 - Chris Kozak

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has mounted a major offensive against opposition groups in Northern Aleppo Province, threatening the total collapse of the last pocket of opposition-held terrain along the Syrian-Turkish Border. The looming defeat of the opposition on the Mare'a Line poses a significant risk to the long-term success of the anti-ISIS campaign by foreclosing future partnership with Sunni Arabs in Northern Syria and deepening U.S. overreliance on the Syrian Kurdish YPG

ISIS's Regional Campaign: May 2016

June 3, 2016 - Caitlin Forrest

ISIS continued to set conditions for Ramadan by launching attacks within and along the periphery of the Muslim world in order to foster regional disorder and push the boundaries of its caliphate contiguous to non-Muslim lands. The group is expanding its footprint to the edges of non-Muslim lands, as shown by arrests in Ingushetia, Russia and escalating attacks in majority-Muslim areas in Bangladesh and the Philippines and in Pakistan. ISIS is likely preparing to launch new affiliates in Bangladesh and the Philippines during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins on June 6.

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