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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. has an opportunity in Idlib to exploit the largest rift between Turkey and Russia in Syria to date while addressing a grave and dangerous humanitarian crisis, which will worsen in coming months without a robust international response. Turkey’s intervention in Idlib Province changed the military balance in northwest Syria and created an opportunity for the U.S. and Europe to engage at relatively low cost.
Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (HHN), a U.S. Designated Terrorist Group and Iranian proxy, may have begun a round of escalations against U.S. personnel in Iraq. The group has escalated its rhetorical threats against U.S. persons since mid-February and may have graduated to rocket attacks directed at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Turkey’s intervention in Idlib creates an opening for the U.S. to step in and change the trajectory of the conflict. Turkey needs help to mitigate the worst of the humanitarian crisis and to hold the line against further military advances by Russia, Iran, and Assad. The U.S. should provide Turkey with this support but should do so with serious conditions: it is time for Turkey to step away from its relationship with Russia and recommit to the NATO alliance.
Likely Russian actors conducted a disinformation campaign against Ukraine exploiting COVID-19 fears related to the Ukrainian government’s evacuation of its citizens from Wuhan, China. The campaign’s tactics, timing, and nature all point toward Kremlin involvement.