Protests continued to grow in Baghdad and southern Iraq after Iran intervened to block the resignation or ouster of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mehdi in a no-confidence vote. Backlash against Iranian influence among Iraqis is intensifying in Karbala and Baghdad.
ISW Board Member General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus was a recent guest on the ISW Overwatch podcast. On the episode, he shared his perspective on the current situation in the Middle East and U.S. strategy. The discussion focuses on the future of ISIS, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
How would the announced agreement on Northern Syria between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan alter the situation on the ground if implemented? See the new ISW map for a depiction of the deal's terms.
It is unclear whether the U.S. and the Taliban will resume talks following the breakdown in negotiations in September 2019. On the battlefield, al Qaeda continues to expand its presence in Afghanistan in a close relationship with the Taliban.
Iraqi cleric Muqtada al Sadr called for renewed protests in a statement released on the Shi’a religious holiday of Arba’een on October 19. Sadr accused the government of being “incapable of reform.” The Iraqi government is meanwhile establishing a new force to suppress further protests.
Ketti Davison forecasts ten likely outcomes of the twin crises in Syria and Iraq for the Defense One website. Among the threats to watch for: a degraded U.S. ability to target terror plotters and an opportunity for Russia as it carves out a leading regional role.
Street protests rooted in popular discontent and a harsh government response have embroiled Iraq in a crisis since early October 2019. The Iraq SITREP map series identifies key events and likely developments to come.
The U.S. and Turkey have been attempting to work through tensions regarding priorities inside Syria and the composition of anti-ISIS forces over a number of years. ISW's timeline identifies key events that preceded the U.S. withdrawal and subsequent Turkish incursion into Northern Syria.
What will be the immediate effects and long-term consequences of the U.S. decision to withdraw its forces from Syria? ISW's experts assess the risks to American national security.
Not only is ISIS's return now a given after the announced U.S. withdrawal from Syra, but jihadists worldwide are also emboldened. ISW's Col. (Ret.) Ketti Davison warns of the strategic dangers that will flow from this policy decision.