This ISW graphic depicts the major attacks on prisons conducted by al Qaeda in Iraq (ISIS's predecessor) in 2005 and in 2012-2013. A resurgent ISIS in 2019 sees breakouts of its detained fighters across Syria and Iraq as key to its future rebuilding.
This ISW map depicts an assessment of ISIS's control, attack, and support zones across Iraq and Syria as of August 2019. ISIS's accelerating campaign to rebuild strength is now coinciding with a new Turkish incursion into Northern Syria and the announced withdrawal of nearly all U.S. forces from Syria.
Turkish military forces and proxies are conducting a new offensive into Northern Syria that will affect the counter-ISIS campaign, among other issues. The latest ISW map depicts the situation on the ground as of October 11, 2019.
The latest Overwatch: Crisis Brief podcast examines the consequences of a Turkish operation into Northern Syria targeting the Syrian Kurdish-led forces that have been central to the counter-ISIS campaign. The briefs cover potential next moves by ISIS, Iranian proxies, and the Assad regime.
Turkey is preparing to launch a new military operation in Syria that will undermine key U.S. national security interests. The Syrian Democratic Forces will be forced to de-prioritize the fight against ISIS while key oil infrastructure in Eastern Deir ez-Zour Province will be put at greater risk of targeting by the pro-Assad coalition.
ISIS has mounted low-level efforts to replenish its ranks from members held in detention facilities and displacement camps across Syria and Iraq since late 2018. ISIS is likely preparing more coordinated and sophisticated operations to free its detained members in Iraq and Syria.
Over several "Crisis Brief" podcast episodes, Jennifer Cafarella and guests explain the ongoing unrest in Iraq, the significance of protests, and the underlying political dynamics. This series also looks beyond the immediate political instability to identify the effects on key U.S. national security concerns, from the counter-ISIS fight to Iran's destabilizing role.
On Episode 2 of Overwatch, Nataliya Bugayova and Darina Regio preview the October 2019 Russia-Africa summit and unpack the scope and depth of the Russian campaign across Africa, as well as its effects on the region and U.S. interests.
Tune in Thursday, September 26 at 2:30 PM EST to watch ISW President Dr. Kimberly Kagan and her Syria Study Group colleagues discuss the situation in Syria and a way forward at a discussion event convened by the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.
ISIS is preparing to free its loyal fighters and followers from prisons and displacement camps across Syria and Iraq following ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's September 16, 2019 statement encouraging a breakout. In one camp in Northern Syria, ISIS has been fundraising via encrypted social media channels for several months.