Al Qaeda Resumes Offensive Operations in Syria

March 3, 2017 - Jennifer Cafarella

Al Qaeda in Syria has resumed offensive operations against the Syrian regime in northern Syria after the fall of Aleppo City. The recapture of Aleppo City by Syrian president Bashar al Assad and his external backers was a turning point in the Syrian civil war, but it did not seal Assad’s victory. It was instead a victory for Al Qaeda because it defeated Al Qaeda’s main competitors in northern Syria. Al Qaeda consolidated its strength and resumed offensive operations against pro-Assad forces in February 2017. Pro-Assad forces could begin to lose terrain to Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda will increasingly pose a threat to the West as its strength in northern Syria grows. The contest between Al Qaeda and pro-Assad forces, which include Iran and Russia, will increasingly challenge U.S. policy options in Syria.

Syria Situation Report: February 24 - March 2, 2017

March 2, 2017 - Institute for the Study of War

Opposition groups backed by Turkey in Operation Euphrates Shield attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Manbij in Northern Aleppo Province. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) conducted a complex attack targeting two heavily-secured regime intelligence branches in Homs City. Pro-regime forces recaptured Palmyra in Eastern Homs Province from ISIS.

ISW Daily Update March 01, 2017

March 2, 2017 - Press ISW

These are the major events from March 01, 2017 in the theaters and from the trans-national groups that ISW monitors: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Russia, Ukraine, and ISIS.

The Campaign for Mosul: February 22-March 1, 2017

March 1, 2017 - Emily Anagnostos

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) isolated Mosul completely on March 1 as units advanced within the city towards the government center. The Popular Mobilization are nearing Tel Afar from the west and could breach the city in the coming weeks.

ISW Daily Update February 27, 2017

March 1, 2017 - Press ISW

These are the major events from February 27, 2017 in the theaters and from the trans-national groups that ISW monitors: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Russia, Ukraine, and ISIS.

Turkey Prepares Offensive Against Syrian Democratic Forces in Manbij

February 28, 2017 - Chris Kozak

An open conflict will likely erupt imminently between Turkey and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of Manbij in Northern Syria.

Iraq Situation Report: February 17-28, 2017

February 28, 2017 - Emily Anagnostos

ISIS could be facing difficulty coordinating successful attacks in Iraq as losses in Mosul are forcing it to transform from a governing to guerrilla style terrorist organization.

ISIS Sanctuary Map Update: February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017 - Alexandra Gutowski
Update: The Syrian regime seized additional towns from ISIS southeast of al-Bab on 27 FEB 2017 after ISIS withdrew. Regime control now abuts US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and also Turkish-backed opposition forces.

ISIS Sanctuary Map: February 26, 2017

February 26, 2017 - Alexandra Gutowski

ISIS launched offensives against the Syrian regime in Deir ez Zour, eastern Homs province, and eastern Damascus province in January 2017, exploiting the regime’s focus on Aleppo and attempting to offset or divert regime operations near al-Bab. Regime forces began to reverse ISIS’s gains in Homs province on February 14. ISIS lost additional territory in Mosul to the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition in early 2017. ISIS also lost al-Bab, Syria to Turkish-backed Operation Euphrates Shield on February 23.

The Strategic Convergence of Russia and Iran

February 24, 2017 - Chris Kozak

The U.S. cannot drive a wedge between Russia and Iran in the near term. Tehran and Moscow share regional and global interests across the Middle East, North Africa, Caucasus, and Central Asia. Their common interests and overarching objective of expelling the U.S. from the Middle East will likely bind Iran and Russia together into an enduring partnership.