The failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 will generate significant upheaval in the Syrian Civil War. Turkish President Recep Erdogan will likely direct his attention inward over the coming months in order to consolidate his power. This distraction will likely disrupt the flow of logistical support provided to opposition groups by Turkey, enabling short-term military gains by a number of actors including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
The U.S. must recognize the risk a NATO ally may become a safe haven for al Qaeda as Erdogan consolidates power. The failed coup attempt by elements of the Turkish Armed Forces on July 15 will enable President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to establish himself as an authoritarian ruler in Turkey.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) seeks to open and maintain operations in western Anbar and Ninewa Provinces in order to eliminate remaining ISIS strongholds in Iraq. Sadrist Trend leader Muqtada al-Sadr led thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square on July 15, giving usual demands for technocratic and anti-corruption reforms.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on July 14 to discuss a proposal for bilateral military cooperation in the Syrian Civil War. The proposal calls for the establishment of a ‘Joint Implementation Group’ based in Amman, Jordan to “support deliberate targeting” of Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and “maximize independent but synchronized efforts” against ISIS in Syria, according to a draft memorandum leaked by the Washington Post.
President Obama announced on July 6 that the U.S. will maintain 8,400 troops in Afghanistan through the end of January 2017 instead of the planned drawdown to 5,500. He then stated that the only way to achieve a full drawdown of forces is to reach a peaceful political settlement between Taliban militants and the Afghan government.
The Islamic State has marked the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan with a global wave of terror. Its attacks in Istanbul; Baghdad; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and at multiple sites across Saudi Arabia have claimed hundreds of lives. These attacks follow a landmark mass-casualty shooting in Orlando, Florida, by a gunman who answered the Islamic State’s call to attack the United States directly...
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilization completed the operation to recapture Fallujah on June 26, securing the city and its environs from ISIS control. The operation, which began on May 23, breached the city limits on June 8 and secured the government complex on June 17.
ISIS pursued its regional and global objectives through multiple large-scale attacks during its Ramadan campaign from June 5 to July 5 despite continued losses in its core terrain in Iraq and Syria. ISIS surged activity during the last week of Ramadan, including attacks in Istanbul, Baghdad, Dhaka, and across Saudi Arabia. ISIS has expanded its global reach since its Ramadan campaign last year, which was the last time it executed a global wave of attacks of similar magnitude.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) retook Qayyarah Airfield West on July 9. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced on July 11 that the U.S. will deploy an additional 560 soldiers to Qayyarah airbase in order to provide logistical support for future ISF operations to retake Mosul.