ISIS has escalated its attacks on Baquba, the capital city of Diyala Province, at a time when Iraqi Shi’a militias and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are preparing to launch an assault to clear ISIS from the last area under its control in Diyala province.
The last three days have witnessed a prioritization of Anbari areas where the Iraqi Government has largely not committed resources since the fall of Mosul in June 2014. The district of Rutba fell to ISIS on June 25, 2014 and has been under uncontested control by the organization ever since.
ISW has updated its ISIS Sanctuary map! This map, covering both Iraq and Syria, shows the extent of ISIS zones of control, attack, and support throughout both countries.
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Dhuluiya sub-district and its environs, as well as areas near Balad district were cleared of ISIS on December 29, 2014 following a wide-scale operation launched by various Iraqi Shi’a militias and the ISF.
The report of the allegedly foiled attack on Um Qasir port is noteworthy, although recent history suggests that such attacks are unlikely to effectively hinder the flow of goods or oil at the port.
The area of Gwer, southeast of Mosul was the closest ISIS gunmen came to Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in August of 2014 prompting U.S. airstrikes to target the organization in the area and prevent its advance.
January 8 witnessed two major attacks by ISIS targeting areas east and west of Samarra district in northern Salah ad-Din Province.
ISIS has increased its pressure on strategic areas in Anbar Province.