The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) attacked Baquba, Diyala Province, the third major urban center it has targeted since the fall of Mosul. Diyala contains ethnic and sectarian fault-lines and borders Iran.
ISIS operations in Iraq are having an impact in Syria. Opposition groups are capitalizing on the redeployment of pro-regime and ISIS forces to make gains in Qalamoun and Damascus and to launch offensive operations in Aleppo.
ISIS and the ISF continued to clash over the city of Tal Afar in western Ninewa Province and the city is currently contested. ISIS also attempted to storm the Baiji Refinery, north of Tikrit, prompting Iraqi Army Aviation to launch air strikes against ISIS forces.
The Situation Report for 15 June identifies that ISIS attacked the ethnically and religiously mixed town of Tal Afar in Ninewa. Should ISIS gain control of the city, it is likely to inflict ethno-sectarian violence.
The Situation Report for 12-14 June identifies clashes between ISIS fighters and the Iraqi Security Forces, local tribes, and Asai’b Ahl al-Haq. Locations include Speicher Airbase, where hundreds of Iraq soldiers were executed by ISIS with photos published on social media.
On June 12, 2014, Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani claimed that ISIS will target Samarra, Baghdad, Karbala, and Najaf. These cities and their Shi’a shrines will not fall the way that Mosul did.
ISIS operations around Samarra during this phase of its northern offensive will be an important indicator of its ultimate intent and its estimate of its own capabilities.