Russian backed Separatist forces have launched multiple unsuccessful assaults on Marinka, a Ukrainian held town near Donetsk.
ISIS lost control of its primary Libyan stronghold in the eastern city of Derna on June 12. Local Islamist groups expelled ISIS from the city following ISIS’s assassination of a local leader. The loss of Derna is unlikely to affect ISIS’s military strategy in Libya, as the organization controls other cities along the central coast. However, it suggests that ISIS may struggle to maintain social control in cities outside of Iraq and Syria, as the organization ultimately seeks to do across the Middle East and North Africa.
Diyala Province will likely become the renewed focus of security efforts amidst an ISIS resurgence in the province.
ISW assessed in early June 2015 that one of ISIS’s most likely courses of action during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan would be to declare a governorate in Russia’s North Caucasus. ISIS indeed announced the creation of a new governorate, called Wilayat Qawqaz (Caucasus) in the region on June 23, 2015, after several senior militants in the area pledged allegiance to ISIS.
The influence of Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias is extending beyond Iraq’s security sector and creating political friction.
ISIS or other anti-government armed groups such as the Ba’athist leaning JRTN may attempt to foment ethnic violence between Arabs and Kurds as well as sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi’a.