Russian Airstrikes in Syria: November 4 - November 15, 2015

November 16, 2015 - Genevieve Casagrande
Russia continues to prioritize the preservation of the Assad regime rather than the defeat of ISIS through its air campaign in Syria. Russian airstrikes primarily supported regime ground operations against the Syrian armed opposition from November 13 – 15, concentrating in the southern countryside of Aleppo and the northern countryside of while pro-regime ground forces attempted to advance. ISW assessed Russian airstrikes against only one ISIS-held location with low-confidence during the reporting period.

What to do and to don’t in response to the Paris attacks

November 15, 2015 - Kimberly Kagan

The ISIS attacks in Paris mark a step-change in the threat that group poses to the West. The tactics employed came straight from the battlefields of the Middle East into the heart of Europe. The group hit multiple targets simultaneously without detection by French security services despite a series of arrests aimed at disrupting this operation. That capability demonstrates superior planning ability, resilience, and operational security.

Network Graph of ISIS's Claimed attack in Paris

November 15, 2015 - Harleen Gambhir

ISIS’s claimed attacks in Paris on November 13 mark the organization’s most sophisticated assault in the West to date. This interactive graphic depicts the individuals, events and locations directly linked to the Paris attacks. Eight attackers in three coordinated teams attacked six locations in Paris including the Stade de France sports stadium and the Bataclan art center with AK-47s, grenades, and SVESTs.

ISIS's Global Strategy

November 14, 2015 - Harleen Gambhir

ISIS continues to execute its global strategy to defend its terrain within Iraq and Syria, to foster affiliates in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, and to encourage and resource terror attacks in the wider world.

Dabiq: The Strategic Messaging of the Islamic State

November 14, 2015 - Harleen Gambhir

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s (ISIS) assault on the city of Mosul on June 10, 2014 demonstrated its formidable military strength. ISIS’s activities across Iraq and Syria also reveal that the organization is engaged in governance programs, ranging from Shari’a courts to aid distribution and law enforcement. These efforts underscore ISIS’s desire to erect a functional Caliphate within the boundaries of its controlled territory.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: November 2 - November 12, 2015

November 13, 2015 - Genevieve Casagrande

The Russian air campaign continued to support regime ground operations against the Syrian opposition in Aleppo, Latakia, Idlib, Hama, and Dera’a Provinces from November 11 - 12. Russian warplanes targeted rebel-held terrain in the southern Aleppo countryside, enabling pro-regime forces to seize the towns of al-Hader and al-Eis located southwest of Aleppo City on November 12.

Ukraine Crisis Update: November 11, 2015

November 11, 2015 - Hugo Spaulding

Russian-backed separatist forces renewed coordinated offensive operations across the front line in eastern Ukraine on November 7. This escalation follows a two-month operational pause that coincided with the start of the Russian intervention in Syria. Both the separatist ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DNR) and the Ukrainian military reported the completion of the withdrawal of light artillery from the front line in the days leading up to the recent clashes. An agreement to withdraw light weapons and tanks served as the main focus of the September 1 renewed ceasefire.

Control Map of Ramadi: November 11, 2015

November 11, 2015 - Patrick Martin

Iraqi Security Forces have advanced towards and are proximate to infrastructure necessary for assault on downtown Ramadi.

Russia Security Update: November 3-10, 2015

November 11, 2015 - Hugo Spaulding

Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated on November 10 that Russia was developing nuclear-capable strike systems that could penetrate NATO’s planned missile defense shield in Europe. Russian-backed separatists reignited hostilities on the front line in eastern Ukraine after a two-month operational pause that coincided with Russia’s deployments to Syria. Russia may be escalating operations in response to a November 4 EU leadership statement indicating that Europe may extend sanctions beyond January 2016.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: October 31 - November 10, 2015

November 11, 2015 - Genevieve Casagrande

Russian airstrikes continued to support regime ground operations in Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Idlib, and Dera’a from November 9 - 10. Pro-regime forces relieved several hundred regime soldiers besieged by ISIS in the Kuweires Airbase east of Aleppo City on November 10 with air support provided by Russian warplanes.