The Iraqi Government officially announced the start of military operations to “recapture Anbar” in western Iraq from ISIS.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), supported by the “Popular Mobilization” and tribal fighters, are pursuing multiple complementary lines of effort in eastern Anbar Province to encircle and isolate Fallujah and cut ISIS supply lines to Ramadi.
ISIS continued to launch SVBIED and direct fire attacks against Haditha district in western Anbar, following a SVBIED wave that the ISF largely repelled on July 5-6.
ISIS intensified its attacks against the ISF and Iraqi Shi’a militias in northern and western Iraq.
Various Iraqi Shi’a militias along with the Federal Police (FP) and elite units from the ISF appear to have made advances against ISIS in Baiji.
There have been unconfirmed reports of advances by the Federal Police (FP) and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias in Baiji district amid renewed clearing operations declared by the FP.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s Shi’a religious establishment (Hawza) has issued new guidance that is likely to increase the size of the armed groups fighting under its supervision and ultimately its base of popular support.
Diyala Province will likely become the renewed focus of security efforts amidst an ISIS resurgence in the province.
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.