Iraq Project

Synonyms: 
iraq-project

Al Qaeda and ISIS: Existential Threats to the U.S. and Europe

The Institute for the Study of War and AEI's Critical Threats Project conducted an intensive multi-week exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to defeat the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. This first report examines America’s global grand strategic objectives as they relate to ISIS and al Qaeda and considers the nature of those enemy groups in depth and in their global context.

Ramadi Control Map, Nov. 22, 2015 (Central Ramadi)

The ISF began a major operation to penetrate central Ramadi on December 22, 2015. An element lead by the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) entered Ramadi from al-Humaira area south of Ramadi into the city’s southern neighborhoods. A separate CTS force entered from Ta’mim area southwest of Ramadi into al-Haouz neighborhood in southern Ramadi using a pontoon bridge, as all of Ramadi’s bridges have been heavily damaged.

Ramadi Control Map, Nov. 22, 2015 (overview)

The ISF began a major operation to penetrate central Ramadi on December 22, 2015. An element lead by the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) entered Ramadi from al-Humaira area south of Ramadi into the city’s southern neighborhoods. A separate CTS force entered from Ta’mim area southwest of Ramadi into al-Haouz neighborhood in southern Ramadi using a pontoon bridge, as all of Ramadi’s bridges have been heavily damaged.

Ramadi Control Map, Dec. 9, 2015

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) achieved major gains in Ramadi and recaptured key terrain in the city’s environs on December 8. The ISF spearheaded by the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) launched an operation on December 4 to recapture Ta’mim, an area composed of Ramadi’s southwestern neighborhoods which ISIS captured on June 27, 2014. As of December 8, the ISF claimed to have seized all of the neighborhoods in Ta’mim as well as several bridges leading into central Ramadi.

Ramadi Control Map, Dec. 3, 2015

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) recaptured the Palestine Bridge that spans the Euphrates River northwest of Ramadi on November 25. Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Steve Warren highlighted the Palestine Bridge as critical for cutting the water supply route to Ramadi on November 5. With the capture of the bridge, ISF have made progress in encircling Ramadi, but they are not yet in a position to launch an operation to recapture the city center.

Ramadi Control Map, Nov. 11, 2015

Key Take-Away: Iraqi Security Forces have advanced towards and are proximate to infrastructure necessary for assault on downtown Ramadi. Encirclement of the city has been slow as the Iraqi Security Forces are still clearing the city’s environs, a necessary step before launching an offensive against the city.

ISW’s Control Map of Ramadi has changed to clarify the positions of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in Ramadi’s environs.
 
Changes to Map:
 

Iraq Situation Report: December 15-21, 2015

ISIS launched spoiling attacks across Iraq to relieve pressure by anti-ISIS forces on multiple fronts. ISIS’s attacks follow operations by the Coalition and ISF and Iraq and the Coalition-backed National Democratic Forces in Syria to constrain ISIS on both fronts. In a recent press conference, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Steve Warren cited ongoing anti-ISIS operations in Baiji, Makhoul, and Sinjar in northern Iraq as well as Hit and Ramadi in western Iraq, combined with operations in Shaddadi and Deir ez-Zour in southern Syria.

Iraq Control of Terrain Map: October 30, 2015

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and "Popular Mobilization" recaptured the Baiji Oil Refinery on October 21 following operations to recapture Baiji city on October 14. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi then visited Baiji city on October 23, marking the city's full recapture. ISW is thus upgrading Baiji and the Baiji Oil Refinery from Contested to ISF-held locations. PUK Peshmerga have also maintained limited gains in villages in southern Kirkuk near Taza and Daquq as part of anti-ISIS operations that began on September 12.

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