ISIS conducted a wave of explosive attacks across Iraq aimed at disrupting the forward operations of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Coalition-trained elements of the ISF, supported by local forces, converged on Hit District in western Anbar and the village of al-Nasr, west of Makhmur, conducting operations aimed at recapturing areas on key ground lines of communication.
Pressure continues to mount on Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to reshuffle the cabinet. Abadi misses Sadrist deadline leading to Muqtada al-Sadr staging a sit-in in the Green Zone.
Dina Shahrokhi is the Research and Production Manager at the Institute for the Study of War. At ISW, she helps guide the work of the analysts and research team as they analyze some of the most pressing conflicts facing the world today. From ISIS to the Syrian civil war to the increasingly assertive role of Russia in the Middle East, Ms. Shahrokhi helps ensure that ISW's research products are thoroughly researched, edited, and the production managed to ensure timely publication of ISW insights.
Supporters of Sadrist Trend leader Muqtada al-Sadr began a large sit-in in front of the entrance to the Green Zone on March 18.
ISIS reportedly withdrew its forces from Hit District, west of Ramadi, ISIS’s rst reported withdrawal from a major urban center in Iraq. Between March 8 and March 14, security forces west of Ramadi have made rapid progress in recapturing villages from ISIS and are reportedly less than seven miles from Hit District’s southern perimeter.
Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias spearheaded major operations to recapture desert terrain west of Samarra and Tikrit in Salah al-Din Province. The operation, announced and initiated by the Joint Operations Command on March 4, involves the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilization, and aims to secure the Jazeera desert area northwest of Baghdad and prevent its use by ISIS as a support zone.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) launched operations to retake Ramadi from ISIS on December 22 and established control of the city on February 9. The ISF will need to target remaining ISIS safe havens in the Euphrates River Valley, including Hit and Fallujah, in order to consolidate these gains.
ISIS conducted a large-scale campaign against civilian and military targets across Iraq between February 25 and February 29.