Key Take-away: The threat of large-scale attacks in North Sinai by ISIS’s Wilayat Sinai is elevated as of March 12, 2015, but this threat is not assessed to directly target the upcoming Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm al-Sheikh scheduled for March 13-15, 2015 due to heightened security in South Sinai.
Middle East Security Project
The rapid success of the assault on the Wadi al-Deif and al-Hamidiyah army bases delivers a clear message regarding the ascendant power and influence of JN
The ISIS offensive against the Deir ez-Zour Military Airport has now achieved gains similar to its failed attempt to seize the base in early September 2014.
Col. Harry G. Summers Jr. begins his book, On Strategy: The Vietnam War in Context, by relaying the following conversation: “‘You know you never defeated us on the battlefield,’ said the American colonel. The North Vietnamese colonel pondered this remark a moment. ‘That may be so,’ he replied, ‘but it is also irrelevant.’” As much as we may not want to admit it, in this sense, our current war against al Qaeda and their ilk resembles that of Vietnam. In fighting our post- 9/11 wars, we have won nearly every battle but are far from winning the war. How can this be? The answer lies largely in the civil military nexus that underpins how America wages war.
An ISIS offensive against regime military bases and infrastructure in eastern Homs province appears targeted to relieve pressure on ISIS in Deir ez-Zour by disrupting the regime’s supply lines to Deir ez-Zour city through eastern Homs Province.
Despite rapidly spreading reports that Egyptian Salafi-Jihadist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, that does not appear to be the case. Initially reported by Reuters, other sources have run with the dubious story without further vetting the information.
Recent statements by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and an alleged new group called the “Soldiers of the Caliphate in the Land of Egypt” has given rise to speculation that ISIS may be seeking to expand beyond Iraq and Syria into new territories such as Egypt. This fear is compounded by the recent arrest of an individual at the Cairo airport, allegedly seeking to travel to Syria for training with ISIS.
Harleen Gambhir is a Counterterrorism Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. She focuses on the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s global strategy and operations, as well as on U.S. national security interests in dealing with a growing ISIS “Caliphate.” At ISW, Ms.
ISW has predicted the rise of the Islamic State since 2012. Read our forecasts here.
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. That effort requires political and religious control in addition to military victory, and ISIS has a vision for how the Caliphate will form. ISIS has begun to explain its grand strategy to achieve this end through extensive public outreach, including a digital magazine series entitled Dabiq. This backgrounder will examine the contents of the first issue of Dabiq in detail, explaining the significance of this strategic messaging approach by ISIS in conjunction with the announcement of a Caliphate.