ISIS is advancing in Anbar and threatening Baghdad from the west, and U.S. airstrikes have not blunted their advance into key cities such as Ramadi. As of October 7, ISIS controls most of the territory between Qaim on the Syrian border and Abu Ghraib, only 40 km from Baghdad. ISIS has conducted a sophisticated campaign in Anbar Province over the past four weeks in order to capture additional cities in the Euphrates River Valley.
ISIS continued its offensive into downtown Ramadi and downtown Hit.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is not the only violent group opposed to the government of Iraq. Groups ranging from Salafist-jihadist to Sunni nationalist have also been mobilized against Baghdad since at least 2013. They remain a threat to the government even if ISIS is removed, especially if the core concerns of Iraqi Sunnis remain unaddressed by the Iraqi government. The primary grievances of most Iraqi Sunnis include the integration of Shi'a militias into the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), attacks by the ISF in Sunni civilian areas, and political exclusion in Baghdad.
ISIS has taken the city of Hit in Anbar, as reported on October 2, and controls the town west of the Euphrates.
The few remaining areas that are not under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) are now under attack by the group.
The consolidation of control by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Hit signals further advances of ISIS in Anbar province.
ISW has predicted the rise of the Islamic State since 2012. Read our forecasts here.
An assassination campaign against rebel commanders appears to have emerged in western Syria, with at least 12 assassination attempts since the beginning of September 2014.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) launched a complex attack on the city of Hit on the Euphrates River in Anbar province.