The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has achieved the goals of its major year-long offensive with the fall of Mosul and the collapse of the Iraqi Security Forces north of Baghdad.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has a disciplined military command that reports attacks across operating areas that has operated in this manner for at least two years.
The Syrian regime’s decisive victory over rebel forces in the Qalamoun stronghold of Yabroud, bolstered by support from Lebanese Hezbollah and Syrian National Defense Forces, has significant implications in the overall context of the three-year conflict.
Following the January 2014 uprising by rebel groups in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), ISIS contracted its footprint in Syria.
The White House is dropping strong hints that the number of American troops in Afghanistan after 2014 may fall below 10,000, possibly even below 5,000. Unnamed White House officials suggested to the press that lower levels of U.S. support to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will be sufficient to contain future Taliban threats.
Iraq is experiencing a political and security crisis. Iraq’s April 30, 2014 national elections will determine the shape of Iraq’s national government for the next four years, if indeed a government can endure Iraq’s potential relapse into civil war.
Hezbollah’s deepening involvement in Syria is one of the most important factors of the conflict in 2013 and 2014. The impact of Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria has been felt not just on the battlefield, where the regime now has momentum in many areas, but also in Lebanon where growing sectarian tensions have undermined security and stability.
Anbar is not the only front in Iraq on which Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), now operating as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), is fighting in 2014. ISIS has also established a governorate in Diyala. Its spokesman has named the province the central front in the sectarian conflict he has urged.
As the most significant remaining rebel stronghold in the Qalamoun region, the fall of Yabroud is an important strategic victory for the regime and demonstrates improved operational planning by pro-Assad forces.
The death of First Vice President Marshal Qasim Fahim will have an even bigger impact on the aftermath of the forthcoming presidential election than on its outcome. This article now updated with information about the nomination of Mohammad Yunus Qanooni to fill his position.