Iraqi Security Forces and Popular Mobilization Forces: Orders of Battle

December 29, 2017 - ISW Press

Any U.S. strategy relying on a partnered force must proceed from a realistic assessment of its capabilities and intentions. The Institute for the Study of War completed an Order of Battle study to evaluate the capabilities and disposition of the ISF. This study also presents an Order of Battle of the PMF to help U.S. decision makers and forces on the ground recognize and remediate the presence of Iranian-backed militias within the ISF.

Iran’s Role in the Kirkuk Operation in Iraq

November 9, 2017 - Jennifer Cafarella

Iran provided decisive military support to compel Iraqi Kurds to surrender in Kirkuk, Iraq, on October 16, 2017. Military forces from three major Iranian proxies participated in the operation: Katai’b Hezbollah, Asai’b Ahl al Haq, and the Badr Organization. Iran did not attempt to outshine Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in public. Iran instead allowed Abadi to take credit, while quietly positioning its proxies to influence Kirkuk in the future.

Iraq Situation Report: May 6 - 20, 2017

May 21, 2017 - ISW Press

Iran-backed Shia militias set conditions to disrupt or deny U.S.-backed forces freedom of maneuver near the Iraq-Syria border. Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) forces began clearing territory in western Ninewa Province toward the Syrian border. Iran-backed PMU forces also conducted offensives against ISIS in northern Diyala and Salah al-Din provinces, and defended positions north of the Makhoul Mountains and southwest of Tuz Khurmatu from ISIS ground assaults.

Iraq Situation Report: March 20 - April 20, 2017

April 20, 2017 - Patrick Martin

ISIS is waging a renewed offensive campaign in recaptured areas that could exploit vulnerabilities in the Iraqi Government’s ability to respond amidst accelerating political competition before upcoming elections. 

Iraq Situation Report: March 1-20, 2017

March 24, 2017 - Emily Anagnostos

Regional actors are vying to dominate the post-ISIS security structure and political order in northern Iraq.

U.S. Grand Strategy: Destroying ISIS and al Qaeda

March 15, 2017 - ISW Press

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute conducted an intensive multi-week planning exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.

Iraq Situation Report: February 17-28, 2017

February 28, 2017 - Emily Anagnostos

ISIS could be facing difficulty coordinating successful attacks in Iraq as losses in Mosul are forcing it to transform from a governing to guerrilla style terrorist organization.

Iraq Situation Report: February 11-16, 2017

February 16, 2017 - Emily Anagnostos

Baghdad witnessed serious breaches of security from February 11 to 16 due to both escalating protest movements and ISIS attacks.

Iranian Proxies Fire Rockets at Green Zone in Baghdad, Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 11, 2017 - Patrick Martin

Unidentified gunmen, likely Iranian proxies, fired rockets at the Green Zone during a large Sadrist demonstration in Tahrir Square in eastern Baghdad on February 11, 2017.

Iraq Situation Report: February 2-10, 2017

February 10, 2017 - Emily Anagnostos

Security conditions have decreased in Mosul and Salah al-Din and in the southern provinces due to revived militant attacks and election-related violence, respectively, from February 2 to 10.