ISIS is executing a sophisticated global strategy that involves simultaneous efforts in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the wider world. ISW and the U.S. Army War College conducted a wargame early this year to discover the diplomatic and military opportunities and pitfalls likely to arise in the counter-ISIS fight.
The Iraqi Government officially announced the start of military operations to “recapture Anbar” in western Iraq from ISIS.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), supported by the “Popular Mobilization” and tribal fighters, are pursuing multiple complementary lines of effort in eastern Anbar Province to encircle and isolate Fallujah and cut ISIS supply lines to Ramadi.
Syrian rebel factions launched long-awaited offensives against the isolated provincial capitals of Dera’a and Aleppo Cities, located in southern and northern Syria respectively. The fall of either city to rebel forces including Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra would overturn the stalemate that has long characterized the Syrian Civil War, opening the door to further offensives against core regime terrain in Damascus and the Syrian Coast.
ISIS continued to launch SVBIED and direct fire attacks against Haditha district in western Anbar, following a SVBIED wave that the ISF largely repelled on July 5-6.
ISIS intensified its attacks against the ISF and Iraqi Shi’a militias in northern and western Iraq.
The rapid deterioration of political negotiations between the separatist “republics” and Kyiv may trigger a military escalation by the Russian-backed forces, which continue to conduct heavy indirect fire strikes against frontline Ukrainian positions.