ISW assessed in early June 2015 that one of ISIS’s most likely courses of action during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan would be to declare a governorate in Russia’s North Caucasus. ISIS indeed announced the creation of a new governorate, called Wilayat Qawqaz (Caucasus) in the region on June 23, 2015, after several senior militants in the area pledged allegiance to ISIS.
The influence of Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias is extending beyond Iraq’s security sector and creating political friction.
ISIS or other anti-government armed groups such as the Ba’athist leaning JRTN may attempt to foment ethnic violence between Arabs and Kurds as well as sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi’a.
ISIS Sanctuary: June 19, 2015
The Iraqi Interior Ministry (MoI) reportedly directed Iraqi Air Force (IAF) airstrikes that killed 53 would-be “suicide bombers,” 23 north of Hit and 30 in Fallujah, the latter reportedly staging for Baghdad.
ISIS launched a VBIED wave of at least 13 VBIEDS on Saturday, June 13 north and south of Fallujah, near Haditha, and south of Baiji.