There were unconfirmed reports that ISIS took Mosul Dam yesterday. It is unlikely that the Peshmerga would surrender this critical piece of infrastructure, hence the deployment of Peshmerga reinforcements to the dam that was reported today.
ISIS took control of the Sinjar district yesterday, while hundreds of families fled the area to the nearby Sinjar Mountain.
ISIS has launched a new offensive in northern Iraq to take control of Sinjar and other critical terrain in Kurdish areas north and west of Mosul.
Clashes between ISIS and Peshmerga forces in Zammar and Jalula indicate an attempt by ISIS to secure the areas that it is contesting against Kurdish troops.
ISIS continues to attack the Baiji oil refinery with the intent to complete its control of Baiji city.
By Charles C. Caris & Samuel Reynolds
The Islamic State’s June 2014 announcement of a “caliphate” is not empty rhetoric. In fact, the idea of the caliphate that rests within a controlled territory is a core part of ISIS’s political vision. The ISIS grand strategy to realize this vision involves first establishing control of terrain through military conquest and then reinforcing this control through governance. This grand strategy proceeds in phases that have been laid out by ISIS itself in its publications, and elaborates a vision that it hopes will attract both fighters and citizens to its nascent state. The declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, however, raises the question: can ISIS govern?
Although ISIS has had experience in governing urban centers in Syria and Iraq before, the City of Mosul is the largest and most developed area now under ISIS control now.
by Jessica D. Lewis
Many have asked what needs to be done about the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the terrorist organization that recently took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Questions range from the acceptability of airstrikes and the viability of a national unity government in Iraq to the feasibility of a counter-offensive that depends upon the remaining capacity of the Iraq Security Forces. These are important and worthy questions, and timely, because ISIS is growing stronger. But these questions preempt the rigorous analysis that is required in order to determine what the U.S. should do about ISIS and why.
ISIS is aiming to establish normalcy in areas where it has control in Iraq. Hosting fairs and Eid celebrations represents an attempt to show the “friendly” side of ISIS, publicizing recreational activities rather than an oppressive state.