Publications

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: December 7 - 17, 2015

December 18, 2015 - Genevieve Casagrande

Russia continues to use disinformation to present its air campaign as a constructive force in Syria ahead of the next wave of talks on the Syrian conflict. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed to provide air support to elements of the Free Syrian Army in an effort to “unite” the various efforts of regime and “other groups” in Syria on December 15.

The myth of partnering with Assad, Russia, and Iran against ISIS

December 16, 2015 - Jennifer Cafarella

The Hill (Dec. 7, 2015): "The U.S. and its allies must resist drifting into a flawed partnership with Russia and Iran in Syria in order to defeat ISIS....The apparently easy solution offered by Russia will nonetheless fail. Russia cannot actually deliver the results the U.S. requires in Syria."

Meet ISIL’s Most Dangerous Affiliates

December 16, 2015 - Harleen Gambhir

Politico (Dec. 14, 2015): "With startling speed, the Middle Eastern terrorist organization known as ISIL has burst into the local news in Western nations, associated with attacks in Paris and now, if indirectly, with the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California....ISIL’s global strategy should come as no surprise."

Russia Security Update: December 9-15, 2015

December 15, 2015 - Hugo Spaulding

Russia’s intervention in Syria has forced the West to reengage Moscow in order to resolve the threat more immediately posed by ISIS even as President Vladimir Putin continues to bend international norms in his favor. Secretary of State John Kerry signaled the U.S.’s willingness to not only reengage with the Kremlin but also to make strategic concessions after his meeting with Putin in Moscow, where he signaled that Washington would accept succession to Assad rather than demand full replacement of the regime.

Iraq Situation Report: December 8 - 14, 2015

December 14, 2015 - Patrick Martin

The ISF accomplished major gains in Ramadi amid reports of an imminent increase of U.S. support, recapturing key areas north and south of the city and began advancing into the city’s southeastern neighborhoods.

Ukraine Crisis Update: December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015 - Hugo Spaulding

Russian-backed separatists intensified attacks along multiple frontline positions in Ukraine in early December 2015, demonstrating Moscow’s intent to continue destabilizing Ukraine after a two-month operational pause that coincided with the launch of Russian operations in Syria. Russia’s proxies in Ukraine increasingly launched attacks using heavy weapons on major flashpoints in Donetsk Oblast since fighting resumed in November while separatists in neighboring Luhansk Oblast remain less active.

Afghanistan Threat Assessment: The Taliban and ISIS

December 11, 2015 - Jessica D. Lewis

This map partially depicts areas of Taliban control and support and ISIS presence across Afghanistan as of December 10, 2015 as well as the status of district centers that have been attacked by Taliban militants in 2015. ISW will update this map as ground conditions change and as analysts continue to assess support zones.

Afghanistan Threat Assessment: The Taliban and ISIS

December 11, 2015 - Jessica D. Lewis

This map partially depicts areas of Taliban control and support and ISIS presence across Afghanistan as of December 10, 2015 as well as the status of district centers that have been attacked by Taliban militants in 2015. ISW will update this map as ground conditions change and as analysts continue to assess support zones.

Russia Security Update: December 1- 9, 2015

December 9, 2015 - Hugo Spaulding

Russia confronted NATO with new rigor in the Middle East as NATO took steps to counter Russian power projection efforts. Russia expanded the scope of its operations in Syria, officially claiming its first submarine cruise missile strikes from the eastern Mediterranean on December 8. This step change underscores Russia’s intent to assert its freedom of action to the U.S. and its allies in Syria.

Control Map of Ramadi: December 9, 2015

December 9, 2015 - Patrick Martin

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) achieved major gains in Ramadi and recaptured key terrain in the city’s environs on December 8. 

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