The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Iraqi Shi’a militias continue to challenge the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) on two fronts.
The current northern front is escalating between the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is likely attempting to prevent Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) gains in Diyala by flooding the Hawi Valley.
ISIS continues to seek control of Anbar and it is conducting operations to impose social control by removing possible opponents in Hit.
ISIS is advancing in Anbar and threatening Baghdad from the west, and U.S. airstrikes have not blunted their advance into key cities such as Ramadi. As of October 7, ISIS controls most of the territory between Qaim on the Syrian border and Abu Ghraib, only 40 km from Baghdad. ISIS has conducted a sophisticated campaign in Anbar Province over the past four weeks in order to capture additional cities in the Euphrates River Valley.
ISIS continued its offensive into downtown Ramadi and downtown Hit.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is not the only violent group opposed to the government of Iraq. Groups ranging from Salafist-jihadist to Sunni nationalist have also been mobilized against Baghdad since at least 2013. They remain a threat to the government even if ISIS is removed, especially if the core concerns of Iraqi Sunnis remain unaddressed by the Iraqi government. The primary grievances of most Iraqi Sunnis include the integration of Shi'a militias into the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), attacks by the ISF in Sunni civilian areas, and political exclusion in Baghdad.
ISIS has taken the city of Hit in Anbar, as reported on October 2, and controls the town west of the Euphrates.
The few remaining areas that are not under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) are now under attack by the group.
The consolidation of control by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Hit signals further advances of ISIS in Anbar province.