ISIS is once again attempting to leverage Iraqi dams to force operational recalculations on the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
ISIS launched new offensives in northern Syria following its seizure of the strategic city of Palmyra and other key locations in central Syria over recent weeks.
Some have claimed that ISIS is on the defensive inside Iraq and Syria. A defensive strategy, however, is not a sign of organizational weakness, but rather a sign that ISIS intends to preserve its holdings in Iraq and Syria and keep its claim to a caliphate. ISIS’s defensive strategies include expanding elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, while also maximizing combat power and future opportunities to launch offensives inside Iraq and Syria. Iraq and Syria are the physical foundation for ISIS’s expanding caliphate.
ISIS has launched major attacks against the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in the Thar Thar region, north of Fallujah and southwest of Samarra, in an effort to maintain freedom of maneuver and protect Ramadi’s northern flank.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the "Popular Mobilization" are on the counter-offensive across Salah ad-Din and Anbar provinces.
The continued broadening of attacks on Ukrainian frontline positions in Donbas suggests that the Russian-backed separatists have transitioned to a new phase of offensive operations. Separatists expanded their offensive operations most ostensibly into Ukrainian-held areas south and west of the city of Donetsk.
On May 26 the Popular Mobilization Commission announced “Operation Labaik ya Hussein” with the stated goal of clearing northern and western Salah ad-Din, southeast of Tikrit, and Ramadi.
ISIS seized the historic city of Palmyra in central Syria on May 20 and continued to advance westward towards the strategic regime T4 Airbase along the highway to Homs city as well as southwest into the Eastern Qalamoun region along the road to Damascus.
ISIS continued its campaign for the Euphrates following the fall of Ramadi and Palmyra. In Anbar ISIS seized the Iraqi side of the Tanf/Waleed border crossing with Syria, having captured the Syrian side on May 22. ISIS has mounted complex, coordinated attacks involving multiple VBIEDs against ISF-controlled Haditha and Baghdadi, near al-Asad Airbase, thereby challenging an ISF advance on Ramadi from the west.