JN and the FSA-affiliated Southern Front continue to make significant gains in Dera’a Province, seizing several military installations north of Sheikh Miskin and threatening to sever the regime supply line to Dera’a city.
Although Baiji district is not fully cleared by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Iraqi Shi’a militias, it is clear that ISIS has lost a significant part of the area and has decided not to reinforce it from Hawija, an ISIS stronghold located north of Baiji.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have made significant advances against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in the strategic town of Baiji in northern Iraq’s Salah ad-Din Province.
ISIS escalated attacks against the Iraqi Sunni tribes in Alam sub-district, east of Tikrit and against tribes in Zowiya village, northern Salah ad-Din.
The U.S. conducted a second round of strikes against "Khorasan Group" targets in Northwestern Idlib province, reportedly killing a number of JN and Ahrar al-Sham fighters that appeared to have been collocated with the "Khorasan" targets.
The weekend reports of the killing or wounding of the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, have not yet been confirmed.
Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) seized large swaths of the Jabal al-Zawiya area of southern Idlib Province (in northwest Syria bordering Turkey) from Free Syrian Army (FSA)-affiliated groups beginning in late October 2014 (see fig. 1). JN, the official al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, began to carve out direct territorial control in Idlib Province beginning in July 2014, and its advance in southern Idlib has considerably extended its stronghold in the province.
The significant event of the weekend is the reported targeting of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), by U.S. airstrikes.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) which include Iraqi Shi'a militias are continuing to challenge the presence and positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in the Baiji area north of Tikrit in northern Iraq.
The deployment of Iraqi Shi'a militias to Anbar province to support anti-ISIS Iraqi Sunni tribes in combating ISIS is a unique and important dynamic that underscores the desperate need of anti-ISIS Anbari tribes for support.