ISW held its Fifth Annual President's Circle Dinner honoring General Raymond T. Odierno (U.S. Army, Ret.) with the National Security Award for his Distinguished Service to Our Nation.
Russia shifted its air campaign in an effort to mimic the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition's recent offensive to target ISIS-run oil and natural gas infrastructure from November 18-19. Russian military chief of staff Col. Gen.
The combined Kurdish offensive against ISIS in Sinjar is less significant as a tactical gain against ISIS than as a symbolic victory for multiple Kurdish factions that will ultimately compete for dominance.
Russia is attempting to align itself with France in the wake of ISIS’s terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13. Russia took steps to reassert its freedom of action in Syria as France expanded its anti-ISIS air campaign in response to the Paris attacks. On November 17, Russia launched air strikes from long-range strategic bombers for the first time since its intervention in the Syrian Civil War and announced plans to deploy 12 additional fixed-wing attack aircraft.
Russia announced a new phase of its air campaign in Syria on November 17 following a new directive from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
ISW’s Counter-terrorism Analyst Harleen Gambhir makes the case that "Europe and the United States must accept the reality that protracted sectarian warfare in the Middle East is a clear and present danger to their safety and security at home" arguing that these attacks "are yet more proof that we cannot live in peace at home while millions of people are engulfed in war." Read her full op-ed in the Washington Post here.
The ISIS attacks in Paris mark a step-change in the threat that group poses to the West. The tactics employed came straight from the battlefields of the Middle East into the heart of Europe. The group hit multiple targets simultaneously without detection by French security services despite a series of arrests aimed at disrupting this operation. That capability demonstrates superior planning ability, resilience, and operational security.
ISIS’s claimed attacks in Paris on November 13 mark the organization’s most sophisticated assault in the West to date. This interactive graphic depicts the individuals, events and locations directly linked to the Paris attacks. Eight attackers in three coordinated teams attacked six locations in Paris including the Stade de France sports stadium and the Bataclan art center with AK-47s, grenades, and SVESTs.
ISIS continues to execute its global strategy to defend its terrain within Iraq and Syria, to foster affiliates in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, and to encourage and resource terror attacks in the wider world.