The operation to retake Fallujah has advanced towards the city limits since ISW’s May 26 Fallujah map, as joint forces from the ISF, Popular Mobilization, and Sunni tribal fighters close in on a multiple-axis assault to encircle the city. The ISF and Popular Mobilization continue to recapture terrain north of Fallujah, including al-Sajar, and consolidate holdings around Garma District
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Popular Mobilization, and tribal fighters launched a major operation to retake Fallujah on May 23. The joint force quickly recaptured northern terrain on the first day, including Garma District, a historic hotbed for Sunni extremists including ISIS’s predecessor Al Qaeda in Iraq.
The ISF has made significant gains in the Euphrates River Valley over the past two months, recapturing almost the entirety of the southern bank.
Iraqi politics are deadlocked. Several political parties and blocs boycotted the Council of Representatives (CoR) following the Sadrist protesters’ first breach of the Green Zone on April 30. The Kurdish Alliance, a bloc that consisted of nearly one-fifth of the CoR, withdrew on May 5. The bloc has now split, and two of its component political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran, formally reunited on May 14 to create a new bloc.
Iraq’s political crisis has degenerated further as a majority of Iraqi parties, including the Kurdish parties and the Sunni Etihad bloc, have boycotted parliament sessions following the April 30 breach of the Green Zone by Sadrist demonstrators.
May 9 Update: Multiple political parties announced that they would boycott any upcoming session of the Council of Representatives (CoR). The Sunni Etihad bloc announced on May 9 that it would not attend any parliamentary session until those responsible for the April 30 protests were held accountable.
The U.S. announced additional “accelerants” in the fight against ISIS, reporting on April 18 that it would deploy 217 additional train-and-advise personnel to embed at the brigade and battalion levels with attack helicopters and an additional High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and tribal fighters with Coalition air support recaptured Hit District on April 14 as part of an ongoing operation to remove ISIS from the Euphrates River Valley.
ISW's timeline presents the major meetings and events leading to Iraq's current political crisis. Spanning 7 weeks, this timeline details nearly 70 individual meetings related to the political crisis precipitated by Prime Minister Abadi’s announcement of an impending Cabinet shuffle. The meetings demonstrate the level of negotiations between international and regional actors and Iraq’s major political blocs to find a solution to Iraq’s ongoing political crisis.
Political blocs continue to jockey for influence over the final composition of the Council of Ministers (CoM) amid increased threats to Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s position.