There have been unconfirmed reports of advances by the Federal Police (FP) and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias in Baiji district amid renewed clearing operations declared by the FP.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s Shi’a religious establishment (Hawza) has issued new guidance that is likely to increase the size of the armed groups fighting under its supervision and ultimately its base of popular support.
Diyala Province will likely become the renewed focus of security efforts amidst an ISIS resurgence in the province.
The influence of Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias is extending beyond Iraq’s security sector and creating political friction.
ISIS or other anti-government armed groups such as the Ba’athist leaning JRTN may attempt to foment ethnic violence between Arabs and Kurds as well as sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi’a.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry (MoI) reportedly directed Iraqi Air Force (IAF) airstrikes that killed 53 would-be “suicide bombers,” 23 north of Hit and 30 in Fallujah, the latter reportedly staging for Baghdad.
ISIS launched a VBIED wave of at least 13 VBIEDS on Saturday, June 13 north and south of Fallujah, near Haditha, and south of Baiji.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the “Popular Mobilization” have strengthened their hold on Baiji district but clashes persist in the area amidst talk of upcoming operations against Baiji Refinery.
ISIS’s deployment of VBIEDs to Karbala and reports of ISIS’s movement of VBIEDs in Anbar suggest ISIS may be preparing for renewed offensive operations.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the “Popular Mobilization” have continued their southward advance on key infrastructure in the Thar Thar region, northwest of Fallujah, as fierce clashes and ISIS continued SVBIED attacks north and east of the city.