Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies have set the stage for an imminent offensive to complete the encirclement of Aleppo City. This could drive the opposition towards radicalization and a merger with Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra

The ISF and tribal fighters with Coalition air support recaptured Hit District while the Joint Operations Command, largely driven by Iranian proxy militias, launched an offensive to clear the Samarra desert.

ISW’s last ISIS sanctuary map on March 31, ISIS lost terrain in Iraq (Hit) and Syria (Qaryatan). Despite these losses, ISIS seized additional territory in the Yarmouk Camp District from Syrian al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra on April 18, and reclaimed terrain along the Syrian-Turkish border on April 14.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi announced that Russia and Syria are preparing a joint operation to seize Aleppo City on April 10. This map marks the return of ISW's Syria SITREP in partnership with Syria Direct.

Iraq Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi faces new calls for his resignation as a rump parliament of roughly 131 members, falsely claiming a quorum, has begun to ouster its sitting leaders. 

Latest from ISW

Syria Situation Report: April 23 - 29, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama announced his decision to deploy 250 additional Special Operations Forces to northern Syria, raising the total number of U.S. personnel in the country to 300. Obama emphasized that the new forces will “not be leading the fight on the ground” but instead work to recruit, train, and assist Sunni Arab fighters within the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in preparation for future operations to isolate the ISIS stronghold of Ar-Raqqa City.

ISIS Sanctuary Map: April 22, 2016

Since the publication of ISW’s last ISIS sanctuary map on March 31, 2016, ISIS lost terrain in Iraq and Syria. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) recaptured the city of Hit in Anbar Province, western Iraq from ISIS on April 14 as part of ongoing operations to secure the Euphrates River Valley. Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) forces also continue to contest ISIS's control in the Makhoul Mountains, north of Baiji.

Syria Situation Report: April 16-22, 2016

Russia actions raised concerns after reportedly redeploying artillery units and personnel to the vicinity of Aleppo City, according to senior U.S. officials. The deployments come amidst a major breakdown in the Geneva III Talks. Meanwhile, the Syrian Kurdish YPG and its affiliated Asayish internal security forces engaged in heavy clashes with pro-regime forces in Qamishli in Hasaka Province following an altercation at a pro-regime checkpoint.