The provincial capital of Anbar Province, Ramadi, has been heavily contested by ISIS since the beginning of the Anbar operations and has been under the threat of falling to ISIS for nearly a year.Iraqi Security Forces, Iraqi Shi’a militias, Kurdish forces, and Iraqi Sunni anti-ISIS tribes are applying pressure on ISIS across multiple fronts.

ISW has updated its ISIS Sanctuary map! This map, covering both Iraq and Syria, shows the extent of ISIS zones of control, attack, and support throughout both countries. 

JN’s ability to sideline moderate elements in Idlib challenges the viability of the U.S. “train and assist” mission for these elements.

Rebel gains in southern Syria and efforts to sever regime supply routes north and south of Damascus indicate that the regime has lost momentum in the capital region.

ISW Senior Naval Analyst Christopher Harmer, discuss and analyzes an ISIS video posted online showing grenades, which it is claiming were dropped by US forces.

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Next Steps for U.S. Foreign Policy on Syria and Iraq

American strategy in Iraq and Syria continues to suffer from a fatal flaw.  President Obama explicitly ordered that it focus only on “degrading” and “destroying” the Islamic State to the exclusion of any other American national security interests and regardless of the likelihood of the long-term success of any such effort undertaken in isolation.  As a result, the strategy has achieved some limited successes against the Islamic State, but those isolated successes are coming at the expense of other important American security concerns.  The current approach, in

Control of Terrain in Iraq: November 20, 2014

On November 14, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) which include Iraqi Shi’a militias were able to achieve significant advances against the Islamic State of Iraq al-Sham (ISIS) in the strategic town of Baiji in Salah ad-Din province in northern Iraq. Baiji has been under the control of ISIS since June of this year and is also home to Iraq’s biggest oil refinery, the Baiji Refinery which has endured a five-month long ISIS siege.