Iraq Situation Report: March 28-30, 2015

The contest for Tikrit is escalating. The ground offensive to retake the city has resumed following the U.S. airstrikes, although without the Iranian-backed militias that withdrew in opposition to U.S. coalition involvement.

Merger of Prominent Islamist Groups Provides JN Opportunity to Establish Partnership

The Taliban Resurgent:  Threats to Afghanistan's Security
The success or failure of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan has reached a critical juncture. The risks of insufficient action are clear and threaten to reverse what progress has been made.

Against the backdrop of continued ­fighting outside Mariupol and Donetsk, Ukrainian oligarch and volunteer battalion fi­nancier Ihor Kolomoyskyi stole the headlines this week.

ISIS core control zones inside Iraq and Syria have not shifted significantly since anti-ISIS operations began in June 2014, though anti-ISIS........

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Assad Regime Loses Idlib to Jabhat al-Nusra and Rebel Offensive

Rebel forces led by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) wrested control of Idlib City from the Assad regime on March 28, 2015. Removing the regime from a second provincial capital is arguably the biggest rebel victory since thefall of al-Raqqa to JN and rebel forces in March 2013. It represents a turning point in the Syrian civil war that is likely to alter the trajectory of the conflict in coming months, with implications for how rebels wage war in 2015.