Control of Terrain in Iraq

Ramadi Control Map, Dec. 3, 2015

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) recaptured the Palestine Bridge that spans the Euphrates River northwest of Ramadi on November 25. Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Steve Warren highlighted the Palestine Bridge as critical for cutting the water supply route to Ramadi on November 5. With the capture of the bridge, ISF have made progress in encircling Ramadi, but they are not yet in a position to launch an operation to recapture the city center.

Ramadi Control Map, Nov. 11, 2015

Key Take-Away: Iraqi Security Forces have advanced towards and are proximate to infrastructure necessary for assault on downtown Ramadi. Encirclement of the city has been slow as the Iraqi Security Forces are still clearing the city’s environs, a necessary step before launching an offensive against the city.

ISW’s Control Map of Ramadi has changed to clarify the positions of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in Ramadi’s environs.
 
Changes to Map:
 

Iraq Control of Terrain Map: November 25, 2015

Kurdish forces recaptured the Yazidi-majority district of Sinjar, west of Mosul from ISIS on November 13. Confrontations between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) will grow increasingly likely as both seek to control Sinjar, while Kurdish control over the mixed-demographic district is already leading to heightened tensions between Yazidis and Sunni Arabs.

Iraq Control of Terrain Map: November 25, 2015

Kurdish forces recaptured the Yazidi-majority district of Sinjar, west of Mosul from ISIS on November 13. Confrontations between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) will grow increasingly likely as both seek to control Sinjar, while Kurdish control over the mixed-demographic district is already leading to heightened tensions between Yazidis and Sunni Arabs.

Iraq Control of Terrain Map: October 30, 2015

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and "Popular Mobilization" recaptured the Baiji Oil Refinery on October 21 following operations to recapture Baiji city on October 14. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi then visited Baiji city on October 23, marking the city's full recapture. ISW is thus upgrading Baiji and the Baiji Oil Refinery from Contested to ISF-held locations. PUK Peshmerga have also maintained limited gains in villages in southern Kirkuk near Taza and Daquq as part of anti-ISIS operations that began on September 12.

Control of Terrain in Iraq: September 11, 2015

The Iraq Control of Terrain map depicts the control exerted by armed actors in Iraq over urban and populated areas. “Control” is defined as “an area in which a military actor exerts physical/psychological pressure to assure that individuals or groups within the area respond as directed.” Control also requires a military command to maintain physical influence over a specified area in order to prevent its use by an enemy. The control zones depicted demonstrate where groups in Iraq are capable of repelling enemy forces.

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