Control of the urban terrain in Syria is parceled among a number of armed groups, including the Syrian regime, opposition groups including Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
ISW has updated its ISIS Sanctuary map in advance of President Obama’s speech on a strategy to confront ISIS. This map, covering both Iraq and Syria, shows the extent of ISIS zones of control, attack, and support throughout both countries.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is intent on regaining momentum. The Dhuluiyah fight will be a bellwether event for the Iraqi Sunni tribes in Salah ad-Din and for ISIS as well.
The Haditha operation represents a turning point in the counter-ISIS campaign. ISIS is now facing two significant counter-offensives in western and northern Iraq.
Rebel groups including Jabhat al-Nusra have remained on the offensive after their August 27 seizure of the Quneitra Border Crossing.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is orienting its effort towards Anbar province in western Iraq and Samarra.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are capitalizing on the momentum of the breaking of Amerli’s siege by launching an attack on Tikrit.
Between August 29-31 a combined force of the ISF, Iraqi Shi’a militias, and the Peshmerga, broke ISIS’s siege of Amerli in Salah ad-Din province.
The breaking of Amerli’s siege with U.S. air support averted the humanitarian catastrophe that would have likely been caused by ISIS massacring its Iraqi Turkmen Shi’a population.
Since May 2013, Iraqi Shi’a militias have carried out kinetic operations in Baghdad and Diyala provinces to either target Iraqi Sunni civilians or launch possible retaliatory attacks.