Control of Terrain in Iraq: July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 - Sinan Adnan

On July 16, 2015, the Interior Ministry (MoI) confirmed that Iraq closed the Trebil border crossing temporarily, but did not elaborate on when the crossing would be reopened.

The Fall of Ramadi Was Avoidable

July 17, 2015 - Kimberly Kagan
The seizure of Ramadi on Sunday leaves President Obama’s strategy against the Islamic State in ruins not only in Iraq but also throughout the Muslim world. It means that the Iraqi security forces will almost certainly not be able to recapture Mosul this year and, therefore, that the Islamic State will retain its largest city in Iraq. Worse, it gives the group momentum again in Iraq even as it gains ground in Syria and expands in the Sinai, Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere. This defeat was avoidable.

Islamic State’s Global Ambitions

July 17, 2015 - Jessica D. Lewis
Last week’s Pentagon briefing outlined plans for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake Mosul from Islamic State, also known as ISIS. This strategy largely assumes that if ISIS is expelled from Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, pushed out of Anbar province and degraded in Syria, the organization will collapse because its narrative of victory will be tarnished and its legitimacy as a “Caliphate” will end.

The Terrorist Army Marching on Baghdad

July 17, 2015 - Jessica D. Lewis
 We're losing Iraq. Mosul, a great city in northern Iraq, now belongs to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The world has changed overnight as a former al Qaeda affiliate wrested a major city from a state by force—and without a fight. Within two days of taking Mosul, ISIS pushed south toward Baghdad, collapsing the Iraqi security forces like dominoes in cities from Mosul to Tikrit. ISIS also attacked the Shiite holy city of Samarra. Baghdad is within their sights.

Iraq Situation Report: July 14 - 16, 2015

July 16, 2015 - Sinan Adnan

PM Abadi and the PM Office spokesperson praised the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran, explaining that decreased tension between the U.S. and Iran is in Iraq’s national interest.

Ukraine Crisis Update: July 15, 2015

July 15, 2015 - Hugo Spaulding

Separatists continued to target Ukrainian forces with heavy weapons and small reconnaissance units across the front line in Donbas as both Ukrainian and separatist leaders combatted new internal security threats.

ISIS's Global Strategy: A Wargame

July 15, 2015 - Harleen Gambhir

ISIS is executing a sophisticated global strategy that involves simultaneous efforts in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the wider world. ISW and the U.S. Army War College conducted a wargame early this year to discover the diplomatic and military opportunities and pitfalls likely to arise in the counter-ISIS fight.