Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 20, 2024

April 20, 2024 - ISW Press

The US House of Representatives passed a supplemental appropriations bill on April 20 providing for roughly $60 billion of assistance to Ukraine. The bill must now be passed by the Senate and signed by the president before aid can begin to flow. These requirements and the logistics of transporting US materiel to the frontline in Ukraine will likely mean that new US assistance will not begin to affect the situation on the front line for several weeks. The frontline situation will therefore likely continue to deteriorate in that time, particularly if Russian forces increase their attacks to take advantage of the limited window before the arrival of new US aid.

Iran Update, April 20, 2024

April 20, 2024 - ISW Press

The Iraqi Defense Ministry reported that an explosion occurred at the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Kalsu Headquarters in Babil Province on April 19. The explosion killed one PMF member and injured eight Iraqi Army soldiers according to the Defense Ministry. Local footage showed secondary explosions at Kalsu Headquarters, which suggests that the explosion occurred at a weapons storage facility. The United States and Israel denied rumors that they had conducted a strike targeting the base.

Iran Update, April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024 - ISW Press

Israel conducted retaliatory airstrikes targeting an Artesh Air Force base in Esfahan City, Esfahan Province, Iran, on April 18 in response to Iran’s April 13 drone and missile attack targeting Israel.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024 - ISW Press

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov signaled Russia’s intent to seize Kharkiv City in a future significant Russian offensive operation, the first senior Kremlin official to outright identify the city as a possible Russian operational objective following recent Ukrainian warnings that Russian forces may attempt to seize the city starting in Summer 2024.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, April 18, 2024

April 19, 2024 - ISW Press

ROC opposition parties advanced a bill in the Legislative Yuan (LY) that aims to strengthen the LY’s oversight of the government. Passing the bill could hamper the DPP-led government’s ability to implement its policies. Political feuding that impedes the DPP’s ability to govern is favorable to CCP interests.

Iran Update, April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024 - ISW Press

Iran is likely engaging in a coordinated information effort to deter an Israeli strike targeting its nuclear facilities and reassure its domestic population about Iran’s ability to protect such facilities. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Nuclear Security and Protection Corps Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Haghtalab announced on April 18 that Iran will change its publicly stated “nuclear doctrine and policies” in the event of an Israeli strike targeting its nuclear facilities. Haghtalab also said that the Iranian National Passive Defense Organization—one of the regime bodies responsible for defending its civilian, military, and nuclear infrastructure from attacks—has plans in place to face “any threat from” Israel. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) evacuated its inspectors from Iranian nuclear facilities on April 16. The IAEA cited concerns that Israel might strike Iranian nuclear facilities in response to Iran’s April 13 drone and missile strikes targeting Israel.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024 - ISW Press

Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Head Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov specified that the Russian offensive effort that Ukrainian officials have been forecasting will likely begin in June 2024. Budanov stated in an April 17 article in the Washington Post that Russia will launch a “big” offensive in June 2024 with the aim of seizing all of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. Budanov also stated that Russian forces will try to make battlefield gains throughout 2024 as part of efforts to influence Western decision-making. Budanov had previously forecasted that a future major Russian offensive would begin in late May or early June 2024, and it is notable that Budanov has now narrowed his forecast to June and identified the likely aim of the Russian offensive. Previous major Russian offensive efforts have similarly aimed to seize the remainder of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Why You Can't be an Iran Hawk and a Russia Dove

April 18, 2024 - ISW Press

A Russian victory is an Iranian victory. Moscow and Tehran have formed a military bloc with the aim of defeating the United States and its allies in the Middle East, Europe, and around the world. Russian and Iranian military forces have been fighting alongside one another in Syria for nearly a decade. The Russians have given Iran advanced air defenses and access to other military technologies and techniques, in addition to a front-row seat observing their efforts to defeat American and NATO missile defenses in Ukraine.

Africa File, April 18, 2024: Chad is the Kremlin’s Next Target in the Sahel

April 18, 2024 - ISW Press

The Chadian junta may begin aligning with the Russian-backed Sahelian juntas and Russia itself, which would boost Russia’s long-standing goal of increasing its influence in the country.

Iran Update, April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024 - ISW Press

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported on April 17 that Israeli forces led by the Northern Brigade (Gaza Division) conducted raids targeting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) sites in Beit Hanoun over the previous week. Israeli forces had collected intelligence on the sites from questioning Palestinian fighters, revealing that Hamas and PIJ used a school building for military activity as well as the civilians inside for cover from Israeli targeting. The IDF said that Israeli forces ordered civilians to vacate the building prior to the raid. The IDF detained and killed an unspecified number of Palestinian fighters in the building.