Regional Overview – Middle East 30 June 2018

Last week, violence continued in Gaza and the West Bank, but also in the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee as Israeli forces sparred with Syrian armed groups from across the border. Within Syria itself, Islamic State (IS) militants launched several attacks in As-Sweida governorate, which were in turn met with a regime counteroffensive. This…

Special Focus on Coalition Forces in the Middle East: The Global Coalition Against Daesh in Iraq and Syria

The Coalition in Iraq and Syria was set up in September 2014. As the Islamic State (IS) made rapid territorial gains in Syria and Iraq, the United States (US), joined by nine other countries, announced the formation of the Global Coalition Against Daesh.[1] Its goal was to cripple and ultimately defeat IS. Since 2014, Coalition…

Special Focus on Coalition Forces in the Middle East

In today’s world, external actors are more often intervening in conflicts globally; more domestic armed conflicts have involved external states’ direct intervention in recent years than in any year since the end of World War II. This is especially the case in the Middle East, in which this internationalization is how foreign military power is…

Regional Overview – Middle East 23 June 2018

Last week, the escalating conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas finally ended with a seemingly stable ceasefire on July 21, though not before several people were reportedly killed along the Gazan border. In Iraq, anti-regime demonstrations escalated further, leading security forces to crack down harder on the increasingly violent and widespread agitation (for more on…

Unrest in Basra Signals Growing Crisis

A new wave of violent demonstrations occurred last week in the oil-rich province of Basra in southern Iraq as the mounting pressure of economic and social grievances reached a boiling point. At the heart of the crisis is a set of complex issues revolving around the various political crises which have plagued the Iraqi government…

Regional Overview – Middle East 17 July 2018

A heavy artillery exchange occurred last week between Hamas and Israeli military forces along the Gaza border, leading to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt. In Iraq, anti-regime protests in Basrah and Thi-Qar governorates escalated in scale and violence, spreading to other areas of the country including the capital Baghdad. In Yemen, UAE-backed and Saudi-led soldiers…

Regional Overview – Middle East 9 July 2018

Demonstrations dominated the events reported last week in several countries across the region including in Bahrain, Iran, and Turkey. In Syria, intense activity was reported in Dar’a governorate last week as the government and its allies continued their offensive against rebel and Islamist factions, while parallel offensives in Idleb and northern Hama governorates also continued.…

The Reconstitution of the Islamic State’s Insurgency in Central Iraq

Following the protracted Battle for Mosul between October 2016 and July 2017, the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq was subsequently pushed out of its other major strongholds in Telafar and Haweeja. With the further loss of the border town of Al-Qaim, its last bastion in the Anbar Province, the proto-state in Iraq came to an…

Iraq – 2016 Data Release

In 2016, the groundwork was laid for the dramatic defeat of the Islamic State in 2017. During offensives throughout the year, a number of towns in western Iraq in particular were recaptured — most notably the strategic town of Ar Rutba (which commands Iraqi border crossings into both Jordan and Syria) in May 2016, and…

Regional Overview – Middle East 02 July 2018

A concentration of political violence was reported last week in Syria and Yemen with proportional rises in events in both southern Syria and Hudayda governorate in Yemen, respectively. Meanwhile, a rise in particular event types has been recorded in other countries in the region, including a rise in reports of kidnappings by Islamic State (IS)…