Monday, December 14, 2015

Iraq Situation Report: December 8 - 14, 2015

By Patrick Martin and ISW Iraq Team

Key Take-Away: The ISF accomplished major gains in Ramadi amid reports of an imminent increase of U.S. support, recapturing key areas north and south of the city and began advancing into the city’s southeastern neighborhoods. ISIS’s destruction of four bridges around Ramadi may slow the ISF’s advance, though ISF operations in southern Ramadi continued towards the city center on December 14. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter signaled willingness to provide additional assistance, including attack helicopters and additional advisers, but PM Abadi has yet to accept the assistance. PM Abadi is likely hesitating because of longstanding pressure from Iranian proxies, who threatened the possibility of a vote of no confidence on December 2 if PM Abadi accepted any more U.S. assistance. Pro-Iranian Shi’a politicians and proxy militias are using the controversy over Turkish troops near Mosul as an additional tactic to pressure PM Abadi to accept no additional foreign assistance other than from Iran and Russia.