Friday, March 27, 2020

Iraq Situation Report: March 18 - 24, 2020

By: Katherine Lawlor and Brandon Wallace

ISW is assessing the ongoing unrest and its effects on political-security dynamics in Iraq. The Iraq Situation Report (SITREP) map series summarizes key events and likely developments to come. The following SITREP map covers the period March 18 - 24, 2020. 

Key Takeaway: U.S. forces began one of three planned withdrawals from small bases in Iraq, two of which have been targets of frequent Iranian-proxy mortar attacks. The Pentagon described the withdrawal as a planned consolidation of forces. Iran’s proxies are framing the consolidation as the beginning of defeat for U.S. forces in Iraq. The political wings of Iran’s proxies are also organizing opposition to Prime Minister-designate Adnan al-Zurfi, who received tacit U.S. approval and is attempting to form a government with support from Sunnis, Kurds, and minor Shi’a parties. Meanwhile, Iraq’s COVID-19 crisis is deepening. The caretaker Iraqi government failed to enforce curfews as Shi’a pilgrims convened in large crowds to observe the martyrdom of the seventh imam in Twelver Shi’ism from March 18-20.

Click the image below to enlarge. Download the PDF here.