April 15, 2015
As the fight against ISIS continues across the Middle East, Palestinian factions have agreed with Syrian government to use force to push out the ISIS militants in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. To protect the estimated 18,000 people remain threatened inside the refugee camp, the ICRC has called for immediate access to provide humanitarian aid, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for action to prevent a massacre of the Palestinian refugees.
Iraq has withdrawn its militia forces from the Ramadi area in Anbar Province due to pressure from the United States, which stated that it would not be able to launch airstrikes to support the Iraqi forces unless the militias were withdrawn. Following the withdrawal, the US increased its supporting airstrikes in the area. However, some people argue that the gains made in Iraq by the military are offset by the advance of ISIS in Syria. Despite progress in Iraq, violence still plagues the country, and 28 civilians were killed by attacks in and around Baghdad on Tuesday. The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with President Obama in Washington earlier this week to discuss the fight against ISIS and request greater support from the US-led coalition. Here is a map of territory controlled by ISIS in Iraq.
Meanwhile in the United States, President Obama’s proposed AUMF was announced dead in the House by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. However, this may not change much, given that the President has essentially already claimed the right to do whatever he wants against ISIS. In South Asia, an Al-Qaeda branch reports that two of its leaders were killed by US drone strikes in January, a major blow given the organization’s limited presence in that area.