June 1, 2015
In the news:
After the fall of Ramadi to ISIS, the United States is reevaluating its strategy against the terrorist organization, and the U.S. Army Chief of Staff indicated that he was open to embedding U.S. troops with Iraqi forces. This comes at the same time as two car bombings occurred in Baghdad, on Thursday evening, killing 15 and injuring 42 people. Also this week in Iraq, Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias fought to reclaim the Beiji oil refinery that ISIS took over in early May.
In Syria, ISIS continues to work to solidify its control of the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO cultural heritage site. The militants have been engaging in manipulation of the residents of the city by both terrorizing them and providing assistance. Other Syrian Islamist rebels have taken control of Ariha, one of the Syrian government’s last strongholds in the western Idlib province. With the takeover, most of the province is now under rebel control. In Libya, ISIS affiliates have taken control of a civilian air base in Sirte, which has been the group’s stronghold in the country.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the Taliban is waging a war in the north, and civilians find themselves facing the biggest risks. More than 100,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and the presence of civilians within the battle zone has become one of the main factors hindering the tactics and progress of government forces.
In Yemen, at least eighty people died in Saudi-led airstrikes this week near the Saudi border and the capital city, Sanaa. This is one of the deadliest air strikes since the air campaign against the Houthi rebels began in March.
Around the web:
The Nature and Scope of the War in Afghanistan. Recent court filings raise important questions about the scope and nature of the armed conflict in Afghanistan. Jen David Ohlin considers the classification of the war in Afghanistan.
Chemical Weapons. The OPCW announced that ninety percent of the global chemical weapons stocks have been destroyed.
On the blog:
Clara Barton: Person of the Year 1865. Throughout the week the IHL team shared Elizabeth Pryor’s speech on why Clara Barton deserved to be person of the year in 1865. Read about Clara Barton’s accomplishments and successes in promoting humanity in the midst of war.