May 25, 2016

TSG IntelBrief: The Fragile Alliances Against the Islamic State

• On May 24, the Western-supported Syrian Democratic Forces announced an offensive in northern Raqqa in order to solidify areas of control and further pressure Islamic State defenses before a move on the nearby city of Raqqa

• On May 23, the Iraqi government announced the launch of its campaign to retake Fallujah from the Islamic State, which has held the important city since January 2014

• The U.S. is directly supporting both of these campaigns, with combat air support in Fallujah and Special Operations Forces advisors in Syria

• For the U.S., the issue of finding the most capable partners has long since given way to finding the least objectionable partners in order to minimize destructive infighting and reprisals.