The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has recently sprung to life in Syria and Iraq after four months of inactivity that was coupled with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) taking control of the strategic city of Tikrit, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) capturing most of Jabal Al-Sha’ar in east Homs, and the predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Forces” (YPG) seizing the towns of Tal Hamees and Tal Barak in Al-Hasakah.

However, ISIS has not wasted much time going on the offensive in Syria and Iraq, as the month of May has proved to be a successful one for the militant group; with the recent capture of the provincial capital of the Al-‘Anbar Governorate and the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, ISIS has once again found its way into the forefront of most media outlets.

One day after seizing the ancient city of Palmyra, ISIS wasted no time targeting the imperative border-crossing from Syria into Iraq at Al-Tanf, where they engaged a small contingent from the Syrian Arab Army’s 18th Tank Battalion in a series of fierce clashes before they were able to overrun the eastern flank and take full-control of the checkpoint and the mountains overlooking the border.

With the capture of Al-Tanf in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate, ISIS now controls all but one border-crossing into the country of Iraq from Syria; this can have major implications for the Iraq Security Forces in the Al-‘Anbar Governorate, as the terrorist group has buffer-zone in Syria to strengthen and arm their entrenched combatants on this front.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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