by Claire Coyne and The ISW Research Team
Since the publication of ISW’s last ISIS sanctuary map on March 3, 2016, ISIS lost control of the Syrian city of Palmyra to pro-regime forces. Additionally, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) launched an operation on March 12 to recapture Hit district, and as of March 31 the ISF recaptured the subdistricts of al-Muhammadi, south of the town of Hit, and Kubaisa, west of Hit. As ISIS is pushed from its areas of control, it will consolidate its positions in Deir ez-Zour province, where it is likely to remain unchallenged. The map has also been updated to better reflect ISIS’s zone of control west of Hawija, Iraq.