Syrian War Daily – 15th of December 2017

Hello and welcome to the 276th installment of the SWD.

Military events/news are listed below by the governorates:

Aleppo:

Abu Amara Special Task Brigade’s improvised explosive device targeted Syrian Arab Army’s checkpoint in Sheehan area of Aleppo city, on the road between Aleppo and Azaz. The brigade’s commander Muhanna Ajafalh confirmed the act taking place, however, he said that there is no information about casualties from the explosion.

Sporadic clashes erupted between Syrian Arab Army and Free Syrian Army’s Firqat al-Sultan Murad (Sultan Murad Division) in Tadef, south of Al-Bab. One civilian was lightly wounded by the clashes between the two sides.

Idlib:

Syrian Salvation Government operating in Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-held areas withdrawn the warning issued to the Syrian Interim Government, demanding that it closes its offices in Idlib governorate. Syrian Salvation Government’s Minister of Justice, Ibrahim Mohamed Shasho confirmed that the warning was withdrawn.

Free Syrian Army’s Free Idlib Army announced its readiness to defend Syrian Interim Government’s offices in Idlib governorate, in case of an attack. Three days ago, Prime Minister of the Syrian Interim Government, Jawad Abu Hatab called Free Syrian Army’s factions to defend the government’s offices in the governorate, in case of an attack by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Free Idlib Army’s head of the Political Bureau, Captain Hassan Haj Ali said that the Syrian Interim Government didn’t request for assistance yet, but that the group is ready to help any party providing services to the people.

Homs:

Improvised explosive device exploded in Al-Kabira mosque in the city of Taldou. The explosion took place during the Friday prayers and seriously wounded imam of the mosque and four other people.

National Defense Forces seized a vehicle on its way to the rebel Northern Homs pocket, carrying large quantities of cannabis and fenethylline (captagon) pills. The narcotics were transported to the city of Homs, where they are to be destroyed.

Hama:

Syrian Arab Army captured Tell al-Syriatel north of Balil from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Free Syrian Army’s factions. The capture of the hill by the SAA was confirmed by the spokesman of the Free Syrian Army’s Jaysh al-Izza, Lieutenant Mahmoud al-Mahmoud. During the clashes for the hill, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s Ibaa News Agency reported destruction of a Syrian Arab Army’s tank. It appears that the SAA‘s capture of Tell Khanazir reported by pro-SAA sources on the 12th of December was false.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, backed by Turkistan Islamic Party repelled Syrian Arab Army’s attack towards Al-Shakusiyah village.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham repelled Islamic State’s attack on Tell Rasm al-Hamam, killing 10 IS’ elements and destroying a technical with an anti-tank guided missile, according to the Ibaa News Agency.

Ahrar al-Sham ambushed a group of Syrian Arab Army’s soldiers near Al-Zaraa village (Northern Homs pocket). Ahrar al-Sham’s official Khalid Abu Bashar said that two SAA‘s soldiers were killed and several wounded in the ambush.

Deir al-Zour:

Syrian Democratic Forces took full control of the village of Al-Jaradhi from the Islamic State, after capturing half of it yesterday. The capture of Al-Jaradhi was confirmed by the leader of the SDF‘s Deir al-Zour Military Council, Ahmed al-Khubail. Reports indicate that the SDF‘s next target is the city of Gharanij.

Three left over Islamic State’s improvised explosive devices killed three civilians in Al-Shuhail, Dranj, and Suwaidan villages under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Islamic State’s Amaq Agency reported that Islamic State’s sniper killed an element of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hawi Abu Hammam.

Approximate situation in the eastern Deir al-Zour. Source: Emmanuel

Damascus:

Islamic State arrested eight of its fighters in Al-Hajar al-Aswad south of Damascus, while they were trying to surrender to the Syrian Arab Army at Barada checkpoint. Islamic State deployed snipers to overlook the road leading towards Barada checkpoint, ordering them to fire on anyone trying to approach the checkpoint or other areas under the control of the Syrian Arab Army. The Islamic State’s fighters that continue surrendering to the Syrian Arab Army are the followers of the former IS’ leader of the southern Damascus, Abu Hisham al-Khabouri. Two nights ago, a batch of Islamic State’s fighters consisting of eight fighters surrendered to the Syrian Arab Army at Barada checkpoint.

Free Syrian Army’s Liwa Sham al-Rasul clashed with the Islamic State in Al-Musbaha area, between Yalda and Yarmouk camp. One fighter of the Liwa Sham al-Rasul was killed in the clashes, while three Islamic State’s fighters were wounded.

Syrian Arab Army captured Tell al-Maqtoul and Tell Hamza from rebel Jabal al-Sheikh operations room in Beit Jinn pocket. The SAA‘s capture of the aforementioned hills was confirmed by the member of the media office in the rebel operations room, Abu al-Yaman. Al-Yaman also said that four rebel fighters were wounded in the clashes with the SAA.

Daraa:

Syrian Arab Army and Free Syrian Army’s Al-Wiyat al-Omari clashed around the village of Eyeb, after the former shelled latter’s positions in the area. Reports suggest that several SAA‘s soldiers and one fighter of Al-Wiyat al-Omari were wounded in the encounter.

Free Syrian Army’s Al-Wiyat al-Omari arrested a group of individuals responsible for several IED attacks, during the raids in Basma, Al-Shiyaha and Al-Lajat. Al-Wiyat al-Omari arrested seven individuals, including the leader of the group.

Iraq

Kirkuk:

Islamic State’s improvised explosive device wounded an element of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces in Dumiz area of Kirkuk city, according to the Amaq Agency.

Afghanistan

Sar-e Pol Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) repelled a large Afghan National Army’s attack on Tabor area in Sangjark directorate. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan claimed that 13 ANA‘s elements were killed and wounded in the failed attack, while the remaining elements retreated from the area.

Nangarhar Province:

Islamic State killed five elements of the Afghan National Army, during the clashes between the two in Bira Khel area of Khogyani district.

Islamic State’s fighters assassinated an element of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Kot district.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device destroyed Afghan National Army’s vehicle and killed six soldiers in Bajir Agam directorate.

Khost Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan assassinated a high-ranking commander of the Afghan National Army, Zain Allah in Haider Khel directorate of Mandozayi district. The commander was wounded by the IEA fighters and died later in a hospital.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device destroyed National Directorate of Security’s armored vehicle in Mandozayi district.

Badghis Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan attacked Afghan National Army’s elements in Muqur district, killing one soldier and forcing others to withdraw.

Paktika Province:

Afghan National Security Forces conducted operations against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Barmal district, killing a dozen and wounding six IEA fighters, as well as destroying several weapons depots and ammunition caches.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device targeted Afghan National Police’s foot patrol in Sharana district. The explosion killed one and wounded four policemen.

Farah Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed two fighters of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Pusht Rod district.

Afghan National Army retreated from a checkpoint in Anur Reji area, reportedly out of fear of IEA attacks on the checkpoint and surrounding area. After ANA‘s retreat, IEA asserted full control over the checkpoint and the nearby areas.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan raided Afghan National Police’s checkpoint in Farah district, killing two policemen and seizing an assault rifle and a machine gun.

Zabul Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan raided Afghan National Army’s checkpoint in Mizan district, wounding one soldier. Another IEA raid on ANA‘s checkpoint in Chagui directorate resulted in death of two soldiers.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed Afghan National Army’s vehicle in Shah Joy district, fully destroying it and killing everyone on board.

Kandahar Province:

Afghan National Security Forces’ operations in Shah Wali Kot district resulted in death of nine fighters of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and destruction of several weapons depots and ammunition caches.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan assassinated an influential figure of the National Directorate of Security in the city of Kandahar.

CJTF-OIR:

Between the 11th and the 14th of December 2017 CJTF-OIR has conducted 37 strikes in Syria. CJTF-OIR‘s main focus in Syria at the moment is Deir al-Zour-Albu Kamal region where they did 31 strikes supporting SDF‘s operations against IS destroying four heavy weapons, an IS headquarters, 11 IS vehicles and a fighting position.

Other area where six strikes occurred is Al-Tanf destroying three IS vehicles, four cave entrances, a tactical vehicle, a weapons cache and two IS caves. Full report on CJTF-OIR strikes conducted in both Syria & Iraq can be found here.

Amaq Agency:

Other:

Intellectual credited property used may vary from an edition to edition.

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For those of you interested, you can follow us on an official Twitter account @SyrianWarDaily, or me personally on my biased twitter @joskobaric where I occasionally tweet some things.

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