Syrian War Daily – 17th of December 2017

Hello and welcome to the 278th installment of the SWD.

Military events/news are listed below by the governorates:

Aleppo:

Syrian Arab Army heavily shelled Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-held Siyala village, south of Khanaser. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham responded to the shelling, which resulted in the eruption of clashes between the two sides.

Abu Amara Special Task Brigade claimed responsibility for the assassination of Mohammed Farah, son of Hussein Farah, member of the People’s Council of Syria and the National Reconciliation Committee. However, several sources reported that Mohammed Farah’s death was an incident, which occurred as he was cleaning his personal weapon in Al-Sheikh Taha neighborhood of Aleppo.

Raqqa:

Islamic State’s VBIED exploded in the grain silos area north of Raqqa, killing two civilians. Furthermore, left over Islamic State’s improvised explosive device killed two civilians as they were inspecting their house in the center of Raqqa.

Hama:

Free Syrian Army’s Jaysh al-Izza, backed by Jaysh al-Ahrar and Turkestan Islamic Party launched an attack against the Syrian Arab Army and allies on Halfaya front. The rebels’ attack was led by Jaysh al-Izza’s Colonel Mustafa Bakour and resulted in a brief capture of Al-Zilaqiat and Zalin checkpoint. The rebels also captured six elements belonging to the Syrian Arab Army and allies. Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces entered Al-Zilaqiat and Zalin checkpoint after the rebels were forced to retreat due to air raids and shelling. Reports suggest that the Russian troops based in a camp south of Halfaya, completely retreated from the area as the rebels made initial advances.

Leader of Jaysh al-Usrah and former leader of Jaysh al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar and Caucasus Emirate in Sham (Imarat Kavkaz v Shame), Salahuddin al-Shishani was killed by a Russian air strike in the northern Hama. Deputy leader of Jaysh al-Usrah, Khayrullah al-Shishani is expected to be Salahuddin’s successor as the leader of the group.

Approximate situation in the northern Hama, before the SAA and allies recaptured Al-Zilaqiat and Zalin checkpoint, HD version of this map can be found here. Source: Step News Agency

Deir al-Zour:

Syrian Democratic Forces captured Al-Zeir and Al-Sihlia neighborhoods of Abu Hammam from the Islamic State.

Left over Islamic State’s improvised explosive device reportedly killed four and wounded two elements of the Syrian Arab Army and allies in Al-Quriyah. The incident occurred as the elements were inspecting a house in the locality.

Islamic State and Syrian Democratic Forces clashed near the village of Abu Hardoub. Islamic State’s Amaq Agency reported death of three elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces due to the clashes.

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

Damascus:

Syrian Arab Army’s artillery shelled Zamalka, Douma, Harasta, Al-Nashabiyah, and Ain Terma in the East Ghouta. Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets) reported injury of 11 civilians due to the shelling of Douma.

Evacuation of foreign Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s fighters and their families was postponed due to an internal dispute between the fighters. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the East Ghouta has been split into two camps, those that want to leave the area towards Idlib and those that want to stay in the East Ghouta.

Spokesman of the rebel Jabal al-Sheikh operations room, Abu Rami al-Janani confirmed Syrian Arab Army’s capture of Tell al-Ziyat and Al-Duhur al-Aswad from the rebels in Beit Jinn pocket. Al-Janani stated that the reasons that SAA captured the aforementioned areas are the small number of fighters and a lack of better equipment.

Daraa:

Four Free Syrian Army’s factions; Al-Wiyat Mujahidi Hawran, Al-Wiyat Jaydour Hawran, Al-Liwa al-Awal Maham Khasat Tawirsh, and Liwa Osama ibn Zeid formed a coalition/operations room Thalif Thuwar al-Jaydour in preparations for the Syrian Arab Army and allies’ attack on the “Triangle of Death” area. Commander of Liwa Osama ibn Zeid, Maher Hawish said that the coalition was formed after they witnessed large SAA & allies reinforcements arriving in the “Triangle of Death” area. Hawish also stated that the newly-established coalition consists of a thousand fully armed and trained fighters. Member of the media office of the newly-established Thalif Thuwar al-Jaydour coalition, Abu Qais Nasser said that the main idea for the formation of the coalition was to prepare for the upcoming battle against the SAA & allies. Nasser indirectly confirmed that the new coalition doesn’t have any plans for attacks, but rather it is an attempt for a more effective defense, in case of an attack.

Iraq

Diyala:

Islamic State’s improvised explosive device killed an element of the Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) in Sherwin area of Dali Abbas district, according to the Amaq Agency.

Afghanistan

Faryab Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) denied casualty numbers released yesterday by the Afghan Ministry of Defense, regarding the clashes in Khaja Sahib Posh and Shirin Tagab districts. Ministry of Defense stated yesterday that Afghan National Security Forces killed 20 and wounded 26 fighters of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Khaja Sahib Posh and Shirin Tagab districts, as a part of the “Prophet 8” operation. According to the IEA, there were no casualties from the clashes in the aforementioned districts and that the ANSF were unable to make any progress.

Sar-e Pol Province:

Afghan National Army launched another attack against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Tabor area of Sangjark directorate, as a part of “Alborz 20” operation, aimed at eliminating the group’s presence in the directorate. However, IEA repelled today’s attack in the area, losing two fighters in the process.

Laghman Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed Afghan National Army’s convoy in Aziz Khan Kaj directorate of Qarghayi district. One ANA‘s vehicle was destroyed in the ambush.

Badghis Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan captured Afghan National Army’s checkpoint and killed two soldiers in Ab Kamari district.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed a vehicle of the Afghan National Army’s commander, Sabour Khan in Nuri Khail directorate of Muqur district. The vehicle was destroyed in the ambush, commander Sabour Khan killed and another commander Sobtullah wounded.

Farah Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed Afghan National Security Forces’ military convoy in the village of Tudenakah, Bala Buluk district. Spokesman for the Farah’s Afghan National Police, Iqbal Bahar stated that five IEA fighters were killed and eight wounded in the encounter. IEA‘s take on the event claimed destruction of four tanks, six fuel tankers, and two trucks, as well as death of nine and injury of 12 ANSF‘s elements.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device destroyed Afghan National Police’s tank and wounded two policemen in Anar Dara district.

Nimruz Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed Afghan National Security Forces’ logistical convoy in Delaram directorate. Reports suggest that ten fuel tankers were destroyed and a number of ANSF‘s elements killed and wounded in the ambush.

Helmand Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan captured two checkpoints from the Afghan National Army in Lashkar Gah district. IEA claimed that 16 ANA‘s elements were killed and three vehicles destroyed during the clashes for the two checkpoints. IEA seized two heavy machine guns, two RPG launchers, three assault rifles, two pistols, and large quantities of ammunition from the checkpoints.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive devices destroyed four Afghan National Security Forces’ vehicles, including an armored vehicle in Jerash district.

Kandahar Province:

SVBIED targeted a convoy of the NATO troops in the province, reportedly killing one and wounding four soldiers.

Two Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive devices destroyed Afghan National Police’s vehicle and killed two elements of the Afghan National Army. Another two IEA improvised explosive device targeted Afghan National Police’s elements in the city of Kandahar, killing and wounding 15 elements.

CJTF-OIR:

CJTF-OIR announced a change in their publishing policy. Now two strikes reports will be published each week, on Mondays and Fridays.

FireShot Capture 18 - - http___www.inherentresolve.mil_Portals_14_11Nov2017_20171106CJTF-OIR%

Amaq Agency:

Pakistan:

Islamic State took responsibility for an inghimassi (suicide fighters) attack on a church in the city of Quetta. Two suicide bombers reportedly killed at least nine and wounded more than 50 civilians.

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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