Syrian War Daily – 22nd of December 2017

Hello and welcome to the 283rd installment of the SWD.

Military events/news are listed below by the governorates:

Raqqa:

Syrian Democratic Forces’ Raqqa Internal Security Forces released cameraman Aboud Hamam, after he was detained for a week in a prison in the city of Raqqa. Hamam said that he was detained for seven days in a large prison cell with around 100 elements of the Islamic State that surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces. Hamam was arrested by mistake by the Raqqa Internal Security Forces.

Two left over Islamic State’s improvised explosive devices killed two civilians and three elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the city of Raqqa. The two civilians were killed in Al-Wadi street, while the SDF‘s elements were killed on the road near the national hospital in the city.

Idlib:

Syrian Salvation Government, which operates in Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-held areas of Idlib, released a statement appointing Dr. Ibrahim al-Hamoud as the president of the Free Aleppo University, in an attempt to seize the institution from the Syrian Interim Government. The Free Aleppo University was established in 2016, with the help of Syrian Interim Government and it consists of more than 17 colleges and institutions from Aleppo, Idlib, Homs, Damascus (East Ghouta), and Daraa governorates. Syrian Interim Government responded to the aforementioned statement by relocating the Free Aleppo University’s headquarters from Idlib to Bashqatin in west Aleppo, according to Abdul Aziz al-Deghaim, Minister of Higher Education, who quoted Syrian Interim Government’s Prime Minister, Jawad Abu Hatab. Syrian Interim Government also opened a branch of the university in Idlib, appointing Dr. Mustafa Talib as the head of the branch. Dr. Yassin Khalifa remains as the president of the Free Aleppo University, with a newly-appointed vice president, Dr. Imad Mohammed Al-Khattab.

Hama:

Free Syrian Army’s Jaysh al-Izza shelled a camp of the Russian Armed Forces near the city of Halfaya. Jaysh al-Izza’s military spokesman, Mahmoud Abu Abdullah stated that the artillery targeted the Russian camp south of Halfaya, in response to the Syrian Arab Army’s shelling of Al-Lataminah and Russian Air Force’s bombing of several villages in the northern Hama. The shelled Russian camp south of Halfaya was supposedly evacuated on the 17th of December, when Jaysh al-Izza launched an attack against the Syrian Arab Army on Halfaya front.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham regained control of Tel al-Zaghbaq from the Islamic State, after the latter captured the hill during the night from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham also captured Tell Al-Shayha from the Islamic State in Al-Hamra subdistrict.

Syrian Arab Army shelled Al-Lataminah, while the Russian Air Force conducted air raids over Al-Jadaiayat village. The shelling of Al-Lataminah reportedly wounded one and air raids over Al-Jadaiayat wounded eight civilians.

Approximate situation in the northern Hama. Source: Syrian Civil War Map

Damascus:

Syrian Arab Army’s artillery shelled Douma, while the Syrian Arab Air Force targeted Ain Terma. The shelling of Douma wounded two civilians. Several people were also wounded by the air raids over Ain Terma.

Islamic State’s sniper reportedly killed Syrian Arab Army’s soldier in Al-Hajar al-Aswad south of Damascus, according to the Amaq Agency. Furthermore, Free Syrian Army’s element was also reportedly killed by the Islamic State’s sniper in Al-Tadamon neighborhood, also south of Damascus.

Syrian Arab Army, backed by allies captured Al-Hanakir area from the rebel Jabal al-Sheikh operations room near the eastern entrance to the Beit Jinn farms, in Beit Jinn Pocket.

Approximate situation in Beit Jinn pocket. Source: Al-Elam al-Harbi Markazi (War Media Center)

Daraa:

Free Syrian Army’s Firqat Faloujat Hawran reported it foiled Syrian Arab Army’s intrusion attempt towards the air defense battalion in the eastern Daraa, which resulted in the clashes between the two. Several SAA‘s elements were reportedly wounded in the clashes.

Free Syrian Army’s Tajammu al-Ahrar announced a three day curfew in the city of Al-Jubailiya, southwestern Daraa. The reason for the curfew is the military buildup, in order to conduct operations against the IS-linked Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid in Yarmouk basin and Tell al-Jamoua areas. During the curfew, civilians will be prohibited from leaving their homes at all times, unless the exit is coordinated with the fighters of the group. Civilians that violate the curfew will be considered as targets by the Tajammu al-Ahrar. Tajammu al-Ahrar, along with Tajammu al-Shahid Abu Hamza al-Naeimi, is a part of the “People of the Land” (Ahl al-Ard) offensive, launched on the 28th of November against Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid.

Iraq

Salah al-Deen:

Islamic State raided Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) barracks in Al-Samum area, northwest of Samarra. According to the Amaq Agency, five Al-Hashd al-Shaabi elements were killed in the raid.

Afghanistan

Faryab Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) captured Afghan National Army’s checkpoint in Mardin area of Pattroud directorate, killing six soldiers in the progress. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan seized a heavy machine gun, an RPG launcher, and two assault rifles from the checkpoint.

Nangarhar Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed six and wounded one element of the Islamic State in Achin and Shinwar districts.

Maidan Wardak Province:

Afghan National Security Forces conducted operations against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Saydabad district, killing three fighters of the group, wounding additional two, and destroying a vehicle.

Logar Province:

Unknown gunmen attempted to assassinate Mohammad Akbar Stanekzai, Logar’s representative in the House of the People. Stanekzai was wounded in the attack, one of his bodyguards killed and two elements of the Afghan National Army wounded. The incident occurred in Padmawab village.

Paktia Province:

Afghan National Security Forces arrested three fighters of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Zurmat district.

Badghis Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan raided Afghan National Army’s checkpoint in Aragramak area of Ghormach district, killing a commander and wounding two soldiers.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan captured Afghan National Army’s element in Javedyar area of Sanghar directorate.

Ghazni Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed six and wounded three fighters of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Deh Yak and Nangai districts.

Herat Province:

Afghan National Security Forces conducted operations against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Chishti Sharif district, killing eight fighters of the group, as well as destroying three vehicles and two fighting positions.

Farah Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device targeted Afghan National Police’s foot patrol in Mardin area of Pusht Rod district. The explosion killed four elements of the Afghan National Police.

Zabul Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed and wounded three fighters of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Shah Joy district.

Helmand Province:

Afghan National Security Forces conducted operations against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Marjah and Nad Ali districts, killing four and wounding one fighter of the group, as well as destroying four motorcycles.

Kandahar Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan conducted an SVBIED attack against the headquarters of the Afghan National Police in Maywand district. The attacker collided with Afghan National Police’s vehicle outside the headquarters, detonating his vehicle, killing six and wounding five policemen.

CJTF-OIR:

Between the 18th and the 21st of December 2017 CJTF-OIR has conducted eight strikes in Syria. CJTF-OIR‘s main focus in Syria at the moment is Deir al-Zour-Albu Kamal region where they did eight strikes supporting SDF‘s operations against IS destroying two IS indirect fire weapons, two explosive hazards, two maneuver elements, a heavy weapon, an IS headquarters command and control center, an IS vehicle, and an IS staging area, and damaging an IS supply route and a command and control center.

Full report on CJTF-OIR strikes conducted in both Syria & Iraq can be found here.

Australian Minister of Defense, Marise Payne announced the withdrawal of six Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18F Super Hornet planes. Payne also announced the end of Australian air strikes over Syrian and Iraq against the Islamic State, as a part of the CJTF-OIR. Australian decision comes after Iraq announced victory against the Islamic State. However, Australia’s operations will continue in the region and 80 Special Operations teams will remain in Iraq, according to Payne.

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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