Syrian War Daily – 22nd of January 2018

Hello and welcome to the 314th installment of the SWD.

Military events/news are listed below by the governorates:

Aleppo:

Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish Air and Land Forces captured several localities from the Syrian Democratic Forces’ Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (People’s Protection Units) in Afrin region, as a part of the operation ‘Olive Branch’ (AR: Ghasin al-Zaytun, TR: Zeytin Dalı). Free Syrian Army captured Sheikh Wabasi, Merso, Haftar, and Tell al-Sheikh Harouz in Bulbul subdistrict, and Tellat al-Syriatel in Shaykh al-Hadid subdistrict. One element of the Syrian Democratic Forces’ Yekîneyên Parastina Gel was killed in the clashes for Tellat al-Syriatel, while one element of Asayîş and one element of Hêzên Xweparastinê‎ (Self-Defense Forces) were killed in the clashes in Bulbul subdistrict.

Turkish Armed Forces announced the first death of one of its elements, due to clashes with the Syrian Democratic Forces’ Yekîneyên Parastina Gel in operation ‘Olive Branch’. The soldier was killed in the vicinity of Gülbaba village in Turkey’s Kilis Province.

Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army opened a new front against the Syrian Democratic Forces’ Yekîneyên Parastina Gel in Afrin region. Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army launched an attack on the fortified and important Jabal Birsaya north of Azaz, capturing majority of the mountain in the initial attack. However, Al-Jaysh al-Watani al-Suri’s (Syrian National Army) spokesman for Al-Faylaq al-Thalith (Third Corps/Legion), Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Hammadin stated that the Free Syrian Army retreated from several areas on the mountain due to YPG‘s counterattack. Hammadin also stated that five YPG‘s fighters were killed and ten captured during the clashes on the mountain, while two Free Syrian Army’s elements were also killed. Photo and video evidence released by pro-Turkey and pro-rebel sources confirms the number of captured YPG & allies elements. Jabal Birsaya is strategically important as it overlooks the city of Azaz and Bab al-Salama border crossing between Turkey and Syria.

Syrian Democratic Forces’ Yekîneyên Parastina Gel shelled city of Kilis in Turkey’s Kilis Province second day in a row, without any information about the casualties.

Syrian Democratic Forces’ Yekîneyên Parastina Gel reportedly tried to infiltrate rebel-held villages of Maerin and Kafr Khashr in the vicinity of Darat Izza. Reports suggest that five elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces and one element of the Free Syrian Army’s Al-Jabhat al-Shamiya were killed in the encounter.

Approximate situation in Bulbul subdistrict of Afrin. Source: Archicivilians

Al-Hasakah:

Turkish Land Forces’ artillery and Turkish Air Force targeted Syrian Democratic Forces-held city of Ras al-Ayn, northwest of Al-Hasakah. According to the reports, three civilians were wounded by the shelling and transferred to Rouj hospital in the city, while one element of the Syrian Democratic Forces was reported as killed by an air raid over Ras al-Ayn. Turkish Armed Forces also briefly engaged Syrian Democratic Forces’ elements in the area, resulting in injury of one of the latter’s elements. Turkish Land Forces’ artillery also shelled the outskirts of Hamdouni village.

Idlib:

Syrian Arab Army captured Abu Murayr, Waridah, Haymaimat, Mustarihah, and Majas villages from the rebel factions, north of Abu al-Duhur airbase. Syrian Arab Army also reportedly captured the city of Abu al-Duhur from the rebels, after several days of clashing in it. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s Ibaa News Agency reported that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham launched a counterattack against the Syrian Arab Army in the vicinity of Abu al-Duhur airbase. The counterattack started with an SVBIED, which targeted Syrian Arab Army’s gathering, reportedly killing 30 soldiers and destroying three vehicles, according to the news agency.

Approximate situation in southern Idlib – southern Aleppo region. Source: Emmanuel

Hama:

Syrian Arab Army captured Abu Hariq village from the Islamic State in the northern Hama.

Situation in the northern Hama. Source: Suriyak

Deir al-Zour:

Islamic State captured two Syrian Democratic Forces’ positions in the city of Gharanij and killed five elements of the group, according to the Islamic State’s Amaq Agency.

Islamic State reportedly launched a large attack against the Syrian Democratic Forces in the vicinity of Al-Bahra village, northwest of Hajin. According to the Islamic State’s Amaq Agency, seven elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces were killed in the attack.

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

Damascus:

Syrian Arab Army’s artillery and Syrian Arab Air Force targeted Douma, Arbeen, and Harasta in the East Ghouta. According to the Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets), two civilians were killed and several wounded by the air raids over Arbeen.

Rebel forces in the East Ghouta shelled several areas of the city of Damascus. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, nine civilians were killed and 21 wounded by the shelling of Bab Touma neighborhood. Shelling of Al-Qasaa and Al-Shaghour neighborhoods only resulted in material damage.

Daraa:

Tensions rose again between two Free Syrian Army’s factions, Jaysh al-Thawra and Quwa Shabab al-Sunnah, after the two group’s reached an agreement to end tensions yesterday. Quwa Shabab al-Sunnah released a statement accusing Jaysh al-Thawra of attacking one of its leaders, Colonel Nessim Abu Ara. Jaysh al-Thawra’s elements reportedly arrested and assaulted Colonel Nessim Abu Ara at a checkpoint, fracturing his left foot.

Improvised explosive device targeted civilian vehicle in the city of Dael, killing one civilian and wounding two children. The killed civilian was reportedly a teacher, according to the head of the Dael’s local council, Nabil al-Assami.

Islamic State-linked Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid released around 20 civilians, who were captured/detained during the group’s attacks against the Free Syrian Army in Al-Jubaila and Al-Bakar villages, 12 days ago. Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid reportedly had a meeting with the elders of the region and promised to release the civilians, if it turns out that they are not related to the Free Syrian Army. The released civilians were transferred to Tasil and allowed to leave to any area they want to.

Afghanistan

Balkh Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) reported that Afghan Local Police withdrew from two major villages, Nikce and Taean in Chahi district. After the withdrawal of the Afghan Local Police, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan took control of the two villages and vast surrounding areas, significantly increasing group’s presence in the province.

Kunduz Province:

Afghan National Security Forces conducted large-scale operations against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Chardara district, killing 13 elements of the group and arresting 14 individuals suspected of belonging to the group. Afghan National Security Forces also destroyed two fighting positions, nine vehicles, and 121 improvised explosive devices in the operations.

Approximate situation in Kunduz province, HD version of this map can be found here. Source: Afganistan Bülteni

Baghlan Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed three and wounded six elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Daght-e-Shahab al-Din area of Pul-e Khomri district. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reported that it repelled Afghan National Security Forces’ attacks on its positions in the aforementioned area. According to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, six soldiers of the Afghan National Army were killed and eight wounded, as well as two tanks destroyed in the failed attacks.

Kabul Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device targeted the vehicle of the Afghan Local Police’s commander Khabir in Sarchin area of Surobi district. The explosion destroyed the vehicle and wounded the commander.

Nangarhar Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed 12 elements of the Islamic State and destroyed a weapons depot in the province.

Approximate situation in Nangarhar province (red = Afghan National Security Forces, blue = Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and yellow = Islamic State), HD version of this map can be found here. Source: Afganistan Bülteni

Logar Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive devices in Qaleh Sarmalm and Qala Naw areas of Charkh district killed five elements of the Afghan National Army and destroyed a tank.

Herat Province:

Afghan National Police captured an element of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, who was involved in several assassinations against the Afghan National Police’s elements in the province. The capture of the aforementioned element was confirmed by the Afghan National Police’s spokesman for Herat Province, Abdul Ahad Valizadeh.

Several Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device targeted Afghan National Army in Ala Chah area of Gulran district. According to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the explosions destroyed two tanks, killed three and wounded four elements of the Afghan National Army.

Ghazni Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed an element of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and destroyed a vehicle in Qarabagh district.

Farah Province:

Afghan National Security Forces conducted large-scale operations against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Khaki Safed district, killing 14 and wounding 13 elements of the group. Among the 14 killed elements is Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s local commander Mollajum. Afghan National Security Forces also destroyed two vehicles, an improvised explosive device, an ammunition cache, and an IED factory.

Approximate situation in Farah province, HD version of this map can be found here. Source: Afganistan Bülteni

Zabul Province:

Afghan National Security Forces wounded seven elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Arghandab district.

Helmand Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed six and wounded one element of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Marjah district. Furthermore, Afghan National Security Forces destroyed ten improvised explosive devices, seven fighting positions, a vehicle, and an IED factory.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan overran Afghan Local Police’s checkpoint in Chogkoho Qala area of Garmsir district, reportedly killing eight and wounding five policemen in the process. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan seized a PK machine gun, a mortar, an RPG launcher, four assault rifles, and large quantities of ammunition from the checkpoint.

Approximate situation in Hemland province, HD version of this map can be found here. Source: Afganistan Bülteni

Kandahar Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device targeted Afghan National Police’s gathering in the vicinity of Khaje Malek in Arghandab district. The explosion killed Afghan National Police’s commander Abdul Raziq and three other 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:

Other:

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

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