Syrian War Daily – 16th of February 2018

Hello and welcome to the 339th 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 two localities from the Syrian Democratic Forces’ YPG in Afrin region, as a part of the operation ‘Olive Branch’ (AR: Ghasin al-Zaytun, TR: Zeytin Dalı). Free Syrian Army captured Hasan Kalkawi and Jalma villages in Rajo subdistrict.

Syrian Democratic Forces’ YPG shelled Kaljibrin in the northern Aleppo. According to the reports, one civilian was killed and three wounded by the shelling. The wounded individuals were transferred to a hospital in Marea.

Syrian Salvation Government’s education officer of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Displaced Persons, Abu Ayman al-Masri was killed and his wife wounded at Harakat Nour al-Deen al-Zenki’s checkpoint in the village of Al-Houta, west of Aleppo. HNDZ confirmed the incident and stated that they didn’t have issues with Al-Masri, who lived in the group’s territory for five years. HNDZ explained the incident by stating that checkpoints in the western Aleppo were at high alert, due to reports about car bomb entering the area. HNDZ said it took necessary security measures to protect the civilian areas in the region, when the vehicle carrying Al-Masri and his wife failed to stop at the checkpoint.

Two clerics, Sheikh Abdullah al-Muhaysini and Sheikh Musalah al-Olayan released a joint statement calling on Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Harakat Nour al-Deen al-Zenki to hold an urgent judicial session, in order to resolve the dispute between the two sides after the killing of Abu Ayman al-Masri. The statement demanded that both parties choose a judge and hand over the elements responsible for the killing of Al-Masri. HNDZ released a statement saying that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is not part of the dispute, since Al-Masri wasn’t a member of it nor affiliated with it. HNDZ also expressed readiness to form a commision to investigate Al-Masri’s death.

Demonstrations were held in the city of Al-Bab by the residents of Tadef, who called on the Free Syrian Army and Turkish Armed Forces to expel Syrian Arab Army from the locality. Around 700 demonstrators also showed their support for the joint Free Syrian Army-Turkish Armed Forces operation “Olive Branch” against the Syrian Democratic Forces’ YPG in Afrin.

Approximate situation in Afrin region, HD version of this map can be found here. Source: Tomasz Rolbiecki

Raqqa:

Syrian Arab Army and civil defense forces found a mass grave in Rimthan, west of Raqqa, containing remains of soldiers and civilians killed by the Islamic State. Civilian defense forces exhumated remains of 34 individuals, which were transferred to military hospital in Aleppo, in order to identify the remains.

Unknown gunmen assassinated Ibrahim Ahmad al-Salama in front of his house in the city of Tabqa. Al-Salama was mediator between the Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State, regarding the latter’s evacuation from the city of Raqqa.

Deir al-Zour:

Islamic State launched a new raid against the Syrian Democratic Forces northeast of Al-Shaafa village near the border between Syria and Iraq in the eastern Deir al-Zour. According to the Islamic State’s Amaq Agency, eight elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces were killed and one captured during the raid. Amaq Agency also stated that CJTF-OIR‘s airstrikes mistakenly targeted Syrian Democratic Forces in the area where the raid was taking place.

Damascus:

Islamic State captured the 15th street and buildings surrounding Al-Wasim mosque from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus. According to the Islamic State’s Amaq Agency, the group captured Al-Miliyun and Al-Mashrue neighborhoods in Al-Yarmouk camp. The agency also stated that five elements of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, including two commanders, were killed during the clashes in Al-Yarmouk camp.

Afghanistan

Takhar Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) reportedly expelled Afghan National Security Forces from several areas in Yangi Qala district. On the 9th of February, Afghan National Security Forces captured six villages in Yangi Qala district from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Badakhshan Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan assassinated Afghan Local Police’s commander and another element of the police in Kuf Ab district.

Kunduz Province:

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

Kapisa Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed and killed an element of the Afghan National Army in Nijrab district.

Kabul Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device targeted Afghan National Police’s checkpoint in the city of Kabul. The explosion reportedly killed five policemen.

Laghman Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device destroyed Afghan National Army’s tank and wounded four soldiers in Alingar district.

Nangarhar Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed an element of the Islamic State in Achin district.

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

Paktia Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan targeted Afghan National Army’s foot patrol and killed one soldier in the city of Gardez, capital of Paktia Province.

Herat Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed two elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in the province.

Ghazni Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan raided Afghan National Security Forces’ post in Shalgar district, reportedly killing three elements.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s sniper killed an element of the Afghan National Police in the city of Ghazni. Similarly, Afghan National Police’s element was wounded by a sniper in Deh Yak district.

Farah Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed five and wounded four elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Bala Buluk district.

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

Helmand Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed nine and wounded three elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Marjah and Nahri Saraj districts.

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

Kandahar Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed six elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Nesh district.

CJTF-OIR:

Between the 9th and the 15th of February 2018 CJTF-OIR has conducted 38 strikes in Syria. CJTF-OIR‘s main focus in Syria at the moment is Deir al-Zour-Albu Kamal region where they did 35 strikes supporting SDF‘s operations against IS destroying a staging area, three artillery systems, two heavy machine guns, five fighting positions, two IS-held buildings, four tactical vehicles, five IS supply routes, four command and control centers, two weapons caches, an IS motorcycle and a mortar tube.

Other areas where three strikes occurred are Raqqa and Al-Shadaddi, destroying an IS headquarters, two IS fighting positions and engaging an IS tactical unit. 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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