Syrian War Daily – 16th of March 2018

Hello and welcome to the 367th installment of the SWD.

Military events/news are listed below by the governorates:

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Aleppo:

Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish Air and Land Forces captured 13 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 Jalqam, Shaykh Bilal, Jarkhatli, Qasem, Tellat 800, Tellat 1500, Khazban Fawqani, and Khazban Tahtani in Rajo subdistrict, Juwaiq in Afrin subdistrict, and Kukali Tahtani, Kukali Fawqani, Dar Kair, and Ain Hajar in Maabatli subdistrict.

Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army and Turkish Land Forces’ artillery shelled city of Afrin. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, the shelling killed six and wounded 27 civilians.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham launched an attack against Jabhat Tahrir Suriya (Ahrar al-Sham and Harakat Nour al-Deen al-Zenki) in Al-Habata village, west of Aleppo. Clashes between the two are still ongoing in the locality and surrounding areas, as Jabhat Tahrir Suriya was able to repel the initial attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham on Al-Habata.

Situation in Afrin region, according to the official operation ‘Olive Branch’ account (Pink areas = newly-captured territory). Source:
Amaliyat Ghasin al-Zaytun / Zeytin Dalı Harekatı

Homs:

Several rebel factions in the Northern Homs pocket formed Al-Faylaq al-Rabea (Fourth Corps/Legion) of the Syrian Interim Government’s Al-Jaysh al-Watani al-Suri (Syrian National Army). The newly-formed cops/legion consists of Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Haqq, Faylaq Homs, and several smaller factions.

Harakat Nour al-Deen al-Zenki clashed with the Syrian Arab Army near the village of Hawsh Hajo east of Al-Rastan, in the northern Homs pocket. According to the reports, an element of Harakat Nour al-Deen al-Zenki was killed in the encounter.

Damascus:

Syrian Arab Army’s artillery and Syrian Arab Air Force targeted Harasta, Saqba, Kafr Batna, and Zamalka in the East Ghouta. According to the Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets), the targeting of Kafr Batna killed 61 and wounded dozens of civilians, while the targeting of Zamalka reportedly killed 21 and wounded more than 70 civilians. Head of the General Authority in Zamalka, Yousef al-Ghoush stated that the targeting of Zamalka killed more than 30 and wounded dozens of civilians. Syrian Civil Defense also stated that one of its elements was killed by a Syrian Arab Army’s sniper in Saqba.

Syrian Arab Army completely captured Jisreen in the East Ghouta from Faylaq al-Rahman.

Jaysh al-Islam’s spokesman, Hamza Birqdar claimed that more than 100 Syrian Arab Army’s elements were killed and two tanks destroyed on Al-Rayhan in the East Ghouta.

Islamic State’s Al-Naba newsletter stated that the group captured most of former rebel-held areas in Al-Qadam neighborhood, south of Damascus. According to Al-Naba, Islamic State is in full control of Al-Asali neighborhood and holds parts of Al-Madaniyah neighborhood in Al-Qadam area. Islamic State’s Amaq Agency stated that a Syrian Arab Army’s tank was destroyed with an RPG in Al-Qadam. The agency also stated that a Syrian Arab Army’s tank and BMP were damaged in the same neighborhood.

Situation in the greater Damascus area. Source: Syrian Civil War Map

Iraq

Anbar:

CJTF-OIR released a press release stating that a United States Air Force’s Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in the western Iraq. The crash killed all seven individuals on board.

Afghanistan

Faryab Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed eight and wounded 14 elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) in Shirin Tagab district, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

Balkh Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device destroyed Afghan National Police’s vehicle in Chimtal district, killing five and wounding two policemen. Similarly, an element of the Afghan National Police was killed and three wounded by an improvised explosive device in Shortepa district.

Kunduz Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed a group of Afghan National Security Forces in Imam Sahib district. Two elements of the Afghan Local Police and one element of the Afghan National Police were killed, as well as one policeman wounded in the ambush.

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

Nangarhar 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

Maidan Wardak Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed three and wounded two elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Jaghatu district.

Badghis Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan arrested an element of the Afghan Local Police in Nakhcharaistan area of Dara Boom district.

Ghazni Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed three and wounded two elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Andar district.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device targeted a group of Afghan National Police’s elements in Gelan district, reportedly killing two and wounding one policeman.

Farah Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed ten and wounded six elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as well as destroyed a vehicle and a motorcycle in Bala Buluk district.

Afghan National Police’s element defected to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Ruj area of the city of Farah. The defected element handed over an armored personnel carrier, a DShK heavy machine gun, and two assault rifles to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

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

Urozgan Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed two and wounded one element of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as well as destroyed two vehicles in Tarinkot district.

Zabul Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed 13 and wounded four elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Mizan and Atghar districts.

Helmand Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed six and wounded four elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Kajaki district.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan repeatedly attacked Afghan National Security Forces’ convoy in Camp, Zaqum Charrahi, and Darab Charrahi areas of Marjah district. According to the reports, 13 elements of the Afghan National Police and Afghan Local Police were killed and five wounded in the attacks. Two elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were killed and one wounded in the encounter.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s element reportedly infiltrated Afghan National Police’s ranks in Haidar Abad area of Jerashk district. The element killed Afghan National Police’s commander Tor Jan, and two other elements of the police, before he linked up with the nearby Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s elements.

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

CJTF-OIR:

Between the 9th and the 15th of March 2018 CJTF-OIR has conducted nine strikes in Syria. CJTF-OIR‘s main focus in Syria at the moment is Deir al-Zour-Albu Kamal region where they did seven strikes supporting SDF‘s operations against IS destroying two IS-held buildings, a weapons cache, an IS drone, and an IS observation post.

Other area where two strikes occurred is Al-Shadaddi, destroying two IS-held buildings. Full report on CJTF-OIR strikes conducted in both Syria & Iraq can be found here.

Amaq Agency:

Egypt:

Islamic State reportedly ambushed and killed an element of the Egyptian Army and an element of the Egyptian National Police west of Al-Arish.

Yemen:

Islamic State’s improvised explosive device reportedly killed and wounded four elements of Ansar Allah (Houthis) in Al-Dahra area of Qaifa directorate, northwest of Al-Bayda.

Other:

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