Syrian War Daily – 20th of March 2018

Hello and welcome to the 371st 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 four 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 Ain Dara, Kirzihla, Qadi Rihla, and Al-Basouta south of Afrin.

Vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exploded near Al-Nasr mosque in the Free Syrian Army-held city of Al-Bab. Reports suggest that the explosion wounded two civilians, who were transferred to a hospital in the city.

Two civilians were killed and seven wounded when an unexploded ordnance exploded in the village of Al-Hadba, south of Aleppo.

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

Idlib:

Russian Air Force conducted air raids near the city of Hass and reportedly targeted a camp for the internally displaced persons in the area. According to the Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets), ten civilians were killed and ten wounded by the targeting of the camp. Free Syrian Police in Hass stated that the camp was completely destroyed after the air raids and fires which affected it.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s Swaeid al-Khair attempted to raid Al-Uruba school for girls in the city of Idlib, due to reported violations of a dress code. Swaeid al-Khair was prevented from entering the school by civilians, which resulted in the group’s elements opening fire and wounding one civilian. Swaeid al-Khair is an “Islamic Police” (Al-Hesba) affiliated with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Hama:

Syrian Arab Army discovered two mass graves in Al-Rahjan in the eastern Hama. Syrian Arab News Agency reported that the mass graves contain remains of Syrian Arab Army’s elements and civilians killed by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, during the group’s control of the locality. The first mass grave contains remains of eight individuals, while the number of remains from the second grave is still unknown.

Free Syrian Police’s branch was formed and its station opened in the city of Morek, north of Hama. The station consists of 35 elements, who defected from the Syrian government.

Deir al-Zour:

Left over Islamic State’s improvised explosive device killed a civilian in Syrian Democratic Forces-held Al-Bahra village in the eastern Deir al-Zour.

Damascus:

Syrian Arab Army’s artillery and Syrian Arab Air Force targeted Douma, Harasta, Zamalka, Hazeh, Ain Terma, and Arbeen in the East Ghouta. According to the Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets), 56 civilians were killed and more than 100 wounded by the targeting of Douma, while the targeting of Ain Terma killed three and wounded several civilians. Syrian Civil Defense also stated that the targeting of Arbeen killed three and targeting of Harasta also three civilians.

Rebel forces in the East Ghouta shelled Jaramana, as well as Al-Mezzeh and Al-Amara areas of the city of Damascus. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, 35 civilians were killed and at least 23 wounded by the shelling of Jaramana, while 11 civilians were wounded by the shelling of Al-Amara. Syrian Arab News Agency also stated that the shelling of Al-Mezzeh wounded six civilians.

Syrian Arab Army fully captured Ain Terma Valley (Wadi Ain Terma) in the East Ghouta from Faylaq al-Rahman. Syrian Arab Army also made advances at the outskirts of Hazeh against Faylaq al-Rahman and reportedly entered the locality.

Screenshot_131

Approximate situation in the East Ghouta. Source: Syrian Civil War Map

Daraa:

Syrian Arab Army backed by Hezbollah clashed with the Free Syrian Army around Al-Tina and Al-Mazlumiyah villages, as the former reportedly tried to advance against the latter in the area. Reports suggest that Syrian Arab Army was able to capture several points in the aforementioned localities, before they were recaptured by the Free Syrian Army’s Tajammu al-Wiyat al-Omari. However, Free Syrian Army’s Jaysh al-Ababil stated that clashes erupted with Hezbollah, as the latter tried to infiltrate Al-Tina and Al-Mazlumiya, in order to plant improvised explosive devices in the localities. According to the reports, three elements of Hezbollah and two elements of the Free Syrian Army were wounded in today’s encounters.

Free Syrian Army’s Firqat al-Haqq operating in Daraa governorate joined Free Syrian Army’s Jaysh al-Thawra coalition.

Iraq

Nineveh:

Islamic State’s Amaq Agency reported an assassination of Al-Hashd al-Shaabi’s (Popular Mobilization Units) commander in Rajm Hadid neighborhood, western part of Mosul city.

Kirkuk:

Islamic State’s improvised explosive device destroyed Iraqi Army’s mine-resistant ambush protected Cougar vehicle, south of Daquq.

Afghanistan

Faryab Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) raided Afghan National Army’s checkpoint in Kolyan area of Bal Cheragh district. Three elements of the Afghan National Army were killed and three wounded, while two elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were wounded in the encounter.

Residents of Pakhalsur, Dara Jowz, and Ghar Namak areas of Gurziwan district pledged their allegiance to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban). The areas contain more than 4500 families, under the leadership of Commanders Bismillah, Zabihullah, and Siraj. More than 50 elements of the Afghan Local Police present in the areas surrendered to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and handed over 46 rifles, two RPG launchers, and two PK machine guns.

Balkh Province:

Several Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive devices destroyed Afghan National Police’s vehicle in Kaldar district, killing two and wounding four elements of the police.

Afghan Local Police and Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan clashed in Chimtal district. One element of the Afghan Local Police was killed and one wounded, while one element of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was killed in the encounter.

Kunduz Province:

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

Nangarhar Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed Afghan National Security Forces’ convoy in Ghani Khel district, reportedly killing three and wounding two elements, as well as destroying a tank. Separately, an element of the Afghan Local Police was killed by a sniper in Ghani Khel district.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device destroyed Afghan Local Police’s vehicle in Surkh Rod district, killing one and wounding three elements of the local police.

Islamic State assassinated a commander of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Ghulam Dak area of Chaparhar district. Similarly, Islamic State’s Amaq Agency also reported an assassination of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s element in Khalis Famili area of the city of Jalalabad, capital of 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

Badghis Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s sniper killed an element of the Afghan National Army in Abgarmak area of Ghormach district.

Farah Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed 28 and wounded 42 elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as well as destroyed two vehicles in Bala Buluk and Bakwa districts, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device destroyed Afghan National Army’s tank in Nealak area of Bala Buluk district.

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

Urozgan Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed one and wounded two elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as well as captured several weapons depots and ammunition caches in Chora district.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s snipers killed three elements of the Afghan National Police in Garam Ab area of Khas Urozgan district.

Zabul Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed one and wounded one element of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in the district.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s snipers killed four and wounded one element of the Afghan National Army in Bagh area of Arghandab district.

Four elements of the Afghan National Army surrendered to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Shah Joy and Arghandab districts.

Nimruz Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan arrested an element of the Afghan National Army at the outskirts of Delaram district.

Helmand Province:

Afghan National Security Forces killed three elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Nawa-I-Barakzayi district.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan repelled Afghan National Security Forces’ offensive in Darab, Camp, Wakil Wazir, Tamearano, Zaqum, Alizo, and Wakil Charrahi areas of Marjah district. Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Al-Emarah News claimed that 56 elements of the Afghan National Security Forces were killed and 27 wounded, as well as 17 vehicles destroyed in the failed offensive. Five elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were killed and seven wounded in the encounter.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan raided Afghan National Army’s checkpoint in Zarh Sahib area of Nawa-I-Barakzayi district, reportedly killing four and wounding six soldiers. Three elements of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were wounded in the encounter.

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

Kandahar Province:

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ambushed and killed two elements of the Afghan National Security Forces in the 3rd Police District of the city of Kandahar.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s improvised explosive device destroyed Afghan National Army’s armored personnel carrier in Kal Shamir area of Maywand district.

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:

Somalia:

Islamic State assassinated an element of the Somali Police Force in Tawfiq district of the city of Mogadishu, capital of Somalia.

Other:

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