Syrian War Daily – 19th of February 2017

Hello and welcome to the 7th installment of the SWD. This and future editions will include important news coming from Iraq as the war taking place in both countries is almost the same, only difference being that the war in Iraq is simpler with less armed groups involved.

Military events are listed below by the governorates:

Aleppo:

It was publish today that TFSA captured an IS emir few days ago, his real name is Jonathan Jeffrey and his nomme du guerre is Abu Ibrahim Al-Faransi. Nothing has changed in Al-Bab city territory-wise since yesterday.

Other news in the Aleppo governorate include now regular clashes between SDF and TFSA, aforementioned clashes reportedly took place near Maaranaz.

Raqqa:

SDF are continuing their rapid advance against IS on many fronts capturing villages of Bir Shamawi, Fetatish, Noufal, Aziz and have encircled IS in the village of Terfawiyah.

Map published today showing advances made near Raqqa, could be outdated at this point. Source: Cizire Canton

Homs:

SAA have been steadily advancing for the past few days in the Homs desert and have captured Tarfah Sharqiyah today, with the recent advances they are now approximately 12km from Palmyra Triangle

Updated map of E. Homs countryside showing advances made by SAA. Source: @loomisroberto

Hama:

According to unconfirmed report, HTS and LAA reached a deal regarding latter’s evacuation from S. Idlib – N. Hama region. Deal includes LAA handing over control of Khan Shaykun and Morek to HTS in exchange for free passage to Raqqa.

Tricky part is trying to pass Ithriya-Khanasser road without getting bombed by SyAAF or RuAF on the way to IS-held areas. Source of unconfirmed info: @EjmAlrai

Iraq:

This section is not related to Syria, but event currently unfolding in Iraq could have some negative impact on Syria. Today was launched an operation to liberate western part of Mosul. Operation started from the south with Iraqi army taking control of 20 villages today, some notable ones are; Al-Kafour, Jasmia, Bijwarey, Athba and Lazaka.

Army is advancing towards Al-Ghazlani military base & Mosul International airport where the real fight for W. Mosul is expected to start. Some negative news are also coming from Mosul, in the eastern part, as the operation was launched, 2 suicide bombers targeted civilians in Prophet Yunus district and Al-Zahour districts killing 9 and injuring 17.

It has become a trend for IS sleeper cells to attack civilians across Iraq whenever army launches new operation or advances significantly against IS. With these desperate, cowardly acts IS is trying to make army stop advancing using fear, when E. Mosul was being cleaned Baghdad was hit with a series of suicide attacks resulting in hundreds of casualties.

Grim reality is that as the army inches closer to liberation of W. Mosul more suicide attacks are expected to take place.

Map of the recent advances made by Iraqi army showing some notable villages, village omitted from this map is al-Zakrutiyah located E. of Athba Source: @loomisroberto

On the 18th of February 2017 CJTF-OIR has conducted 15 strikes in Syria . Same as yesterday, half of the strikes were concentrated on Raqqa where they destroyed 70 oil barrels, three oil storage tanks, three fighting positions, two oil refinement stills and a weapons storage area.

Other areas where strikes occurred include Abu Kamal, Al-Bab, Shaddadi and Deir al-Zour destroying an oil wellhead, a fighting position, two fighting positions, a tactical vehicle & a weapons cache and five more oil wellheads, respectively. Full report on CJTF-OIR strikes conducted in both Syria & Iraq can be found here.

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

Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section below, constructive criticism is welcomed.

For those of you interested, you can follow me on my personal, biased twitter @joskobaric where I occasionally tweet some things.

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