Syria


Jordan to Spearhead Syria, Iraq Reconstruction

By John Lee.

Jordan’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Ya’rub al-Qudah (pictured), has reportedly signed an agreement with a leading American company and a number of international firms to build an airport and a major logistics center to facilitate reconstruction for Syria and Iraq.

According to Al Arabiya, the new facility will be built in Mafraq, 60 kilometers northeast of Amman, close to the Syrian border and on the international road connecting Jordan with Iraq.

The Jordanian government has developed a plan of action with the World Bank to make Jordan a major platform for reconstruction projects, the Minister is quoted as saying.

(Source: Al Arabiya)

Details of Latest Strikes Against ISIS

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting 16 strikes consisting of 29 engagements Nov. 17-19, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

There were no reported strikes conducted on Nov. 19 in Iraq or Syria.

Strikes in Syria

On Nov. 18 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS vehicles.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

On Nov. 17 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, a tactical vehicle and an ISIS construction vehicle.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

Strikes in Iraq

On Nov. 18 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of 17 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Beiji, two strikes destroyed two ISIS tunnels.
  • Near Rawah, two strikes facilitated effective harassing fire on ISIS targets.
  • Near Qayyarah, one strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed 14 ISIS-held buildings and an ISIS vehicle.

On Nov. 17 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Beiji, a strike destroyed an ISIS-held building and a fighting position.
  • Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an IED factory.
  • Near Qayyarah, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS weapons cache.

Previous Strikes

Officials also provided details today on 17 earlier strikes and 17 engagements against ISIS in Syria and Iraq for which the information was not previously available:

  • On July 30, near Raqqa, Syria, three strikes damaged three ISIS fighting positions.
  • On July 31, near Raqqa, Syria, three strikes damaged three ISIS fighting positions.
  • On Nov. 16, near Al Qaim, Iraq, three strikes facilitated effective harassing fire on ISIS targets.
  • On Nov. 16, near Rawah, Iraq, seven strikes destroyed five ISIS supply routes and facilitated effective harassing fire on ISIS targets.
  • On July 17, near Qara Tapa, Iraq, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two weapons caches and an ISIS tunnel.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Strikes Continue Against ISIS Terrorists in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting 34 strikes consisting of 56 engagements Nov. 13-16, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of 10 engagements against ISIS targets near Dayr Az Zawr. The strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS vehicle and three explosive hazards.

On Nov. 15, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets near Dayr Az Zawr. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

On Nov. 14, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets near Dayr Az Zawr. The strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed three explosive hazards, two fighting positions and a command-and-control center.

On Nov. 13, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS headquarters.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS headquarters.

Strikes in Iraq

Yesterday in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qayyarah, three strikes destroyed three ISIS-held buildings.
  • Near Rawah, two strikes destroyed an ISIS improvised explosive device facility and an artillery piece.

On Nov. 15, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed a vehicle-borne bomb factory.
  • Near Rawah, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units, destroyed four ISIS vehicles and damaged a fighting position.

On Nov. 14, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of 17 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qaim, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS vehicles, a weapons cache, a vehicle-borne-bomb factory and two suicide vests.
  • Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed an ISIS supply route.
  • Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed an ISIS bunker and four ISIS vehicles.
  • Near Rawah, five strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle-borne-bomb factory, an ISIS-held building, a weapons cache and an ISIS headquarters and facilitated effective fire on ISIS targets.

On Nov. 13, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qaim, a strike destroyed a vehicle-borne-bomb factory.
  • Near Rawah, three strikes destroyed two ISIS tractor-trailers and two vehicle-borne-bomb factories.

Previous Strikes

Additionally, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement near Qaim, Iraq on Nov. 11. The strike destroyed an ISIS supply route.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Coalition Airstrikes Kill 4 Senior ISIS Leaders

Coalition airstrikes killed four senior Islamic State of Iraq and Syria leaders in the past three weeks, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials announced today.

The removal of these key terrorists disrupts ISIS’ weapons engineering activities and their ability to recruit and train terrorists,” officials said in a statement. “It also reduces their ability to plan and conduct terrorist attacks, both within Syria and Iraq and abroad.

Dead are:

  • Yusuf Demir, an ISIS media official with links to ISIS networks throughout the Middle East and Europe, killed Oct. 26 near Qaim, Iraq;
  • Omer Demir, an ISIS external operations coordinator with links to ISIS networks in the Middle East and Europe, also killed Oct. 26 near Qaim;
  • Abu Yazin, an ISIS senior leader and weapons facilitator, killed Nov. 3 near Mayadin, Syria; and
  • Abdellah Hajjiaou, an ISIS external operations plotter, killed Nov. 5 near Abu Kamal, Syria.

The coalition will continue to exert pressure on ISIS senior leaders and associates across multiple networks in order to degrade, disrupt, and dismantle ISIS structures and remove the extremist terrorists throughout Iraq and Syria,” officials said in the statement announcing the deaths.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Defeat-ISIS Campaign Deprives Enemy of Safe Havens

The U.S.-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria continues to support Syrian Democratic Forces as they pressure ISIS by advancing toward the confluence of the Kabul and Euphrates River valleys, Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters today.

More than 1,500 square miles of formerly ISIS-held territory has been liberated since the beginning of operations in September, Dillon said from Baghdad during a teleconference with reporters in the Pentagon.

“The coalition continues supporting our Syrian partners through surveillance and combat advice, as well as more than 40 precision strikes in the past week targeting ISIS fighters, weapons, logistics and command nodes,” Dillon said.

He added, “We will continue to deprive ISIS remnants of their resources in safe havens and continue our defeat-ISIS mission so long as they pose a threat.”

The fielding and training of police and security forces such as the Raqqa Internal Security Force “will grow in importance as ISIS’ conventional force continues to face defeat and reverts to its terrorist roots,” Dillon said.

Supporting Partners

“The coalition will continue to support our partners’ needs for effective forces tailored to meet the needs of the Syrian and Iraqi people,” he added.

As war debris is carefully cleared, residents can begin to return home, the spokesman said. This week with coalition-enabled efforts, nearly 8,000 civilians were returned to their homes in Meshlib, Syria, after the SDF declared the area clear, he added.

Additionally, the inclusive and locally governed Raqqa Civil Council has led the way in public health, safety, economic and educational efforts in the area, with ongoing support from the coalition, Dillon said.

Details of Latest Strikes Against ISIS

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting 39 strikes consisting of 67 engagements Nov. 12 through yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported.

Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

On Nov. 10 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of nine engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Shadaddi, a strike destroyed an ISIS fighting position.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, seven strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units and damaged a heavy machine gun.

On Nov. 11 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle and a fighting position.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, four strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units.

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 18 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS tactical vehicle.
  • Near Shadaddi, a strike destroyed an ISIS fighting position.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, seven strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed a heavy machine gun, a fighting position and an ISIS vehicle.

Strikes in Iraq

On Nov. 10 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 21 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qaim, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building and a missile.
  • Near Ramadi, two strikes destroyed four ISIS tunnels, a weapons cache, an ISIS truck, an ISIS sedan and an ISIS fuel truck.
  • Near Rawa, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS staging area.
  • Near Tuz, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS tunnel, two weapons caches, an ISIS truck and a tunnel entrance.

On Nov. 11 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qaim, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS-held building, an improvised-explosive-device storage facility and five ISIS supply routes.
  • Near Hawija, two strikes destroyed four IEDs.
  • Near Rawa, three strikes suppressed an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building and facilitated effective harassing fire on ISIS targets.

Yesterday in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement near Rawa, destroying an ISIS fighting position.

Previous Strikes

Officials also provided details today on nine strikes consisting of 20 engagements in Syria and Iraq for which the information was not available in time for the most recent previous report:

  • On Nov. 5 near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed two ISIS supply routes.
  • On Nov. 5 near Qaim, a strike destroyed four ISIS supply routes.
  • On Nov. 7 near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed eight ISIS supply routes.
  • On Nov. 7 near Qaim, three strikes destroyed four ISIS supply routes.
  • On Nov. 8 near Abu Kamal, a strike facilitated effective counter fire on ISIS targets.
  • On Nov. 9 near Qaim, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Key Town Retaken amid Regional Power Plays

By Shelly Kittleson for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Key Iraqi border town retaken amid regional power plays

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi raised the Iraqi flag Nov. 5 after climbing a sandy berm from which Islamic State (IS) flags could be seen about 200 meters (656 feet) away on the Syrian side of the border.

Al-Monitor’s reporter was the only Western journalist reporting from the border area at Qaim with the Iraqi forces in the first few days after the town’s liberation, according to several officers on the front. No Western media were present during the actual operation, they said, during which access to even the surrounding area was severely restricted.

The city of Qaim, along Iraq’s westernmost edge, was proclaimed liberated Nov. 3, even though some of the nearby areas were not cleared until the following day.

The Iraqi army, counterterrorism forces and local tribal fighters trained by the international anti-IS coalition and non-local Popular Mobilization Units took part in the fighting.

Al-Monitor saw no civilians in the central areas or near the Syrian border while driving through the dusty, heavily damaged wasteland of Qaim’s streets Nov. 5. In the days following the liberation, Al-Monitor visited the only three families said to have remained in one area of the city.

A Nov. 6 sandstorm covered Qaim with a copper-colored layer of dust, severely limiting the visibility in the town and along the entire road toward it from the Jazeera operations headquarters in Haditha, roughly 150 kilometers (93 miles) away along a road torn up by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that dips through wadis and passes by destroyed bridges.

A long string of knocked-down electricity transmission towers, still seemingly fully intact otherwise, can be seen from the road. There is no cellphone reception of any kind in the area. Frequent firing could be heard from the Iraqi side of the border at Qaim toward al-Bukamal in Syria on Nov. 6.

South Korea Provides Food for Syrian Refugees in Iraq

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a contribution of US$1.5 million from the Republic of Korea that will provide food assistance for some 30,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for two months.

Song Woong-Yeob (pictured), Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Iraq, said:

In the aftermath of conflict, the Republic of Korea was once a recipient of food assistance, including from WFP.

“We have now become donors and maintain a strong partnership with WFP in over 30 countries. We sincerely hope this contribution will provide much needed relief to Syrian refugees and their families in Iraq.

This contribution will allow WFP to provide food assistance to Syrian families that have sought refuge in Iraq. Through electronic food cards that WFP provides to vulnerable people in Iraq, each family member will receive US$19 per month to purchase the food they prefer from local shops.

In addition to allowing for greater choice in their diets, this programme injects cash into the local economy, which benefits shops and producers with increased demand for their products.

Sally Haydock, WFP Representative in Iraq, said:

“Thanks to this generous and timely donation from the Republic of Korea, WFP will continue to address the underlying causes of vulnerability for Syrian refugees in Iraq, increase families’ self-reliance and reduce the need for international assistance in the future.”

Since 2014, the Republic of Korea has provided US$4.8 million in support of WFP food assistance for Syrian refugees in Iraq.

(Source: WFP)

US General Cites Iraqi Forces’ Ability in Liberating Al-Qaim

General Cites Iraqi Forces’ Confidence, Ability in Liberating Qaim

As the Iraqi flag flew over Qaim’s border to boast the Iraqi town’s liberation from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, it signaled a milestone in the defeat of ISIS as a physical caliphate, a senior coalition officer told Pentagon reporters today.

Speaking via teleconference from Irbil, Iraq, where he is temporarily commanding operations, Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew A. Croft congratulated the Iraqi security forces on driving ISIS out of Qaim, and largely out of Iraq, over the weekend. Croft is Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command‘s deputy commanding general for air as part of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Over the past few months,” Croft said, “we have seen the [Iraqi forces] increasing in confidence and ability as they have taken the fight to ISIS and allowed the Iraqi people to regain control of their own towns and cities.”

The U.S.-led global coalition has stood fully behind the fight to defeat ISIS, and its members are proud of their role in the win of the barbaric enemy and its false narrative, Croft said.

Coalition Continues Support

“We will continue our efforts until the threat is completely destroyed and no longer able to terrorize the people of Iraq,” he said of the coalition. In Irbil, he added, “we are investing in the future by continuing our training mission to ensure that all Iraqis can be responsible for their own security.”

The U.S.-led coalition has a long-standing relationship with Kurdish peshmerga fighters and the Iraqi security forces, both of whom have fought in the recent offenses against ISIS, he said. And the support will continue to assist in making the continued negotiations take place between both parties as they seek to forge a new relationship in a post-ISIS era, Croft said.

“As [the Iraqi security forces have] fought a hard ground battle,” the general said, “I have been impressed by the capability and the effectiveness of the Iraqi air force and army aviation command throughout the campaign.” Iraq’s pilots have shown bravery as the Iraqi air force has come to maturity, he added.

Latest Strikes Against ISIS Terrorists in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting 14 strikes consisting of 33 engagements Nov. 4-5, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

Officials reported details of the strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, four strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS missiles.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, two strikes destroyed an ISIS line of communication and a fighting position.

On Nov. 4, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of 23 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two ISIS-held buildings, a command-and-control node, a weapons cache and an ISIS motorcycle.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, four strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed four fighting positions, two lines of communication, three ISIS vehicles, two fighting positions, a vehicle-borne bomb and an explosive hazard.

Strikes in Iraq

Yesterday in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets near Qayyarah, which destroyed two weapons caches.

On Nov. 4, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Qaim, which engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building.

Previous Strikes

Additionally, coalition military forces conducted 11 strikes consisting of 12 engagements in Syria on Nov. 3:

  • Near Abu Kamal, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, nine strikes engaged eight ISIS tactical units and destroyed five explosive hazards, four ISIS fighting positions, a command-and-control center and an ISIS motorcycle.
  • Near Shaddadi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS fighting position.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)