Syria & Iraq Daily, Nov 9: Did US Airstrikes “Critically Injure” Leader of Islamic State?

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LATEST: Regime Airstrikes Kill At Least 30 in Islamic State-Controlled Town

“Tribal sources” in Iraq claim that a US airstrike on Friday night critically injured the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The sources, speaking to Al Arabiya, said al-Baghdadi was targeted in al-Qaim, just inside the Syrian border.

US Central Command confirmed the attack on a meeting of Islamic State leaders without confirming whether Baghdadi was killed: “This strike demonstrates the pressure we continue to place on the ISIL terrorist network and the group’s increasingly limited freedom to maneuver, communicate and command.”

Witnesses supported the account of a strike on a meeting, and Iraqi MP Mohammad al-Karbuli claims dozens of people had been killed and many more wounded. He said al-Qaim hospital was overwhelmed with the injured, and other witnesses said the Islamic State had cleared the facility so their members could be treated. Loudspeakers appealed residents to donate blood.

Iraqi officials said they believed that the dead included the Islamic State ruler of Anbar Province in western Iraq, Abu Muhannad al-Sweidawi, and the ruler of Deir Ez Zor Province in eastern Syria, Abu Zahra al-Mahamdi.


Reports: Insurgents Take Regime Posts Near Nawa in South

Reports on social media indicate that insurgents have taken regime posts near Nawa, between Damascus and Daraa in southern Syria.

Free Syrian Army units announcing the victory:

A photo of one of the abandoned regime posts:

INSURGENTS IN REGIME NAWA POST

Captured weapons and ammunition:

If confirmed, the insurgent victory would both relieve regime pressure on Nawa and raise the threat that Syrian forces can be cut off between Damascus and the Jordanian border.

Earlier this week, insurgents repelled a regime offensive and maintained control of Sheikh Maskin on the main Damascus-Daraa highway.

See Syria Daily, Nov 6: Insurgents Claim Control of Key Town in Daraa Province in South

Regime Airstrikes Kill At Least 30 in Islamic State-Controlled Town

Regime airstrikes have killed at least 30 people and injured 85 in the Islamic State-controlled town of Al-Bab in Aleppo Province.

The Aleppo Media Center said helicopters and warplanes attacked from late Saturday through early Sunday morning.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. ISIL brings more than just brutality to the battlefield

    Analysis by Michael Pizzi:

    Against all odds, an Al-Qaeda-splinter group best known for beheading its enemies has weathered U.S. firepower and proven nearly unbeatable on a vast and expanding battlefield across Syria and Iraq — its self-declared “caliphate.”

    But according to a new analysis from the Soufan Group, a New York-based security and intelligence consultancy firm, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) headline-grabbing brutality has obscured the other factors behind its emergence as a formidable challenger to regional powers. Under the guidance of veteran Saddam-era Iraqi commanders, ISIL has morphed from an underground terror cell into a dynamic and well-oiled military force that defies the conventional definition of an insurgent group.

    More: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/11/2/isil-brings-morethanjustbrutalitytothebattlefield.html#

    • To Catmari: Is there any doubt that ISIS would be the threat it is today had the Ultimate Dummy has made intelligent instead of stupid decisions on any of the following three occasions:

      1. 2012 when Obama’s talented advisors had not yet fled the White House and urged him to support a British plan to arm 100,000 rebels who were not radicalized at that time. Suppose Obama had done as recommended, where would ISIS be today?

      2. 2013 when Denis McDough spent 15 minutes in the Rose Garden talking Obama out of destroying the air force of a dictator whose genocide was radicalizing Sunnis and whose regime was informally nurturing ISIS. Suppose the Appeaser hadn’t listened to the bum. Where would ISIS be today?

      3. 2014 when ISIS and the regime teamed up for over two months to drive more numerous but very poorly armed rebel forces out of Deir while Obama, though well aware, snored and snored and snored. That battle was the last bit of help ISIS needed from The Masterpiece in Washington. Within days it enabled the subsequent whopping ISIS victories in Iraq. That in turn allowed ISIS to turn on its no-longer-needed genocidal ally in Damascus.

  2. Interesting news from south, I don´t have clear picture whats happening but it seems that Assad regime forces in Sheik Miskin and Nawa are in principle crumbling. According activists some military bases in the area have been even taken without firefight.

    Nawa tank battalion: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=32.923726&lon=36.063352&z=14&m=b

    Army Brigade/Tell Hamad: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=32.820100&lon=36.116781&z=13&m=b

    Tell Umm Hawran/Horan: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=32.926481&lon=36.050508&z=17&m=b

    Also some pretty impressive footage has been posted on equipment gained by rebels.

    • Given the regime’s manpower shortage and the need to deal with intolerable to Palmyra, Salimeyeh, desert airports and the main supply route to troops in Deir Ezzor, too much regime mmanpower is sucked into the desert campaign but it has no choice but to deal with the most dangerous immediate threat first. I can’t see how the regime can survive should it lose several airbases, many planes, most of its remaining oil supply and hundreds of troops that could be cut off in two locations (Aleppo, Deir Ezzor) should Palmyra and Salimeyeh be cut off or taken. Let’s not forget the certain of massacres as large or larger than Tabqa afterwards and the effect on loyalist civilians and regime troops.

      Rebels in Hama, Qalamoun, Damascus and south of Damascus will become an increasingly severe threat in consequences of this diversion but nevertheless the less dangerous one immediately. Assad’s situation reminds me of what the English king Harold faced in 1066. Having rushed to the north to put down a rebellion, his tried troops were then forced to quick march south to deal with an invasion by William the Conquerer–a threat he might have handled otherwise.The more attention the regime must pay to the intolerable desert situation, the more forces Nasrallah will lose in Qalamoun and the Hama area and the more likely rebels near Nawa will cut off hundreds or thousands of regime troops in the south. Knowing they won’t be massacred afterward and knowing the regime’s continued existence is the best thing ISIS has working for it, many of these troops seem to be giving up. Apparently Assad’s recent execution of officers who did so is backfiring or at least not intimidating as intended.

      The unknown here is whether Barak Obama, three plus years a shoe licker for Assad and Khamenei will come to Assad’s rescue–something not required by his recent traitorous pledge to Assad to leave Assad alone and thereby free to attack the rebels and carry out more genocide. Obama would be a fool to attack ISIS in order to save Assad. No matter how he spins it afterward, that indefensible crime along with his recent attacks on rebels (Ahrar Al Sham) and his earlier betrayals meant to keep the regime alive will infuriate Sunnis, US generals and Congresss further, setting in stone the perception that Obama has made our air force a flat out ally of Genocidia and a device for extending and maintain Iran’s Empire of Shia Dominance.

      PREDICTION: IF OBAMA CONTINUES CATERING TO ASSAD & IRAN, HE WILL BE IMPEACHED NEXT YEAR

      If Obama goes much further in courting Iran, he will be impeached by the House and put on trial in the Senate during his remaining term. And it will be justified, unlike the GOP-promoted coup attempt against Clinton.

      With John McCain and Lindsey Graham headed to chairmanships of key committees that can impact foreign policy, Obama will face hell in his remaining term if he such a criminal move, if continues to attack rebels or if he makes any giveaway deal on nukes with Iran in which he attempts to bypass Senate approval provided by the Constitution and to guarantee not to interfere as Iran gets a free ticket to continue using thuggish clients and brutal militias in asymmetrical and covert campaigns, going to far as genocidal against neighbors.

      Does anyone doubt that if an impeachment resolution is introduced in the House under such circumstances Obama will have any chance of stopping it. I’d love to see him hauled before the Senate to explain any of the above moves. In this vase a substatial portion of Democrats are fed up and could vote for conviction unless Obama can provide a satisfactory explanation for such moves. There is no doubt whatsoever of his proven incompetence and of his own responsibility for promoting sectarianism and enabling ISIS as well as genocide which would otherwise not have occurred.

      The Clinton trial was a totally partisan farce–an attempted coup started by an Arkansas billionaire’s investigation of the president’s private lives and an investigation most Republicans would not have survived. This would be an investigation into serious misbehavior threatening our national security for decades to come. I as a Democrat would have no qualms about calling this president to account for this. I would never have done so for the light, transient and billionaire-inspired coup attempt against Clinton. Ditto had a Republican president done the same.

    • The regime can’t mount a counteroffensive while at the same time trying to stop ISIS in the desert, and running offensives in the Hama and Aleppo areas against the rebels. Possible exceptions: If Obama were to give such efforts total support using our air forces or if Obama were to make a giveaway deal that would include a sellout on sanctions, allowing Iran to hire tens of thousands of Afghans and other fighters to rescue Assad. You can’t rule that out in Obama’s case.

      President Sell Out is totally untrustworthy and is more concerned with bailing out Iran and Iran no matter what future threats it would create to American national security.

      • Ah but “The Tiger” is supposedly there now. After he reconquers all of southern Syria. He’ll duck over to Jerusalem, capture the city singlehanded then swim the Atlantic Ocean and conquer the United states.

  3. SO WHO DID THIS?

    According to SOHR: Five Syrian nuclear engineers were assassinated in Damascus after gun men opened fire toward their bus. Along those lines, see also:

    Iran nuclear threat bigger than claimed

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Middle_East/article1481544.ece

    I suspect that part of what explains the great giveaways to Iran by Obama is that he feared Israel might attack Iran otherwise. However, I must act if, given the consequences of The Great Appeaser’s endless inaction (massive sectarianism, the destruction of Syria, genocide, the rise of ISIS) would we have been better off letting Israel just go ahead?

    As if naïve John Kerry, the president’s footstool who wasn’t even informed to the McDough/Obama rose garden switcheroo on chemical weapons, didn’t look foolish enough, see this:

    Former Iran amb to France Kharrazi: John Kerry has told Zarif that “i would like to meet General Suleimani for once”

    Speaking of fools, “John Kerry Says US Will Share Info With Russia About Situation On Ukraine’s Border” tweets James Miller.

    Does Kerry seriously believe Putin is not fully aware of the situation there–far more than Kerry? As happened to Neville Chamberlain in Berlin after Munich, Kerry and Obama are reportedly the butt of jokes in Moscow and Iran.

    Kerry appears to believe that if he exudes sincerity, Bad Guys will be converted to Good Guys. Putin and Khamenei can’t believe their good fortune. At a time when they should be losing, the right pair came on the scene with perfect timing.

    http://www.interpretermag.com/ukraine-live-day-265-tensions-high-after-heaviest-fighting-in-weeks/#4936

    ANOTHER OBAMA SELLOUT MY BE UNDERWAY RIGHT NOW

    If confirmed, the following (though vague) suggests Obama may indeed be trying to save regime forces near Salimiyeh. Helping Assad thre would enable his forces in Aleppo to wipe our the rebels there. Is that Obama’s intent?

    “Reports Coalition forces struck targets north east of Homs.” –Rami Al Lolah

    Hey, fellow Americans, how does it feel to have our our force serve as an ally of the Genocide Regime? Do you think we should be assisting the Assad/Iran War on Sunnis and encouraging an Iranian Shia Empire?

    As our Genocide-supporting president watches, good buddy Assad blocking 18+ UN humanitarian aid convoy from entering besieged Waar neighborhood in Homs.

  4. NEW ITEM FROM QALAMOUN CONFIRMS HEZBOLLAH IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE ON THAT FRONT

    Regime is begging for a truce, according to a new tweet from Paradoxy. As I reported yesterday, Hezbollah apparently got slaughtered ther eafter being hit by JAN with 16 suicide bombings: 100 Hezbollah killed, others captured. A request for a truce would tend to confirm that.

    Why give Hezbollah time to catch its breath? Pound an enemy boxer when he is staggering. If Hezbollah wants mercy, let it withdraw from Syria and it can have its truce.

    LIFE GETS WORSE IN LATTAKIA

    Christian friends in Latakia province: 4 hours of electricity per day, no more gas, hardly any fuel. Damascus no better–Paradoxy

    REBEL VICTORIES! (from Malcolmite)

    Brigade/Tell Hamad: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=32.820100&lon=36.116781&z=13&m=b

    Tell Umm Hawran: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=32.926481&lon=36.050508&z=17&m=

    tank battalion: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=32.923726&lon=36.063352&z=14&m=b

    REBELS KILL BAD GUYS KILLED IN SALIMEYEH, EAST OF HOMS

    Opposition forces carried out an attack on the Dallak CP in Salamyiah, killing Colonel Khudur al-Hamwi & 3 other regime militants.

    DAMASCUS AREA DEVELOPMENTS

    Many casualties reported amongst regime forces as the opposition regain control of Htaita Jarash & Zibdin’s fields.–Paradoxy

    Below is a graphic video of Druze killed by members of the Jesus Crist Brigade in Jabal Al-Sheik. As I’ve noted previously more Druze are being conscripted and forced to fight in high casualty areas, replacing Alawite losses, causing demonstrations. When these bodies arrive, frustration with Assad will mount.

    It’s time for Druze to switch sides. One or two nice regime defeats could do the trick.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxtWLa8x3x8&feature=youtu.be

    5 WAYS ASSAD REGIME DEALS WITH DEFEAT

    1. Denying it as long as possible
    2. Saying it is a tactical retreat, regime will come back
    3. Saying ‘it was all JN’
    4. Saying ‘JN will destroy FSA there anyway
    5. Saying ‘well FSA are also terrorists’

    Source: Thomas Van Linge via twitter.

  5. ANOTHER SIGN ISIS MAY HAVE LOST BIG SHOTS

    “ISIS fighters had rushed ppl out of a hospital in Rumanna except those who were having surgery & were hysterical & confiscating phones. So it looks as if senior members could have been killed or seriously injured in the strike. It actually happened outside of Al Qaim.”–Malcolmite.

    See also The Guardian’s report:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/09/us-air-strike-islamic-state-convoy-killed-key-aide-isis?CMP=share_btn_tw

    NEW MAP SHOWS REGIME FORCES AT RISK IN DARAA PROVINCE

    Map source: Abdel Rahman

    https://twitter.com/search?q=tazimorocco&src=typd

    At risk east of Nawa: a radar base, 82nd Brigade, 12th Brigade, 175th Brigade plus. When Tazi Morocco writes, “situation is very very bad for the garrisson town of Izraa (Ezra) he is referring to the 12th brigade.

    Also at risk: all regime forces further south.

    Note the swirling green area between Nawa and Mishkin. You can see how close rebels are to diving and attacking the radar base and the 82nd Brigade. It is also obvious what will happen if rebels in Mishkin manage to drive east and link up with forces there.

    Tazimorocco is problem correct when he tweets: “Main reason of #SAA defeats in #Deraa is that #SAA doesn’t exist anymore. They have been replaced by a bunch of sectarian mercenaries.”

    The problem with mercenaries is they love collecting their paychecks but want to live to spend it. They may be useful where odds look good for their side but in nasty situations they are quick to surrender.

    Tazi also notes the FSA fighters in the south looked very professional. To the north he predicts the next targets on the way to Damascus will be Sanamein – Ghabaghib (map below). I think rebels will want to clear up in the south and rear first unless they have enough forces to manage both fronts.

    http://wikimapia.org/#lang=fr&lat=3

    AS HEAD OF SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMAND, McCAIN TO HOLD OBAMA’S FEET OVER THE FIRE

    http://gulfnews.com/news/world/usa/sen-mccain-to-press-obama-pentagon-on-armed-services-1.1410045

    “in just the last five months, McCain, R-Ariz., has called for the president’s entire national security team to resign, accusing it of failing to keep Iraq secure. McCain has insisted that US ground troops must be sent into Syria and Iraq to fight Daesh, calling Obama’s air-strikes-only strategy ‘a disaster’. And he has accused the White House of churning out ‘spins and lies’ in defence of its military campaign plan for Iraq and Syria.”

    McCain is dead accurate. I’d be hard put to do better. McCain’s appointment as head of that committee would suffice in itself as the best reason for the otherwise contemptible Koch Brothers/fundamentalist theocracy party to prevail. I, my wife and some friends (all Democrats) abstained from voting in order to protest Obama’s support for Assad and Khamenei but if I had thought about this, I may have held my nose and voted Republican.

    The article is also excellent as to exactly how McCain can put the squeeze of the traitorious president.

    “Now, with the gavel of the powerful Armed Services Committee almost certain to come into his hand, McCain will have a bully pulpit, accompanied by a megaphone.

    He will be able to schedule hearings in which the US generals conducting Obama’s military campaign in Iraq and Syria may be exhorted to say whether they really do think Daesh can be defeated without the use of US combat troops, as the White House still maintains. (Many do not.)

    McCain will also be better able to use nominations, administration legislative proposals and programs as leverage to prod Obama toward his own views.”

  6. Wake Up! TWO HUGE BREAKING NEWS ITEMS

    #1: LATEST ON AL BAGHDADI

    Tweeter account attributed to ISIS spokesperson tweets ‘speedy recovery’ for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, doesn’t elaborate.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.625519

    #2: A NEW & DEVASTATING MAJOR REBEL VICTORY APPEARS CLOSE IN DARAA PROVINCE (if confirmed)

    “Reports all regime’s 5th Division officers in Izraa, Daraa have fled leaving recruits behind after regime failed to send reinforcements.

    This isn’t the first time regime officers fled when defeat appeared near. As for any reinforcements, forget it. The regime’s shortage of manpower, its need to thwart major threats elsewhere and Izraa’s loocation well south of Damascus spells doom.

    See the 12th brigade location on the map I just posted earlier. If Ezra (Izraa falls), not only will most regime forces in the south be cut off by land but rebels would be in a position to complete the cutoff of sweida province to the east.

    FROM CECIL LAROUSSE

    “IMPORTANT – 4 army bases around Nawa now under rebellion control (FSA Southern Front, Southern Command, Muthanna and Nusra). All army weapons and tanks inside checkpoints and army bases were abandoned by loyalists. Reports of defections east to city”

    Mass defections and surrenders are become common when a regime is going down. That’s especially so when surrender to the enemy you face (FSA in this case) is preferable to the other enemy (ISIS). As I mentioned elsewhere, Assad’s execution of officers and men, though intended to intimidate, is having the opposite effect.

    How will news of large regime defections, surrenders and losses, aggravated by the death of many Druze in Damascus a day earlier and the potential cutoff of Sweida Province affect increasingly restless Druze? The news of the ascendancy of McCain and Graham in the Senate must worry the regime as well. The writing may be on the wall.

    From Paradoxy:

    “Sanamain is where the regime soldiers in Nawa have reportedly fled to today. (Supposedly thousands of them). Word on the street is that there are 100s of killed/wounded regime soldiers in the Sanamain Military Hospital following the recent battles.

    Also from mapmaker Larousse:

    “The strong Assad regime south defense wall (Haraa – Nawa – Sheikh Miskin – Izra) I described one year ago is completely falling. After Tal al-Harra / Haraa, after Sheikh Miskin broken siege, it’s now Nawa and army bases to fall to FSA Southern Front and allies.”

    From Markito0171

    Military security building in #Nawa city after fall into rebels hands Huge defeat of #SAA in #Daraa province

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P77NAOau4HE

    ALEPPO

    Rebels have knocked down a building full of Bad Guys in the Amiriya area. See for yourself. Too many of these places appear to be manned by mercenaries as an overextended regime is forced to deal with crises on a “worst first” basis.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUj7z12jaIM&sns=tw

    • “All army weapons and tanks inside checkpoints and army bases were abandoned by loyalists”. This has been happening over and over again. Incompetence?, panic? or some sort of strategy?.

      • the problem is if they destroy their equippment early its an admission of defeat , but usully the rebel advance are so quick the defenders must flee and don’t have time to blow eqipment up

  7. A military source to SANA: Units of the army and armed forces execute a redeployment and repositioning in Nawa area in #Daraa countryside in
    a way to fit the nature of the upcoming fighting operations.

    In other words the Assad regime got their ass kicked.

    • what SAA seem to be doing is creating a vacume on the only non IS/AQ dominated battlefield in syria, hoping JAN will fill it faster than “good” rebels.

    • At least SAA “repositioning and redeployment” strategy doesn´t cover throwing away uniforms to nearest highway, in all other senses this looks very much Iraqi army rout; artillery, tanks, APCs and ammo – all left behind. I´ve seen today vids of few tanks, ~dozen BMP/BTR, few recovery vehicles, lots of field arty&AA and truckloads and truckloads of ammo – think we can safely conclude this wasn´t planned retreat.

      This is surprising turn of events, it wasn´t more than few days when Assad was on sieging Sheik Miskin and on offense.

  8. The syrian army lost the battle around Nawa.

    The question is, will the governement consider the area as important and send back reinforcement to retake it, or will they abandon it like they did in Raqqa?

    There is a man in the Syrian Army, he has defeated Nusra on numerous battlefield, handing them their last humiliating and crushing defeat in Hama.

        • Isis has been defeated in Homs desert. It’s also the desert, no city to take. All the gasfield have been captured and ISIS has fled the region.

          The Tiger going to Daraa could be a rumor made up by opposition supporters who fear him, or it could be that the governement wants to push back the rebels here. If he comes to Hama, he will come with some of his troops, not just leading the scrubs and incompetent the SAA has in Daraa.

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