U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, conducting 30 strikes consisting of 66 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

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

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 22 strikes consisting of 32 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed an ISIS headquarters and weapons cache.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed an ISIS oil still.
  • Near Raqqa, 20 strikes engaged 13 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 24 fighting positions, a vehicle, a logistics node and ISIS communications infrastructure.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of 34 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qaim, three strikes destroyed a vehicle-borne-bomb factory, an ISIS front-end loader and an excavator.
  • Near Rawah, two strikes destroyed an ISIS headquarters, a vehicle and a front-end loader.
  • Near Tal Afar, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units; destroyed five mortar systems, four supply caches, two vehicles, two vehicle-borne bombs, two fighting positions, two recoilless rifles, an ISIS headquarters and a medium machine gun; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.

Earlier Strikes

Officials today also announced results of 50 strikes consisting of 67 engagements conducted Aug. 18-20 in Syria and Iraq for which the details were not yet available at the time of yesterday’s report:

  • On Aug. 18 near Raqqa, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • On Aug. 19 near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed an ISIS wellhead.
  • On Aug. 19 near Raqqa, six strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed five fighting positions, an improvised explosive device and a command-and-control node.
  • On Aug. 20 near Shadaddi, Syria, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed a vehicle.
  • On Aug. 20 near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed an ISIS wellhead.
  • On Aug. 20 near Raqqa, 33 strikes engaged 21 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 41 fighting positions, five command-and-control nodes, an IED, an ISIS headquarters, two supply caches, ISIS engineering equipment and an ISIS unmanned aerial system.
  • On Aug. 20 near Tal Afar, five strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units; destroyed seven fighting positions, three staging areas, two IEDs, two pieces of ISIS oil equipment, a rocket-propelled-grenade system and a vehicle; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.

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)

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Iraqi security forces have begun their offensive to liberate the city of Tal Afar from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials said today.

The global coalition against ISIS welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s statement earlier today announcing the launch of the offensive to liberate Tal Afar and the remainder of Ninevah province and northern Iraq from ISIS, Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, said in a statement.

All branches of the Iraqi security forces will take part in the liberation of Tal Afar: the 9th, 15th and 16th Iraqi army divisions, the counterterrorism Service, the federal police and emergency response division and the Iraqi local police, as well as popular mobilization forces under Abadi’s command, task force officials said.

“Following their historic victory in Mosul, the [Iraqi security forces] have proven themselves a capable, formidable and increasingly professional force, and they are well-prepared to deliver another defeat to ISIS in Tal Afar,” coalition officials said in a statement. “The coalition will continue to help the government and security forces to liberate the Iraqi people and defeat ISIS through five means: by providing equipment, training, intelligence, precision fires and combat advice.”

Fully Committed

Though the recent liberation of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, was a decisive victory for the Iraqi security forces, it did not mark the end of ISIS in Iraq, or its worldwide threat,” Townsend said.

“The [Iraqi security forces] operation to liberate Tal Afar is another important fight that must be won to ensure the country and its citizens are finally free of ISIS,” he added. “The coalition is strong, and fully committed to supporting our Iraqi partners until ISIS is defeated and the Iraqi people are free.”

Coalition officials estimate that 10,000 to 50,000 civilians remain in and around Tal Afar, the task force statement said, and the coalition applies rigorous standards to its targeting process and takes “extraordinary efforts” to protect noncombatants.

“In accordance with the laws of armed conflict and in support of its partnered forces who are risking their lives every day in the fight against an evil enemy, the coalition will continue to strike valid military targets, after considering the principles of military necessity, humanity, proportionality and distinction,” the coalition statement said.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Saturday, conducting 15 strikes consisting of 24 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

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

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed 10 ISIS oil-storage barrels.
  • Near Raqqa, five strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted nine strikes consisting of 18 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qaim, a strike destroyed an ISIS supply cache.
  • Near Beiji, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.
  • Near Rawah, three strikes destroyed two ISIS headquarters, a weapons cache and a staging area.
  • Near Tal Afar, four strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed seven rocket systems, two command-and-control nodes, two mortar systems, a vehicle-borne-bomb factory, a supply cache and a front-end loader.

Other Recent Strikes

Additionally, officials today announced the results of 26 strikes consisting of 38 engagements conducted in Syria and Iraq on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18 for which the information was unavailable at the time of yesterday’s report:

  • Near Raqqa on Aug. 17, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed a fighting position.
  • Near Raqqa on Aug. 18, 20 strikes engaged 14 ISIS tactical units, destroyed 14 fighting positions and damaged a tunnel entrance.
  • Near Tal Afar on Aug. 18, three strikes destroyed 24 ISIS roadblocks, two vehicle-borne-bomb factories, an ISIS headquarters, an ISIS command-and-control node and a fighting position and suppressed three mortar teams.

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)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq says the date to hold an independence referendum has been set and won’t be changed.

That was in response to a request by US secretary of state Rex Tillerson to postpone the referendum.

During a telephone call on Thursday, Tillerson told Masoud Barzani that he favours dialogue instead, between the Kurdish region and the Iraqi government.

The US and other Western nations are worried the vote, could lead to renewed conflict with the Iraqi government in Baghdad and distract the Kurds from fighting ISIL.

Turkey, Iran and Syria which also have large Kurdish populations all oppose an independent Kurdish state.

So, could this vote lead to an independent Kurdish state? and what will that mean for Iraq and the region?

Presenter:

  • Imran Khan

Guests:

  • Dindar Zebari – Deputy Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
  • Ahmed Rushdi – Director of the House of Iraqi Expertise Foundation.
  • Dlawer Ala’Aldeen – President of the Middle East Institute.

By John Lee.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to re-open the Arar [Ar’ar] border crossing with Iraq for the first time since 1990.

Sohaib al-Rawi, the governor of Anbar province, is quoted as saying that the Iraqi government had deployed troops to protect the desert route leading to Arar and called its opening a “significant move” to boost ties.

The border was closed after the two countries cut ties following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.

(Sources: Al Jazeera, Reuters, Rudaw)

The Commission of Integrity has denied reports on the release of Iraqi Airways chairman following his arrest “red-handed” taking a bribe.

A commission statement on August 15 said that reports by some media outlets that claimed the release of Samer Kabba, the Iraqi Airways chairman, were untrue.

The statement said the investigating judge referred the case to the criminal court to complete legal procedures.

It also urged media outlets to verify reports on this issue.

Media reports said Kabba was released on bail pending investigations after his arrest while accepting a bribe.

An MP earlier warned against pressures on the judiciary to release Kabba.

(Source: GardaWorld)

By John Lee.

The governor Basra has reportedly stepped down and gone to Iran following an investigation by the Integrity Commission into allegations of corruption against him.

The Integrity Commission has asking the foreign ministry in Baghdad to ask Iran to repatriate Majid al-Nasrawi.

According to a report from Reuters, a Basra-based politician close to Nasrawi said the accusations were “politically motivated“.

(Source: Reuters)

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, conducting 21 strikes consisting of 41 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

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

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 12 strikes consisting of 17 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed an ISIS wellhead.
  • Near Raqqa, 11 strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed 30 fighting positions, a logistics node and an ISIS unmanned aerial system.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted nine strikes consisting of 24 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Beiji, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.
  • Near Qaim, three strikes destroyed two ISIS staging areas and an ISIS-held building
  • Near Samarra, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Tal Afar, four strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed 13 fighting positions, three ISIS-held buildings, three supply caches, an ISIS training camp and a mortar system.

Previous Strikes

Additionally, 38 strikes consisting of 44 engagements were conducted in Syria and Iraq on Aug. 9-10 and Aug. 14 that closed within the last 24 hours.

  • On Aug. 9, near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria, two strikes destroyed three ISIS oil stills.
  • On Aug. 10, near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed three tunnel entrances and two ISIS-held buildings.
  • On Aug. 14, near Abu Kamal, Syria, a strike destroyed five ISIS oil equipment items.
  • On Aug. 14, near Raqqa, Syria, 32 strikes engaged 20 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 18 fighting positions, three improvised explosive devices, three heavy machine guns, three command-and-control nodes, a logistics node, an anti-aircraft artillery system and an IED factory.
  • On Aug. 14, near Tal Afar, Iraq, a strike suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.
  • On Aug. 14, near Tuz, Iraq, a strike destroyed two ISIS headquarters, a vehicle storage facility, a vehicle, a staging area and a weapons cache.

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)

Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji (pictured) has said that Saudi Prince Mohammad bin-Salman has “officially asked Iraq to act as a mediator between Tehran and Riyadh to reduce tensions.”

According to a news agency report, Al-Araji made the remarks at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli in Tehran.

Referring to his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and meeting with the Saudi prince, Al-Araji said:

Mohammad bin-Salman requested me officially for Iraq’s mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reduce tensions. Before, Malik Salman had made such a request too. I told them that they should treat Iranian pilgrims with respect and the best possible way and allow them to visit Al-Baqi’ cemetery.

“The Saudi party gave some promises with this regard, and now Iranian pilgrims can visit the cemetery. We believe that relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia can held establishing security in the region”.

(Source: GardaWorld)

(Picture credit: Mohsen Ahmed Alkhafaji)