ISIS: Main developments in Syria and Iraq February 12-18 2015

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ISIS Main developments in Syria and Iraq February 12-18

Main developments in Syria

Hama

On February 12, 2015, an ISIS-affiliated Twitter account claimed that Hama had been declared a new Islamic State province. At this stage it is unclear what ISIS’s strength in Hama actually is. Hama was declared a new Islamic State province (an ISIS-affiliated Twitter account, February 12, 2015).

Aleppo province

Battles continue in the Aleppo province between ISIS and its rivals in various locations. There is still fighting in the rural area around Kobanî between the Kurdish YPG forces and ISIS forces that retreated from the city. Reportedly, 75 ISIS operatives were killed in the clashes and the Kurdish forces had taken over several additional areas (Syriahr.com, February 15, 2015).

ISIS operatives were also involved in clashes with the Syrian army in the region of the city of Suran (about 60 kilometers, or 37 miles, northwest of Aleppo).

Main developments in Iraq

Salah al-Din province

Battles continue in the Salah al-Din province between ISIS and the Shi’ite militias in the region of Samara, north of Baghdad. An ISIS-affiliated Twitter account posted a claim that ISIS operatives had conquered the region of Al-Ukhaydir, near Samara. The photo posted with the claim showed ISIS operatives crossing the Tigris River in boats after the region had been cleared (ISIS-affiliated Twitter account, file sharing website, February 13, 2015).

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It was also reported that ISIS operatives had taken control of the town of Al-Dujail, about 20 kilometers, or 12 miles, north of Samara (Islamtoday.net, February 12, 2015). In the region of the oil city of Baiji battles continue between ISIS and the Iraqi Shi’ite militias.

On February 14, 2015, ISIS posted pictures of a booby-trapped truck attack carried out by a suicide bomber nicknamed Abu Jaafar the Uzbek, apparently on February 5, 2015. It targeted Iraqi army forces near Baiji. The booby-trapped truck that exploded near Baiji, Iraq, and the suicide bomber who carried out the attack (ISIS-affiliated Twitter account, February 13 and 14, 2015).

Al-Anbar province

ISIS continues its efforts to clear the province of pockets of resistance. ISIS operatives took control of large areas of the town of Albaghdadi, northwest of Ramadi. According to the Washington Post, about 1,000 ISIS operatives participated in the attack on Albaghdadi (Longwarjournal, Feb. 13, date, 2015).

Kirkuk province

On February 13, 2015, an ISIS-affiliated Twitter account posted pictures of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters captured by ISIS. They were caged and dressed in orange, a possible warning that ISIS was preparing to burn them alive, as it had the Jordanian pilot.

 

Written by: The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC)