Denmark enters Daesh coalition, bombs Raqqa


Danish F-16 over Libya 2008


Updated 10:01 August 8, 2016

Denmark’s armed forces announced their aircraft have for the first time dropped bombs in Syria’s Raqqa province, where the Islamic State group has its self-declared capital.

Defense Command Denmark said the F-16 raid happened “in the past week” but did not give further details.   Daesh is an acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

[June 18 Mission Creep: Near Manbij, 10 U.S. Airstrikes

manbij map

Bomber, attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Syria:– Near Manbij, 10 strikes struck nine separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed six ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL vehicles and an ISIL mortar system.

[ June 16 Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) not in Syria]


KSK in Afghanistan

BERLIN, June 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s Defence Ministry denied June 15 that German special forces were in northern Syria and said repeated claims by the Syrian government to this effect were not and had never been true. “There are no German special forces in Syria. The accusation is false,” a ministry spokesman said. Syrian state media said the government strongly condemned the presence of French and German forces in Ain al-Arab, also known as Kobani, and Manbij. “Syria…considers it explicit and unjustified aggression towards (Syria’s) sovereignty and independence,” Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK) is the country’s most secretive military operations unit — Germany’s special forces.

[June 8 Syrian SDF says U.S. providing too little assistance ]


U.S. improved airstrip Manbij pocket


General Joseph L.Votel meets SDF commanders

General Joseph L.Votel’s flight into Syria was the first made in daylight by U.S. forces, who have about 200 advisers on the ground. After landing at a remote camp where American military advisers are training Syrian Arab troops in basic soldiering skills, Votel split off from the reporters who flew in with him; he then visited several other undisclosed locations in Syria before returning to the camp. Votel said he brought reporters with him because, “We don’t have anything to hide. I don’t want people guessing about what we’re doing here.” Votel had headed U.S. Central Command for seven weeks. Talal Selo, spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, was especially strong in his criticism of the U.S. for providing too little assistance and for giving the SDF “very useless” support. He said that if this continued the Syrians opposing the Islamic State will have to fight for another 50 years.

[April 13 Conflicting forces in Manjib pocket


Near Manbij Pocket


Sunni Arabs control a large stretch of the Manbij Pocket, a crucial patch of land now infested with Islamic State fighters.

The Kurds are also trying to move into that very area in an attempt to connect their eastern and western zones of control. If they succeed, Kurdish control would extend from the Lebanese border to the Iraq-Iran border, solidifying a de facto Kurdish state that Turkey is determined to prevent.

At April 14’s meeting, of the National Security Council Principals Committee ,will attempt to reconcile American support for these groups that have contradictory aims. “It’s not that I support them or not, but it is mission creep without a strategy, so it’s not likely to succeed,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain.


[March 28 Airstrikes near Manbij pocket ]

US air force targeted ISIS positions in Sa’diye village between Jarablus and Manbij.   Near Manbij, a strike destroyed two ISIL bed-down locations and two ISIL fighting positions.[March 28]    Near Manbij, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.[March 27]   Near Manbij, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL mortar position.[March 24]   Near Manbij, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar position.[March 23]    Near Manbij, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position and an ISIL fighting position.[March 21]

[March 24 Firebase Bell – U.S. Marines Artillery firing near Mosul — Iraq advances near Mosul ]


The company of Marines at the new outpost known as “Firebase Bell” reported small-arms fire March 21 from a “squad size” team of Islamic State fighters who likely “infiltrated” the area around the Iraqi and U.S. military facilities. The existence of the firebase, which was established last week, was reported publicly for the first time after Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin was killed by a Katyusha rocket March 19, the first attack on the site. Makhmur is the location for the Iraqi’s Nineveh Operations Center, a primary base from which the U.S. can support Iraqi forces when they eventually mount at attack on Mosul, which fell to the Islamic State in June 2014.
The new firebase is about 15 to 20 kilometers from the “forward line of troops,” or FLOT, that separates the Kurdish and Iraqi controlled zone of northeastern Iraq from the Islamic State-held territory in the Tigris River valley. The Marines at Firebase Bell are operating field artillery to boost force protection at the nearby base in Makhmour. The firebase is a separate enclosed facility, only Americans, that is very close to the headquarters installation at Makhmour.
The U.S. advisers at Makhmour compare to the Americans who were deployed to Anbar province’s al-Assad Air Base and Taqaddum Air Base providing support for Iraqis during the attack on Ramadi last year. The Americans at Makhmour will be providing similar combat advice and support for Iraqi units planning an attack on Mosul, the largest city under Islamic State control. Eight other Marines were injured in the rocket attack Saturday that killed Cardin; several were evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, an Army facility in Germany.
The marines are from the Amphibious Assault Ship Kearsage. On March 20, the coalition announced that in consultation with the government of Iraq, the U.S. “has assigned a detachment of U.S. Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the support of Iraqi Security Force and Coalition ground operations. The detachment from the 26th MEU will add to the Marines and Sailors currently in Iraq” supporting the effort against ISIS.”
The U.S has similar artillery at two other large Iraqi bases, but Bell is the only known firebase. That terminology signifies this is a small remote location designed to use its artillery to support infantry troops at forward locations.


March 9 2016, Iraqi Defense Minister’s convoy, Anbar Province

Iraq’s armed forces launched an offensive on March 24 claimed to be the first stage of an the operation to push Islamic State (Isis) out of Mosul, the largest city under its control.
Iraq launched an assault on Mosul from the Makhmour area of Nineveh province, where “The first phase of the Fatah (“Conquest”) Operation has been launched at dawn to liberate Nineveh, raising the Iraqi flag in several villages,” said a military statement cited by state TV. Iraqi officials say they will retake Mosul this year but, in private, many question whether the army, which partially collapsed when Isis overran a third of the country in June 2014, will be ready in time.

A U.S. military official said recently the extreme summer heat after Ramadan made any effort to retake Mosul before the fall unlikely. Reuters By Phil Stewart April 15, 2015


[February 20 Marine dies providing force protection fire at Nineveh base Iraq ]


2006 Nineveh Iraq Northwest of Makmour, U.S. trooper poses on donkey

A Marine , who was providing force protection fire at Nineveh base for liberation operations in Makhmur,, died in the rocket attack at the base near Makhmur, a town between the cities of Mosul and Kirkuk, and an oil and farming center just 40 miles south of the Kurdish capital, Irbil where U.S. diplomats and a small number of U.S. military are based.    Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook did not identify the Marine who had been killed. He said several other Marines had been wounded and were being treated for injuries.    A US defense official said two rockets had been fired. One did not cause any damage.

March 19 Manbij pocket will be one of the most difficult fights going forward in Syria ]


In Syria, the Manbij pocket near the Mara line comprises complex terrain and large numbers of mixed groups of people to whom the territory is important Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder said, but he added that the area is the final route available to ISIL.
“[That] is ISIL’s last route to move people, money and supplies into Syria and Iraq, and the territory continues to go back and forth,” Ryder said. “This will be one of the most difficult fights going forward,” he said.


[January 26 U.S. forces in Syria increase efficiency for logistics and personnel recovery support ]

According to reports citing local sources, U.S. troops are making expansions at the Rmeilan air base, located in al-Hasakah province. SOHR said, on January 20 that workers had for weeks been using vehicles to increase the size of the runway, where U.S. helicopters could be seen taking off and landing. SOHR said the airfield will be a launching point for further air operations against IS and would headquarter U.S. military advisers who entered Syria last year. a CENTCOM spokesman told CNN on January 21. “U.S. forces in Syria are consistently looking for ways to increase efficiency for logistics and personnel recovery support, but there has been no change to the size or mission.”

A Russian team is inspecting a regime-held airfield in the city of Qamishli, located in the northern part of al-Hasakah province, CNN quoted two unnamed U.S. officials as saying on January 22. SOHR confirmed the report.”We don’t know what their intent is, but it is something we are watching closely,” one official said.

[January 20]
US mulling setting up a military base in Syrian Kurdish region: U.S. Special Forces to a military training base near Direk, Syria?   report
The U.S. is studying the creation of a military training base near Direk (al-Malekiya in Arabic), a city in northern Syria, that is to be run by the forces affiliated with Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), al-Hayat daily said in a report.

The London-based Arabic-language newspaper reported that the US is considering setting up a new military base in northeastern Syria, in advance of its plan to send Special Forces to the area to fight the “Islamic State” (IS) terrorist organization in the country.

The reports indicated that sources within Syria expressed desire to have their troops be trained by western forces use the new US weapons recently transferred to Syria.

A Western official said that there is a desire to have people there to help train local fighters use American weapons transferred to Syria a few weeks ago.

The source added that there is a project to change Malekiya agricultural airport to a military base and the aim of the project is to ease war against the IS, adding that the base will be used to train local forces and divide 50 tons of ammunition and American weapons that had been transferred to Syria by helicopters.

Kurdstreet, a local Kurdish media in Syria, stated in December 2015 that American military experts are building an airport and a military base in Remilan, region in Hasaka province in the north, adding that the goal of the project is the creation of a military base for U.S. navy forces.

Date: 2016/01/16 |  Time: 10 : 29


The province of Deir al-Zor links the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Raqqa with territory controlled by the militant group in neighboring Iraq. From Islamic State-run villages ,it has laid siege since last March to remaining government-held areas in the city of Deir al-Zor.

[December 26 Gunfight at the Syrian Dam]

 thousands of troops from the Democratic Forces of Syria had brought the Tabqa  dam, 22 km (15 miles) upstream from Raqqa, under their control

Thousands of troops from the Democratic Forces of Syria had brought the Tabqa dam, 22 km (15 miles) upstream from Raqqa, under their control

The rapid advance overnight by thousands of troops from the Democratic Forces of Syria had brought the Tabqa dam, 22 km (15 miles) upstream from Raqqa, under their control on the afternoon of December 26. The Tishrin dam was built over the Euphrates river at the border of Raqqa and Aleppo provinces. Syrian sources said on December 22 that Russian planes and the Syrian Army “have dispatched fresh fighters in groups to Sarrin Northeast of Aleppo province to join a large-scales operation against the ISIL strongholds Northwest of Raqqa.”
[November 24 Air-launched missile got Sukhoi]


At a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Sochi, Russia’s president confirmed that the Su-24 had been shot down over Syrian territory, 1km (0.6 miles) from the Turkish border, by an air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16 jet.

[November 17 Assessment of November 17 airstrikes]
Why, if there were confirmed Islamic State targets that could be hit without killing civilians, were they not hit more heavily long ago? And what, in fact, was being hit?
And while strikes are sometimes reported to have hit Islamic State military bases, such strikes may sound more significant than they really were, because the bases are large and open and can get hit without doing any real damage.
A lingering dispute was on display on November 18 as Russian missile strikes hit the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo farther west, in areas where the Islamic State has no known territory. In the town of Atareb, according to local insurgents, a group that has been battling the Islamic State and receiving American support was hit.

[November 17 Russian long-range Bombers hit Raqqa

[November 15 French airstrikes against Syria, Russians bomb Raqqa too

Following Friday, November 13’s mayhem, Paris vowed to destroy the group. Underlining its resolve, French jets on Sunday launched their biggest raids in Syria to date, hitting its stronghold in Raqqa.
Russian planes bombed what activists said was a residential neighbourhood of Raqqa, killing five people. They said no civilians were reported killed in the French strikes.The French airstrikes were precise and targeted Daesh positions,” said one activist, using an Arabic acronym for Isis. “They hit Isis headquarters and camps that have ammunition warehouses as well as vehicles and [Isis] members.”

Division 17, an army base to the north of the city, had been under Isis control since July 2014.

— الرقة تذبح بصمت (@Raqqa_SL) November 16, 2015
#Raqqa one of the places That got hit by French Warplanes today “Division 17″#Syria #ISIL #ISIS (3)

The French defence ministry said in a statement that the sites targeted had previously been identified on reconnaissance flights.The French airstrikes were followed on November 16 morning by US-led coalition raids that targeted positions around the city, including near Ain Issa, a town 30 miles (48km) from Raqqa that was seized by Kurdish fighters earlier this year.

The French Defense Ministry said that France dropped 20 bombs on the city from 10 to 12 planes launched from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates

The French raids were launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in coordination with US forces, the French defence ministry said.
[November 15]France is currently using six Mirage jets stationed in Jordan and six Rafale jets in the United Arab Emirates to target IS. Only two known strikes have been carried out by France in Syria, targeting an Islamic State training camp in the east of the country at the end of September.

[February 12 U.S, General claims “A Jordanian got shot down in Syria”]

Emirati pilots at an air base in Jordan, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015

Emirati pilots at an air base in Jordan, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015

General Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, said “A Jordanian got shot down in Syria — which was tragic — and so that is a contested environment.” On December 24 2014, CENTCOM said evidence “clearly indicates” that ISIS did not down the plane. [below]

[February 10 IS attacked by United Arab Emirates fighter planes from an air base in Jordan]
United Arab Emirates fighter planes from an air base in Jordan on January 10 launched AGM-154C JSOW glide bombs and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs at Islamic State militant positions. The fighters returned safely back to base after striking their targets, the statement said. It did not elaborate, nor did it say whether the strikes happened in Syria or Iraq.

[ February 9 7,000 IS had been killed – Jordanian air force chief]

Jordan F-16, bought from surplus Belgium inventory

Jordan F-16, bought from surplus Belgium inventory

The United Arab Emirates has sent a squadron of F-16 fighters to Jordan to help against airstrikes on “Islamic State” militants. It had been unclear whether the UAE pilots would be participating in attacks against the IS. Jordanian air force chief Major General Mansour al-Jobour said air strikes since February 5 had destroyed dozens of targets, including barracks, training camps, ammunition and fuel depots, and residential centres.
The squadron of United Arab Emirates F-16 fighter jets that arrived in Jordan on February 8, was escorted by pilots and technicians. The UAE had withdrawn from the coalition’s strike missions after the Jordanian pilot’s capture over fears for the safety of its own airmen.
C-17 transporters and refuelling planes were part of the UAE squadron sent on the orders of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan.
“So far, the campaign has destroyed 20 percent of the fighting capabilities of Daesh,” Jobour said, using another name for IS, more than 7,000 IS militants had been killed since Jordan began participating in coalition air strikes. [Daesh/IS under Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has perhaps 80,000 personnel(up to 50,000 in Syria and 30,000 in Iraq).]
[February 5 Jordan F-16s attack Raqqa Syria]
The Jordanian state TV did not specify the sites the fighter jets hit, but media reports said Jordanian planes targeted IS in the Syrian city of Raqqa, a stronghold for the terror group. King Abdullah II pledged to step up the fight against the IS group after the militants burned a captive Jordanian pilot in a cage and released a video of the killing earlier this week. The images have sent waves of anger across the region. The Dutch government in 2012 soldl 15 airframes with delivery of those 15 airframes in 2014. This order took the number of F-16s within the RJAF up to 79. In 2009, a total of 16 Belgian F-16s (12 A’s and 4 B’s) were delivered, The Royal Jordanian Air Force operated a total of 64 F-16A/B aircraft, 16 of which are ADFs, while the remaining 39 are MLUs or have been modified to MLU standard. The F-16 was designed to be relatively inexpensive to build and simpler to maintain than earlier-generation fighters, It is much smaller and lighter than predecessors. The F-16A (single seat) and F-16B (two seat) were initial production variants.

RJAF Inventory
Program Model Block Qty. Serials Delivered
Peace Falcon I F-16A Block 15 ADF 12 220/231 1997-1998
F-16B Block 15 ADF 4 232/235 1997-1998
Peace Falcon II F-16A Block 15 ADF 16 671/686 2003
F-16B Block 15 ADF 1 670 2003
Peace Falcon III F-16A Block 20MLU 12 140/150, 152 2008-2009
F-16B Block 20MLU 4 136/139 2008-2009
Peace Falcon IV F-16B Block 20MLU 6 133/138 2009
Peace Falcon V F-16A Block 20MLU 6 153/158 2011
F-16B Block 20MLU 3 159/161 2011
Peace Falcon VI F-16A Block 20MLU 13 XXX 2014
F-16B Block 20MLU 2 XXX 2014

[December 24 2014 Jordan Air Force F-16 crashes in Syria, Pilot in IS custody]
CENTCOM said evidence “clearly indicates” that ISIS did not down the plane.
“We will support efforts to ensure (the pilot’s) safe recovery, and will not tolerate ISIL’s attempts to misrepresent or exploit this unfortunate aircraft crash for their own purposes,” CENTCOM commander General Lloyd J. Austin III, who is overseeing all coalition military operations in Iraq and Syria, said in a statement


About huecri

Publishing on the Web is a fairly iterative process. ...NYT ...Not too long ago, reporters were the guardians of scarce facts delivered at an appointed time to a passive audience. Today we are the managers of an overabundance of information and content, discovered, verified and delivered in partnership with active communities. summer 2012 issue of Nieman Reports from Harvard, --- THE FIX by Chris Cillizza, WAPO blogger, quoting Matt Drudge: “We have entered an era vibrating with the din of small voices,” he said in the speech. “Every citizen can be a reporter.” Later, he added: “The Net gives as much voice to a 13 year old computer geek like me as to a CEO or Speaker of the House. "
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