Showing posts with label Arms Hauls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arms Hauls. Show all posts

Monday, 15 March 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with MENA_Conflict and COIN_TR

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally-recognised government (GNA) captured the city of Tarhuna on the 5th of June 2020, marking the official end of the Libyan National Army's (LNA) 14-month long offensive that aimed to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Tarhuna, located some sixty kilometers south-west from Tripoli's city centre, was the last stronghold of Haftar in northwestern Libya, and by the virtue of its role as a giant supply depot for the LNA also the most important one. 
 
Already shortly after Tarhuna's capture by the GNA it became evident what years of occupation had meant for the city's residents. Under the control of the Kaniyat militia since April 2015, which pledged allegiance to Khalifa Haftar's LNA in April 2019, its men imposed a regime of terror on the local population. Since the Kaniyat militia first took over the city in 2015, local residents reported a total of 338 missing persons cases, the vast majority of which in the period between April 2019 to June 2020. [1] [2] The fate of many of these persons was elucidated after the discovery of some 30 mass graves in and around Tarhuna, including several with the remains of women and children in them. [1] Tragically, new mass graves continue to be found to this day. [3]

Monday, 27 March 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with MENA_Conflict

Just over a year after capturing Deir ez-Zor's Ayyash weapon depot in the largest arms haul of the Syrian Civil War, the Islamic State has once again got its hands on massive quantities of ammunition captured from a storage depot in Deir ez-Zor. This arms haul joins the list of other major instances where vast amounts of weaponry and munitions traded owners such as the capture of the aforementioned Ayyash weapon depot, Regiment 121, Brigade 93 and the Mahin arms depot, all but the last of which were at the hands of the Islamic State. Each of these depots provided its capturers with a wide array of weaponry, vehicles and ammunition that could immediately be used against their former owners, a major blow to other factions fighting for control over Syria.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The ancient city of Palmyra has become a symbol in the world's fight against the Islamic State. It represents one of the few places where every (non-IS) party agrees on the ultimate fate of the city and its archaeological ruins, this in sharp contrast to other cities and locations elsewhere in Syria and Iraq. Indeed, Palmyra holds a special place in the hearts of many, and preserving this symbol of civilisation is not only in the interest of Syrians, but for mankind in general. Despite its cultural significance, the ancient ruins are a mere collection of bricks in the face of civilian casualties during the course of the Civil War, which are thought to range in the hunderds of thousands. The regime's decision to prioritise the ruins of Palmyra (Tadmur) over strategic targets in March 2016 would ultimately result in failure, losing control over Tadmur for the second time on the 11th of December 2016.

Friday, 6 May 2016

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with MENA_Conflict

Shaer gas field, three words that must strike fear into the head of any National Defence Force (NDF) member without any active assignment in Syria. Being stationed at Shaer guarantees heavy action, frequent Islamic State attacks and unfortunately for many drafted recruits, death. The capture of Shaer by the Islamic State on the 5th of May 2016 is the third time that its fighters gained control of the gas field. Shaer and its surrounding checkpoints were under heavy attack since the first of May, and its defenders were ultimately defeated on the 5th of May. The ghaneema (spoils of war) is said to have amounted to no less than twenty T-55s and T-62s, nine howitzers and field guns, ATGMs and a large number of small arms and associated ammunition.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with MENA_Conflict

An Islamic State offensive near Khanasir, Eastern Aleppo, managed to overrun several checkpoints in the area, resulting in the capture of large amounts of weaponry stocked there. The town of Khanasir, a dusty and deserted place, carries without a doubt the heaviest strategic weight on its shoulders of any town of its kind in Syria. The highway that runs through it is effectively the only access route to embattled Aleppo, and the Islamic State's advances mean that regime forces fighting in the city might soon be completely cut off for some time.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with MENA_Conflict

The Syrian Civil War has seen a range of major arms hauls by various parties as weapons depots get overrun and in many cases simply abandoned by retreating forces. The capture of Regiment 121, Brigade 93 and the Mahin arms depot have until now topped the list in terms of arms hauls: Regiment 121 provided the Islamic State with large numbers of field-guns and multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) while Brigade 93 saw the capture of at least thirty tanks and around a dozen howitzers. Mahin became notorious for providing its capturers (Jaish al-Islam and the Free Syrian Army) with hundreds of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). For this reason, Mahin was seen as the largest and most important haul of arms during the now five-year long Civil War.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

After having been beleaguered for close to three years, Abu ad-Duhor airbase has finally been captured by rebels, mainly of the al-Nusra Front, on the 9th of September 2015. Battling the longest siege of the Syrian Civil War, the fall of the airbase ultimately proved to be inevitable. Abu ad-Duhor is now the eight airbase to have been lost to the numerous factions opposing the government, and leaves the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) with fifteen operational airbase to conduct sorties from.

Monday, 1 June 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Images from the recently captured Tadmur airbase reveal some of the spoils of war gained by the Islamic State during their spring offensive, which led to the capture of a number of strategically located towns and gasfields in Central Syria. Tadmur (Palmyra) itself was captured on the 20th of May 2015, opening the path for the fighters of the Islamic State to further push into regime-controlled ground, threatening major cities, T4 airbase and the last remaining gas fields under control of the regime.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Boosted by the immense quantities of weaponry and ammunition captured at Regiment 121, Islamic State overran another regime stronghold in Nothern Syria on the 7th of August 2014, Brigade 93. This base, part of Division 17, was home to around fifty tanks, nearly two dozen howitzers, a large number of trucks and various other armoured fighting vehicles. Although some of this equipment was distributed to other bases prior to its takeover, the vast majority was still present on the base during the attack.

Monday, 28 July 2014

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

After two succesful operations by the Islamic State last week, the regime's footgrip in Nothern Syria weakened even further, losing two bases of vital importance. Division 17 located near Raqqa and Regiment 121 located near Al-Hasakah both fell to Islamic State. The capture of these two bases were conducted in quick succession to each other.