Sunday, February 15, 2015

Al Asad Intel

Subject: Baghdadi and Al Asad

Brief Summary: US ground forces and Apache helicopters are involved in battles to defend the Ain al-Asad base and retake the town of Baghdadi just 8 kilometers to the east, according to a statement by the Anbar Operations Command on Saturday. While the details of the fighting remains unclear, it appears that American armored vehicles with Apache air support are posted at 3 axis around the Ain Al-Asad base perimeter in addition to supporting Iraqi army and police forces as they attempt to clear Baghdadi of IS militants. A report early Sunday indicates that Iraqi forces had recaptured large parts of Baghdadi after a large offensive early Sunday which included airstrikes by Iraqi and coalition aircraft. It appears the IS militants have been driven into several pockets in the northern and northeastern parts of Baghdadi. According to a statement by Anbar police on Saturday, IS militants had seized the town hall in central Baghdadi as well as the police station there and freed all the prisoners after their initial assault to take control of the town. IS militants had also reportedly posted a number of snipers in high rises in the town to target security forces there during any counteroffensive. Initial estimates indicate that more than 1000 IS militants are involved in the fighting in Baghdadi. On Saturday, sporadic clashes had continued around the Ain Al-Asad base, with IS militants firing mortar and Katyusha rockets at it since Friday night. In addition, it appears that 13 Iraqi soldiers were killed during the IS attack on the Ain Al-Asad base on Friday, according to a senior Albu Nimr tribal source. An initial report had indicated that no Iraqi soldiers had been killing in the fighting to defend the base. In addition, while in control of Baghdadi, IS militants executed 33 people, many of whom were local policemen and members of government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group.

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