Review: ISIS Attack And Alleged US-led Airstrikes Against Popular Mobilization Units In al-Jamouna Area At Syrian-Iraqi Border

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Review: ISIS Attack And Alleged US-led Airstrikes Against Popular Mobilization Units In al-Jamouna Area At Syrian-Iraqi Border

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The article is provided by Islamic World News exclusively for SouthFront

This is a review of the ISIS attack against Iraqi forces in the Al-Jamouna area located to the east of al-Tanf in the Iraqi side of the Syrian border that took place on August 7. At the same day, reports appeared that the US-led coalition could conduct militart strikes on the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) indirectly assisting the ISIS terrorists.

General info

The desert area between Iraq and Syria has been controlled by radical jihadists for a long time. Both Syria and Iraq have been unable to secure this large area and it has become a foothold used by al-Qaeda and ISIS.

As the ISIS influence had been growing, the roads in this desert area became an important supply line used by ISIS to transfer infantry, weapons and military equipment.

With the start of the ISIS decline about a year and a half ago, the terrorist group made a special effort in order to maintain control over the desert. Constant Syrian and Russian airstrikes on ISIS targets and a lack of the support from local tribes were undermining the ISIS power in the area. At the same time, ISIS remained very powerful on the Iraqi side of the border even in 2017 when the key ISIS stronghold of Mosul was liberated in the country.

The successes of anti-ISIS forces in Mosul, Palmyra, in central Syria and along the Syrian-Iraqi border and the start of the battle for Raqqah, ISIS increased operations in the Akashat desert.

In genreal, ISIS conducts surprise attacks with one or several  suicide bomber then shell its opponents with heavy gun fire from multiple directions. Then, if the terrorist group wants to capture the area, ISIS infantrymen join the operation.

The area of ISIS attacks in the Iraqi desert is highlighted (yellow) in the map below. ISIS has conducted at least 7 relatively large attacks the Iraqi army since the Syrian army and its allies reached the borders bypassing the al-Tanf area earlier this year.

Review: ISIS Attack And Alleged US-led Airstrikes Against Popular Mobilization Units In al-Jamouna Area At Syrian-Iraqi Border

Click to see the full-size map

One of the  previous attacks also took place in Al-Jamouna area. Following images show it.

Review: ISIS Attack And Alleged US-led Airstrikes Against Popular Mobilization Units In al-Jamouna Area At Syrian-Iraqi Border

Click to see the full-size image

The US-led coalition bombing

The map below shows the overall situation in the area.

According to the PMU statement and local sources the US-led coalition conducted military strikes on fortified positions of the PMU located about 2 kilometers from the Syrian-Iraqi border, inside Iraq. However, the ISIS attack took place in another place in the al-Jamouna area. ISIS repotedly advanced on the newly constructed positions (their exact location is unknown).

Review: ISIS Attack And Alleged US-led Airstrikes Against Popular Mobilization Units In al-Jamouna Area At Syrian-Iraqi Border

Click to see the full-size image

Considering the available photos and videos, it’s possible to suggest that ISIS attacked PMU units working on establishing fortified positions in order to strengthen their presence in the border area.

Pictures of the ISIS attack:

Review: ISIS Attack And Alleged US-led Airstrikes Against Popular Mobilization Units In al-Jamouna Area At Syrian-Iraqi Border

Click to see the full-size image

ISIS photos and videos

As usual, ISIS did not avoid releasing evidence that could increase the morale of its member. The ISIS video started with showing 15 dead ISIS fighters killed during the attack against the PMU. Thus, the real ISIS casualties could be higher. It’s clear that the ISIS media avoided releasing all info about the group’s casualties.

In turn, according to various sources, between 40 and 80 PMU members were killed as a result of the ISIS attack and the alleged strikes of the US-led coalition.

Review: ISIS Attack And Alleged US-led Airstrikes Against Popular Mobilization Units In al-Jamouna Area At Syrian-Iraqi Border

Click to see the full-size image

Conclusion

Despite wide combat expirience, the resistance forces still has some weak points. Their enemies are well aware of these points and know how they can use them. At the same time, the resistance forces face some difficulties because they are composed mainly of voluntary and non-permanent forces.

The forces gathering in an environment that increase their weakness is the biggest factor in this incident.

In general, ISIS conducts its attacks when the resistance forces are the least vigilant. For example, a hour before the morning prayers involves the drowsiness of many forces and the provision of the adequate light. ISIS uses the element of surprise and engages with them in a close combat. Furthermore, ISIS has a wide expirience of clashes in desert areas.

The ISIS video allows to see that the PMU had set up no fortifications to defend its forces. Although, the new base was under constructuion but even the core of the base didn’t have notable fortifications. Many tents were located without any defense.

There were dozens of vehicles and construction equipment that could easily be used for the construction of temporary trenches and fortifications. However, this was not done.

ISIS started its attack with heavy caliber fire in the twilight. The video allows to see that many PMU members were not even carrying personal weapons. Despite fact that the video allows to see more than 5 PMU vehicles with high caliber machine guns, no signs were spotted that the PMU was using them.

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  • 1eeripsa

    Thank you!

  • Serious

    It doesn’t explain why USA striked PMU.

    • Bru

      target = link between Syrian and Iraki forces (see the 3rd picture, with the crossbar)
      this link allows Iran to help Syria by land transport , which goes against Israeli geopolitics.

      • TerraCotta WoolPuller

        See the Second photo with the raised fists showing their watches these you can get on Ebay , but these are current special forces watches and they can be termed as American Foreign Legion mercenaries. That group could be Dyncorp or Academi guys not sure which since mercenaries like these could be paid via Saudi Arabia or UAE,Jordan,Israel those are still known to be paying money and bounties.

        The AFL came from near Al Tanf something that which wasn’t pointed out the PM unit was located in Syria not Iraq. They always attack when the guard units are being switched around and not any time before or after. These raiders suffer many more defeats than successes , which shows the intel is very weak coming from the Ghosts of the desert , but good enough to kill civilians elsewhere. All the groups working with the US all have been ISIS units and previously trained in Jordan, why there might be intel leaks at the US bases.

    • John Brown

      The ISIS goal is to cut off the link between Iraqi and Syrian government forces and so ISIS can link up with the Israeli USA forces for more weapons supplies, etc . Its blackwater etc helping ISIS no doubt about it. Russia needs to send in its own special forces to take command of the PMU in this area and give them proper training so this doesn’t happen again.

  • Serious

    “Despite wide combat expirience, the resistance forces still has some weak points.”
    Of course, the iraqi army is ally with USA that doesn’t give them weapons.

    “Their enemies are well aware of these points and know how they can use them.”
    Of course, USA give intelligence to ISIS.

    “At the same time, the resistance forces face some difficulties because they are composed mainly of voluntary and non-permanent forces.”
    Of course, the iraqi army is a corrupted army that spend his time working with their best ennemy : USA.

  • I’m a Nazi hunter

    08/19: US jet bombed government forces in Al-Kadir village

  • Brad Isherwood

    Watched the video by ISUS of the attack on Al Masdar website https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/video-isis-assaults-iranian-base-east-homs-no-survivors/

    ISUS could have recon the site without US Satellite coverage support.
    The attack is pure blitzkrieg with ? As to why defenders of the dirt Burm base did not get their trucks and 23mm into action.
    ISUS is filmed hoping in and racing off with them afterwards.
    The defence alert /awareness and military response was wanting in this encounter.
    Last part of the ISIS video shows Iraqi/&or Iranian soldiers hiding behind a dirt Burm with no fight back. …

    Iraq,Iran and SAA troops should be made to watch this as reminder of what awaits them when you are not vigilant.
    This is an encounter which ISUS clearly won via information and planning.
    British Empire troops got massacred by the Mahdi in North Africa or in India under same stupid logistic set ups of indefensible positions.

    In the US wars against the Apache…..soldiers learned you didn’t want to be captured alive by the Apache. ..
    Save the last bullet for yourself.
    Tragically. ….Iraqi,Iranian and Syrian/Russian should consider this reality.

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    USA support terrorism in the whole world.Their are together with NATO and UN terrorist global community.

  • Xanatos

    The US is preparing for next war. Turning against Iraq To strengthen the Kurds. Kurdish referendum on independence will trigger a new Iraqi civil war. The fight against Isis isn’t over yet, so this will benefit Isis.

    • John Brown

      The Turkish army will attack the Kurds soon defeating all Israeli and their USA slaves plans for a greater racist supremacist Israel.

  • Graeme Rymill

    It has been 39 hours since this “attack” was first reported.

    Not a word from the Syrian Government. Not a word from the Russian Government. Assad made a major speech yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – not a single mention of this “attack”. The elite spearhead unit of the Syrian armed forces,the renowned Tiger Forces, are allegedly bombed by the US led Coalition. And yet there is not a single accusation or condemnation issued by any official source.

    The necessary conclusion: IT NEVER HAPPENED!

  • LynFSN

    Despite being stalked by “the Nazi hunter” who hates to hear the truth (probably due to his affiliation with radical zionism), I will post this one again at the very same spot: “The coalition is desparate to delay any possible SAA advance towards the eastern bank of the Euphrates river amid SAA´s rapid advance against ISIS in central Syria. This air strike is clearly a move of desparation and may be connected to the race over the control of the oil reserverves east of Deir Ezzor. In addition, the coalition is determined to prevent the SAA from moving too close to Hasakah and Quamishli, where the government is still present. In this regard, all manouvers near Al Tanf abd the Iraqui border (including also these airstrikes- and let´s not forget all the political pressure to “motivate” the Kurds to grabb vast- predominantly Arab- regions outside of their ethnic territory) are distractions. They perfectly fit into the original plan to devide and conquer Syria along ethnic and sectarian lines. Geo-strategical papers on which current neo-con policies are based on explicitly point out that everything humanly possible should be done to prevent the SAA from crossing the Euphrates and establishing a permanent presence there (even Deir Ezzor is originally supposed to belong to the American realm in Syria). This land is supposed to be filled with military bases. The oil deposits, although not being “gigantic” in proportion, clearly are an important incentive for the Syrian economy, that is in shambles after many years of war. All this put together explains some possibilities why the USA is acting in such strange ways. A corrupt and rotten Empire they are indeed, and everything seems to go. First step: Tiger forces need to be equiped with ground to air missiles to keep them protected from Western terrorism.