Indicators suggest that Tehran supports the Houthi anti-ship missile attack against the US Navy this past week. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held the US directly responsible for the devastating Saudi-led coalition bombing last week in Sanaa, Yemen. The IRGC sought to pressure the US in order to push the Saudis to deescalate the war, calculating that the US wants to avoid more involvement in the war in Yemen.
The Islamic State has officially recognized a loyalty oath sworn by Abu Walid al Sahrawi, a jihadist based in West Africa. Sahrawi first swore his fealty to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in May 2015. It is not clear why it took so long for the so-called caliphate to recognize him as one of its representatives.
Al Qaeda’s rebranded guerrilla army in Syria is fighting alongside other jihadists, Islamists and Free Syrian Army-branded rebels in an offensive intended to break the Assad regime’s siege of Aleppo. Most of the participating groups belong to two coalitions: Jaysh al Fath (“Army of Conquest”) and Fatah Halab (“Aleppo Conquest”). These same two alliances tried and failed to break the siege earlier this year.
A major battle has commenced in Aleppo between the array of pro-government and opposition forces that include Sunni and Shiite jihadists. Another high-ranking former IRGC commander has been killed in Syria. Iranian media claim he died while undertaking “advisory mission,” but Guard commanders are engaged in direct combat operations, as well.
At least 11 rocket launchers, four howitzers (including two US-made M198 howitzers), one American-made M1 Abrams, and one US M88 Recovery Vehicle were spotted in a Hezbollah Brigades convoy moving towards Mosul.
The Islamic State-loyal forces withdrew just a day after capturing Qandala. However, the small branch did demonstrate it has the capabilities to even temporarily take over and hold ground.
Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani was in Tehran today visiting the families of Iranians who lost members in Syria, after a confirmed sighting in Iraqi Kurdistan on Oct. 23.
A Taliban spokesman released a video of an interview of fighters from the base. Like the recent ambush in Helmand’s capital, the Taliban fighters clearly are not concerned about either a counterattack or airstrikes.