An Update On ISIS Activities

February 15, 2019

 

A close up of a rock

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Daesh Tunnel Near Tal Afar (DD Feb 15)

 

 

 

 

Notice to our readers: In observance of the Presidents Day holiday Monday, we will not be publishing on Monday and will return on Tuesday.

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

LA Times documents growing political, economic, corruption role of PMF organization.​​ [..]

Iraqi Daesh fighters, families in Syria will be repatriated to Iraq. [..]

5 Daesh copper smugglers arrested in Al-Qa’im. [..]

Daesh kills entire family of 4 in Qayara. [..]

 

Syria

Coalition defense ministers meet in Munich. [..]

SDF finds 8th​​ mass grave in Raqqa—150 people.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Saudi Arabia: ​​ Embattled Crown Prince embarks on diplomatic tour of Asia. [..]

Afghanistan:

NATO Secretary-General praises ongoing peace negotiations. [..]

Shanahan tells NATO that US will not unilaterally withdraw from Afghanistan.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

A source in the office of the Presidency said on Friday that former PMF leader Karim Al-Nouri would be appointed as a consultant to the Presidency on either security or political matters. The source said that an official decree on the appointment would be issued in the next few days. [BasNews]

 

Corruption

The​​ Los​​ Angeles​​ Times​​ wrote that after the defeat of Daesh in Iraq, the PMF had transformed itself into “a potent governmental institution, political entity, and economic player.”​​ It noted that following the passage of the law granting PMF personnel wage parity with Iraqi military personnel, the PMF’s budget for 2019 doubled to $2 billion. It also quoted Ahmed Al-Jubouri, a CoR MP from Ninewa, as saying that “armed groups associated with” the PMF are stealing between 70 and 100 tankers of crude oil from Qayara daily. An anonymous researcher said that about 1 out of every 32 barrels of oil sold in Iraq benefits PMF groups. [LATimes]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Iraqi PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi​​ said that Iraqi Daesh​​ fighters held by the SDF would be​​ repatriated to Iraq, and that the families of the fighters would be placed in camps​​ set up​​ for this purpose. This followed Abd Ul-Mahdi’s meeting with acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, which​​ Iraqi government sources said was intended to ease the tension between Baghdad and Washington following​​ President​​ Trump’s statement​​ about​​ using Iraqi bases to “watch” Iran.​​ Sources told​​ Al-Akhbar​​ that the relocation of​​ Daesh family​​ members, over 8,000 people,​​ began 3 weeks ago and that the families were being relocated to western Anbar. [Akhbar]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

A police source says an armed group killed a soldier and shot at a military Hummer in Tarmiya. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded Iraqi soldiers and damaged their Humvees on Thursday in the Al-Qasr area, near Tarmiya.​​ [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]

Daesh also said it shot and killed two Iraqi soldiers in the same area, on Thursday. [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

A security source in Anbar Ops Command said on Friday that a “large” search operation was carried out in the Shuhada, Jubeil, Resala, and Nazal neighborhoods of Falluja​​ city​​ to find a terrorist cell. The source said that the southern part of Falluja was still being checked, and that security personnel had closed entrances and exits in southern Falluja. [BasNews]

 

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

The​​ Mayor​​ of​​ Rawa, Hussein​​ Ali​​ Al-Akidi, said on Friday​​ that Daesh kidnapped 5 civilians who were collecting mushrooms in the desert​​ in the​​ southeast​​ part of Anah District. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

A security source in Jazeera Ops Command in Anbar said on Friday that 5 wanted persons had been arrested in the Rummana subdistrict of Al-Qa’im. The source said that the 5 were Daesh members who were involved in smuggling copper from Anbar to other provinces, and that this activity was​​ helping to​​ fund Daesh.​​ [BasNews]

 

The MoD confirmed that Jazeera Ops Command dissolved a “sleeper cell” and arrested 5 on terrorism charges in Al-Qa’im. [MoD Website]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Colonel Ghalib Al-Jaberi, the chief of the Salahuddin IFP EOD unit, was killed when an IED exploded on his vehicle near Al-Salman village.​​ 

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday. [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF units killed 2 Daesh terrorists, including a foreigner, who were hiding in a tunnel in the Makhoul Mountains area.​​ 

 

Samarra

In its​​ Naba’​​ magazine, Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF fighters and destroyed their vehicle east of Samarra on Thursday. Daesh also claimed responsibility for Thursday’s IED explosion that targeted a Saraya Al-Salam vehicle in the Samarra area. [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]

A security source in Samarra had previously said on Thursday that an IED explosion in Samarra on Thursday killed 8 Saraya Al-Salam fighters, including a battalion commander. [Sumaria]

 

PMF leader Al-Muhandes expressed his condolences on Friday for the deaths of the 8 Sayara Al-Salam fighters who died in the explosion on Thursday. He said that PMF forces would continue to extinguish Daesh​​ on the “outskirts of Samarra.” [Sumaria]

 

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad)

Daesh said its snipers killed a Saraya Al-Salam fighter on Thursday in the Kuwaiti area, in​​ the​​ Ishaqi subdistrict. [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri)

Daesh published on Friday a photo of targeting Qara Tapa, Kifri District, with a Katyusha rocket.​​ [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]

 

KIRKUK

No report

 

NINEWA

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that a group of Daesh terrorists murdered a man, his wife, and their two sons execution style in Al-Thaya village, in Qayara. The source said the terrorists stole two pickup vehicles and sheep before fleeing. 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that a PMF commander was killed and 2 of his fighters wounded when an IED exploded on them on the road between Tal Afar and Tal Abta.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Ninewa SWAT units found a Daesh tunnel near Abu Mariya Hills, and confiscated weapons, military uniforms, fake PMF IDs, and foodstuffs, in addition to large amounts of money. The source said the units set the tunnel on fire.

​​ 

Southern Ninewa

No reports

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Karbala

A source in Karbala said on Friday that Karbala intelligence units had found a weapons and ammunition cache in western Karbala that belonged to Daesh. [Buratha]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Media sources say Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad transferred Major Duraid Awadh, a Commander of the Nimr Forces, part of the Syrian Arab Army, to the 4th​​ Division, which is backed by Iran and led by the President’s brother Mahir Al-Assad. The transfer of the Major considerably weakens the Nimr Forces, say opposition sources. [ElDorar]

 

Foreign policy

United States

President Trump said that within the next 24 hours, there would be an announcement about defeating Daesh in Syria. Last month, the Pentagon said that troops had been sent to Syria to facilitate the move. [Sumaria]​​ [Sabah]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Agence France Press​​ says that the Ministers of Defense of Coalition countries met in Munich Friday to discuss work mechanisms, battle developments, and the US withdrawal from Syria. 20 Ministers of Defense are attending, including Ministers for the US, France, the UK, and Germany. [Qasioun]

 

British Intelligence Chief Alex Younger said on Friday that Al-Qaeda has reappeared. He also said that radicals in Idlib were a “concern” and that it was important to begin thinking about when they leave. [Sumaria] [Ghad] [CNN]

 

The Commander of US Special Operations, Raymond Thomas, warned on Friday against declaring victory over Daesh when it still controls a small pocket of Syria. [Sumaria]

 

Northwest

Al-Bab

The SOHR says that unidentified armed men fired a mortar shell at a checkpoint of the pro-Turkey “National Army” in Al-Ra’i city, in Al-Bab, without causing casualties. This followed a previous mine explosion targeting pro-Turkey militias in Al-Bab, which wounded 4 militia members. [SyriaHR]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

The SDF found 150 bodies in a mass gave that they exhumed in Raqqa. This follows the previous discovery of about 600 to 800 bodies in the cemetery in the Al-Fakhikha area of Raqqa, and is the eighth such mass grave found. The team exhuming the cemetery expects to recover 1,000 to 1,500 bodies total from the area, but part of the cemetery has not yet been exhumed due to the presence of mines. [Qasioun]

 

Central and West​​ 

Homs

On​​ Thursday, the​​ SOHR reported​​ that​​ an​​ explosion east of Homs​​ had​​ killed​​ 2​​ Syrian soldiers. It said​​ that​​ most likely,​​ the explosion was caused by mines placed by Daesh in the farmlands in the area. [SyriaHR]

On Friday, pro-government Syrian media said 3 Syrian soldiers had been killed by a mine explosion east of Homs. Local media reported that 5 soldiers total were killed or wounded. [EnabBaladi]

 

Official Syrian state-run media says that Army units killed “several” Daesh fighters, destroyed 2 of their vehicles, and confiscated their weapons in the Palmyra desert. [SyriaNow]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal​​ District

Daesh’s holdout fighters are​​ in an area​​ of​​ not more than 1 km2​​ near the border with Iraq, trying to defend​​ against​​ an offensive by the SDF, supported by the​​ Coalition. The SDF says Daesh​​ is​​ putting up stiff resistance south of Al-Baghouz.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Anadolu​​ reported that after the SDF captured most of Al-Baghouz, they gave the estimated 500 remaining Daesh fighters until 6 pm on Thursday to surrender. It said that negotiations were ongoing despite the deadline having passed. [Qasioun]

 

The SOHR reported that the SDF found 26 bodies of Daesh fighters in Al-Baghouz and its surroundings. It also reported that some Daesh families tried unsuccessfully to cross​​ to the west side of​​ the Euphrates, while the SDF is pressing Daesh fighters and their families to surrender. [SyriaHR] [Qasioun]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Jordan

Jumana Ghunaimat, spokeswoman for the Jordanian government, says that security teams inspected the location of​​ a​​ Thursday explosion that killed 3 persons, and found out that the explosives were locally made and were similar to those used in the explosion in Fuheis several months ago. The explosives were found buried in Al-Balqa​​ Province​​ northwest of Amman. [Arabi21]

 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) will embark on a tour through Asia, stopping in China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Pakistan. MBS reportedly told aides that he would seek diplomatic​​ support from Asian countries due to his frustration with Saudi Arabia’s deteriorating relationships with the US and European countries. [WSJ]

 

UAE

Flights at Dubai International Airport were briefly shut down on Friday due to “suspected drone activity.” The UAE forbids drone flights near airports. [NYT]

 

North Africa

Tunisia

A spokesman for the Tunisian Counter-Terrorism Court said on Friday that arrest warrants had been issued for 4 Tunisian terrorists who had fled abroad, calling them “very dangerous.” [Tunisien]

 

Morocco

The Moroccan MoI says that it dismantled a 5-person Daesh cell. The cell members,​​ arrested in​​ Safi city,​​ included​​ 5 people between 21 and 36 years old. 1 of them had previously been arrested on terrorism charges. Knives and radical publications were found with them. [Rudaw]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

On Thursday, a Canadian court sentenced Rehab Dughmosh to 7 years in prison for her attack on a Toronto store in 2017, following her attempt to travel to Syria to join Daesh in April 2016. The court said that Dughmosh suffered from schizophrenia, which made her an easy target for extremist ideas, but emphasized that​​ this​​ did not absolve her of any crimes. [Qasioun]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Daesh said it killed or wounded Nigerian soldiers in an attack on a military position on Thursday in Gajbo village, in Borno State. It said it forced the remaining soldiers to flee and stole a BMP infantry fighting vehicle, a mortar, and ammunition. [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]​​ 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Speaking at the NATO conference in Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed his satisfaction with and support for the Afghan peace process, and said that US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had kept NATO “closely updated.” Stoltenberg added that NATO would continue to “train, advise, and assist” Afghan security forces. [Khaama]

 

Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said at the NATO conference, responding to a question about US plans to withdraw from Afghanistan, “There will be no unilateral troop reduction.”​​ Regarding the peace talks, he said, “No outcome is predetermined, but as President Trump said … after two decades of war, the hour has come to try for peace.” [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it set off an IED on Afghan policemen and intelligence members on Wednesday in District 8, in Kabul city, killing one of them and wounding two others. [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]

 

Philippines

Government troopers killed 4 Abu Sayyaf terrorists and wounded 5 others were wounded as in a military operation on Thursday in Patikul, Sulu.

Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo, 11th Army Division and Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said personnel of the 6th Special Forces Battalion clashed with the group of Monde Sawadjaan, a nephew of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

Hatib is the alleged mastermind in the twin bombings in Jolo last Jan. 27 that left 23 people dead and more than a hundred wounded.

Meanwhile, the remains of Cpl. Nemesis Salviejo, who was killed in the clash in Barangay Igasan on Thursday, were flown to Villamor Air Base after a sendoff ceremony held at the Edwin Andrews Air Base. Three other soldiers were wounded in the clash. [Philstar]

 

Daesh said it killed two Philippine soldiers and wounded others on Thursday in clashes in​​ Igasan village, in the Patikul area​​ in Sulu. [ICDNFeb15-Telegram]

 

Indonesia

2 children were killed and another wounded while playing with a hand grenade they found in Bogor, Indonesia. [Anadolu]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 169th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh published an infographic about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, west Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan during the last week. It claimed it conducted 79 attacks, killing or wounding 197 people and destroying 32 vehicles. Daesh also published a story about one of its Russian terrorists, from Dagestan, who was killed in an airstrike in Egypt. [ICDNFeb14-Telegram] ​​ 

 

 

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February 14, 2019