March 8, 2019
Car Bomb Explosion in Mosul (DD Mar 8)
Important notice to our readers: Daesh Daily is taking a break after this issue. Maybe this is a relatively convenient time in the Iraq/Syria news cycle, but the immediate reason is that our Co-Editors will be traveling for at least the next two weeks. We value your interest and are sure many will miss our daily updates, but take a deep breath. We will be tracking developments and will catch up with you shortly.
Yazidi horror stories emerge as some are freed. [..]
East Mosul car bomb kills 2, injures 10 near popular restaurant. [..]
KRG ends mandatory withholdings on government salary payments. [..]
Defense Minister asks Russia to stop Syrian attacks in Idlib, to avert mass exodus. [..]
CENTCOM’s Gen. Votel says there is no time pressure on US withdrawal. [..]
No commitments to date by European allies for US-proposed combined force in Syria [..]
UNOCHA says overwhelmed Al-Hawl camp now has 62,000 people—90% women & children [..]
. . . and 3,000 more arrived on Thursday. [..]
SDF lets 1,050 more out of Al-Baghouz, then resumes military attack. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Council of Representatives
Mohammed Al-Ogaily, a CoR MP from Nouri Al-Maliki’s Rule of Law bloc, says that Iraq is unable to contain the large numbers of terrorists handed over for trial in Iraq. He called for more cooperation and coordination between the federal government and the KRG to contain the “fragile” security situation. [Rudaw]
A military source in Anbar said that Iraq received the last group of Daesh prisoners from the SDF under the supervision of the Coalition. The source said that they are being kept in a detention center in Al-Qa’im. [Baghdadia]
A report by Al-Baghdadia pondered whether Daesh is returning to Iraq, following a Daesh operation that killed 6 fishermen from Najaf in Haditha, and an armed attack that was thwarted by the IFP in Shirqat, as well as the kidnapping operations targeting mushroom hunters in the Anbar desert. Faleh Al-Fayadh, the National Security Advisor, warned of a “new generation” of Daesh that is currently underground, which he said will pose a threat to the whole world, although he noted that the social environment in Iraq is no longer conducive to Daesh thought. Sean Ryan, the Coalition spokesman, said that Daesh is present in very small groups, but still can pose a threat. Reports have said that about 1,000 Daesh fighters entered Iraq within the past 6 months, mainly from Syria. [Baghdadia]
President Barham Salih, speaking to the Emirati newspaper The National, said that foreign Daesh fighters tried in Iraq could be given death sentences. Salih said that Daesh fighters would be tried in accordance with Iraqi law, which includes the possibility of death penalties for those found guilty of killing Iraqis. [Reuters]
Yazidi children still have bad memories of Daesh captivity, saying they were forced to attend Quranic and other religious lessons, and that they were constantly on the move during the advance of the SDF forces in Al-Baghouz. 1 Yazidi girl said that Muslims were well-treated, but that non-Muslim girls and women worked as maids and were humiliated. 21 Yazidi children, both boys and girls, recently returned to their families in Sinjar after being freed from Daesh captivity. [Rudaw]
A 20-year-old Yazidi women who reached the SDF-held areas in Al-Baghouz said that during her captivity she was forced to put on a veil and was sold to 10 different men. Many Yazidi women and children are still missing after being kidnapped by Daesh. [Rudaw]
Joint Ops Command said that the 15th Army Division secured the return of 9 Yazidi children and 1 Yazidi woman to their families in Sinjar. The hostages were freed in Syria by the SDF. [BasNews]
In an appropriately timed statement given the stories just above, the UN honored the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8). It said that the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments have taken major steps to support the rights of women, but that more should be done to involve women in policy-making. The statement added that changes were needed to recover from the conflicts of the past 3 years. [BasNews]
North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)
Daesh said it killed five soldiers on Thursday when it attacked an Iraqi Army position in the Abayachi area, in Tarmiya District, with medium weapons. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
A DaeshDaily source said on Thursday that 2 Iraqi Army 7th Division soldiers were killed while stopping a Daesh attack on a military position near the Kubaisa Irrigation Project. The source said the Division killed 2 terrorists and forced the rest to flee.
Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)
Daesh said it killed a PMF fighter and wounded another on Thursday when it attacked a military position in the Farahatiya area, in Ishaqi subdistrict, with medium weapons. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur)
Daesh said it wounded IFP policemen and damaged their vehicle with an IED on Thursday in the Jalam Al-Daur area in Al-Daur District. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
Daesh said its snipers killed an Iraqi soldier on Thursday in Yousef Al-Hailan village, in the Buhriz subdistrict of Baquba. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)
The PMF media office said that the 23rd PMF Brigade in Diyala attacked Daesh in the orchards of Ibrahim Bek and Mubarak in Khanaqin, destroying 2 Daesh safehouses and killing 1 Daesh fighter. Light and medium weapons were confiscated in the operation. [Buratha]
A security source said on Friday that an IED had targeted the house of a colonel and planning officer in the Khazra’ neighborhood of Kirkuk city. [Sumaria]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that IFP units raided Al-Hilwat, Al-Tarqiya, and Shmet, in the Al-Zab subdistrict, and arrested 11 Daesh suspects. The source said all the arrestees had arrest warrants on terrorism charges from Kirkuk courts.
In a follow-up to yesterday’s major road attack, Daesh said it killed 11 fighters, including commanders, wounded 34 others, and set their vehicles on fire on Wednesday when it ambushed 4 vehicles carrying PMF fighters on the road between Qaraj and Makhmur, near Makhmur Mountain. Daesh said the clashes lasted for several hours. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
DaeshDaily comment. If true, then it is unclear why Iraqi aircrafts were not deployed. And for the anti-Coalition loudmouths who disdain its air support, wouldn’t Coalition planes save lives when such attacks happen?
On another point, it is not to our surprise that this incident occurred in Makhmur, notwithstanding two statements yesterday that put the incident in Kirkuk Province. We won’t be surprised if the next allegation is that the incident reflects a lack of coordination between the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga in Makhmur.
The Security Media Center had said yesterday that Daesh ambushed unarmed Turkmen PMF soldiers who were returning from leave on the Mosul–Tuz road near Makhmur, killing 6 and wounding 31 others. [Sumaria] [Sumaria]
Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)
A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that Ninewa SWAT units found a weapons and explosives cache in Khaznah village, in the Bartella subdistrict of Hamdaniya.
A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that an Iraqi Army 1st lieutenant was wounded when a sticky IED exploded under his vehicle in the Kokjali area, at the entrance to east Mosul.
A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that 2 civilians, including a 12-year-old girl, were killed and 6 others wounded when a parked car bomb exploded near a restaurant in Al-Muthanna neighborhood, in east Mosul. The source said that security experts believe that the vehicle was rigged with explosives in a nearby area.
The Security Media Center later reported a vehicle bomb explosion in the Al-Muthanna neighborhood. [Sumaria] A security source said that the explosion took place near the restaurant “Spicy.” [Forat] Forat published photos of the explosion. [Forat]
A security source said that the bombing had killed 1 woman and injured 6 other people. [Sumaria] The Ninewa Health Director confirmed in a statement that 1 person had been killed and 6 injured in the bombing. The statement said that the person killed was a 13-year-old girl. [Forat]
The Security Media Center reported later on Friday that the car bomb explosion on the east side of Mosul city killed 2 people, including a 13-year-old girl, and injured 10. [Rudaw]
A DaeshDaily source said on Wednesday that Military Intelligence Service units captured a Daesh commander in an ambush near Abu Mariya hills, just west of Tal Afar. The source said the terrorist was transporting RPG rockets and ammunition in his vehicle to terrorists hiding in the hills.
A DaeshDaily source said on Wednesday that PMF EOD units defused 2 IEDs that were planted on a bridge near Hatra.
Daesh said it wounded tribal PMF “intelligence members” and damaged their vehicle with an IED on Wednesday in the Jazeera Hatra area. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
The President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Nechirvan Barzani, said on Friday that starting in March 2019, the mandatory savings program, in which part of employees’ salaries are withheld, would be canceled for government employees. The Kurdistan Region has been employing a mandatory savings program for the past year due to financial problems after the CoR reduced its share of the federal budget. [Anadolu]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Military & security developments
Turkish security sources said that police arrested 3 Daesh suspects in Şanlıurfa (aka Urfa), southern Turkey. 1 arrestee is a UAE national, another is Syrian, and the nationality of the third was not revealed. [Ghad]
Hulusi Akar, the Turkish Defense Minister, called on Russia to stop the Syrian government’s attacks on Idlib, warning that if the attacks continue, as many as 3.5 million refugees may head to Europe and the US. [ElDorar] [EnabBaladi]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
According to IRNA, the head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Shura Council, Hishmatullah Fallah Bishah, said that the Syrian government owed Iran debts for its military and economic support over the past few years. [ElDorar]
US CENTCOM Commander General Joseph Votel said that the US feels no time pressure regarding withdrawing its troops from Syria, adding that defeat of Daesh and safe withdrawal are the factors controlling the withdrawal process. There is no specific timetable for the process, he said. [ElDorar]
General Votel also said that European allies are essential to the US effort in Syria. Speaking before the US House Armed Services Committee, he said that the US is pressing 8 European allies, among others, to take part in the re-stabilization of Syria. The US is planning to prevent the reemergence of Daesh in areas liberated by the SDF, and to avoid a possible Turkish-Kurdish collision. [Hawar]
The Wall Street Journal wrote that US administration officials had failed to secure commitments from their European allies to send military forces to Syria, missing their self-determined Friday deadline. US officials said that they would continue to press for involvement from their allies to keep Daesh from re-emerging in Syria. [WSJ]
The British Ministry of Defense said on Friday that over the past 4.5 years and 1,700 Royal Air Force airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, only 1 civilian was killed. The executive director of the group Action on Armed Violence said that “few conflict experts” believed the figure, and that the UK must be more transparent regarding civilian casualties from airstrikes. [Rudaw] [Telegraph]
The Kurdish militia “Afrin Liberation Forces” said that it had carried out an operation against the Turkish Army, resulting in the killing of 1 Turkish soldier and the wounding of 2 pro-Turkey militia fighters in Afrin. [Hawar]
UNOCHA said that Al-Hawl camp in Hasaka is now hosting over 62,000 refugees and IDPs. 5,200 of whom reached the camp between March 5 and 7. 90% of the newcomers are women and children. [EnabBaladi]
On Friday, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, expressed serious concerns over the safe arrival of thousands of IDPs into Al-Hawl refugee camp in Hasaka. He said that more than 3,000 people, mostly women and children, arrived in Al-Hawl on Thursday night, and that Al-Hawl residents now add up to about 65,000 people. He added that about 100 people had died either on their way to Al-Hawl or shortly after their arrival since the beginning of December 2018. [Anadolu]
A news source said that the SDF arrested “many” individuals on charges of belonging to Daesh inside Al-Hawl camp. This occurred after a demonstration inside the camp about poor services and neglect of health conditions. Previous statistics by the UN showed that the SDF’s neglect of the camp resulted in the deaths of about 80 people, mostly children. [ElDorar]
DaeshDaily comment. The SDF is not a government, and does not have international responsibilities for conditions in IDP camps they don’t run. The Al-Hawl camp was already troubled and is now overwhelmed by all the escapees and Daesh family members coming out of Deir Ez-Zor. This could have been predicted and planned for, including by the UN. Let’s not shift the blame.
Said Jayashi, a security expert, said that coordination efforts are underway to receive Daesh families of Iraqi nationality from the Al-Hawl camp in Syria. He said the camp hosts a large number of both Daesh-affiliated and non-Daesh Iraqi refugees, and that exact information on numbers and nationalities is still unavailable. [Rudaw]
Central and West
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Albu Kamal District
The SDF resumed military operations in Al-Baghouz after more 1,050 people, including 90 Daesh fighters, left Daesh-held areas and headed for SDF positions during the past 24 hours. 18,530 people total have now exited Daesh-held areas since February 16. [SyriaHR]
SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali had said that the SDF would resume its attack on Al-Baghouz if no more civilians or armed men come out of the Daesh-held area. He said that the attack was slowed to allow as many civilians and fighters as possible who wish to surrender to leave the area. [BasNews]
Kurdish intelligence and SDF units are continuing to sort out thousands of Daesh arrestees in Al-Baghouz, many of whom claim that they came to the area for business or trade. At least 1 Daesh official called “Abu Yousef Al-Maghrebi” (Abu Yousef the Moroccan) was arrested after fleeing Al-Baghouz on February 16. [SyriaHR]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
The Military Engineering Corps found a cache of munitions and explosive materiel in the Al-Arba’in area, 40 km (25 miles) west of Ajdabiya, northeastern Libya. [AfriGate]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
The Belgian judiciary declined to try 30 persons and foundations accused of being affiliated with the PKK, saying that the Belgian courts did not have jurisdiction to try them under counter-terrorism laws, despite the fact that the PKK is classified in Belgium as a terrorist group. The Belgian federal prosecutor said that the case should be heard by a court responsible for international humanitarian law. A spokesman for the Belgian Foreign Ministry said that the court decision was independent of the classification of the PKK as a terrorist group, and that Belgium would not change that designation. [Anadolu]
A Swedish court found David Idrisson, an Uzbek national, guilty of plotting a terrorist attack on behalf of Daesh. The court said that Idrisson had gathered approximately 500 kg of chemicals, gas masks, and military equipment, and that photos of “potential targets” in Stockholm were on his cellphone. Idrisson had been living legally in Sweden since 2008. [AP]
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the NATO in Afghanistan is there to “create the conditions for peace” and to “send a clear message to the Taliban that they will not win on the battlefield, but have to sit down at the negotiating table and reach a political agreement.” He made the remarks during a press conference with the President of Poland. [Khaama]
Daesh said on Friday it shot and killed an Afghan intelligence officer in Khost city. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
Daesh published on Friday a photo of the 2 terrorists, in masks, who conducted an attack on a Shia gathering in Kabul on Thursday. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
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