An Update On ISIS Activities

May 23, 2018

 

Sheikh Na’eem Al-Ka’oud

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Yazidi CoR rep says only 20% of Yazidi votes were counted by IHEC. [..]

Islamic Dawa will nominate KDP’s Hoshyar Zebari for President. [..]

Four people killed, 15 wounded in a suicide attack in Shula [..] 

Anbar PC committee Chairman kidnapped in Turkey, then rescued. [..]

Daesh Daily sources around Iraq identify continuing Daesh pockets in Al-Qa’im, Makhoul Mountains, Himrin Mountains, Hawija, Badoush, Tal Afar, and Baaj. [..]

 

 

Syria

Russia suggests that all foreign forces should leave Syria. [..]

Daesh attacks Syrian Army in Homs, causing significant casualties. [..]

SDF, Coalition planes battle Daesh west of Deir Ez-Zor. [..]

SDF arrests 12 Daesh fighters with families in Hajin, Albu Kamal. [..]

4 SDF soldiers killed by surprise Daesh attack in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New government

Election

Vian Dakhil, the only Yazidi in the Council of Representatives, and representing the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), said on Wednesday that only 20% of the votes of the internally displaced Yazidi Kurds have been counted, and that the Electoral Commission either lost or annulled the other 80%.  In a statement, she added, “This is the first time that the Sinjar area has not been represented in the Iraqi CoR.”  [Rudaw] 

 

New government

An “informed source” said that the Sairun alliance and the Victory alliance were coming to an agreement on the new government, while noting that there were major issues yet to be settled, such as who would serve as PM. The source was quoted in Al-Araby Al-Jadeed as saying that Al-Sadr and Al-Abadi agreed on forming a government without a sectarian allocation of positions, and the formation of an independent anti-corruption body with the ability to prosecute anyone on corruption charges.   [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. Iraq already has the Commission on Integrity, an independent agency though Al-Maliki tried to marginalize it for his political purposes. The COI does not have prosecutorial powers of its own and must rely on investigative judges in the court system (similar to prosecutors in the US system) to bring cases to court. That is not its real problem, however. The bottom-line problem in Iraqi corruption is not that perpetrators among the politicians can’t be identified but that officials who seek to make them legally accountable often face real threats to their life from people unwilling to be exposed or to stop their corruption. This has included a number of Sadrist appointees. A method for arresting politically protected corrupt officials without unusual risk to law enforcement personnel is therefore critical.

 

The Islamic Dawa Party, represented in the CoR election by candidates from both Al-Abadi’s Victory and Al-Maliki’s Rule of Law alliances, announced on Wednesday that it was nominating Iraq’s former Finance Minister and Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari of the KDP, for the Presidency.  The leader of Islamic Dawa, Jasim Mohammed Jaafar, said that the nomination required two things: 1) a political consensus, which he expected to obtain; and 2) agreement by the Kurds to the traditional sectarian division of the President, CoR Speaker, and PM positions.  [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. This can be seen from different angles. (1) It indicates that the rumored switch of the President and CoR Speaker positions between Kurds and Sunni Arabs is unlikely to happen. (2) It represents a possible break in precedent within the KRG, as both Talabani and Masoum were from the PUK, the logic then being that the KDP (through Masoud Barzani) held the KRG presidency so letting the PUK hold the Iraqi presidency created a kind of equivalence. (3) It is certainly an affirmation of Hoshyar Zebari, who served Iraq loyally and effectively for many years. (4) However, it is also true that Zebari endorsed the controversial independence referendum, which could be used against him. (5) Perhaps most significant at the moment, this likely represents an effort to make the KDP part of the next government coalition with Islamic Dawa and improve its negotiating position relative to other parties.

 

Sitting PM Haider Al-Abadi received the delegation from the KDP, which is in Baghdad to discuss the formation of the next government.  Al-Abadi’s office said in a statement that they had talked about the importance of speeding up the government formation process and exchanged their respective visions for the next stage.  [Rudaw]

 

Ammar Al-Hakim, leader of the new Wisdom alliance, which did well in the election, said on Wednesday that dialogues on forming the next government are moving in a positive direction. He said that it will be an Iraqi government, not an Iranian or American government.  At his press conference, held in Kuwait, he also said that “The Sadrist movement is a key ally of ours not just today, but has been for many years, and we believe that this mutual alliance can be a solid basis.” [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment: Translation: Muqtada, please include us in your coalition.

 

The leader of the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance, Hadi Al-Amiri, said that there is no choice except to create a national government that is capable of minimizing all of Iraq’s problems. [Rudaw]

 

The CoR Speaker, Salim Al-Jubouri, and the leader of the Arab Current in the Al-Qarar alliance, Khamis Al-Khanjar, met on Wednesday and drafted a statement saying that a strong government must be created that is capable of meeting Iraq’s needs and solving all the challenges that may arise. [BasNews]

 

The US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the US will work with whoever is selected by the Iraqi people to run the government. She was responding to a question asking whether the US is ready to work with a government influenced by Muqtada Al-Sadr.  She also said she has no idea whether Al-Sadr is going to meet with Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. [Arabi21]

 

CoR member Dhia Al-Asadi, Director of the Political Bureau for the Sadrist movement, said on Tuesday that the US had contacted the Sairun alliance following the CoR election. Al-Asadi told Reuters that they did not communicate directly, but that the Americans inquired through intermediaries about whether the Mehdi Army (the force established by Al-Sadr in late 2003 and disbanded several years later) had plans to attack US forces stationed in Iraq.  Al-Asadi said that Al-Sadr and the Sadrists “have no intention of returning to where we were, but want only [Iraqi] armed forces, police, and official security forces to remain in Iraq.”  In other comments quoted on the Iranian-owned Al-Alam TV channel, Al-Asadi said that Al-Sadr would not permit Iraq to be used as a platform to attack any neighboring country, adding, “We will not submit to any external will, American or any other,” and saying that a US presence in Iraq, outside of diplomatic representation, was “unacceptable. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. The stance toward the US is one issue on which Al-Abadi and Al-Sadr are not compatible. It should also be remembered that Al-Sadr’s political maneuvering was the prime reason that the US left Iraq in 2011, a disaster for both countries. Al-Sadr has a short memory and no memory of his own mistakes and transgressions.

 

Muqtada Al-Sadr’s office said in a statement that he had met with UN Special Representative Ján Kubiš on Wednesday.  According to the statement, Al-Sadr stressed the importance of the international community and the UN in Iraq in helping prevent “regional and governmental” interference in the Iraqi elections.  [BasNews]

 

Foreign policy

The Iraqi Minister of Immigration and Migration condemned the killing of an Iraqi girl, shot by Belgian police. The family was in a truck carrying illegal refugees, which was shot at by the police during a police chase in western Belgium. [Anadolu]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

A security source said on Wednesday that an explosion in the Shuala area of north Baghdad earlier in the day was caused by a suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt. The source said that final casualty figures were four killed and 15 wounded.  [Sumaria]  

 

Daesh says it killed two IFP members and damaged their SUV with an IED in the Masabih area, in Taji, on Tuesday. [Telegram]  

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

An Iraqi police source said on Wednesday that three people had been wounded in an explosion in the Abu Ghraib District west of Baghdad.  The source, who asked not to be named, said that an IED had been placed on the side of the road near Al-Nasr wa Al-Salam, a village in Abu Ghraib.  [Sumaria]

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:   3(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:   2

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

The Anbar Provincial Council announced on Wednesday that the Chairman of its Security Committee, Sheikh Na’eem Al-Ka’oud, had been kidnapped during his visit to Turkey.  Anbar Council head Ahmed Hamid Al-Alwani told Sumaria that the kidnappers posed as businessmen representing an investment company from a “neighboring country.”  [Sumaria]

However, the sheikh may have been too important for the perpetrators to get away with the crime. He was soon freed by Turkish police and the kidnappers arrested. [See story under Turkey]

 

Al-Qa’im

A DaeshDaily source says there are still hundreds of Daesh terrorists north of Al-Qa’im. The source says Iraqi forces have not been able to clear the area yet. The source says the terrorists, led by a commander from Anbar, have killed dozens of PMF fighters during the last few weeks. 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A DaeshDaily source says hundreds of Daesh terrorists are still hiding in the Makhoul Mountains area. The source says the terrorists have conducted many attacks on civilians and on security forces, but most of these attacks were not reported. 

 

Security personnel destroyed 2 safehouses and 6 tunnels used by Daesh in Salahuddin Province, according the Center for Security Information.  Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that this was the result of search operations around the Makhoul Mountains and the mouth of the Tigris River. [Etejah]  

 

Tikrit

Ahmed Sami, the Iraq Media Manager for the famed international NGO Doctors Without Borders contacted Daesh Daily to refute the story we printed yesterday that someone from their organization was kidnapped in Tikrit. The story was described as “totally wrong.” Someone from an Iraqi medical organization was kidnapped. 

 

Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)

Daesh says it blew up the house of a PMF fighter in the village of Al-Rufa’iat (spelling approximate), near the Balad Station. 

 

DIYALA

Diyala Police spokesman Colonel Ghalib Al-Atiyah said on Wednesday that 4 wanted persons had been arrested in various locations in Diyala Province, including 2 arrested on terrorism charges.  [Sumaria]

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

On Wednesday, Diyala Ops Command announced the killing of 2 Daesh fighters, with the support of the police, as they attempted to shoot at residential homes in the Baquba subdistrict. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

A DaeshDaily source says there are still 500-700 Daesh terrorists hiding in the Himrin Mountains area. The source says Daesh has deployed snipers, mostly foreigners, on the mountaintops to stop Iraqi attacks. The source also says the terrorists send groups to attack civilians and security forces on a regular basis. The source says the terrorists depend on tens on civilians who provide them with food supplies. 

 

An “informed source” said that Daesh fighters attacked the house of a tribal sheikh on the outskirts of Jalawla.  The source told Ghad that the fighters attacked the home of Sheikh Taha Al-Khalidi southeast of Jalawla in the village of Suleiman Wahab, one of the villages in Sheikh Baba, with small arms and hand grenades.  The source added that 3 family members and relatives of the Sheikh were killed in the attack and another 2 wounded.  [Ghad]  

 

A DaeshDaily source says 2 Nujaba’ Movement fighters were killed when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle near the Udhaim Dam. 

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source says many Daesh terrorists are still hiding in the desert area near Riyadh. The terrorists are conducting attacks on civilians and on security units in the Kirkuk/Hawija area, mostly during the night. 

 

A security source in Kirkuk Province confirmed on Wednesday that Daesh had abducted and killed the mukhtar of Kanaan village, Riyadh subdistrict.  This confirms Daesh’s account of the same incident published here on Tuesday. [Baghdadia]

 

NINEWA

The Ninewa Investigations Court ratified the confessions of 5 Daesh members standing trial; 1 of them was an economic security official, while another was responsible for Daesh squads.  The others were the west Mosul squad official, IEDs official, and explosives transport official.  All 5 were tried under the Anti-Terrorism Law. [Forat] [Baghdadia] [Baghdadia] 

 

Mosul

A DaeshDaily source says many Daesh terrorists are still hiding in the Badoush Hills area in northwest Mosul. The source says most of those terrorists fled Mosul during the liberation battles and that they are supported by some local tribes. The source also says some Daesh supporters in west Mosul are providing the terrorists with food and other supplies. 

 

The Ninewa Police said that they had arrested a Daesh mortar squad commander on the east side of Mosul.  The arrestee was already wanted by the Iraqi courts on terrorism charges. [Xendan]

 

On Wednesday, the Interior Ministry announced it had arrested a Daesh commander in Mosul who previously worked as an “assassin” with Al-Qaeda. [Sumaria]

 

The Center for Security Information said that 2 Daesh fighters had been arrested in Mosul.  It is unclear if either of these arrestees is the same as the arrestees in the above stories.  [Baghdadia]

 

Southern Ninewa (No reports)

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

A DaeshDaily source says there are still more than 100 Daesh terrorists hiding in the Abu Mariya area, west of Tal Afar, led by a Tunisian terrorist. The source says the terrorists conduct attacks from time to time on tribal PMF units in the area. 

 

Baaj

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh is still active in the Wardiya area, close to the Syrian border. The source says the terrorists don’t have fixed bases in the area, but they attack and then retreat to the desert or to Syria. The source says the terrorists killed “hundreds” of PMF fighters during the last 7 months. 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

A security source in Basra said that 3 citizens were killed by gunfire from unknown attackers in the area of Hussein, central Basra Province.  [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

A DaeshDaily source says Turkish security units freed Sheikh Naeem Al-Ka’oud, an Anbar PC committee chairman, who had been kidnapped in Istanbul, and they arrested the gang that kidnapped him. The source says the gang consisted of 6 Iraqis and 2 Syrians. 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

Russia

The Khmeimim Russian military base in Syria said through its Facebook page that all foreign forces should leave Syria, including Iranian militias, in order to end the struggle in the country once and for all.  Putin told Assad in Sochi that his (Assad’s) successes against the terrorists allowed for a political solution.  [Qasioun] [Dorar]

 

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria said that the stay or departure of foreign forces in Syria is a matter that concerns the Syrian government solely.  As for the Russian statements that all forces should leave, he said that he was not sure that the Russians meant forces present with the consent of the government. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment. The cynical Russian policy of propping up Assad is, rightly, a cause of antagonism and frustration. In fairness, however, it must be said that Russia has also applied considerable diplomatic skill to the task of reducing the pockets of resistance and violence in Syria, talking (and occasionally bombing) opposition militias and Daesh out of one area at a time, most recently south of Damascus (when Daesh left) and just previously in East Ghouta (when anti-government Islamic militias left), and in Hama and northern Homs. It has managed to get agreement on de-escalation zones to stop the fighting in some areas, thus, for example, the relative quiet currently in southern Syria. The US and the Coalition have contributed greatly by helping the SDF and the Kurds to take Daesh out of most of eastern and northern Syria. Many of the anti-Assad opposition groups have become harmless to Assad by becoming allies of the Turks against the Kurds. 

So the statement by the Deputy Foreign Minister is not to be taken too seriously. We think it is quite plausible that the Russians believe the presence of Iranian militiamen (and possibly Lebanese Hezbollah too?), should be welcomed but phased out in service to this pacification policy. That might also give the Americans less incentive to hang around once Daesh is gone. Admittedly, losing all those support troops might make Assad nervous, as he has been dependent on them, but we suspect the Russians don’t mind if he feels that way, as he will then be more reliant on Russia.

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

Daesh publishes photos of the harvest season in the Dashisha area. [ICDNMay23]

DaeshDaily comment. This is a positive sign, and not about agriculture. The message is that everyone is happy in the caliphate and Daesh is still in charge in this area. However, the Daesh propaganda machine has been most likely to issue these feel-good photos when their control of an area was threatened or under attack. The SDF and the Coalition are targeting Dashisha, and it seems that Daesh is feeling the heat.

 

Central and West 

Idlib

Three members of Failaq Al-Sham were injured on Wednesday in an IED explosion on the main road between the cities of Idlib and Maarat Masrin in the Idlib governorate. It is unknown who planted the IED. [Qasioun]

Homs

Daesh killed 26 regime troops in a counter-attack on Bir Al-Atshan and Sadd Awredh (spelling approximate), east of historic Palmyra in the Syrian Desert, said local news reports. The attack started with a car bomb. [Qasioun]

Overall, 40 members of the Syrian Army were killed and dozens injured within the past 24 hours by a Daesh attack in Palmyra. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh says it attacked 3 Syrian Army and Shia militia positions east of the Third Station, east of Homs. It says a suicide terrorist from Turkmenistan started the attack. It says it killed 11 soldiers, captured 2, destroyed 2 vehicles, 2 rocket launchers, a tank, a bulldozer, and a 57mm cannon, captured weapons and ammunition, and set the 3 positions on fire. It says the rest of the terrorists returned safely. [ICDNMay23]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

Coalition planes attacked Syrian Army and affiliated militia positions west of Deir Ez-Zor. At the same time there was extensive artillery fighting between government and SDF forces in the area. [Dorar]

 

Albu Kamal District

A DaeshDaily source says 12 Daesh members with their families surrendered to SDF units near Hajin. The source says the SDF moved them to Al-Baghouz town.

 

A DaeshDaily source says four SDF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack on Al-Baghouz town. The source says a Daesh suicide terrorist attacked the SDF with an explosive vest, then other Daesh members broke in and stole weapons and armored vehicles. 

 

Daesh says it targeted Syrian Army positions in Albu Kamal city with 120mm mortar shells. 

 

South 

Rif Damashq 

A booby-trapped body of a Daesh fighter exploded, killing 3 Syrian Republican Guards and wounding several others. The soldiers were trying to salvage the body from the wreckage of a destroyed building in Yarmouk. [Dorar]

 

Daraa

A military commander of anti-government militias in Daraa says that government forces cannot attack Daraa because the area is subject to an international de-escalation agreement, and that it cannot attack without Russian and Iranian consent, which is unlikely at the moment. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh affiliate, Jaish Khaled, issues infographic about its “educational activities” in the Yarmouk Basin area. It says it opened 35 schools, 18 for boys and 17 for girls, which serve 6,000 students. It also says it provided 3 buses to serve the schools. [ICDNMay23]

DaeshDaily comment. We can guess that those buses are extremely crowded. 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Jordan/Lebanon

On Wednesday, the Iranian ambassador to Jordan discounted his state’s role in the conflicts in Douma, Ghouta, and Damascus. He also stressed that his state played a role in the de-escalation zones agreement between Jordan, the US, and Russia. [Dorar]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh issues a video of the results of “Israeli” airstrike on “civilian houses” in Sinai. The video shows a destroyed structure and vehicle in the desert. [ICDNMay23]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Somalia 

Daesh says it killed a Somali Intelligence service member in Lower Shabelle. [Telegram] 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it shot and killed an Afghan government “spy” in the Bati Kot area, in Nangarhar, on Tuesday night. [ICDNMay23]

 

Daesh says it stopped joint US and Afghan Army attack on Qandaro (spelling unverified) village in Manogai district, in Kunar, killing an Afghan Army officer, wounding three soldiers, and capturing weapons and ammunition. [ICDNMay23] 

 

Global Witness said Daesh was getting hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from excavating and exporting talc used in the manufacture of baby powder. The organization’s report says that Daesh exported 500 tons of this material from Afghanistan, and that it was illegally smuggled to Pakistan before re-exportation. [Xendan]

 

 

 

May 22, 2018

 

Daesh Members Captured in Aski Mosul

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

IDP voters in Ninewa protest IHEC cancelation of their votes. [..]

Al-Sadr, Al-Abadi agree on forming a technocratic government. [..]

KDP delegation arrives in Baghdad to negotiate its way into new government. [..]

Al-Maliki is trying to form a coalition government he would lead. [..]

Candidate loyal to PKK wins CoR seat in Suleimaniya. [..]

Daesh kills another mukhtar, in Diyala. [..]

 

Syria

Guterres asks Hezbollah to cease military activity in Syria, Lebanon. [..]

Assad endorses Putin proposal for a constitutional committee. [..]

SDF joins with Iraq on border security arrangement. [..]

65 Daesh leaders holding out in Hajin, Albu Kamal, with 800 prisoners. [..]

Daesh fighters and families evacuate Yarmouk Camp for southern Syria. [..]

 

Other countries

Egypt:Human Right Watch accuses Egyptian Army of destroying buildings, property in Sinai. [..]

Afghanistan:Minibus bomb kills at least 16 in Kandahar. [..]

 

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New Government

Election

On Tuesday, protestors in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Ninewa Province launched “widespread” protests against the Electoral Commission, according to Bas News.  Their correspondent reported that the demonstration started in the Jada’a camp in Qayara, south of Mosul city, and that “large numbers” of IDPs participated.  The protestors objected to the decision of the Commission to nullify votes cast by IDPs in the CoR elections, and called the decision unconstitutional and illegal.  The IDPs demanded that the Commission count their votes “for the sake of the integrity of these elections.”  [BasNews]

 

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi emphasized the need for the Electoral Commission to work transparently and verify the final results of the election, while ruling out the possibility of a new election.  He made the remarks as part of his weekly press conference and in a follow-up interview with Sumaria.  [Sumaria]

 

Mithal Al-Alusi, a prominent Sunni politician and leader of the small Madani (“Civil”) alliance, warned that holding the CoR session of May 19 to cancel election results might lead to a civil war instigated by neighboring countries. The session was convened but attendance did not meet the minimum quorum. [BaghdadToday]

 

New government

In his weekly press conference and a follow-up with Sumaria, Haider Al-Abadi called on the various political alliances and coalitions to abide by the schedule for the formation of the new government.  He also commented on his “agreement” with the Sairun alliance, saying, “We met with Al-Sadr and … there was almost complete agreement with Sairun on the formation of a strong technocratic government.”  [Sumaria]

 

Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Secretary Fadhil Mirani said on Tuesday that the visit of a KDP delegation to Baghdad was exploratory in nature.  In a press conference on his arrival in Baghdad, Mirani announced that he would be meeting with various political parties, saying, “We have no objection to anyone [party or alliance] and don’t accept the objections others have to us.”  He added that there was a need for Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds to come to a consensus on the position of Prime Minister. “This position doesn’t represent a national or sectarian group, but rather will represent all Iraqis.”  He concluded by re-emphasizing the importance of Kurdish unity in Baghdad.  [Sumaria]

 

Mirani’s KDP delegation met with Muqtada Al-Sadr on Tuesday under the framework of a series of meetings that the delegation said it would hold with alliance and coalition leaders regarding the formation of the new government.  Shawan Taha, an official with the Baghdad branch of the KDP, told Bas News that the delegation was scheduled to hold meetings that evening with PM Haider Al-Abadi, representing the Victory alliance, Nouri Al-Maliki of the Rule of Law alliance, and Hadi Al-Amiri of the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance.  Taha said that these meetings would continue for at least 2 days, and that the delegation had no reservations against any particular alliance or bloc.  [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. Indeed they don’t, because the KDP, having marginalized itself and the KRG with its earlier coup against Gorran and the ill-fated independence referendum, is desperate to get into the government somehow and recover some of its lost status in Baghdad. It is going out of its way to demonstrate its willingness to work with any government coalition. The others do have issues with them, however, as they are likely being reminded in each of these meetings. 

 

Nouri Al-Maliki, leader of the Rule of Law alliance, said he is planning to form a wide-scale coalition of Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish parties. He told the KDP delegation that there was no “veto” against any party, saying that “we do not accept others’ vetoes either.”  [Rudaw]

 

Awatif Naima, outgoing CoR member for the Al-Maliki bloc, demanded that Muqtada Al-Sadr stop accusing Al-Maliki over the fall of Mosul to Daesh, saying that Maliki had nothing to do with it. She also added that Anbar fell in the time of Al-Abadi and that Sadr and his fighters did not intervene to protect it. Naima failed to qualify in the latest election.  [BaghdadToday]

 

Council of Representatives

In a bizarre development, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) will be represented for the first time in the Iraqi CoR.  14 candidates from the Free Kurdistani Society Movement (a wing of the PKK) ran on the New Generation list, headed by Shaswar Abd Al-Wahid.  1 of those candidates won a seat in Suleimaniya, despite the PKK being listed as a terrorist group by both America and Turkey.  Yusra Rajab Kamar, the winning candidate, spoke to PKK-affiliated media after the results were announced, and said that one of her program objectives in the CoR would be to address external interference and occupation, citing the Iraqi Constitution’s provision for a unified sovereign homeland.  Kamar said, “The Turkish state invaded dozens of kilometers into Iraqi land, building military bases and barracks in bad faith … so we must confront this plan of occupation.”  [BasNews]

 

Reconstruction

An American magazine says that Iraq is facing major obstacles in reconstructing cities destroyed by the war with Daesh. It estimated the cost of reconstruction at between 88 and 100 billion US dollars, which is much more than the amounts committed at the Kuwait donors conference.   The magazine referred to the large number of IDPs and large quantities of UXOs.  [BaghdadToday]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

In his weekly press conference, PM Haider Al-Abadi said that the main security priority now was securing the borders, and said that Iraq had succeeded at securing the Syrian side of the border and halting Daesh in the Upper Euphrates.  [Sumaria]

 

A DaeshDaily source says the Central Criminal Court sentenced Tareq Jadoun, aka Abu Hamza Al-Baljiki, to death. The source says the terrorist, a Belgian from Moroccan origins, was responsible for killing dozens of civilians and security forces members in Mosul before the liberation. 

Hawar reported on Al-Baljiki’s career as a terrorist. Tareq Jadoun is a Moroccan born in 1988 who joined Daesh in 2014 and entered Iraq in July 2015 via Turkey.  He participated in the attacks in Kobani, northern Syria, as well as in Tikrit, Ninewa, and Ramadi, according to his confessions in court.  He also trained more than 60 of the children who were in the “Cubs of the Caliphate.”  After a 10-minute trial on Tuesday, the judge sentenced Jadoun to death by hanging on charges under the anti-terrorism law of “participating in attacks,” as well as a 3-year prison sentence and a fine of 3 million dinars for the separate charge of crossing the border illegally. [Hawar]

 

Foreign policy

Bas News published an article covering the nature of Muqtada Al-Sadr’s relationship with Iran.  They reported that the official state news agency of Iran, IRNA, had quoted the Ambassador of Iran in Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, describing the relationship between Iranian official and Al-Sadr as “friendly and brotherly.”  Masjedi went on to say that Iran welcomed the self-determination of the Iraqi people and congratulated all of the parties and alliances that won votes in the CoR elections, according to IRNA.  Regarding Al-Sadr specifically, Masjedi said, “Iran’s relations with Al-Sadr are historic and deeply rooted,” and referred to Iranian relations with Al-Sadr’s father and uncle.  [BasNews]

 

The Qatari-owned Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported that Washington had prevented Saudi Minister [of Gulf Affairs] Thamer Al-Sabhan from issuing statements on Iraqi affairs, and that an Iraqi official had confirmed that Al-Sabhan was no longer welcome to comment on Iraqi affairs.  Al-Araby Al-Jadeed quoted the unnamed Iraqi official as saying that Al-Sabhan’s remarks had a “negative” impact, and that he was disliked by both Sunni and Shia political entities since his time as Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Baghdad.  [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD (No reports)

 

ANBAR

Falluja

A member of the Anbar Provincial Council, Sabah Karhout, announced on Tuesday that 2 billion [Iraqi] dinars had been set aside by the central government as compensation for affected families in Falluja.  Karhout said that the compensation package would be directed toward those who were affected by terrorist operations and whose houses were destroyed during the previous few years.  He added that this amount was an initial package and would be followed up by other packages to compensate other people affected in Falluja and the surrounding areas.  [BasNews]

 

The Center for Security Information said on Tuesday that a 50-meter road had been cleared and 100 IEDs removed in Anbar.  Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that security personnel under East Anbar Ops Command had cleared the asphalt factory and tile factory in Al-Shahabi village east of Falluja, dismantling the IEDs.  He added that they had also found a 20-liter barrel of glycerin and cleared a road in the Hayakel area southeast of Falluja.  [Ghad]  

 

Ramadi

The Center for Security Information said on Tuesday that a person had been arrested in Anbar in connection with possession of an explosives belt.  Center spokesman General Yahya said security personnel under Anbar Ops Command had found the belt, along with three 60mm mortar shells, in the area of the Al-Jass factory west of Ramadi.  After a search of the Tubiya area, they arrested a suspect around Albu Ali Al-Jassem.  [Mawazin]  

 

Al-Qa’im

A security source in Anbar Ops Command said on Tuesday that 1 soldier had been killed and 1 wounded by a land mine in the Rummana subdistrict of Al-Qa’im.  The source said that the land mine was left behind by Daesh and exploded when a military vehicle drove over it.  [BasNews]

 

A DaeshDaily source says PMF fighters found 4 Daesh tunnels in the desert near Al-Qa’im. The source says the PMFs killed 2 Daesh terrorists, including a Saudi, in one of the tunnels. The source also says the PMF found hundreds of weapons in the tunnels in addition to Iraqi Army uniforms used by the terrorists to establish fake checkpoints. 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Samarra

Daesh says it targeted a PMF vehicle with an IED in the Albu Nimr area, in Jazeera Samarra. 

 

DIYALA (No reports)

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh says it shot and killed the mukhtar of Kanaan village, west of Riyadh, in his house. Daesh published 2 photos of shooting the old man. [ICDNMay22] 

DaeshDaily comment. Better security in Iraq should start with the people who are being targeted by Daesh in its ongoing campaign to recycle its insurgency. This especially includes police officers and mukhtars. Military men can protect each other and politicians can command public resources for protection units, but cops and mukhtars seem to be on their own. It is noticeable that mukhtars assassinated usually have no security guards and are therefore easy targets. How many have to be killed before the Ministry of Interior or some other security entity will deal with their security? Being a mukhtar looks increasingly like a suicide mission.

 

A security source said that Iraqi security personnel arrested the Daesh leader nicknamed the “official for executions” in Hawija District.  Iraqi media reported that the source said Abu Wahab Al-Iraqi was arrested along with 4 other people in a house in the Al-Zab subdistrict.  The source added that “Abu Wahab” was involved in several murders, kidnappings, and the installation of false security checkpoints in Hawija. [Qasioun]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

Ninewa Governor Nawfal Al-Akoub said that preliminary negotiations were underway between political blocs in the Ninewa Provincial Council to choose a new Chairman for the Council.  He told Bas News that the current candidates being discussed were Council members Mohammed Al-Jubouri, Hashem Al-Brifkani, and Abd Al-Rahman Al-Waka’a.  The current Chairman, Bashar Al-Kiki, was elected on the KDP list. [BasNews]

 

The Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday that the leader of a Daesh mortar division had been arrested in Mosul.  Ministry spokesman General Sa’ad Ma’an credited the arrest to the Ninewa Police and to intelligence units. The terrorist was arrested in Al-Bakr, east Mosul.  [Sumaria] 

 

Southern Ninewa (No reports)

Mosul subdistrict

A DaeshDaily source says security units captured 3 Daesh terrorists in Aski Mosul, west of Mosul city. The source says the terrorists were wearing official military uniforms. 

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

Security units arrested 3 foreign Daesh women in Tal Afar.  They were arrested about 80 miles northwest of Mosul near the Syrian border. Captain Khalil Ibrahim of the Army 15th Division, responsible for protecting the border with Syria, said that troops from the Division had arrested 3 women, 2 with Syrian citizenship and 1 with Turkish citizenship, as they tried trying to flee across the Iraq-Syria border.  Ibrahim said that the women were “among the most prominent” members of the Daesh Women’s Offices during the period of its control of Mosul.  [PUKMedia]  

 

Sinjar

A 35yearold Yazidi man was killed when an IED went off in Sinuni district in the governorate of Sinjar.  [Roj]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

The HPG and the Free Women’s Units (PKK) announced the results of a series of operations against the Turkish army in the subdistrict of Barzan (in Mergasor District and Sidekan in neighboring Soran District, in northern Erbil Governorate, and in Gulmerk, killing at least 43 Turkish soldiers. [Roj]

 

At least 28 Turkish soldiers were killed in HPG operations in Sidekan on Monday. [Roj]

DaeshDaily comment. We are not seeing Turkish accounts of these recent clashes in which the PKK reports significant losses among government troops, making it difficult to verify these reports.

 

SULEIMANIYA

Election. Last Tuesday, US diplomat Brett McGurk met with several prominent Kurdish leaders, 4 of whom reject the election results in the governorate of Suleimaniya. McGurk is urging these groups not to boycott the parliament and Iraqi political process. [Arabi21]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on Lebanon’s Hezbollah to “end its military activities in Lebanon and Syria.” This came as part of Guterres’ report to the UN Security Council, in which he said that Hezbollah had violated Security Council resolutions by intervening directly in the war in Syria, and added that this had damaged the neutrality of Lebanon on regional issues.  Guterres called on the Lebanese government to prevent Hezbollah and other militias from obtaining weapons.  [Qasioun]

 

The website Al-Monitor said that Syrian President Al-Assad told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he would agree to form a committee to reformulate the constitution, which could be a sign of his readiness to abandon power. The idea was previously rejected by the Syrian President. [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment. This report will qualify as the most naïve report of the year. We don’t write these things, we just report them. Of course, Assad has little to lose by bargaining over the constitution, as he is not being forced to accept any changes. The committee may still be a good idea, however, if its membership is balanced between government and anti-government representatives and the anti-government representatives are not chosen by Assad. We concede that some would find that even the committee is a naïve idea.

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

A DaeshDaily source says 200 civilians left the Dashisha area and arrived at an SDFcontrolled area near Tal Abu Susah village, just north of Deir Hafer, east of Aleppo. 

 

Daesh issue a video of the harvest season in the Dashisha area. [ICDNMay22]

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

Tahrir Al-Sham announced on Tuesday that it had arrested fighters from the “Khawarij” (Daesh fighters who have split from Al-Baghdadi) that it said were responsible for assassinations in areas held by opposition forces.  An agency close to Tahrir Al-Sham quoted its security official Osama Al-Adani as saying that HTS arrested 2 “Khawarij” fighters in a residential apartment in Idlib, which led them to other members of the “Khawarij” cell in the village of Kurin in western Idlib.  [Qasioun]

 

Homs

Daesh targeted a regime position in Homs with a car bomb, causing the deaths of 7 members of the Syrian forces. A second car bomb went off at the third oil station in Homs, but Daesh might not have been behind that. [EnabBaladi]

 

Latakia

According to Dorar, regime intelligence sent a notice to its Latakia branch to search for a “terrorist group” targeting “friendly Russian forces” at the Russian Khmeimim airbase.  This notice was then circulated by activists on social media sites on Tuesday.  The notice requests that a search operation be carried out around the Bustan Al-Pasha (Pasha’s Orchard) area in the Latakia countryside.  [Dorar] 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that they had established observation posts in the border areas with Iraq around Deir Ez-Zor.  Media outlets close to the SDF said that they had constructed a border fence, dirt barriers, and concrete towers.   [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal District

A trusted source reported to SOHR that more than 65 Daesh leaders are in the town of Hajin in Albu Kamal. Daesh also has more than 800 prisoners there. SOHR sources report that the US and French launched rockets at the last Daesh enclave and that the SDF will support the attack on the ground. [SyriaHR]

DaeshDaily comment. The SDF and Coalition have been targeting Hajin for some time without knocking Daesh out. Perhaps this report shows why Daesh is fighting so hard to defend it.

 

South 

Daraa/Quneitra

Anti-government militia units in the besieged town of Mahja in western Daraa have agreed to negotiate with the Syrian regime, with a condition: Syria must first release all detainees in its prisons who are from Mahja. [Dorar]

 

Qasioun reported that media loyal to the Syrian regime has begun preparations for a possible attack by the Syrian regime on the areas under opposition control in Daraa and Quneitra.  On Monday, loyalist media carried a picture of the Syrian military commander Suheil Al-Hassan preparing to ride a helicopter and saying that he was going to Daraa.  [Qasioun]

 

Daesh affiliate, Jaish Khaled, publishes photos of publicly whiplashing cigarette dealers in Sahm Al-Jolan. [ICDNMay22]

DaeshDaily comment. Our sources say that only Daesh leaders are allowed to make big money trading cigarettes. 

 

Suwayda

A website says that Syrian forces transferred hundreds of Daesh fighters and families to Suwayda under the auspices of Russia. This was the result of an agreement by Daesh with the Syrian Army to evacuate the Yarmouk and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad areas south of Damascus.  Details of the agreement are so far unknown. [Dorar]

Hawar reported that the convoy included about 600 families of Daesh fighter and civilians from Yarmouk camp, and said that the evacuation was the product of a secret agreement between Russia and Turkey.  According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the women and children were sent to Idlib, and the Daesh fighters were sent to the Syrian Desert.  [Hawar]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

Daesh publishes a photo of one of its Yemeni terrorists, saying he was killed in the Bayda area. [ICDNMay22]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Human Rights Watch accused the Egyptian army of demolishing homes, commercial property, and agricultural lands in Sinai during its campaign against terrorism and Daesh.  It said that at least 3,000 houses were destroyed, and that these operations are taking place without judicial oversight. [SNG]

 

Libya

Faraj Al-Shalawi, a Libyan MP, called on his country to seek Iraqi expertise and help in combating terrorism, while accusing Turkey and Qatar of supporting terror groups in Libya.  He also said that the Libyan Army regained control of several areas in the country recently. [Knooz]

 

Medical sources say that two LNA soldiers were killed and two others wounded in a suicide attack south of Ajdabiya on Tuesday morning. [AfriGate] 

Daesh says one of its Egyptian suicide terrorists attacked Libyan National Army units near Gate 60, south of Ajdabiya, with a vehicle bomb, killing or wounding several soldiers. It also says a group of its terrorists attacked a checkpoint north of Ojala, killing the soldiers and setting the checkpoint on fire. [ICDNMay22]

 

Tunisia

The Research and Inspection team of the National Guard arrested 6 terror suspects on Monday, who made up 2 terror cells. The arrestees confessed to being Daesh members and planning to travel to Syria to fight with them. [Tunisien]

 

A military unit engaged a group of terrorists moving towards Salloum Mountain in Kasserine. 1 gunman in the group was killed in action. The body was identified as weapons and equipment found with the dead gunman were confiscated. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh says it killed a police officer and wounded his associate in Mogadishu. Daesh publishes photos of the attack. [ICDNMay22]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Officials in Afghanistan say that a bomb placed in a minibus in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, exploded, leaving 16 killed and 38 wounded, but these figures are not final. Other stories mentioned bombs having been placed in containers in garage areas.  [AlTaghier] 

 

The Afghan Defense Ministry said that at least 4 Daesh terrorists were killed after the Afghan air force launched airstrikes in eastern province of Nangarhar.

“The strikes were conducted in Achin district, Nangarhar province, on Tuesday and among the killed were one Daesh female fighter,” the ministry said in a statement. [Xinhua] 

 

Daesh says it killed six policemen with an IED in Achin, in Nangarhar. [Telegram]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about its operations in the Kirkuk/Hawija area. [Telegram]

 

 

May 21, 2018

 

Daesh Terrorists Captured near Badoush

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

IHEC cancels results from 103 voting centers based on validated complaints. [..]

Al-Abadi confers with Al-Sadr, Allawi with Barzani, on possible government coalition. [..]

Al-Abadi advisor says mismanagement, port corruption cost Iraq billions. [..]

Iran spokesman says Iran “not worried” about Iraq election results. [..]

Border Guard will resume control of Syrian border security. [..]

CTS commander in Kirkuk city wants 6 PMF units there to leave. [..]

18 Daesh fighters arrested at gateway to East Mosul. [..]

Major Daesh terrorists arrested in Hit, Hawija, Mosul, Wasit. [..]

 

Syria

Human rights org. says Russia has killed 6,133 Syrian civilians in 2½ years. [..]

Coalition airstrikes kill 28 Daesh fighters in Albu Kamal. [..]

Syrian forces resume government control of Yarmouk Camp and nearby area. [..]

 

Other countries

Egypt:  Daesh trying to relieve government’s military pressure in Sinai. [..]

US: Pompeo blasts Iran’s support of terrorism; promises major sanctions. [..]

Russia: 3 die in Daesh suicide attack on church in Chechnya. [..]

Pakistan: Daesh kills mosque imam who urged people to vote. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New Government

Election

IHEC announced on Monday that the results of 103 voting centers were canceled on the 12th of the month after verifying dozens of “red complaints.” “Red complaints” are those which IHEC has determined involved a gross violation that would affect results at the voting station. The voting centers affected were in Anbar, Ninewa, Salahuddin, Erbil, and Baghdad [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. We can bet on further controversy in the wake of this report, especially when the implications are explained. At the least, this seems to validate the complaints right after the election that there were irregularities in many places. However, the overall impact from 103 precincts is likely to be limited. There were 53,000 polling places.

 

A Christian list close to Hadi Al-Amiri won 2 Christian quota seats, causing allegations that it received Shia votes. Christians are allocated 5 quota seats in the CoR, to ensure their representation. In the May 12 election, 7 Christian lists with 60 candidates competed for those 5 seats.  However, the Christians were surprised that the PMF-affiliated “Babylon” list received 33,000 votes, winning 2 out of the 5 seats.  By comparison, the next runner-up, the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian People’s Council, received 2,017 votes to win 1 seat.  Nadeel Odishu, an official affiliated with the Democratic Assyrian Movement in Dahuk, estimated that 30,000 of the 33,000 votes for the “Babylon” list were Shia.  He noted that there are 11 [registered] Christian families in Tel Keif, but “Babylon” got 7,000 votes there.  The other 2 quota seats for the Christians were won, 1 each, by the Rafidain alliance and the Chaldean alliance. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. What happened was probably not illegal. The larger story is more likely about the Christians and the Kurds in Ninewa. Some Christians are pro-Kurdish; others are anxious to stay in Iraq. We have covered one or two small Christian militias with Iraq loyalties who joined the PMFs and fought with Shia PMF organizations. 

 

New Government

The meeting of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi with cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, whose electoral bloc led the Iraqi elections, was reported as a possible step towards a meeting between the two and Masoud Barzani, leader of the KDP, and Ayad Allawi, leader of the Wataniya (National) alliance. Sources said that the meeting was a sign of the new coalition that would probably lead Iraq. Allawi and Barzani met in Erbil at the same time.  The 4 leaders, if they agree on a coalition, would have over 150 seats in the 329-member parliament, and would only need only 15 more to secure the required majority to form the new government. This coalition might mean more international support, given Al-Sadr’s opposition to an increased Iranian role in Iraq. [Hawar]

 

An MP from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Abd Al-Aziz Hassan, said on Monday that the Kurdish parties will work on unifying their positions before going to Baghdad, noting that the struggle for constitutional rights for the Kurds requires a unified position.  In an interview, Hassan said that all of the Kurdish political alliances had agreed to present a united front in Baghdad, saying that any political friction between the Kurdish parties was a “normal” part of a democratic system.  He added that there was an ongoing agreement between the PUK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) specifically, which he said would continue.  [Sumaria]

 

Ammar Al-Hakim, the leader of the Wisdom alliance, met with UN Special Representative Ján Kubiš on Monday.  In a statement, Al-Hakim said that they had discussed the election results and the formation of the next government, and that they agreed on the importance of forming a new government as an Iraqi decision, free from external influence.  [Rudaw]

 

Corruption

Mohammed Saleh, Economic Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister, said on Monday that customs are not being properly collected, which he blamed on “poor discipline.”  He was appearing on a TV program broadcast by Sumaria.  Saleh said that customs exemptions were estimated at 3 billion dollars annually, and that customs duties from large imports should come to around 8 billion, which is equivalent to the cost of debt service for Iraq.  The Iraqi Port and Border Authority previously said that Iraq was losing billions of dollars per month to “port corruption.” [Sumaria]

 

Reconstruction

Mohammed Saleh also said on Monday that Iraq will pay 10 billion dollars for debt in 2022, and that Iraq had a good credit rating.  Saleh was appearing on the TV program “Suhour Iraqi” on Sumaria.  He said that Iraq needed to prepare to pay its large debt by establishing a fund which the government would pay into annually.  Iraq’s foreign debt includes loans from the IMF and World Bank, as well as internal debt issued in bonds.  Iraq’s public budget has been heavily affected by the decline in world oil prices.  [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. Most of us, noting the recently fast-rising gasoline prices, can take some comfort in the fact that this at least helping the Iraqi economy even if it’s costing us.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Current PM Haider Al-Abadi issued several directives on Monday aimed at securing the border and preventing terrorist infiltration.  A statement issued by Al-Abadi’s media office said that he visited Joint Ops Command and was briefed on their anti-Daesh operations.  [Sumaria]

 

Central Investigation court in Baghdad validated the confession of a Moroccan national wanted by Interpol for recruiting fighters for Daesh. The convict, who speaks Arabic, English, French, and Spanish, attracted recruits on the internet, using mainly Skype. [Dijlah]

 

Foreign policy

Bahram Qasemi, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Iran, denied that the Sa’irun alliance, led by Muqtada Al-Sadr, would work to expel Iran from Iraq. In a news conference, Qasemi said that Iran respected the outcome of the CoR elections in Iraq and was “not worried” about the future of the Iraqi people.  [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

The Center for Security Information announced on Monday that a wanted person had been arrested while trying to enter Baghdad.  Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that Baghdad security personnel under the General Directorate of Intelligence had arrested the person, who was wanted on terrorism charges.  [Ghad]  

 

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

A police source said on Monday that a civilian had been killed by an IED in Tarmiya. The source said that the IED had been planted underneath a car and exploded while another car was driving by, killing the driver.  [Sumaria]

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Daesh said on Sunday it wounded an Iraqi soldier in an ambush near the Abu Ghraib Prison. 

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:   3(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:   1

 

ANBAR

Hit/Haditha

A “security source” in Anbar Province said on Monday that a Daesh official in its so-called “Islamic Police” had been arrested in the Hit District.  The source told PUK Media that the Daesh official, Abu Fatima Al-Muhajir, was a senior leader and that Iraqi security personnel had been compiling information on him.  The source added that he was arrested while hiding in the desert in Hit and planning to flee to the city of Al-Qa’im.  However, Knooz wrote that he was arrested near Al-Qa’im.  [PUKMedia] [Knooz]

 

Al-Qa’im

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that a Nujaba’ Movement commander was killed when an IED exploded on his vehicle near the Syrian border.

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that 6 trucks loaded with weapons arrived at the Kata’eb Hezbollah headquarters in Albu Kamal, coming from Al-Qa’im.

 

Rutba

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that the Border Guard deployed 4,000 of its personnel to cover the border area with Syria. The source said the move means that the PMFs will no longer be responsible for protecting the border. The source said some PMF fighters were accused of allowing Daesh members to cross from Syria in exchange for money.

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Daesh captured 3 Kata’eb Sayyed Al-Shuhada members at a fake checkpoint near Tilul Al-Baj.  

 

Baiji

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that a child was killed and his mother wounded when a Daesh leftover IED exploded in their house in the Albu Juwari area. The source said that PMF units had cleared the house earlier, but the IED was planted in the child’s crib and exploded when the family returned to the house. The source said the PMFs will start another search for IEDs in the area. 

 

Tikrit

A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that PMF units found several Daesh tunnels in the Mtaibija area and killed 2 Daesh terrorists hiding in one of them. A PMF fighter was killed. 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that Salahuddin SWAT units defused a vehicle bomb that was parked on the road in the Al-Qadisiya neighborhood in Tikrit city. 

 

Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)

Daesh said on Sunday that an Iraqi EOD specialist was killed while he was defusing a roadside IED north of Dhuluiya. [Telegram] 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that PMF units killed a Daesh suicide bomber and 2 other terrorists who sneaked into Bashir village. The source said the suicide terrorist was planning to attack a Sunni mosque in the village. The source said the IFP had earlier informed the PMFs that it got information about a potential Daesh attack. 

 

Daesh said it destroyed an SUV carrying PMF fighters with an IED in the Jalam Al-Daur area, on Saturday. [Telegram]

 

DIYALA

A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that a Kata’eb Hezbollah commander fled to Turkey after an arrest warrant was issued against him for his role in kidnapping a local merchant in Diyala for money. The source says the commander was involved in many crimes against Sunni people. 

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

The media office for the Federal Court of Appeals in Basra announced on Monday that the Basra Criminal Court had issued 2 separate death sentences to a person convicted of killing and wounding security personnel in Diyala Province 12 years ago.  In a statement, the media office said that the defendant was sentenced to death for participating in an Al-Qaeda attack on a police detachment in Kanaan, Diyala, on October 19 2006, and in an attack on security forces in Kanaan on June 30, 2006.  [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Saraya Al-Khorasani, an Iranian-backed Shia militia, blew up the house of a Daesh commander in the Himrin area. The source said that the commander is now in the Himrin Mountains area, while his family is in a displacement camp in Daquq. 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) commander in Kirkuk issued orders to shut down the offices of 6 PMF units in Kirkuk city “for security reasons.” The source said the commander also requested that those PMFs leave the city within 48 hours. 

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that local police units captured Sabah Al-Saqlawi, a Daesh leader who killed hundreds of people in a massacre in the Zuwiya area—at a checkpoint near Al-Zab. The source sent us photos of the captured terrorist. 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that tribal PMF fighters stopped a Daesh attack on Al-Yarkon village, south of Daquq, killing 4 terrorists. 

Daesh said on Monday it shot at a house, where PMF fighters were barricading, in Al-Yarkon village. 

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Captain Adel Al-Fahadi of the Ninewa Police said on Monday that 18 Daesh fighters had been arrested in the area of Kokjali, just east of Mosul.  He told Bas News that the arresting units had also confiscated their weapons.  [BasNews]

 

Mosul

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Ninewa SWAT units captured Jassem Al-Sajri, a Daesh commander, in Hay Al-Shuhada in west Mosul. The source said the terrorist admitted to killing 190 IHEC employees in 2015 in addition to several other crimes. The terrorist also admitted that Daesh had recruited Hassan Al-Jubouri and ordered him to kill his father, election candidate Farouq Al-Jubouri, in Lazzaqa village two weeks ago.

DaeshDaily comment. Conceding that Daesh’s atrocities were endless, this 2015 massacre of so many government officials—just for having worked on democratic elections—was one of the most shocking.

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that according to a Military Intelligence Service officer, a Daesh group of 12 terrorists arrived from the Badoush hills area in northwest Mosul and tried to enter Hay Al-Ubour in southwest Mosul. The officer said his unit got information from local residents and ambushed the terrorist group, killing 5 of them and capturing 7. The officer also said that the captured terrorists admitted they were getting food from a woman in Hay Al-Abar on weekly bases. The terrorists also admitted there are more than 100 more terrorists hiding in the hills, led by a commander from Tal Afar. The source sent us photos of the captured terrorists. 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed a PMF member and destroyed his vehicle with a sticky IED in Hay Al-Ubour, in west Mosul. [Telegram]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Iraqi Army 20th division stopped a Daesh attack on Al-Kawar village in Badoush, killing 6 terrorists, including a commander. 

 

On Monday, the Ninewa Police Chief said that Iraqi security forces arrested 5 members of Daesh wanted for terrorism and other crimes, 4 of them considered dangerous. The arrests occurred in Badoush in northwest Mosul. [Anadolu]

 

The Center for Security Information announced on Monday that a large tunnel had been destroyed in Mosul, killing Daesh fighters inside.  Units from the Military Intelligence Directorate, 20th Division, found a large tunnel in Husseiniya, central Mosul.  The security personnel fought with the Daesh fighters inside, killing 2 of them and seizing explosives belts and materials.  Because the tunnel was so large and would have been difficult to clear with the Daesh fighters inside, Coalition air support was called in to deliver an airstrike to destroy the tunnel.  He added that the death toll from the airstrike was estimated to be “at least 10” Daesh fighters, who had been planning to carry out further terrorist operations in the near future.  [Sumaria] 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that local authorities demolished 18 shops built by Daesh in 2014 in the Al-Sukkar neighborhood in east Mosul. 

 

The Center for Security Information said on Monday that Ninewa Ops Command had detonated a collection of explosives left behind by Daesh.  Center spokesman General Yahya gave a statement saying that security personnel detonated a pile of shells and 30 explosives belts that were collected through various search operations. [Ghad] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil

Daesh said it killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded four others in clashes in Sheikh Younis village, south of Mosul, on Sunday. [Telegram] 

 

Hatra

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that PMF units started a search in several areas south of Hatra. The source said the units found a Daesh tunnel and clashed with a group of Daesh terrorists who were hiding there. The source said two PMF fighters and 4 Daesh terrorists were killed. 

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

Captain Amir Wathiq of the Ninewa Police said on Monday that two PMF soldiers had been killed by armed Daesh fighters in Sinjar District.  He told Bas News that the Daesh fighters had launched an attack on the village of Ablij in Qayrawan, Sinjar, killing two PMF members and wounding another before fleeing.  [BasNews]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Wasit

On Monday, the Wasit Criminal Court sentenced 2 terrorists and former Al-Qaeda members to death by hanging.  Judge Abd Al-Sattar Birqdar, the spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, said in a statement that 1 of the 2 had detonated a car bomb in the Abbasiya marketplace in Wasit Province on August 15 2011, killing dozens, and that the other had participated in several terrorist attacks around Wasit.  [Sumaria]

 

The Center for Security Information said that a terrorist had been arrested in Wasit Province.  Center spokesman General Yahya credited units from the Military Intelligence Directorate under Rafidain Ops Command with the arrest, in cooperation with Wasit Anti-Terrorism units.  [Etejah] 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

American officials stated that the Turkish offensive in Afrin supported Daesh in its recruiting efforts, according to the Washington Post. The Post reported the Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is believed to be still alive and is striving to implement a long-term strategy despite recent military defeats. [Hawar]

 

The HPG, military wing of the PKK, announced that 45 Turkish soldiers had been killed in operations executed Sunday in the governorate of Aghra in eastern Turkey. [Anadolu]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that Turkish security units captured Abu Al-Majd Al-Shami, a Daesh mail carrier, in Istanbul and confiscated USD 11,000. The source says Shami had arrived in Turkey 4 days earlier and was planning to flee to Greece.

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The Syrian Human Rights network says that Russia has killed 6,133 Syrian civilians since September 30 2015. [Dorar]

 

Iran’s Foreign Minister Spokesman Bahram Qasemi stressed that Iran will continue to operate in Syria as long as the Syrian government requests it. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest

Azaz

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that Turkey-backed opposition groups captured Bashir Al-Sumaida’i, a Daesh Iraqi commander, near Mare’. The source says the terrorist, who used to be a Saddam Special Security Service officer, was responsible for killing tens of civilians and captured opposition groups’ members, and had participated in the Kojo massacre when Daesh killed hundreds of Yazidi civilians in 2014. 

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

Dorar reported that on Sunday, an IED targeted a US convoy between Tel Tamr subdistrict in Hasaka and another Hasaka location and that 3 American soldiers died and others were wounded. Other sources reported a possible traffic accident involving three vehicles. [Dorar] However, a Daesh Daily cross-check of a Coalition website uncovered no such casualty report. 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that Daesh killed one of its Iraqi members publicly in Abu Hamdha town after accusing him of treason. The source says the murdered person had been a Daesh security official for two years and had personally killed three young men after accusing them of spying for the Coalition. 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that 6 Daesh terrorists were killed and their pickup vehicle destroyed in an airstrike in the Dashisha area. 

 

Central and West (No reports)

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

A landmine killed three civilians including a child and wounded others on Hawi Al-Ashara road east of Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

Local sources say SDF sent more reinforcements to the battlefront against Daesh east of Deir Ez-Zor. 100 fighters were sent from Raqqa to the frontlines. [Qasioun]

 

Mayadin District

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that a Syrian Army captain and his driver were killed when Daesh targeted their vehicle with a rocket in the Mayadin area. 

 

Albu Kamal District

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that Coalition planes targeted a Daesh safehouse in Al-Susah, killing 12 terrorists including an Iraqi commander responsible for Daesh’s Ashbal Al-Khilafa boy soldiers. 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Coalition planes killed 16 Daesh terrorists, including Abdul al-Sattar Al-Ani, an Iraqi commander, in airstrike on the Daesh “soldier’s office” in Hajin. The source says Al-Ani was responsible for many Daesh crimes and had been involved in the Albu Nimr massacre in Hit. 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh stopped another SDF attack on Hajin. The source said there are still thousands of civilians trapped in the town. 

 

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted Syrian Army position in Albu Kamal city with 5 mortar shells. [Telegram] 

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Damascus city and the governorate of Rif Damashq is now under the complete control of the regime. The fighters have agreed to leave those areas and some sources say that they have been dispersed into the Syrian Desert near Hamimiya in Albu Kamal district. [Qasioun]

 

On Monday, Russian media announced that Yarmouk Camp was liberated from Daesh by the Syrian regime. [Qasioun]

 

Sky News reports that a large explosion shook an Iranian operations room used as a headquarters for electronic warfare in the area of Najha, located in Rif Damashq governorate.  [Hawar]

 

Daraa

Daesh affiliate, Jaish Khaled, said ten opposition fighters were killed when they walked into a landmine field near Adwan town on Saturday. It said the group was trying to sneak into the town. It also said it targeted the group with mortars, damaging a tank and forcing the remaining fighters to retreat. [ICDNMay20] 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Reuters quoted an Iranian official as saying the US is planning to change the régime in Iran. He was responding to the 12 conditions placed by the US Secretary of State on Iran. Another official said that Iran’s presence in Syria is legal and based on the request of the Syrian government, and thus nobody can force them to leave Syria, adding that others illegitimately present should leave. [Dorar]

 

Yemen

Daesh published on Saturday photos of targeting a Houthi vehicle with an SPG9 rocket in the Al-Abal area, in Qifa. [ICDNMay19]

 

North Africa

Egypt

On Saturday, a Daesh member from North Sinai called on Daesh terrorists and supporters in Egypt to conduct attacks on government forces or on Christian people in Egypt. He said that government forces besieged areas south of Rafah and south of Sheikh Zuweid. He claimed that Daesh families there are starving. He said the best way to break that siege is to conduct terrorist attacks elsewhere in Egypt. [Telegram]

DaeshDaily comment. This would seem to be a tacit acknowledgement that the government campaign is finally having some effect. 

 

Daesh said it wounded the Central Security Service commander of North Sinai and several of his associates by detonating an IED on his convoy south of Arish on Saturday. [ICDNMay21] 

Daesh’s A3maq said the manager of the office of the commander was killed in the attack. [Telegram] 

 

The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that the easy access to weapons encourages violence in Egypt and is posing a threat to international peace and security.  

Haley also said that 7 years after toppling tyranny, the promises of the revolution to the Libyan people have not been fulfilled. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged on Monday to impose the most powerful sanctions in history on Iran, and to “hunt down and destroy” Tehran’s partners in the region and in the world.  The remarks came as part of a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a DC-based conservative think tank.  Pompeo said in the speech that Iran was “the world’s largest supporter and sponsor of terrorism,” and accused Iran of being behind assassination plots in Europe and continuing to pursue the ability to make a nuclear bomb.  Pompeo called on Iran to “withdraw from Syria and stop supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad,” or face the destruction of their economy.  [Rudaw]

 

Germany

It appears that the German government knows that more than half of the fighters who left Germany to conflict areas had German nationalities, estimating about 500 fighters. Dozens of German Muslims are held in prisons in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. The German government decided to withdraw citizenship from fighters found guilty of engaging with terrorist militias or in combat. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Russia

Russia’s investigative committee said in a statement that 4 terrorists attacked an Orthodox church in Grozny, Chechnya on Saturday, killing two policemen and a churchgoer. The attackers were killed. [Reuters] 

Daesh said 4 of its terrorists attacked “Michael Church” in Grozny on Saturday using knives, Molotov cocktails, and guns. It said the terrorists killed two policemen and a churchgoer and wounded another churchgoer before they were killed. 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh said on Monday it targeted an election center in the Khewa area, in Nangarhar, with 2 IEDs, killing an Afghan Intelligence Service officer and wounding three pro-government militiamen. [Telegram]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and killed the chief of the Surkh Road Criminal Investigation Service, one of his associates, and a police officer and stole 2 hand guns and a machine gun. [Telegram] 

 

Pakistan

Daesh said on Saturday it shot and killed a mosque imam who was “calling on people to participate in the elections and was defending Shia people” in Quetta. [Telegram] 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh published a photo of one of its Pakistani terrorists claiming he was killed in “Khorasan” (Pakistan and Afghanistan.) [ICDNMay21] 

 

May 18, 2018

 

Iraqi Elections 

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Official election results confirm Sadr alliance’s first-place finish. [..]

Allegations of election irregularities continue. [..]

Daesh attack kills 4 Border Guard officers on Syria border. [..]

Turkish Army targets PKK locations in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. [..] 

 

Syria

UN official cites growing civilian casualties in fighting south of Damascus. [..]

11 Iran Revolutionary Guard members killed by mysterious Hama explosion. [..]

Daesh claims it has killed 900 Syrian troops in fighting south of Damascus. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New Government

Election

Late-breaking development.  The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) transmitted its official election results for the Council of Representatives, showing the number of seats won by each political alliance and other entity that managed to do so. It was too late to write a full report, but shown below are the numbers of seats won by each alliance party.

There is no change from the preliminary results issued earlier for the top three alliances. The Sadr-led Sa’irun alliance finished first with 54 seats; the Al-Fath “Conquest” alliance won 47; Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s “Victory” alliance won 42. (This shows that the story yesterday about a later count bringing the Victory alliance into second place was a “plant,” as we sort of suspected.) These three alliances were followed at some distance by Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (24), Ammar Al-Hakim’s Wisdom Movement (19), Al-Maliki’s Rule of Law alliance (17), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (16), the Osama Nujaifi-led Al-Qarar (Iraqi Decision) alliance (14); and the Allawi-led Wataniya (National Forces) alliance (12). 20 seats were won by parties running only in their own province.

Here are the numbers of seats won, by order of finish. 

Sa’irun (Sadr alliance)   54

Fath Al-Mubin (Conquest-Al-Amiri)47

Nasr (Victory-Al-Abadi)   42

KDP     24

Al-Hikma (Wisdom—Hakim)  19

Rule of Law (Al-Maliki)   17

PUK     16

Al-Qarar (Decision—Osama Nujaifi)14

  Al-Wataniya (National Forces—Allawi)12

Anbar Is Our Identity (Gov. Al-Halbusi)   6

Gorran       4

New Generation     4

Castle of the Masses (Salahuddin)   3

Ninewa Is Our Identity     3

Arab Alliance (Kirkuk)     3

Turkmen Front (Kirkuk)     3

Kafa’at       2

Irada       2

Bayareq Al-Khair (Baghdad)    2

Aberoun (Anbar)     2

Democracy and Justice (Salih)    1

Kurdistan Islamic Union     1

Kurdistan Islamic Group     1      

 

These seat allocations total 282 and so are not the final totals. There are 329 seats in the Council of Representatives. There are several seats guaranteed to small minorities and other adjustments to be made under the proportional representation system, which will change some of the seat numbers, probably in favor of the alliances who got the larger numbers of votes, but would not change the order of finish. [Sumaria]

 

Meanwhile, the issue over the election process continued to generate controversy.

 

Four different candidates from 3 different alliances said on Friday that votes for them had been “stolen” and that their voters had been treated unjustly, and threatened demonstrations if the Electoral Commission did not conduct a recount.  Candidates Zuheir Kazem Marhoun Al-Kariti from the Victory alliance, Sattar Al-Ardawi and Yahya Al-Kaabi from the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance, and Ayhab Al-Wazzani from the Tamadun alliance held a joint press conference in Karbala at which they accused the Electoral Commission of enabling “vote theft” and fraud.  Al-Kariti claimed that more than 30% of votes were declared invalid due to mechanical or electronic problems, and called for a recount.  [Sumaria]

 

The Board of Commissioners for the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said on Friday that the relevant electoral law (No. 45, amended 2013) requires the Commission to use electronic counting and sorting machines to speed up results, and that the Commission is committed to doing so.  A statement issued by the Board added that parties objecting to the election results should submit electoral complaints through the Commission, and that the Commission is the sole authority for resolving complaints, although the decisions of the Board of Commissioners may be appealed in the federal Court of Appeals.  [BasNews]

 

An MP in the Rule of Law alliance, Awatif Naima, said on Friday that the Electoral Commission had gotten itself into a “quagmire” in front of the Iraqi people and the UN, and said that the electoral process had “failed” for several reasons, the first of which was fraud.  In a statement, Naima said that the UN would “issue a decision after investigating the evidence that had been presented to them.”  She went on to say that the Commission had failed to comply with warnings by the UN electoral support team issued on April 30, 2018 (12 days before the election) regarding the failure of multiple electronic systems used by the election machines, designed by the [South Korean] company Miro, which she called a “fake” company that the Electoral Commission had contracted with for millions of dollars.  [Sumaria]

 

New Government

Muqtada Al-Sadr wrote on Friday that the victory of his alliance in the CoR elections had “upset a lot [of people]” while adding that the alliance was going to work for reform and would not give up.  He made the remarks on his personal Twitter account after meeting with Wisdom alliance leader Ammar Al-Hakim.  [Sumaria]

 

Abd Al-Hadi Al-Saadawi, an MP in the Rule of Law alliance, said on Friday that there were “high-level” understandings with the Al-Fath (Conquest) and Wisdom alliances to form a government.  In an interview with Sumaria, he went on to say that Rule of Law had some agreements with other Sunni and Kurdish parties, and that there were “simple understandings” with Victory.  Al-Saadawi said that Rule of Law had no “red lines” against forming a government with any party, provided that party “believes in a political majority.”  He added that Al-Abadi abandoning his desire to be PM would make it easier for him to be in a coalition to form the new government, and that if Al-Abadi insisted on a second term as PM, he believed that all the other alliances would protest and reject this. [Sumaria]

 

Muqtada Al-Sadr received a group of ambassadors from neighboring countries and said that the principle of Iraq’s foreign relations was that “neighboring countries are friends, not enemies.”  Al-Sadr’s office released a press statement on Friday saying that the ambassadors invited were Fatih Yildiz of Turkey, Muntaser Zu’bi for Jordan, Abdulaziz Al-Shammari for Saudi Arabia, Sattam Jad’an Al-Dandh for Syria, and Salem Al-Zamanan for Kuwait.  Al-Sadr’s additional statements addressed his hope that the month of Ramadan would bring the Islamic and Arab countries further together. [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

General Joseph Votel, US Commander in the Middle East [i.e. CENTCOM], said in a press statement that Washington still had confidence in the Iraqi Army and that their relationship would not be harmed by the recent CoR elections.  In a telephone interview with Agence France Press, he said that Iraqi soldiers, like US soldiers, were removed from politics, and that the US continued to have strong relations with them.  Muqtada Al-Sadr had called for US troops to leave Iraq after the defeat of Daesh last year. [Rudaw]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition says it conducted 7 airstrikes on Daesh locations in Iraq between May 11 and May 17, in or near Hawija (2), Kirkuk (1), Qayara (1), Al-Qa’im (2), and Rawa (1). [InherentResolve]  

 

In memoriam

Ayad Futayyih Al-Rawi, former Chief of Staff for the Al-Quds [Jerusalem] volunteer Army under Saddam Hussein, died on Friday of a stroke.  Rudaw reported that “informed sources” had told them that he died in Yarmouk Hospital.  He was 76 and serving a life sentence in the Baghdad military prison.  He was arrested on June 4, 2003 and sentenced in 2008 for his role in putting down the 1991 uprisings.  [Rudaw] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

A police source said on Friday that 2 civilians had been injured in an attack with a hand grenade.  The source said in an interview that unidentified armed men had thrown the grenade at a group of shops near Roundabout 83 in the Talibiya area, wounding 2 passers-by.  [Sumaria]

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Baghdad Ops Command announced that it had found explosives left behind by Daesh on Friday.  The Command said in a statement that 7 IEDs and 21 shells and caps of various types had been found in a search by security units.  The search covered the areas of Albu Hawsa (spelling approximate) in north Baghdad and Al-Nasr wa Al-Salam village in Abu Ghraib.  [Ghad] 

 

ANBAR

Rutba

A DaeshDaily source says four Border Guard members, including an officer, were killed and three others wounded in a Daesh attack near the Al-Waleed border crossing on the Syria border near Jordan.

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

The Directorate of Internal Affairs for the Energy Police announced on Friday that they had found a factory used to manufacture IEDs in Salahuddin.  In a statement, the Directorate said its intelligence personnel had found the factory near the Baiji thermal power station.  The area had been closed off with yellow security tape and had posted warnings, presumably to deter investigation.  [Ghad] 

 

Tikrit

A local official in Diyala Province said on Friday that the Mtaibija area was again becoming a center for Daesh in Iraqi.  The head of a local council, Mohammed Dayfan Al-Obeidi, made the remarks in an interview with Sumaria, adding that villages nearby have become a security threat to the “liberated” areas, and that the matter needed to be addressed by the security establishment.  Al-Mtaibija is on the Salahuddin side of the border with northern Diyala.  [Sumaria] 

DaeshDaily comment. What else is new? The vaguely defined Mtaibija area has been identified often as a center of Daesh activity. Typically the area becomes a focus of military attention for a while and some Daesh members are killed or apprehended and attention to it fades. But it always comes back again. The whole border area of Salahuddin and northern Diyala is one of the major and unresolved security problem areas in Iraq. The Daesh activity centered in this area primarily affects northwest Diyala 

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

On Friday, security personnel found a cache of military hardware in a village in Diyala Province.  The spokesman for the Center for Security Information, General Yahya, gave a statement saying that units under Diyala Ops Command had found the cache in the village of Albu Bakr, and that it contained 7 damaged 155mm rockets, 6 anti-armor grenades, and bomb-making materials.  He added that security units under Anbar Ops Command had also found and detonated 3 IEDs without incident.  [Etejah]  

 

A “local source” in Diyala Province said that a young man had been killed and his father wounded by an IED.  The source said in an interview that the IED had been placed on a farm road outside of Khanaqin, and exploded when a vehicle passed by.  [Sumaria]

Daesh says it killed a Shi’i, wounded another, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in Ali Sabahi village, west of Khanaqin. [Telegram]  

 

Another “local source” in Diyala Province said on Friday that security personnel had found the body of a Daesh fighter on farmland in the Khanaqin subdistrict.  The source, who asked not to be named, said that preliminary information indicated that the Daesh fighter had been killed a few days ago during a search operation by security personnel.  [Sumaria]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Daesh publishes a photo of one of its Iraqi terrorists, claiming he was killed in the Kirkuk area. [ICDNMay18]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Federal Police Chief Raed Shaker Jawdat said on Friday that tunnels, safehouses, weapons, and explosives had been found around Kirkuk and Hawija.  In a statement, Jawdat said that units from the 6th Division of the Federal Police had tracked down Daesh fighters hiding in the Samarra desert, and destroyed 3 tunnels and 2 safehouses, as well as seizing weapons, a silencer, military and medical equipment, explosive materials, and mobile phones.  A separate group from the 1st Division found 35 explosives detonators, 3 anti-armor missile launchers, and 80 12.7mm bullets while inspecting the Dhi Qar complex in Kirkuk.  He added that units from another squad had found rockets and 2 IEDs while searching the fishing area in Hawija District. [Etejah] 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

A security source in Kirkuk said on Friday that a civilian had been killed by an IED in Daquq District.  The source, who asked not to be named, said in an interview that the IED was placed by the side of the road near the village of Zanqar, next to Daquq city, and that it exploded while a civilian car was passing by, killing the driver.  [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

The Center for Security Information announced on Friday that 4 wanted Daesh fighters had been arrested in the Tel Keif area.  In a statement, the Center said that the Police Directorate of Tel Keif, under Ninewa Police Command, had made the arrests, and that 1 of the 4 was also wanted in Khaldiya.  [Sumaria]

 

Mosul (No reports)

 

Southern Ninewa (No reports)

 

Western Ninewa (No reports)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

The General Customs Authority (a government institution affiliated with the Ministry of Finance) announced on Friday that it had stopped an attempt to bring 450 kilograms of a drug “believed to be heroin” into Iraq through the port of Umm Qasr.  In a statement on its site, the Authority said that in cooperation with intelligence units, it had seized the drugs in northern Umm Qasr, hidden inside a shipping container.  The container was loaded with bananas and had been shipped from the Emirates by the transport company Maersk Marine.  [BasNews]

 

The Center for Security Information announced on Friday that a terrorist had been arrested in the Numaniya area of Wasit Province.  Center spokesman General Yahya credited detachments from the Directorate of Military Intelligence with the arrest.  [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

DAHUK

The Turkish Army announced on Friday that it had destroyed 12 targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) within the Kurdistan Region.  The Chief of Staff for the Turkish Army said in a statement that raids on Thursday and Friday on PKK “strongholds” in several border areas had resulted in the destruction of the targets, which included safehouses and weapons caches used by PKK fighters. [BasNews] 

DaeshDaily comment. We can’t tell from the story whether the “border areas” are in Dahuk or Erbil or both. The PKK has personnel stationed in both as well as in Suleimaniya. [..]

 

The Turkish Armed Forces said on Friday that 23 PKK “terrorists” had been killed in their operations in “Northern Iraq” [i.e. Kurdistan Region] between May 10 and 17.  The statement was issued by the Chief of Staff, who claimed that the PKK were using the region to enter Turkey. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. This is exactly the issue. The PKK is using remote border villages in Iraqi Kurdistan as staging areas for attacks across the border into Turkey and kill Turkish soldiers and police. The Kurds have been unwilling to deal with this, and the Iraqi government has not been in position to deal with it, so the Turks have been allowed to police the area themselves.

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

On Friday, the UN expressed its concern about the safety of civilians in the Yarmouk camp and around the Al-Hajar Al-Aswad area.  Farhan Haq, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, noted these concerns at a press conference at UN HQ in New York. Haq said that thousands were still trapped by the fighting in those areas, which has resulted in deaths, injuries, and displacement among civilians, largely Palestinian refugees.  Haq pointed out that the bombing of residential areas in Damascus the day before had killed 2 people and wounded 22 others, and said that since April 13 about 130 shells have been fired on residential areas of Damascus, killing 16 civilians in total and wounding 160 others.  [Anadolu]

 

Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Syrian regime President Bashar Al-Assad in Sochi on Thursday. He stated that all foreign forces must be removed from Syria through a political process. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

United States

Heather Nauert, US State Department Spokeswoman, made a statement on Thursday that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has reported that the regime used chlorine in the subdistrict of Saraqib in Idlib Governorate on February 4, and she condemned the attack. [Dorar]

 

In a statement made by the US envoy to the UN, Kelley Eckels Currie, the US threatened to stop Iran from establishing military bases inside Syria in coordination with Hezbollah. She stated that the attacks on Israel are an indication of Iran’s true motive in Syria.  [Dorar]

France

France has frozen the assets of 3 individuals and 9 companies suspected of assisting in the development of chemical weapons in Syria. The French Minister of Finance and Foreign Minister say the move is intended to punish those suspected of supporting the Syrian Scientific Studies Research Center. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition says that between May 11 and May 17, it conducted 59 airstrikes on Daesh locations in Syria, 52 near Albu Kamal and 7 near Shaddadi. [InherentResolve]  

DaeshDaily comment. If you compare these numbers to those in the companion story under the Iraq National News, you can see that the Coalition effort is now almost entirely focused on Syria.

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

Daesh publishes photos of the results of a Coalition airstrike on Al-Ruwaiha village (spelling approximate), in the Tal Al-Jayer area. The photos don’t show human casualties. [ICDNMay18]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Iraqi PMFs shelled and rocketed the Tal Al-Jayer, Dashisha, and Al-Manakh areas across the border, but indiscriminately, forcing many people to leave their houses. 

 

Central and West 

Hama

A DaeshDaily source says 11 Iran Revolutionary Guard members were killed and others wounded in an explosion at the Hama airport. 

 

Syrian government media reported on Friday that there were several consecutive explosions at the Hama airport.  At least 4 explosions were reported on the outskirts of Hama city, and pictures circulated of smoke above the sites of the explosions.  A Russian security source cited a [Syrian] security source as saying that a fire broke out at one of the munitions depots at Hama airport.  The source added that efforts to both fight the fire and determine its origin were underway, and that there were no figures to date on casualties or damage.  [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor) (No reports)

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Daesh says it attacked Syrian Army positions near Yarmouk camp, killing 11 soldiers, wounding others, and damaging a tank. It also says it destroyed 2 BMP armored vehicles and damaged a tank in the Al-Hajar Al-Aswad area. [ICDNMay18]

Later on, Daesh says it killed 50 Syrian soldiers in battles in the Yarmouk camp and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad areas. [Telegram]

 

Daesh’s A3maq says that after 28 days of continuous battles south of Damascus, 900 government forces soldiers were killed and 37 vehicles damaged or destroyed. It says that Russian and Syrian planes conducted around 100 airstrikes every day, in addition to continuous heavy shelling by government forces, causing large destruction especially in Yarmouk camp, where 80% of the area was destroyed. [ICDNMay18] 

 

On Thursday, Daesh launched an attack on positions of the regime and its allied militias in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and Yarmouk Camp, resulting in 28 regime casualties. [Qasioun]

Daesh media announced on Friday that more than 30 regime soldiers were killed and others injured in an attack on regime positions in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad Friday morning. [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

Daesh publishes 2 photos of defusing an IED planted by Houthis in the Qifa area. [ICDNMay18]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

France

Friday, the French Interior Minister announced a foiled plot of two brothers of Egyptian origin to use an explosive or poisonous device (with ricin) in France. One of the brothers admitted to planning the attack. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh published the 132nd issue of its Naba’ magazine. It republishes reports about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Indonesia, and France, and adds an infographic about its attacks in Iraq during the elections. It says it conducted 40 attacks (including IED, mortars, snipers, etc.), killing or wounding 72 people in 6 provinces. [ICDNMay17]

 

May 17, 2018