An Update On ISIS Activities

August 20, 2018

 

Notice to our readers:Tuesday is the beginning of the four-day Eid Al-Adha holiday. In accordance with our policy of observing US and Iraqi holidays, we will therefore be giving our staff a break for the rest of this week and resuming publication next Monday, August 27.​​ Eid Mubarak​​ to​​ you all.​​ 

 

 

Mtaibija

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Sadr, Al-Abadi, Hakim, Allawi announce collective effort to form new government. [..]

Al-Amiri alliance denounces alleged US interference in favor of Al-Abadi. [..]

PMF organization orders PMF units to separate from political parties. [..]

Masoum says new Council of Representatives will start session shortly. [..]

Ministry of Electricity announces cooperative electric power agreement with Turkey. [..]

Coalition service member killed in helicopter crash. [..]

Human Rights Watch alleges torture used in Iraq prison interrogations. [..]

Police arrest 20 Daesh members in Hammam Al-Alil. [..]

Iraq Human Rights Commission wants regular Army units deployed to overcome deteriorating security near Syria border. [..]

 

Syria

Trump says US won’t pay any more money to stabilize Syria. [..]

Coalition bombing continues in Albu Kamal. [..]

Syrian Army-Daesh battle continues in Suwayda-Rif Damashq desert area. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

U.S.: ​​ Pentagon officials concerned about​​ lowered refugee​​ admissions of Iraqis endangered for helping the US.​​ [..]

Afghanistan:​​ 

President Ghani announces 3-month ceasefire he hopes Taliban will join. [..]

Afghan Army frees 149​​ Taliban​​ hostages. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

In a major political development on Sunday, the Sairun​​ electoral alliance led by Muqtada Al-Sadr,​​ the​​ Victory​​ alliance led by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, the​​ Al-Hikma (Wisdom)​​ alliance led by Ammar Al-Hakim,​​ and​​ the​​ Wataniya (National) alliance​​ led by Ayad Allawi​​ issued a statement that they had agreed to​​ establish​​ the “core” of a​​ coalition​​ that would form the next government. This​​ coalition​​ is still in its preliminary stages, and​​ the statement invited other alliances to join. [AlJazeera]

 

Ayad Allawi​​ called for an urgent meeting​​ of​​ Iraqi political groups that won seats in the CoR elections, to discuss the formation of the coming government. Allawi called for​​ allowing​​ enough time for dialogue to overcome all differences. He also warned of the potential consequences of the​​ anticipated​​ struggle to form the largest bloc, which he said would have “negative repercussions” if that happened. [Anadolu]

 

On the other side of the emerging political​​ divide, Jasim Mohammed Al-Bayati, a member of the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance led by Hadi Al-Amiri, says that the US is exerting pressure to grant Haider Al-Abadi a second term as Prime Minister. He says that Brett McGurk, the US Special Envoy to the Coalition, is leading the efforts with Shia, Sunnis, and Kurds, and that Al-Abadi’s position towards sanctions against Iran was a major factor in the US position. He adds that Al-Abadi has to provide concessions to Kurds and Sunnis if he wants to head the majority. [FaceIraq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Based on the reports coming to us, the US initially stayed out of the government-formation process to avoid any impression of interference, but Iran upped the ante by making a major play for a pro-Iran government, which brought the US into the process. If Iran’s political maneuvering backfires, its Iraqi backers will dutifully spread anti-US propaganda​​ to shift the blame, but the clash started with Iran’s efforts to control the process.​​ It’s worth remembering that at the beginning of the election campaign, Al-Amiri tried to ally with Al-Abadi.

 

In an obvious counter-move, on Monday a delegation from the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance visited Erbil and met with Sunni party leaders​​ in addition to Kurdish political groups. [BasNews]

 

A Kurdish official says that the Kurdish parties​​ were​​ not invited to the meeting​​ among​​ Al-Sadr, Al-Hakim, Al-Abadi, and Allawi, which took place at the Hotel Babel. He said that personal clashes​​ among​​ the Shia leaders have prevented them from forming a large bloc. [BasNews]

Masoud Barzani discussed the formation of the new Iraqi government with Brett McGurk, the US Envoy. ​​ Barzani reportedly demanded clear mechanisms for the implementation of agreements sought by the​​ Kurds. He says that the commitment of others to the principle of partnership with the Kurds is the most important issue. [Forat]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Are we the only ones who sense that the best response to the endless Barzani power plays is an Iraqi government that leaves the KDP out?

 

The Turkmen Front in Kirkuk​​ is still battling over the results of the election. It​​ called for civil disobedience to protest the results of May 12. It considered the ratification of results by the Supreme Court to be an act of​​ ethnic​​ discrimination against the Turkmen. It also says that the Court ignored hundreds of objections provided by Turkmen in protest of the election results. [Anadolu]

 

Reconstruction

The PMF organization ordered all of its units to leave cities immediately and separate themselves from any connections to political parties that formed them. PMF Command says that no more offices, headquarters, or deployments should be made. Violators will be treated as outlaws. [Mirbad]

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed​​ reported that an MP who requested anonymity said that PM Haider Al-Abadi issued directions to troops, intelligence agencies, and the PMF to focus on preventing terrorist attacks and to not become involved in politics. [Sumaria]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Mirbad story is too short for an adequate explanation, but this seems to be Al-Abadi’s belated move to depoliticize the PMF organization and bring PMFs fully under government control. The rest of the story needs to be explained, however. The timing of the announcement is interesting. At the same time Al-Abadi re-emerges​​ in Iraqi politics in​​ coalition with​​ Al-Sadr, Al-Hakim, and Allawi, he also makes a major government decision for the first time in quite a while, and one that undermines the influence of the Al-Fath alliance. It could all be coincidental, or it could reflect Al-Abadi’s belief that he will continue as Prime Minister.

 

Council of Representatives

Prime Minister Al-Abadi called on President Fuad Masoum to call the CoR​​ into​​ session to​​ meet the constitutionally mandated time frame. Speaking on public TV, Al-Abadi said that after the Supreme Court ratification of the electoral results, it’s up to the President to take the next step. He then thanked all voters and the Electoral Commissioners for their efforts. [AlIraqNews]

 

President Fuad Masoum announced on Monday that the new CoR will be convened at a time in accordance with constitutional stipulations. He also urged the new CoR and future government to dedicate all efforts to actualizing reforms. [Sumaria]

 

Economy

The Ministry of Electricity says that it agreed to cooperate with Turkey in the energy field. It says that Turkish companies will help to increase the productivity of Iraqi power stations. Turkey will also install power poles and grids, as well as selling power to Iraq. [Mawazin]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition said that​​ one​​ Coalition service member was killed and several others wounded in an aircraft crash on August 19, during a “partnered counterterrorism mission.” The press release said that the deceased’s name and other details would be released by “the pertinent national authorities.”​​ SkyPress​​ said that the crashed vehicle was a helicopter. [InherentResolve]​​ [SkyPress]

 

The Coalition said that​​ it​​ conducted​​ 4​​ airstrikes in Iraq between August 13 and August 19, in or near​​ Rutba, Samarra, the Himrin Hills, and the Atshana Mountains. In addition, the Coalition conducted 2 airstrikes on August 12,​​ in​​ the Himrin Hills and​​ in​​ Tooz​​ District, which were not reported in the previous press release.​​ [InherentResolve]

 

The newspaper​​ The National​​ quoted Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the Coalition, as saying that Daesh’s guerrilla warfare tactics are delaying their defeat on the Syria-Iraq border. Ryan says that they are almost living underground, using caves and tunnels, and have survived many major attacks by using this tactic. [BaghdadToday]

Col. Ryan says that Al-Baghdadi could be anywhere, but he lost his ability to lead. He says that the Coalition is staying in Iraq by the Iraqi government’s request, and that Daesh is a difficult enemy. He stressed that Iraqi is one unified country, and that the Peshmerga is allied with the Iraqi Army, and that the Coalition deals with Peshmerga through the central​​ government. [Forat]

 

Foreign policy

Referring to the US travel warning for Iraq, Saad Al-Mutalibi of the Rule of Law alliance says that the government has failed to provide security in the country. The travel warning says that US citizens are subject to violence and kidnapping, and that the US ability to provide emergency services to its citizens in Iraq is rather limited. [AlIraqNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Center​​ (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

Daesh said it damaged a police vehicle with an IED in the Sheikh Omar area​​ in Rusafa, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

Northwest​​ (Kadhimiya, etc.)

Daesh said it killed or wounded five Shia and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in Shula, on Friday. [A3maq]

In another report, Daesh said the vehicle was carrying Army members and Shia. [ICDNAug18]

 

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

The Center for Security Information says in a statement that 1 Daesh operative was arrested north of Baghdad. The arrest warrant was issued in Kerbala. [Ghad]​​ 

 

South​​ (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Monday evening, 2 civilians and 1 child were killed when an IED detonated inside a transport vehicle in a southern Baghdad​​ neighborhood south of​​ Karkh. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it killed five PMF members, including a PMF commander and his deputy, in an attack in the Yusufiyah subdistrict of Mahmudiya, on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it killed two PMF members and damaged their vehicle with an IED in Latifiya, on Saturday. [ICDNAug20]

 

Daesh said it destroyed an Iraqi Army vehicle with an IED in the Arab Jubour area, on Friday, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. [ICDNAug19]

 

Southwest​​ (Rasheed, etc.)

Daesh said it killed or wounded eight Shia and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in Bayya’, southwest Baghdad, on Friday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed or wounded 20 Shia people, including PMF members, and destroyed their bus with an IED in the Al-Turath neighborhood in southwest Baghdad. [A3maq]

 

West​​ (Mansour, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Baghdad Operations Command says that 5 men wanted on terror charges were arrested in the areas of Mansour, Hor Rijab, Zuhur,​​ and​​ Al-Saadoon. [Buratha]​​ 

 

Total Baghdad​​ security​​ incidents reported:  ​​​​ 10(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED​​ security​​ incidents reported:  ​​​​ 7

 

ANBAR

Al-Qa’im

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed 2 Iraqi Army SUVs with 2 IEDs on the road between Akashat and Al-Qa’im. It said it attacked the convoy after the explosion. It said killed nine Iraqi soldiers and wounded two others. [A3maq] [A3maq] [ICDNAug18]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Daesh published on Saturday photos on a group of its terrorists in the north Salahuddin area. [ICDNAug18]

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that a PMF fighter was killed and four others wounded when Daesh terrorists sneaked in from the Makhoul Mountains area and attacked Albu Juwari village. The source said the terrorists used motorcycles.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that three PMF fighters were wounded in a Daesh attack on a military position in the Siniya area. ​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that 2 Nujaba’ Movement members were killed, 3 others wounded, and their vehicle destroyed when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle between Baiji and Siniya.​​ 

 

The Center for Security Information said on Monday that units under Salahuddin Ops Command had found 5 IEDs and a 20-liter container of glycerin, which were detonated on​​ site, during cleanup around the Baiji refinery. [PressIraq]

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that joint forces of IFP, SWAT, and tribal PMFs cleared the woods in the Mtaibija area, killing 13 terrorists. The source also said that several government forces members were killed or wounded. The source sent us photos of the operation.  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that a PMF commander and another member were killed when a sticky IED exploded under their vehicle in Tikrit city.

 

Daesh said it shot and killed an Oil Facilities Protection policeman and wounded another in Allas Oilfield, on Friday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it destroyed a SWAT vehicle with an IED in the Mtaibija area, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. [A3maq] [ICDNAug19]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh usually uses the term “SWAT” to refer to CTS units.​​ 

 

A security source in Salahuddin says that a bomb attached to a military vehicle exploded near the Tikrit Courthouse.​​ One​​ member of a​​ security​​ unit​​ was wounded as a result. [BaghdadPost]

 

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad,​​ Dujail)

Daesh said it killed nine PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Farahatiya area, near Ishaqi. [A3maq]

 

DIYALA​​ (No reports)

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that IFP units reopened the Kirkuk-Erbil road after reconstructing 4 bridges in the area. The road had been closed for a month.

 

The Ministry of Electricity announced on Monday that the Dibis–West Kirkuk power line had been sabotaged, calling it an act of terrorism. According to the Ministry’s statement, Tower Number 85 was brought down and its wires deliberately cut and separated. [PressIraq]

 

Daesh said it wounded four IFP members with an IED near Albu Sabah village, in Dibis, on Saturday. [A3maq]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

The Center for Security Information said on Monday that the Federal Police and Kirkuk Ops conducted a search operation, resulting in killing 4 Daesh fighters and the discovery of an equipment cache in the industrial district of Hawija. The cache contained 2 mortar shells, 44 lighters, 27 (explosive) charges, and 4 different suppressed weapons. A glycerin-based IED was also found under the​​ Zeghitun Bridge.​​ [IraqPress]​​ [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it blew up the house of a subdistrict council member, also a tribal PMF commander, in Al-Zaidan village, east of Al-Safra. [ICDNAug19]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it destroyed an IFP SUV with an IED near Al-Mansouriya village, east of Hawija. [A3maq] [ICDNAug19]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it destroyed an IFP vehicle with an IED near Al-Atshana village. [ICDNAug19]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad,​​ Taza,​​ etc.)

Daesh said on Sunday it destroyed an Iraqi government oil tanker with a sticky IED near Daquq. [A3maq]

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

The Center for Security Information said on Monday that security personnel under Ninewa Ops Command had found 55 155mm “projectiles” in the area of​​ Kanhash Saghir, Gwer subdistrict​​ in northwest Makhmur.​​ [PressIraq]

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, Bashiqa)

The Center for Security Information said on Monday that security personnel under Ninewa Ops Command had found an anti-personnel mine in Tal Hamid​​ in northeastern Hamdaniya, which was detonated.​​ [PressIraq]

 

Mosul​​ city

Human Rights Watch says that the utmost oppressive measures, including severe torture, are used during interrogations in Iraqi prisons. It published testimonies of individuals who were subject to such torture during interrogations in Mosul. 1 interviewee says that he saw 9 men die of torture in Mosul prisons. [AlIraqNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that a Shabak PMF fighter was killed and two others wounded when a suicide bomber attacked them with a motorcycle bomb in Al-Quds, in east Mosul.

 

Military Intelligence says that it arrested a Daesh operative in Mosul on charges of instigating chaos and violence through social media. The arrest was made in the Hawi Al-Kanisa neighborhood​​ north of central Baghdad. The detainee was said to have been running scores of internet websites that supported demonstrations to topple the government. ​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that National Security Service units captured a man in Al-Haramat, in west Mosul, who forged IDs for Daesh members.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh is using women and old men to distribute salaries to its members in Mosul city. The source says security units usually don’t search women or old men. The money is given to the families of killed Daesh members and to new recruits.​​ 

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

Hammam Al-Alil. ​​​​ A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Hammam Al-Alil Police and Ninewa SWAT units captured 20 Daesh members based on arrest warrants during a search in the subdistrict. The source sent us photos of the captured.

 

Daesh said on Monday it blew up the house of a tribal PMF member in Al-Salahiya village, in Hammam Al-Alil. [ICDNAug20]

 

Shura. ​​​​ A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that a group of Daesh terrorists killed an intelligence member in his house and in front of his family in Saf Al-Tuth village, in Shura.​​ 

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack. [A3maq]

Later on Monday, the​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that tribal PMFs captured a Daesh member in the village and handed him over to local police. The source said the mother of the victim identified the terrorist as one of the group that killed her son. The source sent us a photo of the captured terrorist. ​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

On Monday, the former Vice Chairman of the Security and Defense Committee in the CoR announced that 2 terrorists,​​ who were wearing explosive belts, had been killed​​ in​​ Rabia​​ subdistrict​​ in northern Tal Afar. [Sumaria]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that Shammar tribesmen shot and killed 3 Daesh suicide terrorists who tried to blow themselves up in Owainat village in Rabi’a. The source sent us photos from the village after the attack.

 

Southern Ninewa

Baaj

The​​ Iraqi​​ Human Rights Commission says that Daesh attacked Baaj and engaged tribal mobilization fighters in a 3-hour battle. ​​ It says the government is ignoring its demand to deploy​​ regular​​ troops in these areas,​​ where Daesh is renewing its presence and commits almost daily attacks on civilians. [BaghdadToday]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that according to intelligence information, Daesh has deployed an assassination unit in the Baaj area, led by a local terrorist. The source said the unit attacked security employees, who were going back to their homes, but the attack was thwarted when tribal PMFs intervened and forced Daesh to retreat.​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

A security source said on Monday that a civilian had been injured by an IED planted near the Al-Kaziza Bridge, Basra Province. [Ghad]

 

Kerbala

Daesh said it shot and killed an Iraqi Army Intelligence member in Tuwaijri, on Sunday. [ICDNAug20]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS ​​​​ 

(No reports)

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS​​ 

You are invited to add information to or comment on any Daesh Daily story, about Iraq or other countries​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

Unidentified armed men opened fire from a speeding car on the US Embassy premises in Ankara. 6 bullets targeted the gate of the​​ Embassy without causing casualties. [Anadolu]

 

The Turkish Ministry of the Interior says that it killed 40 PKK fighters during the past week, saying a joint effort was made by the Army, special forces, and the police August 13-August 20.​​ There were​​ 279 people arrested, including 28 reportedly suspected of belonging to Daesh. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Îlham Ehmed, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (the civilian wing of the SDF) says that she believes that the SDF could be a part of the Syrian armed forces in the future, after finding a suitable formula for that. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

United States

Donald Trump says that the US will not pay any more money to stabilize Syria. He says that previous commitments of $230 million will not be paid, and will instead be covered by Saudi Arabia and other rich countries. He described the​​ previous​​ commitments as silly. [Dorar]

 

USAID​​ Administrator​​ Mark Green said at an event for World Humanitarian Day on Monday at CSIS, a Washington-based think tank, that 80% of Syrians were in need of international aid. [Qasioun] [CSIS]

 

Europe

The UK says that it is reducing its non-humanitarian support to Syrian opposition areas, but will continue to support the “most​​ needy” and support enhanced​​ security in the country. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

According to a report by the British Development Initiatives organization, Syria is leading the list of recipients of humanitarian support at 14%, followed by Yemen at 8%. Turkey is leading the list of providers at $8.07 billion provided, followed by the US at $6.68 billion, with the UK and Germany behind that. This makes Turkey the provider of about 1/3 of overall humanitarian assistance provided worldwide, according to the report. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If you find the explanation not quite convincing, you are not alone.

 

China

Xie Xiaoyan, the Chinese Special Envoy on the Syrian Issue, says that there is no definite number of Uighurs (a Muslim-majority ethnic minority in China) fighting in Syria. He says​​ most of them traveled to Syria and Iraq illegally, which makes them difficult to track. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest

Afrin

Kurdish media says that YPG units killed a fighter from the pro-Turkey Sultan Murad group in Haj Jamala village,​​ in the​​ Rajo​​ subdistrict​​ in​​ northwest​​ Afrin. [Hawar]​​ 

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

A land mine destroyed a vehicle carrying fuel, killing​​ one​​ civilian and wounding another south of Hasaka. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it wounded PMF members and damaged their vehicle with an IED on the road to Al-Jabsa Oilfield. [ICDNAug18]

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF member with a silenced gun in Al-Jafar village, on Sunday. [ICDNAug20]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said on Saturday it killed or wounded four SDF members and destroyed their SUV with an IED on Al-Nour Street, in Raqqa city. Daesh said the vehicle was accompanying an “American convoy.” [A3maq] [ICDNAug18]

Later on, Daesh said that three American soldiers were wounded in the explosion. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it shot and severely wounded two SDF members who were on a motorcycle east of Karama. [ICDNAug18]

 

Daesh said it killed an Asayesh member in Raqqa, on Saturday. [A3maq]

Daesh said it shot and killed an SDF member north of Raqqa, on Saturday. [ICDNAug19]

 

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

Daesh said it shot and killed an SDF member and stole his weapon near Al-Mansurah town, on Friday. [A3maq] [ICDNAug18]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

The SOHR says that many families that escaped the advances of the Syrian Army southeast of Aleppo months ago, are now gathering near these areas, aiming to return to their areas under the guarantees of the Russian military police already deployed there. [SyriaHR]

 

The SOHR says that 2 Tahrir Al-Sham​​ fighters were killed near Deir Al-Sibel, raising the number of persons​​ murdered​​ in Idlib, Aleppo, and Hama to 272, including 55 civilians. 186 were Syrian nationals from​​ Tahrir Al-Sham​​ and other armed factions, with 29 from various Asian, African, and Arab nationalities. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that Tahrir Al-Sham killed 6 Daesh suspects in Idlib. The source said Tahrir Al-Sham took confessions from the suspects under torture. The source said it is trying to get rid of Daesh sleeper cells after many of its members were assassinated in the Idlib area. The source said some of the members assassinated recently were Ahmed Al-Shammari, a Saddam army commander and an AQI leader, in addition to a “judge” from Central Asia.​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that Al-Bolil village is suffering from lack of power after Daesh blew up electricity towers in the area.​​ 

 

Mayadin​​ District

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that reports are emerging about SDF units kidnapping people from Al-Tayyana town for ransom. The source says several men, mostly shop owners, were kidnapped from their houses recently.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that four SDF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack on Al-Tayyana. The source says Coalition planes supported the SDF and forced Daesh to flee. Two Daesh terrorists were killed in the attack.​​ 

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed an SDF member and stole his vehicle near Al-Tayyana village.​​ [ICDNAug19]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that 7 government forces members were killed or wounded in a Daesh attack on Subaikhan town.​​ 

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that two SDF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack on the Al-Omar oilfield. The source said the SDF stopped the attack killing 3 terrorists and destroying an SUV.

 

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and killed an SDF member in Al-Sajar village, near Al-Omar Oilfield. [A3maq]

In another report, Daesh said it shot and killed an SDF commander west of Al-Omar Oilfield, on Saturday. [ICDNAug19]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that 4 government​​ soldiers​​ were killed and 2 others captured in a Daesh attack on Al-Ashara town. The source says the attack started when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest near a checkpoint. The source says Daesh also captured an armored vehicle, a pickup, in addition to weapons and ammunition in the attack.

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The Coalition said that it had conducted 11 airstrikes in Syria between August 13 and August 19. All 11 were in Albu Kamal. Additionally, the Coalition conducted 1 airstrike near Albu Kamal on August 12 that was not reported in the previous press release. [InherentResolve]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that two SDF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack on the Al-Milh oilfield, 20km (12 miles) from Gharanij.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that a Syrian soldier and 2 Nujaba’ Movement members, including a commander, were killed in a Daesh rocketing on government forces near Albu Kamal city.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that Daesh confiscated the agricultural lands of people who left Al-Susah town. The source said that Daesh also sold hay from these lands, and set the rest on fire to block warplanes visibility. The source said Daesh also ordered people of the town to break into the houses of people who left and loot their belongings.​​ 

 

Daesh published on Sunday photos of targeting a Syrian Army military position in Al-Sayal village with an SPG9 rocket. [ICDNAug19]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

The Syrian Army and affiliated militias are digging up the graves of victims of chemical attacks in East Ghouta. Opposition sources say they are trying to eliminate any traces of chemical attacks, in order to support Russian stories​​ that the attacks didn’t happen. [Dorar]

 

The Syrian Army is still pressing Daesh in the Rif Damashq near the border with Suwayda in an attempt to free captives held by Daesh. The SOHR says that the Syrian government is reluctant to accept Daesh’s condition of being allowed to move to the Homs desert in exchange for releasing the hostages. [SyriaHR]

 

Daraa/Quneitra

The SOHR says that the Syrian Army is actively recruiting men from Daraa and Suwayda after clearing their areas of Daesh. The new recruits are serving in their own areas and checkpoints leading to these areas. The number of new recruits in these areas is estimated at 34,000. [SyriaHR]

 

Suwayda

Fighting continued in rural Suwayda and the Rif Damashq desert between the Syrian Army and Daesh, leaving casualties on both sides. Artillery and airstrikes on Daesh areas continued. Daesh is withdrawing to areas in Rif Damashq, nearly 50 km​​ (30 miles)​​ away from Coalition positions. A Daesh-planted IED killed 5 local fighters in Suwayda. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that 4 Syrian Special Forces members, including a captain, were killed in a Daesh ambush near Hardan town.​​ 

 

A Shabak girl from Suwayda named Hanin told her story about when Daesh broke into her village. Hanin had to hide in a water tank full of water until Daesh fighters left. They killed her mother and sister in the raid. Hanin was hospitalized by her cousin after trying to commit suicide. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

Daesh published on Monday photos of a group of its terrorists in Bayda. [ICDNAug20]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said it destroyed an Egyptian Army bulldozer with an IED near a security barrier in Rafah, on Friday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed or wounded Egyptian soldiers with an IED near Sheikh Zuweid city. [A3maq]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

Reuters​​ reported that 2 Pentagon officials familiar with the issue were concerned over the drop in acceptance of Iraqi refugees who helped the US in battle. The 2 officials said that the lack of protection for Iraqis who worked as translators for US forces could harm US national security by discouraging locals from cooperating with the US military, either in Iraq or in other conflict areas. [Sputnik]

 

EUROPE

Spain

Spanish police say that a man armed with a knife attacked a police station in Catalonia. He was killed after attacking police officers inside the station. [Anadolu]

 

Germany

On Monday, a court in Hamburg, Germany sentenced a man of Chechen descent to 4 years and 2 months in prison for belonging to Daesh. The man joined Daesh when he traveled to Syria in 2014. [Sumaria]

 

Russia

Daesh claimed responsibility for a series of attacks against police officers in Chechnya that appeared to have been coordinated while the former warlord-turned strongman Ramzan Kadyrov was on a visit to Saudi Arabia.​​ The Chechen leader, a former separatist turned Putin ally, was on his way to the hajj pilgrimage while three attacks, including a suicide bombing, took place. The attacks come a year after several police officers were killed in the southern Russian republic.

Investigators said two attackers armed with knives broke through the block-post of the local police station in Shalinsky district, near Grozny at 10.30am local time. Two police officers were injured before the attackers were killed.​​ Almost simultaneously a suicide bomber triggered an explosive in Mesker-Yurt village, also in the Shalinsky district. Authorities said that no-one was hurt. The suicide bomber reportedly survived and was recovering in hospital.

Meanwhile a Mercedes car without number plates tried to break through the police headquarters in Grozny, the Chechen capital. Russian media reported that three police officers were injured, needing hospital treatment.

Russian media gave conflicting reports about this accident, with some suggesting that the car was carrying explosives. A driver was accompanied by a 15-year old passenger, TASS reported, citing police sources. The driver was killed by police.

Mr.​​ Kadyrov said on his Telegram messaging account that an attack was carried out by young people “brainwashed by Iblis followers, using social media”. The Chechen leader often uses the Islamic word​​ Iblis,​​ which means Devil,​​ to describe the members of Daesh. [Telegraph]​​ 

Daesh’s A3maq said on Monday that Daesh members attacked Chechen police officers and policemen in Grozny, “Shali,” and Mesker-Yurt.

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

On Sunday night, President Ashraf Ghani announced a ceasefire that would begin on Monday (the day before Eid Al-Adha) and continue for 3 months provided the Taliban cooperates. On Monday, the Taliban ambushed a few buses en route to Kabul because some “Afghan security forces” were on board.​​ NPR​​ reports that the Taliban spokesperson Mujahid Zabihullah says after the ambush of the bus the Taliban has not yet decided​​ whether​​ to accept or reject the ceasefire. [Anadolu] [CNN] [NPR]

 

Abdul Qayyum Kochai, the Afghan Ambassador to Moscow, says that Russia wants to use the Taliban against Daesh. He says that Russia is worried about Daesh infiltration of its Asian borders, and believes that the Taliban is the ideal tool to stop it.​​ [RT]

 

The Afghan Army freed 149 hostages, including women and children, captured by the Taliban in Kunduz​​ Province in the northeast of the country. 21 hostages are still held by​​ the​​ Taliban, says the Ministry of the Interior. [Anadolu]

 

Daesh said it killed 5 Taliban members, wounded 2 others, and captured weapons and ammunition in an ambush in the Manogai area, in Kunar, on Sunday. [A3maq] [ICDNAug20]

 

Daesh published on Monday photos of battles with the Taliban in the Korengal area in Kunar. [ICDNAug18]

 

Daesh published on Monday 2 photos of Friday prayers in an unspecified location in Nangarhar. [ICDNAug18]

 

Daesh said it wounded a pro-government militiaman with an IED in Mamand Dara, on Saturday. [A3maq]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh published on Saturday a photo of one of its terrorists, saying​​ he was killed in Libya. [ICDNAug18]

Daesh published on Saturday a photo of one of its Iraqi terrorists,​​ saying​​ he was killed in Iraq. [ICDNAug18]

 

 

August 17, 2018

 

Turkish Airstrike on Sinjar

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Turkish airstrikes​​ in Sinjar denounced by Iraq. [..]

Iraq working to avoid having​​ trade with​​ Iran violate US sanctions. [..]

Turkish Army, intel units enter Sinjar to assassinate PKK official. [..]

 

Syria

US source says Trump, Putin agreed in principle that Iran should leave Syria. [..]

Contrasting​​ statements​​ on Syrian reconstruction:​​ ​​ US withdraws money, Saudis add money, SDF complains​​ it​​ only​​ helps​​ Arab areas. [..]

PYD in Qamishli bans 61 NGOs from operating in city. [..]

Daesh seizes government-held village in Mayadin, kills 20 soldiers. [..]

Coalition airstrikes kill at least 25 Daesh members in Albu Kamal. [..]

15 Daesh surrender to SDF in​​ Hajin area. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced Turkish airstrikes on civilian areas in Sinjar, denying any coordination between Baghdad and Ankara regarding these attacks. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Also see related stories under “Sinjar” and “Dahuk” ​​ 

 

Saad Al-Hadithi, the spokesman for the Council of Ministers, says that Iraq is studying various mechanisms for trade deals with Iran to avoid conflict with the US sanctions against Iran, which took effect recently. Al-Hadithi says that Iraq cannot break the regulations related to trading in US dollars. [Dijlah]

 

The daily newspaper​​ Al-Arab​​ says that Iraq might help Turkey by providing USD in exchange for concessions in the water sector, saying that the same tactic can be used with Iran. Both neighbors of Iraq have cut off water supplies to the main rivers of Iraq, and are now facing US sanctions and a decline in their local currencies.​​ Al-Arab​​ writes that Iraq might provide trading facilities to Turkey for them to acquire hard currency, while “discreetly” trading with Iran. [BaghdadToday]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The PMF says that certain unnamed Iraqi political forces are planning to revive Daesh in western and northern areas of Iraq by pressing the for withdrawal of the PMF from these areas. Ali Al-Husseini, a PMF spokesman, says that the PMF is staying and no withdrawal orders have been issued. ​​ [FaceIraq]

 

A joint force of the PMF and the Iraqi border police carried out artillery strikes against Daesh on Friday. The Deputy PMF Commander for the “western axis” of Anbar, Saadi Nasser, said that the strikes had targeted areas on the border with Syria. [Forat]

 

BAGHDAD

A security source said that “dozens” of people had demonstrated around Tahrir (Liberation) Square, central Baghdad, on Friday. The protestors were demanding better service provision and accountability for government corruption. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If the Friday demonstration crowd is down to “dozens,” perhaps the protest wave has faded.

 

Security-related incidents reported

South​​ (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

A police source said on Friday that a soldier had been wounded by a roadside IED in the Mahmudiya area​​ in far southern Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

Southwest​​ (Rasheed, etc.)

A police source said on Friday that​​ two​​ civilians had been wounded by a roadside IED in southwest Baghdad. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

A police source says unidentified gunmen using silenced guns shot​​ and killed​​ a civilian near his house in Zaidan, in Abu Ghraib. [Sumaria]

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 2

 

ANBAR

Rutba

Daesh publishes photos of detonating an IED on an Iraqi Army vehicle in the Kilo 40 area, east of Rutba. [ICDNAug17]

Daesh had said on Aug 10 that it killed seven Iraqi soldiers, wounded two others, and destroyed a military vehicle with 2 IEDs in the Kilo 40 area, east of Rutba. [A3maq]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

Daesh says it destroyed an SUV carrying SWAT members with an IED in the Mtaibija area. [A3maq] [ICDNAug17]

It also says it damaged a SWAT bulldozer with an IED in the Mtaibija area. [A3maq] [ICDNAug17]

 

DIYALA

Gen. Sa’ad Ma’an, spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, says that a Daesh operative was arrested by police and intelligence personnel in Diyala Province. The detainee confessed to killing 7 people in the Province.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Ghad]

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Diyala Police says they arrested 3 persons wanted on terrorism charges in Baquba and Muqdadiya. [BaghdadToday]

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

Daesh says it killed two PMF fighters and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Al-Sudour area, north of Muqdadiya, on Thursday. [A3maq]​​ 

Later on, Daesh “corrected” the story saying four PMF fighters were killed in the explosion. [A3maq]

Another​​ Daesh​​ report says that 4 Badr members, including 2 commanders, were killed and another wounded in the explosion. [ICDNAug17]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin,​​ Khalis​​ north)

Daesh says it killed or wounded SWAT members and destroyed a Humvee and an SUV with 2 IEDs in Um Tilul village, in Udhaim. [A3maq] [ICDNAug17]

 

KIRKUK

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad,​​ Taza,​​ etc.)

Daesh says it killed five PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in Al-Baqan village, in Rashad, on Thursday. [A3maq]

Daesh says it set on fire the house of a tribal PMF member in the same village, on Thursday. [ICDNAug17]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

Daesh says it destroyed an SUV carrying Iraqi soldiers with an IED in Al-Ma’moun, in east Mosul. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it killed or wounded Iraqi soldiers and destroyed their vehicle with an IED near Baghdad Circle, in west Mosul. [ICDNAug17]

 

Daesh says it shot and killed a policeman in his house in Rashidiya, in northwest Mosul, on Thursday. [A3maq] [ICDNAug17]

 

Southern Ninewa

Shura

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says two tribal PMF fighters were killed, two others wounded, and a pickup vehicle destroyed when a roadside IED exploded near Zalhafa village, in Shura, northwest of Shura city.​​ 

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack. [ICDNAug17]

 

Qayara/Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says security units captured a Daesh member in Al-Madraj camp for displaced people. The source says the man admitted he was recruiting children from the camp and sending them to join Daesh in the Hatra area. The man also admitted he was receiving money from Daesh operatives in Turkey to distribute to Daesh families in Ninewa.​​ He said​​ the money is being sent from Turkey to​​ two​​ Daesh female members in Mosul, who turn it over to him.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

The Turkish Army says that a joint operation by the Turkish Army and Turkish intelligence units in Sinjar killed Ismail Ozdan, a PKK official in Sinjar. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This report is from a government-affiliated source. The larger question is why the Turkish military is operating in Iraq.

 

Also see​​ related​​ stories under National News (above) and Dahuk (below)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra
A security source in Basra says that unidentified gunmen using silenced guns shot and killed an employee of​​ the​​ Southern Refineries​​ Company in Qibla. [Sumaria]

 

Karbala

A security source in Karbala said on Friday that an arms depot belonging​​ to​​ an unidentified PMF group exploded in western​​ Karbala Province. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

DAHUK

On Friday, Turkish planes bombed a cave​​ near​​ Kani Masi​​ in​​ the Amedi​​ District, about 3 miles from the Turkey border. A PKK spokesman said that fires caused by the bombing had led to property damages for citizens in the​​ area. This followed the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s condemnation of Turkish airstrikes on the Sinjar region. [Forat]

 

Also see​​ related​​ stories under National News and Sinjar (above)

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

The HPG (armed wing of the PKK) says that its fighters killed 7 Turkish soldiers in Kagizman, in Kars Province in far northeast Turkey, bordering Armenia. [Hawar]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Russia

The Russian Ministry of Defense​​ says that certain unnamed countries provided the “terrorists” with advanced drone technology, as was shown after inspection of​​ the​​ remains of​​ numerous​​ drones that​​ have​​ attacked​​ its​​ Khmeimim​​ base in Latakia​​ and been downed. The Russians say​​ the​​ drones were equipped with high tech navigation and armament systems. [SyriaNow]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It seems unlikely that anyone would gain any military advantage by sending drones to the Russian base, but​​ the Russians have identified Idlib as the area from which the drones are being launched.

 

Foreign policy

United States

A source in the US administration says that President Trump and his Russian counterpart Putin agreed in principle that the Iranians should leave Syria. The issue will be discussed by national security advisor John Bolton and his Russian counterpart in Geneva next week. [Qasioun]

 

The US-run channel​​ Al-Hurra​​ reported that the US State Department had suspended the disbursement of $230 million for programs meant to restore stability in Syria. State spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had decided to suspend these payments and direct the money toward other, unspecified, goals. Nauert said that this comes as other partners in the Coalition had committed $300 million towards reconstruction, of which she said $150 million was from Saudi Arabia and $50 million from the UAE. [Anadolu]

 

The US State Department said on Friday that no international funding could be provided for Syria’s reconstruction before a “serious and​​ irreversible” UN-led political process began. This followed the US announcement that State was redirecting millions of dollars originally meant for programs to stabilize the “liberated” areas of Syria.

The US also said that former Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffery had been appointed special advisor to Mike Pompeo regarding talks on political transition in Syria.​​ [Shafaaq]

 

Saudi Arabia says it provided $100 million to the Coalition to​​ “help restore stability”​​ and aid the Coalition in fighting​​ Daesh activities in liberated areas. [Hawar]​​ [Qasioun]

The US welcomed​​ the​​ Saudi contribution.​​ The​​ State​​ Department described the contribution as necessary. It says​​ that​​ 150,000 IDPs returned to Raqqa following its liberation. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

In response, a source in the PYD complained that the Coalition is more concerned with the reconstruction of Arab areas than the destroyed Kurdish areas. The source says this is spurred by the large financial contributions of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, as well as Turkish opposition to reconstruction in the Kurdish areas. [BasNews]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

According to the Moroccan Northern Observatory for Human Rights, a Moroccan-Spanish security and intelligence team met a few days ago to discuss the situation in SDF-run refugee camps. This was done in order to discuss the return of an estimated 200 women and children living in the camps who had disavowed Daesh and made statements to the international media regarding poor treatment by the SDF. The Observatory said that many women of various nationalities, including Moroccan women, had received threats from Daesh after making these statements. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest​​ (No reports)

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Local sources in Qamishli say that the local administration of the PYD in the city banned 61 NGOs from operating in the city. The administration accused the NGOs of being a security liability. The sources say that the ban came as a result of the coordination with the Syrian government, which recommended​​ this decision. [BasNews]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh says it killed three SDF members and destroyed their SUV with an IED in the Al-Kasrat area, south​​ of​​ Raqqa, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Central and West​​ 

Aleppo/Idlib

The SOHR says that there is conflicting information regarding Tahrir Al-Sham’s​​ arrest of Omar Diaby, one of its major leaders, on charges of “dividing the group.” Diaby heads the group​​ that includes​​ the foreign fighters within Tahrir Al-Sham. [SyriaHR]

 

Tahrir Al-Sham executed 6 Daesh members, accusing them of planting IEDs to kill civilians. The execution was broadcast by the group through its Telegram account. [EnabBaladi]

 

The official state-run Syrian news agency says that Syrian Army units shelled​​ Tahrir Al-Sham​​ positions in 5 villages in Hama and Idlib, killing and wounding several gunmen, and destroying defensive fortifications and medium weapons. [Ghad]​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 20 government soldiers were killed or wounded when 2 Daesh suicide bombers attacked them with a vehicle bomb and an explosives vest in Al-Faidha village, in Mayadin. The source says Daesh captured the village, while government forces rocketed it indiscriminately. The source says Syrian Army units and Iraqi militias are preparing for a counterattack on the village.

However, the source​​ also​​ says several units from government forces, including Iraqi militias, have left the Mayadin area to prepare for the Idlib battle.​​ 

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SOHR says that Coalition airstrikes on Al-Susah, east of the Euphrates, left heavy casualties among Daesh, killing at least 18 fighters and wounding dozens of others. Most of the victims are of non-Syrian nationalities. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Coalition planes killed 7 Daesh terrorists, including 2 commanders, in an airstrike near Al-Susah. The source says that Abu Rashad Al-Hiti and Muhannad Faisal Al-Ahmadi, aka Abu Anas Al-Iraqi were among the killed. The source says Al-Hiti was a commander of a special Daesh unit from west Anbar. The source says the terrorists were crossing the Euphrates to conduct an attack on the SDF.​​ 

 

The SOHR wrote that 15 Daesh gunmen surrendered to SDF forces near Hajin. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 4​​ Iraqi​​ Kata’eb Hezbollah fighters were killed and others wounded in a Daesh attack west of Albu Kamal. The source says Daesh is trying to recapture Albu Kamal city after some government forces withdrew from the area and headed toward Idlib.​​ 

 

South​​ 

Rif Damashq​​ 

Suwayda

The state-run Syrian news agency says that the Syrian Army killed 10 Daesh gunmen in Tilul Al-Safa (Al-Safa Hills), in the Suwayda desert. This followed Daesh attacks in Qabr Al-Sheikh Hussein​​ (Sheikh Hussein’s Tomb)​​ and Um Marzakh, which aimed at breaking the siege imposed by the Army. [SyriaNow]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it killed a Taliban commander and wounded 2 of his associates with an IED in Sarkani​​ District, in Kunar. [A3maq]

 

Philippines

Daesh publishes photos of a group of its terrorists in the Philippines. The photos show persons of all ages, including children. [ICDNAug17]

 

 

 

August 16, 2018

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

US officials move to counter Iranian election moves, bolster Al-Abadi. [..]

Officially-connected Iranian newspaper denounces Al-Abadi. [..]

Halabja approved as Iraq’s 19th​​ province. [..]

Iraqi F-16s hit Daesh positions in Syria. [..]

Two mukhtars reported killed in west Mosul. [..]

Daesh captures, kills four Shammar tribe PMFs in Hatra. [..]

Masoud Barzani rejects postponement of September KRG election. [..]

 

Syria

UN expresses concern about fast-rising IDP numbers in Deir Ez-Zor. [..]

Pompeo, De Mistura agree there will be no reconstruction support without political change. [..]

Erdogan advisor says Turkey trying to prevent Syrian Army attack in Idlib, but some residents told to evacuate. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Saudi Arabia: ​​ Shia woman activist sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. [..]

Afghanistan:Many Shia Afghans, police & intel officers killed in multiple brazen attacks. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

The Kurdish Change (Gorran)​​ party​​ said on Thursday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s​​ conversations​​ with KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani and Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi were an expression of US support for a second term for Al-Abadi. Change member Tafka Ahmed said that Pompeo’s call with Barzani was a US request for the​​ two​​ major​​ Kurdish parties (KDP and PUK) to ally with Al-Abadi in order to speed up the formation of the next government. [FaceIraq]

 

US Special Envoy to the Coalition Brett McGurk met with both​​ Vice President​​ Osama Al-Nujaifi and​​ outgoing CoR​​ Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri to discuss the formation of the new government. [Rudaw]

Al-Nujaifi met McGurk and US Ambassador Douglas Silliman, at which meeting the formation of the new government was discussed, among other issues.​​ Vice President​​ Al-Nujaifi stressed the importance of forming the new government within the constitutionally prescribed​​ periods, while Brett McGurk says the US supports eliminating personalities known for their corruption from the process of forming the new government.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Mohammed Al-Karbouli, a leading figure in the newly formed Sunni National Axis, says there​​ is a movement​​ to form a party representing all Sunni​​ factions​​ in Iraq. However, he says the National Axis was formed on a national rather than a sectarian basis. He also says​​ the​​ Sunnis’ main problem right now​​ is the selection of leaders,​​ which they cannot agree on. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Beyond its inherent complications, the government formation process has obviously degenerated into a contest between Iran and the US. ​​ It’s not a coincidence that Pompeo, McGurk, and Silliman all deployed at the same time and the​​ just-emerging coalition of Sunni blocs may​​ not be a coincidence either. This was not how it started, with the US conspicuously staying out of the process, but Iran could not manage to do the same, and then the renewed US sanctions on Iran put Iraq squarely in the middle of a quarrel it doesn’t need.

However, the process to date shows that there is no consensus Prime Minister choice. Iran and the Al-Fath alliance apparently felt Al-Amiri would be either unelectable or too obviously an Iranian choice, which explains why Al-Maliki was promoting himself with their support. When that seemed to fail, the chairman of Islamic Dawa was mentioned as a compromise choice, but he is an Al-Maliki ally, making him​​ arguably​​ a further extension of the Iranian initiative. Most of the Islamic Dawa CoR members ran with Al-Abadi in the election.​​ 

Meanwhile Al-Abadi has seemed to lie low, not promoting himself but staying in the news and promising to support the transition. His disappointing election results, though his alliance did finish third,​​ undermined his leadership position and the demonstrators have seemed to undermine it further. The Kurdish power play, saying​​ essentially that​​ they would support only a coalition that sold out to their core issues, made them mostly unavailable to​​ an alternate coalition, and the disarray among the Sunni factions took them largely out of the equation too.​​ However, once you look past the Iran-preferred factions, Al-Abadi is​​ still​​ the only obvious candidate, especially as Al-Sadr has not proposed any plausible candidate. The clear intention of the sudden US counter-initiative is to foster a coalition​​ around Al-Abadi by pressuring the Kurds to demonstrate their oft-pronounced American loyalties by doing the right thing, and pressuring the Sunni factions to take a collective stand.​​ The American counter-initiative, coming right after the sanctions announcement, has only hardened Iran’s attitude toward Al-Abadi. (See the story below)

All of this at least makes the emerging lines clearer, assuming the US effort gains traction. It’s Al-Fath and Rule of Law on one side, Al-Abadi’s Victory alliance, the Sunni parties, and​​ possibly​​ the Kurds on the other​​ (and at least Gorran, and the two Kurdish Islamic parties are likely to be on his side). So maybe the next move will come from Al-Sadr, who has the most votes to bargain with. The other significant player could be Ammar Al-Hakim and the new Wisdom party; he has seemed to lean toward Al-Sadr and Al-Amiri​​ at different times since the election.

 

Foreign policy

Apparently responding to the sudden US initiative, the Iranian hardliner-affiliated newspaper​​ Quds​​ wrote that Iraqi PM Al-Abadi would face “the same fate faced by Saddam Hussein.” An article published on Thursday claimed that Al-Abadi was committed to implementing US sanctions against Iran, and said that he only had the position of PM because of the​​ previous​​ approval of Iranian General Qassim Soleimani. The article also contained multiple insults directed at Al-Abadi on the basis of his height, calling him a “pygmy” or “dwarf” and claiming he was under 99 cm tall​​ (just over 3 feet). [Shafaaq]

 

Corruption

An “informed source” said that Minister of Electricity Qassim Al-Fahdawi had been prohibited from international travel by the authorities at the Baghdad airport. [BaghdadNews]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The airport managers are not the decision-makers here; they are just following orders. The context is a large number of past situations in which corrupt officials about to be prosecuted flew out of town​​ to join their money. This pattern became an issue, and Iraq has learned to watch the airport in such situations. Of course, there is an alternate​​ explanation for the Minister’s recent firing—that he was sacrificed to appease the people in the streets fed up with inadequate electricity service.

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

The Iraqi government officially agreed to​​ make​​ Halabja as the fourth province in Kurdistan (after Erbil, Suleimaniya, and Dahuk), and the nineteenth province in Iraq. The Secretary of the Council of Ministers​​ in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced on social media that Baghdad had given its approval to grant citizens of Halabja their own ID card, passports, and vehicle tags (i.e., which recognize them as their own province). [Shafaaq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This new province would​​ have a​​ more meaningful​​ impact​​ if contiguous parts of Suleimaniya would agree to join it. Otherwise its territory is small relative to other provinces.

 

The​​ KRG​​ Counter-Terrorism​​ director,​​ Lahur Sheikh Janki, met with General Paul Funk, Commander of Coalition Forces, to discuss security cooperation between the​​ Peshmerga​​ and the Iraqi government forces. [BaghdadToday]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Joint Ops Command said that Iraqi F-16s had carried out an airstrike on Daesh in Syria on Thursday.​​ The JOC​​ statement said “several” Daesh members were killed, and that the Daesh cells targeted had been planning terrorist operations within Iraq to be carried out in the next few days. [AlIraqNews]

 

The Karkh Criminal Court sentenced 2 Daesh operatives to life imprisonment. One of the convicts was publishing Daesh​​ information​​ and propaganda on the internet, while the other worked for the Daesh “health office.” [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

The Higher Judicial Council announced that the Salahuddin​​ Criminal​​ Court sentenced a convict to death, on charges of participation in the murder of the Dhuluiya Police Director, using a “sticker bomb” he placed under the victim’s car in 2011. [Sumaria]

 

The Ministry of Justice announced on Thursday that 6 people had been put to death this week for “violating the sanctity of Iraqi blood.”​​ This figure​​ may​​ include the following report of executions. [Shafaaq]

A security source says​​ that 3​​ Syrian Daesh convicts held in​​ Al-Hoot prison,​​ in Nasiriya,​​ were executed. The​​ 3​​ committed several​​ terrorist​​ operations in Iraq and were sentenced​​ to death by the courts. [Baghdadia]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Northwest​​ (Kadhimiya, etc.)

A police source says that an IED placed in a minibus in Shula wounded two civilians. [Sumaria]​​ [Mawazin]

Daesh says it killed or wounded ten Shia and PMF members and destroyed their bus with an IED in the Shula area. [A3maq]

 

Northeast​​ (Adhamiya, etc.)

A police source says an IED wounded​​ four​​ civilians in Jaza’i, a sub-neighborhood of Shaab. [Sumaria]

Daesh says it killed or wounded seven Shia people with an IED in the Shaab area. [A3maq]

 

A security source says that an explosives team defused a roadside IED placed in Husseiniya, which was found by a police patrol. [Sumaria]

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 2

 

ANBAR

Falluja

A security source in Anbar Province said on Thursday that security forces had disarmed 4 booby-trapped houses and destroyed several IEDs in an​​ area​​ southwest​​ of the city of Falluja,​​ between​​ Albu Assi​​ and the​​Al-Salam junction area.​​ [FaceIraq]​​ 

 

Hit/Haditha

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Iraqi Army 7th​​ division units killed 5 Daesh terrorists and captured 2 others in a raid on a tunnel in the desert near Hit. The source also says the units found drones, rockets, weapons, and ammunition in the tunnel. The source sent us photos of the raid.​​ 

 

Rutba

Daesh publishes photos of detonating an IED on an Iraqi Army Humvee in the Kilo 90 area, east of Rutba. Daesh had announced this attack on Sunday. [ICDNAug16]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says tribal units captured a man who was delivering food supplies to Daesh terrorists in the Tilul Al-Baj area. The source says the man admitted he was delivering the supplies to Daesh in coordination with corrupt tribal PMF fighters. The source says several tribal PMF fighters were arrested based on the man’s confession.​​ 

 

Baiji

The Center for Security Information says that 5 IEDs were found and destroyed onsite wile inspecting the oil pipeline going from Baiji refinery to Siniya. The line extends to​​ the​​ Dora refinery in Baghdad. [Rudaw]

 

Samarra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that IFP and Saraya Al-Salam units, based on intelligence information, raided a Daesh tunnel in the Jazeera Samarra area, killing 11 terrorists, including foreigners. The source also says the units found weapons, IEDs, and food supplies in the tunnel.​​ 

 

DIYALA​​ (No reports)

 

KIRKUK

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad,​​ Taza,​​ etc.)

Daesh says it wounded an IFP member and damaged an SUV with an IED near Al-Saaidi village, west of Daquq, on Wednesday. [ICDNAug16]​​ 

 

Daesh says it killed or wounded IFP members and damaged their vehicle with an IED on the road between Daquq​​ city​​ and Arab Koy​​ in Daquq​​ on Wednesday. [ICDNAug16]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain​​ (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Ninewa Ops Command says that the 15th​​ Army Division destroyed 6 IEDs found in Abzakh village​​ in far eastern Hamdaniya, across the river from Makhmur. It found​​ other explosive materials left by Daesh in Ayadhiya​​ in​​ Tal Afar​​ District). [Rudaw]

 

Mosul

A security source in the Ninewa Police said on Thursday that unknown gunmen had killed​​ two​​ mukhtars​​ in west Mosul before fleeing to an unknown destination. An investigation is underway. [BasNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a tribal PMF fighter was killed, another wounded, and their SUV destroyed when a roadside IED exploded near Al-Aghar village, on the road between Mosul and Qayara.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it wounded two PMF fighters. [A3maq]

 

Southern Ninewa

Makhmur/Hatra

Daesh says it wounded two PMF fighters in clashes near Sheikh Hamad village, in Makhmur, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that a group of Daesh terrorists, wearing Iraqi military uniforms and using military vehicles, captured four tribal PMF fighters in Shakij village, south of Hatra. Later on, the source says that Daesh social media sources published photos of killing the four fighters, all of them from the Shammar tribe.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says three PMF fighters were killed and three others wounded when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle north of Hatra.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa​​ (No reports)

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

On Thursday, KDP leader Masoud Barzani rejected the postponement of the parliamentary election in the Kurdistan Region, scheduled for September 30, while stressing the need to do everything necessary to ensure the integrity of the elections. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Turkish​​ presidential spokesman​​ İbrahim Kalın​​ said on Thursday that​​ Recep Tayyip Erdoğan​​ had talked with Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi regarding the intensification of Turkish military operations against the PKK in “northern Iraq” (Iraqi Kurdistan).​​ Kalın​​ said that the 2 heads of state discussed “comprehensive operations” to take place in Sinjar, Makhmur and Qandil. [Mawazin]

 

The Turkish Army says that it killed 5 PKK fighters in Adakli, in​​ Bingol Province, in eastern Turkey.​​ [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

On Thursday, the UN expressed its deep concern over the safety of civilians in Deir Ez-Zor Province, saying that the fighting there has led to the displacement of more than 20,000 people since last month. Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, made the remarks, adding that some IDP​​ camps were reachable by humanitarian organizations, but others had not yet received humanitarian aid.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

United States

Secretary of State​​ Mike Pompeo​​ and Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy to Syria, agreed that there will be no reconstruction effort in Syria unless all parties involved choose to proceed with the political process. [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Translation: Assad will get no help on reconstruction​​ as long as he maintains his dictatorial grip on power.​​ Despite all the defeatism about Syria, and some dubious US policy decisions over several years that have brought that about, this​​ report highlights one major source of leverage. Syria’s reconstruction needs are overwhelming, and unlike Iraq, it does not have​​ western and Middle Eastern friends who will pledge donations and investments while Assad is in charge, and Putin doesn’t have that much money to spend.​​ Refusing to support reconstruction efforts by ​​ this regime is​​ thus​​ a powerful stand​​ in favor of political change.

 

On the same theme,​​ State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says that the US cannot see an alternative​​ to​​ the Geneva process to achieve a long-term solution in Syria. She was responding to a question on the coming Istanbul summit regarding Syria. She says she has no idea regarding any potential US participation in this summit. [Qasioun]

 

Political opposition

The Syrian government was reportedly not very positive in its negotiations with the SDF delegation in Damascus regarding self-governance. The government says that it, not the SDF, should be in control in northern Syria. The Kurds suggested keeping the Kurdish area within Syrian sovereignty, provided they are managed by an autonomous administration, which will have its own “mini-ministries,” except for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will stay under Damascus. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Negotiable details aside, the general idea is an autonomous zone that does not challenge Syrian sovereignty. The US and Coalition should support this compromise idea, link it to the reconstruction​​ stance reported above,​​ and not leave the SDF without support.​​ A meaningful autonomous zone, which would itself have to be democratic and based on elections, probably​​ would​​ merit reconstruction support. This might give Assad an incentive to agree to an autonomous area in northern Syria.

 

Northwest​​ (No reports)

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Daesh publishes a photo of an SDF member it killed in Arisha village, north of Shaddadi. [ICDNAug16]

 

Central and West​​ 

Aleppo/Idlib

Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Turkey’s​​ President​​ Erdogan, says Turkey is extending its utmost efforts to stop any military attack by the Syrian government on Idlib. He says any such attack would drive millions of refugees towards Turkey. [Dorar]

 

However, the opposition’s South Aleppo Operations Room designated 8 rural southern villages facing Syrian Army forces as a “military zone,” giving civilians in these villages 48 hours to evacuate. [Qasioun]

 

The SOHR says that a civilian was killed by the Syrian Army’s shelling of Badama, in western​​ Jisr Al-Shughur​​ District. A​​ man was killed by unidentified gunmen west of Idlib. [SyriaHR]

 

2 IED explosions in Saraqib, east of Idlib, killed and wounded several civilians and Tahrir Al-Sham fighters. The second explosion targeted medical teams that arrived following the first explosion. [Qasioun]

 

Hama

The Syrian Army shelled​​ Tahrir Al-Sham​​ gatherings in Hama and Idlib countryside, mainly in the village of Lataminah. [SyriaNow]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

The SOHR says that Deir Ez-Zor is quiet following the violent Daesh attack on the Al-Taym oilfield near Deir Ez-Zor airport. The attack killed 7 Syrian Army soldiers while Daesh lost an unidentified number of fighters as well. The Syrian Army shelled 4 areas held by Daesh east of the Euphrates. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh issues a video of detonating an IED on an SDF vehicle on the Khurafi Road, northeast of Deir Ez-Zor. [A3maq]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Coalition planes destroyed a Daesh vehicle near Al-Baghouz town, killing 8 terrorists inside. The source says the group was specialized in rocketing liberated areas​​ and had killed many civilians.​​ 

 

South​​ 

Rif Damashq​​ 

Suwayda

The​​ Syrian Army said on Thursday that​​ it was​​ continuing to advance in the area of Tilul Al-Safa (Al-Safa Hills), the last​​ Daesh​​ bastion in the Suwayda desert. Russian media reported that Syrian Army forces had carried out airstrikes and artillery bombardments on Daesh positions in the Tilul Al-Safa area, claiming that dozens were killed. Local media said that the Syrian Army and foreign pro-regime militias now control the southwestern part of Tilul Al-Safa, located at the border between Suwayda and Rif Damashq.​​ [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia​​ 

The US-based advocacy group​​ Shia Rights Watch wrote that the Shia activist Isra’a Al-Ghamgham was the first woman ever to be sentenced to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. Al-Ghamgham was arrested in December 2015, and is one of several women from the Eastern Province charged with political involvement, but the only one sentenced to death. [ShiaRightsWatch]

 

The Saudi police say that they killed a man named Fawaz Abdulrahman Al-Harbi, suspected to be armed with an explosive belt, after a shootout with the police. The police said that Al-Harbi had “adopted Daesh thought.” [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

US authorities arrested a suspected Daesh member who was admitted to the US as a refugee. “Amr Amin,” 45 years old, was arrested on Wednesday in Sacramento, California, 3 months after an Iraqi judge issued an arrest warrant for him in connection with the killing of an Iraqi policeman in 2014. [Shafaaq]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Daesh publishes photos of battles with African Union units near Lake Chad. [ICDNAug16]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says one of its suicide terrorists blew his explosives vest up in District 18 in Kabul city on Wednesday, killing or wounding around 200 Shia Hazara people. [A3maq]

Daesh publishes a photo of the suicide terrorist,​​ masked.​​ [ICDNAug16]

 

Daesh says it killed or wounded 110 people in an attack on Afghani Intelligence office in District 5, in Kabul. It says 2 of its suicide terrorists attacked the office, and after 5 hours of​​ fighting​​ they detonated their explosives vests. Daesh publishes a photo of the 2 terrorists, masked. [A3maq] [ICDNAug16]

 

4 Afghan policemen were killed and 4 others injured by a car bomb attack against a security checkpoint in Kandahar city. Local media reported the attack on Thursday, saying that it had taken place the previous night. [BaghdadPost]

 

Daesh says it killed or wounded ten Afghan policemen and intelligence members in a suicide attack with an explosives vest in District 9, in Kabul, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

Daesh publishes a photo of the terrorist. [ICDNAug16]

Afghan officials confirmed that there had been an attack against an intelligence facility in the capital of Kabul early Thursday morning. Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said that special forces units were on the scene.

The attack came as authorities announced conflicting numbers regarding the previous day’s suicide bombing attack on an educational facility in Kabul. Figures ranged from 34 people killed and 56 injured, according to the Ministry of Health, up to 65 killed and 75 injured, according to a local official from the​​ Shia​​ neighborhood targeted. [BaghdadNews]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 144th​​ issue of its​​ Naba​​ magazine. It republishes reports about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and other countries. It also publishes​​ an​​ infographic about its attacks during the last​​ week in several countries. It says it conducted 110 attacks, killing or wounding more than 384 people and destroying 59 vehicles. In another infographic, Daesh says it killed or wounded 320 African Union soldiers in west Africa during the last 2 months. Daesh continued in this issue its articles criticizing people who don’t do “jihad.” [ICDNAug16]

 

Daesh publishes a photo of one of its terrorists from Hit, said to have been​​ killed in an unspecified location in Iraq. [ICDNAug16]

 

August 15, 2018