An Update On ISIS Activities

December 8, 2017

 

West Anbar 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Report says Al-Abadi will run for re-election separate from Dawa party. [..]

Iraqi military, PMFs  claim capture of 40 desert villages north of Euphrates. [..] 

Arab leaders in Kirkuk ask Al-Abadi to send military reinforcements. [..]

 

Syria

Battles in eastern Hama continue among Syrian Army, Daesh, Tahrir Al-Sham. [..]

Coalition airstrikes continue in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

Other countries

Afghanistan mosque attack kills imam & 6 others. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election

Rudaw News predicts there are fundamental changes coming to the future of the Shia political actors in Iraq, indicating that PM Al-Abadi will announce his separation from the Dawa Party in order to appeal for support from Sunni and Kurdish parties in preparation for the elections in May 2018. [Rudaw]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

According to Al-Forat News, on Sunday, Iraq will be declared “free of Daesh” in a major military parade at the Grand Festivities Square, following the liberation of all Iraqi regions. [Forat]

 

The Coalition conducted no strikes in Iraq between December 4th and 7th. [CentCom]

 

Trump Jerusalem decision

Friday, Vice President Ayad Allawi said the war on terrorism will be a long-term war. He added that moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will bolster “extremist forces” and will impede the efforts to bring peace and security. Allawi’s press office stated that on Friday, as part of the IISS Manama Dialogue 2017, Allawi received a delegation from the US Department of Defense, headed by Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Robert S. Karem. The meeting addressed the war on terrorism in detail. [Sumaria]

 

Friday, a spokesperson for the Sadrist Saraya Al-Salam Militia, Safa Al-Tamimi, announced formation of the “Qudsio Al-Sadr Brigade” (Sadrist Jerusalem Defenders Brigade) in Iraq in order to defend Jerusalem, after US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the city as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Al-Tamimi added that this decision came in response to Al-Sadr’s latest statement, in which he announced that he will be the first soldier to defend Jerusalem, and not the first leader.” [Rudaw]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

Spokesman for the Office of PM Haider Al-Abadi, Saad Al-Hadithi, said that the ban on international flights in and out of the Erbil and Suleimaniya airports will be lifted once the airports are under federal Civil Aviation Authority control. [Rudaw]

 

According to a statement by the office of Deputy CoR Speaker Dr. Humam Hamoudi on Friday, President Fuad Masoum and CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri called on the Iraqi government to take responsibility in accordance with the constitution in regard to the airports, crossings, and borders, while emphasizing the importance of holding the elections on schedule. Masoum and Hamoudi met in order to discuss the Kurdistan crisis, the Kirkuk administration, and means of co-existence among its components. [Sumaria]

 

Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi affirmed on Wednesday that the unification of Iraq and the prevention of Iraq’s division is a victory no less important than Iraq’s victory over Daesh. [MojazIraq] [Ghad]

Al-Abadi’s statement generated negative responses.

The head of the KRG Parliament put out a statement responding to Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi’s statement that preserving the unity of Iraq is a victory no less important than the victory over Daesh saying that “the victory that Al-Abadi boasts of could not have been achieved without the Peshmerga.  Without the Peshmerga, Iraq would still be occupied by Daesh.” The head of the KRG Parliament added that it is irresponsible to compare victory over Daesh to the military attacks launched by the PMF against the people of Kurdistan on October 16th in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu, noting that this attack was a clear violation of Article 9 of the constitution which prohibits the use of military force against Iraqi citizens. [Sumaria] [Rudaw]

Friday, the Ministry of the Peshmerga responded to Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi’s comments on the deployment of Iraqi federal forces in Kirkuk Province and other disputed areas in October, stressing the need to create grounds for dialogue and eliminate differences. In a statement, the Ministry accused Al-Abadi of considering the “military occupation, the attack on the Kurdistan Region, the killing and displacement of people from Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu, and the bombing, destruction, and looting of houses of Kurdistan citizens by Iraqi forces as a great victory similar to the victory over Daesh.” Sumaria also reported Al-Abadi’s statement that the unification of Iraq and the prevention of Iraq’s division is a victory no less important than the victory over Daesh. [Sumaria]

 

The Director General of Information and National Awareness in the Ministry of the Peshmerga Brig. Gen. Halgurd Hikmat said that the Kurdistan referendum was organized to bring political change to the Middle East. He added that “the results cannot be canceled by any law or legislation because it was the vote of the people and no authority is above the power of the people.” Hikmat added that the only way to cancel the results of the referendum would be to hold another referendum in which voters would express their rejection of the notion of independence from Iraq. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Center (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

The US Embassy in Baghdad on Friday restricted the movements of its employees and American citizens in Iraq in anticipation of dangers resulting from the recent presidential declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. [Rudaw]

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Friday, a police source reported that three civilians were wounded in an IED explosion in the Arab Jubour area in southern Baghdad. [Sumaria] 

 

ANBAR

Friday, the Joint Operations Command announced the liberation of 40 villages by PMF brigades backed by Iraqi Army Air (IAA), part of the operation to clear the Jazeera desert. [PUKMedia] [Harbi] [Sumaria] [Harbi] 

 

Friday morning, the PMF announced that PMF forces and the Iraqi Army launched large-scale military operations to complete the liberation of the Jazeera desert connecting Mosul and Anbar to the Syrian border. [Harbi] [Sumaria] [Sumaria]

The IWMC reported on Friday that a large pile of light and medium weapons was found deep in the desert as part of a massive military operation to complete the liberation of the western desert in Anbar. [IraqPress]

 

Friday noon, the PMF intelligence announced that Daesh members escaped from the desert connecting Anbar and Mosul towards the Syrian border, and that communication between Daesh units was cut off. [Harbi] [IraqPress]

Friday, PMF’s Intelligence reported that 21 Daesh members were killed with backing from the IAA, 1 rigged vehicle was destroyed, Daesh command bases in the desert were seized, and an ammunition depot containing light and medium weapons was seized. [Harbi] 

 

Friday, Commander of the Jazeera and Upper Euphrates Clearing Operations, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, reported the clearance of 10 villages of an area over 7,000 km2. [Harbi] 

Friday noon, Sheikh Tahseen Al-Hashimi, member of the Guidance Committee to Protect Iraqi Holy Sites, reported that the Al-Imam Ali brigade, Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq, and the 9th Army division took control of a 15 km stretch from the Geneva Airbase towards the center of the Jazeera desert. [Harbi] 

 

Numerous PMF components reported on their successes in the desert during the day Friday.

 The Al-Abbas Combat Division announced it was advancing towards the Syrian border to close and  reinforce the final remaining gaps. [Harbi] [Harbi] Its fighters destroyed a Daesh rigged vehicle  parked on the main road near the Iraqi-Syrian border. [Harbi] [Harbi]

 The PMF organization announced that the 21st Badr brigade, the 25th Al-Shaheed Al-Sadr brigade, and the Al-Ataba Al-Alawiya Al-Muqaddasa, advanced deep into the western desert and liberated the Itmakhiyat and Daham villages. [Harbi] 

 Friday morning, the PMF announced that the 21st Badr brigade also liberated the Al-Khirfan village  west of Hatra. [Harbi] 

 Friday morning, the PMF announced that the 40th brigade (Imam Ali Battalions) liberated the  Jaloud village south of Baaj in the western Ninewa desert. [Harbi] 

A field source reported on Friday that the Ansar Al-Marji’iya brigade advanced in the Jazeera desert as part of the second phase of the Jazeera and Upper Euphrates Clearing Operations. [Harbi]

 

Hit/Haditha

Friday, the Military Intelligence Services announced seizure of a Daesh ammunition depot in the Hit District. The depot contained 15 (120mm) mortar shells, 13 (82mm) mortar shells, 40 explosive vaults, 8 IEDs, 11 (1 liter) C4 bottles, 5 cluster explosives, 5 kg of C4, 4 sticky remotely-detonated IEDs, 3 (60mm) mortar shells, 1 suicide belt, and 300 meters of explosive wires. [Baghdadia]

 

Anah (including Rawa)

Friday, a security source reported that security units arrested 9 Daesh members while checking the identification documents of families returning to Anah. [Baghdadia] 

 

Friday, a security source in the Anbar Operations Command revealed the death of a senior army officer and the wounding of two soldiers in an explosion of a rigged house in Al-Mualimeen neighborhood in the center of Rawa district. The source added that dozens of rigged houses and hundreds of IEDs left behind by Daesh have still not been discovered. [BasNews]

 

Al-Qa’im

Friday, a military source in Anbar reported that a major force—including the 27th brigade of the Army’s 7th division; the 31st brigade of the 8th division; and the 35th brigade of the 9th division headed to seize the desert between Anbar, Salahuddin, and Ninewa. According to the source, the forces were launched from north Al-Qa’im city towards Hatra. [Sumaria]

 

Rutba

Friday, a security source reported that a group of Daesh members attacked the 2nd division base on the Al-Waleed (Al-Tanaf) border crossing in west Anbar. According to the source, security units foiled the Daesh attack, killing two terrorists while two others escaped. [Baghdadia] 

 

SALAHUDDIN 

Shirqat

A DaeshDaily source says a Tribal PMF fighter was killed and another seriously wounded when Daesh targeted their vehicle with an RPG7 rocket near Kan’ous village. 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Friday, Chairman of the Diyala PC Security Council, Sadeq Al-Husseini, revealed that internal conflicts among Daesh sleeper cells have emerged in four areas, including: Himrin, Hod Al-Waqf, Al-Zor, and Hod Al-Nada. According to Al-Husseini, Daesh has lost its central leadership, which has caused internal divides as the cells try to dominate each other. [Sumaria] 

 

Muqdadiya/Abu Saida/Central Diyala

Daesh says it destroyed 3 PMF vehicles with mid-sized weapons in the Shirween area northeast of  Muqdadiya, killing or wounding the fighters inside. It also says it killed or wounded more PMF fighters after destroying their vehicle with an IED in the Luhaib area. Daesh says it damaged another vehicle in the Bazoul area with an IED, wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNDec8]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Friday, the Arab Council in Kirkuk called on PM Haider Al-Abadi to send military reinforcements to Kirkuk Province, saying that every Arab officer has become a target for assassination. This call comes in response to the assassination of Maj. Abdul Nabi Jassam in Kirkuk city. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. These are the kinds of attacks that have to be stopped before the people will accept that Daesh has been fully defeated. The province most affected by these small-scale Daesh cell attacks seems to be Diyala.

 

Friday, a security official reported that an armed attack took place in a street market in Kirkuk city. An unknown assailant opened fire on the Khan Khormani market, wounding 4 people. The attacker was arrested. [Baghdadia] The CTS media office reported that the shooting was not a terrorist incident, clarifying it was due to a dispute between two people over a fraud case. He added that the wounds resulted from gravel. [Baghdadia]

 

Thursday evening, unidentified gunmen attacked counterterrorism forces in Kirkuk city using grenades and light and medium weapons, causing no casualties. [IraqPress] [BasNews]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh says it killed nine “PMF members” in Al-Asakra village, southwest of Riyadh. [ICDNDec8]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh killed six PMF fighters in an attack on Al-Sajera village, near Hawija. The source says Daesh captured the village for hours and arrested many civilians. 

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Ninewa Ops Command announced the arrival of military reinforcements to the Mosul Dam well north of the city to protect it from terrorist attacks. [IraqPress]

 

Mosul

Friday, a security source reported that Ninewa Ops Command units secured the old area of west Mosul, extending from the 5th bridge to the Old Bridge, after new Iraqi forces units were deployed in the area. The Iraqi units defused IEDs and found 10 tunnels, suicide belts, and boxes containing various types of ammunition. The Iraqi forces are coordinating with the service departments to remove rubble. [Baghdadia] [Baghdadia] [PressIraq]

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

Friday, the IWMC announced that the IAA carried out 8 combat sorties from Tal Qasab, south of Sinjar city, which killed 16 Daesh members and destroyed 4 vehicles carrying terrorists, 2 mortar shell launchers, and another vehicle on the Iraqi-Syrian border. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday that the Russian Air Force carried out 550 sorties in Syria in 1 week, hitting more than 1,300 terrorist military sites. [Qasioun]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

Dorar reports that on Friday a new batch of US arms was received by the YPG in northern Syria, despite President Trump’s pledges to Turkey that the US would no longer send arms to the YPG in Syria. The weapons arrived in Al-Malikiyah City near Hasaka through the Simalka border crossing with Iraq. [Dorar]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city 

Qasioun reports four civilians were killed in the last 24 hours by land mines left by Daesh in the western part of central Raqqa city. 11 civilians were killed by land mine explosions last week in 7 different neighborhoods in Raqqa city. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Tahrir Al-Sham announced that it repelled a massive offensive by the Syrian forces in Al-Shakousiya village east of Hama in the Aqairbat subdistrict of Salamiyah District. Qasioun reports that eastern and northern Hama are being shelled by the Russian Air Force and Syrian Army artillery in their daily attempts to advance to Abu Al-Dahur airport in Idlib via eastern Hama and southern Aleppo. [Qasioun]

 

Local sources say Daesh took control of 4 villages in rural eastern Hama after violent clashes with Tahrir Al-Sham. [Qasioun]

 

A Tahrir Al-Sham military source reports that on Thursday 28 members of Tahrir Al-Sham were killed by Daesh in rural eastern Hama after being ambushed by Daesh sleeper cells. [ZamanAlWasl]

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh captured and then beheaded a wounded Nusra Yemeni fighter in eastern Hama. 

 

Homs

Syrian government media reports that the bomber who hit the Akrama neighborhood in Homs last Tuesday was arrested by security units on Friday along with 4 other individuals who played a role in the attack. The explosion killed 11 civilians, mostly students of the University of Homs.  [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh offered to release 12 Syrian soldiers and Shia militia members if the Syrian Army allowed it to withdraw peacefully from an area near Ashara town. The source says Daesh executed the prisoners when the Syrian Army refused the deal. 

 

Albu Kamal

The Coalition conducted 18 strikes against Daesh in Syria near Albu Kamal (18) between December 4th and 7th. [CentCom]

South 

Daraa

Field sources report that Daesh-affiliate Jaish Khalid executed three young men in Tasil town in western Daraa. [ZamanAlWasl]

Daesh publishes photos of its affiliate, Jaish Khaled, publicly executing three men after accusing them of “spying” for opposition groups. [ICDNDec8]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Tunisia

Thursday, the Tunisian National Guard Research and Inspection Division dismantled a takfiri cell of 30 members in Ajim on Djerba island in Tunisia. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Friday, French authorities reported that former Lafarge Holcim Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Eric Olsen, and other company managers, were placed under formal investigation as part of “a government inquiry into whether the firm helped finance the Islamic State militant group and several other armed factions while operating a factory in Syria from 2012 to 2014.” An independent internal investigation previously showed that the company paid intermediaries in return for maintaining the operations of the Jalabiyah plant in northern Syria. Former manager Bruno Pescheux admitted that the company paid $100,000 per month to Syrian businessman Firas Tlas, who in turn paid $20,000 of that amount to Daesh when the terrorist group seized the area. [Sumaria] [NYTimes]

 

A London court sentenced a Daesh member to 10 years in jail on charges of terrorism. Mohammed Abdullah was sentenced after leaked documents proved he stayed in Daesh-controlled areas in Syria, where he was known as a “sniper specialist.” British security links Mohammed Abdullah to Salman Abedi, who carried out the suicide attack in Manchester last May, killing 22 people and wounding 50 others. [Dijlah]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Friday, the Governor of Monad Dara district, Mohammad Naseem, reported that a mosque in the Hazar Nao village was targeted with an IED, and the blast killed two civilians, including the mosque’s imam, in addition to wounding six others. According to later updates, the death toll rose to seven, and nine were wounded. [Rudaw]

 

Daesh publishes photos of stopping a Taliban attack on Jinako village in Nangarhar. [ICDNDec8]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 109th issue of its Naba’ magazine. In this issue, Daesh republishes infographic about its operations against US forces in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. It says it targeted US forces with more than 25 attacks, shot down 6 warplanes, foiled 5 airdrop operations, and killed or wounded 115 soldiers. In this issue also, Daesh published an editorial about Jerusalem. It criticizes Arab and Muslim countries, and says all its operations are meant to lead to Jerusalem. Daesh also published a report about a group of its dead terrorists from the Caucasus area. It says they had met in Saudi Arabia when they were studying religion there, and then kept in touch until they joined Daesh later. [ICDNDec8] 

 

December 7, 2017

 

West Anbar 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraq lodges official protest against Trump’s Jerusalem decision. [..]

Iraq offensives continue against Daesh sites in Jazeera & Rutba deserts. [..]

Mass grave in west Mosul yields 52 bodies. [..]

Iran reported reopening border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan. [..]

KRG’s parliament Speaker blasts its political corruption. [..]

 

Syria

Another report has Russians supporting SDF ground troops. [..]

SDF, Syrian troops, Iraqi PMFs drive Daesh out of more Albu Kamal villages. [..]

Syrian troops clash with allied Iranian & Iraqi PMF troops in Daraa. [..]

 

Great Britain

UK Defence Minister on British Daesh members: Better dead in Iraq than back in Britain. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

Wednesday in Washington, acting director of intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center, Laura Xiao, told the US Senate that Daesh’s territorial defeat does not necessarily equate to a diminished ability to inspire attacks in the West. According to Xiao, “the organization’s ability to reach sympathizers around the world with strong potential through social media is unprecedented and allows it to connect with large numbers of local extremists who pursue violence.” [SkyNews]

 

Thursday, BBC published a report about Russian intelligence units operating out of an unnamed hotel in Baghdad to rescue Russian children with Daesh parents. A BBC reporter described the units as men wearing black suits and speaking over wireless devices with armed troops outside the hotel. According to the reporter, the 5 children’s parents were killed or fled as Daesh crumbled. [BBC] [Baghdadia] 

 

Thursday, the IWMC reported that the Coalition carried out 5 airstrikes that led to the destruction of a Daesh hideout and 2 supply lines in the Anbar and Jazeera deserts. The IWMC added that the Coalition also killed a terrorist group near Taji in north Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

In a joint press conference with the Qatari emir Tamim Bin Hamad in Doha on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed that Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi will announce the liberation of Iraq from Daesh in mid-December. Macron added that funding to all terrorist groups will be stopped wherever they may be. [Sumaria]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

Advisor to the Iraqi President, Abdullah Aliyawey, announced that President Fuad Masoum’s efforts to resolve the disputes between Baghdad and Erbil are ongoing, and Masoum has met with the KRG regarding a dialogue. He added that foreign country representatives are not pressuring Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to agree to hold a dialogue, and said Al-Abadi is not willing to be pressured in this regard. [Rudaw]

 

President Masoum informed the leader of the National Iraqi Alliance, Ammar Al-Hakim, of the KRG’s willingness to engage in a dialogue to resolve disputes with Baghdad. According to a statement by Al-Hakim’s office, President Masoum and Al-Hakim emphasized the importance of holding a comprehensive dialogue, based on the constitution and the Federal Court’s decisions, to resolve all outstanding issues. They also emphasized the importance of holding the elections on schedule. [SotIraq]

 

Thursday, Kirkuk Province PUK representative in the CoR, Rebwar Taha, addressed a strongly-worded letter to Al-Abadi criticizing his measures against the Kurdistan Region. The letter said that “if the Iraqi government’s policies do not change, they will lead the country to where nobody wants.” It added that the KRG keeps hearing “statements and promises without action on the ground,” and it asked what the Kurdish citizens have done that they are not able to travel due to the federal government’s procedures. It also said these procedures have negatively impacted the Kurds, who have so far only heard promises concerning the payment of their salaries. [BasNews]

In a statement made on Thursday, Taha called on the Iraqi government to reconsider its policies with respect to the KRG and to listen to the religious leadership. Taha said that the Iraqi forces entrance to disputed areas created political conflicts, which “re-opens the gates of hell for sectarian strife.” Taha asked what is preventing Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi from holding a dialogue. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. Is it even worth mentioning that officially Mr. Taha does not even represent the KRG? Is it even worth mentioning that all these demands for “dialogue” seem increasingly to reflect a different motive? 

 

Thursday, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, France’s Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed France’s support for Iraqi unity to Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, noting Paris’ desire to strengthen bilateral relationships with Baghdad across all sectors. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, Prime Minister of the Flanders Region of Belgium, Geert Bourgeois, sent a letter to the Iraqi Ambassador in Brussels Jawad Al-Hindawi, calling on the Iraqi government to put an end to the punitive measures” imposed on the Kurdistan Region. Bourgeois did thank the Iraqi Army for their role in the war on Daesh, which paved the way for peace, stability, economic prosperity, and more respect for human rights in Iraq. However, he then expressed concern over the economic situation in Kurdistan, as the Iraqi government reduced the Kurdistan region’s share of the 2018 budget and imposed a ban on the airports in Kurdistan, thereby imposing a ban on civilian travel in and out of the country. [BasNews]

 

Reactions to Jerusalem decision

Thursday, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it summoned US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman in order to hand him a memo protesting President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to Ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, the Security Committee in the Baghdad PC said that it is possible that the US Embassy in Baghdad will be attacked in light of President Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Security Committee member Saad Al-Matlabi said that “President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel aims to ignite a new strife in the region, following the end of the Daesh strife.” He added that “this decision may act as a new pretext to form new terrorist groups in various countries.” [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. Trump’s decision can certainly be criticized. However, the implication that it creates a justification for violence against anyone is irresponsible. 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Service announced the arrest of a terrorist who escaped from Hawija to northern Baghdad. [Ghad] 

 

ANBAR

Thursday, a tribal PMF commander in Anbar, Tareq Al-Asal, announced tightened security measures all over Anbar Province because of a sandstorm, as Daesh could seize on the low visibility to carry out attacks on civilians. [BasNews]

 

Ramadi

Thursday, Commander of Anbar Operations Mahmoud Al-Falahi said that three tunnels and one Daesh pickup were located deep in the western Anbar desert south of Rutba. Al-Falahi added that the troops defused 7 IEDs in north Ramadi. [Baghdadia] 

 

Anah 

Anbar PMF Commander Qatri Al-Abidi confirmed that the operation to track Daesh cells in the western Anbar desert is ongoing despite the area’s challenging terrain. He also said in a statement that units from the Jazeera Ops Command, 7th division, PMF, and tribal PMFs have been able to take control over most of the desert land extending from northern Rawa to Salahuddin. He added that Iraqi Army Air (IAA) shelled Daesh locations, killing several Daesh members and destroying bomb-rigged vehicles and military equipment. [NNCIQ]

 

Thursday, a security unit in the 7th division command in Anbar reported that four wanted Daesh suspects were arrested during security checks of IDP families returning to the Anah District. According to the source, security units transferred the suspects to a detention center in Ramadi to continue interrogations. [BasNews] 

 

Al-Qa’im

Thursday, Anbar Ops commander Shihab Al-Mahlawi announced that 400 IEDs and 22 rigged houses have been defused in the Rawa and Al-Qa’im districts since security units began securing liberated areas in west Anbar. Al-Mahlawi also reported that 7 bomb-rigged vehicles and 9 trenches and underground hideouts were destroyed, and the Army EOD and Civil Defense continue clearing liberated areas of war remnants. [BasNews] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Service confirmed in a statement that internally displaced families returned to their homes in the Tilul Al-Baj area, following security checks. [Ghad] 

 

Tikrit

Thursday, Diyala PC Security Committee Abdul Khaleq Al-Azzawi announced that PMF fighters took control of villages on the Hawi Al-Udhaim side of the border between Salahuddin and Diyala and are on high alert due to Daesh activity in the area. Al-Azzawi added that Daesh units deployed along the Salahuddin border, especially around Mtaibija, pose a growing threat to the northern Diyala border, where they are trying to gain a foothold. [Baghdadia] 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Thursday, the Diyala Police Command announced the arrest of 3 suspects on charges of terrorism in Baquba and its vicinity, according to spokesman Ghalib Al-Atiya. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

See story above under Tikrit

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk

Thursday, Kirkuk Police spokesman Afrasya Kamil reported that an armed group attacked a CTS patrol with hand grenades in Kirkuk city, followed by shooting. The armed group fled the scene. [Sumaria]

Thursday, a security source in Kirkuk reported that an armed group attacked a CTS base (Fawj Salahuddin) in the Al-Mas area near the central market near the Raheem Bridge in Kirkuk city. According to the source, the armed group used an RBG7 launcher and a hand grenade, followed by gunshots. The CTS responded to the armed group, who were in a vehicle and escaped. [Ghad] 

 

Thursday, a security source in Kirkuk reported that a Kirkuk Police unit found a body of an unidentified woman who was killed by gunshots in the Schwan area in northeast Kirkuk. [Sumaria]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Thursday, the Azadi Teaching Hospital administration in Kirkuk announced that a child wounded by shrapnel from Daesh’s remnants in Hawija was successfully treated. [Sumaria] 

 

Thursday, Kirkuk Operations commander Ali Fadel Imran announced the death of a terrorist and the arrest of another who participated in the attack on Al-Khuzaifi village east of Riyadh. Imran added that security units found a guesthouse where the two were hiding. [Sumaria] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

East Mosul

Thursday, a security source reported that security units arrested three suspected Daesh terrorists in the Al-Zuhur neighborhood. [Baghdadia] 

 

West Mosul

Iraq’s Martyrs agency announced that its technical team specializing in the search and excavation of mass graves has opened a mass grave in Wadi Okab, a neighborhood in the far west-central Mosul. The announcement said that 52 bodies had been lifted out. [Buratha] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil

Thursday, the general manager of the transportation company contracted by the Ministry of Transportation, Abdullah Lu’aibi, announced that over 2,600 IDPs were transported from the Tal Al-Jarabee’ IDP camp near Tal Abta to the Hammam Al-Alil Camp closer to Mosul city, based on orders from Minister of Transportation Kadhim Fenjan Al-Hamami and in coordination with the Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Lu’aibi described the task as exceptional and quick. [Ghad]

 

Makhmur

Thursday, the Makhmur Refugee Camp administration held the Iraqi government and the Coalition responsible for the attack that targeted the camp on Wednesday, which led to the death of five people and the wounding of eight. The administration’s statement said the attacking party remains unknown. [BasNews]

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

Thursday, in a speech in front of a gathering of a Peshmerga Ministry delegation, tribal sheikhs, and prominent Kurdish, Yazidi, and Muslim figures, Sinjar Mayor Mahma Khalil reported that 90% of Sinjar’s residents were displaced due to the Daesh attack in August 2014 and, he alleges, the Iraqi forces and PMFs invasion in mid-October. He criticized the ongoing attempts to Arabize Sinjar. He explained that the displaced residents are living under tough conditions due to shortages of basic needs. He added that the Sinjar IDPs are receiving support only from the KRG and the Kurdish people. He called on the international community and the UN to provide assistance to the IDPs, especially with the onset of winter. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. This sounds like a disingenuous statement. An pro-KRG mayor, in an area supposedly under federal authority but coveted and previously occupied by the KRG, publicly attacks the policy of the central government. So who appointed this mayor, remembering that “mayors” in Iraq are not elected officials but appointed district managers?  And by what authority was he appointed? 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

In a development conference held in Erbil on Thursday, KRG Minister of Interior, Kareem Sinjari, announced that it has implemented a new electronic system across all of its departments in the Kurdistan Region. Sinjar explained that the new system will help citizens complete their paperwork faster, and it will make the Ministry’s work more transparent. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. An automated system for any ministry function in the KRG is a major breakthrough. 

 

At a speech at an EU Parliament meeting on Thursday, KRG Parliament Speaker Yousif Mohammed Sadiq, a Gorran representative, announced his support for Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s efforts to combat corruption. He explained that the KRG’s inability to establish modern governance and to create a transparent system separate from personal interests led a ruling group to seize tens of billions of dollars in public funds. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. This is major though hardly unusual accusation against Masoud Barzani and the KDP. Gorran was founded as an anti-corruption party and corruption remains its primary issue.

 

SULEIMANIYA/HALABJA

Head of the Iranian-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, Yahya Aal Ishaq, announced that the border crossings with Kurdistan will be re-opened, and that these border crossings will return to their pre-September 25 status. Aal Ishaq said that “Iran is willing to resume its previous commercial levels with the Kurdistan Region and to re-open joint border crossings.” [BasNews]

 

ERBIL/DAHUK

Thursday, KDP leader Masoud Barzani and Iraqi Vice President Osama Al-Nujaifi met in Erbil and discussed the political situation between Baghdad and Erbil, and they reiterated that the disputes will not be resolved using the language of threat and use of coercion but through dialogue and understanding. According to a KDP statement, the two sides looked into the political future of the Iraqi components and the challenges within the political process. [IraqPress]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Dorar reports that the Pentagon revealed there were about 2,000 US troops fighting in Syria and about 5,200 fighting in Iraq. Dorar notes that the US Department of Defense announced in November that only about 500 US troops were fighting in Syria, while the media indicated the real number was 4 times higher. Dorar reports that the US has said that its military action in Syria is limited to training and supporting factions of the “Free Army.” The Coalition announced a few days ago that Washington withdrew 400 US troops after the end of military operations in Raqqa. [Dorar] [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. The whining tone of these reports can be attributed to the pro-Turkey media producing them.

 

The Russian Army announced the Russian special operations forces fought side by side with the Kurdish forces and local forces in eastern Syria against Daesh. Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, head of the general staff’s main operations directorate, said that the Russian military leaders planned the operations and coordinated with the Kurdish and local forces regarding specified targets. The announcement added that on December 3rd, the Kurdish and local forces, side-by-side with Russian special operation forces, and with Russian Air Force backing, dislodged the Daesh terrorists east of the Euphrates River and took control of the Syria-Iraq border. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. This is the second significant story describing coordination between the SDF and the Russians, neither from the US military. However, these arrangements must have involved the US military. There are probably some larger implications to this, but it‘s impossible so far to tell what they are.

 

Enab Baladi reports that Russia has convinced the Syrian government to return to the Geneva negotiations. The Syrian government delegation will rejoin the negotiations this coming Sunday. [EnabBaladi]

 

Thursday, a member of the Syrian-Kurdish National Opposition Council, Ibrahim Berro, announced that he will represent the council in the meeting between the Syrian opposition delegation and UN Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura in the second phase of the 8th Geneva talks. [BasNews]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Raqqa

Talal Silo, the former spokesman of the SDF who defected to Turkey has recounted that thousands of Daesh fighters were bused out of Raqqa under a secret US-approved deal. US officials deny this. [Yahoo]

 

Northwest

Al-Bab/ Manbij

Hawar reports the Turkish Army shelled civilian locations in Qarat Weran village and Arima town (in Al-Bab District) west of Manbij city. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.) (No reports)

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Hawar reports the SDF killed 35 Daesh fighters in Suwaidan village northeast of Deir Ez-Zor city. [Hawar]

 

Local sources say Syrian forces arrested a number of civilians returning to their homes in Kharita village in western rural Deir Ez-Zor. The sources pointed out that the civilians arrested were family members of opposition leaders. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment. This is an important and disturbing report, but we would like to see it confirmed by a more independent source.

 

Mayadin

Qasioun reports that Syrian forces have taken control of the international road linking Al-Qa’im in Iraq to Albu Kamal and Mayadin in Syria. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal

Qasioun reports the SDF captured Gharaniyij village near the Euphrates River. The SDF has also advanced to Hajin town 25 km (15 miles) from the Syria-Iraq border. [Qasioun]

 

According to field sources, Syrian forces and Iraqi PMFs have captured the villages and towns of Al-Jalaa, Al-Majawda, Al-Sayal, Hasrat, Al-Ramadi, and Al-Ghabra, mainly north of Albu Kamal city, and have thus taken full control of rural Albu Kamal. [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment. There is some overlap in this report with villages previously reported captured.

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Enab Baladi reports that Tahrir Al-Sham is expected to leave eastern Ghouta for Idlib Province according to an undeclared agreement between Tahrir Al-Sham and Russia. [EnabBaladi]

 

Daraa

The Daesh affiliate Jaish Khalid executed four young men belonging to Syrian opposition factions in Tasil town. [Qasioun]

 

According to informed sources, clashes broke out on Wednesday between the Iraqi PMF Nujaba Movement and the Lebanese Hezbollah militias on the one hand and the Jadiyah brigade affiliated with the Syrian forces on the other in rural Daraa. New disputes have reportedly emerged between the Syrian forces and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard militias. According to the sources, the Iranian-backed militias intended to attack the Zimrin area near Tal Al-Hara, a strategic location in northern Daraa where they want to establish a base. [BasNews]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya

A security source in Sirte, Libya, said on Thursday that 2 people were arrested for cooperating with Daesh. 8 Daesh members were arrested at the end of November in Sirte. Wednesday Sirte celebrated its first anniversary of the liberation of the city from Daesh. [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Great Britain

British Defence Minister Geoff Williamson said he would rather that British nationals who joined Daesh die rather than return to Britain. He says “it’s very simple. The dead terrorist cannot harm Britain.” Williamson noted that 800 British citizens joined Daesh’s ranks in Syria and Iraq. [Anadolu]

 

December 6, 2017

 

Old Mosul

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

US Embassy-Baghdad warns Americans of possible violence after Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. [..]

EU countries contribute 60M euros to two reconstruction & demining projects. [..]

Mayor of Al-Khalis, Diyala wants action against Daesh snipers menacing border town. [..]

UN Mine Action Service starts mine removal in Old Mosul. [..]

Daesh Daily sources report anti-Daesh revenge incidents in Ninewa. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey arrests 26 suspected Daesh members in Istanbul. [..]

 

Syria

Putin, top Russian general say Daesh in Syria completely defeated. Pentagon says 2,000 remaining Daesh fighters prove it’s not. [..]

Tillerson asks Russia to get Syria delegation back to Geneva negotiations. [..]

UN official raises alarm over humanitarian situation in Raqqa. [..]

Syrian Army struggling against opposition militias in southern Aleppo, Hama. [..]

Russian airstrikes kill reported 21 civilians in Mayadin. [..]

Syrian forces capture seven of Daesh’s remaining villages in Albu Kamal. [..]

Daesh affiliate in Daraa kidnaps 10 school headmasters & their assistants. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Wednesday, following President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the US Embassy in Baghdad issued a warning to its citizens to maintain vigilance, as the announcement may spark violent protests. [Rudaw] [USEmbassy]

 

Election

According to DaeshDaily sources, some Sunni politicians want the national and provincial elections delayed until November 2018. The sources say the reason is the desire to hold the elections after Sunni displaced people return to their homes. 

DaeshDaily comment. By which time they might feel less negative toward their provincial politicians than they do now.

 

Wednesday, the Independent High Electoral Commission announced that those enlisted in the security forces and the PMF have the right to vote in the upcoming elections. Commission spokesman Kareem Al-Tamimi stated that “the constitution and the law give the security forces and the PMF the right to participate in the elections.” Al-Tamimi called on media outlets to cover the election process accurately and professionally. [Sumaria]

 

Reconstruction

Wednesday, the EU and Iraq signed an agreement for funding two projects to rebuild liberated areas and to remove mines, according to a statement by the Ministry of Planning. According to Minister Salman Al-Jumeili, the EU, with contributions from donor countries (Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, Estonia, and the UK), will provide a monetary grant of 60.4 million euros to execute the projects. [Rudaw]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

Wednesday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi emphasized the importance of stopping attempts to divide the country, describing them as “a crime no less dangerous than the Daesh threat.” Abadi also called for developing partnerships between the public and private sectors, adding he is making an effort to provide protection to businessmen. [Youm7]

 

Wednesday, a presidential statement said that President Fuad Masoum visited Ammar Al-Hakim, leader of the new National Wisdom Movement (Al-Hikma). He congratulated him on holding the first Wisdom National Movement conference and electing its leadership. The statement added that the meeting focused on the importance of speeding up the reinforcing of confidence between Baghdad and Erbil and moving forward in a way that guarantees the rights of all citizens in accordance with the constitution and the decisions of the Federal Court. [Rudaw]

 

In a press conference on Tuesday, US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US continues “to call on the Government of Baghdad and also the Kurds to sit down and have a conversation together.” However, according to Nauert, the US will not mediate between Baghdad and Erbil if not officially asked to do so. [BasNews]

Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström said it is important to rebuild the political system in Iraq. She urged Erbil and Baghdad to engage in a comprehensive dialogue to resolve outstanding issues. [BasNews]

 

International voices

French President Emmanuel Macron called for the gradual dissolving of all militias in Iraq, including the PMF. However, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Ali Shamkhani, warned of “infringing” on the Iran-affiliated PMF in Iraq, describing the calls for its dissolution as a “conspiracy to bring back insecurity and terrorism to the region.” [BasNews]

 

Other

Wednesday, the Iraqi justice system revealed the confessions of the sister of the former Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader “Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi.” She shared details going back to 1994, when her brother, a police officer at the time, was arrested for six months. She details her experience in the establishment of the organization and its end. She was put in charge of Daesh leaders’ wives at the inception of Daesh and promoted extremist ideology. [Baghdadia]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Northeast (Adhamiya, etc.)

Wednesday, security units arrested one of the terrorists who escaped Hawija to Shaab in northeast Baghdad, according to a Military Intelligence Services statement. [Baghdadia]

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Wednesday, a security source reported that five people were injured in an IED explosion near a street market in Al-Wihda neighborhood in south Baghdad. [Baghdadia]

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Wednesday, the Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) announced that the EOD cleared the Al-Abadi and Dhiban areas of west Baghdad to prepare for the return of internally displaced families. In the clearance operation, 146 IEDs were destroyed locally, and an ammunition and explosives depot was found in the Bresam area in south Baghdad. [Baghdadia]

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:   2

 

ANBAR

Northwest Anbar 

Wednesday, AAH spokesman Jawad Al-Tlebawi announced that the PMF organizations have completed all military preparations for liberating the remainder of the western Jazeera desert area to the Iraqi-Syrian border. [Sumaria]

 

Anah 

Wednesday, the Anah District Police Manager, Juma’a Al-Khleifawi, said 112 internally displaced families were returned to the Anah city center, following security checks by the Jazeera Ops Command and the Anah Police. [Sumaria] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

According to the spokesman for the Tuz Khurmatu Mayor, Mohammed Faeq, on December 3rd the Mayor’s office received a list from Baghdad containing the names of 29 members of the Tuz Khurmatu Police, and 17 of those were arrested for participating in the Kurdistan referendum. They were detained in Tikrit for a day and later released. [IraqPress]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

The Diyala security announced the death of a Daesh battalion leader in Himrin. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Wednesday, Al-Khalis District Mayor, Ali Al-Khadran, reported that the Mubarak Al-Farhan villages on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin have been suffering from a “semi-siege” by Daesh snipers deployed in the highlands near the villages. He explained that the snipers are targeting any civilian who moves, from a distance. He called for an urgent military intervention and the reinforcement of the residents of the Mubarak Al-Farhan villages. [Sumaria] 

 

Wednesday, the Diyala Police Command announced that an IED placed in front of the house of a member in the Abu Saida and Jalawla Police was defused. The Diyala Police Command also announced the arrest of 10 wanted suspects on criminal charges in various parts of the province over the past two days. [Ghad] 

 

Daesh says its snipers killed a PMF fighter in Udhaim. [A3maq]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Wednesday, Kirkuk Police spokesman Afrasya Kamil reported that an armed group in an Opel vehicle attacked a police officer’s vehicle in the Al-Failaq area in northwest Kirkuk, causing his death. [Sumaria]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh says it killed three “PMF members” west of Riyadh on Tuesday. [A3maq] 

Daesh also says it killed two PMF fighters with an IED in Riyadh on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

See Hamdaniya-related story under Shura below

 

Mosul

Wednesday, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) announced the commencement of activities to remove explosives from Mosul. The agency stated that it has recently been granted access to Old Mosul to assess and remove IEDs and war remnants, to complete the work of the Iraqi security forces. [Mawsleya] [UNIraq]

 

West Mosul

Wednesday, a source from the IFP reported that 6 bodies of Daesh members were found under the rubble of Old Mosul houses, by residents who returned to clean up their homes. [Ghad] 

 

East Mosul

A DaeshDaily source said on Tuesday that a group of armed men on motorcycles threw hand grenades and shot at 5 houses of Daesh members in Yarimjah in far southeast Mosul on the river, causing damage. The source says the attackers might be members of the local police. 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

A DaeshDaily source said on Tuesday that unknown armed men threw hand grenades at 4 houses of Daesh members in Hammam Al-Alil, seriously wounding one person. 

 

A DaeshDaily source reports that the burned body of Abdul Wahhab Khalaf, a Daesh commander in Shura, south of Hammam Al-Alil, was found in the Nimrud area in Hamdaniya District. The source says Khalaf had been arrested 10 days earlier by Kata’eb Al-Imam Ali, a PMF militia, which killed him and set his body on fire. The source says Khalaf had given orders, when Iraqi forces surrounded Shura, to kill anyone who puts a white flag on their houses. The source says Khalaf had fled Shura and hid in his sister’s house near Nimrud.

 

Makhmur

Wednesday evening, the Al-Shahid Rastam Joudi IDP Camp in Makhmur  was attacked by an armed group affiliated with Turkey according to ROJ News. The armed group attacked security forces and the IDPs with snipers. The number of casualties is unknown at this time. [Hawar]

 

PUK official Rashad Kalali, confirmed that a rigged car exploded inside a refugee camp housing Turkish Kurds in Makhmur on Wednesday evening. The attack resulted in deaths and causalities. [Sumaria]

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

A Sinjar-based Yazidi military commander, Haider Shasho, reported that the PKK moved its forces from Raqqa to Sinjar, reinforcing its presence and raising PKK flags on top of Sinjar buildings. Peshmerga commander, Jamal Mortaka, pointed out that the PKK and the PMF are present in Sinjar and have joint checkpoints. He said the Peshmerga knows of an agreement between the PKK and the PMF, and the PKK aims to support Iraqi forces to control the Syrian borders. [BasNews]

 

Baaj

Wednesday, PMFs killed 6 Daesh members who were gathered in Baaj to prepare for armed attacks. [Etejah] 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Maysan

Wednesday, the Maysan Province Police Commander Nizar Muhi Al-Saadi reported that intelligence data indicated a dangerous terrorist was in the Al-Salam area. A joint security force then went to the area and arrested him. [Baghdadia] 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

Wednesday, KRG spokesman, Safeen Dizayee, announced that “the federal government has not requested any list of employees from the KRG, therefore, we are not aware what lists Mr. Al-Abadi’s government is scrutinizing.” He added that the Kurdish people no longer trust statements by the federal government. [Rudaw]

 

The French Consul General in Erbil, Dominique Mas said that France and many other countries are friends of the Kurds, “not just the mountains,” a euphemism used frequently by the Kurds in reference to their isolation by the international community. Mas called for lifting the ban on the Erbil and Suleimaniya airports, noting that the ban has negatively impacted IDPs, refugees, humanitarian organizations, and diplomatic missions. He added that France supports a unified federal Iraq and a democratic government, and at the same time it supports the Kurdistan Region. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. We wish the Kurdish leadership would internalize this message. A country, or an individual, does not have to be anti-Kurdish to be pro-Iraq.

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

According to Turkish security sources, counter-terrorism teams stopped at least 26 foreigners of undisclosed nationalities suspected of being members of Daesh, during searches early Wednesday morning in six locations on the European side of Istanbul. Anadolu reported that several organizational documents and digital devices were confiscated during the searches. [Ghad]

 

Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that the Daesh members who left Raqqa were sent to Egypt. Ankara warned of Daesh resuming activities in Europe. [Sumaria]

 

A DaeshDaily source says several Daesh commanders are gathering in Turkey, then will travel individually to Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. The source says 4 Daesh Iraqi commander have left for Somalia recently.  

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Wednesday, Russian General of the Army Valery Gerasimov said that Syria was completely liberated from Daesh. He said “all Daesh assailants on Syrian ground have been banished, and the region has been liberated.” [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the complete defeat of Daesh on the Euphrates banks in Syria. Putin said that Defense Minister Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu gave him a report confirming that the operations on both the east and west Euphrates banks were completed, though there may be some pockets left. [Sputnik] 

Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told Sputnik he disagrees with President Vladimir Putin’s statement concerning the defeat of Daesh on both of the Euphrates banks. He said “we still know that there are ISIS pockets in Syria that remain to be taken care of . . . . This is just not true, ISIS is not defeated. There are still a couple thousand fighters left and that’s still a significant amount of fighters . . . . It’s premature.” [Sputnik]

 

Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Russia to facilitate the Syrian government’s involvement in the Geneva negotiations. “We have said to the Russians it is important that the Syrian government be at the table and be part of these negotiations and part of the discussion. We have left it to the Russians to deliver them to the table,” he added. [EnabBaladi]

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Raqqa

Tuesday, the United Nations expressed its concern about the humanitarian situation in post-Daesh Raqqa city, especially the continued daily toll on civilians due to IED explosions. UN Aid Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said that Raqqa’s people are suffering from lack of water, food and other aid. [EnabBaladi]

 

Northwest

Aleppo

SOHR reports violent clashes are continuing between Tahrir Al-Sham and the Syrian forces in southern Aleppo. [SyriaHR]

Wednesday, SOHR reported ongoing clashes between the Syrian forces and Tahrir Al-Sham in Aleppo’s southern villages of Hijara, Abisan, Al-Rashidiya and others, amid reports of casualties on both sides. [SyriaHR]

 

Russian Military Police located an abandoned Daesh weapons workshop in Al-Sakhour neighborhood in Aleppo. The Russian Military Police members were on their way to search the area when local residents told them that Daesh fighters and leaders lived there. A local resident said “there were strange devices and a kind of powder in the bags, and we fear they are explosives, as they manufactured their bombs here. We want your soldiers to search this place.” [Forat]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Wednesday, more than 20 members of the Syrian forces were killed, including the Commander of the 131st Armored Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Abbas Mustafa Saleh, during battles with Syrian opposition groups in rural northern Hama. Abu Hassan Farouk, a military commander in northern Hama’s opposition operations room, claimed that “they foiled a Syrian forces’ attack on Balal and Rabda villages, killing more than 20 members of the Syrian forces, including an officer, and destroying a 23 mm machine gun.” [Qasioun] [EnabBaladi]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh captured 5 villages east of Hama after an attack on Tahrir Al-Sham. The source says 30 TS members and 16 Daesh members were killed in the battles. The source says the attack was led by Daesh’s “minister of war” Ammar Al-Khatouni. Daesh recaptured a sixth village that was retaken by Tahrir Al-Sham earlier. 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

A DaeshDaily source said on Tuesday that a Kata’eb Hezbollah commander was killed by a Daesh sniper near Deir Ez-Zor. 

 

Mayadin

Wednesday, SOHR reported that 21 civilians, including nine children, were killed in Russian airstrikes on the Daesh-held Al-Jerzi village in Dhiban subdistrict, east of Mayadin in Mayadin District. [SyriaHR]

Tuesday, Zaman Al-Wasl had reported more than 15 civilians killed and others wounded in airstrikes on the Al-Jerzi Al-Sharqiya and Al-Jerzi Al-Gharbiya villages in Dhiban. [ZamanAlWasl]

Albu Kamal

Wednesday, the Syrian forces captured the villages of Al-Ramadi, Al-Maslakha, Al-Jalaa, Al-Burham, Al-Salam, Hasrat and Al-Baqaan, after battles with Daesh, mostly near the river, according to pro-Syrian government sources. [Qasioun] [ZamanAlWasl] [SyriaHR]

 

According to media sources, the SDF thwarted a Daesh attack on SDF locations in Abu Hamam and Al-Suwayda villages. According to the sources, the SDF killed 46 terrorists and destroyed a bomb-rigged vehicle. [PUKMedia] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh arrested its security official for Abu Hamam village while he was trying to escape to SDF-controlled areas carrying a large amount of money. 

 

Daesh says it shot down a Syrian Army warplane near Sayal town, north of Albu Kamal. [ICDNDec6] 

 

South 

Wednesday, local sources revealed that the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Syrian Army are moving reinforcements secretly into the “triangle of death” in southern Syria, which includes the areas of northern Daraa, west Rif Damashq, and northern Quneitra. Local sources expect the Syrian forces will launch a military campaign to take control of the region. [SyriaNow]

 

Damascus/Rif Damashq

Wednesday, Zaman Al-Wasl reported that a child was killed, and four civilians wounded in the Syrian forces’ shelling of different locations in Saqba city in Rif Damashq close to Damascus and Arbin city just outside Damascus. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Wednesday, two civilians were wounded when Syrian opposition groups targeted the Abbasid Hospital in Damascus with a mortar shell, according to a Damascus Police source. [SyriaNow]

 

Daraa

Wednesday, members of the Daesh affiliate Jaish Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed militia attacked a number of rural western Daraa’s schools, kidnapped 10 headmasters, along with their assistants, and took them to Maaraba, the militia’s main stronghold, according to local sources. [SyriaNow]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

In a joint press conference on Tuesday with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed support for the nuclear deal with Iran, however he pointed out that Iran “is carrying out a number of other destabilizing actions in the region,” including in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. [BasNews] 

 

North Africa

Libya/Tunisia

In the last 3 days there has been fighting in downtown Benghazi, Libya, against terrorist groups, leaving 5 Libyan National Army soldiers dead and 12 wounded. [AfriGate]

 

Wednesday, The Guardian reported that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the former Libyan dictator, is claiming to be leading a military campaign to fight terrorism in Tripoli. There are rumors that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi will run for elections in 2018 even though he has criminal charges against him, such as ordering the killing of protestors during the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011. [Guardian] [Arabi21]

 

Tuesday, the Tunisian National Guard Research and Inspection Division dismantled a takfiri cell of 60 members in Tabarka in Jendouba State. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

U.S.

Tuesday, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) listed a Jamaica-based Islamic religious cleric as a terrorist “for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of ISIS.” Abdallah Ibrahim Al-Faisal is accused of directly and indirectly supporting the terrorist attacks in Ohio and New York City in 2016 and 2010, respectively, among other attacks. [Kuna] [Treasury]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it killed 7 Taliban fighters and wounded others in an attack on Taliban positions in Laghman. It also says it stopped a Taliban attack in Khogyani District, in Nangarhar, killing 3 fighters and wounding others. [ICDNDec6] 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Videos of the Day

Iraq

IAA aircraft destroys a Daesh vehicle in the Anbar desert. [YouTube] 

 

PMFs destroy a charging Daesh vehicle bomb. [YouTube] 

 

December 5, 2017

 

Ninewa

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

UN officials challenges draft amendments to Personal Status Law over under-age marriage. [..]

National election set for May 12. [..]

HRW alleges Iraq has violated rights of Daesh defendants, prisoners. [..]

US Ambassador says flap over US troops in Kirkuk much ado about nothing. [..]

Kurdish-Turkmen issues boil over in Tuz Khurmatu. [..]

KRG PM says war against Daesh killed 2,000 Peshmerga, wounded 10,000. [..]

 

Syria

Syrian government delegation withdraws from Geneva conference. [..]

The Times says Syrian Kurds allowed Daesh fighters to escape Raqqa. [..]

Daesh bus bomb kills 7, wounds 8 in Homs. [..]

Reports say Russian aircraft are supporting SDF in Deir Ez-Zor. [..]

Israel bombs Syrian military research facility in Damascus area. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The Special Representatives of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict (SVC), Pramila Patten, and on Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba expressed concern over draft amendments to Iraq’s Personal Status Law “that alter fundamentally the legal provisions governing marriage.” According to their joint statement, “it is a matter of concern that these draft amendments are silent on the minimum age of consent to marriage and do not apply to all components of Iraqi society.” In September, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, signed a Joint Communiqué with the United Nations, “committing to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence in the wake of Daesh’s sexual violence crimes that shocked the world’s conscience.” According to the statement, the CoR approved “a draft law that does not explicitly set the minimum age of marriage to eighteen-years- for both women and men,” and this is “a significant step back from those commitments.” [BasNews] [UN] [UN]

 

Election

Iraq’s Council of Ministers announced that parliamentary elections will be held May 12, 2018 rather than May 15. No reason was given as to why the date was changed. [Anadolu]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Tuesday, Human Rights Watch published a report criticizing the Iraqi authorities’ way of handling the prosecution of Daesh members in federal and Kurdish courts. According to the report, not only is the current legal process being conducted improperly, “the trials are also proceeding with rampant violations of defendants’ rights under international and Iraqi law. We have documented cases in which ISIS suspects say forces held them for months and interrogated them without a lawyer present, sometimes torturing them to extract a confession that they were indeed an ISIS member.” [HRW] [BaghdadNews]

 

Tuesday, the Coalition said it estimates that fewer than 3,000 Daesh fighters remain in Iraq and Syria, according to US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon. According to Dillon, the Coalition and Russia communicate several times a day to avoid collisions. [Sumaria]

Dillon said that over 7 million Iraqi and Syrian citizens have been freed of Daesh’s rule. He also stated that the Coalition has begun extending humanitarian aid in cooperation with the Iraqi government and UN agencies. [Youm7]

 

Tuesday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said Iraq’s military capability at this time rivals those of other Middle East region states. He noted that the government has a comprehensive project to secure the Iraqi-Syrian border. [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) met with the High Level Committee of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in Baghdad to discuss the Coalition’s continuing future support to Iraqi armed forces. Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney said “we will continue to support our Iraqi partners in the battles against ISIS with training, equipment, advice, and assistance.” He said there will be a focus on lasting security and on developing Iraq’s self-sufficiency. [CentCom]

 

Tuesday, PMF Commander Jabbar Al-Maamouri revealed the start of a phase to “fragment” Daesh following its military defeat. He emphasized that “loose-ends” will lead to the emergence of new extremist groups that constitute an extension of Daesh. Al-Maamouri added that Daesh’s core leaders have lost communication with each other, and there are groups scattered in limited pockets across the country. [Sumaria]

 

US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman addressed the presence of US forces in Kirkuk, saying that there is nothing new about the US forces’ presence in Kirkuk, stressing that they were present in Kirkuk long before November 16th. Silliman noted that what the media picked up on was the transfer of equipment in and out of the region, which he stressed was done in coordination with Iraqi forces in support of the war against Daesh. [ROJ]

 

Reconstruction

Tuesday, Ambassador Silliman said the US is in the process of providing Iraq with new grants amounting to $150 million to build schools and health and sanitation facilities. [Sumaria]

 

IDPs

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs announced that a large number of foreign children with parents involved with Daesh remain in IDP camps. According to a ministry statement, the handover of these children to their respective countries is pending a court order. The statement explains that some of the children don’t have identification documents, and many were forced to carry weapons and participate in suicide attacks. [Rudaw] 

 

Tuesday, the Ministry of Migration and Displacement announced the return of 2,982 Iraqi refugees from Al-Hawl Camp in the Hasaka governorate. The refugees were transported via Umm Al-Dhiban village to Sinjar, and they are now housed in Al-Haj Camp in southern Mosul. The Ministry’s employees in Dahuk returned 182 Iraqi refugees from the Azaz area in Syria, through Turkey, then through the Ibrahim Al-Khalil Crossing into Dahuk’s Zakho District. [Xendan] 

 

Iraq-KRG issues

In a phone call on Monday evening, US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated the importance of a dialogue and peaceful solution to the disputes between Iraq and Erbil. [BasNews]

 

Ambassador Silliman expressed Washington’s concern about oil contracts signed by the Kurdistan Region with individual companies, stressing that these contracts should have a large degree of transparency. [ROJ]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)

Daesh says its snipers killed three PMF fighters and wounded two in the Al-Makarem area, near Meshahda, on Monday. [A3maq]

 

East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

Tuesday, an employee in the Ministry of Electricity was killed by a sticky IED in the Al-Rashad area in east Baghdad, according to a security source. [Baghdadia] 

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Tuesday, a security source reported that a civilian was killed, and another one was wounded, in an IED explosion in the Zaidan area in Abu Ghraib. [Baghdadia] 

 

ANBAR

 

Hit/Haditha

Monday, a security source in Anbar reported that 40 internally displaced families were returned to the Zawiya village in Haditha, and that water, electricity, and health services in the area have been restored. [Ghad] 

 

Northwest Anbar

Tuesday, the PMF’s 11th brigade located a Daesh military training base and a bomb-rigging workshop in the Jazeera desert, according to a PMF media statement. [Buratha] 

 

Rutba

Tuesday, Anbar Operations Commander Mohammed Al-Falahi announced that the Coalition carried out an airstrike on a Daesh vehicle and a terrorist gathering in the Kilo 75 area in southwest Rutba, killing 8 Daesh members. A Daesh military base was also destroyed. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

Tuesday, security units arrested a wanted terrorist at the northern entrance of Tikrit, according to a statement by the Military Intelligence Service in the Salahuddin Ops Command. The terrorist arrested was on his way to Ninewa. He is a father of three terrorists, one of whom was killed in clashes with the armed forces during the Mosul liberation. [Baghdadia] 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Tuesday, dozens of IDPs in Tuz Khurmatu protested in front the of the United Nations building in Erbil, calling for international protection of Kurds in the district. The protestors accused Turkmen PMFs of killing, torturing, and bombing 300 houses of Kurds. They also called for forming investigation committees, compensating those harmed, and expelling armed forces from the city center. [Sumaria] 

 

Turkmen PMF spokesman, Ali Al-Husseini denied the Turkmen PMF bombed any civilian houses of any national background in Tuz Khurmatu, accusing a Kurdish group called “Khobash” of carrying out the explosions and targeting federal forces in the district. Al-Husseini added that some parties are promoting lies in order to sway public opinion. He added that “there are no IDPs from Tooz; there are fugitives wanted for justice who ran away once the Iraqi forces entered to impose the law.” [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. There are in fact serious allegations from Kurds about Kurdish homes destroyed in Tuz Khurmatu. The allegation arose again Tuesday at a panel event at the Middle East Institute in Washington. Some independent investigation would seem to be in order so as to establish the facts of what happened. Also see the Kirkuk story below.

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Tuesday, the Diyala Intelligence and Security Directorate announced the discovery of an ammunition depot in the mountainous area between Nafut Khana and Khanaqin, in cooperation with units from the Dijla Ops Command. [Ghad] 

 

Daesh says its snipers killed a PMF fighter in Udhaim. [A3maq]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Tuesday, CoR representative Mohammed Othman threatened to resort to the International Criminal Co