An Update On ISIS Activities

July 18, 2018

 

Iraq Protests

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Protest leaders issue sweeping demands against much of the Iraqi government. [..]

Sunni alliance may seek to postpone provincial elections. [..]

Iraqi bank opens a branch in Saudi Arabia. [..]

KDP, PUK sending delegation to Baghdad to wrest concessions on political status. [..]

Son of Salahuddin PC member killed by IED attack. [..]

Transfer of IFP units from Kirkuk to southern Iraq raises concern about deteriorated security conditions. [..]

Assassinations, security deterioration in Ninewa raise concerns about a Daesh comeback. [..]

Several Peshmerga killed in Makhmur campaign. [..]

CTS troops sent to Muthanna province. [..]

 

Syria

Syrian human rights organization says Russia has killed 6,187 Syrian civilians. [..]

SDF takes over last of 16 Daesh-held villages in southern Hasaka. [..]

Evacuation begins for pro-government Shia militiamen trapped in two Idlib towns. [..]

60 civilians killed by Syrian airstrikes, barrel bomb attacks in Daraa. [..]

 

Other countries

Iran:  World Bank study documents huge economic decline under Islamic regime. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Demonstrations

Representatives of the protestors demonstrating in central and southern Iraq announced 12 demands on the Iraqi government on Wednesday (but Bas News listed 14). They said they would give the government 3 days to respond to these demands.

  • Abolish provincial councils and local councils and cancel the salaries of all members, and reduce the number of MPs to a quarter of what they currently are.

  • Cancel the salaries of the Presidents, Ministers, deputy Ministers, general managers, any concessions they have abroad, and all salaries paid to foreign parties.

  • Abolish the offices of the Inspectors General for all Ministries as they have covered up corruption.

  • Abolish the Commission of Integrity and its offices in all provinces as they cover up corruption, and abolish the Electoral Commission, which falsified all previous elections, and hold them accountable for such fraud.

  • Abolish the pensions of all former MPs from all sessions of the CoR since the end of the previous regime (i.e. Saddam), abolish the “laws of privilege” for MPs, and make MP salaries comparable to other state employees.

  • Abolish the Najaf Airport Administrative Council, present them to a court, and return all the “stolen items.”

  • Form a “People’s Court,” the members of which would be chosen by the people, with the authority to prosecute corruption and retrieve public funds spent on corruption since the fall of the previous regime.

  • Construct power plants by agreement with Germany for a short period, as Egypt contracted with them for 3 power plants at a price of $2 billion per plant.

  • Form a committee of Iraq religious figures and prominent legal scholars from Iraqi universities to amend the Constitution, which does not serve the people, and repeal the laws that “separate powerful men and parties by their size.”

  • Repeal the amended “Sainte-Laguë” method of proportional representation for the CoR, and replace it with a law that gives seats to the individuals receiving the highest vote counts, without lists of parties, which ensures the rise of non-party independent candidates.

  • Agree with international investment companies that they will not invest in companies owned or controlled by political parties, as most of them steal the country’s wealth for their own benefit at the expense of the public interest.

  • Appoint jobs through a new mechanism which guarantees the rights of all, and keeps jobs from being distributed as electoral favors.

  • Either distribute a share of oil revenues to each individual Iraqi, or else use the revenue to make public services such as water, electricity, and health care free.

  • Cancel plans to privatize electricity, oil, and gas, because these are projects to enrich the ruling class at the expense of the poor. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. We would concur with the obvious conclusion that these proposals are extreme and unfairly punitive, but the authors are in some ways perceptive about Iraq’s corruption problem. The statement also reflects the extent of the frustration with the political class. At the same time, it shows why these protests have a dangerous undertone that threatens stability.

 

The media office of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Wednesday that Al-Abadi had formed a “crisis cell” concerned with urgent service provision and security issues, which held its first meeting the day before. The office’s press statement said that the “crisis cell” had made “several decisions” regarding electricity, water, job creation, and the health and education sectors. Among these decisions was reportedly the establishment of a similar “crisis cell” within each Ministry to deal with these issues, and the decision to train personnel under the Ministry of Labor in connection with the “crisis cells.” [Sumaria]

 

The Directorate of Civil Defense said on Wednesday that unidentified armed persons attacked fire engines that were attempting to put out fires in several buildings, both private houses and party headquarters. The General Director of Civil Defense, General Kazem Bouhan, said at a press conference held in Karbala that several cases of arson at party headquarters and the houses of officials had been recorded, and that attackers tried to damage the fire engines that responded. 9 fire engines were reported damaged in Najaf, 6 in Muthanna, and 1 in Babel. [Sumaria]

 

The former Governor of Ninewa, Atheel Al-Nujaifi, warned that Daesh could use the current demonstrations to return to formerly cleared areas. He said that, to that end, he was working to ensure that “no demonstrations [would be] held in the Sunni areas” in central and southern Iraq. An official source in Anbar Province previously said on Monday that all demonstrations were prohibited in Anbar to prevent the deterioration of the security situation. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. As has been true for a few years, the much discredited Mr. Nujaifi has no authority to do anything, but he can be appreciated for doing something positive.

 

An Iraqi official, who asked not to be named, described Iran’s cutoff of electricity to Iraq as “political blackmail” aimed at pressuring the Iraqi government. The official, speaking with the Emirati Sky News Arabia, said that Iran’s excuses for doing so, based on the need to meet its own domestic electricity needs, were “not accurate.” The official claimed that Iran’s production amounted to 58,000 megawatts while its domestic needs were only 42,000 megawatts.

DaeshDaily comment. We can’t evaluate the technical arguments, but it’s fair to observe that although Iraq has had a severe electricity shortage going back to the Saddam era, it has now had 13 years of elected governments to address and overcome the problem, and has faced annual protests for a few years during the hot Iraqi summers to prod it to do so. Iran deserves credit for helping, whatever its mix of motives, and perhaps it can be criticized for cutting off that help, whatever its motives. However, the lack of adequate electricity is Iraq’s failure, not Iran’s fault. 

 

Election/New government

Election

A leader in the “Alliance of Sunni Forces,” who asked not to be named, said on Wednesday that the movement would seek to postpone the provincial elections, which are currently scheduled for December 22. The source said that this was due to the confusion and accusations of fraud following the CoR elections, and added that some Shi’a parties also sought to postpone the provincial elections. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. Of course, this pending proposal has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the Sunni parties took a beating in the parliamentary election.

 

New government

A US political think tank says that the recent protests consolidated the position of Muqtada Al-Sadr at the expense of Haider Al-Abadi. The report expected that the protests would fade gradually but said that this would require a scapegoat, most likely the current Prime Minister. [WatanIq]

 

Iraqi political leaders met at the offices of President Fuad Masoum to discuss the recent demonstrations and the formation of the next government, an unnamed delegate to the meeting said on Wednesday. Attendees reportedly included Nouri Al-Maliki, Osama Nujaifi, Ammar Al-Hakim, Dhia Al-Asadi, Mohammed Al-Karbouli, Abd Al-Karim Al-Ansari on behalf of Hadi Al-Amiri, and Kazem Al-Shammari on behalf of the National Alliance. The source noted that Al-Abadi himself did not attend. [Rudaw]

 

Economy

The Trade Bank of Iraq opened a branch in Saudi Arabia, a move which a Saudi banking official described as strengthening the Iraqi financial structure. The Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat quoted Talaat Hafez as saying that the Bank’s entry into the Saudi market would be beneficial to the Iraqi state, the Bank, and the Saudi banking sector. [Sumaria]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) announced that they would send a joint unified Kurdish delegation to Baghdad in the next few days, saying that talks would focus on the formation of a national unity government and the implementation of Article 140 of the Constitution. KDP leader Shawan Taha said that the delegation was still awaiting a response from the Kurdish opposition parties as to whether they would join. [IraqPress]

DaeshDaily comment. The timing of this power play is too typical of the major Kurdish parties. Iraq is in a political crisis and facing serious instability, but the Kurdish leadership is concerned only with its own agenda. The reference to Article 140 is a reference to the Kurdish version of how it should be implemented, which would result in the maximum loss of Iraqi territory to the Kurds. This is the major reason why agreement has never been reached on how to implement it.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Washington Post published a front-page article on Tuesday saying that only seven months after Al-Abadi declared that Iraq was free from Daesh, they recovered quickly and resumed their operations in a “wave of kidnappings, assassinations, and bombings.” Daesh started operating in remote and small areas just as it started before its major attacks on large Iraqi cities in 2014. The recent Daesh operations in various provinces have caused people to wonder if victory was really achieved. [Dijlah] [Baghdadia] [WashingtonPost]

DaeshDaily comment. Appreciation to the Post for its story, by Liz Sly and Mustafa Salim. As our readers know, we have been sounding this alarm almost since “victory” was declared, as Daesh methodically set out to reverse its fortunes by recycling its insurgency. Thus all the assassinations of policemen, mukhtars and other local symbols of authority. Iraq is doing better lately at combating  Daesh in the remote desert and mountain areas where it operates, but it’s government, police, and military personnel are still targets, and perhaps the election results indicate that a lot of Iraqis have not bought into the victory narrative. 

 

Foreign policy

A US State Department report says that Iraq is not committing to minimum criteria required to address human trafficking. The report says Iraq is still at the second level of scrutiny for the second year in a row (out of the 3 levels defined by State), adding that Iraq has identified human trafficking victims but is yet to take serious measures addressing the issue. The report also mentioned the recruitment of children by the PMF militias and lack of any measures to control it. [Forat] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

On Wednesday, a security source reported that a wanted person was arrested on terrorism charges in north Baghdad. Security forces arrested him while he was passing through one of the checkpoints in Tarmiya. [Sumaria]

 

Southeast (Mada’in, etc.)

A security source says unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle shot a civilian dead in Jisr Diyala, southeast Baghdad. [BaghdadNews]

 

ANBAR

Rutba

Al-Jazeera Ops Commander in Anbar Province, General Qasim Al-Mohammedi, announced on Wednesday that an operation was underway to secure the Iraq-Syria border in Anbar, working from Al-Qa’im, Rawa, and Rutba, and the Al-Waleed border crossing across from the Al-Tanaf base. He said that the operation was aimed at eliminating any Daesh tunnels, safehouses, or caches in the desert. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

On Wednesday, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced that 160,000 IDP families have returned to Salahuddin Province since the area was liberated from Daesh. [Rudaw] [Forat]

Tikrit

A DaeshDaily source said on Tuesday that the son of a Salahuddin Provincial Council member was killed when a sticky IED exploded under his vehicle in Tikrit city. The source says the Council ordered that displaced people be removed from the Al-Zuhour Al-Thaniya neighborhood in Tikrit. 

 

Mtaibija

A DaeshDaily source says the Salahuddin Operations Commander announced a military campaign in the Mtaibija area and areas southeast of Samarra after Daesh increased its attacks during the last few days. The source says PMF and local police units will accompany Iraqi Army units in the campaign. The source says Daesh attacks had decreased at the beginning of the month, but the situation changed when PMF units were withdrawn to the south after the protests.  

 

A DaeshDaily source says the Chief of Staff of the Salahuddin Operations Command, General Imad Al-Jubouri, was severely wounded and three of his bodyguards killed when an IED exploded on his convoy near the Mtaibija area. 

 

Daesh says it killed an Iraqi soldier, wounded three others, and damaged a Humvee with an IED in the Mtaibija area, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it damaged 2 Iraqi Army Humvees with IEDs in the Mtaibija area, on Monday. [A3maq]

 

DIYALA

The Ministry of the Interior said on Wednesday that it had arrested 2 Daesh fighters in separate arrests in Diyala Province. [Sumaria] [Ghad] 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Diyala Ops Command announced that a special operation succeeded in arresting 3 persons on terrorism charges in the city of Jalawla, in Khanaqin. It is unclear if this includes either of the arrests mentioned in the above article. [Ghad] 

 

KIRKUK

DaeshDaily sources say IFP and Rapid Intervention units were withdrawn from the Kirkuk area to southern Iraq after the protests. The sources say the security situation deteriorated and Daesh managed to conduct attacks in the Daquq, Hawija, and Dibis areas.

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

A security source said on Wednesday that an IED had exploded in central Kirkuk, near the Kirkuk-Baghdad Road, injuring 3 people. [Sumaria]

 

A later report quoted a security source as saying that 8 explosions in total hit Kirkuk on Wednesday, with 13 people in total injured. Most of the explosions were caused by unidentified persons throwing explosive devices from 4WD/SUV-type vehicles. [Sumaria] 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

Iraqi Federal Police Chief Raed Shaker Jawdat said on Wednesday that the 19th brigade arrested 3 terrorists, one of whom belonged to “Daesh intelligence,” in the Kaka’i villages of Ali Saray and Iftikhar in southwest Kirkuk. [Etejah] [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. Because many Kaka’is follow a distinctive religion that it not part of Islam, they have occasionally been convenient Daesh targets, including recent attacks in their area of Daquq.

 

NINEWA

DaeshDaily sources say that the security situation in Ninewa had deteriorated recently. The sources say the situation has not been this bad since Daesh was defeated. The sources say people are terrified because of the continuous Daesh attacks on mukhtars in Mosul and in southern Ninewa. The sources say the Ninewa Operations Command announced a campaign to search the east side of Mosul.  

DaeshDaily comment. This shows that the Daesh strategy is working. The specific purpose of these Daesh assassinations is to create fear. The message is that the government cannot protect you, so you had better do as we say. 

 

Mosul

The spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, Sa’ad Ma’an, announced on Wednesday that 4 “dangerous” members of Daesh had been arrested in Mosul. [Ghad] [Forat]

 

A DaeshDaily source says local police units found the body of a Daesh member, who had been kidnapped, tied and shot near the Baghdad intersection, in west Mosul. The source says the man had previously been captured but was released after paying a bribe. 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hamidat/ Hammam Al-Alil

The spokesman for the Center for Security Information, General Yahya Rasul, announced on Wednesday that several pieces of weaponry were found south of Mosul. An IED and two mortar shells were found in the area of Jarn in Hammam Al-Alil in a police search. 23 Kornet rockets, anti-tank grenades, regular grenades, 20 kg of gunpowder, and 9 “prepared” IEDs were found in the village of Bakhira. [Ghad] [Forat]

 

Makhmur/Qayara/Hatra

A DaeshDaily source said that several Peshmerga fighters, including an officer, were killed and others wounded in a Daesh attack on the Qarachogh area, in Makhmur. 

Daesh says it ambushed Peshmerga units in the Makhmur Mountain area, on Tuesday. It says its terrorists detonated several IEDs, then clashed with the Peshmerga “for several hours.” It says seven Peshmerga fighters were killed and 14 wounded. [ICDNJul18] [A3maq]

 

On Wednesday, Daesh kidnapped a resident from his home in a village located at the foot of Mount Qarachogh, Makhmur District. The kidnapped person worked in livestock. [PUKMedia]

 

Colonel Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the Coalition, said that their recent joint operation with the Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces on Mount Qarachogh, Makhmur district, had bombed 30 Daesh “nests” and destroyed 5 Daesh “trenches.” He spoke positively of the Peshmerga’s participation, saying they were “powerful fighters.” [Rudaw]

 

The IFP said on Wednesday that they had started an operation to track down and clear Daesh caves in the mountain area of Qarachogh, as part of the “Second Martyr’s Revenge” operations. [Ghad] 

 

Western Ninewa (No reports)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Muthanna

A security source in Muthanna says that Counter Terrorism units have arrived in the province to help contain the ongoing protests. The source says the force has a list of wanted names from banned groups such as supporters of militia leaders Al-Yamani and Al-Sarkhi . [BaghdadNews] 

DaeshDaily comment. When you need Counter-Terrorism Service troops in Muthanna, Iraq’s sleepiest province, you know there is a serious problem.

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

Safin Deza’i, a spokesman for the KRG, says that the PKK’s presence in areas bordering Turkey and Iran goes back to the days of Saddam Hussein, and was never something agreed to by the local population and authorities. He says that the PKK entered these areas in the 80s, after starting operations inside Syria. He stated that the KRG does not approve of attacking Turkey and Iran from the Kurdish territories. He says that the KRG’s relations with Turkey were and are still good, and have not been affected by recent developments. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. It’s good that they don’t approve. Over the years. however, the KRG has not done anything about it either. It just looked the other way and then looked away again when the Turks occasionally crossed the border to deal with the problem themselves. Now the Turks have set up their own military positions in KRG territory, and both sides are killing each other on a regular basis on Kurdish and Iraqi territory and frighten Kurdish villagers; and now the Iranians are shelling Iraq too. (See below.) From day to day, this is a conflict that has no objective on either side except to kill more people and issue a victorious press release.

 

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDP-I, aka HDKA) said on Wednesday that 2 of its fighters had been killed by Iranian artillery shelling on border areas in the Choman District and Sidekan subdistrict of Erbil. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Turkey will reportedly lift the state of emergency that has been in effect since July 20, 2016, and replace it with an “anti-terrorism” law. The state of emergency was declared after the failed coup on July 15-16, 2016. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

On Wednesday, the UN expressed concern about the safety of civilians in southwestern Syria. Deputy spokesman for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq, said at a press conference that continued airstrikes and shelling in the city of Nawa have resulted in more deaths and injuries, as well as making the only hospital in the city unusable. [Anadolu]

 

See related story under “Daraa” below.

 

Russia

The Syrian Network for Human Rights says that Russia has killed 6,187 civilians, including 1,771 children, since the start of its intervention in Syria in 2015. [EnabBaladi]

 

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it would end the crisis of Syrian IDPs on the border with Jordan. Russia Today reported that the Ministry said that “return of all refugees [would be] a common ground for all countries involved in the Syrian crisis,” without giving further details. [Sumaria]

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

On Wednesday, the SDF took control of the last bastions of Daesh in rural southern Hasaka. Local sources said that the SDF entered the village of ‘Afrah, near the city of Markada, after Daesh withdrew. The SDF’s media office said that in the period between July 5 and July 17, it had taken control of 16 villages in Hasaka, covering an area of 1,100 km2. [Dorar] 

 

Daesh says it stabbed and severely wounded an SDF member and a government policeman in Hay Al-Sakan Al-Shababi, in Hasaka city, on Monday. [ICDNJul18]

 

Raqqa (No reports)

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

The process of evacuating pro-government militias from the Shia towns of Al-Fawaa and Kefraya in Idlib has started. 90 buses reportedly entered the area to start the evacuation of about 6,900 militia fighters and their families to Aleppo. This will be in exchange for the release of over 1,500 fighters captured by the government. [Dorar] This follows up on our report from yesterday.

 

Kurdish sources say that YPG fighters killed 5 fighters from a Turkey-affiliated militia and wounded 6 others, and destroyed a weapon storehouse in Atma, northwest Idlib. [Roj]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

Daesh killed two2 SDF fighters in an attack on an SDF checkpoint near Al-Zir village. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal District

Daesh publishes photos of setting cigarette boxes on fire in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNJul18]

 

South 

Daraa/Quneitra

Media sources say that over 60 civilians have been killed and dozens wounded in airstrikes and “barrel bomb” attacks by government forces on the city of Nawa, northern Daraa. [Dorar]

 

See related UN story above under “National News.”

 

Explosions resulting from airstrikes were heard in the Yarmouk Basin area, which is held by Jaish Khaled (a Daesh affiliate), mainly in the town of Jillen, causing damage. Meanwhile, Daesh says it killed 14 government troops in a car bomb attack southwest of the city of Jasim. [SyriaHR] 

 

Government media says that over 90% of Daraa is in the government’s hands. The capture of Tal Al-Mal (Al-Mal Hill) gave the Syrian Army artillery fire control over the surrounding villages on the border between Daraa and Quneitra. [Qasioun] 

 

Suwayda

Daesh issues an infographic about its operations in the Suwayda Desert during the last 40 days. It says it conducted 15 attacks, killing 120 soldiers and destroying 16 vehicles. [A3maq]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Stunning statistics published by the World Bank and covered by Iranian opposition media noted the extent of Iran’s long-term economic downturn. World Bank figures said that Iran’s economy has fallen from 17th to 27th place worldwide over the past four decades. US-funded Radio Farda, which broadcasts from outside Iran, said that 10,000 Iranian riyals were worth about $150 US before the 1979 Khomeini revolution, but are now worth about 10 cents US. The World Bank estimated that per capita GDP based on purchasing power meant that the average Iranian was 32% poorer in 2017 than in 1976. [Sumaria]

 

Yemen

Abdul Malik Al-Houthi told the French daily Le Figaro that the Houthis are ready to hand over supervision of the Hodeida airport to the UN, provided that the Saudi led coalition stops its attacks on the province. “We do not mind the logistical role of the UN, provided the aggression would stop,” said Al-Houthi in the interview. [Hawar]

 

North Africa

Egypt

The Egyptian terrorist monitoring organization Dar Al-Iftaa published a report on terrorist activity during the second week of July. 

They wrote that Afghanistan was still seeing the conflict between the Afghan government + international Coalition forces and the Taliban intensify, as well as the deepening of the rivalry between the Taliban and Daesh. Afghanistan topped its list of the countries most vulnerable to violence and extremism.

In Somalia during the week, this period saw 3 operations of the Al-Shabaab movement, including the killing of a former provincial commissioner, the assassination of a former MP, and the killing of at least 15 members of the security services.

Iraq and Syria were mentioned in the report in the context of the concern that Daesh would seek to regain control of land it had lost in Mosul and Albu Kamal, respectively. Dar Al-Iftaa also noted that Iraq was seeing reprisal attacks by Daesh against security personnel and Iraqi civilians.

Finally, the report wrote that Al-Qaeda in Libya and the Daesh presence in the Sinai were both on the decline as a result of the concerted efforts of the Libyan National Army and the Egyptian Armed Forces, respectively. [AhlMisr]

 

Dar Al-Iftaa also published a report on the use of children by terrorist groups. Their report noted that the recruitment of children not only comes from a lack of sufficient adult fighters, but also serves as a way for organizations to connect with younger generations.  The report recounted instances of children being recruited by terrorist groups in Turkey and Indonesia, before noting that Nigeria’s Boko Haram has been the most organized group in terms of recruiting children, citing UNICEF, which said that more than 1,000 children have been kidnapped from schools in eastern Nigeria and forced to join the group.

However, the report also pointed out that Daesh had recently used 200 children as suicide bombers in fighting in Hajin, eastern Syria, referring to them as the “Black Cubs of Hajin.” Daesh also has been known for kidnapping children and taking them away from the current conflict areas to be trained elsewhere. This occurred in Raqqa and Mosul, where the report said that Daesh had taken “at least 300” children between 11 and 17 to be trained elsewhere. [AhlMisr]

 

Tunisia

The Tunisian National Guard arrested a 33-year-old resident of Sidi Alouane on charges of promoting terrorism. Under interrogation, the detainee confessed to making social media posts glorifying a terrorist attack in Jendouba in which 6 National Guardsmen were killed. [Tunisien]

 

A spokesman for the Tunisian Counter-Terrorism Court, Saifan Al-Salaiti, denied that any suspects had been eliminated or arrested in connection with the Jendouba terrorist attack. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Italy

Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday that Egyptian authorities had informed him about the existence of “Islamic fighters” among the immigrants coming to Italy. He made these remarks to the Italian Parliament after returning from Cairo. Italy is a major destination for immigrants coming from North Africa. [Anadolu]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh publishes a photo of the suicide terrorist who conducted the attack on the Afghan Ministry of Rural Development on Sunday. [ICDNJul18]

 

 

July 17, 2018

 

Baghdad Protests

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

8 dead, 56 injured so far in southern Iraq demonstrations.  [..]

Both pro-Iran &anti-Iran elements found in demonstrations. [..]

Government anti-corruption measures anticipated shortly.  [..]

Commission of Integrity exposes massive financial scam in Anbar.  [..]

Iraqi Army, IAA heavily target Daesh in Mtaibija, Salahuddin. [..]

10 PMFs killed by suicide terrorist near Udhaim Dam. [..]

IOM reports that thousands of Yazidis in Sinjar have not returned to home villages. [..]

Turks, PKK still killing each other in northern Iraqi Kurdistan, as Iran shells rural villages. [..]

 

Syria

Tahrir Al-Sham- Iran deal reported on letting Shia militiamen & residents out of besieged Shia towns. [..]

SDF, Coalition start assault on Daesh-held Hajin in Albu Kamal. [..]

Syrian Army expands territorial control in western Daraa . . . [..]

. . . but loses at least 43 soldiers to Daesh attack. [..]

 

Other countries

Afghanistan: Daesh makes two deadly attacks on Taliban. [..]

 Afghan troops rescue 54 from Daesh prison in Helmand. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Demonstrations

The Ministry of Health said that 8 people had been killed and 56 injured since the start of the popular demonstrations on July 8. Of the deaths, 2 were reported in Basra, 2 in Najaf, 3 in Samawa (Muthanna Province), and 1 in Karbala. [Rudaw]

 

The head of the AAH-affiliated Sadiqoun bloc in the just-completed CoR session, Hassan Salim, called for the security services to intensify their intelligence efforts and arrest anyone who had targeted PMF HQ during the demonstrations. Salim said in an interview that attacks on PMF buildings, religious institutions, or public property was part of “a pre-prepared plan” by people who were trying to exploit the demonstrations to destabilize the country. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. As for targeting PMF buildings, the more obvious motive is to demonstrate opposition to Iranian influence on the Iraqi government, including the upcoming government. This is clearly one of the underlying issues in the troubled effort to form a new government.

 

However, DaeshDaily sources report a counter-narrative, from those saying that the protests were instigated in Basra by pro-Iran militias. Some accuse the militias of instigating violence, undermining the legitimate demands of the otherwise peaceful demonstrators. The accusers say people linked to the militias are attacking security forces, government entities, and political parties’ offices. 

Most of the demonstrators are not politically motivated and are demonstrating justifiable anger about the lack of reliable services (especially electricity,) lack of job opportunities, etc. Many people find it suspicious that Iran cuts off electricity supplies at this time of the year where temperature reaches around 50 C (122 F.) [However, see the Iranian explanation below.] Daesh Daily sources say Muqtada Al-Sadr, in his role as a populist leader, knows he has more supporters than the militias and he doesn’t want to miss the political opportunity presented by the demonstrations.

DaeshDaily comment. This creates a confusing combo-narrative in which both pro-Iran and anti-Iran political factions have a motive to join the demonstrations. 

 

The Emirati Sky News wrote that Iran was paying the price for its intervention in Iraqi affairs as evidenced by the negative reaction of protestors towards Iran and its symbols. Sky News claimed that Iran was trying to support the protests in order to topple Al-Abadi, and replace him with a sectarian, pro-Iranian government. [SkyNews]

 

Abdul Hadi Al-Saadawi, a leader in the “Rule of Law” bloc, says that the demonstrators in the country are divided into two groups: the first are really demanding their rights, but the second are saboteurs governed by external agendas. He admitted the presence of corruption in Iraq on a large scale. [Ayanliraq]

 

The Iraqi Army said on Tuesday that it committed to the PM’s instructions not to use live ammunition against protestors. [Anadolu]

 

The Observatory for Freedom of the Press, part of a syndicate for Iraqi journalists, condemned the oppressive measures of security organizations against journalists covering recent protests in Iraq. It says that many arrests were made and warrants issued to intimidate and terrify journalists. [Shafaaq]

 

The Iraqi government has reportedly cut off Internet and Facebook use in several provinces in an attempt to curtail popular demonstrations. The Internet marketing company “Market Wings” now says that losses from Internet censorship in Iraq are estimated at $40 million per day. The company called on the Iraqi government not to keep people from using the Internet and social media, saying that these were now parts of everyday life and impacted other sectors such as education, health, and security. [Rudaw]

 

On Tuesday the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, urged a positive response to the legitimate demands of the Iraqi protesters. He warned that the continuing violent protests may have negative effects on Iraq’s security and economy. [Anadolu]

 

Also see demonstration stories below under “Basra.” 

 

New government

Ammar Al-Hakim, head of the Wisdom alliance, says that a national majority (i.e. unity) government is the most suitable and realistic solution to govern Iraq. He was speaking to the UNAMI delegation, headed by Jan Kubis. He said such a government would be able develop services, eliminate corruption, and create job opportunities, Al-Hakim said. He noted that these are the main demands of the protestors in various Iraqi cities. [Forat]

DaeshDaily comment. We don’t necessarily think Mr. Al-Hakim is wrong, but his proposal seems to be that the politicians should put the new government together the same “inclusive” way it has been constructed since the fall of Saddam, and which has contributed to much of the corruption as the parties divvy the ministries and distribute the spoils to their members and supporters. This has paralyzed the political system.

 

Corruption

A new bundle of reform measures are expected to be presented by the government shortly, including the dismissal of several top state and local officials, whose cases will be referred to the Commission of Integrity and the judiciary, as well as other measures related to Iraqi workers in oil companies. [SNG]

 

Foreign policy

Iran’s Minister of Energy, Reza Ardakanian, says that Iran’s cutoff of power to Iraq is actually part of the agreement between the two countries. Under the agreement, the priority when electricity is scarce is always to meet local requirements in Iran. He added that Iran is well aware of the difficulties faced by Iraq in this field.  [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. Let’s assume the Minister is speaking truthfully. The problem is that Iran’s peak use periods are the same as Iraq’s, so its withdrawal of power to Iraq comes at the worst times (like the middle of summer, when air conditioning is most needed).

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

Daesh says it killed four Iraqi soldiers and wounded another in clashes in the Nadim Al-Thaniya area, in Meshahda, on Monday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it killed the PMF commander of the Sheikh Hamad area on Sunday. [A3maq] 

 

ANBAR

The Commission of Integrity said on Tuesday that it had arrested several officials from the Department of Health and the Rafidain Bank in Anbar Province, and returned 6 billion Iraqi dinars to the public treasury. This amount was disbursed from the Department of Health to Rafidain Bank, ostensibly to accounts associated with PMF and IDP payees; however, the accounts affiliated with these payments were then canceled so that the money could be recovered in cash by Department of Health officials. Those arrested included the General Director of the Anbar branch of Rafidain Bank and the Director of the Anbar Department of Health. [Mawazin]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Salahuddin Ops Command announced on Tuesday that 160,279 IDP families had returned to their homes in the province in the latest count. Its press statement said that 49,274 families had returned to Tikrit and 5,169 to the village of Albu Ajil south of Tikrit; 32,503 to Shirqat District; and 62,413 to Baiji District. In eastern Salahuddin, 2,751 returned to the Al-Daur residential complex, 6,796 to the Al-Daur District, and 762 to the city of Suleiman Beg in Tooz. [Ghad] 

 

Tikrit

The Center for Security Information said on Tuesday that 5 Daesh tunnels in the Mtaibija area had been destroyed. Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said that Salahuddin Ops Command and the Air Force had found and destroyed the tunnels, as well as some Daesh vehicles, as part of the “Second Martyr’s Revenge” campaign. [Sumaria] 

 

The Security Committee of the Diyala Provincial Council said on Tuesday that 3 Daesh fighters had been killed by an airstrike in the Mtaibija border area along the Diyala border. [Sumaria]

Possibly reporting on the same strike, Salahuddin Ops Command announced on Tuesday that Iraqi Army Air had killed 4 terrorists in an airstrike as part of the “Second Martyr’s Revenge” operations. They added that units from the Salahuddin Police had also found and detonated an IED in the Mtaibija area. [Ghad] 

 

A local source said on Tuesday that a manufacturing facility for making IEDs and booby-traps had been found and destroyed in Mtaibija. An unspecified number of Daesh safehouses were also reportedly destroyed, which may be the same as the safehouses in the above reports. [Ghad] 

 

General Imad Ahmed Mohammed, the Chief of Staff of Salahuddin Ops Command, survived an IED attack that targeted his convoy in Manahila village, in the Mtaibija area. He and two of his guards were slightly wounded. [Youm7]

 

Samarra

Samarra Ops Command announced on Tuesday that its units had detonated 96 IEDs, arrested 9 wanted persons, and destroyed 6 Daesh safehouses as part of the “Martyr’s Revenge” operations. [Ghad] 

 

Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)

Daesh publishes photos of killing a “PMF member” and setting his motorcycle on fire in Dujail. [ICDNJul17]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

The Security Committee of the Diyala Provincial Council said on Tuesday that 4 “extremely dangerous” Daesh terrorists had been arrested near Baquba. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

A DaeshDaily source says 10 PMF fighters were killed or wounded when a suicide terrorist attacked their military position with an explosives vest in the Udhaim Dam area.

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A DaeshDaily source says two IFP members were killed and their vehicle destroyed when an IED exploded on them on the road between Dibis and Kirkuk. The source says the IFP arrested 6 suspects in the area after the explosion.

 

The Federal Police said on Tuesday that they had destroyed 2 boats used by Daesh during a search in Dibis. [Ghad] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

The Federal Police said on Tuesday that they had destroyed 10 IEDs in Mosul. [Ghad] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Makhmur

A Coalition press release confirmed that they had worked with the Peshmerga, as well as Iraqi security services, in a joint operation to clear an area in the Makhmur Mountains region on July 16. Daesh Daily reported the collaboration with the Peshmerga in yesterday’s issue. [InherentResolve]

A security source in Kirkuk Province said on Tuesday that Coalition airstrikes had killed 14 Daesh fighters on Mount Qarachogh in Makhmur, presumably part of the same story. [Sumaria]

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

Ninewa Ops Commander General Najem Al-Jubouri denied on Tuesday that there had been any attack on a mosque in Tal Afar. This was in response to some media reports of such an attack earlier on Tuesday. Al-Jubouri said that such reports were just an attempt to increase sectarian tensions. [Sumaria]

 

Sinjar

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says that thousands of Yazidi refugees have not returned to their villages, ravaged by Daesh, since 2014. Hundreds of families prefer to stay in the hills of Sinjar rather than return, after losing almost everything. The IOM says it went to the village of Hardan, where only 60 out of an original 300 families now live, with total lack of water, power, education and health services, saying that it would help the local government to restore such basic services to facilitate the return of IDPs. [Youm7]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

Iraqi security forces made a series of arrests of young people in Basra Province as the protests there entered their second week. Local activists said that the people arrested included several youths who tried to gather people in certain neighborhoods in Basra. The security services have placed Basra under nighttime curfew, although they announced on Tuesday that the previous curfew on the movement of vehicles within Basra was lifted. They said the nighttime curfew will continue until the situation in Basra returns to normal. [BasNews]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

DAHUK

The Turkish Army says that its planes killed 8 PKK fighters in the border villages of Hakurk and in Metina in northern Dahuk. It says 4 of these gunmen were part of the attack that killed 3 Turkish soldiers on May 31. [Anadolu] 

 

ERBIL

The armed wing of the PKK said on Tuesday that it had killed 8 Turkish soldiers in an attack on a Turkish Army position in Lelikan, in Sidekan subdistrict. The Turkish Army shelled the surrounding area after the attack, which the PKK says killed a 5-year-old boy in the area. [Sumaria]

 

The Subdistrict Manager of Sidekan in northern Erbil, Ihsan Jalabi, said on Tuesday that Iranian artillery had been shelling border areas of Sidekan, causing large fires in agricultural lands and displacing residents from 3 villages. Jalabi said that local fire departments had not yet tried to put out the fires because of the continued shelling. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Russia

The Russian Ministry of Defense says that 100 military police officers have returned from Syria to Russia after finishing their assignments, which were related to protecting shipments of humanitarian materials. These are in addition to the 150 MPs who returned last month. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Amnesty International said on Tuesday that the International Coalition against Daesh did not take enough precautions to prevent harm from befalling civilians during its attack on Daesh in Raqqa. Amnesty International’s statement said that the Coalition had also not made enough of an attempt to investigate human rights violations, especially statistics issued by human rights organizations on civilian casualties, preferring to dismiss them as “unreliable.” [Qasioun]

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast (No reports)

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and Iran reportedly reached a deal to allow the evacuation of both Shia militia fighters and residents from the Shia towns of Al-Fawaa and Kefraya, which have been under siege by opposition militias. In exchange, “hundreds” of prisoners held by the government and by Lebanese Hezbollah will be released, although some details of the agreement varied by source.  According to Dorar, the agreement would allow 6,900 fighters from pro-regime Shia militias to evacuate the area. Al-Ghad Al-Soury noted that some residents of Al-Fawaa burned their crops before leaving. Qasioun wrote that the agreement involved Hezbollah releasing 36 HTS-affiliated prisoners. Reuters wrote that the deal involved freeing over 1,500 regime-held prisoners, both civilian and militia-affiliated, including 34 held by Hezbollah. [Dorar] [AlghadAlsoury] [Qasioun] [Reuters]

 

The SOHR says an IED went off in Maarat Al-Numan in Idlib, while unidentified gunmen attacked and wounded a member of Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) in southern Idlib. Another IED targeted a car carrying several Tahrir Al-Sham fighters, but the outcome of the incident is unknown. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal District

The SDF started an attack on Hajin, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. A military source says that fighting is concentrated to the north of the city, under heavy air cover from the coalition. Hajin is an important stronghold of Daesh in the area. [EnabBaladi]

 

The SOHR reported heavy fighting between the SDF and Daesh in Al-Bir Al-Azraq, near the Al-Tanak oilfield, accompanied by Coalition airstrikes. The SDF also engaged other unidentified gunmen and brought more reinforcements to the area. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh says it targeted Syrian Army positions in Sayal village, near Albu Kamal city, with 3 SPG9 rockets, damaging a 23mm cannon. [ICDNJul17]

 

South 

Daraa/Quneitra

On Tuesday, the Syrian Army gained control of numerous villages and towns in western Daraa. Troops entered the cities of Nawa and Jasim on Tuesday, as well as the town of Nimr northwest of Jasim, following an agreement between the Russians and Syrian opposition groups. Last Thursday, Russian MPs deployed throughout the city of Daraa. Thus, Daraa Province is now under the control of the Assad regime except for the Tal Al-Jabiya area west of Nawa (controlled by Tahrir Al-Sham, aka HTS) and areas in the Yarmouk Basin (controlled by Jaish Khaled, a Daesh affiliate). [Qasioun] 

 

The SOHR says that the Syrian regime flag has been raised over at least 13 new towns and villages in the northeast of Daraa. However, SOHR says Daesh (Jaish Khaled) attacked the Al-Harra area, where government forces are stationed, killing 43, including 7 officers, as well as killing 43 fighters from anti-government militias. [SyriaHR]

Daesh claimed responsibility for a car bomb in the city of Al-Harra, targeting both government and opposition troops in the city. The statement from Daesh’s news agency A3maq says that 100 government and opposition troops were killed combined. [Qasioun]

 

On Tuesday, dozens of civilians fleeing from Russian-backed Syrian attacks on Quneitra Province approached the border fence with Israel only to be turned away. The civilians stopped about 200 meters away from the border when an Israeli officer told them to go back. [Hawar]

 

Suwayda

Daesh says it killed or wounded Syrian soldiers with 2 IEDs in the Khirbat Al-Umbashi and Tal Arar areas, in Suwayda Desert. [A3maq]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh issues a video about Egyptian Army campaign to dredge lands and buildings in the Sinai area. [A3maq]

 

Libya

An official in the media office of the 276th Infantry Battalion, Al-Munthir Al-Khartoush, said that military units continued to enter the “oil crescent” region in an attempt to defend the entire region. He added that units in the “oil crescent” were operating in coordination with the Sirte Ops Room. [AfriGate]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Local authorities said that “at least 15” Taliban fighters had been killed in a Daesh attack on the home of a Taliban military commander in northern Afghanistan. State Police Commander Abd Al-Qayoum Baqeizawi said that the attack targeted a house in Sar-e Pol Province, and that a Taliban leader was among the dead. A provincial spokesman noted that Daesh and the Taliban had been fighting in Sar-e Pol and the neighboring Jowzjan Province for the last 2 months. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh sources say that 20 Taliban members, including a commander, were killed when a suicide bomber attacked them with an explosives vest in the Jowzjan area. They say that the attack came one day after Taliban accepted direct negotiations with the US. [ICDNJul17]

 

An Afghan commando unit freed 54 persons from a Taliban prison in Helmand, southern Afghanistan. The persons freed included 32 civilians. The Army and Afghan security forces are still securing the area. [BaghdadPost]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes a photo of one of its terrorists, saying he was killed in the Kirkuk area. [ICDNJul17]

 

 

 

 

July 16, 2018

 

Basra Protestors

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Protests continue in southern Iraq, rattle Iraqi leaders. [..]

Iran refuses request to resume supplying power to Iraq. [..]

Riot control police pre-empt protests in north, southwest Baghdad. [..]

Anbar, Diyala bar protests, to avoid giving Daesh an advantage. [..] 

22 more Daesh members arrested west of Mosul city. [..]

Peshmerga, Coalition start anti-Daesh operation in Makhmur. [..]

100 Hatra men arrested by PMFs are still missing. [..]

 

Syria

Trump, Putin agree to increase military cooperation in Syria. [..]

US, allies discussing resettlement of “White Helmets” personnel. [..]

Russia discusses future of Syria with Syrian opposition leader. [..]

All YPG units have now withdrawn from Manbij. [..]

Israel bombs Hezbollah support unit at Aleppo base. [..]

Daesh, Tahrir Al-Sham still murdering each other in Idlib. [..]

SDF says Daesh is using a human shields strategy in Albu Kamal. [..]

Syrian forces near closeout of Daesh in southwest Syria. [..]

Jordan commander estimates Daesh fighters down to 1,000-1,500 in southwest Syria. [..]

 

Other countries

Yemen:  UN says 35,000 families have fled port of Hodeida. [..]

Afghanistan: UN says number of Daesh attacks now exceeds Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. [..]

  Daesh suicide bomber attacks ministry employees in Kabul. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Demonstrations 

Bas News carried an overview of the ongoing demonstrations in southern Iraq.

The federal government imposed a curfew throughout southern Iraq on Saturday. Prime Minister Al-Abadi announced financial allocations for the improvement of water, electricity, and health services. Al-Abadi also ordered security services not to use live bullets against demonstrators, but said that “Iraq does not tolerate chaos.” 10 demonstrators have been reported killed so far, and dozens of both civilians and security personnel have been wounded.

In Dhi Qar Province, Khafaja tribesmen blocked the main road leading to Wasit Province and Baghdad. Local sources said that the tribesmen set tires on fire on the road and were chanting against federal government measures taken against demonstrators.

President Fuad Masoum met with a delegation of tribal heads and dignitaries from Basra, led by Sheikh Abd Al-Salam Al-Maliki, and discussed ways to address their issues, according to a statement by the President’s office. The statement noted that Masoum emphasized the need for lasting solutions for basic problems facing Basra Province, including electricity and service provision, unemployment among young people, and shantytown and mud houses. Masum said he was ready to “exert every effort” to support the people of Basra. The statement concluded by saying that it was necessary to prevent the crisis from being exploited by any foreign or hostile groups.

PM Al-Abadi called Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in order to reassure him regarding the security situation, according to the Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA. Kuwait has posted troops on its northern border following a threat from some Basra protestors to storm the port of Safwan. [BasNews] 

 

Minister of the Interior Qasim Al-Araji said on Monday that 261 security personnel had been wounded in the demonstrations across several Iraqi provinces. He added that this was not permissible and that those responsible would be found. [Sumaria]

 

The Qatari newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed says that large reinforcements are heading to southern Iraq to protect the prisons that are mainly located there, especially in Basra and Dhi Qar. Some sources expressed fear that protestors could head to prisons and release prisoners. [WatanIq]

 

Qasim Al-Fahadawi, the Minister of Electricity, says that the official delegation that went to Tehran to convince the Iranians to resume supplying power to Iraq has failed in its mission. He says that the Ministry has an alternative plan, but did not elaborate. [Shafaaq]

 

Another “informed source” said on Monday that PM Haider Al-Abadi has sent Minister of Electricity Qasim Al-Fahadawi and Minister of Planning Salman Al-Jumaili to Saudi Arabia to sign a memorandum of cooperation regarding energy. [Sumaria]

 

A cabinet-level source says that PM Al-Abadi has taken several steps, including dismissing several top officials. Rumors say that Qasim Al-Fahadawi, the Minister of Electricity, is one of these officials. Al-Abadi will follow up personally on the disbursement of the emergency budget he assigned to Basra Province. More allocations will also be assigned to other provinces. [Dijlah]

 

Qais Al-Khazali’s Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq (AAH) commented on Monday on the popular protests throughout Iraq. Na’em Al-Aboudi, spokesman for AAH, said that AAH had declared from the beginning that they supported the legitimate demands of the Iraqi people for service provision and job opportunities. Al-Aboudi added that there were those (unnamed) groups who would seek to exploit popular demonstrations for their own ends, but that so far, there was no evidence of political parties behind the current demonstrations. [BasNews] 

 

For more on the protests, see province-level stories below under “Baghdad,” “Anbar,” “Diyala,” “Kirkuk,” and “Southern Iraq.”

 

Election/New government

New government

“Informed sources” said on Saturday that Ayad Allawi, head of the Wataniya (National) alliance, proposed to cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr to form a government composed of the leaders of alliances that won seats in the recent elections, in addition to some influential figures from outside of political circles. The sources say that Al-Sadr rejected this proposal, as it would only return the same faces who have already been rejected by the people. [Mawazin]

 

Foreign policy

Iraq stopped issuing entry visas to Iranians, before resuming but at a very low rate. Some press sources cited US pressure, while others cited technical issues with communication devices at the Iraqi embassy in Tehran. An Iranian diplomatic source says this is an Iraqi message to Iranians to convey Iraqi anger following the cutting of power and water supplies to Iraq by Iran. 9 Iranians were arrested recently at Baghdad International Airport for carrying false passports. [Shafaaq]

 

The Kuwaiti government and Parliament are meeting on Wednesday to discuss developments in Iraq. The Emir of Kuwait reportedly reiterated his country’s readiness to support Iraq in a telephone conversation with Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi. Kuwaiti forces were put on full alert at the border with Iraq. [Anadolu]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition reported that it had conducted 3 airstrikes in Iraq between July 9 and 15.  Of those, 2 were near Rawa and 1 was in Diyala. [InherentResolve]

 

A statement from the Ministry of Defense said that the “Second Martyr’s Revenge” operations were underway, which involve a search for Daesh fighters in the Udhaim Basin in Diyala Province and adjoining areas in Salahuddin, and intending to converge around the Mtaibija area. The Ministry said that “clear progress” had been achieved during the operations. [Etejah] 

 

 

BAGHDAD

An unnamed security source reported on Monday that riot control police had broken up a demonstration of about 300 people in the Shuala area, north Baghdad, earlier that same day. 

The source said another riot control unit had been deployed in the Al-Aamel neighborhood in southwest Baghdad, adjoining the airport road, and that the force had closed the routes leading to the Baghdad airport from Al-Aamel. [Sumaria]

 

Security-related incidents reported

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Daesh said it shot and killed a PMF intelligence member in the Yusufiyah area, on Friday. [ICDNJul14]

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that security units at the Baghdad International Airport captured Falah Hassan Al-Ubeidi, a Daesh commander from the Shura area, who was trying to flee Iraq using a fake passport. The source says the terrorist was an AQI leader who later became a Daesh security official in southern Ninewa. 

In what may be a report on the same arrest, General Yahya Rasul, spokesman of the Center for Security Information, says that military intelligence units in the 6th Army Division set an ambush and arrested a wanted terrorist in Al-Haswa, in Abu Ghraib. [Mawazin]

 

ANBAR

An “official source” in Anbar Province said on Monday that any demonstrations or protests in Anbar were prohibited, even if they had been previously registered, to prevent the terrorism situation from deteriorating. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, noted the resurgence of Daesh in Anbar in 2014 following protests, and said that the local government, security services, and tribes were all against such a situation recurring. [BasNews]

 

A security source in Anbar Operations Command announced on Monday that an operation had been launched to secure the border areas joining Anbar with Karbala, Ninewa, and Baghdad. The source, who asked not to be named, said that this operation was supported by Anbar and Al-Jazeera Ops Commands as well as tribal militia groups, and would help prevent Daesh presence in border areas. [BasNews]

 

The Center for Security Information said on Monday that units under Al-Jazeera Ops Command had destroyed 4 Daesh tunnels and detonated 80 IEDs during a search of Anbar Province. [PUKMedia] 

 

Hit/Haditha

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that local police units captured 4 Daesh members in a search in Hit city. One of the terrorists is a Daesh commander who had returned from Syria 5 days earlier. 

 

Al-Qa’im

A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that several PMF members were killed when a factory for locally made weapons exploded in the Akashat Compound. The source said the explosion happened because of an electricity shortage. 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that 6 Kata’eb Hezbollah fighters were killed and 2 others wounded when 4 IEDs exploded on their convoy on the road to Albu Kamal, on the Syrian side of the border.

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A mother of 3 filed a suit in Shirqat Civil Court to divorce her Daesh husband. She says in her claim that she rejected her husband’s request to join Daesh. She said that her husband escaped after the Iraqi Army re-entered Salahuddin 2 years ago. [BaghdadPost]

 

Baiji

A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that a displaced person was killed and his wife wounded when an IED planted by Daesh in their house in Al-Mazraa village exploded. The source said the family had just returned from Erbil.

 

Tikrit

Daesh said it destroyed a vehicle carrying traffic policemen with an IED in Tikrit city, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded Iraqi EOD experts by detonating a parked car bomb on the Al-Atiba’ 

(doctors) Street in Tikrit, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

Samarra

Daesh said it severely wounded a PMF intelligence member and destroyed his vehicle with an IED on Watban Street, in Jazeera Samarra, on Friday. [ICDNJul14]

 

Daesh said it ambushed an Iraqi Army convoy in the Thirthar area, in Jazeera Samarra, on Saturday, killing or wounding several soldiers and damaging their vehicles. It said its terrorists returned safely after the attack. [ICDNJul16]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded eight PMF fighters, including an officer, and destroyed their SUV with an IED east of Samarra, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh published on Monday photos of a PMF vehicle destroyed by an IED east of Samarra. [ICDNJul16]

Daesh said it destroyed a PMF Humvee with an IED in the Al-Aith area, east of Samarra, on Sunday. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Monday it killed or wounded PMF fighters and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Jalam area, east of Samarra. [ICDNJul16]

Daesh said on Monday it destroyed a PMF minesweeper with an IED east of Samarra, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [A3maq] [ICDNJul16]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Daesh said on Monday it shot at PMF member in Bir Ahmed village, east of Tuz Khurmatu, wounding one fighter. [ICDNJul16]

 

DIYALA

The Diyala Police Directorate said on Monday that tribal elders had agreed not to hold demonstrations in order to allow the Iraqi security services to focus on pursuing Daesh. They added that the demands of the people of Diyala were for electricity, water, and ration cards. The Diyala Police Chief, General Faisal Kazem Al-Abadi, said that Diyala tribal elders and dignitaries had met with the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior and agreed to postpone demonstrations. [Sumaria]

 

The Diyala Police Directorate said on Monday that it had arrested 6 wanted persons, including 1 wanted on terrorism charges, in various areas in the Province. [Ghad] 

 

Daesh published photos on Sunday of its “support units” in an unspecified location in Diyala. [ICDNJul15]

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

The Diyala Police Directorate said on Monday that an explosives expert from the Diyala Police dismantled 3 IEDs that had been placed near a house in the Al-Katun area west of and near Baquba. [Etejah] 

 

A security source in Diyala Province said that security personnel had carried out a search operation in Al-Baijat and surrounding areas south of Buhriz. The source said that an underground safehouse was found, containing materials for “TNT and C4.” The safehouse and explosives were destroyed. [Ghad] 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that four PMF fighters were killed and another wounded in a Daesh attack on a PMF military position in the farms area, in Al-Khalis.

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that two PMF fighters were killed and another wounded when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle in Udhaim.

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that three Oil Protection policemen were killed when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle on the road between Nafut Khana and Mandali.

 

KIRKUK

The Commander for law enforcement in Kirkuk Province, General Ma’an Al-Sa’adi, denied on Monday that there had been any withdrawal of military forces from the Province. This was in response to local media reports that troops had been withdrawn in order to redeploy to the southern provinces as a result of the ongoing demonstrations there. [Sumaria]

 

However, the Himrin office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) claimed that Iraqi forces stationed in Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk had been withdrawn and were being moved to Baghdad. Mullah Karim Shakur, a senior official in the PUK, claimed that some troops, especially SWAT units, were being positioned around Baghdad. News agencies had previously quoted unnamed SWAT sources as saying that a special group of SWAT units would be assigned to Basra Province. [Sumaria]

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

Daesh said on Monday it damaged an IFP vehicle with an IED in Ghazaryar village, south of Kirkuk. [A3maq]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh said on Monday it targeted the police station of Tal Al-Dhahab, west of Hawija, with several mortar shells. [ICDNJul16]

 

Daesh said it killed four IFP members and destroyed their Humvee with an IED near Al-Azizi village (spelling approx.), east of Hawija, on Sunday. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Monday it blew up the house of a PMF intelligence member in Al-Azizi. [ICDNJul16]

 

Daesh said it blew up the house of an IFP member in Babujan village, east of Hawija, on Saturday. [ICDNJul16]

 

Daesh said on Monday it destroyed a PMF military position on Al-Atiba’ Street, in Hawija city, with a rocket. [A3maq]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

Daesh released the kidnapping victim Farad Agha Kaka’i, in Daquq. Kaka’i, an elder in the religious minority of the same name. He was released Sunday for a large ransom. [BaghdadPost] [SotIraq]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed or wounded “many” IFP members and destroyed a Humvee and another vehicle in an ambush south of Daquq city. [ICDNJul16]

NINEWA

Mosul

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that PMF units captured Ammar Al-Ahmadi, a Daesh security official, who was hiding in a house in the Al-Aboor neighborhood in southwest Mosul.

 

An “informed source” said on Monday that the former Ninewa Operations Commander, Mahdi Al-Gharawi, had been arrested in connection with the investigation of the fall of Mosul to Daesh. A document covered by the media last year had indicated that Al-Gharawi had been sentenced to death by firing squad and to have all his assets seized or forfeited. Al-Gharawi was Ninewa Ops Commander during the period of Daesh control of the city. [Sumaria]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hamidat/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

General Mohammed Al-Jubouri, a spokesman for Ninewa Ops Command, said that 22 Daesh fighters had been arrested around the Al-Atshana and Badoush mountain ranges near the western edge of the city. [Sumaria] 

 

Daesh said it killed two Iraqi soldiers and destroyed their Humvee with an IED near Aski Mosul, on Friday. [ICDNJul15]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh kidnapped two PMF fighters at a fake checkpoint near Ayn Al-Jahash village west of Shura city.

 

Makhmur/Qayara/Hatra

Makhmur. On Monday, the Peshmerga started an operation against Daesh, backed by Coalition planes, in the Mount Qarachogh area in Makhmur District. A preliminary report said 2 Peshmerga fighters were killed and 4 wounded in the operation and a later report raised the count to 5 Peshmerga killed, including an officer, plus an unspecified number of Peshmerga wounded. It said a “large number” of Daesh fighters were killed and characterized the operation as a “great success.” A different late report quoted a Peshmerga commander as saying that they had killed 14 Daesh fighters in the operation. [Ayanliraq] [Ghad] [SotIraq] [BasNews] [Rudaw] 

 

Qayara. A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh kidnapped three PMF members at a fake checkpoint near Aslubi village, near the Qayara military base.

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed an Intelligence service member after raiding his house in Shabali village, south of Qayara. [ICDNJul16]

 

Major Hazim Al-Harbawi of Ninewa Ops Command said on Monday that there had been fighting between security services and Daesh fighters at a checkpoint in the village of Al-Hawd, north of Qayara city. He said that the Daesh fighters had killed a policeman and injured 3 others before fleeing. 

Al-Harbawi also denied that any US troops stationed at the Um Jurais base had withdrawn, saying that Coalition forces were still deployed there. [BasNews]

 

A military source says that unidentified gunmen in military uniforms killed an Iraqi policeman in his house in Qayara. [Anadolu] [Sumaria] This may reflect the same incident reported above.

 

Hatra. A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that more than 100 men from the Hatra area who had been arrested by PMF and tribal PMF units during the liberation campaign are still missing. The source said families of the arrested men sued the tribal PMF commander of the area, who in turn issued an arrest warrant against one of them. A local official told DaeshDaily that the arrested men had nothing to do with Daesh.

 

Western Ninewa

Baaj

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that PMF units stopped a Daesh attack in the Tal Safouk area, killing 2 terrorists. The source said the terrorists launched the attack on motorcycles after a mortar attack PMF positions in the area. 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

The government media office said on Monday that the government was trying to solve all problems related to service provision in Basra as soon as possible, and that all ministerial recommendations related to Basra will be passed on to the Council of Ministers. They said at a press conference that the Ministry of Oil had provided oil for Basra Province, and that the government would open the Al-Faw Energy Company. The office added that “any problem with oil production directly affects the Iraqi citizen.” [BasNews]

 

A former MP from Basra Province, Tawfiq Al-Ka’abi, said on Monday that the provincial administration bore most of the responsibility for the current demonstrations. Al-Ka’abi pointed out in an interview that there had been about $199 billion in disbursements to Basra Province since 2003, and the residents had yet to see any construction of power or desalination plants, or any local projects that would lower the rate of unemployment. [Sumaria]

 

In the city of Basra, protestors burned images of Iran’s former Ayatollah Khomeini. Iraqi and other Arab activists circulated photos on social media showing his pictures being burned in a street in Basra that is named after Khomeini. Iraqi social media users commented that it was a message to parties affiliated with Iran; some saw it as a response to pro-Iranian militia groups or Iranian attempts at intervention in Iraq. [BasNews]

 

Press and political sources say that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards entered Basra in Iraq and attacked protestors. The reports claim that Qasem Suleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, ordered 1600 members to enter Iraq and help control the Iraqi uprising, especially after reported attacks on Iranian-affiliated political parties. [BaghdadPost]

 

Unknown persons detonated an IED on a tower that transfers electricity to the largest oil field in southern Iraq, West Qurna 2, in Basra. Protesters attempted to storm West Qurna 2 about 4 days ago. The explosion caused the tower to go out of service, but maintenance work to restore it will finish on Tuesday. [Anadolu]

 

Karbala

Qasim Al-Araji, the Minister of the Interior, arrived in Karbala on Monday, leading a large security force. His visit is directly connected with the recent popular protests. He met with the Karbala Police Command. [Mawazin]

 

Two demonstrators were killed and 40 others were wounded in Karbala during fighting with police. The demonstrators were protesting for service provision, prosecution of corruption, and job opportunities. [Rudaw] 

 

Najaf

PM Al-Abadi said on Monday that he supported peaceful demonstrations and people’s expression of opinion, but not those who wanted to sabotage the economic health of the region. According to a statement from his media office, Al-Abadi made the remarks while speaking with a delegation of people from Najaf. He was referring to his decision to restore service to the Najaf airport after protestors forced its closure. [Rudaw]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

The Al-Jeel Al-Jadeed (New Generation) movement rejected the decision of the Kurdistan Electoral Commission to ban the Kurdistan Free Society Movement from participating in Kurdish elections. Al-Jeel Al-Jadid says that this politicizes the management of the Commission, and noted that the party is approved by the Iraqi authorities. [Roj]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

The pro-Kurdish Hawar reports that 10 Turkish soldiers were killed by the HPG (the military wing of the PKK) in separate clashes–one in the Sidekan subdistrict of Soran District in Iraqi Kurdistan and the second in Dersim in the Kurdish-majority Tunceli Province in eastern Turkey. [Hawar]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United States/Russia

During the Trump-Putin press conference in Helsinki, Finland on Monday that will reverberate for some time for other reasons, Russia and the US announced that they decided to increase military coordination in Syria. They also both expressed interest in working for peace in Syria. Putin also stressed that there should be more support for Syria’s neighboring states in regard to the refugee influx, since that would relieve the European states. Trump said that Israel’s security is important, that Iran should not be allowed to take advantage of the defeat of Daesh in Syria, and that Syrians must be returned home. [Qasioun]

 

CNN says that the US and its NATO allies are discussing the fate of the “White Helmets” volunteers and workers. The US, UK, France, and Canada are contemplating getting these operatives out of Syria and resettling them in their own countries, and possibly in Germany. [Dorar]

 

Russia/ Political opposition

Youm7 and Al-Ahram reported that on Monday, an agreement was achieved in Cairo between Russia and the leader of the “Syria’s Tomorrow Movement” headed by the former president of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmed Al-Jarba. It was achieved under the auspices of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate. The agreement declared the intention to fight terrorism, find a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and return refugees. [Qasioun]

 

Iran

In an article in the British Guardian, analyst Simon Tisdale said that the apparent alliance between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met in Helsinki on Monday, could lead to war with Iran. Tisdale wrote that Trump’s Western allies fear that Trump will offer to acknowledge Russia’s annexation of Crimea and reduce sanctions against Russia in exchange for an agreement with Putin to remove Iran from Syria and limit Iranian influence in Lebanon. Tisdale said that this sort of agreement presumes the continuation of the Assad regime in Syria and would be a betrayal of the opposition forces who had fought Daesh. However, Tisdale said that Trump was not interested in the possibility of repercussions such as divisions within NATO over any deal he might make with Putin; rather, in Tisdale’s opinion, Trump had already signaled that his ultimate goal would be regime change in Iran. [Sumaria]

 

The Al-Watan newspaper, which is owned by Rami Maklouf, President Bashar Al-Assad’s cousin, initiated an unprecedented attack on Ali Akbar Velayati, Iranian advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei. They described his statements that Iran’s intervention saved the Syrian regime from falling as “exaggerated,” which they added was always the case with Iranian official statements, or those of their media, starting from the President on down. [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment. This is especially noteworthy because Makhlouf is a close confidante of Assad and a major beneficiary of the political system. He has been described as the richest person in Syria.

 

Israel

The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth says that a plan regarding Syria was put forth at the Trump-Putin summit. The plan states that the Israelis and Americans would not confront regime forces, which would retain the Syrian part of the Golan Heights, while Putin commits to keep Iranian forces away from the area. The newspaper says that Putin has already spoken with top Iranian officials on the issue. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition reported that it had conducted 11 airstrikes in Syria between July 9 and 15.  All 11 were near Albu Kamal. [InherentResolve]

 

Northwest

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus

The Manbij Military Council says that all YPG units have withdrawn from the city, after having finished their advisory job in the city. It says that the Kurdish withdrawal was done in cooperation accord with the Coalition. It did not mention any Turkish intervention. [Dorar]

 

Northeast 

Raqqa

Raqqa city & district

Daesh said on Sunday it killed five SDF members and destroyed their SUV with an IED in Al-Karama, east of Raqqa. [ICDNJul15]

 

North Raqqa (Ayn Eissa, Tal Abyad, etc.)

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed an SUV carrying SDF fighters with an IED near Tarwaziya village, in the Suluk area. [ICDNJul14]

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

On Sunday evening, 9 pro-regime militia fighters were killed in an Israeli bombing that hit a center for the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) near the Al-Nairab Military Airport in east Aleppo. The base is used for logistical support, such as rations and other non-weapons supplies. Agence France Presse reported that 6 of the dead were Syrian. Local media said that about 5 were closely affiliated with Hezbollah. [Qasioun]

 

The SOHR reports that Tahrir Al-Sham is continuing search operations for the unknown gunmen responsible for the recent killings and assassinations of its personnel in Idlib. Daesh was reported to have assassinated dozens of Tahrir Al-Sham leaders, while Daesh itself has lost over 52 fighters there since the end of April 2018. [SyriaHR]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that a group of Daesh terrorists shot and killed a Tahrir Al-Sham Somali commander and stole his vehicle in an ambush near Saraqib. 

 

Daesh said on Saturday it detonated an IED at a Tahrir Al-Sham headquarters in Sarmada, wounding 2 members. Daesh published photos of the explosion. [ICDNJul14]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it shot and killed an opposition militia commander in Al-Dana city. Daesh published photos of the attack. [ICDNJul14]

 

On Monday, the Iba’a network reported on its Telegram channel that Tahrir Al-Sham erected several new security checkpoints in the city of Sarmin in Idlib after a campaign against Daesh cells. Tahrir Al-Sham also executed 8 Daesh fighters at a farm near Sarmin. [Dorar]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it damaged an opposition groups vehicle, which was carrying a tank, with an IED near Sarmin, wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNJul14]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin District

Daesh said it killed three SDF fighters in an attack on Al-Hawayej village, on Saturday. [A3maq]

 

Albu Kamal District

Lilua Abdullah, the spokeswoman for “Operation Island Storm,” the current phase of the military campaign against Daesh by the SDF, said that Daesh was using civilians as human shields. Abdullah also said that Daesh was trying to relieve some of the pressure on it by attacking areas previously freed from its control and attacking oil fields. [Rudaw]

 

Media sources say that Coalition planes initiated several attacks on the town of Al-Susah, near Albu Kamal. The sources say that the airstrikes killed 8 and wounded several others, as a preliminary tally. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh published on Saturday photos of a group of its terrorists in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNJul14]

 

Daesh said its snipers hit 2 Syrian soldiers in Al-Suwaiya village, near Albu Kamal city, on Friday. [ICDNJul14]

 

Daesh said its snipers hit a Syrian soldier in Al-Sukkariya village, north of Albu Kamal city, on Friday. [ICDNJul14]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it targeted SDF positions in the Al-Baghouz area with 8 mortars. [ICDNJul15]

 

Daesh published on Monday photos of targeting Syrian Army positions in Al-Khairat village, west of Albu Kamal, with mortars. [ICDNJul16]

 

South 

Daraa/Quneitra

The SOHR says that Syrian government forces are advancing quickly in the so-called “Triangle of Death.” It says government forces captured the city of Al-Harra and adjoining Tal Al-Harra, just east of the Golan Heights, as well as 3 other surrounding villages, and put other villages under siege. 

SOHR also said that negotiations are being held with the towns of Aqraba, north of Al-Harra, and Al-Mal, just north of Aqraba, for surrender deals like the one in Daraa. 35 opposition fighters, mainly from Al-Nusra, were killed according to SOHR, but the government troops lost 26 men, including 5 officers. [SyriaHR] 

 

Another report on the same fighting said Syrian government forces and regime-allied militias were attacking Tal Al-Harra under heavy Russian air cover. The strategic hill was held by Al-Nusra fighters who had reached a reconciliation agreement with other opposition factions. Syrian government forces entered Al-Harra city earlier. [EnabBaladi] 

 

Daesh said on Monday that one of its suicide terrorists attacked government forces and opposition groups in Al-Harra city, with a vehicle bomb, killing or wounding 100 of them. It said the opposition handed over the city to government forces Monday afternoon. [ICDNJul16]

 

Daesh said it destroyed a Syrian Army bulldozer with a rocket near Masaken Jillen, west of Daraa, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

On Monday, the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said that it was not responsible for the agreements that were made to evacuate hundreds of people from Daraa to the north, noting that it had not been a party to these agreements. However, the UN stressed that any evacuations must be safe and voluntary, and that people must have the right to return. [Anadolu]

 

Commander of the Jordanian Armed Forces for the Northern Sector, General Khalid Al-Masa’id, says that Daesh members in the Yarmouk Basin, in southern Syria, number 1,000-1,500 fighters. “Their positions and movements are under constant scrutiny,” he says, although no direct engagement has taken place with them so far. [Dorar]

 

Daesh published on Saturday photos of its attack on Hait. [ICDNJul14]

Daesh published photos of Hait on Monday. [ICDNJul16]

 

Suwayda

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed an SUV and a motorcycle, both carrying Syrian soldiers, with 2 IEDs in the Khirbat Al-Umbashi area, in Suwayda Desert. [ICDNJul14]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed a Syrian Army colonel and another soldier and destroyed their vehicle with an IED near the Habbariya area, in Suwayda desert. [ICDNJul16]

Daesh said on Monday it killed a pro-government Palestinian militia commander and several of his associates with an IED in the Habbariya area. [A3maq] 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

 

See Iran stories above under “National News”

 

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

Yemen

The UN says that over 35,000 families escaped the port city of Hodeida, western Yemen, as the fighting there continued. The UN report claims that 20,000 of these families have received relief supplies. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Daesh issued on Sunday a video of 12 Al-Qaeda members it captured in the Qifa area. The prisoners said in the video that they were in a convoy that didn’t stop at a Daesh “checkpoint,” which led to clashes that ended up with them being captured. Al-Qaeda attacked Daesh positions in the area the next day to release them, with no success. [ICDNJul15]

 

North Africa

Egypt

The Cairo Criminal Court held 2 hearings in the trial of 30 people accused of “joining Daesh,” the first on June 19 and the second on July 14. Prosecutors alleged that the group of defendants, with its HQ in Alexandria, had planned to target 5 churches in Alexandria, Damietta, and Giza, and commit violent acts against state and military personnel. The July 14 session included the presentation of weapons and ammunition possessed by the defendants, and listed 5 witnesses who will be called in the next session, scheduled for July 21. [Sumaria] 

 

Daesh published on Saturday a photo of military equipment it said it captured in ambush in the Kilo 17 area, west of Arish. [ICDNJul14]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it damaged an Egyptian Army Humvee with an IED in Yamit village, northeast of Rafah. [ICDNJul15]

 

Libya

UN Special Representative Ghassan Salame said on Monday that “foreign mercenaries” were trying to gain control over the oil-exporting ports, similar to what recently happened in the “oil crescent” region. Salame was speaking in a briefing to the UN Security Council on the situation in Libya. [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The UN says that 1,692 civilians were killed by the conflict in Afghanistan during the first half of 2018.  Daesh executed more than half of the attacks, exceeding those of Taliban. The figures exceed that of the past year by 1%. Another 3,430 civilians were wounded. [AlBayan]

 

Afghan officials said that a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation

and Development in Kabul on Sunday as workers were leaving their offices, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 15. It was the second time in as many months that its compound has been struck. Civilians and security forces were among the seven dead in Monday’s attack, police spokesman Hishmat Stanikzai said. The death toll was confirmed by an Afghan security source.

Ministry spokesman Fraidoon Azhand said the bomber struck at a security gate as employees were exiting the compound during rush hour. But it was not clear if the ministry was the target of the attack.

Stanikzai said security forces and a vehicle belonging to foreign advisers to the ministry were in the vicinity at the time of the attack. The vehicle was damaged in the blast but there were no foreign casualties, he added. [TOI]

Daesh’s version said on Sunday that one of its suicide terrorists attacked employees of the ministry in the Darul Aman area in southwest Kabul, with an explosives vest, while they were leaving in the afternoon, killing or wounding 60 people. It said that among the wounded were French employees. [ICDNJul15]

 

Afghan police say they shot and killed a suspected suicide bomber as he approached a demonstration in Kabul. Police spokesman Hishmat Stanikzai said the suspect was shot by police near a gathering in the Shahr-e Naw Park in Kabul’s main business area on July 16, adding that the man was apprehended but died of his wounds. Police said the suspect’s target was a protest urging authorities to allow exiled Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum to return to Afghanistan from Turkey. [RFERL]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed three pro-government militiamen and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in Achin, Nangarhar. [ICDNJul15]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it stopped several Taliban attacks that were supported by government forces, in the Jowzjan and Faryab areas. It said light, mid-sized, and heavy weapons were used in the clashes, which continued for several days and ended on Sunday. It said “tens” of Taliban fighters were killed or wounded, and the rest were forced to retreat. [ICDNJul15]

 

Daesh published on Monday photos of beheading a Taliban commander and his associate in the Qush Tapa area. [ICDNJul16]

 

Daesh said on Monday it damaged a Taliban vehicle with an IED in Khogyani, wounding 3 fighters. [A3maq]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issued a statement on Sunday advising its supporters to avoid any Daesh media materials unless these materials were published by Daesh’s “official” media organizations. [ICDNJul15]

DaeshDaily comment. Many anti-Daesh outlets are publishing materials that look like Daesh materials but aim at confusing Daesh supporters.