July 12, 2018
Iraqi Army Units
Al-Sadr proposes to privatize electricity sector. [..]
Daesh reported surprised by recent government counter-attacks in remote areas. [..]
Lack of reliable electricity again a big issue, as Daesh in Hawija takes out 2 more towers. [..]
Daesh suicide terrorist kills 6 PMFs in Hatra. [..]
Deal reported on southern Syria under which US would pull out. [..]
Israel Air Force attacks 3 Syrian positions in Quneitra, near Golan Heights. [..]
Netanyahu pronounces Assad regime acceptable to Israel. [..]
Heavy-casualty scenario looms in Hajin, Albu Kamal. [..]
Syrian forces attack Daesh affiliate in Quneitra District. [..]
Daesh seizes Hait in Daraa from opposition militiamen. [..]
UAE/Yemen: Amnesty International alleges torture by UAE, Yemen soldiers. [..]
Morocco: Government bars Daesh wives in Syria from returning. [..]
France: Senate issues revealing report on Daesh recruits from Europe. [..]
Argentina: Argentina wants top Iran adviser arrested for 1994 crime. [..]
Afghanistan: US soldier dies from combat wounds in Afghanistan. [..]
Taliban launches major military operation against Daesh. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
US President Donald Trump described the Iraqi elections as successful, saying that the US would hold a dialogue with the winners. He says both the US and Iraq lost thousands of lives in Iraq, adding that he was against the war in the first place. [BaghdadToday]
Dhiya Al-Asadi, member of the political bureau of the Sadrist movement, says that both his and other political parties stipulate that sitting PM Haider Al-Abadi must resign from Dawa Party in order to receive the nomination for another term as Prime Minister. [Anadolu]
Another report suggests that differences are increasing between Al-Sadr and Al-Abadi. It says Sadrists have openly attacked Al-Abadi’s tenure for the first time, referring to his first term as PM as “failed” while accusing him of trying anything possible to stay in the PM post, including potentially joining Al-Amiri’s Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance, which is close with Nouri al-Maliki. [WatanIq]
Atheel Al-Nujaifi, the former Governor of Ninewa, warned of several upcoming political crises, especially given the absence of the CoR (because the old government’s mandate expired at the end of June), and the struggle for influence between Iran and the US. Among such problems are issues with the tribes in southern Iraq, which might affect oil revenues; the continuing presence of Daesh in the central provinces; and the relations with the Kurds in Kirkuk. [BaghdadToday]
DaeshDaily comment. The speculative and piecemeal nature of the above stories seems to mask a real problem: Iraq’s leaders have no apparent path to finding a Prime Minister to lead the government, which would in turn allow some parties to join the government and help form the majority. Instead of stories about negotiations toward forming a government, we have politically motivated statements that don’t lead in any particular direction.
Part of the problem is Al-Sadr’s odd stance toward the Iran and the US, opposing both. The next two alliances in the election are generally pro-Iran in one case, pro-West in the other, which has left Al-Sadr with no pleasant options. Among the other bigger players, the Sunni alliance is still thrashing around within itself after a bad election result that has undermined its clout; Al-Maliki is still maneuvering to get the PM job back despite his less than impressive electoral showing. Al-Abadi lost this election, but might yet be the indispensable man, if only because there are no plausible alternatives among the usual suspects. He has been smart to avoid promoting himself publicly or otherwise making himself the issue. For those who want someone else and can think above the confusion, the only remaining answer may be a respected technocrat capable of running the government and bridging partisan differences.
The Qatari Al-Araby Al-Jadeed wrote that the PMF organization has been included in Iraq’s arms inventory plan, and that PMF groups would aid the Army and Police with conducting a weapons inventory, starting in Maysan Province and then moving to other provinces. A senior Iraqi official said that the PMF’s participation would ease friction with the Army and Police and tribal armed groups. [Sumaria]
On Thursday, Muqtada Al-Sadr called on the government to use foreign companies to improve electricity generation, and said that electricity should be privatized provided it goes to Iraqi or foreign companies which are insulated from the effects of government corruption, and can pay their employees a fair living wage. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. This seems like a great idea, albeit from an unlikely source. One of Iraq’s problems is its long-standing reliance on a state-run economy that can no longer buy off enough people with jobs to sustain its popularity. Creating a larger private sector, as quickly as possible, is therefore a priority. The utility sector (adding water to electricity) would be a strong anchor for a private sector if it were independent enough to avoid being used for politicians’ corrupt purposes.
An “official source,” who asked not to be named, said on Thursday that there were 77 convicted terrorists under death sentences whose executions were still pending. The source said that the delay in executing these people was not due to a problem with the executive branch, but because the Amnesty Commission had yet to investigate whether the convicts were covered by the amnesty law or not. [Sumaria]
The Supreme Judicial Council, chaired by Judge Fa’iq Zaidan, discussed the process for handling terrorism cases in Iraq. The discussion was held in the Hague on the invitation of the UN counter-terrorism office. The topics included legal procedures and terrorism trials. [WatanIq]
A military source says Daesh was caught by surprise when Iraqi forces’ recent military operations took place despite the extremely hot weather. The source says these operations resulted in the arrest of some major Daesh leaders and the destruction of several Daesh tunnels and warehouses in various areas. The source adds that Daesh believed that the heat wave would give it an opportunity to regroup in remote desert and mountainous areas, and they were taken by surprise by these recent attacks. [BaghdadPost]
DaeshDaily comment. It does seem, based on reports we have covered in the past week or two, that the Iraqi military finally got the message that they needed to go where Daesh now lives—in the desert, in the mountains, in tunnels, in remote rural villages. And they need to bring their air assets with them. The question now is whether they can close Daesh out of some of these areas and bring real security to go with the over-optimistic victory slogans.
PM Haider Al-Abadi met with the French President Emmanuel Macron, and discussed cooperation and counter-terrorism efforts. The meeting was held during Al-Abadi’s visit to Brussels. [Ghad]
PM Al-Abadi met with Stef Blok, the Dutch Foreign Minister, to discuss bilateral relations and confronting terrorism. The Dutch Minister expressed his country’s willingness to continue supporting Iraq in the fields of training and security. [Dijlah]
The AAH militia organization says that it opposes the presence of NATO in Iraq, saying the country does not need such forces as it has its own army, police, and PMF. It also says that the approval of the CoR is needed to have any foreign forces in the country. [Mawazin]
DaeshDaily comment. This particular organization and its leadership are constantly and frustratingly hostile to the US and are tied closely to Iran and its designs in Iraq. While the PMF organizations are officially under government command, AAH seems to be one of those who don’t quite get that message. There are many Americans who will remember that this militia also killed American soldiers.
NATO has remained consistent with its promises to continue and enhance the training of the Iraqi military, but the uncertainty about the next government is still a potential complication. The AAH statement was presumably a response to yesterday’s news that Canada had offered to lead the training mission. It is a reminder that the issue over NATO military personnel is a surrogate for the larger issue of American vs. Iranian influence in Iraq.
Security-related incidents reported
Center for Security Information spokesman General Yahya Rasul says that 2 terrorists were arrested while trying to enter Baghdad, the first at the Al-Suqour checkpoint on the Anbar-Baghdad line, and the second in Bub Al-Sham, in northeast Baghdad. In a separate report, the Directorate of Intelligence and Security confirmed the arrests. [BaghdadToday] [Ghad]
Center (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)
Security personnel at the Court of Inquiry in Rusafa thwarted a terrorist plot against Baghdad known as the “Ramadan Invasion,” according to the Supreme Judicial Council. Council spokesman Judge Abd Al-Sattar Birqdar said that the attack had been planned for June 10, the anniversary of the fall of Mosul, but had been stopped after Court security personnel arrested members of the Daesh cell planning the operation. [Baghdadia]
Southwest (Rasheed, etc.)
Daesh says it wounded three Shia with an IED in Al-Sina’i (the Industrial Area) in Bayya’. [A3maq]
Total Baghdad incidents reported: 3 (Includes only incidents reported)
Total IED incidents reported: 1
Daesh says it killed a PMF member in the Miskhan area, west of Hit, on Tuesday. [A3maq]
A DaeshDaily source said on Wednesday that an Iraqi soldier was killed and another wounded when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle on the road between Rutba and Al-Qa’im.
A DaeshDaily source says PMF units captured a man in the Makhoul Mountains area who was transporting weapons, food and medicine to Daesh for large amounts of money. The man admitted that the Daesh “treasury” for the northern Salahuddin area is with the terrorists in the mountains.
Diyala Police Command said on Thursday that it had arrested 18 wanted persons throughout Diyala Province on terrorism and various other charges, and had dismantled an IED. [Sumaria]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
Diyala Operations Commander General Mizher Al-Azzawi said on Thursday that there was a joint operation to hunt down Daesh cells in northern Diyala, centered on the Udhaim subdistrict in the northwest corner of the province. He said that there were simultaneous similar operations in Samarra, Kirkuk, and Salahuddin. [Sumaria] [Baghdadia]
In a separate report, General Al-Azzawi also said on Thursday that the Air Force had executed a strike on Daesh units in Wadi Al-Thalab in Khanaqin, killing 4 Daesh fighters and destroying a Daesh vehicle. [Sumaria] [Ghad]
Daesh says it killed two IFP members, wounded two others, and destroyed an SUV with an IED near Dibis. [A3maq]
Daesh says it captured and killed four Shia in an ambush in the Al-Tanak neighborhood of Dibis city, on Wednesday. [A3maq] [ICDNJul12]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
A local source in Kirkuk Province said on Thursday that Daesh fighters detonated IEDs under 2 electric towers in Hawija, knocking them over. The source said that they were towers numbered 182 and 183, on the Al-Daur-Hawija line. He added that the power line supplies Al-Daur and Samarra with between 70-80 megawatts daily. According to Sumaria, Kirkuk is currently seeing electricity cuts of up to 16 hours a day as part of the national electric network shortage. [Sumaria]
Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)
A security source in Kirkuk said on Thursday that Iraqi Air Force bombings killed 7 Daesh fighters in the villages of Lower Samaqa and Wadi Al-Shai, in Daquq District. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says PMF units defused 4 IEDs in the Al-Qubba area, on the north side of Mosul.
A DaeshDaily source says local police units captured a Daesh member who was hiding in a house in Hay Al-Iqtisadiyeen, in west Mosul.
A DaeshDaily source says an IFP member was killed and a captain wounded when an IED exploded on their vehicle near Tal Al-Sha’er in Makhmur.
Daesh says it killed an IFP member with an IED in the Sab’awiyeen area, west of Makhmur, on Tuesday. [ICDNJul12]
A DaeshDaily source says six PMF fighters were killed and four others wounded when a Daesh suicide terrorist blew himself up on their headquarters in Khunaifis village, south of Hatra.
A DaeshDaily source says a tribal PMF commander was killed when an IED exploded on his vehicle on the road between Aski Mosul and Tal Afar.
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
The UN rejected the Lebanese Hezbollah’s participation in returning Syrian refugees from Lebanon to Syria, which is being coordinated with Al-Assad. Sources say that Hezbollah is determined to continue with this project. [Dorar]
DaeshDaily comment. The story is unclear, but the apparent issue is that Hezbollah is not a government and has no authority to order or force refugees to leave. One presumes that many of the refugees are in Lebanon because they are anti-Assad, or have no way to get by in Syria, and don’t want to leave.
The Egyptian takfiri monitoring group Dar Al-Iftaa warned of a new Al-Qaeda branch in Syria called the “Guardians of Religion.” It says the new group is adopting a strategy of guerilla tactics in accordance with its small size, as it numbers around 1,000 fighters. The group is composed of 7 Islamist opposition militias, led by a Tahrir Al-Sham figure. It also includes some former Daesh and Al-Qaeda fighters who have war experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. [EnabBaladi]
On Thursday, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on the “white paper” agreement which set the boundaries of Iranian presence in Syrian territory. This paper was presented to the US, Jordan, and Iran. An “inside source” reported that the countries agreed that Iran would withdraw 45 kilometers from the borders with Israel and Jordan, and that the US would withdraw from the Al-Tanaf region. The source says that John Bolton initially rejected the agreement, saying that Iran should withdraw completely. [Dorar]
The Israeli military says that its planes attacked 3 Syrian military positions in Quneitra, in response to a violation of Israeli air space by a drone coming from Syria. Syrian official media confirmed the Israeli attack, saying that their air defenses confronted the Israeli attack. [ZamanAlwasl]
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says he has no problem with the Bashar Al-Assad regime in Syria, saying his main concern is to expel Iranian forces from Syria. He told the Israeli daily Haaretz that no shots have been fired on Israel from the Golan Heights for over 40 years. Heading to Russia to meet President Putin, Netanyahu says he has no problem if Al-Assad controls all of Syria, but he will move militarily if Israeli security is threatened. [Anadolu]
Northwest (No reports)
Raqqa city & district
Daesh says it set an SDF office on fire in Hammam Al-Turkman. [ICDNJul12]
West Raqqa (Tabaqa, etc.)
Unidentified armed men burned down the local HQ of the SDF in the village of Al-Hamam, in western Raqqa district. Separately, Daesh claimed responsibility for the assassination of an SDF field commander near the Tabaqa military airport.
The SDF closed down the HQ of the “Democratic Conservative” party in Raqqa. [Dorar]
Central and West
3 explosions in Idlib, Khan Sheikhoun, and on the road between Mastouma and Ariha, left 7 opposition fighters wounded. Meanwhile, Daesh took responsibility for killing 2 opposition fighters in Batabo, northern Idlib District, near Aleppo. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. Readers know that Qasioun is not our favorite source. In this case it fails to explain who the “opposition fighters” are. However, the ongoing conflict in Idlib, unique to the overall Syrian conflict, involves not only Daesh and Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) but other opposition militias, many now working with Turkey. Others have moved from locations farther south as they were displaced there. Nothing is clear about this story, or about Idlib in general.
Daesh says via its A3maq news service that it killed Ahmed Dhafir Abdul Karim, a security officer for an opposition militia in the village of Qala’at Al-Madiq, near Maarat Al-Numan in southern Idlib. [Qasioun]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Deir Ez-Zor District
On Thursday, the SDF reinforced its positions in the town of Al-Suwar, in northeast Deir Ez-Zor. This occurred a few days after the end of the second stage of their operations in southern Hasaka and eastern Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]
Albu Kamal District
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh terrorists in Hajin are using motorcycles instead of SUVs or pickup vehicles to avoid airstrikes and to spare fuel. The source says Daesh is facing a severe lack of ammunition, but it has booby-trapped roads and buildings. The source also says that the Hajin residents are suffering from lack of food.
DaeshDaily comment. This sounds like another version of the human shields strategy used in Mosul and Raqqa. Daesh lost there but the cities were largely destroyed by Coalition airstrikes and many civilians were killed, making victory costly.
Government forces engaged Daesh affiliate Jaish Khaled in the Quneitra district, accompanied by airstrikes on Saham Al-Jolan for the first time in 3 years. More Syrian government reinforcements are arriving in Quneitra. [Hawar]
Local sources say that Al-Nusra fighters have left Daraa and headed to Quneitra in Syria’s far southwest under the auspices of Russia, following the government-opposition agreement in Daraa. [SyriaNow]
Daesh captured Hait from opposition militias in a battle that left over 20 civilians killed. Opposition units were forced to hand over their heavy weapons in exchange for safe passage from the city. Those were Daesh’s terms before, which the opposition militias refused at the time. [Qasioun]
Daesh says it captured Khirbat Yabla village, west of Daraa, from opposition groups after a suicide attack with a vehicle bomb, conducted by a Syrian terrorist, on Wednesday. It says that by capturing the village, it cut off the opposition supply route to Hait. Daesh says that after capturing the village, its terrorists attacked opposition groups in Hait. It says the attack started when another Syrian suicide terrorist attacked the town’s entrance with a vehicle bomb. It says it killed 13 opposition fighters and captured the two in addition to 2 tanks, 2 armored vehicles, several other vehicles, and weapons and ammunition. Daesh also says that during the attack, Russian planes conducted 9 airstrikes and dropped 55 explosive barrels on Sham and Jillen towns, causing civilian casualties. [A3maq] [ICDNJul12]
Daesh publishes a photo of one of the suicide terrorists. [ICDNJul12]
Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army vehicle with an IED near Khirbat Al-Umbashi village, in the Suwayda desert, with an IED, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. [ICDNJul12]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
Amnesty International calls for investigations of accusations that the UAE and allied Yemeni soldiers tortured detainees in secret prisons in southern Yemen. The UAE denies knowing about the secret facilities. [Hawar]
Daesh says it killed or wounded several Egyptian soldiers with 2 IEDs in the Kilo 8 area, west of Arish. [ICDNJul12]
Daesh says it killed or wounded Egyptian Army infantry soldiers, including an officer, in an ambush in the Kilo 17 area, west of Arish, on Wednesday. [ICDNJul12]
Daesh says it destroyed an Egyptian forces’ Humvee with an IED near the Abu Al-Waleed security barrier, west of Arish, on Tuesday, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. It also says it damaged a military vehicle with an IED in the Al-Sabil area, west of Arish, on Tuesday. [ICDNJul12]
The Moroccan government refuses to allow more than 200 Moroccan women from Syrian camps to return to Morocco. A private human rights organization, the “Northern Observatory for Human Rights,” says that Moroccan authorities told the SDF in Syria that they would not let the women return to the Kingdom, since most of their husbands have been fighters for Daesh and other extremist groups. [Qasioun] [Sumaria]
Morocco says it arrested and dismantled a Daesh cell composed of 7 persons planning to initiate terror attacks in the country. The cell also had a plan to recruit Moroccan youth. The government says it is related to a previous terror cell that operated in Fez in 2017. [Watan]
A French national was released from prison in Meknes, Morocco on July 12, having served a 3-year sentence for terrorism. Berne Pascal Christophe, 35, had taken the name “Abu Daoud” and pledged allegiance to Al-Baghdadi. He was arrested in July 2014 for “extremism” and promotion of terrorism, including the Paris terrorist attacks happening at the time. [Sumaria]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
A report by France’s Senate estimated that about 40,000 people total from 40 countries had joined Daesh. The report was prepared to assess the current level of terrorist threat to France. It said that about 5,000 Daesh recruits came from Europe, of which over 1,300 were French, while the UK and Germany contributed about 800 recruits each. The report also said that more than 19,725 people within France are classified as “active extremists,” out of which 4,000 are said to be in the “pre-terrorism stage.” Most of these are French nationals and live the central Paris region of Ile-de-France. The report also said that the most notable place for extremist recruiting was prison, and that extremism had spread after the imprisonment of members of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) of Algeria in 2000. [Sumaria]
The Argentine newspaper Clarin wrote that Argentine authorities had demanded that Russia arrest Ali Akbar Velayati, advisor to the Grand Ayatollah of Iran and former Iranian Foreign Minister. Argentina accuses Velayati of being involved in an attack on the Argentinian-Jewish Mutual Aid Association in Buenos Aires in 1994, when Velayati was Foreign Minister. Velayati arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for a 3-day visit, including a meeting with Putin. [Sumaria]
According to a statement by US forces in Afghanistan, a US soldier lost his life on Thursday due to wounds sustained in combat. No other details were reported. [Anadolu]
Daesh says it killed 9 Taliban fighters, wounded 5, and captured 3 in clashes on Qush Tepa district, in Jowzjan, on Wednesday. [ICDNJul12]
Taliban launched an operation against Daesh in Darzab and Qush Tepa districts, reportedly capturing Fadaei, Aqbalaq, Aqsaa, and Bibi Maryam in Darzab District and Khanqah and Chaqma Chaqour areas in Qush Tepa district from the latter. Taliban’s attacks reportedly consists of around 4000 thousand fighters, including reinforcements from Sar-e Pol, Faryab, Ghor, and Kandahar provinces. Taliban reportedly besieged around 500-600 Daesh members in Sardar area of Darzab districts. According to the reports, 28 Daesh soldiers were killed, 16 wounded, and nine arrested, while 9 elements of the Taliban were killed, 11 wounded, and 3 arrested in the clashes between the two sides. [SyrianWarDaily]
Philippine officials said that 3 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists and a soldier were killed in fierce clashes in the southern Philippine province of Sulu. The officials also said that 10 other soldiers were wounded in the fighting that erupted in the village of Panglayahan in Patikul, Sulu on Wednesday afternoon.
Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command said members of the 32nd Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Ronaldo Mateo battled some 60 militants led by Hajan Sawadjaan.
He added that the fighting lasted for two hours and left a still undetermined number of enemy casualties.
The fighting, according to Besana, resumed before sunrise on Thursday and three terrorists were slain in clashes in Kuppong village in Indanan town, but soldiers only recovered one body. [ManilaTimes]
Daesh says it killed eight Philippine Army soldiers and wounded 11 in clashes in Patikul on Wednesday. [A3maq]
Daesh publishes a photo of one of its terrorists, whom it reported killed in Sinai. [ICDNJul12]
Daesh publishes a photo of one of its terrorists who it says was killed in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNJul12]
Daesh’s Al-Naba’ magazine issues infographics claiming that Daesh conducted 87 attacks in one week in different countries, killing or wounding more than 350 people. [ICDNJul12]