An Update On ISIS Activities

July 13, 2018

 

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

US urges Iraq to get its new government formed ASAP. [..]

Rumor has it that US may build a third base in Anbar. [..]

Daesh kidnaps another mukhtar, in Hatra. [..]

Three Army battalions sent to Basra to confront major street protests. [..]

Sistani supports Basra protests, blasts government corruption, mismanagement. [..]

Protests roil Maysan, Dhi Qar, Najaf. [..]

 

Syria

Syrian Human Rights Network alleges Assad government has killed 82,000 detainees. [..]

Article urges US to stay in Syria and support opposition organizations. [..]

Israel, Jordan pressure Russia to move Iranian troops away from border areas. [..]

Daesh attacking leaders of other opposition groups in Idlib. [..]

SDF, Coalition working to dislodge Daesh from Hajin, Al-Susah.  [..]

 

Other countries

Afghanistan:  Daesh claims responsibility for ambush that killed 2 US soldiers. [..]

Pakistan: At least 128 killed, 150 wounded  in suicide attack on Baluchistan election rally. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New government

Election

A political source said on Friday afternoon that the Independent High Electoral Commission had recounted 133 ballot boxes in Erbil so far, and 131 of them were identical to the electronic count, producing no changes in the results. The source said that IHEC would recount a total of 212 ballot boxes in Erbil, and then perform a recount in Dahuk, then in Ninewa. [BaghdadToday]

 

New government

The US called on Iraq to expedite the forming of its new government, according to Heather Nauert, spokeswoman of the State Department. She says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Iraqi PM Al-Abadi in Brussels and confirmed US support of Iraq in its war against Daesh and its full support for the NATO training delegation announced during the NATO summit. Pompeo praised the government’s efforts to ensure the integrity of the elections, says Nauert, and called for forming a government accepted by all, ASAP. [Forat]

DaeshDaily comment. The delay is doing real harm, as Al-Abadi is essentially a lame duck who can’t take on needed new initiatives, and some people are getting away with things because it is politically difficult to challenge them right now. Meanwhile, the predictable annual protests over the inadequate electricity are on again as today’s developments in Basra show.

 

BAGHDAD (No reports)

 

ANBAR

A security source in Anbar Province, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that US forces were planning to build a third military base in Anbar, near the Iraq-Syria border. The US currently uses the Ayn Al-Asad base in the Al-Baghdadi area, and the Habbaniya air base. According to the source, the new third base will be responsible for the Upper Euphrates area, including Al-Qa’im, Haditha, Rawa, the western desert area, and the “International Road.” [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Saad Al-Shimarry, a tribal sheikh from Salahuddin, demanded that the government arm tribes to help prevent any Daesh fighters from returning to their areas. Al-Shimarry told the Russian network RT that his tribe is being targeted by Daesh for its role in confronting them. [RT]

 

The Center for Security Information said on Friday that an IED and a bomb attached to a paving machine had been found in Salahuddin Province. Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said that units under Salahuddin Ops Command had found the explosives during the “Second Martyr’s Revenge” operations. [Ghad] 

 

Samarra

Saraya Al-Salam, the Sadrist militia, says its intelligence is well aware of Daesh movements in the surrounding area, but that it has limits that it cannot cross. Safa Al-Timimi, a local commander, says that Daesh is maneuvering in the 3 provinces around Mtaibija, and flees from one to another once attacked. [BaghdadToday]

 

Samarra Ops Command announced on Friday that it had launched an operation to search for Daesh safehouses in eastern Salahuddin. The search operations had begun with the Mtaibija area, nearby villages, and the neighboring areas in Salahuddin and Diyala. Anadolu notes that these areas became a haven for Daesh recently, given that many are remote and lightly populated. [Buratha] [Anadolu]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

SWAT units found Daesh safehouses and IEDs in the Tooz District west of the Baghdad-Kirkuk Road on Friday, as part of the “Second Martyr’s Revenge” operations. [PressIraq]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Diyala Police spokesman Colonel Ghalib Al-Atiyah said on Friday that police units had arrested 3 persons wanted on both terrorism and criminal charges in various parts of Baquba. [Sumaria] 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

A DaeshDaily source says Diyala SWAT units killed a 14-year-old suicide bomber who attacked them near the Udhaim Dam. The source says the boy seemed intoxicated.

 

KIRKUK (No reports)

 

NINEWA

Southern Ninewa

Muhalabiya

A DaeshDaily source says PMF units captured 11 Daesh suspects in a search of several villages in the Tal Abta area.

 

Makhmur/Hatra

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh terrorists in a pickup vehicle supported by other terrorists on motorcycles kidnapped the mukhtar of Aliba village, north of Hatra.

 

Daesh says it killed an IFP member in Mutantar village in Makhmur, on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

Western Ninewa (No reports)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

A security source says 3 Army battalions have arrived in Basra to “restore law and order” following the protests that started on July 7 and are still escalating.  PM Al-Abadi arrived in Basra on Friday morning and met with the Governor and the heads of security. The latest reports say that angry tribes refused to meet the PM in his hotel, asking him to come down and meet them in the street. [BaghdadToday]

 

The committee overseeing the Basra protests refused to meet with PM Al-Abadi on Friday. The committee, composed of intellectuals, tribesmen, dignitaries and clergy, say their demands are clear: safe drinking water, electricity, improved living conditions, and work opportunities. [Shafaaq]

 

However, Al-Abadi was reported as speaking with a group of tribal leaders and prominent figures from Basra Province on Friday, saying that he would help serve the people of Basra and would spend funds as necessary on service provision and jobs creation in the Province. [Sumaria]

 

The AAH-affiliated Al-Sadiqoun Movement in Basra Province criticized PM Al-Abadi on Friday, saying that he should have brought his ministerial team for the visit, not his security team. Uday Awad, an official with Al-Sadiqoun, said that the visit was a good step, but warned against “mixing the portfolios” (i.e. ministerial and security) in reaction to the demonstrations in Basra. [Sumaria]

 

Bas News reported that as part of his Friday sermon, the highest religious authority for the Shia in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, announced his support for the demonstrations in Basra, calling for nonviolence. Sistani stressed the importance of solidarity with the demonstrators and recognizing their struggles, including unemployment and issues with basic services such as the electricity shortage and lack of potable water. He also called out government institutions for corruption and poor management. [BasNews]

 

Maysan

On Friday, the Department of Health in Maysan reported that 1 person had been killed and 15 others wounded in the demonstrations occurring in the governorate on Friday. [Sumaria]

 

Dhi Qar

On Friday, 25 members of the security services were injured in demonstrations in Al-Habobi Square in Nasiriya in Dhi Qar. Several demonstrators were arrested. [Sumaria]

 

Najaf

A Sumaria correspondent reported that hundreds of citizens of Najaf Province demonstrated on Friday to protest the decreasing availability of electricity. The protest occurred in “Revolution Square,” in the center of Najaf. [Sumaria]

 

On Friday, the Police Directorate of Najaf announced a prohibition on movement throughout the governorate. It said that the prohibition would last until further notice. [Sumaria]

 

On Friday, a source said that the demonstrators at the Najaf International Airport evacuated it within 2 hours of entering it, when security forces arrived. [Sumaria] 

However, Reuters reported that security units had allowed the demonstrators to enter the airport. 

 [Reuters]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The Syrian Human Rights Network says that the government has detained and then killed over 82,000 persons since the start of the Syrian uprisings in 2011 and registered them as dead. The families of the detainees are struggling and sometimes have to pay large sums as bribes just to get information. The government did not respond or start an investigation on the issue. [Qasioun]

 

United Nations

On Friday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry requested that the International Coalition against Daesh withdraw completely from Syria, in a letter addressed to the UN Security Council. The Ministry alleged that the Coalition committed atrocities to pressure villages who had rejected the entry of the SDF. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

United States

An article in Foreign Affairs says that Al-Assad’s victory in Syria would only lead to more anarchy. It asks the US to stay in Syria and assist in building active opposition forces. [Qasioun]

 

Israel

Israel asked Russia to withdraw Iranian forces 80 km away from Israel’s border, as a step toward its total departure from Syria. The request is still awaiting Russian approval, according to Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli daily. The paper says that Al-Assad will soon recover the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, at which time clearer conditions regarding the deployment of heavy weapons, border security, and other issues would be set by Israel. [Anadolu]

 

Jordan

The Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, says that his country does not want to see any forces other than official Syrian troops on its border with Syria, stressing that that it does not want terrorist or sectarian militias there. He asked for more discussions with Russia to reach points of understanding based on the US-Russian accord. [Qasioun]

 

Iran

Ali Akbar Velayati, advisor to high-level Iranian authorities, says that once Russia and Iran leave Syria, terrorism will return. He stated that his country’s presence does not exceed advisory levels. He says that the Iranian presence in Syria is not related to Israel, and added, “We do not care much for what Netanyahu says. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

A Coalition press release on Friday said that Coalition and Iraqi troops had been shelling Daesh positions in Syria from a Fire Support Base on the Iraqi side of the border, south of Sinjar. “Fire Support Base Um Jurais” was active between June 1 and July 4 as support for “Operation Roundup,” the Coalition campaign against the remaining Daesh fighters in Syria. [InherentResolve]

 

Northwest 

Afrin

On Friday, 15 Daesh prisoners escaped from a prison run by Faylaq Al-Sham (Sham Legion) after part of it had been destroyed, in Jinderes subdistrict in southwest Afrin.  8 prisoners were recaptured and 7 are still at large. [Qasioun]

 

Northeast 

Raqqa

West Raqqa (Tabaqa, etc.)

Daesh says it killed an SDF member and wounded another using silenced guns west of Al-Mansurah. [ICDNJul13]

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

Daesh announced that they had killed 15 local commanders of various militias in Idlib, mainly from Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and from militias affiliated with the so called Free Syrian Army. The assassinations were either done directly or through IEDs, according to Naba’, the Daesh electronic paper. [EnabBaladi]

 

An IED exploded on the highway near the city of Saraqib, east of Idlib city, with no casualties. Another IED in western Aleppo targeted an opposition militia vehicle, wounding 2. Opposition units defused 2 IEDs, 1 in Atma in far northwest Idlib, and 1 in Maarat Al-Numan in southern Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

The Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) security apparatus says that it arrested a Daesh security official in southwest Idlib, in addition to other members of the Daesh security apparatus. [Dorar]

 

Daesh says it killed an opposition groups’ security official on the road between Hizano and Maarat Masrin, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Thursday it shot and killed 2 opposition members on the road between Sarmada and Maarat Masrin. [A3maq]

Daesh published photos of the attack. The 2 men were on a motorcycle when they were shot. [ICDNJul12]

 

Daesh said on Thursday it wounded an opposition groups’ “judge” by detonating an IED on his vehicle in Hay Al-Thawra, in Idlib city. [ICDNJul12]

Daesh published photos of the attack. [ICDNJul12]

 

Daesh said on Thursday it wounded 3 opposition fighters and damaged their vehicle with an IED at the southwestern entrance of Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idlib. [ICDNJul12]

Daesh published photos of the attack. [ICDNJul12]

 

In Aleppo, Daesh says it shot and killed an opposition member near Dar Azza city, west of Aleppo city, on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

Hama

Daesh says it killed an opposition commander on the road between Al-Kurkat and Qala’at Al-Madiq in Al-Suqaylabiyah District, on Wednesday. [ICDNJul12]

 

Tartus

2 rockets fell on villages in Tartus, which has been relatively quiet and supportive of the Syrian government. The source of the rockets is unknown, although some believe that they are the result of a Russian military drill nearby. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal District

Coalition planes killed 20 civilians and wounded 25 in attacks on an ice factory in Al-Susah, according to local activist Taj Alaw. He said that the planes launched 5 airstrikes in the period between sunset and evening prayers. The city is already under siege by the SDF. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Daesh engaged SDF forces in Hajin, eastern Deir Ez-Zor, on Friday. The fighting was accompanied by Coalition airstrikes on Daesh targets in the area. No civilian casualties were reported. [Qasioun]

 

South 

A Coalition press release on Friday said that the Coalition partner Maghawir Al-Thawra had arrested 11 Daesh fighters found inside the “deconfliction zone” in southern Syria on July 10. The detained Daesh fighters were believed to be traveling from southwest Syria. [InherentResolve]

 

Daraa/Quneitra

Daesh issued a video on Thursday showing its terrorists in Hait. [A3maq]

 

Suwayda

On Friday, 7 of Al-Assad’s forces lost their lives in a surprise attack from Daesh in Suwayda, and several others were wounded. The Daesh publication A3maq said that the attack occurred near the “Valley of Death” in the Suwayda desert. [Dorar]

 

Daesh says it killed 7 Syrian soldiers, set a military position on fire, and captured weapons and ammunition in an attack near the Wadi Al-Mawt area, in Suwayda Desert. [A3maq]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia

Naba’, Daesh’s electronic paper, claimed responsibility for an attack on a security checkpoint in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. The attack took place in Qassim, northern Saudi Arabia, and killed a Saudi security guard and an immigrant from Bangladesh. The paper says the attack targeted guards of the Tarfiya Prison in the Al-Qassim Region. [ZamanAlwasl]

In its Naba’ magazine, Daesh said that 3 of its terrorists attacked a prison in Buraydah, in Al-Qassim, killing or wounding guards, before getting killed. [ICDNJul12]

 

North Africa

Libya

A military source said on Friday that a military force under the General Command of the Libyan National Army was now stationed in the ancient city of Sultan, east of Sirte. The source said that the force includes military personnel, armed vehicles, and medium and light weapons. [Wasat]

 

Tunisia

Several German papers say that “Sami A.,” a previous guard of Osama Bin Laden, was deported to his home country of Tunisia, after receiving pledges that he would not be tortured.  He was living for some time in Bochum, western Germany, before being arrested.  [ZamanAlwasl]

 

The Counter-Terrorism Court in Tunis said on Thursday that it would charge a young man who had been stopped earlier that day by security services on a tourist beach on suspicion of terrorism. When stopped, the young man refused to provide his identity, and when a security officer tried to search him, the young man stabbed the officer with a knife. [Tunisien]

 

The Tunisian National Guard arrested a person in Sbeitla, Kasserine Governorate, on Thursday, on charges of “belonging to a terrorist organization” and “promoting terrorism.” The Ministry of the Interior said that the person “deliberately downloaded” posts regarding terrorism from Facebook, and had promoted terrorism via his own posts. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Canada

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a $72 million grant for women in Iraq and Syria. She says the funding is to enhance living conditions, women’s decision making, and small-business economic opportunities for women in their local communities. Projects aiming to defuse Daesh explosives in public places are also covered by the grant. [Dijlah]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

A U.S. soldier was killed in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday due to wounds sustained during a combat operation, according to a release from U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

On Friday, the soldier was identified as Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, from Summerville, South Carolina. He is the fourth American combat death in Afghanistan this year and the second in the last week.

The Department of Defense said that Celiz took enemy small arms fire while conducting operations in support of a medical evacuation landing zone in the Zurmat district in Paktiya province. [GMA]

Daesh said it killed two US soldiers, including an officer, and an Afghan soldier in an ambush in the Adel Khel area, in Achin District, southern Nangarhar, on Thursday. Daesh claims its terrorists “returned safely” after the attack. [ICDNJul13]  

 

Pakistan

More than 128 people were killed in southwest Pakistan in a suicide explosion at an election rally in the town of Mastung in Baluchistan province. Daesh claimed responsibility. [Dijlah]

 

More than 100 people including Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, younger brother of former chief minister Baluchistan Aslam Raisani and Baluchistan Awami Party candidate for Baluchistan Assembly, were killed and about 150 others injured. This is the deadliest attack in the country since 2014. A senior provincial government official confirmed the figure of 128 dead, adding that 150 others were injured in the attack. [TheNews] 

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was conducted by a Pakistani terrorist. [ICDNJul13]

Daesh published a photo of the suicide terrorist, masked. [ICDnJul13]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about its suicide terrorists in the Afghanistan/Pakistan area. [ICDNJul13]

 

July 12, 2018

 

Iraqi Army Units

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

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. [..]

 

Syria

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. [..]

 

Other countries

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

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New government

Election

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]

 

New government

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. 

 

Security

The Qatari Al-Araby Al-Jadeed wrote that the PMF organization has been included in Iraqs 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]

 

Economy

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.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

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 Faiq 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.

 

Foreign policy

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.  

 

BAGHDAD

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

 

ANBAR

Hit/Haditha

Daesh says it killed a PMF member in the Miskhan area, west of Hit, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

Rutba

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.

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

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

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] 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

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] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

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. 

 

Southern Ninewa

Makhmur/Qayara/Hatra

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.

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

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.

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

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.

 

Political opposition

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]

 

Foreign policy

Iran

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]

 

Israel

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)

 

Northeast 

Raqqa

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 

Aleppo/Idlib

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. 

 

South 

Daraa/Quneitra

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]

 

Suwayda

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

 

Neighboring countries

UAE/Yemen

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]

 

North Africa

Egypt

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]

 

Morocco

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

 

U.S./EUROPE

France

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] 

 

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina

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]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

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] 

 

Philippines

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 MEDIA

 

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]

 

July 11, 2018

 

Canadian Special Forces in Iraq (CBC)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Canada offers to lead NATO training mission to Iraq. [..]

Increased Daesh attacks in Dibis District in Kirkuk draw concern. [..]

Ninewa PC members says 1,333 Ninewa citizens are still in Daesh prisons. [..]

 

Syria

New UN estimate puts SW Syria IDP total at 234,000. [..]

Daesh readies 4,000 fighters, hundreds of suicide bombers for defense of Hajin. [..]

Syrian “barrel bomb” attack precedes airstrikes in western Daraa. [..]

 

Other countries

Pakistan:  Taliban suicide attack kills 20, wounds 63 in Peshawar. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

On Wednesday, the media office for Iraqi President Fuad Masoum announced that he had approved a new order for death sentences (the details of which have not been specified), which includes those guilty of serious crimes and acts of terrorism targeting civilians. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. The power to pass on death sentences is given to the President under the constitution.

 

Foreign policy

Canada expressed its willingness to lead the NATO training delegation for Iraq during the first year of NATO’s stay in the country. This was expressed by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau in a symposium held during the NATO summit in Brussels. Canada is sending 250 soldiers and 4 helicopters to Iraq. [Anadolu]

 

The PMF group Al-Nujaba’ says that it is not afraid of US President Donald Trump, and that any attempt to interfere in Iraqi internal politics will be faced by a fierce response, saying that Iraq Is not Saudi Arabia, where Trump can order people around. This came in response to statements by Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, that the US will confront Shia militias in Iraq for being Iranian puppets. [BaghdadToday]

DaeshDaily comment. While such comments by the Secretary might be an arguable issue, it would help if the lead spokesmen were from an organization other than Nujaba’.

 

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi flew to Brussels on Wednesday to attend Coalition meetings. A statement by Al-Abadi’s office said he would also meet with NATO officials there. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Southeast (Mada’in, etc.)

On Wednesday, security personnel arrested a person on terrorism charges in Zafaraniya, southeast Baghdad. [Ghad]

 

ANBAR

The Center for Security Information said on Wednesday that units from the Directorate of Military Intelligence found a facility for the manufacture of IEDs near a major pipeline in Anbar. Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said that 71 20-liter bottles of explosive material were seized. [Ghad] 

 

SALAHUDDIN (No reports)

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh publishes photos of a group of its terrorists setting up a fake checkpoint to “hunt Shia” near Al-Nawa’eer village, south of Buhriz. [ICDNJul11]

fake checkpoint, possibly the same one, was where a DaeshDaily source said last week that eight people from the same family were reported killedon the Tourism Road south of Buhriz. 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Daesh says it targeted a “tribal PMF gathering” in Albu Bakr village in Udhaim with 2 mortars on Sunday. [ICDNJul11]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

The Center for Security Information said on Wednesday that units under the Diyala Operations Command had found a Daesh safehouse with an underground 5-room “bunker” during a search in the district of Balad Ruz. Center spokesman General Yahya said that the “bunker” included mattresses and cooking supplies as well as an electric generator, an air cooler, and a water pump. [Sumaria] 

 

Daesh says it shot and wounded a Shia person near his house in Shah Ali village, in Balad Ruz, on Monday. [ICDNJul11]

KIRKUK

The Center for Security Information announced on Wednesday the destruction of 2 Daesh safehouses and the arrest of 9 suspects in various villages in the continuing sweep of western Kirkuk Province. Center spokesman General Yahya added that during these searches, the Federal Police had found an equipment cache in the area of the village of Najatiya (in Hawija), which contained 2 explosives belts, seven 120mm mortar shells, and 1,500 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition. They also found a Daesh tunnel in the area of Qush Qaya (in Dibis). [PressIraq] 

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

A Daesh attack late Tuesday night killed three personnel guarding oil pipelines on the Dibis-Kirkuk Road and wounded 3 others. Dibis District Council head Jassim Abdulrahman confirmed the story and said that Daesh activities in Dibis had increased recently. [Rudaw]

Baghdad News and SotIraq reported the same story, but wrote that 2 oil pipeline guards were killed and 4 wounded. Both sources added that police also killed a suicide attacker armed with an explosives belt as he attacked the Dibis Hospital. [BaghdadNews] [SotIraq]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A security source in Kirkuk Province said on Wednesday that 7 Daesh safehouses were destroyed, 15 IEDs detonated, and 8 suspects arrested in a search of several villages in Al-Zab subdistrict. [Sumaria] [Buratha] 

 

Daesh says it destroyed 2 MoI vehicles with IEDs near Riyadh city, on Monday. [ICDNJul11]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

The PMF media office said that PMF intelligence units had arrested 3 Daesh fighters on motorcycles as they entered Daquq District. The media office’s statement added that the terrorists were planning to kidnap civilian residents of Daquq. [PressIraq]

 

NINEWA

Ninewa Provincial Council member Hossam Al-Din Al-Abbar said on Wednesday that 1,333 people from Ninewa are still being held in Daesh prisons. Al-Abbar said that the Provincial Council had two lists of verified names of abductees or detainees that had been provided to the human rights body of the CoR: one list of 555 names and one list of 667. He added that these lists would be audited by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior. [Sumaria] [Baghdadia] 

 

Mosul

The Ministry of the Interior said on Wednesday that a terrorist had been arrested in the Al-Risala neighborhood in west Mosul, just west of Mosul Al-Jadida. A spokesman for the Ministry said that the terrorist had worked for Daesh’s “Islamic Police” and had been in charge of Daesh volunteers during the period of Daesh control of Mosul. [Sumaria] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Qayara/Hatra

A security source in Ninewa Province said on Wednesday that a member of the Federal Police had been killed in an IED explosion in the village of Al-Saba’aween, in Qayara subdistrict. [Sumaria] [Baghdadia] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says four PMF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack on Khunaifis village, south of Hatra. The source says the PMFs killed 3 terrorists and captured 1.  

 

Western Ninewa

Baaj

Atheel Al-Nujaifi, former Governor of Mosul and leader of his own Ninewa Guards militia, says the news regarding 60 Daesh vehicles entering Iraq from Syria is true. He says that his militia was watching Daesh activities for a while, and that they started to increase gradually, mainly in the Baaj area, and that 60 vehicles equipped with arms entered Iraq recently. Ninewa Ops Command says that the Army and Air Force are on full alert to confront such infiltration. [BaghdadToday]

DaeshDaily comment. It would have been so nice if he had mentioned this at the time.

 

An outgoing member of the CoR from Ninewa Province, Ahmed Al-Jarba, who was the source of the 60-vehicles story mentioned above, called on PM Al-Abadi to send military reinforcements and air support to areas west of Mosul. Al-Jarba said in a statement that the security situation in western Ninewa Province, specifically the Baaj District, was “unstable,” and that the border was not fully controlled by Iraqi security forces. [Rudaw] 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Dhi Qar

On Wednesday, Dhi Qar Criminal Court sentenced 2 convicted terrorists to be executed. Judge Abd Al-Sattar Birqdar, the spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, said that one had been responsible for planting an IED in the Alawi neighborhood in downtown Baghdad, which killed 1 person and wounded 2. He said that the other defendant had murdered a person in Baghdad. [Ghad] 

 

Qadisiya

Farqad Al-Essawi, the Director of the Diwaniya Police, said on Wednesday that 12 wanted persons had been arrested, including 1 wanted on terror charges. The terrorism suspect was arrested in the Jumhouri neighborhood, in the center of the city.  [Forat] [Ghad] 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

DAHUK

Eyewitnesses said on Wednesday that Turkish planes had been bombing PKK positions in northern Amedi subdistrict of Dahuk. One of the witnesses, Salman Hamid, said that the bombing lasted about an hour and targeted the border villages of Nirwa and Rikan. [Sumaria] 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

The local government of Diyarbakir says that the Turkish Army killed 3 PKK gunmen in Qawlab, Diyarbakir Governorate, in southeast Turkey. This took place during a search operation in that area, which also resulted in capturing quantities of arms and ammunition. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

The UN announced on Wednesday that the number of IDPs from southwest Syria has increased to 234,000 amidst the attacks of the Syrian Army and its supporting militias in the area. 

[Anadolu]

 

Russia

Two documents “leaked” from the Air Intelligence Directorate of the Al-Assad regime to the site Syrian Mirror reveal that the UAE helped finance Russian military intervention in Syria. One document is dated September 2017, and the other February 2018. One is a letter from an Egyptian Army intelligence officer to a Syrian Air Force intelligence officer saying that the Egyptian President Al-Sisi urges the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Muhammed Bin Zayed, to continue his support for Russian military activities until “every inch of the beloved Syria is free of terrorists.” [Dorar]

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

The SDF started to implement its agreement with the Syrian government in Hasaka. The SDF handed over the neighborhood of Nashwa to government forces, which started establishing checkpoints. The process of removing of Kurdish logos and pictures is underway, as agreed. [Dorar]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city & district

Daesh says it destroyed an SDF SUV with an IED near Nazla Shuhada in west Raqqa, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNJul11]

 

West Raqqa (Tabaqa, etc.)

Daesh says it shot and killed an SDF member near Al-Tabaqa airport. [ICDNJul11]

 

Central and West 

Idlib

Tahrir Al-Sham announced the killing of 2 Daesh fighters and the arrest of another, who is charged with murdering a woman and her son in Idlib. The fight took place on the Ariha-Jisr Al Shughur Highway, where the Daesh fighters were planting IEDs. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal District

The Independent writes that around 4,000 Daesh fighters and hundreds of suicide bombers are preparing to defend the city of Hajin. Hajin and its surroundings are among the last areas still under Daesh control. Local residents say that Daesh prepared 200 children as suicide bombers, and 4,000 fighters to block any attempt at an attack, anticipated to be carried out mainly by SDF forces. There are still 35,000 residents in the city, and some expect a long battle, as long as 4 months, to control the city. However, sources say Daesh morale is not as high as before its recent defeats in Iraq and Syria. [Shafaaq]

 

On Wednesday Daesh launched an attack against positions of regime forces and pro-regime Iranian militias in Deir Ez-Zor near the city of Albu Kamal. According to initial reports, the attacks occurred in the village of Al-Hamdan near the Syrian-Iraq border. [Qasioun]

 

A DaeshDaily source says that there are more than 100 Daesh women fighting in the Albu Kamal area. The source says most of these women are family members of foreign Daesh fighters, mostly from Russia, in addition to a few from Syria and Iraq. The source says one of these women blew herself up on government forces near Hajin. 

DaeshDaily comment. Of course this will make the lives of thousands of innocent women in the area miserable. Every woman will be considered a potential Daesh member. 

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Unknown gunmen assassinated Muhammad Al-Hamza, the leader of the “Brigade of Hermon” which belongs to the 4th brigade of the Syrian Army, in Rif Damashq. An activist reports that he was killed by gunfire in Beit Jinn, near Mount Hermon. [Dorar]

 

Daraa/Quneitra

News outlets reported a “barrel bomb” attack by Syrian Army helicopters on Saham Al-Jolan village, which is held by Daesh affiliate Jaish Khaled. This was followed by several airstrikes. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh engaged both opposition militias and government forces in Yarmouk Basin. Daesh, represented by Jaish Khaled, entered the town of Hait after inflicting heavy casualties to opposition militias, where casualties on both sides were reported. Russian planes attacked Daesh units in Saham Al-Jolan. [Hawar]

 

In a somewhat conflicting story, it was reported on Wednesday that Daesh attempted unsuccessfully to enter the town of Hait in Daraa, controlled by opposition militiamen, its second failure to enter within the past 48 hours. For reasons unclear, these efforts have coincided with the arrival of Syrian forces in Zayzoun in western Daraa.  [Dorar]

 

Suwayda

Government forces engaged Daesh northeast of Suwayda, with casualties reported on both sides of the fighting. [Hawar]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Bahrain

The US State Department said on Tuesday that it had classified the Al-Ashtar Brigades, a militant group in Bahrain, as a terrorist organization. State said in a statement that the group had received weapons and explosives from Iran. [BasNews]

 

Jordan/Lebanon

A DaeshDaily source says that Jordanian authorities arrested 3 Tahrir Al-Sham members, including a senior commander, in Al-Rukban camp. The terrorists had entered the camp a week ago.

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

US General Mike Nagata said that although Daesh fighters’ numbers were down from an estimated 40,000 at the group’s peak, there were still “pockets” of Daesh fighters in Iraq and Syria. He was asked what would happen if US forces withdrew from Syria now; he answered that Daesh could return, or a new organization could take its place, if there were not sufficient forces to “stabilize the situation on the ground.” However, he stopped short of directly contesting the potential withdrawal of US forces. [Baghdadia]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it shot and wounded a village mukhtar in Kot district, Nangarhar, on Tuesday. [ICDNJul11]

 

Pakistan

Agence France Presse reported that 20 were killed and 63 wounded by a suicide bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan. The attack was claimed by the Taliban. The 16-year-old suicide bomber carried 8 kg of explosives, the head of the demining team says. [Hawar]

 

Taiwan

Taiwan allocated $1 million to support demining operations in Syria and Iraq. It says that this contribution reflects the responsible role of Taiwan in assisting the Coalition to fight terrorism in both countries. [Forat]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about its terrorists in “west Africa.” [ICDNJul11]

 

Daesh publishes a photo of one of its terrorists, reportedly killed in Damascus. [ICDNJul11]

Daesh publishes a photo of one of its terrorists, reportedly killed in “east Asia”. [ICDNJul11]

 

 

July 10, 2018

 

U.S. Special Envoy Brett McGurk Visited Raqqa

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Islamic Dawa may nominate a new PM candidate. [..]

Iran reportedly pushing for an Iraqi government that excludes Al-Sadr. [..]

13 Daesh fighters arrested for kidnapping, murder of 7 civilians on Baquba-Baghdad Road. [..]

15,000 in Mosul prisons include innocent people who share the same name as wanted criminals. [..]

Ninewa Police arrest 23 Daesh fighters in Badoush crackdown. [..]

 

Syria

McGurk pays another visit to Raqqa. [..]

25 Syrian Army troops reported killed in mysterious northern Latakia attack. [..]

Daesh recaptures two oil fields in Deir Ez-Zor. [..]

Daesh battling Syrian troops and anti-government opposition militias in southern Syria. [..]

UN estimates 200,000 IDPs on Golan Heights border. [..]

Daesh kills 30-40 Syrian soldiers in Daraa suicide vehicle attack. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New government

A leader in the Islamic Dawa Party, who asked not to be named, said on Tuesday that there was a near-consensus on nominating Tariq Najem for the post of PM for the next government. The unnamed leader told Bas News that Tariq Najem had the support of the Dawa Party’s internal council. Najem was a possible candidate for PM 4 years ago, but decided not to compete with Al-Abadi for the nomination. He was previously Chief of Staff for Al-Maliki. [BasNews]

 

The London-based daily Al-Hayat says that Iran is trying to force a solution to the problem of forming an electoral bloc capable of electing the PM of Iraq. General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC, reportedly proposed nominating 3 persons to a large Shia coalition, which would isolate Al-Sadr and force him into the opposition. There are also attempts to have the KDP join this coalition, which would leave Al-Sadr almost completely isolated. [BaghdadToday]

The AAH PMF group denied reports that Lebanese Hezbollah is mediating between Shia factions in Iraq. It says that the relationship between all Shia parties in Iraq is good, accusing “foreign parties” of trying to instigate differences through these false rumors. The website “Lebanese Debate” says that Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, met several Iraqi Shia officials during their visits to Beirut to clear up the tension among them resulting from the election results. [BaghdadToday]

 

Council of Representatives

Shirouk Al-Abayachi, a leader in the Civil Democratic Alliance, a small center-left electoral group, demanded Tuesday that the general amnesty law be suspended. The general amnesty law was passed by the third session of the CoR. Al-Abayachi said that the amnesty law had been responsible for putting “criminals and thieves” back on the streets, and that it had been passed hastily and had many loopholes which were being used by criminals. [BasNews] 

 

Reconstruction

On Tuesday, a member of the Anbar Provincial Council said that many IDP families in camps have been accused of belonging to Daesh, and returning them home would require tribal reconciliation and international support in reconstructing homes.  [BasNews]

 

Corruption

The London-based daily Al-Arab says that Mosul and Anbar might witness the return of Daesh if their situation does not improve soon. It says that the government failed to initiate serious reconstruction efforts and to allocate reasonable funds for such processes, saying that funds allocated were used by certain influential parties for political and electoral causes. It says that popular frustration at this might be a cause for the return of violence. [BaghdadToday]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi threatened to chase Daesh both inside and outside of Iraq. He was speaking at the first anniversary of the recapture of the city of Mosul by Iraqi forces. He says the army is ready to pursue the terrorists beyond the Iraqi border. [Anadolu]

 

Al-Abadi also said on Tuesday that Operation “Revenge of the Martyrs,” which took place on the outskirts of Kirkuk Province (in response to the Kirkuk-Baghdad Road killings), has achieved great results in rooting out the remaining Daesh fighters in the area. He added that the situation in Syria was a threat to Iraqi border security. [Sumaria]

 

The Wall Street Journal says that Daesh is regrouping for more attacks in the desert areas in Syria and Iraq. It says it is acting less centrally now and is using surprise attack tactics. The paper says this will affect President Trump’s plans to withdraw 2,000 US soldiers from Syria. The paper says that the US is the only country that has made confronting Daesh a priority, as the Russians and Iranians are more concerned with protecting the Assad regime against armed opposition groups, while the Kurds became less concerned about Daesh after the Turkish invasion of their areas with US acquiescence. [BaghdadToday]

 

On Tuesday, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO would help in preventing the return of Daesh to Iraq. [Sumaria]

Foreign policy

Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Russian Ambassador to Iraq, Maksim Maksimov, met on Tuesday to discuss the regional and Iraqi situations. Al-Sadr’s office said in a statement that Al-Sadr had asked Russia to take a more active role in the IDP issue. [Sumaria]

 

The PM of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, met with Dutch PM Mark Rutte on Tuesday as part of a KRG delegation to the Netherlands. Barzani spoke to reporters after the meeting, saying they had thanked the Netherlands for their support of the Peshmerga during the war against Daesh, and had discussed improving economic relations between the Netherlands and the Kurdistan Region. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD (No reports)

 

ANBAR (No reports)

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A DaeshDaily source says PMF units ambushed and killed 6 Daesh terrorists near Makhoul. The source says the PMF had received information that a group of Daesh terrorists was planning to establish a fake checkpoint in the area.

 

Baiji

A DaeshDaily source says three PMF fighters were killed and their vehicle destroyed by a roadside IED between Baiji and Siniya.

 

Daesh published a photo of the 2 suicide terrorists who attacked Iraqi forces in the 600 area in Baiji yesterday. [ICDNJul10]

 

Daesh says it killed an IFP member, wounded three others, and destroyed their Humvee with an IED on the road between Kirkuk and Baiji, on Monday. [ICDNJul10]

 

Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)

A PMF statement said that the 43rd PMF Brigade had killed 4 attempted Daesh suicide bombers in Tal Dhiab village, Balad District. The statement said that 15 suicide bombers had attempted to infiltrate Tal Dhiab. [Buratha] 

 

DIYALA

Diyala Police announced on Tuesday that they had arrested 11 persons wanted on terrorism charges in various areas of the province. [Sumaria]

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Diyala Ops Command’s General Mizhar Al-Azzawi said on Tuesday that 13 Daesh fighters had been arrested for their involvement in the deadly incident on the “tourist road” between Baquba and Baghdad. He added that some of the detainees were Daesh leaders. 7 civilians were killed on the “tourist road” last Thursday. [Sumaria]

 

In a separate report, General Mizhar Al-Azzawi also said on Tuesday that 2 of the most important leaders from Daesh’s “State of Diyala” were arrested south of Buhriz. Al-Azzawi said that the 2 were administrative and financial officials for Daesh. [Sumaria]

 

General Raed Shakir Jawdat of the Iraqi Federal Police said on Tuesday that a terrorist had been killed and explosives seized from a terrorist safehouse in the Buhriz area. Materiel seized included explosive belts and detonators. [Ghad]

 

The Center for Security Information said on Tuesday that 8 Daesh fighters in Diyala Province were killed by a Coalition airstrike while trying to set up a fake checkpoint. The Center statement said that the airstrike took place around the Himrin Hills area. [Sumaria]

A DaeshDaily source says Coalition planes killed a Daesh commander and 7 other terrorists in the Himrin Mountains area. The source says that Karim Al-Juhaishi, aka Abu Mariya, was the deputy military commander of the north Salahuddin area. 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Diyala Police Command announced on Tuesday that anti-explosives units under their command had dismantled an IED in Khanaqin district. [Sumaria]

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh says it killed eight IFP members and destroyed 2 Humvees with 2 IEDs on Monday, one near Albu Hassan village, east of Hawija, and one on the road between Riyadh and Hawija. [ICDNJul10]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

A security source says that Daesh fighters attacked the village of Ali Saray in Daquq, home to the Kaka’i sect, in an attempt to kidnap Kaka’i leader Sayed Jalil Ibrahim, but he managed to escape. [Shafaaq]

 

A security source in Kirkuk said on Tuesday that Iraqi Army Air helicopters destroyed 8 Daesh safehouses, a camp that had been used to target the Baghdad-Kirkuk Road, and Daesh vehicles and equipment. The source said that the strikes took place between Daquq and the Tooz District across the border in Salahuddin. [Sumaria] [Baghdadia] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

The daily newspaper Al-Mada says that 15,000 Iraqis, almost half of whom have not been found guilty, are in prison in Mosul either for having a name similar to a wanted terrorist, or because of false accusations. Persons imprisoned have to pass the name-matching screening of 6 different security organizations, including intelligence and counter-terrorism. The paper says there are 350,000 others subject to arrest for the same reason. The Ministry of the Interior banned detention of any person without checking their full name (i.e. including names of their father and mother), but many security services do not do this in practice. [BaghdadToday]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hamidat/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

Major Imad Hussein of the Ninewa Police said that they had arrested 23 Daesh fighters, including 2 leaders, in the town of Badoush. Hussein said that security forces were currently besieging Jabal Al-Atshana. He added that they had found 4 Daesh tunnels inside Jabal Al-Atshana which were currently being searched. [BasNews] [Buratha] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says Iraqi Army units killed 2 Daesh terrorists hiding in a house near Al-Baghla village, in Badoush. The source says the owner of the house informed the army about the terrorists, who refused to surrender. The source sent us a video of the terrorists.

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

A security source said on Tuesday that a civilian was killed after returning to his home in the Qahtaniya subdistrict, in the southern part of Sinjar. His home had been booby-trapped while he was away, and it exploded when he entered. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

In response to the US State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2018, the KRG Coordinator of International Advocacy, Dindar Zebari, said that the KRG takes such objective reports into consideration and that the KRG would respond to every accusation, but that this report was based on little evidence. The report wrote that human trafficking occurred in the Kurdistan Region, and that the government had not been following international laws regarding trafficking and had not properly punished those culpable, among other human rights violations. [BasNews]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

(No reports) 

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast 

Raqqa

Raqqa city & district

Brett McGurk, the US Envoy to the Coalition, visited Raqqa to follow up on the operation of the Raqqa Civil Council and its committees.  Issues of service provision, health, and security were discussed. McGurk praised the accomplishments of the Council in such a short period. [Hawar]

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

SOHR reported that unidentified gunmen shot dead a Tahrir Al-Sham leader south of Idlib, making 11 Tahrir Al-Sham figures killed in the last 24 hours, including 9 killed in one attack. [SyriaHR]

 

Tahrir Al-Sham says that it arrested a pro-regime cell operating in northwest Idlib, near the border with Turkey. Tahrir says that the cell was collecting information and taking photos of their positions and checkpoints in the area. [Qasioun]

 

Latakia

Media sources say that the Syrian Army lost over 25 soldiers in an attack by “military opposition factions” in northern Latakia on Tuesday. Most of the government soldiers were coming from Hama, Latakia, Aleppo, and Tartus. The attack took place near Mount Turkmen, close to the border with Turkey, in a Turkmen area. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment. It’s not clear who launched this attack, as it is not clear who might perceive some benefit from doing so.

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

Daesh regained control of 2 oil fields in northeast Deir Ez-Zor, following a sudden attack on SDF units in the Hariji area, south of the town of Al-Suwar. SDF captured several oil fields from Daesh earlier in its military campaign, the largest of which is the Al-Omar field, which has been controlled by the SDF since last October. [Qasioun]

 

South 

Daraa/Quneitra

SOHR says Jaish Khaled (a Daesh affiliate) engaged Syrian opposition groups in fierce battles in the Saham Jolan area, while over 4,000 civilians fled Jaish Khaled-held areas in Yarmouk Basin, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, in anticipation of a Syrian government-Russian attack. [SyriaHR]

 

SOHR says 10,000 IDPs fled the Yarmouk Basin in the past 24 hours. The UN estimated that 200,000 Syrian IDPs are now located along the border with the Golan Heights. Thousands of civilians fled the areas held by Jaish Khaled (a Daesh affiliate) in fear of an attack by government forces. [Hawar]

 

Daesh launched 2 attacks on Tuesday against Syrian Army soldiers and pro-regime militias in Daraa. The first operation involved driving a van laden with explosives into an Army checkpoint and detonating it, resulting in the deaths of 30 or 40 officers.  The second operation involved destroying a Syrian tank with anti-armor missiles. [Qasioun]

Daesh says one of its Syrian suicide terrorists attacked Syrian and Russian military units with a vehicle bomb in the Zayzoun area, west of Daraa, killing more than 35 soldiers, wounding 15, and destroying 2 tanks and several vehicles. It says the attack was on a military headquarters that was handed over by opposition militias several days ago. [ICDNJul10]

Here Daesh says it killed 40 Syrian and Russian soldiers, wounded 20 others, and destroyed 2 tanks in a suicide attack in the Zayzoun area, in Daraa. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment. In the first version, Daesh said that the suicide terrorist belonged to its “Wilayat Hauran,” which would indicate that Daesh has officially dissolved its affiliate, Jaish Khaled, and created a new “province.” 

Also, Daesh supporters say that Daesh had many members who had infiltrated opposition groups earlier, and now these members will have better opportunities to attack government forces and allies.  

 

A Jordanian military official says that the Syrian government’s control of the Nasib border crossing will affect the security and economic situation of both countries positively. The Commander of the Northern Military Zone, Brigadier General Khalid Al-Mased, says that the Syrian government forces presence at the border is positive, describing armed groups previously present at the crossing as “terrorist.” The formal opening of the border point is waiting on the political approval of both governments. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Syrian government helicopters dropped leaflets on 4 Syrian villages north of Daraa, in the area called the “Triangle of Death. The leaflet told the people that they are not the enemy, but the terrorists are, saying that the army is there to liberate them, and reminding them of prewar days. [Qasioun]

 

Suwayda

Daesh publishes photos of its terrorists in the Suwayda desert. [ICDNJul10]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, says that the US is committed to confronting “evil Iranian conduct,” saying that this includes its activity in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon. He says that the US has plans to confront the Iranian threats to block the Strait of Hormuz. He also held Iran responsible for Houthi missiles fired from Yemen on Saudi Arabia. He says one of the main points of focus is the financial capability of Iran. [Hawar]

 

Iran repeated its threat to block the Strait of Hormuz if Iranian oil exports are banned, as the US is planning. This time, the threat came from Ali Motahari, the deputy Speaker of Parliament. [Anadolu]

 

North Africa

Libya

A security source said that the criminal investigations team from Brega arrested a person belonging to “terrorist organizations” in the El Agheila area. The source said that the suspect was wearing an explosives belt when arrested. [AfriGate]

 

Tunisia

Tunisia announced on Tuesday that the Tunisian military and security forces and terrorists in Jendouba had been exchanging fire for the past two days. [Anadolu]

 

A “terrorist cell” consisting of 8 people in a vehicle is being sought by the security services in Tunisia.  The car was apparently stopped by a young man in Kebili Governorate, who asked the people inside for directions, after which they fled. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

A delegation of clerics from Afghanistan, attending the Islamic Cleric Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, demanded to form a delegation to discuss peace with the Taliban. [Anadolu]

 

A suicide bomber detonated himself near a security vehicle, killing at least 10 civilians in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan. Additionally, several people were wounded and a nearby gas station caught on fire. [BaghdadNews]

 

Daesh publishes photos of harvesting crops in an unidentified location in its “Wilayat Khorasan.” [ICDNJul10]

 

Philippines

Capt. Arvin John Encinas, spokesperson for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID), said that at least 12 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) gunmen were killed in the air and ground assaults conducted by government troops in Maguindanao province on Sunday and Monday. He said soldiers recovered the bodies of the slain BIFF men in the sub-villages of Mungkas and Pandan after the two-day offensive in Barangay Malingao in Shariff Saydona town. He said at least 50 BIFF men were seen in the village. [Inquirer] 

 

Daesh says it killed a Philippine Army soldier and wounded two others with an IED in Datu Pang town, in Maguindanao. [A3maq]