Our suspension of Daesh Daily operations having continued past our previously estimated time frame, we think we owe you an explanation. As you know, we have distributed Daesh Daily at no cost for about four years, as a public service, with support from various organizations, and also helped by our earnings from other projects. The costs are significant because of the number of personnel required. Our latest funding sources are now themselves on hold, and during the past few weeks we have tried to get new funding, without success to date.
Certainly, we recognize that Daesh Daily is still needed. Many people think that by losing the territory it controlled, Daesh is not a big threat anymore. As our readers know from our coverage, Daesh is not gone and is still fighting hard, and in additional countries. It will find ways and places to grow. As of now, we don’t see a way to resume a daily newsletter to cover these developments, but do hope we can generate enough support to start a weekly version soon.
We thank you for your continuing loyalty over the last few years. When we have more definitive news, we will send out another update.
Best to all,
Daesh Daily Team
March 8, 2019
Car Bomb Explosion in Mosul (DD Mar 8)
Important notice to our readers: Daesh Daily is taking a break after this issue. Maybe this is a relatively convenient time in the Iraq/Syria news cycle, but the immediate reason is that our Co-Editors will be traveling for at least the next two weeks. We value your interest and are sure many will miss our daily updates, but take a deep breath. We will be tracking developments and will catch up with you shortly.
Yazidi horror stories emerge as some are freed. [..]
East Mosul car bomb kills 2, injures 10 near popular restaurant. [..]
KRG ends mandatory withholdings on government salary payments. [..]
Defense Minister asks Russia to stop Syrian attacks in Idlib, to avert mass exodus. [..]
CENTCOM’s Gen. Votel says there is no time pressure on US withdrawal. [..]
No commitments to date by European allies for US-proposed combined force in Syria [..]
UNOCHA says overwhelmed Al-Hawl camp now has 62,000 people—90% women & children [..]
. . . and 3,000 more arrived on Thursday. [..]
SDF lets 1,050 more out of Al-Baghouz, then resumes military attack. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Council of Representatives
Mohammed Al-Ogaily, a CoR MP from Nouri Al-Maliki’s Rule of Law bloc, says that Iraq is unable to contain the large numbers of terrorists handed over for trial in Iraq. He called for more cooperation and coordination between the federal government and the KRG to contain the “fragile” security situation. [Rudaw]
A military source in Anbar said that Iraq received the last group of Daesh prisoners from the SDF under the supervision of the Coalition. The source said that they are being kept in a detention center in Al-Qa’im. [Baghdadia]
A report by Al-Baghdadia pondered whether Daesh is returning to Iraq, following a Daesh operation that killed 6 fishermen from Najaf in Haditha, and an armed attack that was thwarted by the IFP in Shirqat, as well as the kidnapping operations targeting mushroom hunters in the Anbar desert. Faleh Al-Fayadh, the National Security Advisor, warned of a “new generation” of Daesh that is currently underground, which he said will pose a threat to the whole world, although he noted that the social environment in Iraq is no longer conducive to Daesh thought. Sean Ryan, the Coalition spokesman, said that Daesh is present in very small groups, but still can pose a threat. Reports have said that about 1,000 Daesh fighters entered Iraq within the past 6 months, mainly from Syria. [Baghdadia]
President Barham Salih, speaking to the Emirati newspaper The National, said that foreign Daesh fighters tried in Iraq could be given death sentences. Salih said that Daesh fighters would be tried in accordance with Iraqi law, which includes the possibility of death penalties for those found guilty of killing Iraqis. [Reuters]
Yazidi children still have bad memories of Daesh captivity, saying they were forced to attend Quranic and other religious lessons, and that they were constantly on the move during the advance of the SDF forces in Al-Baghouz. 1 Yazidi girl said that Muslims were well-treated, but that non-Muslim girls and women worked as maids and were humiliated. 21 Yazidi children, both boys and girls, recently returned to their families in Sinjar after being freed from Daesh captivity. [Rudaw]
A 20-year-old Yazidi women who reached the SDF-held areas in Al-Baghouz said that during her captivity she was forced to put on a veil and was sold to 10 different men. Many Yazidi women and children are still missing after being kidnapped by Daesh. [Rudaw]
Joint Ops Command said that the 15th Army Division secured the return of 9 Yazidi children and 1 Yazidi woman to their families in Sinjar. The hostages were freed in Syria by the SDF. [BasNews]
In an appropriately timed statement given the stories just above, the UN honored the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8). It said that the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments have taken major steps to support the rights of women, but that more should be done to involve women in policy-making. The statement added that changes were needed to recover from the conflicts of the past 3 years. [BasNews]
North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)
Daesh said it killed five soldiers on Thursday when it attacked an Iraqi Army position in the Abayachi area, in Tarmiya District, with medium weapons. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
A DaeshDaily source said on Thursday that 2 Iraqi Army 7th Division soldiers were killed while stopping a Daesh attack on a military position near the Kubaisa Irrigation Project. The source said the Division killed 2 terrorists and forced the rest to flee.
Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)
Daesh said it killed a PMF fighter and wounded another on Thursday when it attacked a military position in the Farahatiya area, in Ishaqi subdistrict, with medium weapons. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur)
Daesh said it wounded IFP policemen and damaged their vehicle with an IED on Thursday in the Jalam Al-Daur area in Al-Daur District. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
Daesh said its snipers killed an Iraqi soldier on Thursday in Yousef Al-Hailan village, in the Buhriz subdistrict of Baquba. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)
The PMF media office said that the 23rd PMF Brigade in Diyala attacked Daesh in the orchards of Ibrahim Bek and Mubarak in Khanaqin, destroying 2 Daesh safehouses and killing 1 Daesh fighter. Light and medium weapons were confiscated in the operation. [Buratha]
A security source said on Friday that an IED had targeted the house of a colonel and planning officer in the Khazra’ neighborhood of Kirkuk city. [Sumaria]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that IFP units raided Al-Hilwat, Al-Tarqiya, and Shmet, in the Al-Zab subdistrict, and arrested 11 Daesh suspects. The source said all the arrestees had arrest warrants on terrorism charges from Kirkuk courts.
In a follow-up to yesterday’s major road attack, Daesh said it killed 11 fighters, including commanders, wounded 34 others, and set their vehicles on fire on Wednesday when it ambushed 4 vehicles carrying PMF fighters on the road between Qaraj and Makhmur, near Makhmur Mountain. Daesh said the clashes lasted for several hours. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
DaeshDaily comment. If true, then it is unclear why Iraqi aircrafts were not deployed. And for the anti-Coalition loudmouths who disdain its air support, wouldn’t Coalition planes save lives when such attacks happen?
On another point, it is not to our surprise that this incident occurred in Makhmur, notwithstanding two statements yesterday that put the incident in Kirkuk Province. We won’t be surprised if the next allegation is that the incident reflects a lack of coordination between the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga in Makhmur.
The Security Media Center had said yesterday that Daesh ambushed unarmed Turkmen PMF soldiers who were returning from leave on the Mosul–Tuz road near Makhmur, killing 6 and wounding 31 others. [Sumaria] [Sumaria]
Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)
A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that Ninewa SWAT units found a weapons and explosives cache in Khaznah village, in the Bartella subdistrict of Hamdaniya.
A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that an Iraqi Army 1st lieutenant was wounded when a sticky IED exploded under his vehicle in the Kokjali area, at the entrance to east Mosul.
A DaeshDaily source said on Friday that 2 civilians, including a 12-year-old girl, were killed and 6 others wounded when a parked car bomb exploded near a restaurant in Al-Muthanna neighborhood, in east Mosul. The source said that security experts believe that the vehicle was rigged with explosives in a nearby area.
The Security Media Center later reported a vehicle bomb explosion in the Al-Muthanna neighborhood. [Sumaria] A security source said that the explosion took place near the restaurant “Spicy.” [Forat] Forat published photos of the explosion. [Forat]
A security source said that the bombing had killed 1 woman and injured 6 other people. [Sumaria] The Ninewa Health Director confirmed in a statement that 1 person had been killed and 6 injured in the bombing. The statement said that the person killed was a 13-year-old girl. [Forat]
The Security Media Center reported later on Friday that the car bomb explosion on the east side of Mosul city killed 2 people, including a 13-year-old girl, and injured 10. [Rudaw]
A DaeshDaily source said on Wednesday that Military Intelligence Service units captured a Daesh commander in an ambush near Abu Mariya hills, just west of Tal Afar. The source said the terrorist was transporting RPG rockets and ammunition in his vehicle to terrorists hiding in the hills.
A DaeshDaily source said on Wednesday that PMF EOD units defused 2 IEDs that were planted on a bridge near Hatra.
Daesh said it wounded tribal PMF “intelligence members” and damaged their vehicle with an IED on Wednesday in the Jazeera Hatra area. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
The President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Nechirvan Barzani, said on Friday that starting in March 2019, the mandatory savings program, in which part of employees’ salaries are withheld, would be canceled for government employees. The Kurdistan Region has been employing a mandatory savings program for the past year due to financial problems after the CoR reduced its share of the federal budget. [Anadolu]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Military & security developments
Turkish security sources said that police arrested 3 Daesh suspects in Şanlıurfa (aka Urfa), southern Turkey. 1 arrestee is a UAE national, another is Syrian, and the nationality of the third was not revealed. [Ghad]
Hulusi Akar, the Turkish Defense Minister, called on Russia to stop the Syrian government’s attacks on Idlib, warning that if the attacks continue, as many as 3.5 million refugees may head to Europe and the US. [ElDorar] [EnabBaladi]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
According to IRNA, the head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Shura Council, Hishmatullah Fallah Bishah, said that the Syrian government owed Iran debts for its military and economic support over the past few years. [ElDorar]
US CENTCOM Commander General Joseph Votel said that the US feels no time pressure regarding withdrawing its troops from Syria, adding that defeat of Daesh and safe withdrawal are the factors controlling the withdrawal process. There is no specific timetable for the process, he said. [ElDorar]
General Votel also said that European allies are essential to the US effort in Syria. Speaking before the US House Armed Services Committee, he said that the US is pressing 8 European allies, among others, to take part in the re-stabilization of Syria. The US is planning to prevent the reemergence of Daesh in areas liberated by the SDF, and to avoid a possible Turkish-Kurdish collision. [Hawar]
The Wall Street Journal wrote that US administration officials had failed to secure commitments from their European allies to send military forces to Syria, missing their self-determined Friday deadline. US officials said that they would continue to press for involvement from their allies to keep Daesh from re-emerging in Syria. [WSJ]
The British Ministry of Defense said on Friday that over the past 4.5 years and 1,700 Royal Air Force airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, only 1 civilian was killed. The executive director of the group Action on Armed Violence said that “few conflict experts” believed the figure, and that the UK must be more transparent regarding civilian casualties from airstrikes. [Rudaw] [Telegraph]
The Kurdish militia “Afrin Liberation Forces” said that it had carried out an operation against the Turkish Army, resulting in the killing of 1 Turkish soldier and the wounding of 2 pro-Turkey militia fighters in Afrin. [Hawar]
UNOCHA said that Al-Hawl camp in Hasaka is now hosting over 62,000 refugees and IDPs. 5,200 of whom reached the camp between March 5 and 7. 90% of the newcomers are women and children. [EnabBaladi]
On Friday, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, expressed serious concerns over the safe arrival of thousands of IDPs into Al-Hawl refugee camp in Hasaka. He said that more than 3,000 people, mostly women and children, arrived in Al-Hawl on Thursday night, and that Al-Hawl residents now add up to about 65,000 people. He added that about 100 people had died either on their way to Al-Hawl or shortly after their arrival since the beginning of December 2018. [Anadolu]
A news source said that the SDF arrested “many” individuals on charges of belonging to Daesh inside Al-Hawl camp. This occurred after a demonstration inside the camp about poor services and neglect of health conditions. Previous statistics by the UN showed that the SDF’s neglect of the camp resulted in the deaths of about 80 people, mostly children. [ElDorar]
DaeshDaily comment. The SDF is not a government, and does not have international responsibilities for conditions in IDP camps they don’t run. The Al-Hawl camp was already troubled and is now overwhelmed by all the escapees and Daesh family members coming out of Deir Ez-Zor. This could have been predicted and planned for, including by the UN. Let’s not shift the blame.
Said Jayashi, a security expert, said that coordination efforts are underway to receive Daesh families of Iraqi nationality from the Al-Hawl camp in Syria. He said the camp hosts a large number of both Daesh-affiliated and non-Daesh Iraqi refugees, and that exact information on numbers and nationalities is still unavailable. [Rudaw]
Central and West
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Albu Kamal District
The SDF resumed military operations in Al-Baghouz after more 1,050 people, including 90 Daesh fighters, left Daesh-held areas and headed for SDF positions during the past 24 hours. 18,530 people total have now exited Daesh-held areas since February 16. [SyriaHR]
SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali had said that the SDF would resume its attack on Al-Baghouz if no more civilians or armed men come out of the Daesh-held area. He said that the attack was slowed to allow as many civilians and fighters as possible who wish to surrender to leave the area. [BasNews]
Kurdish intelligence and SDF units are continuing to sort out thousands of Daesh arrestees in Al-Baghouz, many of whom claim that they came to the area for business or trade. At least 1 Daesh official called “Abu Yousef Al-Maghrebi” (Abu Yousef the Moroccan) was arrested after fleeing Al-Baghouz on February 16. [SyriaHR]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
The Military Engineering Corps found a cache of munitions and explosive materiel in the Al-Arba’in area, 40 km (25 miles) west of Ajdabiya, northeastern Libya. [AfriGate]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
The Belgian judiciary declined to try 30 persons and foundations accused of being affiliated with the PKK, saying that the Belgian courts did not have jurisdiction to try them under counter-terrorism laws, despite the fact that the PKK is classified in Belgium as a terrorist group. The Belgian federal prosecutor said that the case should be heard by a court responsible for international humanitarian law. A spokesman for the Belgian Foreign Ministry said that the court decision was independent of the classification of the PKK as a terrorist group, and that Belgium would not change that designation. [Anadolu]
A Swedish court found David Idrisson, an Uzbek national, guilty of plotting a terrorist attack on behalf of Daesh. The court said that Idrisson had gathered approximately 500 kg of chemicals, gas masks, and military equipment, and that photos of “potential targets” in Stockholm were on his cellphone. Idrisson had been living legally in Sweden since 2008. [AP]
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the NATO in Afghanistan is there to “create the conditions for peace” and to “send a clear message to the Taliban that they will not win on the battlefield, but have to sit down at the negotiating table and reach a political agreement.” He made the remarks during a press conference with the President of Poland. [Khaama]
Daesh said on Friday it shot and killed an Afghan intelligence officer in Khost city. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
Daesh published on Friday a photo of the 2 terrorists, in masks, who conducted an attack on a Shia gathering in Kabul on Thursday. [ICDNMar8-Telegram]
* * * * *
READER COMMENTS WELCOME
You are invited to add information to or comment on any Daesh Daily story
March 7, 2019
Iraqi Children Freed from Daesh in Al-Baghouz (Bas News March 6)
President Salih wants more international help to handle IDP problem. [..]
Yazidi human rights group wants Iraq to use detainee interviews for intel on missing Yazidis. [..]
Major Daesh attack between Makhmur & Kirkuk kills at least 6 PMFs, wounds 39, with many others missing. [..]
Human Rights Commission reveals the grim toll: 4,720 bodies recovered so far from Mosul. [..]
KRG official slams Human Rights Watch child-torture allegations. [..]
US pressing European allies for Coalition stabilization plan for NE Syria. [..]
Assassination attempt on pro-Coalition militia leader near Al-Tanaf leaves him wounded but alive. [..]
3,000 more Daesh fighters & families surrender to SDF in Al-Baghouz. [..]
Total Deir Ez-Zor evacuees now over 17,000 in last 3 weeks. [..]
15 more Yazidis freed in Al-Baghouz. [..]
Saudi Arabia: UN Human Rights Council slams Saudis for mistreating women activists. [..]
Afghanistan: Militants attack Kabul celebration attended by major Afghan leaders; 3 killed. [..]
India/Kashmir: Indian jihadi throws grenade in a bus station; kills 1, wounds 32. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Iraqi President Barham Salih, saying that Iraq has fought terrorism on the world’s behalf, requested more international support to handle the IDP problem. He said that the victory against Daesh was Iraqi-made, and was not easy. He said that the Iraqi government and the Syrian government cooperated in military and security aspects regarding the Daesh threat.
He added that an agreement was reached with France to try French terrorists in Iraq if they committed crimes inside Iraq. He was speaking to the Saudi TV channel Al-Hadath. [IraqPress] [ElDorar]
On Thursday, a Yazidi human rights organization, the Roja Shingal Organization for Human Rights, called on the Iraqi government not to surrender Daesh members from Syria to foreign states until they undergo a DNA test to prove their nationality and identity, and after thorough investigations to achieve justice and uncover the fate of the thousands of Yazidis remaining with Daesh. [BasNews]
DaeshDaily comment. This raises a good idea. The next few months may be the last chance to recover a significant number of the women and children abducted in 2014. A lot of Daesh members are in custody and virtually all will be subjected to questioning. Asking what they know, and did, in relation to captured Yazidis should be added to the usual questions. The same questions should be asked of all the Daesh women who have arrived at the Al-Hawl camp and other places of refuge. Some of them have answers too. “I don’t know anything” answers should be treated with skepticism. Aside from the investigative initiative, Roja Shingal seems to be betting that DNA tests will identify Daesh children with Yazidi mothers.
Iraq Press published a follow-up video on 4 children who had been abducted by Daesh from Tal Afar and subsequently freed by the SDF. [IraqPress]
The Ninewa Criminal Court sentenced a Daesh convict to death on Thursday. The convict was active in Daesh’s “security squads” in Shirqat. [Sumaria]
South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)
Baghdad Ops Command said that the 17th Army Division arrested a terrorism suspect in southern Baghdad, while the 6th Army Division and 2nd and 3rd IFP Divisions arrested 15 other suspects on theft, attempted murder, and drug charges in various parts of Baghdad. [Ghad]
Iraq designated large areas of the Anbar desert as “military zones” following reports of Daesh fighters entering these areas. The Iraqi Armed Forces called on shepherds, Bedouins, and truffle gatherers, among others, to leave these areas until further notice. Iraqi and Coalition planes carried out airstrikes on targets near Kubaisa, and continue to monitor the area. A “wide–scale” land operation by Iraqi forces to clear the desert of Daesh elements was also announced. [Sumaria]
A security source in Anbar says 300 hand grenades, in addition to detonators and other explosive materials, were recovered from the Habbaniya Lake area. The source described the materials as Daesh war detritus. [BasNews]
Anah (including Rawa)
A security source in Anbar said that an IED exploded in the Anah desert, killing 1 truffle harvester and wounding 2 others. [BasNews]
Samarra Ops Command said that army helicopters attacked Daesh positions near Al-‘Uwrah and Al-Kosh (spelling approx.) in northeastern Samarra, destroying a vehicle and killing 3 fighters. [Ghad]
Sadiq Al-Husseini, of the Security Committee for the Diyala Provincial Council, says that Diyala security personnel have arrested many so-called ”Daesh look-alikes,” who are actually crooks extorting people by claiming they are members of Daesh, but are not Daesh members. [Buratha]
Peshmerga leaders said on Thursday that the Iraqi Army requested its support on Wednesday night after Daesh launched an attack on PMF forces. A Peshmerga leader from Makhmur said that Daesh attacked a PMF vehicle convoy, first killing the drivers and then killing 4 other PMF members. 39 others were injured in the attack. He said other PMF fighters were also missing, with their fates unknown. Another Iraqi security leader said that between 70 to 100 PMF members were missing, killed, or injured in the attack. The source said that the attack occurred in west Kirkuk. [BasNews]
A statement from the 15th PMF Brigade, who were attacked in the incident, said that the attack took place in Kirkuk Province. [PressIraq]
Forat wrote that security personnel and Army Air carried out a “large” operation on Wednesday evening to track down the perpetrators. [Forat]
A security source said that the Director of Security for the PMF had arrived in Kirkuk city on Thursday to investigate the incident. The source said that he formed a commission of inquiry and asked city residents to report Daesh sleeper cells. The Director of Security said that an intelligence effort would begin immediately to track down the perpetrators of the attack. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. Much is unclear in this terrible incident. Some clarity on where the attack took place would be a good start. Our first question would be why such a large number of military personnel were traveling through an unstable area with no weapons; military and police have often been attacked while off-duty. Our second question would be how many security personnel were traveling with this convoy. There is nothing in the story so far to suggest that anybody shot back.
Fadhil Al-Garawi, a member of the Iraqi High Human Rights Commission, said on Thursday that 4,720 bodies had been recovered in Ninewa Province as of March 10. 2,666 bodies have been identified, 851 of which were children. [Sumaria]
See major Makhmur-related story under Kirkuk above
A senior Ninewa police source said on Thursday that while Daesh members were still trying to hide in Mosul among the citizenry, they were routinely reported and arrested. The source said terrorists no longer had a chance to meet each other or form groups or cells in Mosul. [Forat]
The MoI says it dismantled a car–rigging gang in Mosul. The gang, composed of 6 persons, was based in the industrial neighborhood in west Mosul. They used to steal cars were left behind after war operations against Daesh. They would disassemble the cars and change their chassis and engine numbers. [BasNews]
The Directorate of Military Intelligence said it arrested a Daesh security officer in Hatra, saying he was also among the “most dangerous” perpetrators of the Camp Speicher massacre. [Sumaria]
Dindar Zebari, the coordinator of international relations for the KRG, described the recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, which alleged that Kurdish authorities are torturing children to admit their Daesh affiliation, as lacking in both objectivity and impartiality. [Rudaw]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
The US is pressuring its European allies to commit by Friday to a US proposal to “stabilize” northeastern Syria, according to US officials, without specifying the details of the plan. [WSJ]
The US said that the conclusions of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation committee confirm the role of the Syrian government in the chlorine attack in eastern Ghouta in 2018. The US said that the violators should be held accountable. [EnabBaladi]
General Joseph Votel, the Commander of CENTCOM, says Daesh fighters leaving Al-Baghouz are still radicals, and that elimination of Daesh is still a far-reaching goal. He noted that most of them did not say that they regretted joining Daesh. [Sumaria] [AFP]
According to BBC Arabic, Hayat Boumediene, known as “the most wanted woman in France,” was killed in a Coalition airstrike in Al-Baghouz. She allegedly participated in the 2015 Paris attacks that left 130 people dead. [Sumaria]
An explosion on Taranda village road in Afrin killed a Turkish soldier and wounded 2 others. [Hawar]
Daesh said on Thursday that it wounded the SDF security official of the Al-Karama area, along with one of his associates, and damaged their vehicle with an IED. [ICDNMar7-Telegram]
Central and West
The SOHR reported 3 airstrikes on Saraqib, southeast of Idlib city, which wounded a woman and a child. Syrian Army troops are also shelling the northwest Hama and northern Latakia. [SyriaHR]
The SOHR said that a commander for the Maghawir Al-Thawra militia, which is backed by the Coalition, was wounded following an attack believed to be by Daesh on his car near Al-Tanaf. [SyriaHR]
Deir Ez-Zor 24 also reported that Daesh fired rockets that blew up a vehicle near Al-Tanaf military base on Thursday. The explosion injured Muhannad Al-Tila’, the Maghawir Al-Thawra leader, who was in a second vehicle, near the one that exploded. [ElDorar]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Albu Kamal District
Over 3,000 Daesh fighters and their families handed themselves over to the SDF in Al-Baghouz. A Belgian Daesh wife said that the Islamic State is in their hearts, and that there are over 1,000 fighters still in Al-Baghouz. She added, “We will raise a new generation of mujahideen to continue the battle.” [Rudaw]
Escapees from Al-Baghouz said that the smell of dead bodies is all over the place, and that the people under siege were drinking water directly from the Euphrates River and living on herbs. US and SDF soldiers were searching men standing in long queues. Most men were from Asian and Russian nationalities, with long beards. Civilians are being taken to the Al-Hawl IDP and refugee camp in Hasaka, while Daesh members are being taken to specialized detention camps. [Sumaria]
The AP wrote that “dozens” of fighting-age men who were suspected of being Daesh members surrendered on Thursday, after which they were separated into groups of Syrians, Iraqis, and other nationalities. The suspected fighters were then searched and interrogated by both SDF fighters and Coalition troops. [AP]
The SOHR said that the SDF is still clearing mined areas in Al-Baghouz, and that some Daesh fighters are still fortifying to fight till the end. It also said that a new group of civilians and Daesh fighters was expected to depart Daesh-held areas on Thursday. 17,480 people, including 2,040 fighters have left the area since February 16. [SyriaHR]
DaeshDaily comment. 17,480! The world’s journalists missed this story as it was happening. As Daesh kept losing territory and retreating, their wives and children and other Daesh civilians retreated with them, until everybody was squeezed into the Al-Baghouz area, a place much too small. Now, with no place left to go and bombs falling, they are surrendering to save their lives. A large percentage are not innocent people, however, and once the immediate crisis is over, there will be an enormous problem over how to manage, feed, process, transport, and apply justice to all those people.
A source within the SDF said on Thursday that battles against Daesh in Al-Baghouz have been sporadic, due to the evacuation of civilians and the continued surrender of Daesh fighters. [BasNews]
An SDF source said on Wednesday that a Yazidi woman and 14 Yazidi children had been freed from Al-Baghouz. They were kidnapped from Sinjar by Daesh in 2014. [BasNews]
A DaeshDaily source said on Thursday that SDF units in the Al-Baghouz area freed 18 children, including 16 Yazidis and 2 Shia from Tal Afar, who had been kidnapped by Daesh.
DaeshDaily comment. While Daesh atrocities against the Yazidis are well documented, it also kidnapped many Shia women and children, especially Shia Turkmen women from Tal Afar.
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
A statement by 36 nations in the UN Human Rights Council condemned Saudi Arabia’s “continuing arrests and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders.” The statement referred specifically to the treatment of Saudi women’s rights activists. [NYT]
The Egyptian MoI said that a gunfight between security personnel and a group of terrorists left 7 terrorists killed and 1 Egyptian officer wounded. The incident took place in Giza, just west of Cairo. [Hawar]
An Egyptian military spokesperson said on Thursday that counter-terrorism personnel in northern Sinai, in coordination with military engineers, found and destroyed 9 tunnels on the northern Sinai border strip. [AhlMisr]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
The Mirror reported that a 27-year-old UK Daesh operative was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for planning to attack Oxford Street and kill over 100 shoppers. The man published a series of videos threatening to carry out the terrorist operation, referring to himself as “Ghost” and “Eagle.” [BasNews]
The German newspaper Bild wrote that German authorities ignored thousands of reports of the presence of war criminals among asylum seekers, due to the large flow of refugees into the country. [ElDorar]
A website affiliated with Al-Shabab claimed that a vehicle bomb in Mogadishu killed 5 and wounded 10 others. The attack reportedly took place on the road leading to the presidential palace. [Rudaw]
Daesh said on Thursday that it killed one soldier and stole weapons and ammunition when it attacked a Nigerian Army checkpoint in Damboa town, in Borno State, with machine guns. [ICDNMar7-Telegram]
At least 3 people were killed and 19 others wounded in mortar attacks in Kabul targeting a gathering of hundreds of people marking the 24th anniversary of the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, leader of the Hezb-e Wahdat party. Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, former President Hamid Karzai, former National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, former Vice President Yunus Qanuni, Acting Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, Second Deputy Chief Executive Mohammed Mohaqiq, and other officials were at the ceremony. No high-ranking official was hurt in the attack. But sources said that Abdul Latif Pedram, a presidential candidate and head of the National Congress Party of Afghanistan, sustained injuries in the attack. In a statement later, President Ghani condemned the attack and called it “a criminal act”. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said that 1 suspect was arrested. [TOLONews]
Officials from the Ministry of Public Health said later that 3 people had died and 22 others had been injured in the attack. [Khaama]
Daesh’s version said on Thursday it killed or wounded more than 30 people when it targeted a Shia gathering with 62 mortar shells and 15 rockets, attended by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, senior government officials, and parliament members, in District 6, in Kabul city. Daesh also said 2 of its terrorists clashed with security personnel at the gathering, using machine guns. [ICDNMar7-Telegram]
The Afghan MoI said on Wednesday that a “prominent” leader of the Haqqani network, Mullah Mirwais, had been arrested in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]
Indian police said that 1 civilian was killed and 32 wounded by a hand grenade attack in a bus station in Jammu city, in the Indian part of Kashmir. The attacker is reportedly a radical Indian jihadi who was previously arrested before fleeing to Kashmir. [Sumaria]
On Thursday, Daesh published the 178th issue of its Naba’ magazine. In this issue, Daesh published the usual infographic about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Somalia, west Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan during the last week. It claimed it conducted 44 attacks, killing or wounding 156 people and destroying 13 vehicles.
DaeshDaily comment. Of course, Daesh didn’t mention Al-Baghouz.
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