An Update On ISIS Activities

January 18, 2019

 

Notice to our readers: ​​​​ In observance of the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we will not be publishing on Monday and will return on Tuesday. Please enjoy the holiday.​​ 

 

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. FarmerChief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent

 ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer ​​ ​​ ​​​​ Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon​​ M. Kent

 

 

 

Operations Support Specialist Scott Wirtz

Operations Support Specialist Scott Wirtz

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Turkey will establish two new consulates, in Kirkuk and Najaf, & open new border crossing.​​ [..]

10 Daesh operatives arrested in Mosul. [..]

Basra protesters set fire to police station. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan will discuss “safe zone” concept with Putin.​​ [..]

 

Syria

McGurk says Syria withdrawal decision may cause the re-emergence of Daesh.​​ [..]

Anti-American demonstration in Baghdad undone by bad weather. [..]

2 Turkish soldiers, 5 pro-Turkey militiamen killed in southwest Afrin. [..]

4 Americans killed in Manbij blast identified. [..]

Syrian troops, Tahrir Al-Sham suddenly in combat in, near Aleppo city.​​ [..]

Some Daesh still fighting in Al-Susah, but 35 killed. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen: ​​ UN says over 1 million people are displaced from Hodeida.​​ [..]

Russia: ​​ Serbia police arrest Daesh member trying to assassinate Putin.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS​​ FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Council of Representatives

Mansour Al-Baiji, a Bina’ CoR member said that the final touches​​ are being placed​​ on the​​ proposed legislation​​ to remove all foreign forces​​ from Iraq. He says the law includes evacuating all military bases including those in the Kurdistan region. According to him, the legislation will be up for a vote soon. [Sumaria]

 

A Gulf paper says political differences are delaying the approval of Iraq’s 2019 budget. Kurdish groups may not vote for it because of the continuing issue over their budget share; the Kurds want to return it to 17%, while other parties want to keep it at 12%. [Sumaria]

 

Reconstruction

The Secretary General​​ of the Arab League​​ stated that the​​ Arab League​​ summit​​ in Tunisia​​ would​​ address “all Arab issues,” including​​ reconstruction in Iraq. [Sumaria]

 

A political source said that the​​ “digital wall” recently approved by the​​ Iraqi National Security Council was a set of measures to protect​​ official, business, and social​​ Iraqi institutions from cyber attacks.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Sumaria​​ published photos of Jazeera Operations Command military units stationed along the Iraq-Syria border as they bombarded Daesh positions with artillery fire on Friday. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Foreign ​​ policy

The Turkish Foreign Ministry says it will activate its consulates in Basra and Mosul, and start 2 new ones,​​ in Kirkuk and Najaf.​​ The spokesman said that a​​ new border crossing is​​ being opened with Iraq to enhance trade relations. He says the opening of these consulates show​​ the​​ Turkish will to embrace all of Iraq, adding his country disapproves​​ of​​ sanctions against Iran which will mainly harm​​ the​​ Iranian people. [Anadolu]

 

BAGHDAD

Center​​ (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

A sudden and severe​​ deterioration of the​​ weather prevented a demonstration from occurring in Baghdad. The demonstration was arranged by​​ pro-Iran​​ groups and would have demanded that US troops leave Iraq. [Basnews]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

On Friday military intelligence units arrested a Daesh fighter in​​ the Qarma​​ subdistrict. [Ghad]​​ 

 

A similar story reported on Friday​​ says that​​ military intelligence units found a large stockpile of IEDs in​​ Qarma. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that 2​​ PMF members were killed and​​ 2​​ others wounded when an IED destroyed their pickup vehicle on the road between Baiji and Haditha.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Daesh kidnapped​​ 2​​ tribal PMF fighters near Zuwiya village.

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said it set a poultry farm and 5 vehicles that belonged to an Iraqi Army “spy”​​ on fire​​ and stole his weapon on Tuesday in the Buhriz area. [ICDNJan18]​​ 

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

The Muqdadiya​​ District Council​​ stated that​​ war-related​​ damage to state offices is about IQD 19 billion. The damage to civil property, houses, and shops is about IQD 37 billion​​ and the agriculture and business sectors have suffered about IQD 30 million. [Rudaw]

 

KIRKUK

Southwest ( Rashad)

Daesh said on Thursday it damaged a vehicle carrying PMF soldiers with an IED in 7th of Nisan village, in Rashad subdistrict. [A3maq]

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that local police units captured 6 Daesh​​ operatives​​ in Al-Wihda, Al-Intisar, and Al-Mithaq neighborhoods, in east Mosul. The source said one of them​​ was a senior official at Daesh’s “office of education.”​​ 

 

In a very similar story, the MoI reported that the 7th​​ police battalion under Ninewa Police Command arrested 4 Daesh operatives​​ from​​ Daesh’s Ministry of Defense​​ and captured 2 Daesh vehicles. The arrests were made in​​ Al-Intisar, Al-Wihda, and Karama neighborhoods in​​ east Mosul​​ and Tilul Al-Atshana​​ (Hamidat subdistrict, just​​ west of​​ Mosul city. [Sumaria]

 

The Directorate of Military Engineering, an explosives treatment battalion, and the director of land mines claim to have cleared “many” homes, buildings, streets, and mosques of IEDs and undetonated mines in the old section of Mosul city. [Madar]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that 2 PMF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack near the southern entrance of Hatra city.​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

On Friday evening, angry protesters set fire to a police station in Basra,​​ demonstrating against corruption and​​ poor​​ services. [Basnews]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS​​ 

You are invited to add information to or comment on any Daesh Daily story, about Iraq or other countries​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Political developments

The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that President Erdogan would discuss developing a safe zone in Syria, similar to that in​​ Idlib,​​ with his Russian counterpart. [Eldorar]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat​​ reported that the SDF had presented a “road map” to Russia for the SDF to join forces with the Syrian regime. [Qasioun]

 

Former leader of the International Coalition against Daesh, Brett McGurk, said that President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria would cause the reemergence of Daesh. [Rudaw]

 

United Nations

On Friday, the UN Secretary General said that any plan for north Syria must take Turkey’s legitimate concerns into account. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Debka, an Israeli intelligence website, reported that there are about 10,000 pro-Iran Iraqi militants on the Syria-Iraq border waiting to enter Syria and confront Daesh if the Syrian government agrees. It would be the second major pro-Iran entry into Syria since 2014. [Qasioun]

 

Last Friday,​​ Sada​​ published an article warning that despite losing its territory​​ in Hajin, instability in Iraq and Syria allows​​ Daesh to survive. [Sada]

 

Northwest

Afrin

On Friday​​ Hawar​​ reported that​​ the​​ Mahmudiya neighborhood in Afrin witnessed an explosion. [Hawar]

 

Afrin Liberation forces​​ killed​​ 5 pro-Turkey militiamen​​ and 2 Turkish soldiers​​ in Jinderes, southwest Afrin,​​ according to Kurdish media. [Hawar]

 

Manbij​​ 

The​​ SOHR​​ says that investigations into the Manbij attack that killed US soldiers revealed that 2 people at least, a man and woman, were involved in the attack. The search for the man is underway in​​ the​​ area​​ controlled by the​​ Manbij​​ Military​​ Council. [SyriaHR]

 

BBC​​ reported that 3 of the 4 US citizens who were killed in the blast on Manbij​​ have been identified as​​ Jonathan Farmer,​​ a soldier;​​ Shannon Kent,​​ a sailor​​ and cryptography specialist, and Scott Wirtz​​ a civilian​​ but a former Navy Seal. [BBC]​​ The fourth was an Arab-American language specialist.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that the suicide terrorist who blew himself up in Manbij​​ had been at​​ Al-Hawl Camp in Hasaka. The source said that Daesh has “hundreds” of suicide terrorists in the camp and is recruiting more.​​ 

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

Sputnik​​ says intense fighting is taking place in Rashideen​​ (Aleppo city),​​ Al-Zahra’​​ (Shia town north of Aleppo​​ city), and Maalia​​ (spelling approx.)​​ in Aleppo between​​ Tahrir Al-Sham​​ and the Syrian Army,​​ in which​​ the​​ Army​​ employed​​ heavy artillery. The fighting began late Thursday night and was reported to be ongoing on Friday. [Syrianow]

 

Local sources reported a large​​ explosion​​ on Friday that​​ hit a military command center in Idlib,​​ killing 15​​ people​​ including 9 civilians. [Enabbaladi]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

SOHR​​ reported​​ that​​ Coalition planes​​ maintain their presence​​ over​​ the small 15 km2 ​​​​ remaining​​ area​​ held by Daesh​​ in Albu Kamal,​​ accompanied by continued pressure by SDF on Daesh.​​ 

The​​ SOHR​​ says 1,122 Daesh militants​​ have been​​ killed since September 10, 2018​​ and​​ 621 SDF fighters​​ have been​​ killed during the same period.​​ 367 civilians,​​ including 130 children,​​ have been​​ killed. [SyriaHR]

 

SOHR​​ reported​​ that​​ when​​ the​​ SDF advanced​​ yesterday​​ into​​ Al-Susah, Daesh detonated​​ 2​​ vehicles bombs. It​​ also​​ said​​ that​​ the​​ SDF is​​ now​​ encircling 15 Daesh fighters who failed to escape​​ Al-Susah​​ under bad weather conditions. It reported 8 Daesh militants and 2 SDF fighters were​​ killed. However, it also says​​ Daesh managed to retrieve several positions​​ in Al-Susah​​ after pushing SDF units back. [SyriaHR]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

On Friday​​ SDF​​ leaders announced that its units had killed and injured 35 Daesh members in Al-Susah. [Sumaria]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

The UN says in a report that over 1 million people​​ have​​ escaped Hodeida since the start of the Yemen war. The total number of families that left Hodeida from June 2018 to January 2019 is 174,717 families,​​ and 48,300​​ additional​​ individuals. [Rudaw]

 

North Africa

Egypt

The Fatwa Observatory​​ analyzed a Daesh​​ publication,​​ published January 2019, called,​​ “Refuting the Suspicions of the Retractors of the Muslim State” which highlights lying and deceit as a “lifeline” for the organization. The review notes that this is a marked​​ transformation in Daesh​​ ideology, which had previously been​​ more​​ aggressive.​​ [AhlMisr]

 

Libya

The Libyan Army on Friday was able to kill a prominent​​ Daesh​​ leader in​​ Al-Shati​​ in south Libya. ​​ [Madar]

 

Anadolu​​ reported that Khalifa Haftar’s forces,​​ the Libyan National Army,​​ killed 3 Daesh fighters in Sabha,​​ in​​ south​​ Libya,​​ during an operation to clear areas northwest of Sabha. One of the fighters killed was an Egyptian national. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

On Thursday a Canadian court​​ convicted a woman​​ of​​ committing terrorist acts​​ and attempting​​ four times​​ to join terrorist organizations times.​​ She was arrested in 2017.​​ [FaceIraq]

 

EUROPE

Russia

According to Russian media, Serbian security forces arrested a Daesh operative who had been planning to assassinate President Putin during his visit to Serbia on Thursday. The site says the man is a member of a local Daesh cell, and that a sniper rifle and a knife were found in his possession. [Anadolu]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh published on Thursday the 165th​​ issue of its​​ Al-Naba​​ magazine, including​​ an infographic about its attacks last week in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, west Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It​​ claims​​ it conducted 74 attacks,​​ killing or wounding​​ more than 200 people and destroying 39 vehicles. In this issue also, Daesh claimed responsibility for the apartment building explosion and a commuter bus bombing in the​​ Russian city of Magnitogorsk. It said 39 people were killed and “tens” were missing​​ from​​ the first explosion, and three commuters were killed in the second explosion.​​ 

Al-Naba’​​ also published an “interview” with one​​ of the​​ Daesh terrorists in Manbij, who gave details about the Coalition and the SDF presence in the city, and threatened more attacks against them. The terrorist also claimed that Syrian Army officers had visited the city several times and met with SDF officials. [ICDNJan17]

 

On Dec 31, 2018, a section of an apartment block in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk collapsed in what the authorities reported was a utility gas explosion. A total of 39 bodies were found at the site. The next day, Jan 1, 2019, a commuter bus exploded in the city’s district where the affected building is located. Certain media outlets in Russia reported that the two incidents were connected and that a house explosion was in fact a terrorist act. Russia’s Investigative Committee has refuted​​ the​​ allegations. [Unian]

The Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) said an Islamic State affiliate in the North Caucasus had planted a bomb “between the third and 10th floors” of the apartment block in the Urals city.

Russia’s Investigative Committee released a statement Friday saying that all explanations were being considered in its ongoing probe into the blast. The​​ Committee said, however,​​ that a gas leak was being considered as the most likely explanation and reiterated that no traces of explosive materials had been found at the site of the explosion.

“I call on journalists to refrain from trusting the messages of terrorist organizations, which, as is well-known, attribute all high-profile incidents in the world to themselves,”​​ said​​ the committee’s spokesperson, Svetlana Petrenko, in​​ the​​ statement.

Meanwhile, a widely circulated report published Friday by journalist Nikita Mogutin claimed that the apartment blast had been caused by explosives planted by three men who had planned a series of terrorist attacks in Magnitogorsk on New Year’s Eve. The unconfirmed report based on unnamed sources claimed that another explosive device had been found in the city on Jan. 1 and that the three plotters had been killed after attempting to flee security forces. [MoscowTimes]​​ 

 

 

 

January 17, 2019

 

A sign on the side of a building

Description automatically generated

Sinjar (DD Jan 16)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iran’s Foreign Minister moves to undermine western role in Iraq reconstruction.​​ [..]

Iraq​​ Chief of Staff, CENTCOM’s General Votel, say the US-Iraq relationship is at its highest level.​​ [..]

Concern expressed over continuing displacement of Khanaqin villagers due to Daesh attacks. [..]

Security cameras installed in public places in Mosul city. [..]

PMF withdrawal from Sinjar city triggers a clean-up campaign. [..]

 

Turkey

Diplomatic dialogue turns to proposed “safe zone” for NE Syria. [..]

 

Syria

Trump reiterates intention to withdraw from Syria (& Afghanistan); Macron reiterates France’s intention to stay in Syria through 2019.​​ [..]

FBI investigators arrive in Manbij. [..]

SDF now in control of Al-Susah as Daesh fighters retreat.​​ [..]

2,200 civilians escape fighting, but 30 escaping from Al-Sha’afa killed by Daesh. [..]

SDF rescues 7 Yazidi women enslaved since 2014. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Iran: ​​ Iran’s oil production steadily dropping due to US sanctions. [..]

Saudi Arabia: ​​​​ British MP issues Saudi monarchy a warning. [..]

Egypt: ​​ Daesh sets Rafah Central Hospital on fire. [..]

Tunisia: ​​ Government caught between general strike and the IMF.​​ [..]

Nigeria: ​​​​ Recent Boko Haram attacks have displaced 40,000 people.​​ [..]

Afghanistan:Khalilzad diplomatic road show returns to Kabul. [..]

 Afghan military, Coalition kill 77 Taliban in multiple incidents. [..]

Pakistan: ​​ Mastermind of mass-casualty suicide attack killed in Pakistan. [..]

  

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

Iran’s​​ Foreign Minister​​ Mohammed Javad​​ Zarif​​ said that Iranian companies should be given the priority in reconstructing Iraq, as opposed to American or European companies, because of its previous support and the logistical complications of working with American or European companies. [SkyPress]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Notwithstanding that those companies come from countries that have pledged enormous amounts of money to reconstruct Iraq, whereas Iran’s case lies only in its “previous support,​​ to use Zarif’s own words.​​ Presumably this means, for example, that reconstruction projects funded by German money would have to be implemented by Iranian companies. That​​ would go over big in the EU.

 

Zarif also met with tribal leaders in southern Iraq.​​ Bas News​​ says that it is unclear if the meeting was approved​​ by the Iraqi government first. Two​​ days prior, Zarif attended an economic forum in Najaf. Iraqi politician Hamid Al-Kafa’i tweeted that Zarif’s visits to local Iraqi leaders were intended to show Washington that the Iraq people were more sympathetic to Iran than they are. A leader within the National Coalition questioned the “diplomatic logic” of Zarif’s visits. [BasNews]

 

Foreign policy

Zarif says that Iran will not allow the US to interfere in Iran-Iraq relations. He says, “They’ll go, and we will stay,” saying that Iran has everything that Iraq needs to develop its economy. He called on Iraq to annul the need for entry visas between the​​ two​​ countries, adding that trade exchange between the two countries is $8 billion.​​ [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If we understand the distinguished gentlemen correctly, it is impermissible for the Americans to interfere, and powerful Iran will stop them, but it is completely appropriate for Iran to interfere. We understand that Iran is angry over Trump’s unilateral sanctions, and is trying to cause some pain in exchange for the suffering​​ imposed on them. However, it’s not in Iraq’s interest to base its foreign policy on Iran’s self-serving propaganda instead of sustaining all the support it is receiving from the West. So in the end, Zarif may only be painting Iran into a corner​​ by undermining the Iraqi government he professes to be trying to help​​ and​​ providing more justification to the Trump Administration to continue the sanctions

 

However, the Chief of Staff for the Army, Othman Al-Ghanimi, met on Thursday with General Joseph Votel, commander of CENTCOM. Both commanders say that cooperation and coordination between Iraq and the US is at its best levels so far. [Sumaria]

 

Atheel Al-Nujaifi, former Governor of Ninewa, said that he was not aware of a US demand to Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi to​​ dismantle 67 PMF militias, saying only the Prime Minister can respond to such question. He also said, “In my opinion, if you want to build a state, then only the state should be armed.” Meanwhile, Mithal Al-Alusi, head of the Iraqi Umma party, says fulfilling the US demand is a must​​ in order​​ to build a state. [BasNews]

 

RT​​ reported on Thursday that a source within the Iraqi government said that the US warned Iraq that it would not get involved if Israel attacked PMF positions​​ in Syria. [BasNews]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The explanation here might not be immediately obvious, but presumably refers to the fact that certain pro-Iran Iraqi PMFs have, in apparent violation of government policy, joined Iranian units fighting in Syria. Any​​ PMFs​​ who happen to be at Iran-occupied bases or military positions when Israel launches one of its periodic attacks on Iranian missile​​ &​​ rockets​​ sites,​​ for example,​​ could be killed along with the Iranian soldiers.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The US Department of Defense announced on Monday that it would evaluate whether or not US and Coalition assistance is enough to enable Iraqi special forces to defeat Daesh. [Sawa] [DoD]

 

Security sources said on Thursday that Iraqi forces were on a state of alert at the border with Syria following Daesh attacks on the SDF in Hajin and Al-Susah, eastern Deir Ez-Zor Province, Syria.​​ [IraqPress]​​ 

 

Al-Mada​​ claimed that the number of US forces at the border with Syria had risen, writing that official numbers say there are 5,000 US troops in the country, but their sources said there were over 10,000, and that 9,000 of them were deployed in Anbar following recent developments in Syria. [AlMada]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The latter number presumably includes the usual number of airborne troops in Haditha, who are not there for border security.​​ The implication of several recent Iraqi stories is that Daesh is attacking the SDF and menacing the Iraq border. The real story is that Daesh fighters approaching the border are​​ in retreat, have now been backed up to positions near the Iraq border,​​ and are​​ most​​ likely trying to escape from a losing and life-threatening ​​ situation.​​ In short, there is more activity along the border​​ because the fighting in Deir Ez-Zor has moved close to the border.

 

BAGHDAD

On Thursday a political source said demonstrations were being arranged in Baghdad on Friday to demand that US forces withdraw from Iraq. [BasNews]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It will be instructive to see which political parties the demonstrators identify with.

 

Baghdad Ops Command said that it had arrested 8 wanted persons in various locations in Baghdad, including 1 person wanted on terrorism charges. [Ghad]

 

ANBAR

The Security Committee of the Anbar Provincial Council says that tribal pressure is preventing Daesh members’ families from returning to their home areas. It says that security personnel had moved those families out of the areas to avoid acts of revenge against them. A proposed solution is to move these families to other areas, where they would not be known and could be safe. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ A more helpful solution would be for the Anbar PC members to get up the political courage to face down the tribe leaders applying the pressure. The Daesh families have to live somewhere; they can’t​​ be​​ kept in camps indefinitely. It would be better to resettle them in their own communities than in someone else’s, incorporating some reconciliation program into the return process.

 

Ramadi

The Directorate of Military Intelligence said on Thursday that its detachments in the 10th​​ Brigade found a cache of equipment in the Thirthar​​ Desert​​ in northern​​ Anbar, including mortar launchers, mortar rounds, and “Hellfire” rockets. [Ghad]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

No reports

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

A source reported that the displacement of families from villages around Khanaqin has not stopped for “many months” due to Daesh. A source said that Mardan village is completely empty because of Daesh, and many other villages in the area are nearly empty. [BaghdadToday]

 

Daesh published on Thursday photos of setting on fire the houses of two IFP members in the Mikhas area, near Khanaqin city. [ICDNJan17]

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that IFP units shot and killed 3 Daesh terrorists on Wednesday in an ambush near Tarqiya village​​ in Al-Zab.​​ 

 

Southwest (Rashad)

The PMF media office said on Thursday that units from the 16th​​ PMF Brigade had fired on Daesh members riding motorcycles in Rashad, injuring some of them and causing the rest to flee toward the​​ Wadi Zeghitun area.​​ [PressIraq]​​ [Ghad]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is the second day in a row that Daesh motorcycle terrorists have been fired on, yesterday from the air. Hopefully it’s a trend and not incidental.

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Tel Keif)

The PMF media office said on Thursday that anti-explosives units in the 50th​​ PMF Brigade had cleared 128 IEDs and 5 missiles left behind by Daesh in villages in Tel Keif. [Forat]​​ [IraqPress]​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Wednesday, security services installed cameras in public places in several areas of Mosul city.​​ 

 

A security source said on Thursday that Civil Defense units had recovered the bodies of 2 women, which had been trapped under rubble, in west Mosul. [PressIraq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that National Security Service units arrested a tribal PMF member in Al-Sukkar neighborhood, north Mosul. The source said the man had claimed to be an MoI officer and extorted money from local merchants.​​ He​​ had even set up a fake “MoI intelligence” office in the area.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that the Sinjar Municipality reopened the main roads and started a clean-up campaign after PMF units​​ withdrew from​​ the city.​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

On Thursday, the Counter-Terrorism Directorate announced that 2 Daesh security officers were arrested in Erbil. [Sumaria]

 

*  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ *  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ *  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ *  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ *

 

READER COMMENT

A reader who prefers to remain anonymous reacted to our story about PMF-organization statements blaming some rather blatant corruption on the previous tenure of PM Abd Ul-Madhi as Minister of Oil.​​ He discerns “a possible link between the Baiji accusations against Abd Ul-Mahdi and the efforts of the big PMF groups to weaken him.” “It has been my fear from the beginning of his administration that Abd​​ Ul-Mahdi will be tarred with the corruption brush arising from his time at the Oil Ministry. Shia leaders, in linkage to Iran, operate to keep Abd Ul-Mahdi weak. The Baiji accusations are simply a move in this game, in my view.”

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

Turkey’s​​ Foreign Minister stated that establishing a​​ safe zone​​ in Syria,​​ in cooperation with Washington,​​ would result in bringing Syrians back home,​​ “especially Kurds,” and countering terrorism. [ElDorar]

 

Turkish media sources say that the “safe zone” in northern Syria proposed by President Trump would be 32 km “deep” and 460 km in length. It would include cities and towns from 3 Syrian provinces, i.e. Aleppo, Raqqa, and Hasaka. One report also alleged that there was a secret US-Russian agreement related to the future of this area, the Turkish role, and the Kurds’ position, in which some autonomy for them was proposed. A Syrian opposition source says US does not want to lose either side, Turkey or​​ its Kurdish​​ allies. [BasNews]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

Geir Pederson, the​​ new​​ UN Special Enjoy to Syria, is meeting the opposition negotiating commitee following his meeting with Walid Al-Mu’allem, the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, which he described as “constructive.” He agreed with the Syrian Minister on continuing the meetings, as there are still many issues to be discussed. [SyriaNow]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The SDF promised on Thursday to step up offensives against Daesh, following the Manbij bombing that killed US soldiers. [BasNews]

 

Foreign Policy

United States

The US website​​ The Hill​​ says that President Trump confirmed to Republican Senators his commitment to withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan. [Arabi21]

 

France

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday that French forces would remain in Iraq and Syria throughout 2019. He said that France’s goal in Syria and Iraq is to eradicate Daesh. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment:​​ Who is the leader of the Coalition?

 

Northwest

Afrin

The Kurdish​​ militia Adrian Liberation Forces says​​ they killed 5​​ pro-Turkey militia fighters​​ and wounded 3​​ in operations in various parts of Afrin. [Hawar]

 

Manbij

The SOHR reported​​ that “highlevel​​ investigations​​ have​​ followed​​ the Manbij attack that​​ killed​​ Americans. It says​​ that​​ an FBI team has arrived​​ in​​ the area and​​ has​​ started​​ investigations​​ on the attack​​ that hit​​ the​​ restaurant​​ in Manbij, now said to have​​ killed​​ 4 US soldiers​​ and other​​ DoD personnel,​​ 15 of their escorts, and 10 civilians. [SyriaHR]

 

The​​ New York Times​​ wrote on Thursday that Daesh attacked the Palace of the Princes restaurant in Manbij on Wednesday after it became common knowledge that American troops frequented the restaurant. The​​ NYT​​ wrote that this raised questions as to whether US troops had “developed a false sense of security in a conflict zone.” [NYT]

 

On Thursday evening, Manbij security forces foiled a land-mine planting operation, killing the perpetrator as he attempted to escape. [Hawar]

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

No reports

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh’s​​ A3maq​​ news service says Daesh targeted two SDF vehicles in Yamama​​ village in Dhiban with IEDs,​​ which it says​​ killed​​ five​​ SDF soldiers,​​ including a commander, and​​ wounded​​ five​​ others. Daesh​​ also​​ says it destroyed another vehicle in​​ Al-Jardhi village,​​ killing​​ or wounding​​ ten​​ SDF fighters. [ElDorar]

In another version,​​ Daesh said on Thursday it killed nine SDF soldiers, wounded eleven others, and damaged their truck with an IED in Dernaj village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [A3maq] [ICDNJan17-Telegram]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We have no confirmation of any of these stories but can’t disprove them either. Some skepticism is in order, however. Daesh has already lost Mayadin and the battles have moved further south. It is apparently making local attacks in Dhiban in an effort to recover some foothold there, but​​ the real intent of these “victorious” stories is to distract attention from the fact that it has already lost in Mayadin.

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

On Thursday, the SDF gained control over​​ the subdistrict capital of​​ Al-Susah. Local sources said that the SDF entered the city after Daesh withdrew its forces on Wednesday evening. Over 200 individuals of Syrian and Iraqi nationalities departed Al-Susah after Daesh’s defeat and headed for Al-Sha’afa, which is​​ now​​ controlled by the SDF. Deir Ez-Zor local media reported that most of them were Daesh​​ members​​ who decided to surrender, and that the militias brought them to Al-Hawl camp,​​ near Hasaka. [Qasioun]

 

The Coalition said that a “precision strike” had destroyed a Daesh command-and-control facility in a mosque in Safafiyah on Thursday. The Coalition’s statement said that by using the mosque, Daesh was violating the Law of Armed Conflict and had caused the mosque to lose its protected status.​​ 

 

The SOHR reported continued Coalition plane activities in the skies of eastern Deir Ez-Zor, while executing “sporadic” attacks on Daesh targets here and there.​​ It said that fighting is ongoing between​​ Daesh and the SDF, as Daesh is defending the last 15​​ square kilometers​​ it holds in the area. The SOHR reported that more​​ Coalition reinforcements​​ are​​ entering the battlefront areas,​​ as well as trucks to transport civilians​​ fleeing Daesh-held​​ areas. [SyriaHR]

 

Opposition sources say 2,200 people, mostly women and children, fled the areas of the fighting in Albu​​ Kamal,​​ heading to SDF-held IDP camps. They say that an estimated 180 Daesh fighters are among them. [Qasioun]

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said SDF units found the bodies of 30 civilians who had been killed by Daesh because they were trying to escape Al-Sha’afa. The source said that more civilians were killed during the battles.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Tuesday, SDF units freed 7 Yazidi women in Al-Sha’afa who had been kidnapped by Daesh from Sinjar in 2014.

 

Notwithstanding what looks like a victorious day for the SDF, all of the following “victorious” stories were issued by Daesh to create the opposite impression.

Daesh said on Thursday it killed five SDF soldiers in an attack on Al-Susah town “with different kinds of weapons”. [ICDNJan17-Telegram]

Daesh said on Thursday it destroyed an SDF bulldozer and wounded its driver with an IED near Al-Susah town. [A3maq]

Daesh said it killed an SDF member and wounded others on Wednesday in clashes in Al-Susah town. [A3maq]

In another version, Daesh said it killed or wounded several SDF members on Wednesday with machine guns in Al-Susah “village.” [ICDNJan17]

Daesh published on Thursday photos of an attack on SDF units in Al-Susah town. [ICDNJan17]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Focus on the fact that all five of these “victorious” stories are about attacks on a town that Daesh just lost.

 

Daesh said on Thursday that​​ twelve​​ SDF fighters were killed or wounded when a Daesh suicide terrorist attacked them with a vehicle bomb in Hawi Al-Susah​​ village.​​ 

It also said it killed or wounded “many” SDF members on Wednesday when another suicide terrorist set off a parked car bomb in the same village. [ICDNJan17]

Daesh issued on Thursday photos of battles and a suicide attack in Hawi Al-Susah. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Hawi Al-Susah is a village adjacent to Al-Susah town.​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded several SDF fighters on Wednesday when it “lured” them to a land​​ mine filed in Hawi Al-Susah. [ICDNJan17]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Not another “lured into a land mine story!” This story is just about automatic whenever Daesh has lost control of some important location. They would​​ have you​​ believe that those guys who were smart enough to defeat their terrorists weren’t smart enough to avoid​​ walking into a land mine field.

 

Daesh said on Thursday it targeted SDF “gatherings” in Albu Badran village with​​ twenty​​ SPG-9 rockets and​​ ten​​ mortar shells. [ICDNJan17-Telegram]​​ 

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

*  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ *  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ *  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ *  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ *

 

CORRECTION

In Wednesday’s report, we published a photo we had obtained from one of our sources in Deir Ez-Zor Province. The source said the photo was of Daesh drones found in Al-Sha’afa. We didn’t suspect the photo because it was accompanied by a video of SDF members in the town. However, one of our sharp-eyed readers pointed out that the photo was 2 years old, and it was taken in Damascus and not in Al-Sha’afa.​​ 

 

We hate mistakes. We apologize for this one, and thank our reader for helping.

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

OPEC says that Iran oil production​​ has been reduced​​ by 561,000 barrels per day (bpd),​​ to​​ 2.769 million bpd. The Russian news agency​​ Sputnik​​ says that Iranian oil production has been going down monthly due to US sanctions. [Sumaria]

 

Saudi Arabia

A British MP warned Saudi Arabia of a possibility of a revolution if it does not start reforms and pay attention to freedom of expression in the country. He says that civil society is a part of the political system, which is supposed to be a “consultative” monarchy. [Arabi21]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is a message the Saudi monarchy needs to hear and heed. One question would be whether the US would overcome current tendencies and reinforce the message.

 

Yemen

A Yemeni government source says that Houthis fired at the team of international observers south of Hodeida. According to the source, the Houthis targeted 2 vehicles belonging to the team, which were heading to government-held areas. [Anadolu]

 

Daesh said on Thursday​​ it​​ killed or wounded several Al-Qaeda members, set a motorcycle on fire, and damaged a vehicle when it set off two IEDs in the Al-Abal area, in Qifa. [ICDNJan17-Telegram]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Media sources close to the Egyptian government said that Civil Defense units​​ gained​​ control​​ of​​ a fire that spread because of “high winds” in Rafah Central Hospital. The sources said the fire didn’t cause any casualties and that an investigation was opened to know the reasons for the fire. [GomhuriyaOnline]​​ [ElBalad]

However, other media sources quoted a “security source” as saying that 2 Daesh terrorists set the hospital on fire and shot at the building before fleeing. [MshreqNews] [MaanNews]

Daesh said it set two ambulances on fire on Wednesday in an attack on an “Egyptian Army position” in Rafah Central Hospital. It also said that it wounded Egyptian Army members, who arrived in the hospital after the attack, when it damaged their vehicle with an IED. [ICDNJan17] [A3maq] [A3maq]

 

Tunisia

The Tunisian Workers Union started a general strike in port and railway facilities, due to the government’s refusal to raise the pay of 670,000 workers. Tunisian Airlines says it expects a strike in its office as well by the end of the week. Tunisian Prime Minister Yousif Al-Shahin says the strike is costly to the Tunisian state, but the government is unable to raise salaries at the moment. The unions accused the government of submitting to IMF conditions. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Germany

A German court ruled against allowing a Tunisian who was accused of belonging to Daesh to return to Germany after he traveled to Tunisia last July. The court said that he should not return to Germany, since he had not been exposed to torture or any human rights violations in Tunisia. [FaceIraq]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

The Qatari MoD says it provided a grant of 68 modern military vehicles to the Somali Army, as a gesture of support to the Somali state and armed forces. [Sumaria]

 

Nigeria

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said that Boko Haram’s attack on Rann on Monday had prompted approximately 10,000 people to flee to the border. This follows​​ reports last week that attacks around Baga, near Lake Chad, had displaced more than 30,000. [AFP]

DaeshDaily comment. ​​​​ This would seem to expose the Nigerian government’s repeated assurances after each of the recent attacks as little more than “spin.”

 

The Nigerian Army said that its troops had successfully foiled an attempt by “scores” of Boko Haram fighters to attack Gajiram, north Borno State, on Tuesday. [VanguardNGR]

Daesh had previously said that its Boko Haram​​ affiliate​​ killed or wounded​​ Nigerian soldiers in Gajiram town. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded several Nigerian Army soldiers with mortar shells on Wednesday in Malam Fatori town. [ICDN-Telegram]​​ 

 

Sudan

A Sudanese doctors’ committee announced that on Thursday​​ that​​ a doctor and an 18-year-old, were killed in anti-government protests in Khartoum. [Anadolu] [NYT]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with “top Afghan security and defense officials,” including the acting Ministers of Defense and the Interior, on Wednesday. [Khaama]

 

The Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) said that National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib and Intelligence Chief Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai met with ambassadors from China, Uzbekistan,​​ Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan on Thursday morning to discuss counter-terrorism and regional cooperation. [Khaama]

 

Separate operations of the Afghan Special Forces and the Coalition in Afghanistan killed at least 57 Taliban fighters across various locations in the country. [Khaama]

 

A “large convoy” of Afghan troops arrived in Sherin Tagab​​ District, Faryab Province, northern Afghanistan,​​ following fighting on the road that killed at least 20 Taliban fighters and wounded another 13. The troops also disarmed 15 IEDs on the highway​​ en route. [Khaama]

 

3 fighters affiliated with the Taliban and 1 member of Daesh’s Khorasan affiliate surrendered to Afghan forces in Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan, on Wednesday. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it destroyed a vehicle carrying policemen with an IED on Wednesday near the customs building in Kabul. [ICDNJan17-Telegram]  ​​​​ 

 

Pakistan

A local police official told the​​ Associated Press​​ that security forces had conducted a raid in Hangu​​ District, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,​​ on Wednesday, killing 4 suspected terrorists in a subsequent firefight, including the alleged mastermind of a deadly suicide attack last year in Orakzai. A civilian was accidentally killed in the shootout. 1 of the militants killed was identified as Muhammad Islam, said to responsible for orchestrating the Nov 23 suicide attack in lower Orakzai’s Kalaya bazaar that left at least 32 people dead and 31 injured. According to a security source, Muhammad Islam had ties to the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. [Dawn]

In another version, intelligence sources said on Wednesday that 3 terror suspects, including a​​ top militant commander,​​ were killed in a security operation in Hangu.​​ The sources said​​ the​​ commander​​ was​​ identified as Islam, who​​ they said​​ was involved in a number of militant attacks,​​ including the deadly suicide bombing of a market in Kalaya last year.​​ Intelligence agencies conducted the raid near Qazi pump area of Hangu, where the terror suspects hid in a house. The owner of the house was also killed in the firefight​​ that ensued between the militants and​​ security personnel. [SUCHTV]

 

Daesh said on Thursday it killed or wounded Pakistani Army members in “clashes” in the Orakzai area, southwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It seems like someone at Daesh’s “creative​​ writing​​ department” saw the media reports but got confused about the actual location of the “clashes.” The two reports above mentioned Orakzai as a location for a previous terrorist attack, on November 23, 2018, while the “clashes” actually happened in Hangu. ​​ 

 

SOUTH AMERICA

Columbia

A car bomb attack on the Police Academy in Bogota, Columbia killed 6 people and wounded 10 others.​​ The perpetrators of the incident have not been identified.​​ [Sumaria]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

You are invited to add information to or comment on any Daesh Daily story​​ 

 

 

January 16, 2019

 

A picture containing outdoor, ground, fence, building

Description automatically generated

Daesh Drones Found in Al-Sha’afa (DD Jan 16)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Daesh reported​​ to be​​ reorganizing in Shirqat, Baiji, desert areas. [..]

Daesh Daily source says Daesh still has 1,500 fighters in Hatra-Anbar desert area. [..]

16 Daesh terrorists captured in Hawija by IFP. [..]

 

Syria

Daesh suicide bombing kills 4 Americans in Manbij,​​ [..]

. . . but Pence reiterates to State Dept. that Daesh has been defeated.​​ [..]

UN states concern for Hajin-area Syrians caught in the SDF-Daesh crossfire. [..]

SDF says diehard Daesh fighters in Albu Kamal reduced to 15 square km. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen: ​​ UN Security Council agrees to post 75 international observers in Hodeida.​​ [..]

Nigeria: ​​ Boko Haram makes another attack on Nigerian soldiers in Borno. [..]

Kenya: ​​ Nairobi death toll rises to 21. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Taliban insists US troop withdrawal must be part of negotiations agenda. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Corruption

Al-Mada​​ reported that after the US announced its withdrawal from Syria, about 400 Daesh fighters left Syria and have moved near Mosul.​​ Sot Al-Iraq​​ quoted military sources as saying that the fighters had settled around the Al-Jazeera​​ (desert)​​ area between Ninewa, Salahuddin, and Anbar. It noted that the military sources disagreed about the seriousness of the threat, with some saying that the influx of Daesh fighters directly threatened Mosul, and others downplaying their importance.

Additionally, 7 million tons of scrap iron have been smuggled out of Mosul and sold for very low prices.​​ Reports​​ like these prompted the CoR to create a fact-finding committee in November to investigate the extortion of individuals in Mosul and the monopoly of the real estate market and other issues. An official said that the results of the report would be revealed at the end of the investigation.​​ [SotIraq]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ [AlMada]

 

See also story below under Shirqat.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Central Criminal Court sentenced a man to death for taking part in Daesh’s attack on Badoush prison in Mosul.​​ The same man​​ also participated in Daesh battles in Sinjar and Zummar, and executed prisoners on a sectarian basis. [Sumaria]​​ [SotIraq]

 

On Wednesday, the Ninewa Court​​ of Inquiry for terrorism​​ confirmed​​ the confession of a defendant accused of participating in both the killing of a judge, and in the capture and execution of 5 soldiers in Yathrib subdistrict, Salahuddin. [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif​​ claimed​​ on Wednesday that senior Iraqi officials​​ are​​ determined to cooperate with Iran, but that mid-level and local officials have refused to work with Iran because they fear the US. [Anadolu]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

A police source says unidentified armed men shot and killed a civilian in Taji using silenced pistols. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Anbar Ops Commander for the PMF, Qasim Musleh, said on Wednesday that his units were on alert following a Daesh attack on SDF units on the Syrian side of the border. [Sumaria]

 

Ramadi

2 Daesh members described as “serious”​​ suspects​​ were arrested in an ambush in Zangoura on Wednesday. [BasNews]​​ 

 

A security source reported on Wednesday that Anbar SWAT units arrested 2 Daesh members in Ramadi city. [Sumaria]

 

Hit

A police source in Anbar says unidentified armed men threw a hand grenade at a Daesh family member’s house in the Hit desert, wounding 2 civilians. [BasNews]

 

A security source in Anbar says​​ a​​ Daesh​​ tribal​​ affairs officer​​ was arrested in​​ the​​ Mohammedi area of Hit​​ District.​​ [BasNews]

 

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

The Directorate of Military Intelligence announced on Wednesday that its detachments from the 7th​​ Brigade and the 29th​​ Infantry Brigade seized a​​ Daesh​​ bomb factory​​ in the Rawa District​​ that contained more than 1,300 explosive materials. The factory contained a range of devices and materials involved in the manufacture of explosive devices, such as detonators, detonation timing clocks, and gas cylinders. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

DaeshDaily​​ sources say that Daesh reorganized its groups in the Kan’ous area and is building a “base” for its future operations in​​ the​​ northern Salahuddin and southern Ninewa areas. The sources said that Daesh is spreading rumors that Coalition units are coming back to the Baiji area. Daesh, in coordination with Ba’ath Party members, is forming “resistance” units​​ that will rely​​ on many civilian collaborators. The sources said Daesh is also forcing people​​ who don’t comply with its orders to leave or get killed. Daesh uses mobile phones to threaten people, according to the sources. Daesh is forcing civilians to transport food and other supplies to its terrorists who are hiding. Daesh is also using large amounts of money it had hidden​​ in tunnels in the area to finance its operations. Daesh terrorists are using IDs that belonged to victims Daesh killed, so as​​ to move around undetected. The sources said many people in the area, including tribal PMF fighters, accuse the Iraqi government and security units of ignoring this threat. ​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The “underground caliphate” is up and running. The videos our sources provided us yesterday show clearly that Daesh terrorists are living comfortably in​​ well-lit​​ and wellequipped tunnels in many areas in Salahuddin, Ninewa, and Anbar. Daesh stole hundreds of millions of dollars, and most of that money has not been recovered yet. Daesh can finance its operations for years to come, and can generate more money from corruption and extortion. According to our sources, the situation is similar to what was happening in Mosul and other Iraqi cities prior to 2014.  ​​​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a PMF fighter was killed by a Daesh sniper on Saturday in the Kan’ous area.​​ 

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh kidnapped and wounded tribal PMF members and stole weapons and ammunition on Tuesday in an attack on a military position near Zuwiya village, north of Baiji.​​ 

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh captured​​ and​​ then murdered 2 tribal PMF members on Tuesday near Siniya.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that PMF units stopped​​ a Daesh attack on Ba’aiji village​​ on Monday, killing 2 terrorists and destroying an SUV. The source said two PMF solders were also wounded.​​ 

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that​​ two​​ Oil Facilities Protection policemen were killed and another kidnapped on Tuesday, in a Daesh attack near Allas oilfield.​​ 

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

Daesh said its snipers killed an IFP officer and a soldier on Tuesday in the Qulay area, in Khanaqin. [A3maq]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a KDP official was shot and killed on Tuesday by armed men in an SUV near Al-Musalla Circle, in Kirkuk city.​​ 

 

The Security Media Center reported on Wednesday that an airstrike killed 3 terrorists in Kirkuk who were riding motorcycles. [Ghad] [Forat]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Aside from eliminating a few bad guys, this could be a good sign—that the military is trying to deal with the recent rash of motorcycle-borne Daesh attacks. (See the stories just​​ below.) It is obvious that Daesh is relying less on cars and more on motorcycles, which are harder to react to until it’s too late.

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Hawija subdistrict

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday that IFP units captured 2 men who were smuggling food and medical supplies to Daesh terrorists in the Hawija area using motorcycles. The source said the two men admitted there are more than 800 Daesh terrorists, including foreigners, hiding in the area. The source sent us a photo of the confiscated items.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 4 Daesh terrorists on motorcycles blew up 3 electricity towers near Barima village on Sunday. The source said the terrorists planted IEDs, then set them off using remote controls. The source said the North Electricity Company repaired the towers by Wednesday.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that IFP units captured 16 Daesh terrorists during the last 2 weeks in the Hawija area. The source said that the terrorists were members of 2 groups responsible for planting IEDs and conducting other terrorist activities. The source said some of those terrorists had been captured earlier but were released for lack of evidence.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday, IFP units captured a Daesh terrorist at a checkpoint at the entrance to Hawija. The source said that the man had been in Al-Hawl Camp in Hasaka, then moved to the Jada’a camp in Qayara. The Kirkuk Counterterrorism Court had issued a warrant to arrest him. ​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that IFP and PMF units started a military operation in the Hawija desert area. The source said that 2 PMF soldiers were killed and another wounded during the operation, and that the units killed 2 Daesh terrorists. ​​ 

 

Al-Zab

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that PMF units ambushed and killed 2 Daesh terrorists on Saturday near Shari’a village, in Al-Zab subdistrict.​​ 

 

Abbasi

Daesh said it killed or wounded seven tribal PMF soldiers and destroyed their vehicle on Tuesday with an IED in Tuwairiya village, in Abbasi subdistrict. [ICDNJan16-Telegram]

 

Riyadh

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that IFP units killed​​ 4 Daesh terrorists​​ on Monday​​ in a military operation to clear the valley near​​ Al-Sadouniya village. The source said many terrorists had fled the area on motorcycles towards the south.​​ 

 ​​​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that​​ 4​​ PMF soldiers were killed and six others wounded on Tuesday in a Daesh attack on their military positions near Tarqiya village, in​​ Al-Zab​​ subdistrict.​​ 

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed two IFP soldiers with an IED near Al-Salmani village, in Riyadh subdistrict. [A3maq-Telegram]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 1 PMF soldier had been killed and 2 others wounded on Saturday when a roadside IED exploded on them between Riyadh and Rashad.​​ 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad,​​ Taza,​​ etc.)

Daesh said it damaged an IFP vehicle with an IED on Monday in Albu Rasheed village, in Daquq​​ District. [A3maq]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its units arrested the​​ most dangerous Daesh informer”​​ in​​ east Mosul,​​ nicknamed​​ Ahmed Satellite.​​ He used to inform Daesh of the names of​​ Army and police personnel, who would subsequently​​ be executed by Daesh. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]

 

Mosul District

South (Qayara)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 4 PMF soldiers were wounded on Sunday when an IED destroyed their vehicle on the road between Haj Ali and Al-Imam villages, in Qayara. The source also said that Qayara Police EOD units defused another IED on the same road.​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that there are still more than 1,500 Daesh terrorists in the areas between southern Ninewa and western Anbar. The source said that Daesh controls at least 150 square km (58 square miles) from Al-Sakhri village, south of Hatra, to Sahul Rawa in west Anbar. The source said that during the last week, hundreds of people who had returned from displacement left their houses again.​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

A military source says an explosion of unidentified war detritus killed 1 person and wounded 3 others in the Soran area of Erbil. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

4 US personnel killed in Manbij by suicide bomb

A suicide bombing targeted a joint US-YPG patrol in Manbij on Wednesday.​​ Reuters​​ quoted a US official as saying that 4 US soldiers were killed and 3 wounded in the explosion, for which Daesh claimed responsibility. Pentagon spokesman Sean Robertson subsequently said that of the 4 Americans killed, 2 were soldiers, 1 was a DoD contractor, and 1 was a civilian working for the DoD. The SOHR said that at least 8 people were killed in total. [ElDorar] [Reuters] [CNN]

Russia Today​​ reported that 10 people, including 4 US soldiers, had been killed in the attack. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh says a suicide attacker with an explosives belt attacked a US-YPG patrol, killing 2 US soldiers and wounding 2 others, along with several civilians. YPG units were supposed to provide protection to the patrol. 6 Apache helicopters scanned the area following the attack. [Qasioun]

In another version, Daesh said on Wednesday that it killed nine Coalition soldiers, wounded others, and killed or wounded SDF fighters when one of its suicide terrorists blew himself up on their patrol in Manbij city. [ICDNJan16]

 

Turkish President Erdogan said on Wednesday evening that the explosion in Manbij may influence the US decision to withdraw from Syria. [ElDorar]

 

Foreign policy

United States

Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech on Wednesday at the State Department in which he said of Daesh that “the caliphate has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated.” He said the​​ US would continue to fight to ensure that Daesh did not return, but also reiterated plans to withdraw US troops from Syria and “hand over” the fight against Daesh to US allies.​​ This came about an hour after CENTCOM confirmed that US troops had been killed in an attack in Manbij.​​ [Rudaw]​​ [ElDorar]​​ [Time] [CNN]​​ [Vox]

 

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) urged President Trump to reconsider his stance on withdrawing US troops from Syria, following Wednesday’s attack against US troops in Manbij. [BasNews]

 

Blackwater founder Erik Prince suggested to President Trump that after the US withdrawal, Blackwater mercenaries could be deployed into Syria. [ElDorar] [National]

 

Russia

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that the Syrian Army should take over control of the northern parts of the country. This came in his comments on the US-proposed “safe zone,” saying that only the return of the Syrian Army and government control will ensure peace in the area. He says that Russia supports talks between the Kurds and the Syrian government. [Qasioun]

 

Political developments

The SDF general command says that it supports establishing a “safe zone” in northeast Syria, on the condition that it provides protection for all ethnicities in the area, with international guarantees. [Hawar]

 

The Syrian Foreign Ministry says that any breach of Syrian unity is an act of aggression and occupation. It was commenting on the proposed “safe zone” in northeast Syria, adding that Syria will fight any occupation force, including Turkey. [ElDorar]

 

Middle East

Arab League.​​ Ahmed Aboul Al-Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, questioned whether the US would withdraw from Syria. He says the return of Syria to the Arab League is subject to an “Arab consensus.” [Arabi21]

 

US/Lebanon.​​ The Lebanese daily​​ Al-Akhbar​​ published a US message to Lebanon regarding Syrian participation in the ongoing Arab Economic Summit, held in Beirut. The letter contained threats to Lebanon of economic sanctions if Syria were invited to the Summit, and if Lebanon participated in Syria reconstruction. [ElDorar] [AlAkhbar]

Iran/Israel. ​​​​ The Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Mohammed Ali Jaafari, challenged Israeli threats to Iran in Syria, saying “our forces will remain in Syria.” [Hawar]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Abdul Adhim Rachut, a Pakistani Daesh fighter arrested by the SDF, told his story. He says he came to Turkey, where he could move freely, and then went to Syria, then to a training camp in Baiji. He says he participated in several Daesh battles in Iraq and Syria, and spoke of a special training camp for fighters who will return to Europe. Along with 5 other Daesh fighters, he surrendered to the SDF in eastern Deir Ez-Zor. [Hawar]

 

Northwest

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus

 

See major Manbij stories above under Syria, National News

 

The Political Bureau of the opposition​​ Mu’tasim​​ Brigade, under the Free Syrian Army, accused the PKK of orchestrating the Manbij explosion. [ElDorar]

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

Fighters from the pro-Turkey National Front for Liberation militias are fleeing in large numbers to the areas held by pro-Turkey militias,​​ though the numbers​​ decreased​​ after​​ the agreement signed with Tahrir Al-Sham on Tuesday, says the SOHR. The SOHR noted that many fighters were preparing to evacuate the areas they held in northwest Aleppo. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

United Nations

The UN expressed its deep concern for the safety of civilians caught in the crossfire between Daesh and the SDF around Hajin. It says that civilians have already suffered huge losses during the fighting, and noted that more IDPs from the area had headed to Al-Hawl camp, and only reached it after facing serious delays at checkpoints and war detritus, among other difficulties. It noted that 7 children recently died upon arrival at the camp. [Anadolu]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

A roadside IED killed Abu Ishaq Al-Ahead, a major member of​​ the​​ Deir Ez-Zor​​ Military​​ Council,​​ while​​ he was​​ in his car near​​ Al-Busayrah​​ town. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed seven SDF members, including a commander, wounded another, and destroyed an SUV with an IED in Tawamiya village, in Al-Busayrah subdistrict. [A3maq]

 

Mayadin​​ District

The​​ SOHR quoted sources as saying​​ that​​ Iranian​​ military​​ and affiliated militias​​ are expanding and enforcing their positions west of the Euphrates, east of Deir Ez-Zor, up to Mayadin city. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded ten SDF members, destroyed an SUV, and damaged another with two IEDs near Al-Jurzi village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNJan16]

In another version, Daesh said it killed five SDF members, including a commander, wounded five others, destroyed an SUV, and damaged another with two IEDs in East Yamama village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICNDJan16-Telegram]​​ 

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SDF says that Daesh is still holding a 15 km2​​ area in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, which is constantly shelled by the SDF and the Coalition. The SOHR says that Daesh fighters in this area have decided to fight to the death rather than surrender. [SyriaHR]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Wednesday that SDF units found tens of Daesh drones in a house in Al-Sha’afa town. The source also said the house was equipped with monitors and​​ satellite communications equipment.​​ 

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

An International Crisis Group study on the Iranian nuclear deal (the JCPOA) predicted that Iran would continue to comply with the terms of the JCPOA. However, it said that Iran’s calculations could change if its oil prices and domestic instability​​ problems​​ were​​ exacerbated. In that case, the report said that Iraq would be the likely theater for retaliation against the US. [BasNews] [CrisisGroup]

 

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

The UN Security Council unanimously agreed to a British proposal to post 75 international observers in Hodeida, Yemen, to monitor the cease fire. [Sumaria]

 

North Africa

Libya

The Health Ministry of the Libyan Government of National Accord reported that armed confrontations on Wednesday morning in Tripoli killed 5 and injured 20 others. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that Monday’s attack on Rann, Borno State, had damaged its “Humanitarian Hub” there. [VanguardNGR]

 

Daesh’s says its Boko Haram​​ affiliate​​ killed or wounded​​ more​​ Nigerian soldiers on Tuesday in an attack on a military position in Gajiram town,​​ north of Maiduguri​​ in Borno​​ State. [A3maq]

 

Daesh published on Wednesday photos of its attack on Magumeri town. [ICDNJan16]​​ 

Local media had previously said that Boko Haram attacked Magumeri, a local government headquarters in Borno State, on Sunday. 3 soldiers were reported killed and 6 injured. [PremiumTimesNG] [Legit]

Daesh had previously said that its fighters​​ killed or wounded Nigerian soldiers, wounded others, set fire​​ to​​ a military position and an SUV, and stole weapons and ammunition.​​ [ICDNJan15]​​ 

Daesh had also issued a video of the attack. [ICDNJan15]

 

Kenya

The death toll from the attack on a Nairobi hotel rose to at least 21 as of Wednesday. An American and a Briton were among the dead. [CNN]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Taliban threatened to suspend talks with the US if the US refuses to allow troop withdrawal to be on the agenda of the talks. The Taliban said that in the talks in November in Doha, the US agreed to discuss the “withdrawal of foreign forces,” but that the US was now backing away from that agenda.​​ [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The game here is not hard to see and it’s not encouraging. The Taliban will​​ likely​​ demand US withdrawal as a prior condition and the UJS will demand major Taliban concessions as a condition for withdrawal. The logical fear is that a US withdrawal would signal the start of a Taliban effort to seize control of the country, no matter what they promised in exchange for it.

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it destroyed an Afghan Police vehicle with an IED in District 11, in Kabul city. [ICDNJan16]

 

Pakistan

Police units killed 2 terrorists during an encounter near Chak 7/JB in the jurisdiction of Nishatabad police​​ in Punjab,​​ on Monday night.

The police team raided a hideout and tried to arrest the terrorists, later identified as Adeel Hafeez and Usman Haroon. On seeing the police, the accused opened fire at the police team, which​​ returned fire. As a result, both terrorists were killed. The police team also recovered suicide jackets, hand-grenades and sophisticated weapons. Sources said that the​​ dead​​ terrorists were allegedly involved in abduction of a foreigner and Haider Gillani, son of ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani. They were also involved in killing two police officers in Faisalabad and other crimes. [TheNews]

Daesh​​ claimed​​ it killed or wounded several Pakistani security members in clashes in the Nishatabad area. [ICDNJan16]

 

*****

 

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January 15, 2019