February 24, 2016
Today’s Major Developments
Al-Abadi getting buy-in from Shia, Sunni parties for new cabinet formula.
Moqtada Al-Sadr organizes major anti-corruption demonstration for Friday.
Ninewa separatists hire a Washington lobbyist.
Saudi Arabia promises humanitarian aid to Anbar.
Coalition bomb blows up Daesh command center for Hit & Kubaisa.
Daesh leader Baghdadi orders arrests of many of his Mosul leaders.
Battles between Syrian Army and Daesh continue.
Libyan Army knocks Daesh out of central Benghazi.
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
The President of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, Ammar Al-Hakim, says he sent resignation letters from SIIC ministers to Prime Minister Abadi. He says the SIIC will not be an obstacle in a reform project that aims at building the state. The SIIC has 3 ministries: Oil, Transportation and Sport. The Minister of Oil said he sent his resignation to Abadi in August, while the Minister of Transportation says he submitted his resignation on February 9, one day after PM Abadi’s speech. [Sumaria] [Sumaria]
A member of the National Powers Alliance (NPA), the Sunni coalition in the CoR, says some of the NPA ministers put their resignations in the hands of the NPA leadership. He says he is waiting for other NPA ministers to do the same in order to support the upcoming cabinet change. He also says Iraqi political parties will be obliged to accept the changes because of the political situation in the country. [Sumaria]
Another NPA CoR member says the NPA will not insist on balance in the state establishments because it is something from the past. The balance principle stated that high ranking government positions, down to director-general positions in the ministries, were divided equally between Sunni, Shia and Kurds. The CoR member says the principle didn’t serve the public and the NPA doesn’t want Iraq to be built on a sectarian basis again. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. Reading the three statements above forces us to say: Really? If true, and the Iraqi political parties in fact won’t insist on keeping their shares in the political cake, then this will be a development of enormous significance for the future of Iraq.
The initiative for a more technocratic, thus less politicized cabinet is really an extension of the anti-corruption reforms launched recently by the Prime Minister. The parties had turned ministerial appointments into spoils systems for the parties and their supporters, filling the higher ranks of the ministries with party loyalists, some unqualified by law for lack of college degrees, and displacing civil service officials. The anticipated improvement is not just in the minister positions but in higher-level ministry management in general, with the tantalizing possibility that a meaningful civil service might emerge.
Atheel Al-Nujaifi, ex-governor of Mosul, and the leader of the 4000-man National Mobilization in Ninewa, signed a $90,000 contract with Robert Kelley, director of a lobbying group in Washington, aiming to gain support for his militia in Washington. [Shafaq]
DaeshDaily comment. Please see this Hill article. Our view has been that this whole scheme is transparently separatist and a deliberate threat to Iraq. Giving it a Washington office and lobbyist only makes it scarier and more suspicious (and makes us wonder where the $90,000 came from).
Ahmed Al-Asadi, the spokesman of the PMF organization, said it will participate in the liberation of Mosul using fighters from the city itself. He says Atheel Al-Nujaifi’s trainees are meaningless as the PMF is operating under the commander-in-chief, Prime Minister Abadi. [Maalomah]
Rayan Al-Kildani, the head of Babelyoun Regiments (Christian PMFs), says they will participate in Ninewa’s liberation. He says any armed group outside state control will be treated by his forces as a terrorist group. [Mawazin]
Abu Jaafar Al-Shabaki, commander of the Ninewa Plains Brigade (PMF) called all Shabak young men to join war operations in Ninewa through the army, police, or the PMF, stating that liberation of Mosul is coming shortly. [Mawqif]
UNICEF announced containment of cholera in Iraq, after registering 3000 confirmed cases. [IraqPress]
Security forces in Baghdad are in full alert and are ready to fully separate Al-Tahrir Square and the Green Zone from other parts of Baghdad next Friday according to security sources. Friday is witnessing a major anti-corruption demonstration called for by cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, whose personal presence is expected. [IraqPress]
Moqtada Al-Sadr banned his followers from carrying arms or mentioning any political party in the demonstrations set for next Friday. He said that all slogans should be strictly national, no flag but Iraq’s flag should be raised, and that good behavior and respect for the population of the area of the demonstration is essential. He set the time of the demonstration from 8-10:00 AM, ordering demonstrators to head for prayers afterwards. [SamaBaghdad]
The CoR Human Rights Committee called on the authorities to avoid using force against Friday’s million-person demonstration called by Al-Sadr, to allow people their right of free expression. [Sumaria]
Minister of Defense Khalid Al-Obeidi and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Othman Al-Ghanimi met in Baghdad in the presence of top army officers, and discussed the military battle plan and the meeting of anti-Daesh Coalition chiefs of staff held in Kuwait recently. [Maalomah]
Talking to the visiting British House of Commons delegation, Minister Al-Obeidi said that the battle of Mosul will mark the end of Daesh in Iraq, adding that British support is required mainly on the technical and engineering side. [Maalomah]
General Tim Gall, the commander of joint New Zealand and Australian forces, said that his forces completed the training of 4,000 army and security sources who are ready to join battle fronts. There are more groups being trained. The last group, trained in Taji, is composed of 250 NCOs. [Maalomah]
Rusafa Criminal Court passed a death sentence against a man convicted on charges of detonating a car bomb in a popular market in Al-Ameen Al-Thaniya in east Baghdad that killed and wounded several persons in November 2014. The verdict is appealable. [Mada]
The MoD said the 9th army division initiated a search in Hor Al-Basha, in north Baghdad, locating three booby-trapped Daesh guest houses and destroying them all. The same force located an ammunition cache in Um Najim village in Shula containing mortar shells, C4 containers, and artillery shells. [Maalomah]
Security forces arrested a man impersonating a PMF leader to blackmail and extort local populations and businesses in Sadr City according to Baghdad Operations Command (BOC). [Maalomah]
The BOC said in a statement that 23rd brigade destroyed 3 booby-trapped houses and 6 IEDs in Khtaimiya and Khayamiyat, while the 25th brigade killed 3 terrorists and captured a weapons cache in operations in Sayed Abdullah, Kawam, and Fatouh, all in south Baghdad.
According to security sources:
An IED placed in a public garage in Al-Wihda killed one civilian and wounded five. [Maalomah]
A roadside IED exploded on a police patrol passing through Shama’iya neighborhood, wounding two of them and destroying their vehicle. [Mawazin]
An IED placed in a commercial area in Mashtal killed one civilian and wounded eight. [Baghdadia]
An IED placed in a fish market in Yusufiyah killed one civilian and wounded four. [Maalomah]
Two bodies of 2 men shot to death were found in Zafaraniya. [Maalomah]
An escapee of Badoush prison was arrested in Zafaraniya according to a security source. [Maalomah]
An IED exploded today in Hay Al-Amel, killing one civilian and wounding eight. [Mada]
An IED placed near a private electricity generator in Al-Diwanem neighborhood killed the generator owner and wounded three civilians. [AIN]
Total Baghdad incidents reported: (Not an overall total)
Coalition warplanes conducted 4 raids in Iraq, attacking targets in Ramadi and in Qayara, Sultan Abdullah, and Sinjar targeting rigs, tactical units, weapons storages, and Daesh gatherings, and making direct hits. [AIN]
Thamir Al-Sabhan, the Saudi Ambassador to Iraq, says Saudi Arabia will provide humanitarian aid to the province of Anbar to support its population. The agreement was made with Anbar Governor Suhaib Al-Rawi under the auspices of the Iraqi government, and will be executed through a local NGO. The US welcomed this gesture. [Shafaq]
DaeshDaily comment. Usually aid from regional countries aims at supporting certain political parties, especially if it is done through “NGOs” and not the UN or the Iraqi Government.
An Anbar Operations Command (AOC) officer says the US Army is establishing two military facilities in Anbar, one in Al-Hamra northeast of Falluja and the other near Akaz gas field south of Al-Qa’im near the Iraqi-Syrian border. The US already has a military presence in Habbaniya and Ain Al-Asad. The officer, who refused to mention his name, says the two new bases will support Anbar liberation operations. [Aawsat]
DaeshDaily comment. We would like to see this confirmed by official sources, with more details as to the plan, so as to get the full story.
The Anbar Governor says the liberation of Falluja will happen soon and will be faster than the liberation of Ramadi.
He also says the provincial government established aid centers, equipped with humanitarian and medical supplies, for the displaced families in Falahat and Khaldiya. [Sumaria]
Daesh executed 4 men in downtown Falluja today on charges of cooperation with security forces. [Sumaria]
Commander of tribal mobilization, Col. Juma’a Al-Jumaili, said that army and tribal forces killed 6 suicide attackers of foreign nationalities equipped with explosives belts who attacked army units in Hayakel, south of Falluja. [Maalomah]
A BOC statement said that its forces killed 10 terrorists while clearing the areas of Albu Shijil, Qarma, and Taqsim Dam, putting Daesh under siege. 5 IEDs, two vehicles, and two motorcycles were destroyed in the process. [Mawazin]
Khamis Al-Halbousi, a commander of the tribal mobilization in Qarma, east of Falluja, said that his forces noticed a Daesh movement in the Dawaya area, and shelled them with mortar and artillery, killing 3 men responsible for rocket attacks on army troops. [Mada]
Daesh issues a video of one of its training camps in Falluja. [Isdarat]
Sabah Karhout, Chairman of Anbar Provincial Council, called on the population of Sufiya, Juwaiba, Hsaiba, Siddiqiya, Kilo 5, and Kilo 7 to get ready to return to their areas after the clearing of all IEDs, mines and war remains in their areas. [Mawqif]
Major General Ismail Al-Mahalawi, Commander of Anbar Operations, said that army and assisting forces are ready to liberate Jazeera Al-Khaldiya east of Ramadi in the next few days after finalizing secure safe passages for civilians to leave the area. He described the area as “one of the most important” in Anbar. [Mada]
Army helicopters killed six Daesh terrorists and wounded many others in an attack in Jazeera Al-Khaldiya, Anbar Operations Command said. [Maalomah]
A video of Iraqi forces securing families escaping Daesh controlled areas in Ramadi district [YouTube]
A governmental source in Ramadi said that the houses of top political officials, both in the local government and the provincial council, were not touched by Daesh and are fully intact. [Mawazin]
Daesh says at least 18 Iraqi soldiers were killed in a suicide attack in Silaijiya in Wafa’ subdistrict west of Ramadi. [A3maq] It says an Iraqi suicide terrorist attacked a checkpoint in Silaijiya with a car bomb, killing 18 Iraqi soldiers and tribal fighters, including a Lt. Colonel. Daesh says clashes erupted after the explosion and more Iraqi soldiers were killed and 4 vehicles destroyed. [DawaAlhaq]
A Coalition airstrike destroyed the Daesh command center for Hit and Kubaisa, located in Kubaisa, a security source in Anbar stated. The strike inflicted heavy human and material damage to the command center. [Sumaria]
The US supplied Iraq with Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTVs) delivered to Ain Al-Asad base near Hit, provided through the fund assigned for training and supplying Iraqi armed forces. (Photos) [IraqPress]
Major General Hadi Rezyej, Chief of Anbar Police, visited Haditha, Baghdadi, Barwana, and Haqlaniya to inspect the readiness of security forces. [Ghad]
Daesh publishes photos of its terrorists in Kubaisa. [AKI]
Coalition warplanes destroyed two Daesh hideouts in Rutba, killing 10 and wounding 15, an Anbar security source said. [Baghdadia]
Tribal fighters attacked a Daesh gathering near the storehouses in Al-Qa’im, near the Iraqi-Syrian border, killing 5 terrorists and destroying a vehicle. Communications equipment and weapons were captured, according to AOC. [Mada]
Coalition warplanes bombed several Daesh convoys between Al-Qa’im and Bukamal in eastern Syria, on the Iraq-Syria border in coordination with 7th Army division intelligence and Jazeera Operations Command. The airstrike left “tens” of Daesh killed and a large number of vehicles destroyed. [Sumaria]
Daesh says it repaired the road between Al-Qa’im and Bukamal after it was bombed. [AKI]
Army helicopters destroyed a Daesh pickup truck in Khanuqa village near Shirqat, killing all persons inside, a Salahuddin Operations Command source said. [Ghad]
Major General Ra’ed Shakir Jawdat, the IFP commander, says IFP artillery shelled Daesh positions in Al-Salman village in the Makhoul Mountains, killing at least eight terrorists and destroying mortar units and machine guns. [Mada]
The IFP commander says a Daesh attack was repelled by IFP in Himrin Hills east of Tikrit when attackers were forced to withdraw under heavy fire. [Mada]
Major General Thamer Mohammed Ismail, commander of the Rapid Intervention Division, said the next destination of his forces is Jazeera Samarra, which affects Anbar operations. He added that the area will be liberated in a short time, working towards securing the whole of Anbar province. [Mawazin]
The Diyala Police spokesman says the special investigative committee that was formed to deal with kidnapping cases found out that 3 young men, reported missing by their families, have immigrated to Europe. [Sumaria]
The body of a man shot to death was found in Wajihiya south of Muqdadiya, a police source said. [Sumaria]
Sheikh Omar Sufyan Al-Nuaimi, head of the Tribal Council fighting Daesh in Hawija, said that Daesh killed two civilians trying to escape Hawija towards military units. The victims were Ahmed Hamad Al-Saba’awi, and Taha Ibrahim Al-Saba’awi. [Maalomah]
A Tribal PMF commander says 1,200 tribal fighters from different areas in Hawija haven’t received salaries for a year now. He says the fighters were trained in Laylan camp and are stationed in Fatha in the Himrin Mountains area. [Sumaria]
A Daesh terrorist called “The Veiled” arrested tens of Daesh leaders in Mosul on charges of treason, on orders of Awwad Baghdadi, the leader, due to their constant movements around Mosul to avoid airstrikes and talk of evacuating their families outside Mosul, the IWMC said. [Sumaria]
A local source says the Daesh leader ordered the Daesh sharia court to imprison 40 Daesh leaders in Mosul on charges of embezzlement and allowing Yazidi women to escape, as well as disposal of properties in Mosul for personal gain. [Mada]
Sources in the Ministry of Defense said the Coalition is installing or repairing 12 bridges connecting Mosul to neighboring areas. The engineering units of the Marine Corps have already started. The source said that such huge operations require air protection and some land presence, which is the case now. The operation is funded by the Coalition. [Ghad]
The IWMC said that Daesh made several arrests in the neighborhoods of Zahra, Al-Ikha’, Al-Bakr, and Al-Arbajiya, on the left (east) side of Mosul, after some families tried to escape the areas due to the presence of Daesh offices in their areas that are subject to Coalition air attacks. Families were forced to stay in their homes.
Daesh imposed a curfew on the east side of Mosul after “riots” that were initiated by residents using fists and stones. The issue is that some people want to leave, which Daesh prohibits. The clashes extended to three neighborhoods on the left (east) side where Dash put the neighborhoods under siege, IWMC said. [Sumaria]
The above clashes resulted in the killing of Abu Dua’a Al-Ifri, a Daesh commander on the east side of Mosul, a source in Mosul said, adding that scattered clashes are still continuing in that part of Mosul. [Maalomah]
Daesh executed Sheikh Fawaz Al-Kadhim, the imam of the Mosque of Imam Ali located in Al-Yarmouk neighborhood in Mosul on charges of disobedience. The execution took place in the Al-Adhba area south of Mosul city. The imam had been detained since June 2014, a source in Mosul said. [Maalomah]
DaeshDaily comment. This is a dangerous moment for those unfortunate enough to be in Daesh imprisonment in Mosul. Its response to the mounting pressure there has included increasing the number of executions in order to intimidate the population into line. Those already confined are the easiest targets. One element of the US military strategy for Mosul should be to reach the prisons as quickly as possible so to secure Daesh’s political prisoners who are inside.
During the weekend, Daesh issued a video of the “safe and secure” life in Mosul. [DawaAlhaq]
Qadir Qadir, a local Peshmerga leader in Gwer, said that several Daesh fighters escaped Mosul and handed themselves over to Peshmerga forces in his area, and are currently being investigated. [BasNews]
Southern Ninewa (Baaj, Hatra)
Daesh issues a video of Peshmerga fighter being shot by one of its snipers in Aliawa in southeast Ninewa. [A3maq]
The Minister of Defense said from Babel that families that left Jurf Al-Sakhar subdistrict should prepare to return within the coming two weeks, and that his ministry contemplates buying a 2000 square meter area to distribute among wounded veterans and families of the martyrs in the area. [Mawqif]
A man wanted on terrorism charges was arrested in Suwaira District in northern Wasit by counter-terrorism intelligence units, along with 25 arrested on other charges, Wasit Police said. [Sumaria]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Turkey continued its war of words against the PYD and YPG on Wednesday, as President Erdogan pronounced that Syria had become an “exporter of terrorism” and said it was incumbent on all to recognize that the PYD is a “terrorist organization,” in his words. The Presidents views were echoed by the Turkish Foreign Minister, who called for an end to the “double standard in fighting terrorism,” and renewing the Turkish claim that the deadly blast in central Ankara last week was implemented by the YPG. [Anadolu] [Cihan] [Anadolu]
While Turkey continued to build its case against the YPG/PYD as “terrorist groups,” Ankara appeared to retreat from its initial claims that the perpetrator of the deadly suicide blast in Ankara last week was Syrian. An unidentified Turkish security official said Wednesday that after further analysis of the evidence, Turkish investigators had concluded that the attacker was a Turkish national. [BasNews]
An English translation of a recent interview with Assoc. Prof. Ahmet Kasim Han, who offers a critical analysis of Turkey’s Syria policy [TimDrayton](English)]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
Coalition aircraft conducted 14 raids over Syria, in Hasaka, Al-Hawl, Deir Ez-Zor, Ain Essa, and Manbij, targeting Daesh vehicles, tactical units, AA artillery, mortar positions, heavy machine gun posts, and fighting positions. [AIN]
Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)
The Syria Democratic Forces have denied Daesh’s claims of being in control of Shaddadi, in a statement issued Wednesday which said the SDF had foiled all of Daesh’s attacks and was still advancing in villages in the area that Daesh had abandoned. [ARA]
The SDF says it brought down a Daesh surveillance drone in Shaddadi (photos). [Hawar]
The YPG announced the death, in the campaign for Shaddadi, of a German national who had joined the YPG (photos). [Hawar]
Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)
The leader of the KDP branch in Syria has criticized YPG/SDF advances near Azaz, including taking the Menagh military airport, saying these are not in the interest of Syrian Kurds and can only benefit the Syrian regime and put the SDF in conflict with many other factions. [Welati]
Daesh struck a Syrian Army position with a vehicle bomb on Wednesday in the small city of Fah, southwest of Al-Bab, which was followed by fighting between the two sides in which Daesh seized control of the city after killing an unspecified number of Syrian troops, driving the remaining force of Syrian regulars and allied militiamen into retreat, an activist said. [ARA]
Daesh says its terrorists are still cutting off the Syrian Army supply lines to Aleppo for the third day in a row. Daesh says the Syrian Army recaptured Rasm Al-Nafal village, north of Khanasir, but its retreating fighters left open another front north of the village.
Daesh also says Russian warplanes continued their bombing on Daesh-controlled areas on the road between Athariya and Khanasir, in addition to heavy shelling and rocketing by the Syrian Army. Daesh says 220 Syrian soldiers and member of allied militias were killed during the last two days including 40 in Burj Al-Zaarour and 30 in Shallala. [A3maq]
Daesh attacked a Syrian Army column with two vehicle bombs on Wednesday south of Aleppo near the city of Rasm Al-Nafal, killing “tens” of troops and capturing an unspecified number of others in ensuing fighting, an activist said. The activist added that Russian warplanes supporting the Syrian effort to retake the city of Khanasir attacked Syrian units in error, destroying tanks and three personnel carriers which were carrying troops at the time. [ARA]
Daesh issues a video of the areas it captured between Khanasir and Safira in Aleppo’s countryside. [A3maq]
Daesh says one of its suicide terrorists attacked a Syrian Army convoy heading from Athariya to Khanasir with a car bomb. [A3maq]
Daesh says its terrorists destroyed a Shia militia SUV, killing eleven fighters in it, and damaged a tank while the militiamen were trying to advance to Burj Al-Zaarour north of Khanasir. [A3maq]
Daesh also says it destroyed 2 Syrian Army tanks heading to the same area. [A3maq]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
Egyptian troops are conducting a three-pronged operation in North Sinai in a bid to clamp down on armed groups. The first, which began 12 days ago, focuses on clearing and controlling areas south of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid stretching to east of Arish, where IED-planting activity has been heavy. More than 50 IED attacks were foiled in this area since the beginning of the campaign. The second involves deploying southward from Arish to cut off the area from Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah. The third involves establishing permanent security installations in areas where clashes occurred in the past. [ElWatan]
Egyptian troops reportedly raided an Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis cell in the village of Bilaa south of Rafah on Wednesday, killing 15 militants and injuring another 15. On Tuesday, raids in the villages of Naga Shabana and Al-Agra, also south of Rafah, reportedly led to the killing of 16 “takfiris” and wounding 13 others. [VetoGate] [VetoGate]
Egyptian troops seized an explosives cache in central Sinai on Wednesday, including 250 kg of TNT, 25 anti-aircraft missiles, missile launchers, two automatic rifles, and IEDs. [VetoGate]
A woman in Rafah was wounded Tuesday by haphazard gunfire from an unknown source. [ElWatan]
Daesh issues a video from Sinai of one of its Palestinian leaders killed recently. [DawaAlhaq]
The Libyan Army seized control of the Al-Laythi neighborhood in Benghazi Tuesday evening, expelling Daesh from its most important stronghold in the city, according to statements by a military official, prompting popular celebrations of what appeared to be a decisive victory by the Libyan Armed forces. [Sumaria] [AfriGate]
Libyan units captured a Daesh fighter in the city’s Al-Lathama neighborhood in Benghazi’s north end on Tuesday, according to the commander of the Agency to Combat Illicit Migration. [Wasat]
Tunisia. Tunisian troops at the Ras Ajdir border crossing with Libya are on maximum alert in the wake of this week’s airstrike on Sabratha. [Tunisien]
Two Daesh militants, a Sudanese and a Tunisian, raided a home in central Sirte and captured a young girl in front of her family in Sirte on Monday, compelling her and her brother to accompany them to Daesh’s headquarters, local sources said. While the brother returned the same day, the girl was held overnight but was returned to her family on Tuesday, the sources said, without knowing the reason for the militants’ actions. [Wasat]
An Algerian intelligence source has expressed doubt as to the effectiveness of a recent American air raid on the city of Sabratha, saying it had scattered Daesh’s members and rendered future airstrikes useless, according to media reports. The same source said that Daesh had instructed one of its “emirs,” known as “Abu Abdullah Al-Muhajir,” to track the notorious Al-Qaeda operative in North Africa, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, whom Daesh is hunting. The Algerian source said that Al-Muhajir is intimately familiar with Belmokhtar, having worked under him as a member of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated “Tawhid wa Jihad” before defecting to Daesh in 2014. [AfriGate]
Daesh militants attacked and held parts of Sabratha late Tuesday night before vacating hours later. The rapidly evolving events reportedly started when the Sabratha Military Council attacked a rural area outside the city where Daesh members were concentrated. A security source said the Military Council launched its attack based on information gathered from captured Daesh members who were wounded in the recent American air raid on a Daesh facility in Sabratha. In a statement the Sabratha municipal council said security troops and the allied local “Saraya Al-Thuwar” militia carried out raids in the Al-Nahda area, 17 km (10 miles) outside the city and other areas where Daesh members were concentrated, prompting fighting in which Daesh killed and wounded an unspecified number of Sabratha residents.
Daesh then launched its attack on central areas of Sabratha, exploiting the security vulnerability left by security forces and militiamen deploying outside the city to conduct raids, according to the chairman of the Sabratha Military Council. Daesh has between 150 and 200 fighters in Sabratha, the Sabratha Military Council chairman said.
Daesh seized the city’s security directorate, police headquarters, electricity plant, and main hospital, and several other areas of the city in its surprise attack, a security source and local residents said. Eyewitnesses said Daesh fighters raised the black Daesh banners over buildings in the city. A government spokesman said that Daesh had support from sleeper cells within the city. A Libyan journalist said that eight Daesh members were killed in ensuing fighting, and that Daesh killed 17 militiamen and security members.
Accounts differ however as to what exactly prompted Daesh to vacate the positions it had seized. Local officials and militia leaders said that Daesh was forced to quit its positions in the fighting, while local residents told Erem News that the departure came in a negotiated agreement to avoiding direct confrontation between Daesh and the Libyan military in an anticipated anti-Daesh campaign in the western region of Libya.
Calm has returned to the city after Daesh vacated the city center, residents said. Saraya Al-Thuwar has announced a clearing campaign to eject Daesh from the Sabratha area, and called for support from neighboring cities. The municipal council has ordered three days of mourning and has vowed to continue trying to push Daesh out of the area, calling for unity and cooperation from local residents. Troop battalions are heading to Sabratha from the nearby cities of Tripoli, Zawiya, Sorman, and Zuwara to engage Daesh, the Sabratha Military Council chairman said.
Eyewitnesses said that Daesh has withdrawn to an area known as Siriya Al-Hysh roughly 6 km (4 miles) from the city, and has begun building sand berms and hanging its black banners under the protection of Abdallah Haftar Al-Dabashi, a prominent “terrorist commander” in the area, as well as gathering in other nearby areas such as Zuwagha and Al-Tanibat.
SOCIAL MEDIA SOURCES
Facebook Page of the Day
Omar Al-Mashhadani (AKA Omar Abu Al-Ish) page. Abu Al-Ish was a senior Daesh leader in Ramadi, and killed people in Anbar, but reportedly is in Turkey now.
Daesh Twitter Accounts of the Day