April 4, 2018
Daesh activity grows along Salahuddin-northern Diyala border. [..]
Major Ministry of Electricity official in Ninewa arrested for supporting Daesh. [..]
Ninewa PC member says “tens of thousands of mines” prevent IDP returns in Mosul. [..]
NATO member Turkey to install a Russian air defense system. [..]
Trump agrees to extend US troop commitment to Syria, but not long-term. [..]
Syrian NGO says Syria has conducted 214 chemical attacks since 2011, killed 1,421 people. [..]
Russia, Turkey, Iran pledge continued cooperation in Syria. [..]
SDF loses another Deir Ez-Zor oilfield to Daesh. [..]
Exodus from Douma continues in East Ghouta. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Wednesday, a high-level Kurdish-Syrian commander revealed to Reuters the possibility that a joint anti-Daesh military operation between the SDF and Iraq may take place. He said that the Turkish attack on Afrin has revived Daesh. [BasNews]
Al-Arabi Al-Jadid Qatari newspaper reported that there are no negotiations to reduce US forces in Iraq, as there is a timetable set for it. Prime Minister Al-Abadi promised earlier to reduce the foreign military presence in Iraq. [Sumaria]
Iraqi President Fuad Masoum expressed concern about the possible repetition of the Turkish Afrin scenario in Sinjar. He was speaking to Al-Hayat, the Saudi daily published in London. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, Reuters reported that Daesh militants have restated their loyalty to the group’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi on pro-Daesh accounts on social networking sites, in what is believed to be their first public pledge of allegiance to him since his “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq collapsed last year. Hisham Al-Hashimi, who advises several governments including Iraq’s on Daesh affairs, said this was the first known pledge of loyalty to Baghdadi since Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul in July and the SDF took Raqqa in November. However, Hashimi told Reuters that Baghdadi was believed to be hiding in the vast desert area that straddles the Syria-Iraq border. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. The silliness of all these Baghdadi secret hiding place stories is getting to us. The man has no idea where Baghdadi is. It is assumed that if he were in an urban area he would be spotted and probably arrested. Thinking logically, people say that Baghdadi must be in a “vast desert area.” We concede that this is not really a news story, as no real information has been passed.
The Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Othman Al-Ghanmi, received the Coalition deputy commander on Wednesday, focusing on Coalition assistance in developing the capabilities of the Iraqi military. They also discussed training and capacity building for Iraqi trainers. [Sumaria]
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi discussed with the Chairman of Toyota Corporation the possibility of providing Iraq with a power station. Toyota is already providing Iraq with 16 static and mobile stations in 2018. [Sumaria]
Mithal Al-Alusi, a well-known Sunni politician heading the secular Democratic Civil Coalition in Iraq, said the Russia-Turkey-Iran summit is intended to enhance the chaos and inner fighting in Syria and Iraq, and that Turkey plans to share influence on the ground with Iranian Revolutionary Guards controlling wide areas of Iraq through the local PMFs. [Rudaw]
Wednesday, in a meeting with a Maysan youth audience, Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki emphasized the role of youth in eliminating terrorism and rebuilding the country. He says the reform process will only succeed by creating a political majority and forming a stable political system. [Rudaw]
President Masoum says the relationship between Iraq and the Kurdistan region is back to normal, citing the existence of a running quiet dialogue. Speaking to Al-Hayat Daily in London, he said payment by the federal government of the salaries of Kurdistan employees was a good step. [Rudaw]
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi says that endeavors to create problems among the Iraqi Army, PMF, and Peshmerga have failed, while Kurdish sources speak of negotiations supported by the Coalition to form joint operations rooms in disputed areas. [BasNews]
A Peshmerga leader told the pro-KRG Rudaw that the US is pressing the Iraqi government to allow the Peshmerga back in Kirkuk and disputed areas to run security operations through a joint operations room, saying that the Iraqi army is unable to control the security situation by itself. [Rudaw]
DaeshDaily comment. The Kurds seem anxious to promote the narrative that security in Kirkuk and other “disputed areas” is dependent on Peshmerga participation.
Wednesday, MoD spokesman Tahseen Ibrahim announced that the federal government has begun hunting down Daesh units via intelligence exchanges with foreign countries. [IraqPress]
Monday, Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, Mohammad Hussein Ali Bahr Al-Uloom, said in a press conference that Iraq is working hand in hand with the international community to instill stability in Iraq and the world, and that the war on terrorism was for the benefit of the world, not just Iraq. [Rudaw]
Security-related incidents reported
Northwest (Kadhimiya, etc.)
Wednesday, the Baghdad Operations Command said that security units in the BOC captured a man in possession of grenades in Kadhimiya. [Ghad]
East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)
Wednesday, a source in the MoI said that a stun grenade exploded in Al-Obeidi in eastern Baghdad. [Sumaria]
An Anbar Police commander says the tactical battalion of Anbar police, backed by Army units, killed 2 Daesh suicide attackers and destroyed 3 Daesh guesthouses in the Thirthar Desert. He says Daesh suicide bombers were planning to attack Albu Ali Jasim in Ramadi. [BasNews]
A DaeshDaily source says an Iraqi Army 10th division tactical unit killed 3 Daesh terrorists in a tunnel in the Thirthar desert area Tuesday night. All 3 terrorists were wearing explosive vests. The source also says a division soldier was wounded. The source sent us photos of the terrorists.
One of the terrorists killed was Omar Safouk Al-Dulaimi, aka Abu Hajer Al-Anbari, who had been a senior member with the AQI and spent 2 years in a Coalition prison between 2007 and 2009. The source says the terrorist held several positions with Daesh, including as the suicide bombing official in Anbar.
A DaeshDaily source says Iraqi Army 10th division’s intelligence units captured a Daesh cell in the Albu Taiban area, northwest of Ramadi.
The Military Intelligence Service (MIS) later reported that all cell members are wanted by Iraqi courts on terrorism charges. [Baghdadia]
Wednesday, a security source in Anbar reported the death of 7 terrorists inside a tunnel in the Hit desert. The source explained that the terrorists entered a tunnel in Wadi Ja’al, where they were cornered by the 29th Army brigade and shelled by the Coalition air force. [Sumaria]
According to the Ministry of Immigration and Displacement, 435 IDPs have returned to their homes in Al-Qa’im. The IDPs had been staying in Habbaniya camp in Falluja District. [Sumaria]
The Al-Qa’im District Mayor announced the opening of Baidha Bridge, connecting Baidha village to Ubaidi subdistrict. The floating bridge was constructed jointly by the local government, the army, and local residents. [Sumaria]
The PMF says its units defused 5 booby-trapped houses in Rutba District. The houses were reported by local residents. [Ghad]
A local source in Diyala says a group of Daesh fighters stepped into an area planted with their own IEDs near Mtaibija. Several were killed or injured in the incident. [Sumaria]
Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)
A security source in Salahuddin reported that an IED placed in Al-Sajla village in Dujail exploded on Wednesday evening, wounding three people. [Sumaria]
Diyala Police say no kidnapping incidents were recorded in 26 out of 27 cities in the province during the first quarter of 2018. It says the single incident that took place was thwarted by the police and the perpetrators were arrested. [Sumaria]
A Diyala CoR member says Daesh still poses a real threat in the province. He says Daesh attacked 3 villages in Himrin. He also stressed that they are most active in orchard and mountain areas. [RT]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
Tuesday, chairman of the Udhaim subdistrict council, Mohammed Dhaifan Al-Abidi, revealed that there is unprecedented activity by vehicles transporting Daesh militants on the Salahuddin-Diyala border, indicating that Daesh is planning for “something.” The vehicles, locally known as “Al-Athari,” transport Daesh militants from Mtaibija and the border area towards Al-Mita basin near the Diyala-Salahuddin border. He added that Daesh’s presence in Al-Mita has increased noticeably in the past days. [BasNews]
Intelligence sources say a military operation in northeast Diyala resulted in the death of a Daesh logistics officer and 7 of his aides. Important documents were also found in their possession. [Knoozmedia]
Wednesday, a security source in Diyala reported that a PMF unit thwarted a Daesh attempt to infiltrate Al-Asakira area east of Sadiya. The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the Daesh militants, who were on motorcycles, escaped towards the Himrin Mountains. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, Sadiya subdistrict manager Ahmed Al-Zarkoushi announced that security completed the background checks of over 600 IDP families of Sadiya’s villages and neighborhoods and approved their return to their homes. [Sumaria]
The Diyala Police say police patrols in Jalawla, Khanaqin arrested 4 men wanted on terror and criminal charges in various parts of the subdistrict. [Ghad]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
A security source in Kirkuk says 2 Daesh operatives were arrested near Hawija. The two were trying to enter Hawija from the desert. [Knoozmedia]
Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)
Wednesday, the PMF media stated that the PMF’s 16th brigade’s intelligence set up a trap for Daesh in the lower Dakmat village in Rashad, using a mine field, and killed 5 Daesh operatives including terrorist commander Ali Jamel Hussein and another terrorist called Dahham Jaishi Matlik. [Buratha]
In another account of the same incident, Kirkuk Police Captain Hamid Al-Abidi told the press that joint units from the Army and PMF killed 5 Daesh operatives in a trap in Rashad subdistrict. [Rudaw]
DaeshDaily comment. Notice that the PMF account gave all the credit to the PMFs.
The PMF’s 16th brigade ambushed and killed 5 Daesh fighters including 2 leaders in Rashad subdistrict in Daquq. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says security units arrested the general manager of the Ministry of Electricity in northern Iraq, Zaidan Khalaf, in east Mosul. Zaidan is accused of supporting Daesh financially, the charge being based on information obtained from a Daesh member.
DaeshDaily comment. Even before it captured Mosul in 2014, Daesh was basically in charge of all government contracts in the city. According to our sources, not a single contract used to pass without Daesh getting at least 20% of the total value of the contract. Some of the biggest contracts were with the Ministry of Electricity, where Iraq spend tens of billions of dollars to fix the failed service.
A member of the Ninewa PC says that there are still tens of thousands of mines that have not been removed in residential areas in Mosul. He says this is a major hurdle that hinders return of IDPs to their homes. [SkyPress]
Mosul District Mayor Zuheir Al-Aaraji said that intelligence departments are making great efforts to eliminate Daesh sleeper cells amid fears that they will reemerge later. Al-Aaraji said that two weeks ago, terrorist cells admitted to having regrouped and admitted planning to carry out new terrorist operations. He added that the fear of sleeper cells prevents Mosul residents from returning to their areas. [SotIraq]
Wednesday, the MoI announced that the Ninewa Police raid campaign captured 7 Daesh operatives wanted on terrorism charges in the Yarimjah Al-Sharqiya area in southeast of Mosul. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, JOC spokesman Gen. Yahya Rasoul stated that the military intelligence 20th division captured an IED and projectile depot in a hideout in Badoush in northwest Mosul. [Sumaria]
Southern Ninewa (No reports)
Western Ninewa (No reports)
According to the Joint Operations Command (JOC), a sweep operation in Basra resulted in the arrest of 40 wanted persons. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, an informed source in Dhi Qar revealed that the execution of 16 terrorists in the Nasiriya central prison was postponed until next week because the Minister of Justice, Haider Al-Zameli, declined to attend due to inclement weather in Nasiriya. [Ghad]
Rudaw published a story of a 17-year old Yazidi named Parzan Eido, whose hand was amputated and the other broken by Daesh. Parzan was taken by Daesh to join battlefronts, but he did not fight, so one of his hands was cut off and the other hand was shot with two bullets. He was moved by Daesh to Mosul, then Raqqa, where he was liberated. He called on concerned parties to extend assistance in order to be able to have surgery done on his hand so he can at least use one of them. [Rudaw]
Wednesday, an eyewitness in Sidekan, Sardar Haji, reported that Turkish Forces’ vehicles are making their way to the mountainous areas of the Sidekan subdistrict, 17 km (11 miles) from Mawana village. Haji added that the movements of the Turks are creating panic among residents and have paralyzed the daily lives of villagers. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, SOHR reported that the Turkish Army attacked an Asayesh checkpoint in the vicinity of Kharab Rashik village near the Faysh Khabur (Simalka) border crossing between Syria’s Hasaka and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Two Asayesh members were wounded. Hawar reported that the YPG responded to the attack. The sources added that two Turkish soldiers were killed, and others wounded. [SyriaHR] [ROJ] [Dorar]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Wednesday, according to Sputnik, Turkish Defense Industries undersecretary Ismail Demir announced that Turkey will receive the Russian S-400 air defense systems in July 2019. “At the meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council, we discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the defense industry area. The date of the start of supplies of S-400 air defense systems within the framework of the agreement signed with Russia was rescheduled for an earlier date and is planned for July 2019 instead of early 2020,” Demir added. [Dorar]
DaeshDaily comment. It’s hard to take Turkey seriously any more as a NATO member.
Turkish media says police arrested 2 Daesh operatives in Istanbul in possession of large quantities of gold and silver as well as funds, weapons, electronics, and communication equipment. The two were transferring funds to Daesh in Iraq and Syria. [BasNews]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
In a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump agreed to keep U.S. troops in Syria a little longer to defeat Daesh but wants them out relatively soon, a senior administration official said. Trump did not approve a specific withdrawal timetable at Tuesday’s meeting, the official said. He wants to ensure Daesh militants are defeated but wants other countries in the region and the United Nations to step up and help provide stability in Syria, the official said. “We’re not going to immediately withdraw but neither is the president willing to back a long-term commitment,” the official said. [SyriaNow]
Wednesday, CNN says that the US military announced that it is planning to send more troops to Syria, days after US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US troops from Syria “very soon.” CNN quoted Pentagon and administration sources as saying that dozens of US troops will head to northern Syria, as part of plans discussed days before Trump’s comments last Thursday. [Qasioun]
CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel says the war on Daesh is not over despite liberating 90% of Daesh held territory in Iraq and Syria. He says US forces have the task of preserving long-run stability in Iraq and Syria. [Sumaria]
In a report released on Wednesday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Syrian forces have carried out 214 chemical attacks against opposition-held areas since 2011. These attacks have claimed the lives of at least 1,421 people, including 187 children and 244 women, SNHR added.
The report was released on the first anniversary of the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun last year, in which over 100 people were killed and hundreds more injured. [Dorar]
Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “of the 27 chemical weapons production facilities declared by the Syrian Arab Republic, 25 have been verified by the OPCW Technical Secretariat as having been destroyed.” “With regard to the declaration of the Syrian Arab Republic, I remain deeply concerned that in spite of the information provided to OPCW by the Syrian Arab Republic, the OPCW Technical Secretariat remains unable to state that the Syrian Arab Republic submitted a declaration that can be considered accurate and complete,” he added. He also urged “the Syrian Arab Republic to extend its full and timely cooperation to OPCW.” [Dorar]
A joint US, France, UK statement says the Syrian President will pay the price of using sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun. [Sumaria]
Russia and Iran
In a statement during an international security conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, said that Daesh “still retains potential disruptive capability, as well as the ability to quickly change tactics and conduct major attacks in various countries and regions of the world.” “Other extremist groups also pose a threat,” the statement said, adding that, “under these circumstances, it is necessary to think about new forms of multilateral cooperation that would help to consolidate the gains achieved during the fight against terrorism, and prevent that threat from spreading further.” [Hawar]
In a joint statement released at the end of Wednesday’s Ankara Summit, the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey “reaffirmed their determination to continue their active cooperation on Syria for the achievement of a lasting cease-fire between the conflicting parties and advancement of the political process envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 2254.” According to the statement, they emphasized their “strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, territorial integrity and non-sectarian character of Syria.” They also stressed that there is “no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that the conflict can be settled only through a negotiated political process.” [Dorar]
Wednesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told the presidents of Turkey and Russia that the Syrian region of Afrin, captured by Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies, should be handed over to the Syrian army, Iranian television said. “The current developments in Afrin can only be useful if they do not violate Syria’s territorial integrity, and these areas should be handed over to the Syrian Army,” Rouhani said at a summit meeting in Ankara. [EnabBaladi]
Wednesday, Head of the Russian General Staff Central Operations Department, Sergey Rudskoy, said that “the Syrian army has destroyed about 65,000 terrorists with support from Russia and Iran during the war in Syria.” “The Syrian government forces have liberated a total of about 113,000 square meters and 1,245 villages from illegal armed groups with support from Russia and Iran. 6,500 hectares and about 17,200 facilities were cleared from mines in Syria by combined efforts,” he added. [Qasioun]
Syria’s Minister of Defense says Daesh is located in 4 small areas in Syria, forming less than 4% of the country’s territory. “Following Daesh’s defeat in Syria, its next area of operation will be Asia, Africa, or Europe,” he added. [Youm7]
Wednesday, according to a special source, Hawar reported that Turkey-allied militias slaughtered “Bilal Hamu,” a 65-year-old civilian from Khilalka village in Rajo subdistrict in Afrin. [Hawar]
Wednesday, according to a local source, Hawar reported that the Turkey-allied militias apprehended 45 young men from Afrin city on charges of cooperating with the YPG. They were taken to an unknown destination, the source said. [Hawar]
Raqqa city& district
A DaeshDaily source said that several people were killed or wounded when a Daesh suicide terrorist attacked a funeral in Albu Shuaib in Raqqa city on Tuesday. The source said the SDF had released hundreds of Daesh fighters, and some of them even joined the SDF, without any rehabilitation. The source said those terrorists were responsible for several security breaches in the Raqqa area.
Central and West
Wednesday, SOHR reported that fierce clashes broke out between Tahrir Al-Sham and combined Noureddine Zenki and Ahrar Al-Sham forces on the other near Kafr Naha town in western Aleppo, accompanied by mutual shelling, with casualties on both sides. [SyriaHR]
Wednesday, Qasioun reported that 5 members of the Syrian forces were killed, and 15 others wounded, in a surprise Daesh attack on the Syrian forces’ positions near Al-Sha’er oilfield, north of Tadmur in rural eastern Homs. [Qasioun]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Wednesday, Dorar reported that Daesh recaptured Al-Azraq Oilfield in rural northeastern Deir Ez-Zor, following a Daesh surprise attack on the SDF positions there. According to Qasioun, several SDF members were reportedly killed and wounded. [Dorar] [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. Yet another report of an SDF defeat. Such reports have been almost unheard of in the past. Will someone please own up to this problem.
A DaeshDaily source says 6 government forces members were killed and 7 wounded when a Daesh suicide terrorists attacked a checkpoint in the town of Buqris Tahtani.
Albu Kamal District
Daesh says it targeted 5 Syrian Army positions near Albu Kamal city with SPG9 rockets. Daesh published photos of the attacks. [ICDNApr4]
Daesh says it targeted a Syrian Army position with an SPG9 rocket in Al-Ghabra village. Daesh publishes photos of the attack. [ICDNApr4] [ICDNApr4] [ICDNApr4]
A DaeshDaily source says a woman and her child were killed and her husband and another child wounded when a Daesh leftover land mine exploded on them in Gharanij.
A DaeshDaily source says a 60-year-old woman was killed by a Daesh land mine as she was trying to escape from Al-Bahra village with her family.
Wednesday, SOHR reported that the second batch of Douma IDPs is heading to northern Syria. The convoy includes at least 4 buses and around 1,200 people. [SyriaHR]
Wednesday, Head of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Department, Sergey Rudskoy, said that “militants are being evacuated from Douma, and within a few days, the evacuation process should be completed.” Rudskoy added that “the United States is set to divide Syria. It has been laying potential groundwork for a new all-against-all war.” “It is trying to create in Syria a quasi-state on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River with its own armed forces,” he said. [ZamanAlWasl]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
The Afghan Defense Ministry said six Afghan soldiers were slightly wounded in a bomb attack in the capital. The ministry said in a statement that two magnetic bombs placed on a power transmission tower exploded near a Defense Ministry building in Kabul on April 4 as members of the Afghan National Army were passing by. [RFERL]
Daesh says it killed or wounded five Afghan soldiers, including a colonel, with an IED inside an Afghan Ministry of Interior weapons manufacturing compound in Kabul. [ICDNApr4]
Daesh says it shot and killed two policemen and stole their weapons in Jalalabad. Daesh published photos of the 2 guns. [ICDNApr4] [ICDNApr4]