An Update On ISIS Activities

February 2, 2018

 

Afrin 

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Coalition has killed 6 high-level Daesh leaders in past 3 months. [..]

KRG top spokesman says GOI-KRG crisis is over. [..]

Anti-corruption protesters return to Al-Tahrir Square. [..]

Mass grave with 70 Yazidis found in Sinjar. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey accuses YPG of attempted bombing in Ankara. [..]

PKK says its deadly attack inside Turkey is payback for Afrin. [..] 

 

Syria

Mattis suggests US may strike Syria again if sarin was used in Eastern Ghouta. [..]

Turkish forces, YPG clash in northwest Afrin. [..]

SDF battles Daesh for Al-Bahra village in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

Lebanon

US puts sanctions on 6 persons connected to Lebanese Hezbollah. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Friday, the Pentagon announced that it has been eliminating Daesh leaders over the past few months, thus lowering the overall threat of terrorist attacks in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. The DoD’s website says “the Coalition airstrikes killed one senior ISIS leader in Syria in November 2017, and another in December 2017, as well as killing four senior ISIS leaders in January 2018.”[DoD] [Baghdadia] 

 

Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed newspaper reported on Friday that the Iraqi Air Force (IAF), in cooperation with US and British planes, logged over 200 hours tracking Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in January, as reported from a “high level Iraqi General in the Ministry of Defense.” The source added that in the past week, 3 locations were shelled based on data from reconnaissance planes in the Anbar desert; those locations were likely to have had important Daesh commanders and terrorists, but not Al-Baghdadi or any of his prominent aides. [BaghdadToday]

 

Reconstruction

Friday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said in a speech at the 6th Ambassadors Conference of the Foreign Ministry, in Baghdad, hat the Iraqi government seeks to build relationships with neighboring countries, but without compromising the interests and patriotic principles of Iraq and its people. [Sumaria]

 

Election

Friday CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri said at the 6th Ambassadors Conference that in the coming days the challenges facing the CoR and government will be to resolve humanitarian problems for the IDPs and return them to their areas in order to hold the elections smoothly, in addition to returning basic services to these areas. [Sumaria]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Thursday, KRG spokesman Safeen Dizayee confirmed that Baghdad has not yet explained the purpose behind sending sums of money to the central bank in Erbil. Dizayee said that the crisis between Erbil and Baghdad ended after KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani’s visit. He added that the KRG and the federal government made a preliminary agreement about 6 disputed points, signing a memo, and it is pending Al-Abadi’s approval. [SotIraq]

 

Thursday, in a meeting with CoR Kurdish blocs, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said that the Kurdistan Region’s share of the budget is divided over 3 governorates, as it was in previous budgets. Al-Abadi added that the federal government wants for the money to reach the Kurdistan Region’s residents directly. The Kurdish representatives in the meetings emphasized that Halabja is the 4th governorate of the KRG, and they requested guarantees that the salaries of KRG employees will be made in 2018. [SotIraq]

 

Friday CoR Finance Committee member Jabbar Al-Abadi revealed that PM Haider Al-Abadi will meet with the Sunni blocs next week to discuss the budget law, which the CoR has not yet been able to pass. [Rudaw]

 

The Atlantic Council reported that the Iraqi Ministry of Oil asked the Russian oil company Rosneft to contact Baghdad about “ways in which Baghdad could reach an agreement with the company” in February. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the contracts made between the KRG and Rosneft and to resume the export of Kirkuk’s oil to global markets. [BasNews] [AtlanticCouncil]

 

BAGHDAD

Friday, hundreds of citizens protested at Al-Tahrir Square in Baghdad’s center, calling on government agencies to combat corruption. A security source reported that the protest took place under tightened security measures. [Rudaw]

 

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)

Friday, a police source reported that 3 civilians were wounded in an IED explosion on a roadside near a street market in Saba’ Al-Bor in northern Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Anah (including Rawa)/Al-Qa’im

Friday, a military source in Anbar reported that a unit from the 28th brigade in the Army’s 7th division arrested a Daesh member as he returned to the Anah district with IDPs. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh says it killed two Border Policemen and wounded two others by detonating an IED on their vehicle near the Syrian border on Thursday. [ICDNFeb2] 

 

A military source in Anbar reported that a unit from the 8th division, with support from the Tribal PMFs in the Upper Euphrates, found an IED, mortar shells, and 2 suicide belts left behind by Daesh in Rummana in Al-Qa’im. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN (No reports)

 

DIYALA (No reports)

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh said it killed three PMF fighters in clashes east of Riyadh on Tuesday. [ICDNFeb2]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

A DaeshDaily source says Tribal PMFs captured a Daesh terrorist who was trying to assassinate a tribal PMF commander in Hay Mushairifa; they confiscated a gun and a silencer. The terrorists said that there are 30 more Daesh terrorists hiding in the neighborhood, according to the source. 

Later on, the source says Daesh terrorists assassinated a young man called Abboud Najem in the same area. The source says Najem had helped security forces capture many Daesh terrorists. The source says PMFs arrested 4 Daesh suspects after the assassination. 

 

A DaeshDaily source says armed men shot and killed a Daesh member in his house in Hay Al-Tanak. The source says the terrorist had been captured by security forces but was released after paying a bribe.

 

Najm Al-Jubouri announced that controlled explosions would take place in west Mosul to destroy Daesh munitions and other remnants on Friday. [Mawsleya]

 

Southern Ninewa

Qayara

A DaeshDaily source says PMFs captured Abu Qatada Al-Jubouri, a Daesh commander responsible for suicide terrorists in the southern Ninewa area. The source says the terrorist surrendered after being shot in the foot by the PMFs. The source sent us a photo of the terrorist. 

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

Friday, a security source reported that security units found a mass grave containing 70 bodies of Yazidis in the Al-Qahtaniya complex in north Sinjar. [Etejah]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

A bizarre security incident occurred at the Degala checkpoint east of Erbil, where government security personnel were reported to have opened fire on people trying to move to Erbil on their way to join Kurdish fighters in Afrin, Syria, who are being attacked by the Turks. Friday, Erbil Asayesh General Manager Tariq Nuri denied that fire was opened against anyone. He conceded there were casualties at the Degala checkpoint, but due to security units being targeted with stones and sticks. Nuri reported that nearly 400 people arrived at the Degala checkpoint who wanted to enter Erbil without undergoing searches and following legal procedures. A number of Kurdish media outlets reported that those people wanted to go to Afrin via Erbil to fight alongside the Kurdish fighters there against the Turkish Army. The media outlets claimed the Asayesh opened fire on the group, causing wounds. [BasNews]

 

HALABJA

Friday, the Asayesh Security Directorate in the Kurdistan Region announced that Daesh is no longer a threat to Halabja, confirming that all Daesh members in Kurdistan and Iran have been killed. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, a KRG Asayesh manager, Nawshirwan Ahmed, announced that his forces destroyed a Daesh base on Bamo Mountain, and seized a large quantity of explosive materials at the hideout. He added that the Asayesh forces will continue searching the highland area to find terrorists. [Shafaaq]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Friday, Turkish authorities accused the YPG of involvement in a bomb attack on one of the buildings of the Tax Department in Ankara, Turkey. Ankara said in a statement that inspection of security cameras proved that a person called Arsan Artoghan left a suitcase bomb, prepared it to detonate, and then left the scene. The statement said that Artoghan was born in Mardin, Turkey and received training by the PYD in Syria, indicating that he entered Turkey illegally. The statement confirmed that Artoghan was arrested and found holding false documents. [Dorar] [Anadolu]

 

The HPG (the military wing of the PKK) announced on Friday that it killed 11 Turkish troops and wounded 5 others in Hakkari just over the Turkish border in the southeast corner of Turkey, in response to the Turkish operation in Afrin. The Kurdish operation destroyed a Turkish military position, after which the Turkish army targeted the area with mortar shells, according to HPG media. [BasNews]

 

Friday, local media reported a 22- year old Syrian citizen known as the “media official” of Daesh in the city of Kocaeli in northwest Turkey. Abdulbaset Hammoud entered Hatay city illegally through Aleppo, then rented an apartment in Kocaeli using a forged ID card. [SNGIQ]

 

Friday, Qasioun reported that the YPG launched two rockets on the center of Turkey’s southern Kilis province, without any reports of casualties. Meanwhile, 6 civilians were injured by the YPG’s artillery shelling of Al-Raihaniya city and other locations in Turkey’s Hatay province across the border from Afrin. [Qasioun]

Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that over 12 days, the PYD/PKK has launched 82 rockets from Afrin on Turkey’s border provinces of Hatay and Kilis, killing 5 Turkish civilians and wounding over 100 others. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. This is indeed a serious matter, Mr. Prime Minister. Can you also tell us how many rockets, artillery, airstrikes, shells the Turkish military has launched on Afrin over those same 12 days and how many civilians were killed?

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign. The Coalition released a statement on Friday saying that much work remains to be done to destroy Daesh and prevent it from regrouping in Syria. The Coalition reports that it killed a senior Daesh leader in November, one in December, and one in January, saying “the removal of these key terrorists disrupts Daesh’s leadership and information dissemination activities, reducing the terrorist group’s ability to plan and conduct terrorist attacks both within Syria and Iraq, and abroad.” [CentCom]

 

Chemical weapons. Friday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis hinted that the US may launch a new military strike against the Syrian government if reports of its use of sarin gas were confirmed. Mattis warned that Washington will not tolerate the use of deadly chemicals by Bashar Al-Assad’s forces. “You have all seen how we reacted to that, so they’d be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical convention,” he said, referring to the April 2017 US military strike on a Syrian air base. “We are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, and we are looking for the evidence,” he added. [Anadolu]

 

Future of Syria. Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition to cooperate with Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura in order to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria. [Rudaw]

 

Writer and Journalist Farouq Hajji Mustafa emphasized in an interview with Rudaw that “so far the US stance is positive, as they are always concerned with the endgame strategy; meaning the US will not accept to hand over this strategic area.” Mustafa was asked about the “diplomatic confusion” preceding the Sochi conference, especially that the high-level opposition was not in attendance and the Syrian government delegation was minimal. Mustafa said that the Sochi conference is purely a Russian effort, and the invitations came under the name of Russia, Iran, and Turkey. [Rudaw]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

Friday, Turkish General Staff said that the number of YPG and Daesh terrorists “neutralized” since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin is up to 823. [Qasioun]

 

Qasioun reports that Turkish forces captured Dermak Mountain on Friday evening. [Qasioun]

Anadolu’s report said this had been accomplished under the cover of artillery and aerial shelling. [Anadolu]

 

Friday, clashes are still ongoing between the YPG and the Turkey-allied Syrian opposition groups, after the Turkey-allied Syrian militias started entering YPG-held areas in the northwest Afrin Rajo subdistrict.  [Qasioun]

 

Friday, Hawar reported that Kurdish fighters killed 4 members of the Turkey-allied Syrian opposition militias and destroyed a military vehicle during the ongoing clashes in Kafr Qar in Rajo. [Hawar]

 

Manbij

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Friday that the US is “in an active discussion with our ally, Turkey,” when asked about the possibility of Operation Olive Branch extending into the Manbij area.  [Anadolu]

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

Daesh says it killed two SDF fighters by detonating an IED on their vehicle near Al-Basira village, on Thursday. [ICDNFeb2]

 

Daesh says it killed an SDF fighter and wounded four others by detonating an IED on their vehicle in Markada, on Thursday. [A3maq] 

 

Raqqa

North Raqqa (Ayn Eissa, Tal Abyad, etc.)

Friday, sources close to the SDF reported that an armed group attempted to infiltrate through the Tal Abyad border crossing from Turkey to launch an attack. The SDF thwarted the attack and killed 4 of the assailants. [BasNews][Hawar]

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

Field sources say that Russian warplanes targeted IDP vehicles in southern rural Aleppo, killing seven displaced persons in their cars. [Baladi]

Friday, according to local sources, seven civilians were killed, and others were injured in Syrian airstrikes on a car carrying civilians on the Aleppo-Damascus highway, east of Idlib city. [Qasioun]

Friday, Ammar Al-Sallum, the White Helmets chief in Aleppo, said that seven civilians were killed, and 18 others were wounded in a Syrian airstrike on a convoy near Aleppo’s southern Tal Hadiya village that was carrying civilians fleeing the ongoing battles in rural southern Aleppo. Meanwhile, 2 civilians were killed, and 3 others were wounded in Syrian airstrikes on Aleppo’s southern village of Kafr Halab, according to Al-Sallum. [Anadolu]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Daesh issues a propaganda video about its battles in the Deir Ez-Zor area. In this video, Daesh attacks its members who defected and Deir Ez-Zor tribes that abandoned Daesh. Daesh publishes an aerial photo of the attack and photos of the suicide terrorists. [ICDNFeb2]

Daesh issues a video of the attack. [A3maq]

 

Mayadin

Daesh says it destroyed a vehicle carrying SDF fighters with an IED in Dernaj village, south of the Al-Omar oilfield, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Albu Kamal

Thursday, violent clashes broke out between Daesh and the SDF in Al-Bahra village, following an SDF attempt to capture the town, with reports of casualties on both sides. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh says 2 of its Syrian suicide terrorists attacked SDF units in Al-Bahra village with a machine gun mounted vehicle bomb, killing or wounding 15 fighters. [ICDNFeb2]

Daesh publishes photos of targeting an SDF position near Al-Bahra village with a B9 shell. [ICDNFeb2]

Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF positions in Al-Bahra village with heavy machine guns. [ICDNFeb2]

DaeshDaily comment. Taken together, the reports of these two sources are confusing. Qasioun says the SDF is making an “attempt” to capture the village; Daesh’s reports say they attacked SDF units already in the village, usually a tacit admission that Daesh does not control that place.  

 

Daesh says it killed two SDF fighters with a rocket north of Al-Baghouz village. [A3maq]

 

Wednesday, Daesh said it killed 2 SDF members with an IED in Al-Basira town in rural Deir Ez-Zor. On the other hand, local sources said that 11 Daesh members were killed and wounded by Coalition airstrikes on Daesh positions in Hajin. [Qasioun]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Daesh publishes photos of its affiliate, Jaish Khaled, targeting Jabiliya village with 122mm artillery. [ICDNFeb2]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Lebanon

Friday, the US Treasury announced that it has sanctioned 6 people connected to the Lebanese Hezbollah, including an Iraqi national, in a crackdown on Hezbollah’s financing sources. [Sumaria]

 

North Africa

Egypt

In a statement on Friday, military spokesman Tamer Al-Refai said that “the Law Enforcement Forces of the Third Field Army arrested 8 persons suspected of backing takfiri elements in Central Sinai, and destroyed 12 hideouts and two four-wheel-drive vehicles belonging to takfiri elements.” [Anadolu]

 

Libya

An official source says that clashes took place Friday morning in the Marada area between a Libyan Army patrol and an armed group believed to belong to Daesh. The armed group tried to blow up the oil company train station. The official source says that the clashes resulted in the killing of 3 terrorists. [AfriGate]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Russia

Thursday, the Russian federal security announced that its units killed a Daesh extremist who was planning to carry out an attack during Russia’s presidential election on March 18. [BaghdadToday]

 

Spain

Thursday, Spanish-based El Periodico newspaper reported that Spanish Civil Guards arrested a Spanish citizen who was promoting Daesh ideology on social media. [Ghad]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it killed a pro-government militia commander and another fighter in Momand Dara on Thursday. [ICDNFeb2]

February 1, 2018

 

Ghouta

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

2,500,000 Iraqi IDPs have returned to their home areas. [..]

Kurds’ agitation continues over KRG share of 2018 budget. [..]

Daesh assassinates retired Army general in Daquq. [..]

Iraqi security arrests 15-member Daesh forgery cell. [..]

Turks claim to have killed 49 PKK in northern Kurdistan airstrikes. [..]

 

Syria

US officials accuse Syria of developing new chemical weapons. [..]

Syria asks UN to curtail Turkey’s invasion of Afrin. [..]

UN official slams Syria, Russia for escalation in Idlib, Eastern Ghouta. [..]

Turkey and allied militias make significant gains in northern Afrin. [..]

Syria claims to have captured 20 more villages in southern Idlib. [..]

Opposition militias, Israel both attack Daesh affiliate in southern Syria. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi attended the victory celebration Thursday organized by the Iraqi Federal Police (IFP) and its affiliates. Al-Abadi said that the government’s challenges following the elimination of terrorism lie in protecting the security of Iraq’s cities and civilians from terrorist cells. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, spokesman Sabah Al-Nu’man announced that the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) handed over its foreign Daesh detainees to the Ministry of Justice to stand trial. Al-Nu’man said in a press statement that “those who were handed over committed terrorist acts inside Iraq; therefore they will stand trial according to Iraqi law.” There are 9 women among the detainees, including French and Germans, in addition to men with European citizenship. [Baghdadia] 

 

Thursday, MoD spokesman Saad Ma’en told the press that the MoD will carry out a large-scale security operation across all Iraqi regions. He also said that “anyone who writes death threats on the walls of houses will be treated as a terrorist.” [Sumaria]

 

UNAMI announced on Thursday that 115 Iraqi civilians were killed and 250 were injured in violence and armed conflict that took place in Iraq last month. Baghdad was the most affected governorate, with 90 civilian deaths and 233 wounded. In Diyala there were 8 civilian deaths and 15 wounded, and in Ninewa 13 civilians were killed and 7 wounded. [BasNews] [Rudaw]

 

Thursday, the Joint Operations Command announced the completion of the War Media Cell’s mission as of the final declaration of victory over Daesh in Iraq. The statement commended the efforts of the War Media Cell and announced that the Security Media Center has been formed to provide the media with security information and facilitate their work. [AIN] 

DaeshDaily comment. We offer our blessings to the IWMC for all its stories repeated in Daesh Daily, but we confess that we found them frustrating in some ways, and as the anti-Daesh struggle reached its later stages, they seemed to disappear. Hopefully the Security Media Center will restore the central coordination of media stories on military and security matters.

 

Reconstruction

Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed newspaper reported from an unnamed Iraqi minister that there are 9 western countries that are hesitant to participate in the Kuwait donor conference, including states in the Coalition. 80 countries were officially invited to attend; 32 have not responded, and 9 requested guarantees against marginalization and ostracism by other attendees. The source added that an Asian state that funded a project to rehabilitate a hospital in Anbar in 2007 has declined to attend the Kuwait conference, as the hospital it funded was destroyed in the battles between the US and Al-Qaeda. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. Maybe we can all relate to the reasons why some aren’t coming. We are all invited at times to events where we will be expected to donate some money. Whether we attend is dependent on whether we (a) have money to donate; (b) feel strongly about helping if we do; and (c) won’t have our contributions marginalized when it turns out that we gave less than other people.

 

The Ministry of Migration and Displacement reported that the regular meeting of the Higher Committee to Rescue and Shelter IDPs, chaired by Jassem Mohammed Al-Jaff and attended by the governors of 

Anbar and Ninewa, discussed the situation of IDP families, and of the families that have returned to their original areas; the stability of liberated areas; and coordinating the efforts of all responsible ministries to return IDPs to normal life. The ministry’s statement said that 2.5 million IDPs have returned to liberated areas. [Xendan] 

 

Election

Thursday, UNAMI representative Jan Kubis announced that he met with Sadrist leader Muqtada Al-Sadr and discussed commitment to holding the elections on schedule, the preparations leading up to them, and the reform project. Kubis said UNAMI is committed to holding the elections on time and will help the IHEC and the government to achieve that. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, London-based Al-Arab newspaper reported that Iran is encouraging a number of its allies in Iraq to form the widest possible Shia alliance in order to eliminate the prospect of a second term for Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, with Badr Secretary General Hadi Al-Amiri in mind as an alternative. The newspaper reported from “high level political sources” that Al-Amiri will receive full Iranian backing after the elections in May, and that Al-Amiri received “an explicit promise” from the National Wisdom Movement leader Ammar Al-Hakim to back him for Prime Minister. [BasNews]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Thursday, the KRG announced that the federal government’s delegation has recently visited the Kurdistan Region, and the two sides have reached an initial agreement consisting of 6 points, pending Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s approval, according to KRG spokesman Safeen Dizayee. He added that the official date to re-open the Kurdistan Region’s airport has not been set. [Sumaria]

 

Kurdish CoR blocs met with Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi on the issue of the 2018 federal budget and discussed proportions and amounts to be allocated to the Peshmerga forces, the benefits of farmers in the Kurdistan Region, and a number of other outstanding issues between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. A KDP CoR member, Bariwan Khailani said “the meeting with Al-Abadi ended without reaching any agreement we can discuss.” [BasNews]

 

Thursday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said that the 17% allocated to the Kurdistan Region in previous years is a “mere political agreement.” He stated that the Peshmerga’s share in the budget was not changed. He also said that the allocations in Iraq are insufficient for all Iraqis, not just the Kurds. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi went to the CoR again to resume discussions on the federal budget for 2018. Kurdish blocs had announced their intention to boycott the CoR sessions on the federal budget if their concerns are not taken into consideration, emphasizing the allocation of 17% of the budget to the Kurdistan Region, and to deal with the Kurdistan Region as one entity as opposed to multiple governorates. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. Given the way the KDP has treated Gorran and other Kurdish parties, trusting the KRG to fairly distribute all the money from Baghdad sounds like a truly absurd demand. Moreover, the record of past years shows that the two major traditional parties (KDP, PUK) have spent vast sums from the KRG treasury for their parties’ purposes while managing not to report the amounts.

 

Thursday, Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki’s office stated that Al-Maliki met with Pavel Jalal Talabani, son of the former Iraq President, to discuss the overall political and security situation in the region as well as the latest local and regional developments. Al-Maliki reiterated the importance of resolving outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad in accordance with the constitution and working to unify the efforts to face the challenges facing Iraq. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Services announced the arrest of 2 wanted terrorists in Baghdad. One was cornered in his house in Al-Jami’a neighborhood in west Baghdad, and the statement clarified that he had escaped from the Kubaisa- Bab Al-Sur area in Anbar. The second one was hiding among civilians in the Arab Jaloub area in Abu Ghraib. [Baghdadia] 

 

ANBAR

Hit/Haditha

Thursday, a local source in Anbar reported that a policeman died from his wounds caused by the US airstrikes on Al-Baghdadi, raising the number of victims to nine. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, a security source in Anbar revealed that the US forces are still deployed in the Khasfa area of Haditha, Wadi Horan, and the deserts of Rawa and Al-Qa’im. [BasNews]

 

Rutba

Thursday, a security source in Anbar reported that a border guard was killed and four others wounded in an IED explosion near the Al-Walid border crossing from Daesh’s remnants. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A DaeshDaily source says a PMF logistics official and another PMF member were killed when an IED exploded on their pickup vehicle in the Makhoul Mountains area. The source says the pickup was loaded with weapons and ammunition. 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Thursday, the Diyala Police announced that Hibhib police patrols arrested 3 suspects on criminal and terrorist charges. [Baghdadia] 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Thursday, a local source reported there is an “influential politician” in Salahuddin who deals with Daesh and facilitates the terrorist group’s sale of stolen sheep from Diyala and Salahuddin. He says that hundreds of sheep were stolen in recent weeks. Allegedly, the politician transports them via the Udhaim area, going around Albu Bakr village. [Ghad] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says a PMF Press media team member was killed and three others wounded when their vehicle was hit by a Daesh rocket near the Udhaim Dam.  

 

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Service announced the arrest of 4 terrorists in Udhaim. [Baghdadia] 

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A security source said that on Thursday two members of the Tribal PMF were killed in an armed attack at a Tribal PMF checkpoint in Al-Theban village. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday evening, the PMF’s 2nd brigade and IFP units killed 3 Daesh members and destroyed Daesh tunnels in a pre-emptive operation in Hawija’s villages, according to the PMF media. [PressIraq] 

 

IFP commander Ra’ed Shaker Jawdat announced that search operations in Al-Zab Al-Kebir and in the Qayara subdistrict of Mosul District led to the death of one terrorist and the destruction of a sleeper cell guesthouse that contained various kinds of ammunition. [Baghdadia] 

 

Daesh says it destroyed a PMF vehicle with an IED near Al-Salmani village, southwest of Riyadh, on Tuesday, wounding one fighter. [ICDNFeb1]

Daesh says it detonated a booby-trapped house on a PMF patrol in Kawaz village, east of Hawija, on Tuesday, killing three fighters. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

A security source in Kirkuk Governorate reported that Daesh units killed retired Iraqi Army Maj. Gen. Anwar Al-Danuk Al-Abidi in the Tal Khadija village in Rashad on Wednesday. [Forat]

Former Ninewa Governor Atheel Al-Nujaifi said that the assassination of Maj. Gen. Al-Abidi constitutes a launch of “the first phase of a new Daesh plan” which targets Sunnis. He predicts that such operations will take place in the outskirts of Kirkuk, Diyala, Mosul, and south of Mosul. Al-Nujaifi said that Daesh is calling this phase “Sayd Al-Ghirban” (the hunting of crows), which is the first of four phases it is planning to carry out. He said the Iraqi government must direct its anti-terrorism policies towards reinforcing national unity before terrorism prevails again. [Shafaaq]

DaeshDaily comment. People say the darnedest things! There is hardly anyone else in Iraq who has undermined Iraqi unity more than Mr. Nujaifi, a known separatist and ally of the Turks, who brought Turkish troops into Ninewa who are still there.

 

Daesh says it killed a PMF member in Tal Khadija village, west of Rashad, on Wednesday. [ICDNFeb1]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

Thursday, Ninewa PC member Husam Al-Abbar revealed that National Security Service captured a 15-member Daesh gang that forges documents for Daesh in Mosul. He added that security units are working to capture former Daesh members, based on intelligence data from Mosul residents in some instances. He added that the bodies of Daesh members still remain in Old Mosul in addition to war remnants. [Ghad] 

 

Western Ninewa

Baaj

Thursday, Iraqi forces arrested the Daesh “Minister of Oil,” Abdulghani Dhirgham Abdulsamad, in the Baaj desert near the Iraqi-Syrian border as he was trying to escape to Syria, according to Ninewa Ops Commander Najm Al-Jubouri. [Buratha]

 

A DaeshDaily source says PMFs stopped a Daesh attack near the Tal Safouk area, killing 8 terrorists. The source says four PMF fighters were killed in the attack. 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Najaf

Thursday, Sadrist leader Muqtada Al-Sadr and National Wisdom Movement leader Ammar Al-Hakim met in Al-Hakim’s office in Najaf. [Sumaria]

 

Babel

Babel representative Adnan Al-Janabi says that “not one IDP from Jurf Al-Sakhar has returned. By contrast, the official spokesman of the Hezbollah brigades, the main faction in Jurf Al-Sakhar, says 85% of its IDPs have returned. Al-Janabi added that the IDPs have not been allowed to return due to “excuses about mines and explosives, which were not there to begin with.” He also questioned how Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi is going to hold the elections while he is still obligated to return the IDPs, based on the amendments to the CoR elections law, which obliges the executive authorities to return IDPs as a condition for holding the elections. [Rudaw]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

The Iraqi government has ordered that Kurdish communication companies stop their landline services without giving a warning or grace period, according to Fatih Ismail Ahmed, Nawroz Telecom spokesman. Ahmed added that this decision will have a great impact on the communications sector. [BasNews]

 

ERBIL

The US Consulate in Erbil announced that it will award $25,000 for new services projects that serve the Kurdistan Region. [BasNews]

 

Turkish airstrikes. According to Anadolu, the Turkish Army announced the deaths of 49 PKK fighters in separate airstrikes on PKK locations in Qandil, Al-Zab, and Avashin. [Sumaria] 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Wednesday, a 27-year old Daesh commander called Hussein Bin Ali Bousaha, also known as “Abu Salman Al-Tounsi,” was detained by the Kurdish forces in northern Syria. He was in charge of selling sheep and petroleum in Deir Ez-Zor. During questioning he revealed the details of an alleged deal between Turkey and Daesh that allowed 360 foreign fighters to enter Syria through Turkey in return for releasing Turkish diplomats in the Mosul Consulate who were detained when Daesh took over the city in 2014. [Forat]

 

Thursday, NTV reported that an explosion occurred in the heating room of the tax department in Ankara. [Sumaria]

 

After a meeting with the Iraqi Planning Minister Salman Ali Al-Jumaili in Ankara, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said that Turkey supports the opening of the two border crossings of Faysh Khabur and Ovakoy with Iraq, confirming that “Turkey does not support any authority, except the Iraqi Federal government, to implement taxes and standards.” “We believe that the Iraqi Federal government has the only authority over all the goods entering Iraq through the Iraqi customs gates,” he added. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Chemical weapons. US officials accused the Syrian government of developing new and more sophisticated chemical weapons. President Donald Trump is “not ruling out further military action” to deter the Syrian government from developing new chemical weapons or as a way of punishing President Bashar Al-Assad, according to US officials. [WashingtonPost] [Anadolu]

 

Afrin. On January 25th, Dana W. White, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, reiterated that “Turkey is an ally and we’re going to work with them, but this current offensive is a distraction and we have to focus as allies on the mission at hand and that’s defeating ISIS.” [Rudaw] 

 

Thursday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry called on the UN Secretary General and Security Council to put a limit to the Turkish attack on Afrin, adding that Turkey is violating resolutions 2170 and 2178. [BasNews]

 

United Nations. Thursday, the United Nations called on the Syrian government, Russia and Iran to stop escalation in Idlib and the Eastern Ghouta, stressing the need to declare a “humanitarian truce.” At a news conference in Geneva on Thursday, Jan Egeland, adviser to the UN special envoy for Syria, said that the Syrian government’s approval of aid convoys has reached its lowest level since 2015.”Through December and January, there has not been a single convoy of lifesaving relief, medical supplies or food to any besieged areas. That is the worst we have experienced since 2015. We have not had a medical evacuation since the end of December,” Egeland added. [EnabBaladi][ Anadolu]

 

Political future. Thursday, the Syrian government announced that it welcomes the Sochi conference’s results, clarifying that the political process in Syria can only start and continue with Syrian leadership, without foreign intervention, according to a Syrian official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [Rudaw]

 

Northwest

Afrin

SOHR reports clashes between the YPG and Turkish forces in the Shankila area in Bulbul subdistrict northwest of Afrin and in Khalil village in Sheikh Hadid subdistrict in western rural Afrin. [SyriaHR]

 

SOHR reports that in the last 24 hours, the Kurdish forces in Afrin have killed 1 Turkish soldier and 14 Turkey-allied militia fighters. [SyriaHR]

 

Wednesday, the Turkish army and its allied militias captured Mount Ain Al-Batman in the northwestern Rajo subdistrict. [Qasioun]

 

Thursday, the Turkish army and its allied Syrian factions captured the center of the Bulbul subdistrict as well as several other locations in Bulbul. [Anadolu] [Qasioun] Thursday, Turkey-allied Syrian opposition militias captured Ali Qar and Zarah villages in Bulbul subdistrict in northern Afrin, following battles with the YPG. [Qasioun]

 

Thursday, pro-PYD Hawar reported that the YPG destroyed a Turkish military vehicle in Qurna village in Bulbul, killing its crew. It claims that at least 20 Turkish soldiers were killed during clearing operations in Zarah. [Hawar]

 

In a statement to Anadolu on Thursday, an FSA officer said that the Free Syrian Army killed two PYD soldiers and captured two others inside a 50-meter-long tunnel recently discovered in Qastal Jando village in Shara subdistrict just east of Bulbul. [Anadolu]

 

Wednesday, Qasioun reported that the Turkish army targeted the YPG positions in Dermak Mountain in Afrin with aerial and artillery shelling. Likewise, Turkish planes carried out several airstrikes on the YPG positions in Al-Thuq, Bashamra and Basofan in the Shirawa subdistrict in eastern Afrin.  [Qasioun]

 

Thursday, a Turkish civilian was injured when a rocket fired by the YPG from Syria’s Afrin hit Turkey’s border province of Kilis. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. Turkish media duly record any rockets and artillery fire that land in Turkey, generally leaving the implication that these are unprovoked attacks. They somehow don’t manage to report all the fire coming across the border from Turkey that kills soldiers and civilians in Syria. 

 

In response to questions about a PKK attack on civilians in Kilis Turkey from the Afrin region of Syria, Kenneth McKenzie, spokesman for the US General Staff, said “we condemn any attack on Turkey,” adding, “I do not know about this specific attack, but of course we condemn the attacks of the PKK against Turkey and we are working with Turkey to limit the impact of this threat.” [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. Did he actually condemn attacks on Turkey but not attacks on Afrin? 

 

Azaz

Thursday, according to the SDF media center, the YPG targeted a Turkish military point and a convoy in Kaljibrin, in Azaz, with 17 missiles. Likewise, the YPG targeted two Turkish tanks in Mare’. [Hawar]

 

A DaeshDaily source says opposition militia units captured 22 Iraqi Daesh members near Mare’, as they were trying to flee to Turkey.

Northeast 

Hasaka

Daesh says it shot and killed a PYD Asayish member near Shaddadi on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

SOHR reports clashes between the Syrian forces and opposition militias in the area between Abu Al-Dhuhur and Saraqib. [SyriaHR]

Thursday, Qasioun reported that the Syrian forces captured Idlib’s southeastern villages of Abian, Jubb Zreiq, Abu Khanadiq Janoubi, Mazra’at Al-Aw, Al-Husseiniya, Tal Sultan, Misidah, Tal Khartah, Jabal Al-Tawil, Tal Kalba and Tal Al-Touqan, putting the Syrian forces around 16 km (10 miles) from Saraqib city in  eastern Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

According to a SANA correspondent in Aleppo, the Syrian forces captured the villages of Wasita Sharqiya, Wasita Gharbiya, Al-Tuwim, Tal Jina, Al-Ananah, Tal Fakhar, Tal Aqarib, Umm Al-Karamil, Tal Al-Hasan, and Tal Atshana, following clashes with Tahrir Al-Sham and its allied Syrian opposition factions. As a result, several members of Tahrir Al-Sham and its allies were reportedly killed and wounded. [SyriaNow]

 

Hama

SOHR reports fierce clashes between the Syrian forces and Daesh in northeastern rural Hama. [SyriaHR]

 

Thursday, Dorar reports that the Syrian forces seized new villages in eastern rural Hama after Daesh fighters withdrew. [Dorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal

Wednesday, according to Russian media sources, Daesh carried out an attack on the Syrian forces’ positions near Albu Kamal. The chief of staff of the 67th Syrian armored brigade, General Khalil Mahfouz was reportedly killed during the attack. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting a Syrian Army military position with a rocket in Al-Abbas village, north of Albu Kamal. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Daesh says it killed an SDF fighter and wounded another with a rocket near Al-Bahra village. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Daesh says it killed nine SDF fighters with IEDs near Gharanij on Tuesday. [A3maq]

Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF positions near Gharanij with BMP shells. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Daesh publishes photos of an attack on SDF positions northeast of Abu Hassan village. [ICDNFeb1]

Daesh says a group of its terrorists destroyed an SDF military position in the attack before returning safely. [ICDNFeb1]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Daesh publishes photos of a military training camp for young boys in the Damascus area. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Daraa/Quneitra

In a joint statement by the “People of the Land” and “Repelling the Aggressors” operation rooms, the Syrian opposition militias operating in western Daraa announced the launch of a new campaign, code-named “The Conquerors,” against the Daesh affiliate “Jaish Khaled ibn Al-Waleed” in order to drive it out of the Yarmouk Basin area in western rural Daraa. Meanwhile, the Israeli army, stationed in Tal Al-Furs in the Golan Heights, targeted Jaish Khaled’s positions in the strategically important village of Tal Al-Jumo’ in the Yarmouk Basin area with 4 rockets. [Qasioun][Dorar]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

A security source says a policeman was killed and another wounded during an ambush when terrorists in a 4-wheel-drive car launched an attack on their position in southern Arish. The police turned back the attack, forcing the terrorists to flee. [ElWatan]

Daesh says its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier south of Arish. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Morocco

Thursday, a statement from the Morocco MoD announced that Moroccan security authorities captured a terrorist cell of 7 members, which was active between the cities of Tangier and Meknes and was planning to join a Daesh branch. The MoD added that the security operation led to the capture of weapons, books, and writings that glorify extremist ideology, as well as electronic equipment. [Watan]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

Reuters reported that “a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled on Wednesday that Twitter Inc. is not liable to families of two U.S. government contractors killed in an Islamic State attack in Jordan for having failed to block that group from using its accounts and messaging services.” [Mawazin] [Reuters]

 

Germany

Head of the German security agency, BFV, Hans-Georg Maassen, said the German government must revise its laws that restrict the surveillance of minors, as “brainwashed” children of Daesh fighters who returned to Germany may carry out attacks. [Mawazin] [Reuters]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it shot and killed an Afghan Intelligence officer in Jalalabad on Wednesday. [ICDNFeb1]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 117th issue of its Naba’ magazine. It includes reports about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, and other countries, and an infographic about its attack on Save the Children in Afghanistan. In a short article, Daesh explained why the US policy of depending on local partners, in Iraq and Afghanistan, “failed.” [ICDNFeb1]