An Update On ISIS Activities

April 5, 2018

 

Daesh Tunnel in Tharthar

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Families of Daesh terrorists are receiving government death benefits. [..]

Masoum takes CoR budget allocation for KRG to court. [..]

Military incidents with Daesh increasing in northern Diyala. [..]

Christian girl freed from Daesh after 4 years in captivity. [..]

KRG Mine Action Agency warns of all the mines still remaining. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey warns France against “encouraging” the PYD & YPG. [..]

 

Syria

WHO, UNICEF sound alarm over deaths, major risks from explosive hazards. [..]

Turks indicate imminent takeover of Tal Rifaat in Azaz District. [..]

Turks cause a snag in East Ghouta withdrawal negotiations. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

US  Institute of Peace hosted a meeting between officials of the US administration and military commanders with Iraqi leaders and international experts. The discussion was focused on stability in Iraq and Syria. US commanders expect Daesh’s final defeat to be in 6-8 months according to CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph Votel. [SotIraq]

 

The Deputy Commander of Coalition forces says the Iraqi Army gained great experience from its operations against Daesh , and its effectiveness is now internationally recognized.  Meeting the Iraqi Army Chief of Staff, he says the Coalition will continue supplying and training the Iraqi army. [Sumaria]

 

PMF says its forces have defused over a quarter of a million mines and IEDs during the past 4 years, saving millions of lives. However, it lost 18 lives among those on its engineering teams. [SotIraq]

 

Buratha says the Russian Army says Daesh leader Al-Baghdadi is no longer in Syria, but in Iraq, but the specific location is unknown. [Buratha] 

DaeshDaily comment. How reassuring that we are relying on the Russians to tell us the truth about Baghdadi’s whereabouts.

Human Rights Watch heavily criticized Iraqi security authorities for publishing a video of a freed Yazidi girl, describing the video as “annoying. HRW says Iraqi law regarding definition of Daesh operatives is vague and lacks precise terms, as it incriminates supporting, assisting, and being compassionate with Daesh rather than committing certain actions, such as sexual slavery or rape. [SotIraq]

 

Corruption

Possibly related to the story above, a DaeshDaily source says the families of hundreds, or even thousands of killed Daesh members are receiving compensation payments from the government because the dead terrorists were considered “victims of military operations.” The source says Daesh families are making use of the weak intelligence efforts and corruption of some officials. The source sent us a photo of the official record of one of those “victims”, who was actually a suicide terrorist who blew himself up in Tikrit and had appeared in a Daesh publication with a senior Daesh commander. 

 

Election

Leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, Hamid Al-Hayes, sharply criticized Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s decision to forgive tribal sheikhs and political figures involved with Daesh in Anbar as an “elections advertisement/promotion for a certain list,” at the expense of the martyrs. [Forat]

 

“Informed sources” report a new move to cancel electronic counting in the coming elections and return to manual counting, which was the main source of election fraud in previous elections. The plan is for the Independent High Electoral Commission to announce its inability to perform electronic counting and then shift to plan B, i.e. manual counting. [Buratha]

 

Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki says that reform in Iraq cannot be achieved without a political majority ruling the country. [Rudaw]

 

The leader of the Nujaba PMF factions called on Iraqis to participate in the coming elections, and to expel  US friends and allies from office. Talking to an Iranian news service, He says “the corrupt brought destruction to Iraq through dealing with the Americans, Saudis, and supporters of Daesh”. [SotIraq]

DaeshDaily comment. Do we need to mention that the US Congress recently declared Nujaba’ a terrorist organization?

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Wednesday, Arabi 21 said that Iraq’s President, Fuad Masoum, ordered last Thursday that the budget  be officially published in the official gazette, ending weeks of political grappling over the document. However, local media sources reported that Masoum filed suit against the CoR Speaker over what he believes are legal and constitutional violations in the recently approved 2018 federal budget. The petition, filed before Iraq’s supreme federal court, cites 14 violations, among them that the allocation set for the Kurdistan Region is at odds with the constitutional stipulation to set a “fair” share for the Region. Another point referred to by the President was one which, he suggests, encroaches on the authority of the KRG and its parliament to manage the financial affairs of Kurdish provinces. [Arabi21]

 

Thursday, Turkey’s Ambassador to Iraq, Fatih Yildiz, said Turkey supports improved ties between Baghdad and Erbil, adding that outstanding differences should be resolved in accordance with Iraq’s constitution.“The consolidation of relations between Baghdad and Erbil within a single, unified Iraq is in Turkey’s interest,” Yildiz told Anadolu Agency. Yildiz added that “Turkish military operations are underway against the PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, but there are no Turkish military activities in Mosul’s Sinjar district.” “The Iraqi Army is conducting special security operations with a view to regaining full control of Sinjar and its surroundings,” he asserted. [Anadolu]

 

Foreign  policy

Ambassador of Iraq to the UN says Iraq works closely with the international community to build peace and stability in the country. He spoke about Iraq’s unity in the confrontation against Daesh , praising the assistance and support of the international community in this context. [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Baghdad Operations command says it arrested several men wanted on terrorism charges in various areas of Baghdad. [Baghdadia]  

 

Northeast (Adhamiya, etc.)

Thursday, MoI spokesman Gen Saad Ma’en announced that a Daesh terrorist was captured in northeast Baghdad. [Knooz]

 

The MoI announced the arrest of a Daesh operative heading a terrorist group in northeast Baghdad. Exact area was not identified. [Baghdadia] We don’t know if this is the same story as the one above.

 

East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

The MoI says an IED exploded in Obeidi in east Baghdad without causing casualties. [Sumaria]

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:   3(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:   1

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

A DaeshDaily source says Iraqi Army 7th division units found a large Daesh tunnel in the Sarajiyah area, in Thirthar, near Dolab The source says the units provided GSP coordinates to Coalition planes, and the planes destroyed the tunnel, killing 7 terrorists. The source sent us photos of the tunnel.

Thursday, spokesman of the Security Media Center, Gen. Yahya Rasoul, said that military intelligence units found a guesthouse within a large tunnel where terrorists hid in Jazeerat Thirthar in the Sarajiyah area. The tunnel was surrounded from the outside and targeted by the Coalition, killing 7 Daesh operatives who were hiding in it. 6 IEDs and 2 suicide belts were found. [Baghdadia]

 

Hit/Haditha

Thursday, Anbar PMF commander Qatari Al-Abadi announced that an Army unit, backed by tribal PMFs, carried out a security operation against a group of Daesh units inside a secret tunnel in Al-Mahboubiya located between Al-Baghdadi and Hit. He added that the violent clashes led to the death of all 8 Daesh members. [BaghdadNews]

 

A security source in Anbar says 29th army brigade units backed by tribal mobilization units killed 7 Daesh fighters in the desert north of Hit city. [Rudaw]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Iraqi Army units killed 2 Daesh terrorists hiding in a tunnel in Barwana, just south of Haditha. The source sent us photos of the 2 terrorists. 

 

Al-Qa’im

A security source in Anbar says army units killed 4 Daesh fighters during sweep operation in  the Al-Qa’im desert. The 4 were chased near the Syrian border line, where two Daesh guesthouses were also destroyed. [BasNews] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says a 5-year-old girl was killed by a Daesh leftover IED on a farm north of Al-Qa’im.

 

Rutba

A DaeshDaily source says an Anbar Emergency Police member was killed and two others wounded when Daesh terrorists in 4 pickup vehicles attacked Al-Dhab’a village, in Rutba District. 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)

A security source in Salahuddin says an IED wounded three civilians in Sajla village in Dujail District. [Sumaria]

 

DIYALA

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

A military source in Diyala says joint units from the Diyala Operations Command destroyed a Daesh guesthouse and ammunition cache, and arrested 5 Daesh operatives in the villages of Makhisa (near Muqdadiya), Sheikhi (near Abu Saida), and Abu Karma (near Al-Waqf). [Baghdadia] [Ghad] Another unit captured 2 wanted men in possession of a Kalashnikov rifle, fake IED, and an ID stapling device. [Baghdadia] 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Intelligence sources informed DaeshDaily that security units killed Abu Nabeel Al-Iraqi, the Daesh logistics official of Diyala, and 7 of his associates in the Himrin area. The sources say security units found documents with the dead terrorist that would lead to the capture of several Daesh sleeper cells. 

 

Khanaqin

Khanaqin police says Daesh attacked a civilian bus on Jalawla-Khanaqin road killing three civilians and wounding several others. [PUKMedia] 

 

Daesh says it blew up a crude oil pipe between the oilfield town of Nafut Khana and Baghdad with an IED. [ICDNApr5]

 

Thursday, a security source reported that Daesh attacked a bus transporting civilians on the Jalawla-Khanaqin road in Diyala, killing civilian passengers aboard. [BaghdadToday]

 

A security source says PF units blocked a Daesh attempt to enter the Asakira area in Sadiya, Khanaqin. The PMF engaged Daesh fighters coming on motorcycle, who were forced to retreat to the Himrin hills. [Sumaria]

 

Udhaim

A DaeshDaily source says Iraqi Army 5th division found a Daesh explosives cache in Albu Awad village, in Udhaim near the Salahuddin border. The source sent us photos of the cache. 

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) announced that the MIS 5th division raided a hideout in Albu Awad village that contained Daesh weapons and ammunition. [Ghad] 

 

PMF media says its 5th brigade captured a Daesh ammunition and explosives cache during a search mission in Hamal village near the Himrin Mountains in Udhaim subdistrict. The cache was safely removed. [Ghad]

 

KIRKUK

A source at the Pentagon says a special selected unit of Peshmerga was deployed in Kirkuk in coordination with the Iraqi Federal government. The sources say the Peshmerga are from the PUK. [SotIraq]

Kirkuk

The Chairman of the CoR Security Committee says there  are 750 Daesh fighters deployed and threatening the Baghdad-Kirkuk road. He demanded that the Prime Minister reveal the identity of those who are preventing Iraqi Air Force planes from attacking and destroying these groups. [Buratha]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh says it killed at least three PMF fighters, wounded others, destroyed 2 SUVs, and damaged an armored vehicle with 3 IEDs near Sadouniya village, west of Riyadh, on Wednesday. [ICDNApr5]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

Thursday, a security source in Kirkuk reported that skirmishes took place between Daesh and security units in Daquq subdistrict, especially in Arab Koy village. He noted that the security units comprising the PMF and IFP detected unusual movement on Thursday evening; they searched the area after gunshots were fired and determined the source was Daesh units. [Ghad] 

Thursday, informed sources reported that Daesh militants targeted Iraqi forces in the Kobani village of Daquq district and the clashes are ongoing. [Rudaw]

 

A security source in Kirkuk says joint army and PMF unit ambushed a Daesh car carrying 5 fighters in Rashad subdistrict and killed them all. Rudaw]

 

Daesh publishes photos of setting on fire the house of a tribal PMF fighter near Ghaida village, south of Daquq. [ICDNApr5]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

A publicly shown video features a Christian girl named Rita, who was freed from Daesh captivity and returned to her father after 4 years. Rita is from Qaraqosh, a largely Christian city in Hamdaniya and was sold at least four times before being freed by the SDF in Syria and returned home through an NGO and the Kurdistan Regional Government. [BasNews] 

 

Mosul

MoI says Ninewa police arrested seven Daesh operatives in eastern Yarimjah in southeast Mosul. All arrestees are wanted on terror charges. [Xendan] 

 

Joint operations command says 20th army division captured an ammunition cache hidden in the Badoush area in far northwest Mosul. [Sumaria]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil

A security source n Ninewa says police found remains of 56 men from local police and security who were executed by Daesh during their capture of Mosul in 2014. The remains were buried in Albu Saif village south of Mosul. [BasNews] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) soldiers finished the renovation of a school in Al-Adhba village and handed it over to the Ninewa Directorate of Education. The source says the soldiers rebuilt the school, destroyed in an airstrike in 2015, at their own expense. 

 

Western Ninewa  (No reports)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Dhi Qar

Thursday, a local source in the Dhi Qar governorate reported that an inmate in the Nasiriya central prison died from tuberculosis. [Ghad]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

According to a government statistical report, 25-30% of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region still contains land mines planted by Daesh, and other occupying forces over the past years. The report noted that mines have claimed the lives of many civilians and security men. Obeid Ahmad, the General Director of the technical affairs of the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA), said that “500,000 out of 700,000 square km in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region have been cleared of mines.” [ROJ]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Thursday, the PKK media center announced that the PKK carried out “special operations” against a Turkish military headquarters in Doğubayazıt District in Turkey’s eastern  Ağrı Province, killing 9 members of the Turkish Army. [ROJ]

In a statement published on Thursday, the Turkish Chief of Staff announced that “4 PKK terrorists were neutralized during a Turkish Army operation in Turkey’s southeastern Şırnak Province.” [Anadolu]

Thursday, Turkey’s European Union Affairs Minister, Omer Celik, urged Turkey’s allies not to train YPG “terrorists.” “We do not want to see any of our allies’ soldiers training YPG terrorists. We are expecting that France does nothing to encourage or support the YPG/PYD. Any help offered to the PYD/YPG would be deemed help for terrorism,” Celik told reporters after his meeting in Paris with his French counterpart Nathalie Loiseau and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. He added that Turkey and France share “common views” on a number of matters in Syria. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. Surely they do agree on some things, but not the Afrin invasion, which France clearly opposed and tried to discourage. The response from the Turks is that this makes France a friend of terrorists, just like the United States. This arrogant propaganda will apparently continue as long as it serves domestic political purposes.

 

A shooting inside a Turkish university in Aski Shahir in northern Turkey left 4 persons dead, says Turkish media. [PUKMedia] 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF called for international action in response to explosive hazards in Syria where at least 910 children were killed, and 361 others maimed by explosive devices in 2017. “More than 8 million people are exposed to explosive hazards in Syria, including over 3 million children,” the WHO and the UNICEF said. According to the statement, 1,000 children were reportedly killed or injured in intensifying violence in the first 2 months of 2018 alone. Noting the situation in Raqqa where an estimated 200,000 people have returned to the city and outskirts since last October, the statement said: “These families are at tremendous risk of being killed or maimed by explosive hazards that litter the city.”“At least 658 people were reportedly injured and more than 130 killed by landmines, booby traps and unexploded ordnance in Raqqa city from 20 October 2017 to 23 February 2018,” the statement added. [Qasioun]

 

Wednesday, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said that keeping the US troops in Syria was aimed at eradicating Daesh. “We’ve made significant progress in that regard. The military mission to eradicate Daesh in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with Daesh being almost completely destroyed.  So, there’s no need for our troops to stay there anymore. Now, we want to focus on transitioning to local enforcement,” she added. “The United States and our partners remain committed to eliminating the small Daesh presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated. We will continue to consult with our allies and friends regarding future plans. We expect countries in the region and beyond, plus the United Nations, to work toward peace and ensure that Daesh never re-emerges,” she said. [Anadolu]

 

Thursday, Iran’s Defense Minister, Amir Hatami, said that those who entered Syria without Damascus’ permission must leave Syria immediately. He urged Turkey to resolve its security concerns in northern Syria with the Syrian government.  Hatami also said that he dismissed claims made by US President Donald Trump on swiftly withdrawing US troops from Syria as a hoax on the part of Washington. “I was very surprised when I heard these words from Trump, because the Americans planned their military presence in Syria and sought [the country’s] division. When I heard it, I didn’t believe it and first asked myself: why do they make such announcements? But considering my knowledge and my experience, I think it is their new conspiracy,” the minister said on the sidelines of the seventh Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in an interview with RT. He added that reports, which followed the US president’s announcement, that the country’s top security officials advised him against the move show internal contradictions in the Trump administration. [SyriaNow]

 

A Syrian Kurd leader says that there are possibilities for joint military operations between the SDF and Iraqi forces against Daesh, which poses a threat to both parties. [BasNews]

Northwest 

Afrin/Azaz

Thursday, Turkey’s presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said that “the Olive Branch Operation will continue until the whole region is cleared from terrorists, including Tal Rifaat.” He also added that “Russia informed us that there are almost no YPG/PYD terrorists left in Tal Rifaat. We will make sure through our own sources.” [Anadolu]

 

 Thursday, Qasioun quoted Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Bekir Bozdag, as saying that Tal Rifaat in Azaz will be cleared just like Afrin. Speaking to a local news channel, Haberturk, Bozdag said, “Just as the PKK/YPG terrorist organization was cleared from Afrin, now Tal Rifaat will be cleared.” [Qasioun]

 

Thursday, the official spokesman of the Turkey-allied “National Army” militia, Lt. Col. Mohammed Al-Hamadin, said that “negotiations are still underway to hand over Tal Rifaat and all the surrounding villages to the “Free Syrian Army.” In the next few days, there will be significant progress regarding the fate of the city and its surroundings.” [Qasioun]

 

Northeast 

Raqqa

Raqqa city& district

 

See WHO/UNICEF story on Raqqa under National News above.

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

Thursday, SOHR reported that violent clashes broke out between the Syrian forces and Syrian opposition factions in Warida village as well as other locations in rural southern Aleppo, accompanied by mutual shelling, with initial reports of casualties on both sides. [SyriaHR]

 

Homs

Thursday, SOHR reported that fierce clashes are still ongoing between Daesh and Syrian government forces in different locations south of Tadmur, following a Daesh attack. The clashes are accompanied by mutual shelling, with reports of casualties on both sides. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin District

A DaeshDaily source confirms that Daesh captured Al-Azraq oilfield, east of Deir Ez-Zor, after heavy battles with the SDF. The source says four SDF fighters were killed and six others, including an officer, were captured. 

DaeshDaily comment. We think it is past time for the Pentagon to address the problem in Deir Ez-Zor, where the once dominating SDF now seems unable to hold territory previously won. 

 

Albu Kamal District

Wednesday, Qasioun reported that clashes broke out between Daesh and the Syrian forces, following a new Daesh attack on the Syrian forces’ positions on the outskirts of Al-Ghabra village near Albu Kamal, with reports of casualties on both sides. [Qasioun]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Lebanese Hezbollah units are looting houses in Albu Kamal city. The source sent us a video of Hezbollah fighters packing up furniture from a house. 

 

Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army position near Albu Kamal with 2 SPG9 rockets, wounding a soldier. [ICDNApr5] 

Daesh publishes photos of the attacks. [ICDNApr5] [ICDNApr5]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Thursday, the evacuation process for the 4th batch of Douma IDPs was suspended due to new conflicts between the negotiators. According to special sources, negotiations are being held between  Jaish Al-Islam on one hand, and Russia and Syrian on the other to reach a “new agreement” on the future of  Douma, East Qalamoun, southern Rif Damashq and south Damascus. The snag was prompted by the Turkish actions at the crossing gate between its “Euphrates Shield area and the Syrian forces-held area.  [SyriaHR] 

Syria Now reported that internal conflicts among Jaish Al-Islam members have delayed the evacuation of the 4th batch of Jaish Al-Islam members and their family out of Douma. The buses that were supposed to drive them to Jarabulus have left the city. [SyriaNow]

 

Thursday, SOHR reported that negotiations are still underway between Russia and Syria on one hand, and Syrian opposition factions in southern Rif Damashq and the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus in order to reach a new agreement on the future of the towns of Yelda, Bait Sahm and Babila.  [SyriaHR]

 

Daraa

A DaeshDaily source says a Syrian Army 1st lieutenant was killed by a Daesh sniper near Tal Al-Jamou’ town, west of Daraa. The source says the army retaliated by rocketing the town, killing two civilians and wounding others. 

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Sudan

Sudanese security announced that its units brought back 7 female Sudanese Daesh members, from Misrata, Libya. The 7 women were presented to journalists at the Khartoum airport wearing traditional Sudanese clothing, where their relatives received them with “Allahu Akbar” chants. A reporter told Agence France Presse that the women were accompanied by 3 children. A general in Sudanese intelligence and security, Tijani Ibrahim, said that some of the women participated in combat. [Youm7]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Afghani forces announced they killed 4 Daesh fighters in military operations in Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan. [Ghad]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 126th issue of its Naba’ magazine. In this issue, Daesh republishes stories about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. Daesh issues an infographic about its attacks in Kabul city during the last 6 months. It says it killed or wounded 1,220 people including 539 Shia, 360 security members, 129 Afghan Army members, 76 journalists and their associates, and 25 foreigners and consulate employees. Daesh also published 2 articles attacking other armed groups, especially Al-Qaeda. Daesh also published the 3rd installment of its security instructions to its members and followers. [ICDNApr5]

 

April 4, 2018

 

East Ghouta

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

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. [..]

 

Turkey

NATO member Turkey to install a Russian air defense system. [..]

 

Syria

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

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

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.

 

Reconstruction

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]

Election

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]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

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. 

 

Foreign  policy

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]

 

BAGHDAD

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]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

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. 

 

Ramadi

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]

 

Hit/Haditha

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]

 

Al-Qa’im

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]

 

Rutba

The PMF says its units defused 5 booby-trapped houses in Rutba District. The houses were reported by local residents. [Ghad] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

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

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] 

 

KIRKUK

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] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

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)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

According to the Joint Operations Command (JOC), a sweep operation in Basra resulted in the arrest of 40 wanted persons. [Sumaria]

 

Dhi Qar

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] 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

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] 

 

ERBIL

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]

 

DAHUK

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

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United States

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]

 

Chemical weapons

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]

 

Daesh

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]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

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]

 

Northeast 

Raqqa

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 

Aleppo/Idlib

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]

 

Homs

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)

Mayadin District

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. 

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

East Ghouta

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

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

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]