An Update On ISIS Activities

January 19, 2018

 

Turkish Forces near Afrin

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

UNICEF official estimates 2.6 Iraqi IDPs, half of them children. [..]

Crisis continues over Daesh pockets in northern Diyala. [..]

 

Syria

Turkish invasion of YPG-held Syrian northwest border area begins. [..]

Coalition unleashes 59 airstrikes in Albu Kamal in one week. [..]

Daesh continues attack on SDF positions in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

Afghanistan

Russia’s Lavrov warns that Daesh fleeing Iraq, Syria are gathering in Central Asia. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Anti-Daesh Campaign

According to a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is set to visit Baghdad on Sunday to meet with his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, and CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri. He will also meet with Turkmen party leaders. [Rudaw] 

 

The Guardian published an article about Al-Qaeda’s effort to attract and enlist Daesh fighters following the latter’s territorial losses in Syria and Iraq. According to the Guardian, Al-Qaeda began the first campaign in August 2017 in Algeria, followed by a second campaign in Syria in September 2017. According to experts and security officials in Europe, Al-Qaeda seeks to mobilize its expanded network to carry out more attacks on the West, thereby maintaining a leading role among extremist groups. [RT] [Guardian] 

 

Between January 12 and 18 the Coalition conducted 4 strikes in Iraq, near Rutba (2), Mosul (1), and in Tooz (1). [Defense]

 

Reconstruction

Friday, UNICEF announced that children make up about half of the 2.6 million IDPs in Iraq displaced due to the 3-year war on Daesh, and the ongoing violence is impeding efforts to reduce their suffering. UNICEF’s chief officer in Iraq Peter Hawkins said “We believe that as a result of the conflict, a lack of investment over the years, and the poverty  . . . that there are 4 million children now in need across Iraq.” [Xendan] [RT] 

 

French President Emmanuel Macron said that Daesh has been almost completely defeated in Iraq and Syria, and the military defeat will happen in the coming weeks, after which priority can be given to reconstruction. Macron added that France wants active participation in the stabilization and rebuilding of Iraq, with other partners. [Xendan] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

Friday, a police source reported that one person was killed and two others wounded in an IED explosion near the industrial neighborhood in Taji in northern Baghdad Governorate. [Sumaria] 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

According to the MoD, a search operation for Daesh remnants, in cooperation with the PMF, found an explosives and IED depot in the Dawaya area of Qarma subdistrict. It contained five 20-liter containers and 68 various IEDs. [MoD Website] 

 

Ramadi

A security source in Anbar Province said on Friday that security forces have launched a large-scale search operation in the city of Albu Dhiab northwest of Ramadi. [Sumaria]

Unknown gunmen attacked a police officer’s home in Albu Dhiab, killing three members of his family and wounding four others. [Sumaria]

A DaeshDaily source says one of the terrorists who participated in the attack is a Daesh terrorist from the same tribe as the police officer.

 

Hit/Haditha

Friday, a security source in Anbar reported that 4 children were wounded, 1 with critical injuries, in an IED explosion from Daesh’s remnants in Tal Aswad in Jazeera Hit as they were herding sheep. [Sumaria] [Dijlah] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Friday, a security source reported the arrest of 2 Daesh members from Hawija who tried to infiltrate into the Amerli area in Tooz. The two terrorists had hand grenades, a laptop, and a tablet. [Etejah] 

 

DIYALA

Friday, leader of the Diyala PC, Ali Al-Dayni, threatened to stop cooperating with the UN within Diyala, saying that the purpose of the presence of UN organizations in Diyala is to support affected areas, impoverished people, and IDPs, but “the activities of certain organizations and their local partners has been raising lots of question marks.” [Sumaria] 

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Friday, the PC’s Security Committee revealed that PMF units carried out an operation deep in the Himrin Mountains from the Udhaim side north of Baquba and seized 4 Daesh guesthouses in the Himrin Mountains that contained explosive materials, ammunition, and uniforms, as well as food commodities. [Etejah] 

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

Friday, a local source in Diyala reported that a government employee in the Health Department was killed in an IED explosion on a farm in the Shirween area. [Sumaria] 

 

Friday, a Security Committee member in the Diyala PC, Abdulkhaleq Al-Azzawi, said that two PMF fighters fell into a Daesh trap in the Himrin Mountains on Thursday. The two then fought Daesh for over an hour before their ammunition ran out, killing one Daesh member.  The two PMF fighters were killed and taken to a Daesh guesthouse in the Himrin Mountains. PMF units then tracked the blood drops of the two fighters and destroyed the guesthouse. The Security Committee in the Diyala PC announced that the “most important Daesh guesthouse” in Diyala was found. The Committee also stressed the need for “radical change” in the operations to hunt down Daesh assailants in order to eliminate them. [Sumaria] 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Friday, a security source in Kirkuk reported that a civilian was killed and his brother wounded in southeast Kirkuk by an armed group believed to be affiliated with Daesh. The armed group stole the money from their house in the town of Mullah Abdullah in Multaqa subdistrict west of Kirkuk city. [Sumaria] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says CTS units arrested 2 mosque imams in Kirkuk city who were urging people to kill security members. 

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh killed a PMF fighter and captured a pickup vehicle in an attack on Naqara village. 

 

NINEWA

Ninewa Ops Commander Najm Al-Jubouri confirmed that the coordination between the Joint Operations Command and the Coalition in eliminating the Daesh remnants in the Ninewa governorate is ongoing. Al-Jubouri told Radio Sawa that the security forces are continuing the search operations in the desert areas of Ninewa, and that the operation has led to the deaths of 17 Daesh fighters. [Xendan] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

Friday, a security source in Ninewa reported that a farmer was attacked and killed in his house by Daesh assailants in the town of Albu Saif south of Mosul. As the security units collected the body, they were targeted with gunshots by Daesh members in the town, leading to a clash that resulted in the death of the leader of the Daesh group, which then fled the area. [Sumaria] [Shafaaq] 

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

According to the MoD, the Military Intelligence Services found and destroyed a rigged vehicle workshop in the Al-Shaqaq area in Tal Afar on Friday. [Etejah] 

 

Ninewa CoR representative Abdulrahman Al-Luwaizi spoke about the suffering of the families of detainees held by Daesh following its takeover of Ninewa, especially Mosul, whose fate remains unknown. Al-Luwaizi said that “there are thousands of victims of various segments of society, including members of the security services, election nominees, members of local councils, IHEC employees, civil activists, lawyers, and many others.” He said that because these people do not know what happened to their family members, they have become subject to exploitation and extortion, not to mention their psychological struggles. Al-Luwaizi added that recently, it was discovered that Daesh criminals turned a large well in Sada village near Tal Afar, with a diameter of 50 meters, into a mass grave, and bombed the eastern part of the well in order to cover the bodies. Al-Luwaizi called on official and unofficial entities of local and international organizations to visit the location to help document the crime and examine and identify the bodies. [SotIraq] 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Friday, the US responded to the Turkish threats to begin a military operation in Afrin, warning that it could lead to destabilization. However, the YPG said that Turkish forces began shelling Afrin at midnight. [Sumaria] 

 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had expressed concern over civilian life in the anticipated Turkish military operation in Afrin. [Rudaw] 

 

(See detailed stories under Afrin subsection below.)

 

Turkey sent a message of reassurance to the Kurds of Syria before the start of its military operations against the YPG in Afrin, saying “the steps that Turkey will take in Afrin, Manbij, and Tripoli, or elsewhere, to protect its national security, are not a process directed against the Kurds of Syria at all” according to a Turkish presidential spokesman. [Dorar]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa) (No reports)

 

Northwest

Aleppo/Idlib

SOHR reports clashes between Daesh and Syrian opposition factions. At least 4 Daesh members were arrested by Syrian opposition militiamen. [SyriaHR]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh captured 2 villages west of Tell Al-Daman, in Jabal Samaan (Mount Simeon) subdistrict after an attack on the Nour Al-Din Al-Zenki militia. The source says Daesh killed or wounded several Al-Zenki fighters in the attack.  

 

Daesh publishes photos of beheading three Syrian soldiers in the Idlib area. [ICDNJan19]

Daesh publishes photos of setting cigarette boxes on fire in the Idlib area. [ICDNJan19]

 

Afrin/Azaz

Turkish Defense Minister Noureddine Ganikli announced the launch of the “Afrin Operation” in northern Syria while the YPG confirmed that the Turkish Army is attacking positions in the region. [Dorar]

 

The YPG announced that Turkish forces began bombing Afrin at midnight on Friday. [Qasioun]

 

Turkish newspaper Yeni Shafak reported on Friday that Turkey appointed Ismail Matin Tamal, who had a prominent role during Operation Euphrates Shield, as commander of the Turkish military operation in Afrin.  Yeni Shafak quoted military sources indicating that it will be a “siege” operation backed by air cover, unlike Operation Euphrates Shield. Turkish troops are planning to surround Afrin. [EnabBaladi]

 

Hawar reports that trained armed groups from Turkey have entered Syria in a caravan of about 20 buses using the Onji Pinari crossing near Azaz. Turkish Defense Minister Noureddine Ganikli says “the Afrin operation has begun.” [Hawar]

 

According to a military source, Hawar News reported on Friday that two Turkish soldiers were killed, and 12 others wounded during clashes in Al-Shahba’a. Meanwhile, the Turkish forces shelled Aska’ village in Shirawa subdistrict and Yazibag village in Azaz, without any reports of casualties. [Hawar]

 

Friday, Qasioun reported that Russian troops began withdrawing from Afrin. [Qasioun]

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that Russia is focusing on reducing tension in Idlib, denying reports that Russian troops are withdrawing from the Afrin region. [Rudaw]

 

A DaeshDaily source says opposition group fighters captured several Daesh terrorists near Sajo village, near Mare’ in Azaz. The source says two of the terrorists blew themselves up before being captured, killing themselves without hurting anyone else. 

 

Al-Bab/ Manbij/Jarabulus

Friday, Anadolu reported that “Free Syrian Army” militia units, operating in Al-Bab and Juban Bay cities within the scope of the Euphrates Shield operation, arrived at Turkey’s southern Hatay province under strict security measures to become part of the above-noted military convoy of 20 buses. [Anadolu]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

A DaeshDaily source says Tahrir Al-Sham captured 12 Daesh terrorists near Suruj in eastern rural Hama. 

 

Homs

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh launched a major attack on government forces near Hamima on Saturday. 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal

Between January 12 and 18 the Coalition conducted 59 airstrikes in Syria near Albu Kamal. [Defense]

 

Hawar reports the SDF thwarted a Daesh attack on a village near Hajin, killing 51 Daesh fighters, destroying their vehicles, and seizing their weapons. [Hawar]

 

Hawar reports that five members of the SDF were killed by a Daesh homemade missile in Al-Bahra village near Hajin. This coincided with Daesh seizing control of 4 SDF sites in Gharanij west of Albu Kamal. [Qasioun]

Daesh issues a video of an attack on SDF positions in Gharanij. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it attacked SDF units in Gharanij town and East and West Bahra villages, killing or wounding 20 fighters and capturing several military positions. [ICDNJan19] 

DaeshDaily comment. Daesh named the attack “revenge of honorable women”, apparently claiming that the SDF violated women in the Albu Kamal area. This is a major Daesh media theme (pretending to be protecting women). But it is Daesh who violated women in every area it captured. 

Daesh publishes photos and a video of an attack on SDF units in Al-Bahra village. [ICDNJan19] [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it attacked SDF units north of the Al-Baghouz village, killing 12 fighters, destroying 2 military positions, and capturing weapons and ammunition. [ICDNJan19] 

Daesh publishes photos of parading with the dead bodies of two SDF fighters killed in the attack. [ICDNJan19]

 

Daesh says it attacked SDF units northeast of the town of Al-Shaafa, near the Iraq border killing 11 fighters and capturing weapons and ammunition.  [ICDNJan19] 

Daesh issues a video of the dead bodies of SDF fighters killed near the Iraqi border. [A3maq]

 

A German rap singer, called Denis Cuspert, who joined Daesh and became known as “Abi Talha Al-Almai” has been killed in Gharanij. According to SITE monitoring group, the rapper was killed in one of the airstrikes on Wednesday. The report says that the rapper seduced and married a US government translator, Danielle Greene, who went to Syria in June 2014 to marry him and was arrested after her return to the US and sentenced to two years in prison. [BasNews] 

 

South 

Daraa/Quneitra

Daesh issues a video of targeting opposition groups in Al-Muqaziza village, in Quneitra, with a rocket. [A3maq]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Chief of State Security said on Friday that Saudi Arabia has arrested 289 suspects on terrorism charges in the last 120 days. Those arrested are from 13 different nationalities: 185 Saudis, 47 Yemenis, 14 Syrians, 12 Pakistanis, 6 Indians, 4 Russians, and others including Americans, Bahrainis, Ethiopians, and Turks. [Sumaria]

 

Lebanon

Friday, Lebanon’s Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Nihad Al-Mashnouq, announced that there are Daesh commanders present in Lebanon, and he warned that studies on Daesh and its new techniques show that the commanders are capable of mobilization and carrying out terrorist attacks. Al-Mashnouq added that in July 2017, a Daesh commander called Abu Jaafar Al-Iraqi was arrested and “enlisted” by the Lebanese security to uncover terrorist plans during the holiday seasons. [Sumaria] 

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh issues a video of the dead body of a pro-government militiaman and a vehicle Daesh says it captured south of Rafah on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it damaged an Egyptian Army vehicle with an IED west of Sheikh Zuweid on Thursday. [A3maq] 

 

Libya/Tunisia

Through coordination between the Tunisia National Guard and counter-terrorism units in Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid, 14 terrorist cell members were arrested. [Tunisien]

The National Unit for Research on Terrorist Crimes of the Tunisia National Guard has identified a number of terrorist supporters and terrorist cells residing in Mount Salloum in Kasserine State and Sidi Ali Ben Aoun in Sidi Bouzid State. [Fagr]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Great Britain

Friday, an Iraqi national, Ahmed Hassan, denied involvement in an attempt to bomb the London Underground in September 2017, which left 30 people wounded. The court trial will begin on March 5, after another hearing on February 23. [Xendan] 

 

AFRICA

Nigeria 

Gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram in Nigeria have attacked the military base in Toumour village in Niger, in the southeastern part of Diffa Province, military sources in Niger have revealed.

Ahmed Salkida, a Nigerian Journalist with access to information on the terrorists group tweeted on Thursday. Diffa province is near the Nigeria border and has come under attack by the militia including suspected members of the Daesh.

According to Salkida, military sources in Niger said the attack left several soldiers dead. “The attackers also have carted away tons of arms and ammunition, including military trucks.” According to Salkida, “Military sources in Niger Republic said, “the military base was hit hard, killing scores and wounding several soldiers. After the night’s long attack, the insurgents fled into the Nigerian side of the border in the early hours of today.”

“The success in Niger Republic, where the insurgents carted away heavy armaments and weapons, including military vehicles will embolden the insurgents to carry out further attacks in Nigeria and elsewhere, said military sources,” Salkida added. [DailyPost] 

Daesh says a group of its terrorists attacked “Niger Army” positions in Toumour killing at least 25 soldiers and capturing 5 machine gun mounted vehicles, 2 personnel carriers, 2 ambulances, and large quantities of weapons and ammunition, before returning safely. [ICDNJan19] 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that northern Afghanistan could turn into a “base for terrorism” from terrorist groups fleeing Syria and Iraq and stressed the importance of “building a regional partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia as a model of the link between security and development.” Lavrov added “the remaining jihadists who flee Syria and Iraq are moving to Central Asia, which is becoming a major base of international terrorism.” [Anadolu]

 

Thailand

Friday, the Thai Police arrested a Pakistani national who forged passports believed to be then sold to Daesh members, allowing them to travel into Europe, according to Commander of the Immigration Bureau, Lieutenant-General Suttipong Vongpint. [Ghad] 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Iraq

Iraqi security captures a Ukrainian national who worked with Daesh in Mosul. She worked within Daesh’s foreign recruitment network and had infiltrated into the Mosul IDP camps with other groups, according to local sources. [@Althugur] 

 

Syria

Snapshots of the operation that led to the arrest of 10 Daesh members by the SDF near Kobane who were trying to escape to Turkey. [@Althughur]

 

January 18, 2018

 

Albu Kamal

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

CoR debating election postponement despite vocal opposition. [..]

Diyala Police, PMFs struggling to put down Daesh cells. [..]

Daesh mass grave discovered south of Mosul buried policemen.  [..]

 

Syria

Tillerson reiterates US intention to keep troops in Syria indefinitely. [..]

State Dept. urges Turkey not to send troops to Afrin. Syria threatens to attack them. [..]

Newsweek story alleges Russia using mercenaries in Syria. [..]

White Helmets director alleges Russia bombed Idlib cities with napalm bombs. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Jane’s Center for Terrorism Research and the British Rebellion published a report confirming that Iraq and Syria witnessed a decline in the number of victims of terrorism last year. In Iraq, 3,778 people were killed in terrorist acts in 2017 compared to 8,437 in 2016 – a decrease of 60%. In Syria, the number of victims declined by 44% with 3,641 people killed in acts of terrorism in 2017 compared to 6,477 in 2016. [Hawar]

 

The Ministry of the Peshmerga and the CoR Security and Defense Committee denied published reports claiming there are Peshmerga fighters who were previously detained by Daesh now in Iraqi prisons. [Rudaw] 

 

Reconstruction

Thursday, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz received a letter from Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi reiterating the depth of the bilateral relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia and praising Saudi Arabia’s supportive role to Iraq in the war on terrorism. The letter also asked Saudi Arabia to provide Iraq with help in rebuilding liberated areas. [BasNews] 

 

Election

Al-Abadi met with the head of UNAMI, Jan Kubis, and discussed the commitment to holding elections on time, political and security conditions in Iraq, and support for stability and reconstruction. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, a CoR source confirmed that the National Alliance representatives withdrew from the CoR session in protest against making the vote for postponing the elections secret. The representatives returned to the session minutes later. [Rudaw]

 

Thursday, the CoR session did not achieve the quorum to vote on whether to hold the elections on time or postpone them. The session has been moved to Saturday. [BasNews] 

 

On Thursday, the US Embassy in Baghdad announced its support for holding the Iraqi elections in May, warning that postponing the elections will set a “dangerous precedent.” [Sumaria] [USEmbassy] 

 

Thursday, leader of the Al-Fatah Alliance, Hadi Al-Amiri, stressed the need to hold the elections on time, in keeping with the constitution, saying that postponing them would be “heading to the unknown.” [Rudaw] 

Thursday, the Independent High Electoral Commission approved the Al-Fatah alliance which includes PMF commanders. [BasNews] 

 

Thursday, Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki said that attempts to postpone the elections through the CoR are unconstitutional and illegal. [BasNews] 

 

Clarifying a story in yesterday’s edition that the KDP would run an independent slate for the CoR election, which contradicted an earlier report: A source familiar with the KDP meeting where this was decided said that the KDP sought to establish an alliance comprising all of the political parties of Kurdistan to participate in a unified list, but because most Kurdish parties did not support this proposal, the KDP decided to participate in the Iraqi election separately as an independent entity. [BasNews]

 

Thursday, Ninewa representative Abdulrahman Al-Luwaizi called on the government to issue a new law for the elimination of those who promoted and glorified Daesh, noting that several are preparing to run for election. [Ghad] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Center (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

Thursday, Daesh issued a statement adopting the Tayaran Square attacks in central Baghdad. The statement referred to the Tayaran Square as “Aden Square” and had other factual inaccuracies, according to Al-Ghad Press. The Daesh statement says the Tuesday attack claimed 250 lives. [Ghad] 

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Thursday, a security source reported that one person was killed and two others were wounded in an IED explosion near a shopping area in the Hor Rijab area in southern Baghdad. [Ghad] 

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Services announced the arrest of a terrorist in the Abu Mnaiseer area in Abu Ghraib. [Ghad] 

 

Thursday, a police source reported that a security unit arrested a wanted terrorist in the Haswa area in Abu Ghraib. [Sumaria] 

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:   1

 

ANBAR (No reports)

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Thursday, a security source reported that security units and PMFs thwarted a Daesh attack, killing two Daesh members and destroying two of their vehicles in the eastern Shirqat bank. [SNGIQ] 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Thursday, the IWMC announced that 200 Kurdish IDP families had returned to Tooz District since the Rapid Response forces entered it. [IraqPress] 

 

Thursday, deputy chairman of the Tuz Khurmatu council, Ali Al-Husseini, denied that any arrest warrants were issued for PMF commanders in Tuz Khurmatu (as reported yesterday and covered in Daesh Daily). Al-Husseini confirmed that Badr Organization official Atef Al-Najjar and PMF commander Ahmed Saad were “summoned” by security units for a specific matter and they have been released. [Sumaria] 

 

Thursday, Turkmen representative Hassem Mohammed Jaafar rejected the idea of “random” return of families to Suleiman Beg and its surrounding villages, warning that it is creating chaos and resentment and will lead to the return of Daesh, the Naqshbandi Army, and the Baath Party to these areas. [Sumaria] 

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Thursday, the Udhaim council chairman, Mohammed Dhifan Al-Abidi, announced that the bodies of the two young men abducted by Daesh on Wednesday evening were found. Al-Abidi added that the two men were herding sheep before briefly clashing with Daesh near Al-Safij village in eastern Udhaim, and they were later taken to an unknown destination. According to Al-Abidi, Daesh still has a presence in a few pockets in Udhaim, especially areas adjacent to the Himrin Mountains. [Sumaria] [Sumaria] 

 

Thursday, a security source in Diyala reported that security units seized a Daesh military base in Himrin after the bodies of the two abducted shepherds were found. The source added that the base contained a large quantity of food commodities and power generators belonging to Daesh cells. [Knooz] 

 

Daesh says it shot and killed two PMF members in the Al-Safra area, in Udhaim. [A3maq]

Daesh publishes photos of the attack. [ICDNJan18]

 

According to a Diyala Police Command statement, the Diyala Police arrested 6 suspects on criminal and terrorist charges in various parts of Diyala. [Etejah] 

 

Thursday, the Diyala Police Command announced that a Diyala Police unit, backed by the Iraqi Army Air (IAA), carried out a security operation in the Al-Tabaj area, which included Tal Bardan, the edge of the Himrin Lake, and the forests of the Diyala Al-Saadiya River. The operation destroyed two Daesh guesthouses and two boats on the Diyala River bank. [Sumaria] 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Thursday, Kirkuk CoR member Amira Zankana called on President Fuad Masoum, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, and UNAMI to intervene against the “forcible expulsion” of Kurdish families from the Kirkuk Governorate. She said that there is “an operation to steal their votes” and threatened to boycott the election if there is no accountability. [Sumaria] 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

A member of the Kirkuk District Council says a son of a member of the District Council was wounded in a Daesh attack on Sheikh Ammar Al-Hamdani’s house in southwestern Kirkuk. [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Thursday, Ninewa Operations Chief Maj. Gen. Najm Al-Jubouri confirmed the continued coordination between the Joint Operations Command and the US-led Coalition in eliminating residual Daesh remnants. [Hurra]

 

General Al-Jubouri confirmed that the Ninewa Ops Command is following the reports about Daesh members moving within Ninewa using forged identification documents. [Shafaaq] 

 

Secretary General of the Sayed Al-Shuhada’ brigades, Abu Ala’ Al-Wala’i, said on Thursday that the PMF does not have a large base in Mosul. Al-Wala’i says the PMF supports some tribal sheikhs in Ninewa and warned of the displaced Arabs living in the Kurdistan Region and the importance of their votes to the Kurdish parties. Al-Wala’i stressed that the PMF will not interfere with the elections, saying that “the people of Ninewa have the freedom of choice in the elections and conditions are prime for elections in the Province.” [BaghdadToday]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil

Thursday, a security source reported that the local police in Mosul discovered a mass grave in Al-Adhba village containing 23 bodies, most belonging to local policemen. [BasNews] 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

Thursday, a security source in Basra reported that unknown persons targeted the office of the Al-Basha’ir youth movement office in Abu Al-Khasib in southern Basra with a stun IED. [Sumaria] 

 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Thursday in a speech at Stanford’s Hoover Institution that the US was committed to an indefinite presence of US troops in Syria. He cited the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, followed by the Daesh invasion, as a negative example of why the US should not leave Syria precipitously. Part of his rationale for this policy is the need to counter the increased strength of Iran in Syria. 

The Turks, meanwhile, continue their threatening rhetoric about invading Afrin, and have blasted the US and Coalition plan for a 30,000-member force to protect the Kurdish-held area in Syria as a threat to its national security. However, Tillerson says this force “was not properly described” in calling it a “border force. He says “the situation has been misportrayed . . . some people misspoke.” According to Tillerson, “we are not creating a border force at all.” Tillerson explained that the US plans to provide training to local people to help them secure areas that have been liberated from Daesh. 

In an email to reporters, meanwhile, the US military said “these security forces are internally-focused to prevent Daesh fighters from fleeing Syria. These forces will augment local security in liberated areas and protect local populations.” [WashingtonPost]

 

Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called on Turkey not to send troops to Afrin city, urging Turkey to continue its focus on fighting Daesh instead. [Hawar] [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. The explanations by Tillerson are important and valuable. The official message to Turkey is necessary and timely. However, the Turks are obviously challenging the US and daring us to do something about their promised invasion of Afrin and other parts of Kurdish-held northern Syria. So far, the US has chosen not to do that, and has even suggested that the YPG units there were not part of the anti-Daesh fight and are therefore not covered by the US mission in Syria. This risks emboldening the Turks. However, a Turkish invasion guarantees a wider conflict that will complicate the implementation of the American strategy in Syria that Tillerson has just announced so carefully. It could also undermine the anti-Daesh effort by causing SDF units to move to the Turkish front, and perhaps put 2,000 US troops in northern Syria at risk.

 

Thursday, Turkish PM Binali Yildirim, referring to the Kurdish forces gathering in northern Syria, said “we will never allow the formation of a terrorist army on our southern border,” adding “we will take all measures immediately and relentlessly in order to protect the security of our borders and the safety of the lives and property of our people in accordance with international law.” [Anadolu]

 

Thursday, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said “the steps that Turkey will take in Afrin, Manbij, and Tripoli, or elsewhere, to protect its national security, are not directed at the Kurds of Syria at all” and we do not need anyone’s permission to protect our national security “whether in Afrin, Manbij, Jarabulus, Iraq, or elsewhere.” [Anadolu]

 

However, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad warned that “Syrian air defenses are prepared to destroy any Turkish air targets if Turkish planes launch attacks on Afrin,” adding “any hostilities in the Afrin area are considered an act of aggression.” [Hawar]

 

Dorar reports that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Al-Iskanderoun, a militia affiliated with the Syrian government, has declared its readiness to fight alongside the PYD and the SDF against the Turkish Army in Afrin. [Dorar]

 

Advisor to the joint PYD presidency, Sihanuk Debo, said that the “green light” Turkey is waiting for in order to occupy northern Syria will prolong and complicate the Syrian crisis. [BasNews] 

 

Meanwhile, Newsweek revealed that Russia has been using Russian mercenaries in Syria. Newsweek reports that using mercenaries is illegal in Russia, so these forces are kept secret but are in fact controlled by the Kremlin. Newsweek says that the presence of these forces allows Russia to do things unofficially that they could not do officially and to go to places that Russia cannot officially  go. [Newsweek]

Daesh Daily comment: If true, this may explain why Russian officials have denied the capture and killing of Russian soldiers by Daesh, even when there has been video footage of soldiers admitting their citizenship in fluent Russian; because those Russians were not fighting in Syria in an official capacity. These soldiers were likely mercenaries, and for Russia to have admitted that these soldiers were Russian would have been to admit that Russia has citizens fighting for private Russian companies, which is illegal.

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

SOHR reports that the SDF repulsed the expansion of the Turkish Army in Malikiyah, located in the border triangle area between the Syrian-Turkish border and the Syrian-Iraqi border. [SyriaHR]

 

Hawar reports that the Turkish Army targeted YPG patrols while the YPG patrols were carrying out their normal duties in Zuhairiya village and Kharab Rashak in Qamishli. [Hawar]

 

Daesh says it killed four SDF fighters in an attack on a security barrier near Shaddadi on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Northwest

Aleppo/Idlib

Director of Civil Defense (White Helmets) Mustapha Haj Yousif said in a statement that on Thursday evening, Russian fighter jets bombed Saraqib and Maarat Al-Numan in Idlib, using napalm bombs, which are banned internationally, and killing at least 5 civilians and wounding more than 30 others. [Anadolu]

 

Qasioun reports that Daesh arrived at the outskirts of Sinjar Wednesday night after capturing three villages in southern rural Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh sources say Daesh killed a Syrian soldier and captured a T-55 tank east of the Abu Al-Dhuhur airport, southeast of Idlib. [ICDNJan18]

 

Afrin/Azaz

Turkish media reported that the Turkish Army opened 12 areas of the border fence between Turkey and Syria in preparation for Turkey’s anticipated military operation in Afrin. [Dorar]

 

Thursday, the Turkish Army continued to shell Kurdish militia positions in northwest Syria, according to Dorar. [Dorar]

 

Ayn Al-Arab

Hawar reports that the Turkish Army is continuing to shell Zur Maghar village west of Kobane while the YPG and Female YPG units respond to the source of the shelling. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Daesh publishes photos of battles with the Syrian Army east of Hama. [ICDNJan18]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

A DaeshDaily source says around 90% of the people of Al-Suwar, northeast of Deir Ez-Zor city, have returned to their houses. The source says that unlike in other Deir Ez-Zor areas, the Syrian Army is treating people well. 

 

Mayadin

Local sources reported Wednesday evening that the Syrian forces controlling the southwestern banks of the Euphrates River opened a water crossing between Mayadin, Hawayej, and Al-Shuhail. According to local sources, this comes as the Syrian forces are trying to push civilians to return to their residences. [Qasioun]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh terrorists, in Syrian Army vehicles and dressed as Syrian soldiers, attacked the city of Al-Ashara and killed six soldiers before withdrawing to the Gharanij area. 

 

Albu Kamal

Daesh issues a video of targeting an SDF military position with a rocket in Gharanij. [A3maq]

Daesh’s A3maq reports that Daesh killed 20 SDF members in Gharanij. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting an SDF Humvee with a rocket east of Abu Hassan village, north of Albu Kamal. [ICDNJan18]

 

Daesh publishes photos of  battles with the SDF in Al-Bahra village. [ICDNJan18]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

SOHR reports renewed clashes between Tahrir Al-Sham and Daesh in the Yarmouk Camp in southern Damascus. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh issues a video of targeting opposition groups with rockets in Hay Al-Zain, south of Damascus. [A3maq] 

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Great Britain

UK-based analysis firm HIS said that the World Cup scheduled to be held in June in Russia will be an “attractive target” for Daesh, given Moscow’s role in Daesh’s territorial defeat. The report added that Daesh claimed responsibility for 45,000 attacks in 2017, which still left a lower number of victims compared to 2016. [Sumaria] *

 

United States

Thursday, a US federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Dana Buenti, announced that he is seeking to extradite a German national involved in the September 11 attacks. Buenti said “the German citizen, Christine Jansharki, who is currently in a French prison, gave al-Qaeda knowledge and technology to carry out attacks against the US military and its allies.” [Sumaria] *

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it shot and killed an Afghan Intelligence member in Nangarhar on Wednesday. [A3maq] 

January 17, 2018

 

Turkish Forces near Afrin

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Reform coalition forms for upcoming Iraqi elections. [..]

Nechirvan Barzani pledges to strengthen KRG relationship with Al-Abadi, [..]

Iraq allocates funds to pay overdue KRG salaries. [..]

KRG prepared to resume joint marketing of oil with GOI. [..] 

Daesh makes deadly attack on police convoy in northeast Diyala. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey continues military buildup near Afrin. [..]

Syria

UN invites Syria & opposition groups to Vienna meeting to discuss constitutional issues. [..]

Tahrir Al-Sham leader urges unity, reconciliation among Syria opposition groups. [..]

SOHR reports Syrian forces gaining ground on Tahrir Al-Sham in Idlib. [..]

PYD warns Turkey on Afrin, asks for international support. [..]

Pro-Turkey militias attack Manbij Military Council units NW of Manbij. [..]

SDF, Coalition battle Daesh for Gharanij in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Reconstruction

According to a statement by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s office, Al-Abadi met with Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, Brett McGurk, and discussed strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries. McGurk reiterated US support for Iraq’s stabilization, capacity building, and rehabilitation efforts. He called on US companies to invest in rebuilding Iraq, and on Iraq to accelerate the return of IDPs. [Sumaria]

 

Election

Wednesday, an informed source revealed that an electoral coalition called “Sa’eroun Lil Islah” (Marching Toward Reform) was formed for the CoR and governorate elections. The source says the parties joining  the alliance include Al-Istiqama Al-Watani, including the Sadrist and Communist parties; the Al-Taghyir bloc led by Gorran, the Iraqi Republican Group, and newly titled entities called Al-Taraqqi, Al-Islah, Al-Dawlah Al-Aadelah, and Al-Shabab. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. A lot of new political names are arising as alliances get formed, and it will take a little time to sort these out. However, some old names are behind the new names.

 

A spokesman for the PUK announced that his party will participate as an independent list in the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. This is confusing, as we reported about a week ago that they were running in an alliance with the KDP.

 

Wednesday, the KDP decided to participate in the Iraqi legislative elections in Ninewa, including Mosul, Sinjar, and Makhmur. The party had just announced it was boycotting the elections in Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, and other areas, scheduled in May 2018. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. The KDP’s logic is entirely political. As we explained regarding Kirkuk and Tooz, the KDP is not politically strong there anyway. However, it is the most prominent Kurdish party in Ninewa, which is next to Dahuk and Erbil. 

 

Leader of the National Alliance, Ammar Al-Hakim, emphasized the importance of holding the elections on constitutional schedule in mid-May, in order to mark a new phase to rebuild state institutions, during a meeting with Brett McGurk and US Ambassador Douglas Silliman in Baghdad. [Rudaw]

 

Wednesday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi ordered an investigation into the issuance of an order by the General Secretariat of the Ministerial Council requiring employees to show their voter registration cards to be able to obtain their salary payments. Al-Abadi’s office statement said that while it invites citizens to obtain their cards, this is unrelated to employee salary disbursement. [Rudaw]

 

The National Forces Alliance said that on Wednesday it would submit a request to the CoR to postpone the date of the upcoming parliamentary elections by no less than one year, in order to allow the government and political and popular forces to rehabilitate destroyed cities and return IDPs. The alliance would also submit a request to revise the federal budget of 2018. [Rudaw]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani said during a press conference in Erbil that his government will strengthen its relationship with Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi. He expressed his happiness with the ongoing meetings between Baghdad and Erbil, considering them a good start for the return of relations to what they were before the Kurdistan independence referendum. [Mawsleya]

 

Wednesday, Barzani stated that the KRG is on the same page with the Iraqi government concerning the Kurdistan Region’s airports, and that “the matter is pending Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s signature.” [BasNews]

 

A source in the KRG Ministry of Finance says the Iraqi government has allocated 450 billion dinars to pay the salaries of the employees of the Kurdistan Region. [Rudaw]

 

According to the Secretary of the KRG Council of Ministers, Amanj Rahim, the KRG representatives told the Iraqi government delegation during their meeting on Tuesday that the KRG is willing to export oil through the Iraqi oil marketing company SOMO, in return of Baghdad fulfilling its financial obligations toward Kurdistan. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. In other words, this story should be read in context with the previous story.

 

In a meeting with the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jan Kubis, in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated Russia’s commitment to Iraqi territorial unity and emphasized the need to resolve domestic Iraqi problems at the national level, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry. The statement added that they discussed the steps that can be taken following the elimination of Daesh from Iraq and developments in the Kurdistan Region. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Center (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

Daesh says it was two of its suicide terrorists who conducted the attack on Al-Tayaran Square two days ago. It claims the attack killed or wounded 200 Shia people. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment. Al-Tayaran Square is in the center of Baghdad and it’s hardly a Shia area. 

 

Northwest (Kadhimiya, etc.)

Daesh also claimed responsibility for the Aden Square attack, in Kadhimiya, claiming it killed or wounded 50 Shia people. [A3maq] 

DaeshDaily comment. And again, the square is close to Kadhimiya but it’s also close to many Sunni neighborhoods.  

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

According to a First Lieutenant of the Babel Police, Ihsan Khaled, unknown assailants attacked and killed prominent PMF commander Amjad Al-Jubouri, from the Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq militia. The attack took place near Al-Jubouri’s house in Al-Haswa with a muffled weapon, and also wounded one of Al-Jubouri’s companions. The assailants fled the scene, and the reasons behind the attack remain unknown. [BasNews]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

Wednesday, the Military Intelligence Services announced the discovery of a Daesh IED depot in Albu Khanfar in Qarma subdistrict that contained over 150 IEDs of various types. [Baghdadia]

 

Ramadi

Wednesday, manager of the Roads and Bridges Directorate in the Anbar governorate, Mahdi Abed Farhan, announced that the Omar bin Abdulaziz Bridge connecting Ramadi and Tameem has been rehabilitated, at a cost of $1,400,000, after a Daesh explosion destroyed it earlier. [Sumaria]

 

Al-Qa’im

PMF units found 3 Daesh tunnels near Al-Qa’im. [BaghdadToday]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Samarra

Wednesday, the IFP defused 99 IEDs and other explosives in Jazeera Samarra, according to a police statement. The IFP also found 25 IEDs, 2 suicide belts, 10 KG of ammonium nitrate, a dried food storage facility, a guesthouse, and a vehicle rigging workshop in a search operation in Mtaibija.[Baghdadia] 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

A former official in Tuz Khurmatu says security forces arrested the leader of the Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq organization and one of his aides on Wednesday without disclosing the reason for the arrest. Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq has been deployed in Tuz Khurmatu since October 16, 2017. [BasNews]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Wednesday, a local source in Diyala reported that Daesh snipers targeted a police security point and wounded one policeman in Abbara, northeast of Baquba.[Baghdadia] 

Daesh claims its snipers killed an IFP member in the Abu Khanazir area, 15 miles north of Baquba. [A3maq]

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

A local source in Diyala reported on Wednesday that a civilian was killed in an attack by unknown assailants near Bablan village in Muqdadiya. The source added that a policeman was wounded in gunshots from a distance at a security checkpoint near Sheikhi village near Abu Saida. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh sources say Daesh killed a tribal leader in an attack on his house in Bablan village. [ICDNJan17]  

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Wednesday, the Chairman of the Diyala PC’s Security Committee, Sadeq Al-Husseini, announced the death of two policemen and the wounding of seven others in an IED explosion on a police patrol unit in the Al-Tabaj Basin in northeast Diyala. Al-Husseini denied media reports about clashes in Al-Tabaj Basin. [Sumaria]

Wednesday, a security source reported that an IED explosion in the Al-Tabaj villages near Jalawla led to the deaths of 5 policemen and the wounding of 2 others.[Baghdadia]

Daesh’s version says it killed or wounded seven policemen with an IED in the Abu Tabaj area. [A3maq] Daesh sources say the attack targeted a convoy of the Diyala Emergency Police. [ICDNJan17]

 

Wednesday, a high-level security source in Diyala revealed that Army and Police units, with cover from Iraqi Army Air (IAA), conducted a military operation against Daesh cells in the Al-Tabaj and Himrin villages in northeast Diyala. According to the source, 6 Daesh guesthouses, 2 hideouts, 4 boats, 4 motorcycles, and an ammunition depot were destroyed, in addition to 15 IEDs. [Ghad] [Baghdadia]

 

Wednesday, a local source in Diyala reported that 4 vehicles suspected of belonging to Daesh surrounded a mosque in the Kahriz Jadid village, also known as Jadida, in Qara Tapa. The source added that the terrorists killed a civilian and abducted 4 others from the mosque and took them to an unknown location. [Ghad]

 

A local official in Diyala said that Wednesday, Daesh kidnapped two shepherds and stole 200 sheep in northern Diyala. [Ghad]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Wednesday, the security committee in the Mandali subdistrict Council announced that a new security plan for dealing with Daesh cells was set in place, with special focus on the Al-Nida villages. Committee Chairman Haider Sattar said that the committee held a meeting with Army officers in Mandali to discuss the security situation in the area, and that the plan entails deploying 24hour security patrols in Al-Nida villages and on all main roads in order to prevent terrorist infiltrations. [Ghad]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Wednesday, a security source reported that a unit from the Army left Kirkuk city towards Mosul in order to replace the IFP in Mosul. The source added that the exchange is taking place in Hawija and its vicinity. [Sumaria]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

According to an MoD statement, a search and clear operation was launched in the Kirkuk and Hawija areas and surrounding villages. The operation reportedly led to the death and arrest of Daesh cells, the destruction of tunnels and guesthouses, and the defusing of a large number of IEDs and rigged houses. The operation also located equipment used in rigging and manufacturing of explosives.[AIN] 

A DaeshDaily source says a group of Daesh terrorists in a pickup truck shot at the house of a tribal leader in Naqara village, wounding his wife. The source says PMF units are hunting the terrorists.

 

NINEWA

Wednesday, Deputy Chairman of the CoR Security and Defense Committee, Nayef Al-Shammari, announced in a press conference that Daesh members are moving within Ninewa using forged identification documents. Al-Shammari called on the government to issue the unified national card to the governorate. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Ninewa Ops commander Najm Al-Jubouri announced that the Command is coordinating with the Coalition in order to eliminate Daesh remnants from Ninewa. He added that the situation in Ninewa is under control and the Ninewa Ops Command is working alongside the Coalition to re-stabilize it. [Ghad]

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

The Ninewa Intelligence and the 76th Brigade seized a Daesh ammunition depot in Bashiqa. The depot contained a rocket launcher, 21 medium rocket launch pads, 10 large rocket launch pads, 10 Katyusha rockets, 6 mortar shells, and 3 guided missiles. [Qurtas]

 

Mosul

PMF leader Faleh Al-Khazali revealed that 4,000 Daesh detainees from Mosul are in federal prisons for investigation.” [ArabsToday]

 

Wednesday, a security source reported that security units seized a quantity of mercury in east Mosul. [Baghdadia]

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

Wednesday, Colonel Ahmed Al-Jubouri reported that IFP personnel have begun withdrawing from Hammam Al-Alil based on orders from Iraqi security commanders. Al-Jubouri added that the 20th division of the Army will take over the security of the western side and some southern parts of Mosul, whereas the IFP will contribute to the security of the Kirkuk governorate. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. This is the other half of the deployment story under Kirkuk above.

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

A security source reported on Wednesday that 3 Daesh militants were killed when PMFs thwarted a Daesh attack in Tal Afar. The source added that the other Daesh militants escaped. [BaghdadToday]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

Wednesday, a security source in the Basra governorate reported that a soldier was killed and two others were wounded in a gunfire exchange as a military unit carried out a security operation in a rural area in the Qurna district. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

 

See reports above under National News

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Wednesday, Anadolu reported that the Turkish Army sent more military reinforcements, including 20 tanks, to southwestern Turkey’s Hatay province, as part of preparations for an upcoming Turkish operation against the PYD in Afrin. [Anadolu]

 

The Turkish National Security Council announced on Wednesday that Ankara will not allow the formation of a “terrorist belt” on the country’s borders, stressing that all necessary measures will be taken. [Anadolu]

 

Iraq’s Ambassador to Turkey, Hisham Al-Alawi said on Wednesday that Iraq’s position is clear that the PKK and PYD are considered a security concern for Turkey and Turkey’s security is a part of Iraq’s security. [Anadolu]

 

Wednesday, the Turkish Yeni Şafak newspaper reported that the Turkish anti-terror police arrested a Belgian citizen of Algerian origin and his Syrian wife on charges of belonging to Daesh, in the central Turkish province of Kayseri.  [ZamanAlWasl]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said on Wednesday that he has invited the Syrian government and the opposition to a special meeting in Vienna under the auspices of the United Nations, planned for January 25-26, to focus on constitutional issues in Syria. [Hawar] [Anadolu]

 

Wednesday, according to an informed source, Hawar News reported that the Russia-supported Syrian National Dialogue Congress will be held on January 30. [Hawar]

 

In an audio recording released on Tuesday, Tahrir Al-Sham’s leader, Abu Muhammad Al-Jolani, condemned the “de-escalation” agreement in Astana and the Syrian opposition factions involved in it, describing the Astana deal as paving the way for the current Syrian forces’ offensive. He also called on all the other Syrian opposition factions to ignore their differences and unite, expressing Tahrir Al-Sham’s readiness to achieve complete reconciliation with them. “We are ready to reconcile with everyone and turn a new page through a comprehensive reconciliation… Let us preoccupy ourselves with our enemies more than with ourselves and our disagreements,” Jolani said. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

Wednesday, media outlets reported that Daesh organized training courses for its militants while it controlled parts of Hasaka, on how to use Kornet anti-tank systems. [Shafaaq]

Daesh publishes photos of the “graduation” of a group of Kornet rocket launchers in the Hasaka/Deir Ez-Zor area. [ICDNJan17] 

 

Northwest

Idlib

Wednesday, SOHR reported that the Syrian forces captured more than 250 villages from Tahrir Al-Sham and other opposition factions, and are about to capture 100 more during the recent battles, in which hundreds of fighters were killed, injured and captured on both sides. [SyriaHR]

 

Wednesday, SOHR reported that violent clashes are still ongoing between the Syrian forces and Daesh, following a Daesh attempt to advance towards Sinjar town in southern Idlib, after Daesh reportedly captured 15 villages in rural Idlib and Hama over the past 24 hours. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh says it killed a Syrian soldier and damaged a tank with a rocket east of the Abu Al-Dhuhur Military Airport, in eastern Idlib. [A3maq]

 

Daesh publishes photos of Syrian Army positions it captured near Sinjar town. [ICDNJan17]

 

Afrin

The PYD called on the international community on Wednesday to declare the northern region of Syria (what the Kurds are calling “Western Kurdistan”) as a “safe area” so as to prevent Turkish interference, pointing out that Afrin is under Turkish bombardments.” [BasNews]

The PYD warned Turkey of the consequences of the military operation it is preparing to launch in Afrin, condemning the Turkish bombardment of the area. [Dorar]

 

Hawar reports the Turkish Army shelled the Sharran and Shirawa subdistricts in Afrin. [Hawar]

 

In a press statement on Wednesday, spokesman of the Kurdish-Syrian Units, Nouri Mahmoud, stressed that Afrin is “an extension of Kobane’s resistance,” and that “the nations that stood with Kobane will stand with Afrin too.” Mahmoud emphasized that the Kurdish-Syrian Units forces are ready to defend the area, and that Turkish statements that they entered Afrin last week are “imaginative.” [BasNews]

 

The pro-government Anadolu claimed on Wednesday, based on “local sources,” that in the last two days, the PYD has forcibly recruited more than 130 young people in Afrin and sent them directly to the front line without getting any military training. [Anadolu]

Manbij

Wednesday, Hawar News reported that clashes broke out between Turkish-backed “Euphrates Shield” militias and Manbij Military Council’s units for many hours, after the Euphrates Shield militia units attack MMC positions northwest of Manbij. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Wednesday, Qasioun reported that the Syrian forces recaptured the strategic Atshan village and Tal Maraq in eastern rural Hama, following fierce battles with Syrian opposition factions. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal

A DaeshDaily source says Coalition planes destroyed a mosque used by Daesh terrorists in Gharanij, killing or wounding many of them. 

 

Daesh publishes photos and a video of a suicide attack it conducted in Gharanij. [ICDNJan17] [A3maq]

Daesh says it killed or wounded 20 SDF fighters and damaged 4 vehicles in the attack. [A3maq]

Daesh says its snipers killed two SDF fighters in Gharanij. [A3maq] 

Daesh says it killed or wounded five SDF fighters with a rocket in Gharanij. [A3maq]

Daesh says it killed an SDF commander in ambush in Gharanij on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it destroyed an SDF Humvee with a rocket east of Abu Hassan village, southeast of Hajin. [A3maq]

Daesh says it killed or wounded six SDF fighters with a rocket near Al-Bahra village, northwest of Hajin. [A3maq]

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about its battles in Albu Kamal. [ICDNJan17]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

Wednesday, the Egyptian Army announced the death of a “high-risk suicide bomber” and the arrest of 22 people suspected of supporting terrorism in northern Sinai. [Aaswat]

 

A security source says two policemen were injured when an IED was detonated on a bus transporting soldiers on the Al-Arish-Qantara Sharq road in northern Sina. [ElWatan]

 

A security source says an officer was killed when an IED was detonated as his car passed it on the road west of Al-Arish. [ElWatan]

Daesh says it killed an Egyptian Army captain and wounded five soldiers with an IED in the Sabika area, west of Arish. [A3maq]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

The DailyMail reported that Armenia has formally recognized Daesh’s genocide of Yazidis in Iraq, calling on the international community to investigate the crimes. [Sumaria] [DailyMail]

 

AUSTRALIA

The DailyMail reported on Tuesday that the Australian authorities issued arrest warrants for 20 Australian nationals who had travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for Daesh. [Sumaria] [DailyMail]*

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Daesh supporters issue warnings about “fake” social media accounts that claim to be pro-Daesh but actually publish false news from time to time. [ICDNJan17]

DaeshDaily comment. This is not a new trend. Many anti-Daesh people are publishing false reports on pages that look like Daesh’s pages. On the other hand, and to avoid being shut down, Daesh supporters are using accounts with names like “nature lover” or “science fiction! 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about how it will conquer “Wilayat Washington.” In this video, Daesh has its own warplanes, of course, and President Trump eventually asks the “caliph” for a truce. [ICDNJan17]

DaeshDaily comment. But shouldn’t the “caliph” take back his own capital first? And if we want to have a truce with the “caliph,” shouldn’t we at least have a phone number for his rat hole? 

Notice to readers: Daesh Daily will not be published Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

 

January 12, 2018

 

Hawija

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraq says 50% of displaced residents have returned home since Daesh defeat. [..]

Al-Hakim’s new National Wisdom Movement may contest election on its own. [..]

Gorran, KIG, Barham Salih form Kurdish opposition alliance. [..] 

Daesh stages new attacks in Hawija. [..]

Nechirvan Barzani takes his case to the Pope. [..]

 

Turkey

Former Turkish consul in Mosul accuses Turkish government of abandoning him and his staff to Daesh in 2014. [..]

Erdogan dredges up 1920s documents to justify invasion of northern Syria. [..]

 

Syria

Assistant Secretary Satterfield says Syria needs Assad to go; affirms UN Syria peace process over Russian process. [..]

Syrian forces continue to battle Tahrir Al-Sham for southern Idlib; ignore Turkey’s requests to stop. [..]

Daesh attacks Syrian Army in Mayadin, SDF in Albu Kamal. [..]

Coalition drops 69 airstrikes in busy week over Albu Kamal. [..]

Syrian Army, anti-government militias, Daesh continue 3-way contest near Damascus. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Friday, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers announced that 50% of IDPs have returned to their liberated areas since Daesh’s defeat. It said that the government’s effort to provide the requisites for stability in those areas is ongoing. [Rudaw]

 

On Wednesday, Foreign Policy published an article saying that the United Nations and the US presented an analysis to the Coalition warning of a Daesh resurgence in Iraq in 5 areas, including Tal Afar, Al Qa’im, Hawija, Tuz Khurmatu, and Shirqat, which urgently require stabilization. [BasNews] [ForeignPolicy]

 

The Coalition conducted four strikes in Iraq, near Hawija (2), Qayara (1), and Rutba (1). [Defense]

 

Friday, State of Law representative Firdaws Al-Awadi said that “falsification of the amnesty law through adding an unvotedfor paragraph that includes terrorists is the biggest scandal in Iraq’s history. She called for an investigation into the incident and for finding the party responsible for the falsification. [Sumaria]

 

Election

Friday, a leader of the National Wisdom Movement (Al-Hikmah), Habib Al-Tarafi, said that the party, formed in mid-2017 by former ISCI leader Ammar Al-Hakim, has the qualifications to enter the elections alone, and that this is the likeliest option. Al-Tarafi added that so far there is no clear vision concerning alliances and how to deal with them but the National Wisdom Movement will associate with those who have matching views. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. ISCI has been a major electoral party since 2003 and was the main component of the Citizens Alliance (Al-Muwatin), which had been the third-largest party in the CoR. Al-Hakim succeeded to the ISCI leadership after the death of his father in 2009. 

 

Badr Organization commander Mohammad Mahdi Al-Bayati spoke about the Al-Fatah Alliance, whose formation was announced on Thursday. He says the alliance is the “number one popular option in the upcoming elections, thanks to its national program and leadership, which combat terrorism and support security and reconstruction. Al-Bayati added that the alliance is waiting for Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to join it. [Rudaw]

 

On Thursday, a combined list encompassing three Kurdish parties was announced, including Gorran, the Kurdistan Islamic Group, and the Alliance for Justice and Democracy recently formed by former PUK leader Barham Salih. They will participate in the upcoming elections as the National List. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. There is some intrigue around this alliance. Dr. Barham is a major political figure in the KRG, having been the KRG Prime Minister, but also in Iraq generally; he was once a Deputy Prime Minister. He was close to the founder and top leader of the PUK, Jalal Talabani, so his separate party further weakened the position of the PUK, which also has to compete with Gorran for support in Suleimaniya. Because of developments over the past two years, this is a Kurdish alliance that is right now closer politically to Al-Abadi than to the KDP.

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

According to a source in the Ministry of Interior, a KRG delegation from Erbil will visit Baghdad on Saturday to meet with the Iraqi Minister of Interior, Qassem Al-Aaraji, and other ministers. [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Southeast (Mada’in, etc.)

Friday, a security source reported the death of 1 civilian and the wounding of 5 others in an IED explosion in the Bawi area in Mada’in. [Baghdadia] 

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Friday, the Intelligence and Public Security Directorate announced the arrest of a number of suspects on terrorism charges in the Latifiya Shakha 4 area. [Ghad] 

 

Friday, a police source reported that one civilian was killed, and three others were wounded in an IED explosion near a fruit and vegetable stand in Al-Wihda neighborhood in southern Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Head of the Security Committee in the Anbar Council, Na’eem Al-Ka’oud, announced the destruction of underground Daesh guesthouses in desert areas near the border with Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Friday. Al-Ka’oud said rigged vehicles were also destroyed, and 10 terrorists were captured. The operation was supported by Iraqi Army Air (IAA) and the Coalition. [Baghdadia] 

 

Rutba

Friday, commander of the 1st Infantry Division of the Army, Major General Sattar Jabbar Kadhim, announced that security units found 3 rigged vehicles in a large-scale search operation in Rutba. [Baghdadia] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A DaeshDaily source says that 3 Daesh suicide terrorists blew themselves up after being trapped by PMF units near Misahaq village. The source says the PMFs didn’t sustain any casualties. 

 

Baiji

Friday, PMF units killed 4 terrorists and destroyed 28 hideouts, including 8 tunnels, in search operations in the Makhoul Mountains in western Baiji, according to PMF media. [PUKMedia] 

 

Friday, PMF media reported that the 51st brigade of the PMF completed searching Al-Mashak village in Makhoul in north Salahuddin on the 8th day of search and clearing operations, and that the brigade found a large Daesh tunnel in the village, killed 3 suicide attackers, and destroyed two hideouts. [Forat]

 

Tikrit

Daesh published a photo of a PMF vehicle it damaged with an IED near Al-Aith village east of Tikrit. [ICDNJan12]

 

DIYALA

Thursday, security units made 11 arrests on terrorism and criminal charges, including human trafficking, in various parts of Diyala according to the Diyala Police command. [Mawazin] 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Dismissed Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim said that the “idea of a conspiracy on Kirkuk existed before Mam Jalal’s (former President Jalal Talabani) trip for treatment in Germany, and those conspiring have conflicts among them, and I personally know of their conflicts.” Karim added that “those who agreed to sell Kirkuk sold it for personal interests and to gain dominion and oil shares, but Baghdad ousted them and did not hold its end of the bargain.” [BasNews]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source says PMF units stopped a Daesh attack on Al-Hawayej village, near al-Abbasi, killing 2 commanders. The source says several Daesh terrorists blew themselves up in the battle, killing or wounding PMF fighters. 

 

Friday, Kirkuk Police spokesman Afrasya Kamil said that a group of Daesh assailants invaded a village in Al-Abbasi and killed three people before escaping. Rudaw reports that the victims were a mother and two children. [Rudaw]

Friday, an unnamed security source denied the media reports concerning a Daesh attack on Saadiya village allegedly leading to the death of two children and one woman. The source added that the village is under the control of security forces, and no security violations have been reported. [Baghdadia] 

 

Daesh says it shot and killed two PMF fighters near Al-Abbasi. [A3maq] 

 

Friday, Hawija District Council member Ahmed Khorshid announced that a security unit from Al-Abbasi in Hawija cornered Ahmed Saad Abdullah of Daesh who was wearing a suicide belt in Al-Hawayej village. Khorshid added that the suicide attacker set himself off after being cornered by the PMF, killing himself. [Sumaria] 

 

NINEWA

Hatra

A DaeshDaily source says two PMF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack on Khunaifis village, south of Hatra. 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

Friday, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani arrived in Vatican City and met with Pope Francis and Prime Minister of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Media sources close to the KDP reported that the meeting looked into the situation in the Kurdistan Region and the situation of Christians in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. [Sumaria]

Barzani said that “the latest events” have led a large number of people who had escaped to Kurdistan but returned to their original places to go back to the Kurdistan Region. Barzani also called on Pope Francis to play a role in resolving the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad. Barzani said that KRG, despite its difficult circumstances, received IDPs and made serious efforts to keep the Christians in their areas, and coordinated with the Kurdistan Region’s churches to achieve this purpose, adding that the KRG will continue to maintain co-existence among components. Pope Francis thanked the KRG and the Kurdish people for receiving IDPs, and especially Christian IDPs, who were displaced due to Daesh. [Sumaria]

 

DAHUK

Thursday, the head of the Kurdistan office working on release of enslaved Yazidis in Dahuk, Abdullah Shrim, announced that 2 Yazidi children from Mosul were freed. Shrim said the two children were held with 2 Arab families who claimed they were their children. DNA test results showed the children were Yazidis from Sinjar. [Baghdadia] 

 

SULEIMANIYA

Friday, a security source in Suleimaniya reported that an unknown armed group opened fire on worshippers in front of the Al-Sheikh Abdulqader Al-Kilani mosque following the Friday prayers in Shorsh in the Chamchamal District bordering Kirkuk Province. According to the source, the attack led to the death of one person and wounding of three others from the same family. [Buratha]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Friday, Turkish security forces stopped 10 people suspected of having ties to Daesh, including a Daesh “Minister of Agriculture.” The Turkish Gendarmerie General Command carried out security operations in the Dafali district as part of the special investigations on Daesh members. [Sumaria] 

 

Friday, former Turkish Consul in Mosul Öztürk Yılmaz accused the Turkish government of surrendering him and the consulate’s staff to Daesh during its control over the city in 2014. Zaman Turkish newspaper said Vice President of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Öztürk Yılmaz, who was among the hostages held by Daesh inside the Turkish Consulate, addressed Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu before the Parliament, accusing the government of surrendering them to Daesh in Iraq and criticized the domestic and foreign policy of Erdogan, asking “if you speak about a moderate opposition in Idlib, why are you protecting 25,000 opposition jihadis? Why do you include them? You undertook the task of their protection in Aleppo and you were defeated, and you will be defeated in Idlib too.” [Sumaria]

 

In a meeting with Turkish mukhtars in Ankara on Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of attempts to establish a “terrorist belt” in northern Syria (west Kurdistan) that falls within the borders of the Turkish “National Pact” adopted by the parliament in 1920, which gives Turkey the right to self-determination outside of its geographic borders, such as Mosul, Aleppo, Kirkuk, and parts of Greece and Bulgaria. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. So now the Sultan is dredging up documents from the 1920s to justify his hoped-for intervention against the PYD and SDF in northern Syria.

 

Friday, the Turkish Army announced that the Turkish forces killed a total of 7,016 Daesh and PKK members in 2017, including 3,777 Daesh members and 3,239 PKK members. The announcement added that the Turkish forces seized over 10,000 weapons, 68 tons of explosives, over 5,000 hand grenades, and other ammunition during its operations against the PKK. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

In a statement at the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Friday, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield said that “a stable Syria undoubtedly requires the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad to leave power.” He also added that “the United States intends to resolve the Syrian crisis through the United Nations as opposed to the Russian efforts in this area,” pointing out that the US has no intention of recognizing the Syrian National Dialogue Congress to be held in Sochi as legitimate. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haider Hadi Al-Athari told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that it is important for Iraq to participate in the Sochi conference as an observer, as the situation in Syria directly affects the internal situation in Iraq, and he emphasized the importance of learning from the Iraqi experience in fighting Daesh.  [BasNews]

 

In a statement published on its website Thursday, the White House called on Syria to fully eliminate its chemical weapons program. “The U.S. calls on Syria to eliminate all chemical weapons, to dismantle fully its chemical weapons program, and to ensure that these weapons can no longer be used against the Syrian people,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. [Dorar] [WhiteHouse]

 

Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said it killed the attackers of its Khmeimim airbase in Latakia in western Syria on the 31st of December. “A group of militants who attacked the base on New Year’s Eve has been found and killed by Russian Special Operations forces in a high-precision strike,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. [EnabBaladi]

Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he believed Turkey had nothing to do with the attack on the airbase. “There were provocateurs there but they were not Turks, we know who they are. We know whom and how much they paid for these provocations,” Putin said. [Anadolu] 

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa) (No reports)

 

Northwest

Idlib

Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım warned of the repercussions of the increase in Syrian attacks in Idlib, saying they will lead to renewed migration and more victims. Idlib was agreed previously to be a de-escalation zone. Yıldırım called on Iran and Russia to exercise pressure on the Syrian authorities in order to prevent further attacks that could ruin the peace process in Syria. [Dorar]

 

Daesh published photos of a Syrian soldier it says it killed near the Abu Al-Dhuhur Airport. The photos also show a captured soldier. [ICDNJan12] Daesh issued a video of the prisoner. [A3maq]

 

Daesh’s “War and Media” account on YouTube issued a video about the battles in the Abu Al-Dhuhur area. This account, which tries to portray itself as a “neutral” source, publishes its reports in English using automated voices. [ICDNJan12]

 

Ibaa reported that Tahrir Al-Sham has restored its control of the villages of Kefraya, Khiyara, and Ajaz in rural southeastern Idlib following a counterattack on Syrian government locations Friday evening. According to Ibaa, Tahrir Al-Sham units detonated two rigged vehicles inside Syrian government sites in Talab village south of the Abu Al-Dhuhur airport. The Syrian government forces stationed in the Jourin base shelled the villages of Salat Al-Zuhur and Qastoun in Jisr Al-Shughur subdistrict, causing damage. Earlier on Friday, opposition factions seized the Atshan and Al-Hilaliya villages, the Al-Naddaf checkpoint, and the Zarzour area in southern Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

Friday, Qasioun reported that violent clashes are still ongoing between Syrian opposition factions and the Syrian forces on the outskirts of Al-Khawin town in rural southeastern Idlib as part of the “Repelling the Aggression” battle against the Syrian forces. [Qasioun]

 

Qasioun reported that on Friday evening, opposition factions took control over several villages and areas in rural southern Idlib following violent battles with the Syrian government forces. In the same context, the Russian Air Force carried out airstrikes on the Jarjanaz village in Maarat Al-Numan District. [Qasioun]

 

Aleppo

Syria Now reported on Friday that the Syrian Army took control over 13 villages in rural Aleppo District as part of its military operations to liberate the area from Al-Nusra, leading to casualties in the ranks of Al-Nusra and affiliated terrorist groups. [SyriaNow]

 

Friday, Qasioun reported that a Turkish soldier was wounded by a Syrian artillery bombardment of a Turkish reconnaissance patrol in Hayan city in northern rural Aleppo. [Qasioun]

 

Friday, Qasioun reported that under the cover of rocket and artillery shelling, the Syrian forces captured the villages of Tal Anbar, Abu Julus, and Abu Abdah in the Jabal Al-Hoss area in rural Aleppo, following violent clashes with Tahrir Al-Sham.  [Qasioun]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Daesh says it killed 6 Syrian soldiers and stopped a Syrian Army attack on Abu Kahf village east of Hama. [ICDNJan12]

 

Friday, the Syrian opposition group, Nur Ed-Din Zenki, announced that it shot down a Russian reconnaissance plane near Atshan town in northeastern rural Hama. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh conducted several suicide attacks on government forces in Mayadin, killing or wounding soldiers and pro-government militiamen. 

 

Thursday, pro-government media reported that at least 12 members of the Syrian forces were killed and 5 others wounded in an explosion near a military checkpoint in Mayadin’s water station. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal

The Coalition conducted 69 strikes in Syria between January 5 and 11, near Albu Kamal. [Defense]

DaeshDaily comment. That’s about 10 airstrikes a day in one fairly small area. Who says the battle against Daesh is over?

 

Daesh says one of its suicide terrorists attacked the SDF operation command in Gharanij with a vehicle bomb, killing 20 fighters including commanders, wounding others, and destroying a Humvee, a bulldozer, 2 SUVs, and 3 other vehicles. [ICDNJan12] [Dorar]

Daesh published a photo of the suicide terrorist and a remote photo of the explosion. [ICDSNJan12]

Daesh also issued a video of the attack. Typically, the video shows a moving vehicle followed by an explosion from a distance. [A3maq]

Daesh says its snipers killed 5 SDF fighters in Gharanij. [A3maq]

Friday, Qasioun also reported that a number of SDF members were killed in a Daesh car bomb attack on SDF positions in Gharanij. [Qasioun]

 

Friday, Qasioun reported that a number of civilians were killed, and others were wounded, in suspected Coalition airstrikes on Gharanij town in rural Albu Kamal. Meanwhile, a girl was injured in Coalition airstrikes on Susah town in western rural Albu Kamal. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh’s “War and Media” account on YouTube issued a video about the battles in Gharanij. [ICDNJan12]

 

Daesh says it killed 6 SDF fighters and wounded others with a rocket near Al-Bahra village northwest of Hajin. [A3maq]

Daesh publishes photos of its terrorists near Al-Bahra village. [ICDNJan12]

DaeshDaily comments. Daesh has started to publish its photos in video format. The website Daesh previously used to use to publish its photos (justpaste.it) has started to delete Daesh content almost immediately, which could be the reason for the format change. 

 

Daesh published photos showing the targeting a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in Al-Ghabra village. [ICDNJan12] 

 

According to local sources, Qasioun reported that two members of the Syrian forces were killed on Friday in clashes with Daesh, after an attempt by a Daesh unit to infiltrate the outskirts of Albu Kamal. [Qasioun]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Daesh says it attacked Jaish Al-Islam (a Saudi-backed opposition group) in Hay Al-Zain in Yelda south of Damascus. Daesh says the attack started by detonating a parked car bomb. It says it then attacked Jaish Al-Islam and captured several buildings, a fuel station, weapons and ammunition. It says it killed several fighters and captured one. [ICDNJan12] Daesh issued a video of battles with opposition groups in Hay Al-Zain. [A3maq]

Friday, local sources reported that Syrian opposition factions foiled a Daesh attack on the Al-Zain neighborhood in Yelda. [Qasioun]

Here Daesh says it killed six opposition fighters and wounded 30 in the battles. [A3maq] 

 

Friday, Hawar reported that a number of people were wounded by Syrian forces aerial and artillery bombardment of the Eastern Ghouta cities of Harasta and Douma. Meanwhile, clashes are still ongoing between Tahrir Al-Sham, Failaq Al-Rahman, and Ahrar Al-Sham on one side and the Syrian forces on the other in different locations in the vicinity of the Vehicle Department near Harasta, where the Syrian forces reportedly captured a building and other points. [Hawar]

 

Daraa

In a statement published on its unofficial accounts, the Russian Khmeimim airbase warned that any “reckless” attack by the Syrian opposition factions against the Syrian forces in Daraa would “lead the region to further undesirable violence.” [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Friday, Iranian Tasnim News Agency reported that 8 members of the “Fatemiyoun brigade” and the “Zainabiyoun brigade” militias were killed during the recent battles with Syrian opposition factions in rural Hama and Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh published photos showing narcotic plants being set on fire in the Al-Barath area in North Sinai. [ICDNJan12]

 

Libya/Tunisia

Local sources say that a military unit arrested a Daesh member of Sudanese nationality south of Sirte, Libya. [Wasat]

 

The Tunisian Ministry of Interior announced through a video posted on its official Facebook page the arrest of 2 terrorists and the seizure of weapons and ammunition after ambushing the terrorists. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Greece

Wednesday, the Greek Coast Guard announced it seized a ship carrying explosive materials from Mersin in Turkey to Misrata in Libya, describing it as “a moving bomb.” The Greek authorities searched the cargo of the ship and found 29 containers full of materials such as ammonium nitrate, non-electric detonators, and 11 empty liquefied petroleum gas tanks. [Hawar]

 

Germany

Shafaaq reported on Friday that the Regional Supreme Court in Stuttgart sentenced a 24-year old Iraqi refugee to 1.5 years in prison for having posed in a photo with 6 heads of beheaded Daesh terrorists in order to mock them and display his victory while he was enlisted in the Iraqi Army. [Shafaaq] 

 

Great Britain

Friday, Metro British newspaper reported that British authorities arrested a 27-year-old woman with UK citizenship who had just landed from Addis Ababa, on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity. [Sumaria] [Metro]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria 

Daesh published photos of a Nigerian soldier, vehicles, and weapons which it claimed it captured after stopping a Nigerian Army attack near the Lake Chad area. [ICDNJan12]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it shot and killed a pro-government militia commander and two of his bodyguards and wounded two others in Jalalabad. [ICDNJan12] 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh published the 6th issue of its new “newspaper, Al-Anfal. Similarly to its Naba magazine, Daesh published reports about its operations in addition to materials about its ideology and leaders. In this issue Daesh teaches its followers how to make raisin poison. [ICDNJan12] 

 

Daesh published the 104th issue of its Naba magazine and republished reports about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. In this issue, Daesh also claims its attacks re-emerged in the Hawija-Tooz area using the security gap created by the disputes between Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga, and promises suicide attacks and vehicle bomb attacks very soon. It says the only difference now is that the Coalition used to provide air cover to the Peshmerga, but stopped when Iraqi forces captured the area. [ICDNJan12] 

 

Notice to readers: Daesh Daily will not be published Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

 

January 12, 2018

 

Hawija

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraq says 50% of displaced residents have returned home since Daesh defeat. [..]

Al-Hakim’s new National Wisdom Movement may contest election on its own. [..]

Gorran, KIG, Barham Salih form Kurdish opposition alliance. [..] 

Daesh stages new attacks in Hawija. [..]

Nechirvan Barzani takes his case to the Pope. [..]

 

Turkey

Former Turkish consul in Mosul accuses Turkish government of abandoning him and his staff to Daesh in 2014. [..]

Erdogan dredges up 1920s documents to justify invasion of northern Syria. [..]

 

Syria

Assistant Secretary Satterfield says Syria needs Assad to go; affirms UN Syria peace process over Russian process. [..]

Syrian forces continue to battle Tahrir Al-Sham for southern Idlib; ignore Turkey’s requests to stop. [..]

Daesh attacks Syrian Army in Mayadin, SDF in Albu Kamal. [..]

Coalition drops 69 airstrikes in busy week over Albu Kamal. [..]

Syrian Army, anti-government militias, Daesh continue 3-way contest near Damascus. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Friday, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers announced that 50% of IDPs have returned to their liberated areas since Daesh’s defeat. It said that the government’s effort to provide the requisites for stability in those areas is ongoing. [Rudaw]

 

On Wednesday, Foreign Policy published an article saying that the United Nations and the US presented an analysis to the Coalition warning of a Daesh resurgence in Iraq in 5 areas, including Tal Afar, Al Qa’im, Hawija, Tuz Khurmatu, and Shirqat, which urgently require stabilization. [BasNews] [ForeignPolicy]

 

The Coalition conducted four strikes in Iraq, near Hawija (2), Qayara (1), and Rutba (1). [Defense]

 

Friday, State of Law representative Firdaws Al-Awadi said that “falsification of the amnesty law through adding an unvotedfor paragraph that includes terrorists is the biggest scandal in Iraq’s history. She called for an investigation into the incident and for finding the party responsible for the falsification. [Sumaria]

 

Election

Friday, a leader of the National Wisdom Movement (Al-Hikmah), Habib Al-Tarafi, said that the party, formed in mid-2017 by former ISCI leader Ammar Al-Hakim, has the qualifications to enter the elections alone, and that this is the likeliest option. Al-Tarafi added that so far there is no clear vision concerning alliances and how to deal with them but the National Wisdom Movement will associate with those who have matching views. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. ISCI has been a major electoral party since 2003 and was the main component of the Citizens Alliance (Al-Muwatin), which had been the third-largest party in the CoR. Al-Hakim succeeded to the ISCI leadership after the death of his father in 2009. 

 

Badr Organization commander Mohammad Mahdi Al-Bayati spoke about the Al-Fatah Alliance, whose formation was announced on Thursday. He says the alliance is the “number one popular option in the upcoming elections, thanks to its national program and leadership, which combat terrorism and support security and reconstruction. Al-Bayati added that the alliance is waiting for Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to join it. [Rudaw]

 

On Thursday, a combined list encompassing three Kurdish parties was announced, including Gorran, the Kurdistan Islamic Group, and the Alliance for Justice and Democracy recently formed by former PUK leader Barham Salih. They will participate in the upcoming elections as the National List. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. There is some intrigue around this alliance. Dr. Barham is a major political figure in the KRG, having been the KRG Prime Minister, but also in Iraq generally; he was once a Deputy Prime Minister. He was close to the founder and top leader of the PUK, Jalal Talabani, so his separate party further weakened the position of the PUK, which also has to compete with Gorran for support in Suleimaniya. Because of developments over the past two years, this is a Kurdish alliance that is right now closer politically to Al-Abadi than to the KDP.

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

According to a source in the Ministry of Interior, a KRG delegation from Erbil will visit Baghdad on Saturday to meet with the Iraqi Minister of Interior, Qassem Al-Aaraji, and other ministers. [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Southeast (Mada’in, etc.)

Friday, a security source reported the death of 1 civilian and the wounding of 5 others in an IED explosion in the Bawi area in Mada’in. [Baghdadia] 

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Friday, the Intelligence and Public Security Directorate announced the arrest of a number of suspects on terrorism charges in the Latifiya Shakha 4 area. [Ghad] 

 

Friday, a police source reported that one civilian was killed, and three others were wounded in an IED explosion near a fruit and vegetable stand in Al-Wihda neighborhood in southern Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Head of the Security Committee in the Anbar Council, Na’eem Al-Ka’oud, announced the destruction of underground Daesh guesthouses in desert areas near the border with Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Friday. Al-Ka’oud said rigged vehicles were also destroyed, and 10 terrorists were captured. The operation was supported by Iraqi Army Air (IAA) and the Coalition. [Baghdadia] 

 

Rutba

Friday, commander of the 1st Infantry Division of the Army, Major General Sattar Jabbar Kadhim, announced that security units found 3 rigged vehicles in a large-scale search operation in Rutba. [Baghdadia