An Update On ISIS Activities

August 21, 2017

 

Iraqi Soldiers near Tal Afar 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi officially launches the Tal Afar campaign. Early results positive [..]

Iraqi aircraft deliver stark message to remaining Daesh fighters. [..]

Governor insists Kirkuk will participate in KRG independence vote. [..]

Turkmen Kirkuk MPs accuse “armed groups” of forcing Turkmen off their land. [..]

Only 17,000 IDPs have returned to Hamdaniya. [..]

UN official says over 30,000 residents have already left Tal Afar. [..]

PKK launches risky governance initiative for Sinjar. [..]

Syria

Inside letter reflects major split in Daesh leadership. [..]

Coalition airstrike in Hasaka alleged to have killed at least 18 civilians. [..]

Syrian forces gain further ground in Sukhnah area in Homs. [..]

Russian air attack destroys Daesh column heading to Deir Ez-Zor, kills 200. [..]

Lebanon

Lebanese Army advances against Daesh along Lebanon border areas. [..]

Spain

Spanish police kill alleged van driver involved in Barcelona massacre. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

On Sunday, Prime Minister Abadi announced the start of the Tal Afar liberation campaign. The targeted area is 60 km (37.5 miles) by 40 km (25 miles) and includes Tal Afar city, Ayadhiya, Muhalabiya (in the Mosul subdistrict), and 47 villages. [Anadolu] 

 

Twenty-four hours after the start of the Tal Afar liberation operations, the IWMC says Iraqi planes dropped thousands of leaflets on Daesh controlled areas in Hawija, Al-Qa’im, Anah, and Rawa, telling Daesh terrorists to surrender or die. [Anadolu] 

 

The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs will visit Baghdad on Wednesday to meet President Masoum, Prime Minister Abadi, Speaker Jubouri, and Foreign Affairs Minister Jaafari, according to a statement from his ministry. [Anadolu] 

 

The Coalition says it conducted 9 airstrikes on Daesh positions in Iraq, in or near Tal Afar (4) and Qayara (1), and in or near Rawa (2), Al-Qa’im (1), and Al-Asad base (Haditha) (1).  [InherentResolve] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

A police source says one person was killed and four others wounded when an IED exploded near a wholesale market in Radwaniya. [Sumaria] 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

An Anbar Police source says an employee of the Falluja Cement Factory was severely wounded when an IED exploded on a road near the factory, in east Falluja. [Etejah] 

 

Hit/Haditha

The Iraqi Army 7th division commander announced the names of 5 Daesh suicide terrorists killed by Iraqi forces in the Al-Sahl area, near Baghdadi, on Sunday, before they could attack Iraqi forces in the area. [Ghad] 

 

A security source says 5 rockets were launched from the Ain Al-Assad Base targeting Daesh positions in Al-Qa’im, Rawa, and Anah. [Ghad] 

 

Anah

A security source says Iraqi Army Air (IAA) helicopters destroyed a Daesh convoy of 7 vehicles near Anah, killing the terrorists inside. [Baghdadia] 

 

Rawa

A security source says Coalition planes destroyed a Daesh guesthouse in Rawa, killing 10 terrorists. [Sumaria]

 

Al-Qa’im

A military source says Coalition planes bombed a school in Al-Qa’im used by Daesh as a vehicle bomb factory. [Sumaria] 

 

A source from Al-Qa’im says Daesh imposed conscription on males age 13-30; but gave them the option of paying $500 each, every six months. The same source says some people are leaving Al-Qa’im by paying $3,500 each to smugglers. The source also says that Daesh hunts down these families; last week it killed a couple and their three children. [Ghad] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

The IWMC says IAF aircraft destroyed several Daesh ferries carrying a vehicle bomb and oil barrels in Shirqat district. [Baghdadia] 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

A Peshmerga commander says two of his fighters were wounded when an IED exploded on their vehicle on the road to Tuz Khurmatu. [ROJ] 

 

DIYALA (No reports)

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim said in a statement after a meeting with the UN Special Repetitive to Iraq, Ján Kubiš, on Sunday that Kirkuk will participate in the KRG’s independence referendum on September 25th. He also demanded that provincial elections should be held in Kirkuk “without any conditions.” [ROJ] 

DaeshDaily comment. One absolute condition should be that the elections be supervised directly and strictly by the Iraq High Electoral Commission. Otherwise, non-Kurdish citizens will not have confidence that the outcome won’t be influenced by Kurdish political maneuvering.

 

Two Turkmen CoR members asked the Minister of Interior to intervene in Kirkuk, claiming that armed groups are taking Turkmen lands in Kirkuk and forcing people out. They say that Saddam’s regime had confiscated these lands. [Anadolu]  

DaeshDaily comment. When Saddam confiscated Turkmen and Kurdish lands decades ago, they became government property. By taking advantage of the partial Daesh takeover in mid-2014 by seizing Kirkuk, the Kurds became the government. The inference behind the euphemistic term “armed groups” is actually quite specific, therefore. They are referring to the Kurdish-controlled government and accusing the Kurds of forcing Turkmen out as part of an effort to shift the population balance in Kirkuk in favor of the Kurds. 

 

The Kirkuk Asayesh says it captured 3 men who have been smuggling Daesh families out of Hawija to Kirkuk. [Hawar]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

The Ministry of Migration and Displacement says 17,000 displaced people have returned to their houses in the Hamdaniya District. It says that although these numbers are low compared to the total number of people displaced, it is a “good start.” [ROJ] 

DaeshDaily comment. The larger fear is not the slow pace of returns but that many of the displaced have moved on permanently and won’t come back. The low number recorded by the Ministry is probably influenced to some extent by that factor.

 

Mosul

East Mosul

Daesh claimed responsibility for killing the mukhtar of Aden. [A3maq] 

A Ninewa Police source said on Friday that the mukhtar of the Aden neighborhood was killed by armed men while going to attend Friday prayers near his house. [BasNews

 

Tal Afar

The IWMC says Iraqi planes dropped hundreds of thousands of leaflets on Tal Afar asking people to stay away from Daesh positions, and warning Daesh terrorists that they should surrender. [Sumaria] 

 

Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq says “Thousands of people are fleeing Tal Afar for safety.” She also says “Families are trekking for 10 to 20 hours in extreme heat to reach mustering points. They are arriving exhausted and dehydrated.”

“More than 30,000 people have already fled the district,” said Ms. Grande. “We don’t know how many civilians are still in the areas where fighting is occurring, but we are preparing for thousands more to flee in coming days and weeks. Conditions are very tough in the city. Food and water are running out, and people lack the basic necessities to survive.”

 “The Government is leading the humanitarian operation, providing transport and aid. Humanitarian partners are helping to cover gaps by providing life-saving assistance at mustering points and supporting families when they reach emergency sites and camps,” said Ms. Grande. [UN]

 

The Tal Afar Liberation commander said on Sunday that Iraqi Army 16th division liberated 5 villages east of Tal Afar, and CTS units liberated 2 villages southwest of the city. [ROJ]  

 

An Iraqi Army 16th division captain says US artillery in the Kahriz Camp extensively targeted Daesh positions in several areas in south Tal Afar, while US recon drones gathered information. [Anadolu] 

 

The IFP commander says his troops cleared the Al-Abra Valley area and are “meters away” from Hay Al-Kifah, one of the first neighborhoods in west Tal Afar city. [Anadolu] 

 

An Iraqi Army commander says other Iraqi forces are 900 meters away from Tal Afar city, also on the west side. He says Iraqi forces killed 22 Daesh terrorists, mostly snipers, in the second day of military operations, He also says three Iraqi soldiers were killed and seven wounded. [Anadolu] 

 

An IFP officer says Iraqi Army 9th armored division, supported by PMFs, advanced 9 km from the Tal Afar Airport to the south and arrived near the city. He says 4 Daesh vehicle bombs were destroyed by airstrikes southwest of the city. An Iraqi Army 15th division officer says Iraqi forces destroyed a charging Daesh vehicle bomb near the southern entrance of the city. He says one soldier was slightly wounded in the explosion. [Anadolu]  

 

Belgian media sources say elite units from the Belgian Army are helping Iraqi forces in the Tal Afar battles. [Baghdadia] 

 

A security source says Daesh is burning oilfields in Tal Afar to block the vision of aircraft crews. [Baghdadia] 

 

Daesh says “tens” of Iraqi soldiers were killed or wounded and 35 vehicles were destroyed in military operations, including a suicide attack with a vehicle bomb conducted by an Iraqi terrorist in Tal Al-Samen. It says 20 of the vehicles were destroyed by an errant “American” airstrike near Karkari village, southwest of Tal Afar. [ICDNAugust21] 

 

Daesh publishes photos of a suicide attack with a vehicle bomb conducted by a Turkish terrorist on Iraqi forces in the Tal Al-Samen area. [ICDNAugust21] 

 

Kasik

Elsewhere in the target area, an Iraqi Army 16th division lieutenant colonel says Iraqi forces captured the Kasik Bridge after a 3-hour battle with Daesh, killing 17 terrorists. [Anadolu] 

 

Muhalabiya

The PMF Press says Iraqi forces isolated Muhalabiya subdistrict and cut off the road between Tal Afar and Mosul. [Etejah] 

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

A Sunni CoR member from Ninewa says Yazidi PMFs burned down 3 Arab villages, and parts of a fourth one, in the Sinjar area on August 17.th He also accused them of kidnapping 53 Arabs from Kojo village in June. He demanded an intervention from Prime Minister Abadi. [ROJ] 

 

The “Self-Administration Council of Sinjar” said in a statement on Sunday that it has established a road map to establish an administration in Sinjar. The plan includes forming a UN-sponsored committee from representatives of the Iraqi government, the KRG, and the YPG in Syria. The committee would support and supervise the current “council” in additions to representatives of all people in the Sinjar area “who don’t have Yazidi blood on their hands” to establish a foundation council (a Sinjar parliament,) while the YPS and YGS (groups similar to the YPG in Syria) will form a military command that includes Yazidi commanders from “other Yazidi armed groups,” but not the groups themselves; (i.e. the Yazidi Peshmerga units will not be included, but their commanders will.)

DaeshDaily comment. This is an initiative by the PKK through its affiliates in Sinjar, which hold some of the territory in Sinjar taken from Daesh. The PKK and its affiliates did important and life-saving work in protecting Yazidi people, saving perhaps thousands of them after the vicious Daesh attack on the Yazidis in 2014. Now it wants to be paid off by controlling the entire area. 

Unfortunately, this is a direct invitation to Turkey to invade Sinjar. Turkey and its allied militias in Syria are already shooting at YPG units there and threatening to take over the territory seized from Daesh by the YPG. Moreover, Erdogan said, after a visit by the Iranian military chief of staff, that a joint military operation with Iran against the PKK (including in Iraq) could happen anytime. While the Iranians are rumored to have supported the PKK against Turkey, and Turkey is rumored to have supported Iranian Kurds against Tehran, things seem to be shifting now. 

This move will also anger the KRG leadership, or at least Barzani and the KDP, because the Kurds aspire to add Sinjar to Kurdistan, notwithstanding that Sinjar is not contiguous to Turkey. Barzani has already claimed it repeatedly. All those Peshmerga in Sinjar are there to occupy it until this goal can be realized. It’s all part of the disputed territories issue that defines, more than anything else, the hostility between Erbil and Baghdad. Barzani is now strongly anti-PKK, and has been Erdogan’s ally on that for several years, and is also an opponent of the Kurdish PYD party (PKK-affiliated) in Syria. 

In the face of all this, the PKK is acting like it wants military command of the area in addition to political control. Why it would make this move now is a good question, but the presence of Iraqi troops in force just to the east in Tal Afar, and the PMFs in Sinjar and neighboring Baaj, could have something to do with the timing.

 

KURDISTAN

NRT-TV, an anti-referendum channel, said on Sunday that Farhad Sinkawi, a KRG Parliament member, was kidnapped by armed men in Chamchamal. Sinkawi was fired last week from the PUK because he opposed the KTG referendum. [ROJ]  

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Wasit

The Rafidain Operations Commander says security units captured a person on terrorism charges in Wasit. [Baghdadia]

 

Babel

Daesh says its snipers killed a PMF fighter and wounded another in Al-Askari, in Musayyib. [A3maq]  

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

Opposition groups in northern Syria, including some Turkey-backed groups, issued a statement on Sunday saying they support Usud Al-Sharqiya and Ahmed Al-Abdou to start the Deir Ez-Zor liberation battles, and fight Daesh and government forces in the Syrian Desert. They asked “friend countries” and the international community to support the two groups. [Dorar] 

 

Last week, a stark evidence of split within the Daesh organization showed up in the form of a letter from a Daesh shar’i (religious leader) in Mayadin, Deir Ez-Zor, who calls himself Abu Mohammed Al-Hashemi, His open 35-page letter to Baghdadi, calling him by his first name, started by reminding Baghdadi that Daesh is losing, and says the reason for the defeat is that Daesh swayed from its “right religious path” and chose to depend on less qualified leaders. He says that Daesh’s claim about being a “caliphate” turned out to be a lie, demonstrated by the fact that Daesh leaders are killing their own members and not dealing with their fighters in a just way. He gave many examples, including a hint that Daesh senior leaders sexually harassed two Daesh female members—an American and a French woman. 

Al-Hashemi says Daesh put one of its senior Kuwaiti leaders in a prison, with 60 other members, after they criticized a Daesh Saudi leader. The prison was then hit by an airstrike, killing all 60. He accused Daesh members of providing information about the location (using electronic chips Daesh obtained from Coalition sources it captured on the ground.) He says he saw the bodies of 30 of them after the airstrike, and hinted that at least some were already dead before the airstrike. He says Daesh is openly cursing Binali in mosques, and that Binali and other Daesh leaders were killed after Daesh members leaked information to the Coalition. He says many others were killed or imprisoned by Daesh. He painted a grim picture of the life under the “caliphate,” where foreign fighters are literally begging in the streets while senior commanders are getting all the loot. 

Al-Hashemi says that Daesh leaders sidelined the “shar’is,” and told its fighters that the shar’is are dangerous and that they should listen to their commanders instead. He also said that Daesh “judges” are powerless and the commanders do whatever they like. The writer of the letter obviously knows a lot of details about Daesh leaders and inner circles. And the letter is two months old.  

A similar letter, but less detailed, had been published days earlier by another shar’i from Deir Ez-Zor.

The losses on the ground are just one part of Daesh’s disintegration. If this letter was any indication, Daesh is losing trust within its own base. Daesh commanders are acting as independent decision-makers, and the “caliph” is not showing himself. 

DaeshDaily comment. The accusation that Daesh brought on a Coalition airstrike on its own prisoners sounds bizarre but raises an intriguing and troubling question. Rumor has it that Coalition informants on the ground identify or verify airstrike targets by placing electronic chips that can be detected by planes. In this case, Al-Hashemi’s inference is that certain Daesh operatives stole one from a captured Coalition source and placed it at the Daesh prison. 

Thinking about this further, there have been numerous other reports in which the Coalition is accused of bombing civilian targets and killing innocent people. Daesh makes regular accusations, as in today’s reports, that “American” airstrikes kill innocent people, so as to gain a propaganda advantage. Civilians who die help Daesh’s cause, one reason it uses a human shields strategy. Coalition air crews either avoid bombing the target (a victory for Daesh), or bomb a target where there are many civilians (a victory for Daesh). This has us wondering about how many similar incidents there have been to the one cited by Al-Hashemi.

 

The Coalition says it conducted 26 airstrikes on Daesh positions in Syria (near Raqqa (21), Shaddadi (1), Deir Ez-Zor (2), and Albu Kamal (2). [InherentResolve]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

The Syrian News Agency, SANA, says Coalition planes killed more than twenty civilians, wounded others, and destroyed houses in an airstrike on Jazaa village, south of Shaddadi. Agence France Press says Coalition planes killed eighteen civilians, including three children, and 3 Daesh terrorists in an airstrike on the village. [Qasioun] [Dorar] 

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city

Central Raqqa. SDF fighters killed 9 Daesh terrorists in Hay Al-Mansour just west of Old Raqqa, 11 in Hay Al-Rasheed, and 4 in Old Raqqa. [Hawar] 

SDF special units secured 10 civilians in Al-Mansour. [Hawar]

 

SDF fighters killed 6 Daesh terrorists in Hay Al-Murur just west of Al-Mansour, and 5 in Hay Al-Nahdha just to the northwest of Al-Murur. [Hawar]

 

Three SDF fighters were killed in the Raqqa battle on Monday. [Hawar]

The YPG publishes names and photos of six of its fighters—four killed in Raqqa, one in Qamishli, and one in Afrin. [Hawar]  

 

North Raqqa. Daesh says two of its suicide terrorists, a Syrian and an Indian, attacked SDF units in the Al-Romaniya neighborhood in northwest Raqqa with explosives vests, killing or wounding fighters. [ICDNAugust21] 

 

Airstrikes. Twenty-seven civilians, including seven children and six women, were reportedly killed by Coalition airstrikes on Raqqa, raising the number of civilian casualties to 125 during the last seven days. [SyriaHR] 

A local activist says at least forty civilians were killed by a Coalition airstrike on a residential building in Hay Al-Badou. He says number of casualties might increase because there are still people under the rubble. [ZamanAlWasl] 

Daesh says eighteen people were killed and fifty-seven wounded by “American bombing and shelling” on Hay Al-Badou. [A3maq]

Daesh issues a video of the results of Coalition airstrikes on Raqqa. [A3maq] 

 

Daesh says its snipers killed an SDF fighter and wounded two others in two areas in Raqqa. [A3maq]

 

Humanitarian conditions in Raqqa

The situation in Raqqa city is deteriorating rapidly, and people are suffering a severe lack of water, food items, and medicine. [SyriaHR]

 

A man was killed by a sniper while he was trying to escape towards SDF positions in Raqqa. [SyriaHR] 

 

East of Raqqa

Heavy battles continued between government forces and Daesh east of Ghanem Al-Ali village. Planes conducted airstrikes on Daesh positions in the area. [SyriaHR] 

 

Syrian planes conducted extensive airstrikes on Daesh positions in Maadan city and nearby areas. [SyriaNow]

 

Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)

Afrin/Azaz/Al-Bab/ Manbij/Jarabulus

Turkish Army and allied Syrian armed groups targeted several areas in Afrin and Azaz with tens of shells. [Hawar]

 

Clashes erupted between the SDF and Turkey-backed opposition groups near Mare’ in Azaz. No casualties were reported. A civilian was killed by SDF shelling on Kaljibrin village. [SyriaHR]

 

Four people were wounded by Turkish shelling on Tal Rifaat in Azaz. [SyriaHR] 

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Anti-government Syrian activists warned that government forces might commit massacres against civilians in the Aqairbat area. Russian planes conducted tens of airstrikes on the area while government forces are advancing from several sides. The forces completely surrounded Daesh in the area. [Qasioun] [Qasioun]

The Free Hama Province Council, anti-government, issued a statement asking the UN and international organizations to open secure routes for civilians to leave the area. It says that government forces are not allowing civilians to leave. [EnabBaladi]  

 

Tahrir Al-Sham shelled government forces in the Taldra area, east of Salmiya. [SyriaHR] 

 

Daesh publishes photos of battles east of Salmiya. [ICDNAugus21] 

 

Homs

Government forces and allied militias captured 4 villages north of Sukhnah after heavy battles with Daesh. Both sides sustained casualties. Government forces also captured the Huwaisis area, including the town. [SyriaHR] 

 

Government sources say Syrian Army units, supported by foreign militias, captured Al-Tabia city, north of Sukhnah, killing or wounding Daesh terrorists. [Qasioun]

The Syrian Army and allied militias captured Hamima city and Tal Al-Sawana on Sunday, according to government sources. Government forces are moving ahead towards Deir Ez-Zor from three areas: Sukhnah, Hamima, and southern Raqqa Province. [Qasioun] [EnabBaladi] [Dorar] 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

The Russian Ministry of Defense says Russian planes destroyed a large column of Daesh terrorists that was heading to the Deir Ez-Zor area, killing 200 terrorists and destroying more than 20 machine gun mounted vehicles, in addition to rocket launchers, tanks, and armored vehicles. The ministry also said that Daesh is trying to make its last stand in Deir Ez-Zor after suffering heavy losses in Raqqa and Homs provinces. [Hawar] 

The ministry issues a video of the airstrikes. [Qasioun] 

The Russian Ministry of Defense says government forces are advancing towards Deir Ez-Zor from 3 sides and are close to capturing the central area. It also says its warplanes conduct 60-70 airstrikes every day on Deir Ez-Zor and its surroundings. [Qasioun] 

 

Heavy battles erupted between government forces, supported by foreign militias, and Daesh in the Al-Maqaber area. No casualties were reported. [Qasioun] 

 

Government sources say local residents attacked a Daesh meeting in Manjam Al-Milh, west of Deir Ez-Zor, killing 50 terrorists. [SyriaNow] 

 

Local sources say Daesh blew up a sports club and a school in Buqris city. They also say that Daesh is confiscating people’s houses in the city and giving them to its terrorists. [SyriaNow]

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about its operations in the Deir Ez-Zor area. [ICDNAugust21]  

 

Mayadin

Coalition planes targeted the Al-Omar oil fields with several airstrikes on Sunday. Coalition planes also destroyed oil truck tankers and primitive oil refineries in the Mayadin area. [Qasioun]  

 

Albu Kamal

Daesh raided internet cafes in Albu Kamal and arrested many people without giving any reasons. [Qasioun]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Hezbollah, supported by Syrian planes, captured a strategic mountaintop in the Al-Jarajir area in Rif Damashq that overlooks the entire southern area of West Qalamoun, after heavy battles with Daesh. [Qasioun] 

Hezbollah used drones to bomb Daesh targets in West Qalamoun. (video) [Qasioun] 

Daesh says it killed 40 Hezbollah fighters and wounded others in heavy battles in several areas in West Qalamoun. [ICDNAugust20] 

Government media sources issued a video of Daesh members surrendering with their families to Hezbollah in the West Qalamoun area. [Dorar] 

DaeshDaily comment. This video created a lot of reactions on social media. One of Daesh terrorists, when asked why they surrendered, he replied “We are done!” while laughing. Many opposition supporters accuse Daesh of being a Syrian government tool to fight the revolution. According to them, Daesh’s role in Syria is almost over now because the anti-Assad revolution is ending. Opposition sources published the name and the photo of the Daesh’s shar’i (religious leader) of the area, who appeared in the video and said that he was involved in forcing Free Syrian Army fighters to escape the area.   

 

Government security forces arrested in Damascus several displaced families from Deir Ez-Zor, including children, in order to exchange them for the Syrian pilot shot down by Usud Al-Sharqiya, a previously Coalition-backed opposition group mostly from the Deir Ez-Zor area, according to two sources, one a relative to one of the detained families. [EnabBaladi] 

 

The Deir Ez-Zor Tribes Council issued a statement on Sunday saying that the YPG is not allowing displaced people from Raqqa and Deir Ez-Zor to enter Hasaka and is instead forcing them to stay in displacement camps under poor conditions. It also alleged that the YPG is selling food and water to the displaced people for high prices. It said several displaced people have died in the camps. [Dorar]

  

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Lebanon

The Lebanese army launched an offensive on Saturday against a Daesh enclave on the northeastern border with Syria, as Hezbollah announced a simultaneous assault on the militants from the Syrian side of the frontier. A Lebanese security source the Lebanese army targeted Daesh positions near the town of Ras Baalbek with rockets, artillery and helicopters. The area is the last part of the Lebanese-Syrian frontier under insurgent control.

An army spokesman said that so far one-third of the area in the hands of the terrorists has now been recaptured since the offensive began, with 20 terrorists killed in direct combat, shelling or aerial strikes. Ten soldiers were injured.

Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV said that its fighters were ascending a series of strategic heights known as the Mosul Mountains that overlook several unofficial border crossings used by Daesh.

A Hezbollah statement said the group was meeting its pledge to “remove the terrorist threat at the borders of the nation” and was fighting “side by side” with the Syrian Army. It made no mention of the Lebanese army operation. The Lebanese Army said it was not coordinating its assault with either Hezbollah or the Syrian Army. [Reuters] 

The Lebanese National News Agency says the Lebanese Army captured the Daesh security official in Arsal. It says the Syrian terrorist had been involved in attacks on the army and had kidnapped and killed soldiers. [Qasioun]  

The Lebanese Army said on Sunday that three of its soldiers were killed and another seriously wounded when an IED exploded on their vehicle in the Arsal area. [EnabBaladi] 

 

Yemen

Daesh publishes photos of stopping a Houthi attack in the Qifa area. Daesh says it killed or wounded “tens” of Houthi fighters in the attack, including a commander. [ICDNAugust21] [ICDNAugust21] 

 

Tunisia

Daesh says it destroyed a Tunisian Army armored vehicle on Maghila Mountain in Kasserine. [A3maq]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

Afghanistan

President Trump announced a ramped up US and allied effort in Afghanistan, in a speech televised nationwide. This has been covered in detail on major media.

 

Spain

The police say that Younes Abouyaaqoub, the lone fugitive from the Spanish cell that killed 15 people in and near Barcelona was shot to death Monday after he flashed what turned out to be a fake suicide belt at two troopers who confronted him in a vineyard near a train station west of Barcelona. The police also said they have evidence that Abouyaaqoub drove the van that plowed through Barcelona’s crowded Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 people on Thursday, then hijacked a car and fatally stabbed its driver while making his getaway. Abouyaaqoub’s brother and friends made up the rest of the 12-man extremist cell, along with an imam who was one of two people killed in what police said was a botched bomb-making operation. [CanadianPress] 

DaeshDaily comment. According to The Independent, the “imam” had been imprisoned for drug dealing. 

 

Russia

A man was shot dead by police after knifing people apparently at random in the Siberian city of Surgut on Saturday morning.

The state-owned RIA Novosti agency said two people were in critical condition in the hospital.

“A man was running along the main streets stabbing people,” the TASS news agency reported. There were initially fears of a second attacker, but police later said he was acting alone. [Independent] 

Daesh issued a video of a masked terrorist speaking in Russian and threatening to conduct attacks. Daesh claims he was the one who conducted the attack. [ICDNAugust21]

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Videos of the Day

Iraq

Iraqi forces battle Daesh in Tal Afar. [PressIraq]

 

Syria

A 13 year old boy from Raqqa says he was imprisoned and tortured 50 times by Daesh. [Hawar] 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh audio newsletter for today [Bayan]

August 18, 2017

 

US Special Envoy, Bret McGurk, Visits Tabaqa (Hawar)

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Daesh terrorists returning to Europe without being arrested raise alarm. [..]

Airstrikes pound Daesh facilities in Al-Qa’im. [..]

Daesh terrorists in Kirkuk invade policeman’s house, kill 7 family members. [..]

Daesh executes 17 more people in Hawija. [..]

Internal clash in Hawija kills many Daesh combatants. [..]

General who led Mosul campaign will command Iraq’s Tal Afar forces. [..]

Syria

High-level US officials promise new Tabaqa council more reconstruction help. [..]

Daesh fights back in battle with Syrian Army for Maadan, east of Raqqa. [..]

Syrian forces surround Daesh fighters in key Hama battle. [..]

Spain

Spain death toll from Daesh attacks reaches 14 killed, 130 wounded. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Between 1,200 and 3,000 Europeans who lived or fought with Daesh in Iraq and Syria could return to Europe, according to a report by the European group Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN). It also says the number of returnees could increase if Daesh is defeated militarily or collapses. Most of the returnees will be women and children.

More than 42,000 foreign terrorist fighters” from over 120 countries went to join Daesh between 2011 and 2016, an unprecedented number. Over 5,000 were from Europe, mostly from Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy and the Netherlands. About 15% to 20% died in Iraq and Syria; 30% to 35% have already returned to Europe; and about 50% are still in the two countries, according to the European Union. [BrusselsTimes] 

DaeshDaily comment. These returnees, collectively, include a large pool of potential suicide terrorists and terrorism trainers. The notion that these are just “poor” kids who were brainwashed online and joined Daesh, and have now returned to be better people, is not only naïve but extremely dangerous. It breaks the heart that many of these terrorists are free in their countries now after they killed innocent civilians in Iraq and Syria. There are many reports about terrorists who “repented” and then conducted attacks later. Europe, and the entire world, should support Iraq’s efforts to indict Daesh terrorists for their crimes against humanity. We reported that Iraq’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, sent a letter to the Security Council demanding that Daesh leaders be put on trial for crimes against humanity and asking for international experts to help in this regard. Iraq needs all the help it can get. Many of these terrorists have returned with claims that they were just working as cooks or barbers, etc. 

We have been following Daesh reports for some time now and we know for sure that no one joins Daesh blindly. Daesh has never been shy about showing its real criminal nature. Daesh media is designed to attract people with sadistic criminal tendencies. Daesh’s countless videos and images of beheadings and other extreme forms of execution are designed for this purpose. Its recruits are people who actually like this violence. On its recruitment form, Daesh even asks wannabe terrorists if they have “infidel” family members and whether the “applicant” is ready to kill those family members. This is not the caliber of people that any country should be willing to have roaming its streets.  

 

The Coalition says it conducted 5 airstrikes on Daesh positions in Iraq near Tal Afar (4), and near Baiji (1).  [InherentResolve] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

Daesh publishes photos of executing six men in north Baghdad after accusing them of “spying” for the National Security Service. [ICDNAugust18]

 

Baghdad Intelligence and Security Directorate says security units found an explosives cache in Rashidiya. [Ghad] 

 

Southwest (Rasheed, etc.)

A security source says three civilians were wounded when a roadside IED exploded near a popular market in the Suwaib area. [Baghdadia] 

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Baghdad Intelligence and Security Directorate says security units found another explosives cache in Radwaniya. [Ghad] 

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:   4(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:   1

 

ANBAR

Anah

A security source says Iraqi Army artillery shelled Daesh positions in Anah. The source didn’t provide any details. [Ghad] 

Iraqi artillery also shelled Daesh positions in Raihana subdistrict. [Ghad] 

 

Al-Qa’im

The Military Intelligence Service says 4 Daesh headquarters, including hisbah and security, and 2 large weapons and ammunition storehouses were destroyed in airstrikes on Al-Qa’im. [Baghdadia] 

 

Iraqi media sources say Coalition planes killed 7 Daesh terrorists who were trying to cross from Al-Qa’im to Syria. [Qasioun] 

 

Rutba

The Mayor of Rutba says unidentified planes bombed a house in the Akashat area by the Syrian border, killing a woman and her 13 year old son, and wounding her husband. [Sumaria] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

A local source says armed men killed an Arab man and kidnapped his brother in Hay Al-Askari, in Tuz Khurmatu. [ROJ] 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh says it destroyed a police vehicle and wounded four policemen with 2 IEDs in Abu Saida Saghira village, in the Al-Waqf area east of Baquba. [A3maq] 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

A PUK official says a joint Asayesh and Peshmerga force surrounded and then killed another Daesh terrorist in an orchard in Al-Islah village in Jalawla. The joint forces had earlier killed 4 Daesh terrorists near the village, including an “emir,” two days ago. [PUKMedia] 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A Kirkuk Police Lt. Colonel says a group of 20 Daesh terrorists attacked his house in Al-Milih village in Dibis and killed three of his sons, three brothers, and a cousin, and wounded five other members of his family. He says some the terrorists entered the house claiming to be Peshmerga fighters, and some of them spoke Kurdish. [ARA] 

Daesh says it attacked a house where “Emergency Police” members were “barricading” in Al-Malha village and killed seven policemen. It publishes photos of capturing young men, who were in civilian clothes, then executing them. The Daesh terrorists were in Peshmerga costumes. [ICDNAugust18] [A3maq]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh executed in Hawija 17 civilians and security forces members it had captured in the Shirqat area. 

 

A local source says “tens” of Daesh terrorists were killed in internal fighting in Hawija over the position of military commander. The source says local terrorists refused the appointment of a Chechen commander after the previous one, a Syrian, was killed in an airstrike recently. [Baghdadia] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

East Mosul

A Ninewa Police source says the mukhtar of the Aden neighborhood was killed by armed men while he was heading to Friday prayers near his house. [BasNews] 

DaeshDaily comment. Killing mukhtars is the first step towards creating lawlessness, for Daesh and for AQI before that. These local officials, who usually work from their homes, are the links between communities and the government and security organizations. Part of their job is to report any suspicious activities in their areas.  

 

Tal Afar

The Joint Operations Command (JOC) says it has code-named the upcoming Tal Afar liberation campaign “We are coming, Tal Afar.” It also says Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, deputy JOC commander and leader of the Mosul liberation campaign, will lead the operations. [Baghdadia] 

 

A local source says Daesh evacuated tens of houses of its commanders in Tal Afar and removed checkpoints around the houses in order to allow their families to hide among civilians in other areas in the city. [Sumaria]

 

The PMF Press says a PMF armored brigade has moved towards Tal Afar to participate in the upcoming liberation battles. [Buratha] 

 

The PMF spokesman says 20,000 PMF fighters will participate in the Tal Afar liberation operation. 

The spokesman also says there are no PMFs fighting in Syria. He says there are Iraqi armed groups fighting in Syria under their own names, but they are not in the PMF organization. [Sumaria]

 

The JOC says Iraqi F16s destroyed a Daesh weapons storehouse, a vehicle bomb factory, and 2 offices in Tal Afar, killing many terrorists. [Harbi] 

 

A security source says Iraqi forces killed 16 Daesh suicide terrorists who attacked military positions near Tal Afar. [Baghdadia] 

 

A Ninewa Police major says 10 Daesh terrorists were killed when a weapons and explosives cache exploded accidently in Tal Afar. [BasNews] 

 

A local source says the Daesh “wali” of Tal Afar issued orders to his terrorists to burn all of Daesh’s financial documents. [Sumaria]

A local source says the Daesh speaker in Tal Afar hinted that his Friday prayer for today might be the last. [Sumaria] 

 

A Peshmerga source says the Kurdish units have captured 25 Daesh who were trying to flee Tal Afar during the last 3 days. [Buratha]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh distributed recruitment forms in Tal Afar and paid each new recruit 90,000 Iraqi dinars ($75). 

DaeshDaily comment. How desperate would a guy have to be to take that job?

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting an “American base” with Katyushas in Al-Buwair village, east of Tal Afar. The photos show that Daesh launched the rockets from the yard of a house. [ICDNAugust18]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A DaeshDaily source says PMFs killed a Daesh suicide terrorist, who was dressed as a PMF fighter, near the Hatra historic area. 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

A judicial source says 4 Iraqis were detained in Samsun on suspicion of being Daesh members. [Anadolu] 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters that the U.S. military will remain in northern Syria long after Daesh is defeated, predicting enduring ties with the Kurdish-dominated region. He says “They have a strategy policy for decades to come. There will be military, economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas (of Syria) . . . and the U.S. administration.” 

Asked about long-term strategy, Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the coalition, referred Reuters to the Pentagon. He said there was “still a lot of fighting to do, even after (Daesh) has been defeated in Raqqa”. [Dorar]

 

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was asked at a press briefing about the SDF spokesman’s claim that the U.S. will remain in Syria long after Daesh is defeated. She said, to the contrary, that the US has no intention of staying in Syria after defeating Daesh. She said “Our overall mission is to defeat (Daesh), whether it’s in Iraq or in Syria. That is our intent–to defeat ISIS and not do anything more than that.” Nauert also said “We want Syria governed by Syrians, not by the United States, not by any other forces, but by Syrians,” she added. [Anadolu] 

 

The Coalition says it conducted 22 airstrikes on Daesh positions in Syria (near Raqqa (18), Deir Ez-Zor (1), and Albu Kamal (3). [InherentResolve]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

Daesh says it destroyed 2 SDF military vehicles with 2 IEDs, one on the road between Hasaka and Shaddadi and one east of Tal Barak village, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [DENAugust18]

 

Raqqa

Twenty-four civilians, including eight children and seven women, were allegedly killed and others wounded by Coalition airstrikes on Raqqa, raising the number of civilians killed in airstrikes to eight-three since Monday. The number of casualties could increase because there still people under the rubble. [SyriaHR] 

DaeshDaily comment. An out-of-context story like this cannot be evaluated or verified.

 

Raqqa city

Combat news from Raqqa continues to focus on the same locations.

Central Raqqa. SDF fighters killed 7 Daesh terrorists in heavy clashes in Al-Mansour, just west of Old Raqqa. [Hawar] 

 

SDF fighters killed 6 Daesh terrorists and destroyed a charging vehicle bomb in Al-Rashid. [Hawar]

 

South Raqqa. SDF fighters killed 5 Daesh terrorists in Al-Dar’iya. [Hawar]

 

SDF fighters secured 50 civilians in Nazla Shahada. [Hawar]

 

Daesh says one of its Azeri suicide terrorists killed fifteen SDF fighters in a suicide attack with a vehicle bomb near the Grand Mosque, in east Raqqa. [A3maq] [ICDNAugust18]

 

Ten civilians from the same family were killed in a Coalition airstrike on the Al-Malaab Al-Aswad (Black Stadium) area. [Qasioun] 

DaeshDaily comment. Media sources had said that Daesh used the basements of the stadium as offices for its “intelligence” members and held prisoners there. 

 

North Raqqa. SDF fighters killed 3 Daesh terrorists and destroyed a vehicle bomb in Al-Barid in northwest Raqqa. [Hawar]

 

Daesh publishes photos of battles in Raqqa. [ICDNAugust18]

 

West of Raqqa

US Special Presidential Envoy to the Coalition Brett McGurk, Coalition Deputy Commander Gen. Robert Jones, and other US, UK, and France Coalition officials met with the leaders of the Tabaqa Civilian Council at the council headquarters to discuss the service situation. The delegation promised that the Coalition would help restore water and electricity services, rehabilitate the Al-Tabaqa Hospital, reopen schools, and help displaced people. [Hawar]  

 

Daesh says it damaged a Humvee and an SUV with drone strikes near the Al-Jazra Intersection. [DENAugust18]

 

East of Raqqa

Heavy battles erupted in the area between Ghanem Al-Ali village and Maadan city after government forces tried to recapture positions it lost to Daesh. Government forces shelled and bombed the area extensively. [SyriaHR] 

 

Daesh says it damaged an SUV with a rocket near Al-Maqla village, east of Raqqa. [DENAugust18]

Daesh publishes photos of targeting Syrian Army positions near the village with mortars. [ICDNAugust18]

 

Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)

Aleppo/Idlib/Deir Hafer

The Turkish Army and allied armed groups targeted Qastal Jando village, in Afrin, with 10 shells, in addition to targeting several villages in the Azaz area. SDF units responded by shelling Turkish Army and allied positions in Mare’ and Azaz, wounding at least 11 fighters. [Hawar]  

 

Local sources say shelling on Afrin city destroyed several cars and damaged houses. No casualties were reported. [ARA] 

 

Local media sources say ten civilians, including children, were wounded by SDF shelling on Al-Bab city. the SDF also targeted Mare’ city with Grad rockets and heavy artillery. [Qasioun] 

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Syrian government news agency, SANA, says the Syrian Army, supported by allied militias and Russian planes, surrounded Aqairbat after heavy battles with Daesh in the Al-Fasda area. [Qasioun] [Dorar]

Russian planes conducted airstrikes on several Daesh-controlled villages in Aqairbat subdistrict. [Qasioun]

Russian planes destroyed Daesh vehicles in the Aqairbat area (video.) [SyriaNow] 

 

Several government forces members were killed or wounded by opposition groups’ mortar shelling on the road between Al-Saan and Athariya. [Qasioun]

 

Government forces captured more areas east of Salmiya after clashes with Daesh. [SyriaHR]

DaeshDaily comment. If Syrian press reports are to be believed, government forces have been capturing areas east of Salmiya for weeks. How much territory is there “east of Salmiya?” 

 

Homs

Government forces, supported by militias, captured 2 villages in the Shomariya Mountains area, near Jab Al-Jarrah, east of Homs. [SyriaHR] 

 

Heavy battles erupted after Daesh attacked the Maksar Al-Hisan and Jab Al-Jarrah area, east of Homs. Both sides sustained casualties. [SyriaHR] 

 

Government sources say the entire town of Hamima is under “artillery control?” of Syrian Army units and allied militias (video.) [SyriaNow] [SyriaNow] 

DaeshDaily comment. In other words, they do not actually control the town.

 

Daesh says it one of its Syrian terrorists conducted a suicide attack with a vehicle bomb on Syrian Army units and allied militias east of Sukhnah city, killing ten soldiers. [A3maq] [ICDNAugust18]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Local activists say several civilians from Abu Khashab were killed or wounded by Daesh while they were trying to escape Daeshcontrolled areas. [Qasioun] 

Daesh says it killed eleven “PKK members” in attacks on the Abu Khashab, Al-Kasra, and Al-Malha areas north of Deir Ez-Zor. [A3maq] 

 

Local media sources say the Coalition conducted an airdrop operation east of Buwaitiya village, south of Al-Tabni. [Qasioun]  

 

Coalition planes killed 9 Daesh terrorists between Al-Tabni and Maadan. [Qasioun]  

 

Unidentified warplanes targeted a Daesh convoy that was heading from Deir Ez-Zor to Maadan, in the Kharita area, killing or wounding tens of terrorists and destroying several vehicles. [SyriaHR]  

 

Three civilians were wounded by airstrikes on Al-Hamidiya, in Deir Ez-Zor city. Syrian Army units targeted 3 areas in the city with missiles. [SyriaHR] 

 

Daesh publishes photos of “normal life” in Mahkan town, east of Deir Ez-Zor. [ICDNAugust18]

DaeshDaily comment. Many Daesh websites have been shut down recently. As a solution, Daesh supporters are uploading Daesh news items they collect on social media and putting them in a video on YouTube. However, these YouTube accounts also get shut down fast. 

 

Mayadin

Local sources say Daesh stoned to death one of its Sudanese “emirs” in Mayadin after accusing him of raping the wife of another terrorist. [Qasioun] 

DaeshDaily comment. The story is interesting because it was reported a couple of days ago that a Sudanese member of Daesh had a brawl with a Daesh Saudi “cleric” in the Mayadin area. It is customary for Daesh to not only kill any of its members who object, but also smear their “reputation.” Many Daesh members were executed on similar accusations in order to hide facts about internal disputes.  

 

Coalition planes killed 4 Daesh terrorists in Al-Zabari town in the Mayadin area. [Qasioun]  

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

The government war press says Syrian Army units and allied militias captured 2 more areas in West Qalamoun. Syrian planes destroyed several Daesh positions and killed or wounded several terrorists (video.) [SyriaNow] [SyriaNow] 

 

Daraa

The SOHR says the number of terrorists killed in yesterday’s airstrike on the Jaish Khaled, Daesh affiliate, “court” and prisons in Al-Shajara town in the Yarmouk Basin has increased to 16, in addition to 12 prisoners. It also says it is unknown if the planes that conducted the airstrikes were Coalition or Israeli. [SyriaHR] 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Lebanon 

Lebanese Army helicopters and heavy artillery units targeted Daesh positions in the Ras Baalbek and Al-Qa’a areas. [Rudaw] 

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh says its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier at a security barrier west of Arish. [A3maq]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

Spain

Spanish authorities say the death toll from the attacks in Spain has risen to fourteen, after a woman injured in Cambrils died of her injuries.

They say the woman is the first victim from the Cambrils attack, where five people were shot dead by police after a car was driven into a group of people in a similar attack to the earlier one in Barcelona on Thursday. They say a total of 130 people were injured across both attacks. [Rudaw] 

 

Philippines

Daesh says it killed eleven Philippine soldiers in clashes on Ala’ Street in Marawi city. [A3maq]

Daesh says it killed seven Moro Liberation Front members in clashes in Nimao village in Maguindanao. [A3maq]

 

Daesh publishes an infographic about its battles in Marawi. It says that in 86 days of battles, it killed 335 Philippine soldiers, 38 by snipers, burned down a church, destroyed 8 armored vehicles, and damaged another. The infographic also shows Daesh in control of areas in the city. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment. This can’t be evaluated at face value because the statistics largely reflect fighting prior to the government’s US-supported counter-attack.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Videos of the Day

Iraq

Security units found a Daesh “hospital” in Old Mosul. [AIN] 

 

Syria

 

 

August 17, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

US officials press Barzani on independence referendum. [..]

Sunni political coalition opposes extending referendum beyond KRG. [..]

UNAMI leader urges Iraq, KRG to negotiate on independence referendum. [..]

Two Daesh emirs killed in northern Diyala. [..]

Growing number of residents already leaving Tal Afar, but Daesh prevents others. [..]

Syria

Red Cross official sounds alarm on polluted water at Hasaka IDP camp. [..]

High US officials pledge support in meeting with Raqqa Civilian Council. [..]

Pentagon spokesman describes Daesh fighters escaping Raqqa as “emaciated.” [..]

Red Cross promises to reactivate pumps at Tabaqa Dam. [..]

Turks & allied militias attack SDF in Afrin, Azaz. [..]

Spain

Daesh claims credit for deadly dual attacks in Barcelona. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The KRG president, Masoud Barzani, received in his office the US CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel, US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman, and Coalition commander, Gen. Stephen Townsend to discuss the situation in the region and the war against Daesh according to a statement from Barzani’s office. The statement also says that Barzani told Votel that he understands US concerns (about the KRG independence referendum), and that the US should also understand concerns and decisions of the Kurdish people. [ARA]  

DaeshDaily comment. We have noticed for a long time that statements from Barzani’s office about his meetings are almost never forthcoming about the actual points of discussion. At this point in the war against Daesh, this meeting was almost certainly not primarily about the war, except perhaps about how the referendum would undermine it.

 

The Coalition of Iraqi Powers, an alliance of major Sunni parties, issued a statement saying it objects to the KRG’s independence referendum being held in Kirkuk and other areas outside the KRG. [ROJ] 

 

In a statement released by UNAMI on Thursday, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to Iraq, Mr. Jan Kubiš, welcomed dialogue initiated by the Iraqi government and the KRG regarding the independence referendum.

On Wednesday, a delegation from the Kurdistan Referendum Council met with Kubiš, Iraqi officials, and political parties in Baghdad to discuss the upcoming independence referendum. Kubiš “urged the two sides to agree on a roadmap with timelines on how to resolve all outstanding issues and implement the agreed conclusions in a positive spirit of genuine partnership.” In the meeting with the KRG delegation, Kubiš expressed the UNAMI’s readiness to “provide its good offices, advice, assistance, and support, if and as requested by the two sides.”

He also said “We are encouraged by the visit of a political delegation from the [Kurdistan Region] to Baghdad as agreed with their counterparts in Baghdad, and strongly support this effort.” [Kurdistan24]

 

Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s spokesman says the special committee formed by Abadi to investigate allegations about security units committing violations against civilians in Mosul found that some Rapid Intervention soldiers were involved in violations, including beating and threatening civilians. He says the violators will be sent to court. He also says some of the allegations in the May Der Spiegel report were not accurate. It says that the committee found that some of the people whom the report said were killed by Iraqi forces are actually alive. [IraqPress] 

 

The Coalition says it conducted 6 airstrikes on Daesh positions in Iraq (near Kasik (2), Tal Afar (1), Tuz Khurmatu (1), and Rawa (2)).  [InherentResolve] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

A security source says security units captured 2 persons on terrorism charges in the Al-Ru’oud area. [Ghad] 

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

A police source says two people were wounded when an IED exploded near trade shops in the Haswa area, in Abu Ghraib. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Hit/Haditha

The Chairman of the Hit District Council says many Daesh members returned to their jobs in the Directorate of Education. He says the Council formed a special committee to check Daesh documents found after the liberation, so as to prevent Daesh members from getting government positions. [Sumaria] 

 

Anah

A security source says the IAA destroyed a Daesh vehicle bomb factory in Anah in addition to a Daesh vehicle near the city, killing 4 terrorists inside the vehicle. [Ghad] 

 

A security source says 3 rockets launched from the Ain Al-Assad Base targeted Daesh positions in Rawa and Anah. [Ghad] 

 

Al-Qa’im

A Tribal PMF commander says Daesh executed three brothers in Al-Qa’im because they refused its compulsory conscription. [Sumaria]

 

A security source says Coalition planes bombed a school used by Daesh as a headquarters and weapons storehouse in Al-Qa’im. [Ghad] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

The chairman of the Security Committee in the Diyala Provincial Council says a Daesh commander and 8 other terrorists were killed in an airstrike on the Mtaibija area. [Sumaria] 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

A security source says Turkmen PMFs killed 5 Daesh terrorists who sneaked into Bashir to plant IEDs. [Sumaria] 

 

DIYALA

Muqdadiya 

A local source says the new Daesh “emir” of the Himrin area and 3 other terrorists were killed, by airstrikes on a Daesh guesthouse and an SUV near the Khalawiya area, north of Muqdadiya. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

A local official says Peshmerga units killed a Daesh “emir” and another terrorist in a security operation near Al-Islah village in Jalawla. He says that Daesh cells have been active recently in the area. The dead terrorist was responsible for planting IEDs that targeted civilians. [ARA] 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Security sources say the Asayesh captured a Daesh member, originally from Riyadh subdistrict, in Schwan subdistrict. [ROJ] 

 

A Kirkuk Police commander says his units captured 10 persons on terrorism charges in Bajwan village, in Dibis. [ROJ]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh says its snipers killed a Peshmerga fighter on Mahkour Mountain. [A3maq] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

East Mosul

A Ninewa Health Directorate official source says the situation in the Mosul morgue has deteriorated and dead bodies are decomposing in refrigerators because of the lack of electricity. He says generators are not working because the Ministry of Oil stopped providing the directorate’s facilities with fuel for the last 20 days. [Anadolu]  

 

West Mosul

The IFP commander says his troops established checkpoints in west Mosul looking for Daesh terrorists who try to sneak back into the city with returnees. He also says his troops found a Daesh chemical materials storehouse in Old Mosul. [Baghdadia] 

 

Tal Afar

A security source says large Iraqi Army and PMF military reinforcements passed through Kirkuk heading to Tal Afar to participate in the liberation operations. [Sumaria] 

 

A member of the Ninewa Provincial Council says the number of people who escaped Tal Afar during the last two weeks increased to 3,000. [Anadolu] 

Deputy Chairman of the Ninewa Provincial Council asks security forces to help transport thousands of families who are escaping the Tal Afar area to displacement camps in nearby areas. [Sumaria] 

In a somewhat contradictory report, a PMF Press official says Daesh is preventing families from leaving Tal Afar. He says Iraqi forces provided secure routes but people are not using them. [Waradana]

 

A PMF commander says 12 Daesh terrorists were killed when an airstrike targeted a tunnel where they were hiding in Tal Afar. [Sumaria] 

A local source says many terrorists were killed or wounded and many vehicles were destroyed when airstrikes extensively targeted Daesh defense positions around Tal Afar. [Sumaria] 

A security source says Coalition planes destroyed 3 Daesh offices near the Tal Afar Castle, killing “tens” of terrorists. [Baghdadia] 

The MoD says the IAA targeted Daesh weapons storehouses, vehicle bomb factories, and 2 headquarters in Tal Afar. [Baghdadia] 

 

The PMF Press says PMF units killed 7 Daesh terrorists and destroyed 3 vehicle bombs. It says the terrorists were trying to break PMFs defense lines in the Ayn Talawi area towards the Syrian border. [Mawazin] 

 

KURDISTAN

[See referendum story above under National News]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Muthanna

A security source says a Daesh leader who fled Mosul was captured at a checkpoint near Samawa. The source says the terrorist was on his way to Basra to form a new cell. [Baghdadia] 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

The Turkey Foreign Affairs Minister says that Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Chief of Staff of Russian Armed Forces, who is visiting Ankara, will discuss establishing a de-escalation zone in Idlib. [Hawar] 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

The Russian Ministry of Defense says Russian airmen conducted more than 290 combat sorties and 120 recon sorties during the last week destroying 730 “terrorist” positions. [Qasioun] 

 

The Coalition says it conducted 23 airstrikes on Daesh positions in Syria (near Raqqa (20), Deir Ez-Zor (1), and Albu Kamal (2). [InherentResolve] 

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

A local activist says more people are leaving their houses in Daesh controlled areas and heading to Qana Camp in Al-Arisha subdistrict, in south Hasaka, after Daesh imposed compulsory conscription. An ICRC spokesman has said that displaced people in the camp are in danger from pollution because of the waste from crude oil refineries in the area. She says that people are using water polluted with waste. The activist says the PYD had emptied the camp of the waste but it used sand barriers around the camp filled with the waste. [ZamanAlWasl]    

 

Raqqa

US Special Presidential Envoy to the Coalition Brett McGurk, US Special Envoy to Syria Michael Ratney, Deputy Commander of the Coalition Gen. Robert Jones, and US Department of State Advisor Karen Decker, visited Ain Eissa and met with the Raqqa Civilian Council (RCC), SDF officials, and tribal and community leaders to discuss humanitarian affairs in Raqqa and the liberation, according to a statement from the SDF. McGurk said the Coalition support the RCC and will provide necessary help. He also says the Coalition would intervene if the Syrian Army tried to cross to the north bank of the Euphrates River, according to an RCC member. Prior to the visit, McGurk had said that the Coalition will help with stabilization, humanitarian, and reconstruction efforts in Raqqa after the liberation. [Hawar] [Hawar] [Hawar] 

 

Raqqa city

Coalition spokesman, Col. Ryan Dillon, says Daesh terrorists fleeing Raqqa are “emaciated,” “malnourished,” and plied high on drugs. He says the terrorists are in terrible condition as they emerge from the city. He also said that Daesh laid down an extensive network of tunnels under Raqqa to launch counter-attacks against the SDF. In a counter-attack on Monday and Tuesday using the tunnels, SDF fighters captured several Daesh terrorists alive. Col. Dillon said “Many of them were pocked with needle tracks, probably from amphetamines they used to maintain their murderous fervor.”

 

The SOHR says at least 25 civilians, including 13 children, were killed by Coalition airstrikes on Raqqa city. [SyriaHR] 

 

Coalition planes launched a wave of airstrikes on the city, while heavy battles continued between the SDF and Daesh in Old Raqqa. Daesh attacked the SDF with a vehicle bomb in the Al-Salam Hospital area. No casualties were reported. 

However, twenty-three civilians from a local family, including thirteen children, were killed and others wounded by a Coalition airstrike on a house in the Al-Tawasa’iya neighborhood in northwest Raqqa. Twenty-five civilians were killed and others wounded in an earlier airstrike on the Mu’taz Street area. [Qasioun] [Qasioun] [Dorar] 

DaeshDaily comment. As with all Qasioun airstrike reports, skepticism about the numbers is advised. Notice again that there is no Daesh death toll in this report, only a civilian death toll.

 

Five SDF fighters were killed and four others wounded in clashes in Raqqa city. [Hawar]

The YPG published the names and photos of three of its fighters, two of them killed in Raqqa, and one in Afrin. [Hawar] 

 

Central Raqqa. SDF fighters killed 12 Daesh terrorists and destroyed a vehicle bomb in Al-Mansour, just west of Old Raqqa. [Hawar]

 

SDF special units secured 300 civilians, including 10 wounded children, who escaped Raqqa center to Nazla Shahada. [Hawar] 

 

South Raqqa. SDF fighters killed 29 Daesh terrorists and captured an ammunition storehouse in Nazla Shahada. [Hawar]

 

SDF fighters killed 5 Daesh terrorists and captured a vehicle bomb in Hay Al-Dar’iya, west of Nazla Shahada. [Hawar]

 

North Raqqa. SDF fighters killed 17 Daesh terrorists and destroyed a vehicle bomb in Hay Al-Rashid. [Hawar]

 

SDF fighters killed 7 Daesh terrorists and destroyed a vehicle bomb factory in Hay Al-Rawdha in northeast Raqqa. [Hawar]

 

SDF fighters killed 8 Daesh terrorists in Hay Al-Barid in northwest Raqqa. [Hawar]

 

Humanitarian conditions in Raqqa city

Civilians trapped in Raqqa are without water for the last two days. [Hawar]

 

West of Raqqa

The International Committee for the Red Cross says it will arrange urgent maintenance to the Al-Tabaqa Dam in order to reactivate pumps that provide water for tens of thousands of people in Raqqa Province. [ARA]

 

East of Raqqa

Russian planes conducted airstrikes on several areas in Maadan city. No casualties were reported. [Qasioun]

 

South of Raqqa

Government sources say Syrian Army units, supported by foreign militias and Russian planes, captured several oil and gas fields south of Raqqa, killing “tens” of Daesh terrorists and destroying 15 machine gunmounted vehicles. [Qasioun] 

 

Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)

Afrin/Azaz/Al-Bab/ Manbij/Jarabulus

The Turkish Army and allied Syrian opposition armed groups attacked several areas in Afrin and Azaz late Wednesday. SDF fighters stopped the attack, killing 17 fighters, wounding 7, destroying 2 bulldozers, and shooting down a Turkish recon drone. [Hawar]  

SDF fighters destroyed a Turkish Army bulldozer near Tal Madhiq. (video) [Hawar]  

After the battles, the Turkish Army brought tens of tanks and armored vehicles to Al-Bab, coming through Al-Ra’i from Turkey. [Hawar] 

 

Displaced people escaped from the Robar Camp after Turkish Army and allied armed groups targeted the camp area with more than 30 shells. (video) [Hawar] 

 

Ahl Al-Diyar, a coalition of several Turkey-backed opposition groups, says it launched a surprise attack on an SDF unit near the Tal Rifaat town entrance, killing or wounding several fighters. It also says it shelled SDF positions in response to an SDF shelling on “civilian houses” in the Azaz area. [Dorar] 

 

A medical source says three civilians were killed and three others wounded in a YPG shelling on Mare’, Kaljibrin, and Abla. The YPG also rocketed 2 other towns in the Azaz area, causing damage to residential buildings. [ZamanAlWasl]  

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Syrian Army units, supported by foreign militias and Russian planes, captured Al-Bala’as Mountain and Al-Sawana village, east of Hama, after heavy battles with Daesh, and advanced 15 km (9 miles) in the area. [Qasioun]  

 

Qalamoun Shield, a pro-government Syrian militia, says eleven of its fighters were killed in battles with Daesh near Salba, east of Salmiya. Four other government forces members were also killed in the area. [ZamanAlWasl] 

 

Planes conducted airstrikes on several Daesh controlled areas in Aqairbat subdistrict. [SyriaHR] 

 

Homs

The SOHR says government forces surrounded Daesh in a 3,000 sq km area that includes around 50 villages and several oil and gas fields between Homs and Hama, after heavy battles with Daesh. [SyriaHR] 

 

The Syrian Army and allied militias captured more positions north of the Al-Sha’er oil fields, destroying a Daesh vehicle. [SyriaNow] 

 

Government sources say Syrian Army units and allied foreign militias captured several locations in the Hamima area. The sources say government forces destroyed a vehicle bomb, 2 tanks, and 4 armored personnel carriers in shelling on Daesh positions in the area. [Qasioun] 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Heavy battles erupted after Daesh terrorists attacked SDF positions in the Abu Khashab area, northwest of Deir Ez-Zor. [SyriaHR] 

 

A woman was killed in airstrikes on Al-Masrab village, west of Deir Ez-Zor. [SyriaHR] 

 

Syrian planes targeted two neighborhoods in Deir Ez-Zor, in addition to the 137 Battalion Camp south of the city. No casualties were reported. [SyriaHR]

 

Mayadin

The government news agency, SANA, says Coalition planes killed six civilians, including three children, and destroyed civilian houses in airstrikes on Subaikhan and other towns and villages east of Deir Ez-Zor during the last two days. [SyriaNow] 

 

An unidentified plane targeted a sharia high school in Mayadin city. No casualties were reported. A drone airstrike destroyed a Daesh vehicle in the city, killing 3 terrorists. [SyriaHR] 

 

Albu Kamal

Unidentified planes launched two airstrikes on Albu Kamal city, destroying a house, and another airstrike on a bakery in Kashkiya village, in Deir Ez-Zor District. No casualties were reported. [Qasioun] 

 

Unidentified planes destroyed a Daesh media point in Albu Kamal city. [SyriaHR] 

 

South 

Daraa

Local sources say Coalition planes targeted a Jaish Khaled (Daesh affiliate) “court” and prison in Al-Shajara town, in the Yarmouk Basin, area with 4 rockets, killing 14 prisoners. Informed sources say the prisoners had recently planned a coup against the leadership of Jaish Khaled. This is the first bombing in south Syria since the de-escalation agreement. [Qasioun] [Qasioun] 

A local activist says Wa’el Fao’ur Al-Eid, the “emir” of Jaish Khaled, was also killed in the airstrike. He says this was the new “court” of Jaish Khaled, used also as weapons and explosives storehouse, after Coalition planes destroyed the old court two months ago. [ZamanAlWasl] 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh says its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier at a checkpoint near the Arish city entrance. [A3maq] 

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

Spain

Spanish police say they have killed five people in the coastal town of Cambrils to stop a second attempted van attack after an earlier deadly attack in Barcelona. The attackers were wearing explosives belts, police said.

 

Thirteen people died and dozens were injured when a van ploughed into crowds in Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas area on Thursday afternoon. The driver of the van fled and is still at large. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said it was a “jihadist attack.” The authorities are now linking the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils with an explosion at a house on Wednesday evening in the town of Alcanar on the Mediterranean coast that left one person dead.

Earlier, Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero said it appeared the residents at the Alcanar house had been “preparing an explosive device.” [BBC] [ARA] 

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was conducted by its “soldiers” who responded to its calls to attack Coalition countries’ citizens. [A3maq] 

 

Afghanistan

The Nangarhar Police issued a statement saying that US planes destroyed Daesh hideouts in the Makrana area in Achin District, killing at least 40 terrorists, including foreigners. [Khaama] 

 

Daesh says Afghan Army units and allied militias, supported by US airplanes, helicopters, and ground troops, attacked the Momand area in Achin District. It says it stopped the attack, after 10 hours of battles, killing or wounding twelve US soldiers and 20 Afghan soldiers and militiamen and destroying two vehicles. [A3maq] 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Videos of the Day

Syria

SDF fighters capture a Daesh mortar shell storehouse in Nazla Shahada in Raqqa. [Hawar] 

 

SDF fighters secure civilians in Raqqa. [Hawar] 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh audio newsletter for today [Bayan]

 

Daesh publishes the 94th issue of its Naba’ magazine. It publishes reports about its operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Egypt. It also publishes an interview with the military “emir” of Raqqa who said the Raqqa battle, like Mosul, will not be a picnic for the Coalition and the SDF. In this issue also, Daesh continued its article from last week that urged its terrorists not to surrender. Another article attacked individuals who “relapsed”. [ICDNAugust17]

DaeshDaily comment. Two important points here. First, the “emir” basically said that Daesh is going to lose in Raqqa, he just promised it will happen in a longer time, and with more civilian casualties, as he admitted that one of the strategies is to booby-trap buildings in the city. Second, the article about “relapsing” is another indication that confirms our previous reports about defections within Daesh. 

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about the Raqqa battles. [ICDNAugust17] 

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about the battles in the Homs area. [ICDNAugust17]