An Update On ISIS Activities

May 16, 2018

 

Ali Allawi

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Unconfirmed election report moves Al-Abadi alliance vote close to Al-Sadr alliance. [..] 

IHEC board member has received death threats. [..]

Al-Sadr calls for a government of “honest technocrats.” [..]

Allawi, others attack election results, IHEC election management. [..]

Al-Maliki alliance, Al-Amiri alliance, Kurds discussing coalition separate from Al-Sadr.  [..]

US labels Islamic Bank of Iraq a terrorist organization for aiding Lebanese Hezbollah. [..]

Suicide bomber kills 7, wounds 25 at Tarmiya funeral. [..]

305 bodies discovered near downtown Mosul. [..]

Ninewa SWAT tallies its Daesh arrests: 430 in two months. [..]

 

Syria

Article highlights Syria’s severe military manpower shortage. [..]

Syrian Army assumes control of final two holdout cities in Homs. [..]

Coalition airstrike in Albu Kamal kills 8 Daesh members. [..]

 

Other countries

Indonesia:  Daesh kills another policeman, but the police shoot back. [..] 

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New Government

Bas News reported that “Iraqi sources” had reported a final tally for seats won by the leading electoral coalitions. According to these sources, the Sadrist-led coalition Sa’irun was 1st with 54 seats, Al-Abadi’s Victory coalition was 2nd with 52 seats, and the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance led by Hadi Al-Amiri was 3rd with 49 seats.  Meanwhile, the Rule of Law coalition led by former Iraqi PM Nouri Al-Maliki reportedly took 25 seats, and the Wisdom bloc headed by Ammar Al-Hakim got 22.  [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. Attributing such critical public information to unidentified sources is irresponsible journalism. However, if the rumor proves correct, it could potentially change the perception of the election results. It would move Al-Abadi’s alliance from third to second and only two seats fewer than the Al-Sadr alliance. Such a close outcome would add weight to the arguments of those who want to keep Al-Abadi as the Prime Minister. This upward move could well be due to the tallying of the previously unrecorded votes referred to in yesterday’s Daesh Daily, and possibly to quirks in the workings of Iraq’s proportional representation system. If this change proves not to be true when the Independent High Electoral Commission reports the official final numbers, we will know that those “Iraqi sources” in the Bas News report were from the Al-Abadi campaign.

 

The Board of Commissioners for the Electoral Commission said on Wednesday that Board member Sayeed Al-Kaka’ei has received death threats against him and his family by a political party negatively affected by the elections.  In a statement yesterday, the Board said that the political party in question tried to force him to either resign or make media appearances to help them politically. [Sumaria]

 

Muqtada Al-Sadr, leader of the winning Sa’irun alliance, called on Wednesday for the “leaders of the new alliances” to meet, discuss, and form a government of “honest technocrats.”  In a tweet on his personal Twitter account, Al-Sadr wrote, “In spite of our differences, let’s look for participants without compromising our principles. . . . I call on leaders of the new alliances to meet; my door is open … to build our Iraq and form a [new] government of honest technocrats.”  [Sumaria]

 

However, Al-Sadr’s victory has now been challenged by officials of other parties and alliances. Part of the challenge is to the integrity of the election.

 

On Wednesday, the Wataniya (Sunni) Alliance led by Vice President and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi demanded the annulment of the results of the CoR elections, and the selection of a new Electoral Commission to organize new elections.  Alliance leader Hamid Al-Mutlaq, in a press conference with several other alliance members, said, “We demand the annulment of the results of the elections in all of Iraq, and the creation of a new Commission capable of running fair elections. . . . We have evidence of instances of fraud and irregularities together with scientific polling. Wataniya alleged that people who were not authorized to vote took part in the elections in Al-Qa’im and Rutba, that dead people’s votes were cast, and that “employees of the Electoral Commission” sold electoral cards used in the election. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. Without commenting on the merits of the allegations, the Allawi/Al-Jubouri/Al-Mutlaq alliance, which seemed powerful on paper, did not fare well in this election. This could also have something to do with their response to the outcome. However, the major Sunni blocs could still have a big influence on the makeup of the new government.

 

The head of the Rule of Law coalition in Diyala, MP Ra’ad Al-Mas, said on Wednesday that his coalition will not accept the election results in Diyala Province without a manual recount, saying that the May 12 elections were a “coup” against democracy.  Al-Mas told Sumaria, “We have deep doubts about the absence of a large number of votes in several subdistricts of Diyala, and we don’t rule out that there could be electronic errors in the voting machines.” He noted that there could have been technical problems, especially since PM Al-Abadi said yesterday that there was no company to check the voting machines before the elections. [Sumaria]

 

A media source reported that the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, General Qasem Soleimani, was present in Baghdad and speaking with Shia leaders about creating the largest bloc in parliament and isolating Muqtada Al-Sadr. Al-Hurra reported that he was in Baghdad in the Green Zone meeting with Nouri Al-Maliki, leader of the Rule of Law alliance, Hadi Al-Amiri, leader of the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance, and two leaders of another party. [Arabi21]

 

Saad Al-Mutlabi, a leader in the Rule of Law Coalition, said that neither Nouri Al-Maliki, nor current PM Haider Al-Abadi, nor Hadi Al-Amiri, would run for Prime Minister in the next government.  In an interview with the Qatari-owned Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Al-Mutlabi said that the Rule of Law Coalition had held dialogues with various blocs that had won seats in the CoR elections, with the exception of Sa’irun, headed by the Sadrist movement.  He said that the move away from the Sa’irun alliance was due to its “closeness with Saudi Arabia” and away from the “axis of resistance” [usually meaning Iran – Syrian regime – Hezbollah].  However, Al-Mutlabi said that Rule of Law had a great relationship with Al-Fath and a good understanding with the Victory Coalition, led by Al-Abadi.  He added that Rule of Law had also been in contact with the Kurdish parties. [Al-Araby Al-Jadeed]

DaeshDaily comment. All the unauthorized rhetoric aside, Al-Maliki is in something of a box. He has already agreed with his political party, Islamic Dawa, and with Al-Abadi that they will combine after the election. (Islamic Dawa stepped back to allow both to lead separate alliances, but now the election is over.) Unfortunately, Al-Maliki’s campaign rhetoric on foreign policy seemed to place him closer to the anti-Iran Conquest alliance than to Al-Abadi, so they are trying to bring him into their alliance. Either way, his reduced status in Iraqi politics has been confirmed by the election results.

 

The PM of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nechirvan Barzani, said that a delegation will soon be sent to Baghdad to discuss the formation of the next Iraqi government.  In a news conference in Erbil, Barzani said that the KDP would participate in talks to form a new government, but had not yet formally entered into negotiations.  He added, “So far, we [the Kurdish parties] are at a remove from all the political blocs in Baghdad.  . . . The power of the Kurds in Baghdad is in their unity.”  Barzani also called on the Electoral Commission to consider the claims of the parties that had rejected the election results in Suleimaniya.  He concluded that the Presidency was the “right” of the Kurds, but that the problem of the Kurds in Baghdad did not lie in which positions they held but in the implementation of the Constitution. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. Mr. Nechirvan is relentlessly on message. The Iraqi government has violated the constitution in its response to the KDP’s referendum, but of course the KDP never violates the constitution. Continually complaining about Iraq violating the constitution avoids having to deal with what the KDP did to create the current problems.

 

Nechirvan Barzani said on Wednesday that US Special Envoy Brett McGurk had told him that Washington wanted to see an Iraqi government formed that would serve everyone.  Barzani was speaking at a news conference, where he added, “I did not feel that Americans held a veto or had a preference for one party over another,” and said that he hoped that politicians would learn from these elections that they had to meet the demands of Iraqis.  Muqtada Al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist movement, said on Wednesday that the US Envoy’s intervention in Iraqi affairs is “ugly.” [Sumaria]

 

The former US Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, expressed his dissatisfaction with the election results.  In an interview in English with NPR, reported on by Sky Press, Khalilzad said, “I thought Al-Abadi, who led the Iraqis in the war against Daesh, would do better, but as we learned with Churchill after WWII and with President Bush Sr. after the Gulf War, postwar voters saw things differently.”  Khalilzad noted that America wanted to kill Muqtada Al-Sadr when he was “resisting the occupation” with military force, noting that Sistani intervened and sent him to Iran.  However, he added that if Al-Sadr had transitioned from an armed leader to a political leader, that in itself was a positive.  SkyPressIQ

 

Baghdad Today reported on The Guardian’s coverage of the Iraqi CoR elections, which noted the extent that Washington and Tehran had seemingly lost out in the results.  The Guardian wrote that the Shia of Iran had lost “obedience” to the Grand Ayatollah of Qom [Khamenei] and followed the Grand Ayatollah of Najaf, Ali Sistani. It went on to write that although the weak showing of PM Haider Al-Abadi was a blow to US influence in Iraq, Iran was the bigger loser, since it had been backing the Al-Fath (Conquest) Alliance, and both lost out to Muqtada Al-Sadr, a proponent of Iraqi self-rule.  The Guardian added that Iran was facing limits to its ambitions on other fronts, including the nuclear agreement, a lack of support from Russia or China to subsidize its economy, and growing resentment from Iraqis regarding Tehran’s “new-colonial” behavior towards them.  It concluded that Iraqis had rejected Khomeini’s concept of religious governance and were turning towards what it characterized as Sistani’s separation of religion and state.  [BaghdadToday]

DaeshDaily comment. As a matter of fact, Iraqis have generally always considered Sistani their spiritual leader, not Khomeini or later Khamenei, and many Iranians also believe he is pre-eminent. The premise of the Guardian’s analysis, that Iraqis’ are withdrawing support from Khamenei to give it to Sistani just isn’t accurate.

 

Baghdad News covered a report published by the US Foreign Policy magazine on Wednesday, regarding potential candidates for Iraqi PM.  The report noted that the next PM will belong to the country’s Shia majority, and if not Al-Abadi, could be a relatively unknown figure.  The 10 names as published by Foreign Policy were:

  • Haider Al-Abadi, current PM

  • Ali Dawai Lazem, Governor of Maysan and Al-Sadr’s declared candidate for PM

  • Hadi Al-Amiri, leader of the Al-Fath (Conquest) Alliance and Secretary-General of the Badr Organization

  • Ali Allawi, former Minister of Defense, Finance, and Trade, who holds degrees from Harvard and MIT

  • Nouri Al-Maliki, former PM

  • Salih Al-Hasnawi, former Minister of Health, another candidate identified by the Sadrists

  • Adil Abdel-Mahdi, former Vice President and former Minister of Oil

  • Ayad Allawi, current VP and leader of the Wataniya alliance

  • Tariq Najm, former Chief of Staff for the PM (under Al-Maliki)

  • Dia Al-Asadi, head of the Sadrist bloc in the CoR. [BaghdadNews]

DaeshDaily comment. The list is mostly the usual suspects plus people politically connected to the usual suspects, and some are highly talented. However, if Sadr and others are serious about a technocratic government and divided over which politician might lead it, they could show the courage of their new convictions by asking the one technocrat on the list, at #4, the brilliant and respected Ali Allawi. Allawi is over 70, his last Minister job is ten years back, and he has mostly been living in London and less involved in current politics. However, he would be seen by the knowing as an awesome choice. Allawi (not to be confused with Ayad Allawi) wrote a long and highly impressive, not to mention critical, book, published in 2007 on the CPA administration: The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace.”  

If Ali Allawi somehow gets the position, all those who have dedicated years of their lives to helping Iraq could  feel that Heaven has rewarded them.

Anti-Daesh campaign

The media office for the head of the Federal Court of Appeals in Basra said on Wednesday that the Criminal Court had issued death sentences for 2 persons convicted of killing and wounding civilians in Diyala 11 years ago.  The defendants were convicted of attacking the village of Abdul Karim in the Kanaan area near Baquba, Diyala, on June 6, 2006, killing 5 civilians and injuring several others.  [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

The Islamic Bank of Iraq and its director, Aras Habib, have been placed on the terrorism list of the US Treasury Department.  The US Treasury accused the Islamic Bank of Iraq of transferring millions of dollars to Lebanese Hezbollah.  [Baghdadia] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

A police source said on Wednesday that a suicide bomber had killed seven and wounded 25 in Tarmiya.  The source, who asked not to be named, said that the bombing was carried out with an explosives belt near a funeral gathering.  Later on Wednesday, The Center for Security Information confirmed in a statement that the attack had taken place near a funeral home and that elements of the Baghdad Operations Command responded to the scene.  [Sumaria] [Sumaria] [Sumaria] 

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

The Security Information Center announced on Wednesday that security personnel had found a variety of explosives in Anbar.  Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that units under Anbar Ops Command had searched the Jaraishi subdistrict north of Ramadi city and found a cache of explosives left behind by Daesh, including mortar shells, 17 Katyusha rockets, and materials used in bomb-making.  [Baghdadia] 

 

Al-Qa’im

The Security Information Center announced on Wednesday that security personnel had found a variety of explosives in Al-Qa’im.  General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that Anbar Ops units had searched Husayba Al-Gharbiya and found a “homemade Hellfire missile,” assorted mortar shells, 155mm artillery shells, and 2 IEDs left behind by Daesh. [Baghdadia]  

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A “security source” in Salahuddin said on Wednesday that PMF units had killed 2 Daesh fighters trying to infiltrate a village in Shirqat.  [KnoozMedia] 

DIYALA

Diyala Police Command announced on Wednesday that 4 wanted persons had been arrested in various areas of the province, 1 of them on terrorism charges.  Diyala police spokesman Colonel Ghalib Al-Atiyah said that detachments of the Diyala Police had made the arrests.   [Sumaria]

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

On Wednesday, the Center for Security Information announced the discovery of a Daesh safehouse in the Himrin Hills in Diyala.  General Rasul said that Intelligence units from the 5th Military Intelligence Division had found the safehouse, which had 34 mortar shells, gunpowder for 30 mortars, 22 damaged mortar parts, 10 rosary-shaped IEDs, 7 other IEDs, 6 pressurized explosives, 2 bombs, and a launcher.  Rasul added that the explosives were detonated on-site.  [Ghad] 

 

Daesh says it damaged a PMF SUV in an ambush in the Imam Wais area. [ICDNMay16]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

The Ministry of Interior announced on Wednesday that they had seized a weapons cache in Sadiya and arrested the man responsible.  A Ministry statement said that a joint force consisting of Diyala anti-terrorism units, Internal Affairs and Security, and the “Falcons” intelligence cell had carried out the operation.  They arrested a man called “Abu Miriam,” the Daesh fighter they said was responsible, and seized 41 Kalashnikov rifles and 4 RPGs that were hidden in barrels buried underground.  [Baghdadia] 

 

KIRKUK

Hawija

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh attacked PMF units in a cemetery in Al-Zab, killing two fighters. The source says IFP units arrived in the area and killed 4 Daesh fighters.  

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

Daesh says it damaged a vehicle carrying IFP members with an IED near Maryam Bek village, east of Rashad, on Tuesday. [ICDNMay16]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

A DaeshDaily source says Civil Defense units retrieved 305 bodies of people killed during the liberation battles, near the Old Bridge in central Mosul. The source says some of the bodies belonged to Daesh terrorists, but there are also many civilians, including women and children. The source says 12 bodies have been identified so far, including two college professors. 

 

A DaeshDaily source says that according to a Ninewa SWAT officer, the Ninewa SWAT captured 430 Daesh members in Mosul in less than 2 months. The officer says most of those arrested were involved in killing civilians. He also says that people of Mosul helped to identify them and provided information about them. The officer says all the arrests were done with judicial warrants, and were conducted with coordination and support from the Coalition. 

 

A DaeshDaily source says National Security Service and Ninewa SWAT units arrested a group of 8 Daesh terrorists in Hay Sumer, in east Mosul, after getting tips from local residents. The source says the security units confiscated 10,000 prepaid mobile phone credit cards, worth several million dollars, from the group. The group was trying to re-activate Daesh cells in east Mosul. The source sent us a photo of some of the prepaid cards. 

DaeshDaily comment. This report shows that Daesh uses multiple ways to finance itself without being tracked. These prepaid cards could be easily sold in a legitimate mobile phone store. The question is, where did Daesh get them from? 

 

Ninewa Police Command arrested 3 Daesh fighters on the west side of Mosul, according to a statement yesterday by the Ninewa Police Chief, General Hamad Namis Al-Jubouri yesterday.  He credited the 8th Emergency Police Regiment under Ninewa Police Command with the arrests, which he said were made in Tal Al-Ruman in southwest Mosul. BaghdadToday

 

Southern Ninewa (No reports)

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

The Center for Security Information announced on Wednesday that a terrorist who admitted belonging to Daesh had been arrested inside Iraq after crossing the border from Syria.  Detachments from the Military Intelligence Directorate, 15th Brigade, arrested the terrorist after he crossed over from the Al-Dashisha area in Syria.  [Sumaria]

KURDISTAN NEWS

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Russia

An international report from a counterterrorism research center reveals that the Russian intervention in Syria allowed Assad to re-take over half of Syria. The report states that the land Assad had control over increased by three times, from 16% in the middle of 2015 to 47% at the end of March 2018. [Qasioun]

 

Military campaign

After successfully removing the last rebels and their families from north Homs and southern Hama, (according to the Russian-brokered agreement) the Syrian regime announced it now has control over half of Syria. [EnabBaladi]

 

Political opposition

The Atlantic revealed on Wednesday the biggest crisis to affect the Syrian President: the severe shortage in his military ranks. The Atlantic suggested that the crisis may be caused by an unwillingness of Syrian men to continue fighting for him. [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment. The analysis is perceptive, and a high percentage of those fighting for Assad are foreigners. Daesh Daily readers see one story after another referring to “Syrian forces” rather than “Syrian Army,“ or to Lebanese Hezbollah, or Iranian militiamen, and recently Iraqi militiamen. There are actually several reasons for the shortage, however. (1) Assad has no control over half the country and so can’t force men there to join up. (2) A lot of Syrian men of military age have fled the country along with a few million others. (3) Many men of military age are fighting with anti-government militias or are anti-Assad and avoiding conscription. (4) A lot of Syrian soldiers in Assad’s undermined Army have died or been wounded, which of course discourages others from joining. (5) Assad lacks the financial resources to pay the number of men he would need, either from within Syria or as mercenaries from other countries.

 

Foreign policy

Russia, Turkey, and Iran announced they will be holding talks on Syria in the city of Sochi in Russia, and not in Astana. Reuters reports that the Syrian opposition will boycott the talks because Russia is hosting them. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest

Afrin

SOHR reveals that on Wednesday leaders from Jaish al-Islam visited Deir Ballout Camp in the Jinderes subdistrict of Afrin governorate and told the displaced persons that they had three enemies: Daesh, Tahrir al-Sham, and the Kurds. Jaish al-Islam invited them to join a new military force, and said that it paid its fighters in Rif Damashq and Eastern Ghouta $200 USD each per month. [SyriaHR]

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

Tuesday night, a private car exploded in northern Qamishli city. There were two casualties. [Hawar]

 

Central and West 

Homs

The Syrian Army announced that it took over two cities, Talbiseh (directly north of Homs city, in eastern Homs) and Al-Rastan (a Homs district capitol), the last two of many villages the regime had successfully taken. This would be the completion of an operation to forcibly displace all residents towards the north of Syria. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

SDF imposed a curfew on the northern villages of Deir Ez-Zor governorate from 5 pm to 8 am. Sources report that they launched an arrest campaign targeting civilians in Abu Nital, a town in Al-Suwar subdistrict. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal District

A DaeshDaily source says Coalition planes bombed a Daesh safehouse in Al-Susah town, killing 8 terrorists, including 2 commanders, an Iraqi and a Syrian. The source says a civilian was slightly wounded in the airstrike. 

 

A DaeshDaily source says many Daesh members withdrew from Hajin and Al-Sha’afa toward Al-Susah. The source says there are 400-500 Daesh terrorists in Al-Susah now.   

The source also says that Daesh has recruited more than 40 children, many of them younger than 10, in Hajin, Al-Sha’afa and Al-Susah. The source says Daesh recruiters are going to children’s markets and soccer fields and luring children to join, taking advantage of the severe lack of food supplies in the area. The source sent us photos of some of the recruited children. 

DaeshDaily comment. An organization recruiting 10-year-olds is not planning to leave soon. [.]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

The Syrian regime targeted Daesh in Yarmouk Camp and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad with heavy artillery fire and airstrikes. AFP reported that the regime had already taken control of the neighborhood of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad. 

However, SANA reports that Daesh made slight progress in Al-Hajar, having taken over a street along the outskirts of the neighborhood a day before and progressing from there.[Qasioun]

 

Daesh says it killed 36 Syrian soldiers, including officers, in the ongoing battles in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, the Yarmouk Camp, and Hay Al-Tadhamun. [ICDNMay16]

 

Daraa

The Syrian opposition is preparing to fight Jaish Khaled, which has been accused of helping Daesh in the Yarmouk Basin. A source says that they will definitely initiate the battle within the next few days. [EnabBaladi]

 

Jaish Khaled used drones to drop leaflets on Yarmouk Basin and Daraa, which ordered rebels and other fighters to “repent” and stop fighting them, threatening those who refused. [SyriaHR]

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

The Criminal Court of Saudi Arabia has begun the trial of a Saudi woman accused of joining Daesh and of getting married without her father’s consent, as reported by Sumaria.  Charges against the woman included supporting Daesh, associating with a Daesh member, marrying him without her father’s consent, helping him use a mobile phone to communicate with Daesh, and possession of Daesh “slogans” [propaganda materials].  She was also charged with storing materials “harmful to public order” and uploading various materials from her mobile phone, including audio clips glorifying Daesh and calling for attacks on security personnel, a video clip of Osama Bin Laden, and Daesh slogans.  The Attorney General asked for “severe penalties” for the accused. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. It says something about society in Saudi Arabia (and not only Saudi Arabia), that with this vast array of charges probably justifying a death penalty if proven, the prosecution still feels the need to make an issue of  a woman getting married without her father’s consent. 

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about its operations in Yemen. [ICDNMay16]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Indonesia

Indonesian security forces killed 4 militants after an attack on a police station wherein 1 policeman was killed. This occurred a few days after a series of suicide attacks against police and churches in the state. [ZamanAlwasl]

Daesh says it killed a policeman and wounded two others in an attack on Rio Island, in Sumatra. [ICDNMay16]

 

 

May 15, 2018

 

Yarmouk Camp 

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Final election results awaited in Iraq, as post-election maneuvering starts. [..]

Anbar PC Integrity Committee alleges major corruption in tax department. [..]

Daesh terrorist condemned to die tells his story. [..]

Iraq, Saudi Arabia working on full reopening of Arar border crossing. [..]

IHEC in Kirkuk under pressure from unhappy parties who suspect election fraud. [..]

5 Daesh killed, 11 captured by IFP in southwest Kirkuk province. [..]

Sadrist building in Maysan blown up. [..]

 

Syria

Turkey taking on expanded role in stopping violence in Idlib. [..]

30,000 Syrians displaced from Damascus area, northern Homs in past week. [..]

Russia trying to get anti-government militias to evacuate southern Syria. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New Government

Final election results have not been announced by the Independent High Commission on Elections (IHEC). Daesh Daily has learned that the count had not been fully completed when the preliminary totals were released, including overseas ballots, leaving the possibility that there could be some shifting of results  to date. 

Further results indicate that the new Wisdom part of Ammar Al-Hakim won significant support. The seemingly powerful Sunni ticket of Allawi, Al-Jubouri, and Al-Mutlaq did not fare as well as expected. Part of that explanation may be that Prime Minister Al-Abadi actually won in Mosul—a historic development—and also gained significant support in Anbar. The outcome in Kurdistan, generally favorable to the KDP and PUK, has been strongly challenged by the other parties as fraudulent and marred by outside interference in the process.

 

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi says that the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) took shortcuts with the voting machines used in Saturday’s election.  Al-Abadi said in his weekly cabinet meeting, “IHEC told the government not to choose a company to examine the voting machines, just a week before the elections.”[BasNews]

 

Tuesday, Muqtada Al-Sadr’s office announced that Al-Sadr received a number of phone calls from the KDP leader Masoud Barzani, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, congratulating him for coming in first in the CoR elections. [Roj]

 

Bas News covered a Wall Street Journal report on Muqtada Al-Sadr’s electoral success.  The WSJ report said that the success of Sadr’s list represented a political breakthrough by Iraqi voters against both US and Iranian influence, and that this would force both Washington and Tehran to face the prospect of one of their leading critics choosing Iraq’s next PM.  “PM Haider Al-Abadi, who had implicit support from the US, and the pro-Iranian candidates fell behind Sadr’s unlikely coalition with the Iraqi Communist Party,” wrote the WSJ.  The report went on to say that although Al-Sadr had been noted for his hostility to the US, his preferences might actually be closer to Washington’s than Tehran’s, since he had supported Al-Abadi, who led the country to victory against Daesh, and had sought to overcome Iraq’s sectarian divide.  The WSJ concluded that Al-Sadr would have to form a coalition, either with what they referred to as a pro-Iranian Shia bloc such as Al-Fath, or with Al-Abadi’s Victory alliance, and said that he was likelier to choose Al-Abadi. [BasNews]

 

Amir Al-Fayez, a leader in the Al-Fath (Conquest) Alliance, said on Tuesday that talks had started between leaders of the political blocs regarding electoral alliances.  Al-Fayez told Rudaw that the next few days would see the announcement of electoral alliances.  He added that Al-Fath may ally with the Rule of Law Coalition and the Kurds to form a large alliance, but intimated that Al-Fath had red lines against joining with certain political blocs.[Rudaw]

 

The spokesman of the US State Department, Heather Nauert, said on Tuesday that  the Iraqi elections results were credible. There have been reports of counterfeiting in some areas, and the IHEC is investigating the validity of these reports. [Rudaw]

 

Corruption

An official source in the Integrity Committee of the Anbar Provincial Council told Bas News on Tuesday that there was a high level of corruption in the tax department for the province, due to poor government oversight and a lack of accountability for corrupt managers and employees.  The source, who asked not to be named, said, “The most financial manipulation and administrative corruption was recorded during this period in the tax departments … in Anbar, where citizens were extorted [as part of] their transactions in real estate, shops, trucks, and farming vehicles.”  He added that this sort of corruption was clearly visible in Ramadi and Falluja and was a burden on citizens. [BasNews]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

In his weekly cabinet meeting, PM Al-Abadi said that the situation in Syria, and its war against Daesh, continue to be worrying to Iraq.[BasNews]

 

Sumaria reported that a “knowledgeable source” close to the Iraqi National Intelligence Service said that “investigations” of the new terrorist detainee Saddam Al-Jamal have shown he had nothing to do with the burning to death of the Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kasasbeh.  The source, who asked not to be named, said that media allegations linking Al-Jamal with the crime were “inaccurate and shameful.”  Muath Al-Kasasbeh was a Jordanian pilot infamously burned to death by Daesh after his plane crashed.  Iraqi security services had previously claimed that the recent arrest of 5 Daesh leaders included those “responsible” for Al-Kasasbeh’s gruesome execution. [Sumaria]

 

Ghad published an article detailing the confessions of a Daesh fighter sentenced to death by hanging by the Ninewa Criminal Court.  The fighter admitted that he was one of the people who joined and fought for Daesh after they took control of Mosul in June 2014.  Ghad quoted the fighter as saying that to join, he met a man named Rashid Al-Jubouri, aka Abu Musa’ab, who said he was responsible for what he called the “Office of Mosques” within Daesh.  The former fighter said that he asked Abu Musa’ab, who was surrounded by heavily armed men wearing jeans, to accept him into the organization.  After that, he repeated the pledge of allegiance that Abu Musa’ab gave him, saying that he would be loyal to Daesh and to their “Caliph.”

After that, Abu Musa’ab said that since the fighter had prior military service and knew how to use light and medium weapons, he did not need further military training.  Instead, he sent the fighter to what he called “the legal session,” where the fighter spent 20 days attending lectures on sharia given by other members of Daesh.  The purpose of this, according to the fighter, was to provide religious justification for fighting with Daesh, for targeting security forces, and for killing “infidels and apostates” who did not agree with Daesh, either in Ninewa Province or throughout Iraq.

 After “months” of this ideological work, the fighter said as quoted by Ghad, Abu Musa’ab asked him to join other Daesh fighters in Shirqat and support them against the Iraqi armed forces.  The fighter said that he participated not only by fighting Iraqi security forces in Shirqat, but also by giving lectures to other Daesh fighters encouraging them to fight and kill as many security personnel as they could.  After that, he returned to Mosul and was assigned to fight the Peshmerga forces in northern Ninewa.  When the Peshmerga advanced and retook the area of Gwer in Makhmur, he returned to Mosul again, initially to work in a mosque, but then to the streets of Mosul as the numbers of Daesh fighters dwindled.  The fighter said he was captured after the Iraqi armed forces surrounded him and other fighters in West Mosul, and he ran out of ammunition and was unable to flee Mosul.[Ghad] 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)

Daesh says it killed an Iraqi Army colonel and damaged his vehicle in an attack in the Sheikh Hamad area, north of Taji, on Monday. [ICDNMay15]

 

East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

Daesh said it shot and killed a PMF member in the Fudhailiya area, on Monday. [ICDNMay15] 

 

ANBAR

A member of the Anbar Provincial Council said on Tuesday that tribal problems and security issues are delaying the return of internally displaced people (IDPs) to the reclaimed areas of Anbar.  The council member, Mahmoud Al-Dulaimi, told Bas News, “Over 7,000 displaced families are still in IDP camps in Ameriya and Khaldiya, as well as the camps in Habbaniya and Bzaibiz, and the reasons they haven’t returned to the liberated areas are tribal and security problems. . . . Most of the displaced families who haven’t returned to their [home] areas are from Ramadi, Falluja, Al-Qa’im, Rawa, Al-Rutba, and other cities which have been liberated from Daesh for more than a year and a half.”  Al-Dulaimi added that IDPs living in the camps suffer greatly from the spread of infectious diseases and lack of adequate sanitation and health facilities.[BasNews]  

 

Falluja

The Center for Security Information announced on Tuesday that various explosives were found in eastern Anbar.  Center spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that security personnel under East Anbar Ops Command had found 3 IEDs made out of 20-liter barrels filled with ammonia and glycerin and 3 other IEDs made of metal and paper.  Rasul said that 6 60mm mortar rounds and 3 detonators were also found, which were detonated on-site.  He added that 5 IEDs were also detonated in the Al-Buhairat area of Qarma subdistrict in northeastern Falluja. [Baghdadia] [Sputnik] 

 

Ramadi

Election.  A security source in Anbar said on Monday that SWAT units had imposed a cordon around the Anbar election office in Ramadi.  Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said, “The SWAT forces strengthened their presence around the Anbar election building this afternoon. . . . The cordon around the building is to prevent any riots that may target the building after the final [election] results are announced.”[Sumaria]

 

Rutba

A security source from the leadership of the Anbar Border Guard said on Tuesday that Saudi and Iraqi security leaders were meeting at the Arar border crossing (between Saudi Arabia and Iraq) to evaluate the security situation there.  The crossing point is named for the Saudi city that is near but not on the border. The source told Bas News that the meeting was attended by Saudi Army leaders and Anbar Border Guard officers.  The Arar border crossing sees groups of pilgrims annually (during the Hajj pilgrimage). The crossing and surrounding road were secured last year, and there are preparations for opening it also to passengers and traders soon. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. The border crossing was closed in 1990 in response to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and not reopened until 2017, except for an annual crossing during the Hajj season, when Iraqis made pilgrimages to Mecca.  It now has added significance because of efforts to strengthen ties between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and to increase trade between them. Al-Nukhaib, in eastern Anbar, is the closest city to the border. As part of the rapprochement, Saudi Arabia Airlines has resumed flights to Iraq and King Salman has promised to build a new football (soccer) stadium in Iraq.

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

The PMF organization announced on Tuesday that its units had found several tunnels between Mosul and the Baiji district that had been used by Daesh fighters to hide.  The PMF’s media office made the announcement in a statement, saying that PMFs found the tunnels while conducting search operations in Baiji.  The office added that PMF groups had cleared several areas west of the main road linking Mosul and Baiji, and had found caches containing “hundreds” of IEDs in the tunnels.[Ghad] 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Tuesday, Ministry of Interior spokesman General Saad Ma’an announced that “based on intelligence information, the Diyala Directorate of Intelligence captured 2 Daesh terrorists, including Daesh’s Finance Director of the so-called Wilayat Diyala, in the Al-Qatoun area in central Baquba.” [BaghdadToday]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Daesh says its snipers killed an Iraqi Army member in Al-Tala’a Al-Thaniya village, south of Udhaim, on Monday. [ICDNMay15]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Election.  The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) demanded that Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi “intervene immediately” to protect Electoral Commission staff in the city of Kirkuk, and lift what they said was an ongoing siege of the Commission building.  The PUK said that this siege followed allegations of electoral manipulation; it accused “militias and extremist parties” of attacking Kurdish citizens in Kirkuk. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. There is a major corruption allegation over the counting and recording of votes in Kirkuk and Suleimaniya, and as we have reported there is a multi-party complaint demanding honest results or a new election. The PUK is essentially the target of the allegations. As the election results do raise questions and there have been similar complaints in previous Suleimaniya elections, this is a tense and potentially consequential standoff that could also impact efforts to establish a new government coalition.

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh says it blew up the house of a PMF fighter in Barima village, east of Hawija, on Monday. [ICDNMay15]

 

Daesh says it destroyed 2 vehicles carrying IFP soldiers on the road between Hawija and Riyadh. [ICDNMay15]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source says two PMF fighters were killed when armed men a motorcycle shot at a PMF vehicle on the road between Rashad and Kirkuk. The source says IFP units surrounded Rashad and its villages and captured 11 persons on terrorism charges. 

 

Tuesday, Security Media Center announced that Iraqi security forces killed 5 senior Daesh leaders, following their participation in the attack on Karha Qazan village in southwest Kirkuk province. [Anadolu]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

Tuesday, the Ninewa Police Chief, Brigadier General Hamad Namis Al-Jubouri, announced that “based on special information, the Ninewa Police arrested 3 Daesh members wanted for terrorism in Mosul.” [Baghdadtoday]

 

Daesh says it killed a PMF fighter and destroyed his vehicle with a sticky IED in the Boursa crossroads area, in west Mosul, on Monday. [ICDNMay15]

 

Southern Ninewa

Makhmur/Qayara/Hatra

13 civilians have died In Coalition airstrikes, according to a report by the Center for Security Media. The airstrikes were based on intelligence from Ninewa Operations Command in Qayara, which said that the armed group was in the middle island of the Tigris River near the village of Safina, located north of the city of Qayara. [Sumaria]

 

Western Ninewa  (No reports)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Maysan

Tuesday, Arabi 21 quoted Iraqi media sources as saying that unidentified persons blew up the Sadrist Malik Al-Ashtar Foundation building in Maysan Province, destroying the whole building. [Arabi21]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

Monday, Roj News reported that the PKK in northern Iraq attacked Turkish Army personnel in Tal Lêlikan in the Sidekan border region in northern Erbil, killing at least 4 Turkish soldiers and wounding 5 others. [Roj]

 

Tuesday, Turkey’s Chief of Staff announced that four PKK terrorists were killed in Turkish military airstrikes on the PKK hideouts in the Hakurk area in northern Erbil province. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Russia

Tuesday, Russian presidential envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said that Moscow “hopes Turkey will transform Idlib into a peace zone. We hope to end the presence of Al-Nusra Front in Idlib and southern Syria by the end of this year.” He pointed out that “Turkey will establish 12 observation points around Idlib in order to prevent acts of aggression against the Syrian government.” “We understand that this looks rather strange, but … taking into account the situation on the ground, the new realities, we would like to give new momentum to further work, shifting the focus more towards the political and humanitarian components,” Lavrentyev told reporters in Astana. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh appointed Hassan Al-Afri, aka Mulla Gharib, as its military commander of the Deir Ez-Zor area. The source says the terrorist is now in Dashisha. 

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

Regarding the Daesh prisoners who ran away from their prison in Binnish city in the Idlib governorate:  7 who attempted to escape were recaptured, 1 who helped them escape was killed, and 28 successfully ran away. [Dorar]

 

Homs

Monday, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq, said that nearly 30,000 people were displaced from areas in rural Damascus and northern rural Homs to the north-west over the last week.” “We continue to call on all parties, and those with influence over them, to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to allow safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to all in need.  It is imperative that all those displaced are allowed to return voluntarily, in safety and in dignity, to their homes as soon as the situation allows it,” he added. [Qasioun]

 

Tuesday, SANA reported that the Syrian Internal security forces entered the villages of Hamis, Al-Hamrat, Hamima, Izz Al-Din, Salim and Al-Quneitra in northeastern Homs, after all the “terrorists” left them on their way to northern Syria under a Russian-backed evacuation agreement between the Syrian forces and the anti-government militias. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor) (No reports)

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Tuesday, Qasioun reported that fierce clashes are still ongoing between the Syrian forces and Daesh in different locations in southern Damascus, including Al-Yarmouk Camp and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad neighborhood, with reports of casualties on the Syrian forces’ side. Meanwhile, Daesh announced it killed 30 members of the Syrian forces and destroyed 2 tanks during the ongoing fighting against the Syrian forces. [Qasioun]

 

Monday, Al-Quds Brigade, a pro-Syrian government militia, announced that 8 of its members were killed, including its military leader Omar Taher Abu Darwish, during the ongoing battles against Daesh in Al-Yarmouk Camp and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad neighborhood in southern Damascus. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh says it killed 50 Syrian soldiers and damaged 2 tanks in the ongoing battles in Hay Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and the Yarmouk Camp. [ICDNMay15]

 

Daesh published a photo of a government forces BMP armored vehicle it damaged in the Yarmouk Camp. [ICDNMay15]

 

Daraa

Tuesday, Dorar quoted local sources as saying that Russia has given the anti-government militias in Mahajjah town two days to form a body to negotiate with the Syrian government, or it will militarily storm the town. Russia is attempting to reach an evacuation agreement with the anti-government militias there. [Dorar]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh publishes photos of Taliban members and weapons it captured in battles in the Wadi Mazar area, in Kunar. [ICDNMay15]

 

Indonesia

Tuesday, Indonesian police said they killed a gunman and arrested 13 others suspected of links to a series of bloody bombings in Surabaya, the country’s second largest city. Surabaya police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said the militant died in a shootout in a Surabaya neighborhood with counter-terrorism police, who had tried to arrest him over possible involvement in the attacks that killed at least 13 people last Sunday. He added that 13 other were arrested in raids in Surabaya and its neighboring cities of Malang and Pasuruan. [Anadolu]

 

The Philippines 

Daesh’s A3maq says at least 33 Philippine Army soldiers were killed and more than 32 wounded in clashes in Sulu Island. It says the army started a military operation to clear the area from Daesh on May 13. [ICDNMay15] 

 

 

May 14, 2018

 

Daesh Recon Drone 

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Sadr alliance finishes first, in election marked by depressed voter turnout. [..]

Al-Abadi alliance finishes third, despite pre-election polls, predictions. [..]

Election results, procedures, draw protests in Kurdistan. [..]

Daesh violence directed at numerous polling stations. [..] 

Port & Border Authority leader cites huge losses to corruption in Basra. [..]

 

Syria

Iraqi, Coalition aircraft hit Daesh in southern Hasaka.  [..]

SDF captures Albu Kamal border town with US, Iraqi help. Daesh now holds only three places. [..]

Syrian forces still struggling to advance south of Damascus. [..]

 

Other countries

Israel: Opening of new US Embassy in Jerusalem triggers mass violence, Zawahiri threats. [..]

Indonesia: At least 11 killed in Daesh-inspired violence in Indonesia. [..] 

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New Government

The Council of Representatives election produced major surprises. The election results have emerged from the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in bits and pieces, leaving much to be clarified. A few things are dramatically clear, however.

The turnout was dramatically lower than in previous elections, at only 44.5%. Past elections have generally seen a turnout over 60%. This drop can be attributed in part to the majority of IDPs not voting, but reflects a collective rejection of the political process based on perceptions of its corruption and poor performance. The turnout may have hurt some alliances more than others.

 

Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Sa’irun alliance, which also included the Communist Party among others, finished first, getting about 1.3 million votes.  The Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance led by Hadi Al-Amiri finished second, with about 1.2 million votes. Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s Victory alliance got somewhat over 1 million votes. Al-Maliki’s Rule of Law alliance finished fourth, the Al-Jubouri/Allawi Wataniya alliance fifth.

 

A calculation by Reuters converted the votes to an estimated number of CoR seats, as follows: Sa’irun 54, Conquest 47, Victory 42, Rule of Law 25. Even though the numbers will like change slightly, this type of conversion produces plausible results because the proportional representation system assigns seats approximately in relation to percentage of votes won.

 

In Kurdistan, the KDP apparently held on to its previous support, and may have around 25 seats, and the PUK apparently outpolled the Gorran/Barham Salih Nishtiman alliance in Suleimaniya. There are disputes about that.

 

There are 329 seats in the CoR, which means that the front-running Sadrist alliance has won only about 16% of the seats. While it will likely finish with somewhat more seats in the final allocation, and will get the first opportunity to form the government, it is far from predictable that it will succeed. Al-Sadr had previously designated the Sadrist Governor of Maysan as his Prime Minister candidate; he cannot hold the position himself as he himself was not a candidate.

 

Al-Abadi has much better alliance prospects than Al-Sadr seems to have, and if the recent deal with Al-Maliki brokered by their Islamic Dawa party holds up, you could add Al-Maliki’s 25 votes to his 42. However, Al-Abadi was clearly defeated in this election, in defiance of pre-election predictions that he would win. Even a very recent project, which we reported just days ago, had him winning by a fairly wide margin. Ironically, he appears to have scored a breakthrough in Mosul, but lagged badly in the Shia provinces.

 

Clear numbers will likely show up in another day or two. Count on major arguments as to what they mean. 

Bas news published a summary of the next steps to forming the new government in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution, which are as follows:

 

  • The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) will announce the election results on Monday (which it did, sort of, but the official final results are still awaited).

  • President Fuad Masoum will call the new CoR to convene within 15 days of the results being announced.

  • CoR members will elect a Speaker for the CoR and 2 deputies by an absolute majority at the first meeting.

  • The CoR will then elect a new President by a 2/3 majority within 30 days of the first meeting.

  • The new President will nominate the candidate of the largest bloc in the new CoR to form a government.

  • The PM-designate has 30 days from there to form the government and submit it to the CoR.

  • The CoR must approve the government and each minister separately in separate votes requiring an absolute majority.  

  • If the PM-designate fails to form a coalition government within 30 days, or if the CoR rejects the government proposed by the PM-designate, the President must appoint another candidate to form a government within 15 days.[BasNews]

The Independent High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq, during a press conference held by its spokesman, Fadel Al-Gharawi, in Baghdad on Monday, reported episodes of violence during the CoR elections on Saturday, “most notably the exertion of pressure on Army employees during the voting.”  According to Rudaw, more than 800,000 members of the security forces, including army, police, and others, already voted on Thursday during the “special ballot” day assigned for them.  Al-Gharawi said, “Pressure was exerted on a number of voters employed by the Ministry of Defensethe need to vote, the threat of not receiving their salaries without having the [voting] receipt; moreover, the process witnessed the breakdown of a large number of [electronic] ballot boxes … leading to the use of manual ballots, making it an opportunity for forgery.” [Rudaw]

 

The US Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, Brett McGurk, reportedly began talks in Baghdad on Sunday with several Iraqi leaders, including “Wisdom” leader Ammar Al-Hakim and CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri, in order to expedite the formation of the new government.  [BasNews][Sumaria]

 

The London-based, Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat carried a report on Monday regarding the formation of a new Iraqi government.  The newspaper quoted an “informed source,” who asked not to be named, as saying that the ruling bloc for the next government could include Haider Al-Abadi, Muqtada Al-Sadr, Ammar Al-Hakim, Ayad Allawi, Osama Al-Nujaifi, and possibly Masoud Barzani.  The source added that the early visits of Brett McGurk, US Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, to some of these figures showed that he was leaning in that direction. [Sumaria]

 

Muqtada al-Sadr affirmed on Monday his alliance’s efforts to establish a government without party politics (an apparent reference to the idea of a cabinet of technocrats). He made the statement in a tweet promising wisdom, nationalism, fulfilling the wishes of the people, redemption, and the building of a “new generation,” using the names of several of the most popular parties in creating his statement. [AlAin]

 

Current PM Haider Al-Abadi expressed on Monday his readiness to work and cooperate to form a powerful Iraqi government free of corruption, quotas, and “non-issues.”  In a televised address to the nation, Al-Abadi said that he assumed responsibility for Iraq’s leadership until the formation of the new government, as stipulated in the Iraqi Constitution. [Sumaria]

 

In his televised address on Monday, current PM Haider Al-Abadi called on all citizens and electoral blocs to respect the results of the elections and pursue any objections through legal recourse. [Sumaria]

 

Rudaw published an early analysis of the election results, some of it overtaken by events, noting the possibility of an alliance between the Victory coalition and Sa’irun.  The Russian news agency Sputnik quoted Iraqi political analyst Ahmed Al-Abyad as saying that “The estimates that were given to the Fatah list, headed by the Secretary-General of the Badr Organization, Hadi Al-Amiri, and to the “Rule of Law” coalition, led by VP and former PM Nouri Al-Maliki, surprised them … In one form or another, the plan that was put in place, namely that Iran would play a large role, seems to have been shaken … even the KDP got good results in the election. He concluded that there would be significant US pressure on any new government, and that the formation of state institutions and ending the role of militias in the country would require a real partnership with the US, of which he did not think the US would be capable. [Rudaw]

 

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) claimed victory on Monday and claimed this was a “natural situation” resulting from the “non-waiver of the rights of the people of Kurdistan.”  The advisor to the Political Bureau of the KDP, Arif Rushdi, made the remarks in an interview with Sumaria, adding, “The KDP was willing to work with all political parties in Kurdistan [prior to the election], but those parties avoided [taking] responsibility.”  [Sumaria]

 

A meeting attended by 6 Kurdish parties (Gorran, the Islamic Union, the Alliance for Democracy and Justice, the Islamic Group, the Kurdistan Communist Party, and the Islamic Movement) objected to the results of the elections.  Salahuddin Bahauddin, the Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union, said that the parties had held the meeting in Erbil to object to the preliminary results.  He said that the meeting’s participants “rejected the whole process because of the intrusions which took place … and stole the votes of the masses of Kurdistan. He said the parties demanded new elections in Kurdistan, Kirkuk, and the “disputed areas” under the supervision of international observers. [Rudaw]

 

On Monday evening, Nechirvan Barzani, the PM of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), received US Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, Brett McGurk, and Douglas Silliman, US Ambassador to Iraq, and their accompany delegations.  The US delegation reportedly congratulated the people of Kurdistan and Iraq on holding democratic elections, especially given the good turnout in the Kurdistan Region.  The delegation also reportedly said that it was important for the Kurdish parties to unite and play an active role in the formation of the new Iraqi government. Barzani stressed the need to preserve the constitutional rights of the region. [BasNews] [Sumaria]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

PUK Media carried a report saying that the “Falcon” intelligence cell was responsible for thwarting Daesh’s plans to target the elections.  The head of the “Falcon” cell and Director-General of Intelligence and Counterterrorism at the Ministry of the Interior, Abu Ali Al-Basri, said to Sabah, “For 3 months the cell was in a secret war against Daesh, which upset the biggest terrorist plot targeting Baghdad and all the provinces during the CoR elections, and ended on Saturday without any breach in security.”  He added that the “Falcon” cell had been involved in bombing Daesh in Syria, which took place in cooperation between the Iraqi Air Force and Syria, Russia, and Iran.

DaeshDaily comment. Conceding whatever accomplishments the self-promoting intelligence cell might have achieved, it is apparent from this issue of Daesh Daily that there were in fact a very large number of Daesh attacks before and during this election. This reality also contradicts reports in major media outlets doing election stories that the election had proceeded with very little violence. We are not sure what sources this optimistic coverage was based on.

 

On Monday, the Central Criminal Court in Baghdad sentenced a terrorist to death for his role in killing a Russian diplomat.  The spokesman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Abd Al-Sattar Birqdar, said in a statement that the man was convicted of the murder of one of the Russian diplomats in Iraq in 2006.  The accused had confessed to participating in the kidnapping of four foreigners, two of whom were later shot and two of whom were “slaughtered” [killed by beheading or with a knife].  [Baghdadia] 

 

Iraqi Joint Ops Command announced on Monday that Iraqi F-16s had bombed a Daesh headquarters inside Syrian territory.  The Command said in a statement that they bombed a “headquarters and logistical support” for Daesh south of Dashisha, Syria, and that the site had been completely destroyed.  [Sumaria] 

 

Foreign policy

The UN on Monday expressed happiness with Iraq for honoring the electoral process and not altering the results. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. This statement is not a statement of relief about Iraq as much as recognition by the UN based on experience that many regimes around the world have found a lot of ways to steal elections after the votes have been counted.

 

The Iranian Foreign Ministry affirmed that the Iraqi people’s participation in the elections strengthened the victories against terrorism, and called for strengthening popular political participation in Iraq. The Ministry’s spokesman, Bahram Qassemi, congratulated the Iraqi people and government. [Rudaw]

 

The Foreign Ministry of Egypt called the completion of the CoR elections in Iraq as a testament to the victories over Daesh.  A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Monday congratulated Iraq on “successful [CoR] elections and the efforts of the Iraqi Army and security forces to secure them.”  The statement added that the elections represented an essential step toward restoring security and stability in Iraq and rebuilding state institutions.[Rudaw]

 

Russia’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that they hope to see Iraq form an effective parliament as soon as possible. [Sumaria]

 

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry described the movement of the US Embassy to Jerusalem as “rejected and inciting to a hundred million people across the world. It called the US decision “an action against international resolutions for peace.” [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)

Daesh said it shot and killed an Iraqi Army member in the Al-Zor area, near Tarmiya, on Friday. [ICDNMay12]

 

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it targeted a person who was out advocating for the elections, with machine guns, in the Sheikh Hamad area, destroying his vehicle. [ICDNMay12]

 

Southwest (Rasheed, etc.)

Election. Daesh said it blew up the houses of an election candidate and an Iraqi Army officer in unspecified locations in southwest Baghdad on Saturday. [ICDNMay13]

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:   0

 

ANBAR

Falluja

Election. A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that the local police captured a Daesh suicide bomber who was in a taxi van with other passengers in the Halabsa area. The 15-year-old boy was high on drugs when he was caught. The source said the boy was recruited by Daesh on social media and was ordered to attack people who were celebrating election results. 

 

Daesh said it set some farms of government employees on fire Saturday, north of Falluja. [ICDNMay13]

 

Hit/Haditha

Election. A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that Daesh targeted Kubaisa city with 5 mortars. The source says Coalition planes bombed the source of the shelling. The source said the election went smoothly after the bombing.

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted polling places in Kubaisa city and Al-Salija village with Katyusha rockets, postponing the voting process. [ICDNMay12]

 

Al-Qa’im

Monday, a security source revealed that 2 Anbar Police members were injured in an IED explosion in Akashat, south of Al-Qa’im District on the border. [BaghdadNews]

 

Rutba

Daesh said it targeted a polling place in Rutba with 5 Katyusha rockets on Saturday. [ICDNMay13]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that IFP units stopped a Daesh attack on the Baiji Refinery, killing 6 terrorists, including Ahmed Khattab Al-Janabi, the Daesh military official of Salahuddin. The source sent us photos of the terrorists. 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that six PMF fighters were killed by Daesh snipers in the Makhoul Mountains area. The source said Iraqi forces will start a major campaign to clear the mountains on Tuesday. 

 

Baiji Ops Command (PMF) announced on Monday that an operation was underway to clear the Makhoul Mountains and Siniya desert in Salahuddin.  In a statement, the Command said that the PMF groups Waleed Al-Kaaba [Sons of the Kaaba], National Defense Companies, and the 51st, 99th, and 6th National Brigades were participating in the operation. The 6th National Brigade and the National Defense Companies have been assigned to clear the eastern area of Siniya, specifically the village of Sheikh Ali.  [Rudaw] 

 

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed a PMF machine gun-mounted SUV with an IED in the Al-Fatha area just northeast of Baiji with an IED, killing four fighters, including the PMF commander of the area. It also said it destroyed a military vehicle that came to retrieve the bodies of the fallen PMF fighters with another IED, killing three more fighters, including a commander. [ICDNMay12] 

In what appears to be a repeated story, Daesh said on Sunday it destroyed a PMF SUV with an IED in the Al-Fatha area, killing or wounding the fighters inside, including a commander. [ICDNMay13]

 

Samarra

Daesh said its snipers killed a PMF fighter in the Al-Mu’tasim area, east of Samarra city, on Saturday. [ICDNMay13]

It also said it destroyed a PMF armored personnel carrier with an IED in the same area on Saturday, killing or wounding the fighters inside, including an officer. [ICDNMay13]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Election. Daesh said on Saturday that it kidnapped an election official east of Suleiman Beg. [ICDNMay12]

 

DIYALA

Diyala Police Command announced on Monday that it had arrested 11 wanted persons on terrorism and criminal charges.  In a statement, they said that detachments from the Jalawla Police and the anti-crime department of the Diyala Police had made the arrests in various areas around the Province.  [Sumaria] [Ghad] 

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it targeted a polling place in Abu Qarma village, northeast of Baquba, with several mortar shells. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed the vehicle of a tribal PMF fighter with an IED in the Khalil Hasnawi village area, south of Buhriz. [ICDNMay12]

 

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it targeted a polling place in Al-Jabal village, south of Buhriz, with light and mid-sized weapons. [ICDNMay12]

 

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it targeted 2 polling places, one in Abbara subdistrict north of Baquba and one in Abu Saida, with 2 Katyusha rockets and several mortar shells, wounding six Shia, including three SWAT members.  [ICDNMay12]

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it targeted a polling place in the Shia village of Ghazalja, in Muqdadiya, with 2 C5k rockets and several mortar shells. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted the Shia village of Zuhairat, in Muqdadiya, with 2 Katyusha rockets. [ICDNMay12]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it targeted a polling station in the Udhaim area with several mortar shells.  [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted an Iraqi Army military position in Um Talil village, west of Udhaim, with light weapons. [ICDNMay12]

Daesh said its snipers killed an Iraqi Army member in the Um Talil village on Friday. [ICDNMay12]

 

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it targeted a polling place in Ashtokan village, in Qara Tapa, with 3 mortar shells and with mid-sized weapons. [ICDNMay12] 

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted Shia people in Qara Tapa with several mortars. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed a Border Guard member with an IED in Khanaqin. [ICDNMay13]

 

The Center for Security Information announced on Monday that 3 wanted persons had been arrested in Diyala.  Center spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that units under Diyala Ops Command had arrested 3 wanted persons in Jalawla.  [Ghad] 

 

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it targeted a polling place in Al-Islah village, in Jalawla, with 5 mortar shells. [ICDNMay12]

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it detonated an IED on a vehicle carrying PMF fighters and heading to a polling station in Mandali. [ICDNMay12]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Kirkuk District

Election. A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that five civilians were wounded when security units shot at demonstrators in Kirkuk. The source said the Turkmen Front objected the use of force against peaceful demonstrators. 

 

Election. Daesh said on Saturday it shot at a polling place in the Waheed Huzairan, neighborhood in south Kirkuk city. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed an IFP vehicle with an IED near Shah Sawan village, on the road between Kirkuk and Baghdad, wounding three soldiers inside. [ICDNMay12]

Daesh said on Saturday it killed a Shia with IEDs near Shah Sawan village. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted an IFP vehicle with an IED near Kathahiya village in the Kirkuk District’s Yaychi subdistrict. [ICDNMay12]

 

Dibis 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that two IFP members were killed when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle near Dibis. The source said the IFP arrested 4 young men who were close to the incident. 

 

Daesh said on Saturday it wounded a tribal PMF commander and several of his fighters near Qutan village, east of Dibis. [ICDNMay12]

 

A security source in Kirkuk Province said on Monday that 3 PMF members were killed by an IED, according to Sumaria.  Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said that the IED was placed by the side of a road in Dibis, targeting a car belonging to the tribal PMF group People of Justice. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed an IFP vehicle with an IED near Qush Qaya village, west of Dibis, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. [ICDNMay12]

Daesh said on Saturday it killed or wounded IFP soldiers and damaged their vehicle with an IED near Albu Sabah village, west of Dibis. [ICDNMay12]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

The Center for Security Information said on Monday that an attempt by 4 terrorists to target security centers and residential areas in Kirkuk had been foiled.  In a statement, the Center said that the 11th Brigade (PMF) had killed 4 Daesh fighters, stopping their operations in the Riyadh subdistrict.  [Sumaria][Buratha]

 

The Federal Police announced on Monday that the Daesh official responsible for “security” in Hawija and Riyadh was killed in a joint operation in the Shalakha area [Riyadh subdistrict].  Federal Police Chief Major-General Raed Shaker Jawdat said in a statement that the Federal Police, in coordination with Iraqi National Intelligence, killed the wanted terrorist Ahmed Tala’at Al-Turkmeni, aka Abu Omar Al-Turkmeni. [Sumaria]

The media office for the PMF also claimed in a statement that intelligence units from a PMF group had killed the Daesh official Ahmed Tala’at Al-Turkmeni in Riyadh. [Ghad] 

 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed an election official with an IED near Al-Khan village, east of Hawija.  [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed eight PMF fighters and destroyed their vehicle in an ambush on the road between Riyadh and Hawija. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed 2 IFP vehicles with IEDs near Al-Khuzaifi and Al-Hassan villages, east of Riyadh, killing or wounding the soldiers inside, including a battalion commander. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed a tribal PMF vehicle with an IED near Al-Mahouz village, east of Hawija, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said it targeted a tribal PMF military position in Al-Karha village, south of Riyadh, with machine guns on Friday. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said it targeted an IFP vehicle with an IED near the Technical Institution in Hawija city, on Saturday. [ICDNMay13]

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed an IFP vehicle with an IED near Barima village, east of Hawija, killing or wounding at least three soldiers inside. [ICDNMay12]

Daesh said it targeted an IFP vehicle with an IED in the Albu Hamad area, east of Hawija, on Saturday. [ICDNMay13]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed a vehicle carrying election monitors on the road between Daquq and Tabzawa with an IED, killing or wounding the people inside. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it damaged an IFP vehicle with an IED near Ghaida village, south of Daquq, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. [ICDNMay13]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted an IFP convoy near Al-Sous village, east of Rashad, with 3 IEDs, killing at least seven soldiers and destroying 3 vehicles. [ICDNMay12]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Daesh said on Saturday it damaged a PMF Humvee with an IED near the Mosul Dam, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed an Iraqi Army SUV with an IED on the road between Mosul and the Wana subdistrict of Tel Keif, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said it destroyed a PMF vehicle on the road between Mosul and Tel Keif on Saturday. [ICDNMay13]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Iraqi soldiers at checkpoint near the Kokjali area at the east entrance to Mosul, in Hamdaniya, shot and killed a Shabak PMF fighter and wounded another when a PMF convoy refused to stop at the checkpoint. 

 

Mosul

A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that a Daesh IED exploded on an Iraqi Army ambulance on the road between Badoush and Mosul, killing the driver and severely wounding a paramedic. The source sent us photos of the damaged ambulance. 

Daesh said it damaged a PMF ambulance with an IED on the road between Mosul and Badoush on Saturday, wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNMay12]

 

The Ninewa Directorate of Intelligence announced on Monday that a cache of military equipment left behind by Daesh had been found on Mosul’s west side.  In a statement, the Directorate said that units from the Directorate of Intelligence and Ninewa Security, under the General Directorate of Intelligence and Security, found the cache in Shahwan.  The cache contained 6 plastic explosives, 1 hand grenade, 4 anti-personnel rocket launchers, 9 mortar launchers, 41 detonators, and 14 assorted communications devices.  [Ghad][Forat]

 

The Directorate of Civil Defense in Ninewa Governorate announced that it will begin removing bodies from under the building rubble in the western half of Mosul with the help of the Iraqi Army and the Ninewa government.  [Sumaria]

 

Southern Ninewa

Makhmur/Qayara/Hatra

In a mysterious incident, a DaeshDaily source said on Monday that a house was reported destroyed by unknown airplanes in Safina village in Qayara, wounding five people. The village was liberated more than a year ago. The source sent us photos of the house. 

 

WesternNinewa

Tal Afar

Daesh said on Saturday it killed two PMF fighters with an IED in Al-Alouli village, east of Tal Afar. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted an Iraqi Army vehicle with 2 IEDs near Kasik, killing or wounding three soldiers, including a lt. colonel. [ICDNMay12]

 

Baaj

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that a senior Kata’eb Hezbollah commander was wounded and his driver killed when a roadside IED exploded on their convoy on the road between Baaj and Tal Abta. 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Najaf

Election. The electoral commission announced that Al-Sadr’s Sa’irun Alliance finished first in Najaf Governorate. The Al-Fath alliance finished second; the Prime Minister’s Victory alliance third.  Ammar Al-Hakim’s Al-Hikma Movement was fourth; Al-Maliki’s Rule of Law alliance fifth; and the woman-organized Irada party sixth. [Sumaria]

Basra

The Iraqi Port and Border Authority said on Monday that Iraq was losing billions a month due to corruption, adding that some traders and importers were intending to demonstrate at the port of Umm Qasr in Basra.  The head of the Authority, Kazem Al-Aqabi, said in a statement, “Iraq loses billions a month to corruption at the ports, especially in Umm Qasr.” He added, however, that government revenues had doubled since the Port Authority had assumed its duties, compared with years prior.  [Sumaria]

 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

In a statement released on Monday, the PKK media center announced that the PKK attacked Turkish Army personnel in different locations in northern Erbil and killed 13 Turkish soldiers. [Roj]

 

SULEIMANIYA

Election. The IHEC office in Suleimaniya announced that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) finished first, ahead of the Gorran (Change) Movement. [Sumaria] However, as reported above, the election process and results in Kurdistan are in dispute.

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

The PKK announced on Monday that it killed 4 Turkish soldiers in an attack on a Turkish Army headquarters in Hakkâri Province, in Turkey’s southeast corner. [Roj]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

(No reports)

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

In a statement released on Monday, the Iraqi Security Media Center announced that Iraqi F16 aircraft conducted several airstrikes on a headquarters providing logistics support for Daesh members in Al-Dashisha, south of Hasaka. The headquarters was completely destroyed, according to the statement.   [Qasioun]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Coalition planes destroyed a Daesh pickup vehicle near Dashisha, killing the 2 terrorists inside. 

 

Daesh said nine people, mostly women and children, were killed by an “American” airstrike on Al-Hamadi village, south of Shaddadi, on Friday. Daesh issued a video of the results of the airstrike. [ICDNMay12]

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

In a report published on Monday, Sputnik quoted some sources close to the Turkey-backed militias as saying that Turkey has put the names of Tahrir Al-Sham leaders who are opposing its policies in Idlib on an “assassination list,” in preparation for announcing the establishment of a new unified military formation under the leadership of Failaq Al-Sham. According to Sputnik, the “War of IEDs” started in Idlib two days ago and it will continue in order to spread chaos in the street, in an attempt by Turkish Intelligence to convince the people of the need to form a new military body in order to impose security. [Hawar]

 

Monday, according to a local source, Qasioun reported that a civilian was killed and another wounded when a roadside IED went off on their car in rural western Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

In a statement released on Monday, Tajamu’ Saraya Darayya, an anti-government militia, announced that it conducted on Sunday a surprise attack on a Syrian forces position in Kefraya, killing a number of the government-allied Shiite militiamen. [Dorar]

 

Sunday, Qasioun reported that a number of civilians and anti-government militiamen were killed and wounded in 4 separate IED explosions in Ariha, Saraqib, Maarat Masrin and Al-Dana.  [Qasioun]

 

In a statement released on Monday, the “Brigade of Jobar and Ghouta Rebels,” an anti-government militia, announced that it has joined the Jaish Al-Azza militia, in an attempt to “keep the revolution going and achieve its goals.” [Qasioun]

 

Dozens of prisoners held by Daesh in the prisons of the Syrian Liberation Front in the city of Binnish in Idlib were able to escape within the past few days. [Dorar]

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal District

Monday, SOHR reported that the SDF, backed by both the International Coalition and Iraqi forces, has completely captured Al-Baghouz town on the Syria-Iraqi border, following fierce clashes with Daesh, leaving just three areas under Daesh control, namely Hajin, Susah and Al-Sha’fah. [SyriaHR] [Hawar] 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that SDF and Al-Nujaba’ Movement units entered Al-Baghouz town and captured large parts of the town. The source said Daesh terrorists withdrew to Al-Sha’afa town without a fight. The source said Coalition planes targeted a Daesh convoy north of the town, killing 11 terrorists and destroying 3 machine gun mounted vehicles. The source said this is the first time the SDF and a pro-Syrian-government militia have worked together against Daesh. 

 

Arabi 21 quoted sources as saying that Iraqi PMFs have penetrated 2 km inside Syrian territory in coordination with the SDF, as part of the ongoing battles against Daesh in the area. 

 [Arabi21]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that government forces prohibited merchants from delivering food supplies to Al-Susah town. The source says the town already faces a severe lack of food and medicine. The source said government forces also shell the town continuously. The source said people of the town are trapped because Daesh issued orders to kill anyone who leaves the town. The source said a 45-year-old man committed suicide because of the difficult situation in the town. 

Monday, SOHR reported that at least 18 Daesh members were killed during violent clashes with the SDF, accompanied by Coalition airstrikes on the Daesh-held sites on the outskirts of Al-Bahra village, during the past 24 hours. [SyriaHR]   

 

According to several media sources, Arabi 21 reported that the US-led Coalition has established an advanced military base in the Sha’fah desert in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, in order to provide logistics support for the SDF in its fight against Daesh in the region. [Arabi21]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that SDF units shot down a Daesh recon drone near Hajin. The source says the drone was carrying cameras and a hand grenade. The source sent us a photo of the drone. 

 

Daesh published on Saturday photos of targeting a Syrian Army military position in the Albu Kamal area with mortars. [ICDNMay12]

Daesh said on Sunday it targeted a Syrian Army position in Albu Kamal city with 3 mortars, killing a soldier and wounding 3 others. [ICDNMay13]

Daesh said on Sunday it targeted Syrian Army positions in Al-Hamdan village with 4 mortars; the Syrian Army in Al-Ashayer village with 3 mortars; and targeted Syrian Army military positions in Al-Ashayer and Al-Sukkariya villages with SPG9 rockets. [ICDNMay13]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Monday, SOHR reported that violent clashes are still ongoing between the Syrian forces and Daesh on the outskirts of Al-Yarmouk Camp as well as Al-Tadhamun and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad neighborhoods, accompanied by continuous rocket and artillery shelling. According to SOHR, the Syrian forces captured over 80% of the Al-Hajar Al-Aswad neighborhood while Daesh recaptured a number of buildings and schools on the western and eastern outskirts of Al-Yarmouk camp. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it launched a counterattack on government forces in the Al-Hajar Al-Aswad area, killing 12 soldiers and capturing weapons and ammunition. It also said one of its terrorists attacked government forces in the Al-Yarmouk Camp area, killing 5 soldiers, including an officer, before getting killed. Daesh said it stopped a government forces attack near the camp, killing 9 soldiers and destroying an armored vehicle. It also said it stopped a government attack on Hay Al-Tadhamun, killing 4 soldiers and forcing the rest to flee. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Sunday that Syrian and Russian planes conducted more than 150 airstrikes on the Yarmouk Camp and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad. [ICDNMay13]

Daesh said on Saturday that Russian and Syrian planes conducted more than 100 airstrikes on areas south of Damascus. It also said tens of explosives barrels were dropped. [ICDNMay12]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed 40 Syrian soldiers and destroyed a BMP armored vehicle in battles in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and the Yarmouk Camp. [ICDNMay13]

Daesh issued a video of the destroyed vehicle. [ICDNMay13]

 

The Russian base at Khmeimim released a statement addressing accusations that the Syrian regime forces are forcibly displacing people in districts that have recently been taken over (such as the villages and towns of Eastern Ghouta) as reprisals. Unofficial intelligence relates that the Russian forces are against reprisals in areas newly taken from rebels and terrorists. The unofficial source says avoiding reprisals is a part of the Russian Reconciliation Center’s strategy. [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

Daesh published on Monday photos of its terrorists in the Qifa area. [ICDNMay14]

 

Jordan/Lebanon

Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah stated that the bombing of the Israeli-held Golan Heights was a response to its aggression in Syria. Observers took that as a suggestion that Iran was involved in bombing the Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. [Dorar] This is exactly what Israel alleged.

 

Israel

Deadly clashes with Palestinian protesters marked the ceremonial opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. The violence seemed unlikely to ease soon. 

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri reacted to the US Embassy move to Jerusalem by calling for war against the US.  In a voice recording issued on the eve of the opening of the Embassy, Al-Zawahiri said, “The policy of appeasing the Americans has failed the Palestinians, and Muslim countries have failed the Palestinian people by signing the UN Charter,” since the UN Charter calls for respecting the territory of member states including Israel.  He added, “… many of these countries have established public and private relations with Israel … accepting Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem as Israeli capitals, although it is Islamic land.”  Al-Zawahiri vowed that the US would not be secure until it left Arab and Islamic territory.  [Sumaria]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Monday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry gave the final decision of its country regarding whether or not to send forces to Syria instead of the US. The answer seems to be “No.” The Foreign Minister, Sameh Shukri, said that the main focus of the Egyptian forces is to defend Egypt on Egyptian soil and that movements outside of Egyptian soil are subject to legal and constitutional procedures. [Dorar]

 

Libya/Tunisia

Monday, a Libyan official said that Libya will return the bodies of the 20 Christian Egyptians that Daesh beheaded in 2015 in Libya’s Sirte. [SkyNewsArabia]

 

The organization for removing mines and war waste announced that it found two war shells planted by Daesh in Sirte, in the subdistrict of Al-Zuhair. [Wasat]

 

Morocco

Monday, the Morocco Interior Ministry announced that it arrested 4 Daesh suspects, aged 20 to 27, for spreading Daesh propaganda in the cities of Fez (central), Casablanca (west), Kenitra (west) and the town of Midar (north). The preliminary investigation has also shown that some suspects have made contacts with Daesh fighters in both Syria and Iraq in order to use their experience in making explosives and IEDs to attack vital places in Morocco. [Youm7]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Great Britain

The Observer published a report about the “evidence” upon which Daesh ideology relies. This report is based on a 579-page book, which was written by a representative of Daesh, Abu Abd Allah Al-Muhajir. It is called “Fiqh Al-Dima’” or “The Jurisprudence of Blood.” This book justifies actions such as beheadings, mutilation, organ trafficking, and killing children. The senior researcher of a British counterterrorism organization says that the book distorts the meaning of jihad in Islam and exploits that misunderstanding to legitimize terrorist actions. [Sumaria]

France

Daesh announced on Sunday that it was responsible for an attack on civilians in Paris, which killed one person and wounded four others. Media reports say the attacker was about 20 years old. [Sumaria]

Daesh said on Saturday that the terrorist who stabbed several people in Paris is one of its “soldiers.” [ICDNMay12]

Daesh published on Sunday a video of the terrorist. [ICDNMay13]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh said it killed two pro-government militiamen in clashes in the Darzab area, in Jowzjan, on Friday. [ICDNMay12]

 

Afghan security forces battled for hours against a group of Daesh attackers who stormed a government building in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Sunday after a coordinated assault that killed at least 15 people and wounded 42, local officials said.

A car bomb was detonated at the entrance to the state accounts office before a group of about six attackers armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades rushed the building, the officials said. There were multiple blasts as they fought off security forces in a gun battle that lasted much of the day.

The attack took place in a busy area of the city with many other official buildings nearby, including a school in which about 1,000 girls were trapped as the fighting raged. [HindustanTimes] 

Daesh said on Sunday that one of its suicide terrorists attacked an Afghan Ministry of Finance building in Jalalabad with a vehicle bomb. It said that 3 terrorists entered the building after the attack and clashed with security forces for 4 hours before getting killed. It also said it remotely detonated a parked vehicle and motorcycle, rigged with explosives. It said at least 100 people were killed or wounded. [ICDNMay13]

 

Daesh published on Sunday photos of its snipers in the Tora Bora area, in Nangarhar. [ICDNMay13]

 

Indonesia

A family blew themselves up at an Indonesian police station on Monday. The family was driving 2 motorcycles, which were stopped outside the building by a policeman before the family members blew themselves up. Indonesian Police Chief Tito Karnavian confirmed that the suicide attack, which took place at a police station in Surabaya, was carried out by a family of 5, including an 8-year-old girl. He said that the girl had survived and was recovering. The attack wounded policemen and civilians, and came a day after other suicide attacks in Surabaya. [BasNews]

 

Daesh said on Sunday that 3 of its suicide terrorists attacked 3 churches in East Java. It said one of the terrorists attacked (Pantkusa) church with a vehicle bomb, the second terrorist attacked Maria church with an explosives vest, and third attacked another church with a motorcycle bomb. Daesh said 11 people were killed and 41 wounded in the attacks. [ICDNMay13]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Sunday, Daesh published a video claiming to show the man responsible for the Paris attack pledging his loyalty to Daesh and to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.  The 150-second video showed a masked man who spoke French and some Arabic.  It was unclear if the man in the video was the Paris attacker Khamzat (or Hassan) Azimov or not.  [Sumaria]

 

 

 

May 11, 2018