An Update On ISIS Activities

March 6, 2018

 

Afrin

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

UN launches humanitarian plan to return Iraqi  IDPs to their homes. [..]

Saudi Arabia will fund 100,000seat sports stadium in Baghdad. [..]

Silliman tells Iraqis May election “will determine their future.” [..]

Al-Abadi promises KRG workers will be paid & its airports reopened by March 21. [..]

World Bank will fund reconstruction of major Ramadi bridge. [..]

30 Daesh fighters killed in Kirkuk Province. [..]

 

Syria

SDF confirms 1,700 soldiers from anti-Daesh campaign redeployed to Afrin. [..]

Britain, France want UN Security Council meeting on failing Syria truce. [..]

Trump reported considering retaliation options after 7 reported Syrian chlorine gas attacks. [..]

Russian military plane crashes; all 26 on board killed. [..]

Tahrir Al-Sham reported making major attack on Syrian Army units in Latakia. [..]

Syrian forces making gains in East Ghouta. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

PM Haider Al-Abdi said on Tuesday that the government is committed to paying the salaries of the PMF. Al-Abadi noted that reducing the number of Coalition forces in Iraq will not mean abandoning Coalition training. Al-Abadi stressed that “the terrorist threat still exists and Iraq requires international support to 

eradicate it.” [Sumaria]

 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that NATO Forces would remain in Iraq, “at the request of local authorities.” [Sumaria]

 

Britain’s Secretary of Defense Gavin Williamson says “British forces will not stop their operations until Daesh is completely eliminated.” Williamson explained that “although Daesh has lost control of large areas, its threat to the security of Britain and other countries remains. . . . That is why British fighter jets continue to strike Daesh’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria.” [Xendan]

 

Sputnik points out that Daesh’s new strategy is to use sleeper cells and guerilla warfare to attack security forces and civilians. Sputnik reports that these operations are organized by Daesh leaders in Syria who give orders online. [BaghdadToday]

 

Iraq’s Ministry of Defense announced that it received the first batch of South Korean T50 fighter jets under a contract for the purchase of 24 fighter jets. [Rudaw]

 

Reconstruction

Iraq’s Minister of Displacement, Jassem Mohamed Al-Jaf, announced the launch of a UN humanitarian response plan for displaced persons, in coordination with the Iraqi government. The objective is to return 1 million displaced persons to their liberated areas over the course of this year. [Rudaw]

 

PM Al-Abadi’s office announced that Saudi Arabia is donating a new sports stadium to Iraq. The stadium will be “an integrated sports city”, will hold 100,000 spectators, and will be located in Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

Foreign Relations

Al-Abadi said on Tuesday that “Iraq is open to all of its neighboring countries and there is no disagreement between us and the rest of the countries.” Al-Abadi announced that a high-ranking Iranian delegation is scheduled to visit Iraq on Wednesday. [Sumaria]

 

Election

US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman said on Tuesday that “the Iraqi people have come to a pivotal stage and the upcoming elections will determine their future.” Silliman urged Iraqis to participate in the elections and to vote for the politicians who will best ensure the success of Iraq’s future. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. This message is as right-on as it is profound. After 15 years of post-Saddam governance, this may be the most consequential election for the future of Iraq. Iraq’s politicians have generated a lot of deserved denunciation and skepticism around the world, but voters have in past elections proven to be better than the politicians. 

 

CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri met with the leader of the Al-Hikma (National Wisdom) Movement, Ammar Al-Hakim. Reportedly, they discussed seeking solutions to the critical and outstanding problems in Iraq. They also discussed the importance of supporting the service sector and focusing on the living conditions of citizens and strengthening all efforts to restore Iraq to its pivotal role in the Arab region. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. Another day, another meeting press release. What was the real purpose of the meeting? Any chance it had something to do with an election only two months away in which both are running?

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

PM Haider Al-Abadi said on Tuesday that the salaries of the Kurdistan Region employees will be paid and the flight ban at airports will be lifted before the Nawroz holiday (March 21). [Rudaw]

 

A KRG delegation of representatives of the KDP, PDK, Gorran, Kurdistan Islamic Group, and Kurdistan Islamic Union visited Najaf city. The KRG delegation met with two senior Shiite clerics: President of the Shia Waqf Bureau, Ali Al-Musawi, and religious leader Ali Bashir Al-Najafi. One member of the KRG delegation says that one of the Shia clerics said he would talk to Al-Abadi. [Rudaw]

 

Tuesday, a Gorran leader, Yusuf Mohammed, said that holding the referendum on independence was “a major political mistake.” Mohammed said “the balance of power has been lost in Iraq” as the central government tries to impose its control. [Sumaria]

 

A Gorran CoR member, Shirin Riza, criticized Iraq’s President Fuad Masoum. She described Masoum as a “weak diplomat,” pointing to his inability to calm the differences between Baghdad and Erbil. Riza attributes this to his lack of strong ties to Iraqi political parties that might have allowed him to direct the issue away from a crisis. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Iraq’s Ministry of Interior announced that 2 Daesh members from Daesh’s “wilaya Diyala” who fled to Baghdad were arrested on Tuesday. [Sumaria]

 

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

A security source said on Tuesday that five civilians were wounded in an IED explosion in Taji District. [Ghad]

 

East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

A security source says a man was arrested on terrorism charges at a checkpoint on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad. [Ghad]

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

The Director of Roads and Bridges in Anbar, Mahdi Abdul Farhan, said that the Al-Faraj Bridge will cost $1.5 million to repair and reopen. The reconstruction project will be funded by the World Bank. The bridge connects Ramadi city with the highway to the north of Ramadi. [Sumaria]

 

Anah (including Rawa)/Al-Qa’im

Tuesday, a security source says a police officer was killed and three were wounded in a roadside IED explosion on their patrol on the road between Rawa and Anah. The IED is believed to have been placed by Daesh. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN (No reports)

 

DIYALA

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

Chairman of the Muqdadiya District Council, Adnan Al-Tamimi, says that two suicide terrorists were killed by a joint security unit during a search operation near the Himrin Mountains. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh says it destroyed or damaged 3 PMF military vehicles on the road to Imam Wais, north of Muqdadiya, on Monday. [ICDNMar6]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

MP for Diyala, Furat Al-Tamimi, said that Daesh set up a fake checkpoint in an agricultural area in northeast Diyala, and kidnapped a civilian along with his vehicle. [Sumaria]

 

The Ministry of Defense says that detachments of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security in Diyala found a pile of hardware, including 6 RPGs of various types, 1 grenade, and 4 rocket launchers, among other things in the Jalawla area. [Baghdadia]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Tuesday, a security source says that the Federal Police clashed with a Daesh cell in Alton Kupri in northwestern Kirkuk. 3 Daesh terrorists were killed. [SotIraq]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A security source says that security units found 5 explosives belts in Hawija District during a search operation. [Baghdadia]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

The Governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Saeed Al-Jubouri, announced that 30 Daesh terrorists were killed in military operations on Tuesday in southwestern Kirkuk Province. [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, a security source says 9 Daesh terrorists were arrested in Rashad District.  [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

Middle East Online reports that security forces succeeded in dismantling a cell of 7 Daesh members in Mosul that was planning to assassinate prominent figures and set off explosions in commercial centers in Ninewa. [BaghdadToday]

A DaeshDaily source says the Ninewa Police captured a trailer truck loaded with large quantities of weapons and ammunition near Hay Al-Quds, in east Mosul. 

 

A security source says that, Tuesday, police units withdrew from the Al-Zuhur neighborhood in east Mosul because the Governor of Ninewa, Nawfal Al-Akoub, claimed that their presence was causing traffic jams. The security source says that the area is now open with no security presence at its entrances. [SotIraq]

 

Tuesday, the Directorate of Military Intelligence announced the arrest of 3 terrorists in west Mosul. [Baghdadia]

 

Tuesday, Ninewa Operations Command announced the arrest of 25 people on suspicion of having ties with Daesh in west Mosul. [BasNews] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

The Directorate of Military Intelligence announced the arrest of a Daesh emir in the Hammam Al-Alil area. [Rudaw]

 

Qayara/Hatra/Makhmur

Tribal PMF leader Mohammed Al-Jubouri says that Iraqi ground artillery and Iraqi Air Force, with Coalition air support, hit Daesh positions in the Qayara area for 6 hours Monday night.  A number of terrorists were killed. Dozens of others managed to escape. [Baghdadia]

 

Tuesday, the Commander of the PMF in southern Mosul, Brig. Ibrahim Al-Marsoumi, said that Hammam Al-Alil, Shura, and parts of Qayara are completely secure. Al-Marsoumi says that Daesh is spreading rumors that it is active south of Mosul but that “there is no Daesh danger or presence” and that there are only “simple violations by some Daesh members in the areas stretching from (Samarra) Jazeera to Anbar desert.” [SotIraq]

DaeshDaily comment. Even assuming the general has this right, Daesh Daily has printed several stories recently about Daesh presence farther south, in the Hatra Desert, and its attacks on PMF units there, and it is clear in general that Daesh is trying to survive in and operate from the desert, from the Salahuddin Jazeera area west of Samarra and Tikrit south of Ninewa to the Syrian border. Iraq won’t have real security until it knocks these Daesh pockets outs out and gains full control of this area.

 

Western Ninewa

Baaj

Related to the comment just above, the PMF announced that PMF units killed 7 terrorists who were hiding in Abu Hassa in the west Ninewa desert. The PMF also found a hideout and tunnels used by Daesh. [Forat] 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS   

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Qasioun reports that a Turkish convoy of military reinforcements headed toward Afrin arrived in the Turkish border state of Hatay. [Qasioun]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Kurdish fighters move to Afrin

SDF leader Abu Omar Al-Idlibi announced that “1,700 Kurdish fighters have been redeployed from the front lines with Daesh to the Afrin region to help repel the Turkish attack.” He says that the Kurdish fighters are being moved from Raqqa, Hasaka, and Deir Ez-Zor. [Dorar] [Qasioun]

 

US Department of Defense spokesman Robert Manning said that “a section of Kurdish fighters” left their positions fighting with the Coalition to support their fellow Kurds in the fight against the Turkish forces in Afrin. Manning said that this caused an operational pause in the battles against Daesh. Manning said “the operational pause is not going to divert our attention from our main goal, Daesh.” [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. Putting a brave face on the situation does not change the fact that Turkey, which claims to be fighting terrorism, has cause a major disruption in the anti-Daesh campaign by invading Afrin to attack the Kurds. Moreover, the Turks will face increasing resistance if they continue on this path, which means that this disruption may not soon go away. Meanwhile, the US and the somewhat depleted SDF troops have still not closed Daesh out in Deir Ez-Zor. 

 

UN resolution on ceasefire

Tuesday, France and England called on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the failure of the UN truce in Syria. [Hawar]

 

A negotiating delegation arrived in New York on Monday to attend the UN session on the humanitarian situation in East Ghouta. The delegation called for redrafting UN Resolution 2401 for the month-long truce in Syria to include clear oversight mechanisms. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

East Ghouta

Tuesday, Russia offered that it will provide transportation and safe passage for opposition militias and their families to leave East Ghouta. Russia says they would be allowed to take personal weapons with them but that they would be required to leave any heavy weapons. [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment. This is more of the Russian strategy behind its “truces” and “de-escalation zones. The real purpose is to get the other side to stop fighting. This clears the way for Assad, whose troops don’t stop fighting, often aided by Russian pilots who also don’t stop fighting. This is peace-making Russian-style: You stop fighting. Our side takes over. Peace returns.

 

Chemical weapons

The Washington Post reports that US President Donald Trump requested a list of options for ways to punish the Syrian government after at least 7 reports of chlorine gas attacks on civilians in opposition-controlled areas. [Dorar]

 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the only way to verify the alleged use of chemical weapons is through an impartial investigation by an international commission. When asked about the possibility of US military strikes on the Syrian government, Peskov said that the Kremlin hopes there will be no violation of international law. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that Britain would respond firmly if Moscow turns out to have been behind any of the chemical attacks in Syria. Johnson said “although it would be a mistake to prejudge the investigation, I can assure the council that if there is evidence of a country’s responsibility, Her Majesty’s government will respond appropriately and strongly.” [Anadolu]

 

Iran and Syria 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the only way to end the crisis in Syria is to support the Syrian government in Damascus. [Dorar]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

SOHR reports that Turkish forces have captured 100 villages and towns in Afrin, including Bulbul, Rajo, and most of Al-Sheikh Hadid. [SyriaHR]

 

Hawar reports strong clashes between YPG fighters and Turkish forces in Sinka village in Shara District. [Hawar]  

Qasioun reports that Turkish-allied militias captured the village of Kharaba Shara. It also says the Turkish Army has established control over the center of Shara. [Qasioun] 

DaeshDaily comment. The second statement would need to be confirmed. We have no other report that has this information.

 

Qasioun reports that Turkish forces captured Matar village in Shara. [Qasioun] 

 

Northeast (No reports)

 

Central and West 

Latakia

The Russian Air Force announced that a plane crashlanded at Russia’s Khmeimim airbase. Everyone on board, 26 passengers and 6 crew members, were killed in the crash. [Qasioun]

 

Qasioun reports that Tahrir Al-Sham carried out a major offensive on Syrian forces’ positions in rural Latakia. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal

Qasioun reports that 7 members of the SDF Deir Ez-Zor Military Council were abducted on the edge of Al-Bahra village by unidentified persons. Qasioun reports that tensions are high between the SDF and the residents of the area and so the reason for the abduction and the identity of the perpetrators is unclear. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF positions northeast of Al-Sha’afa near the Iraq border with artillery shells. [ICDNMar6]

 

Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army military position in Al-Ghabra village north of Albu Kamal city with heavy machine guns on Monday. [ICDNMar6]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Iraqi Shia militias in Albu Kamal captured a Daesh Iraqi commander, originally from Ninewa, as he was trying to sneak back into the city as a civilian under a different name. 

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Qasioun reports that clashes continue between the Syrian forces and opposition militias in East Ghouta. Qasioun says that at least eight civilians were killed and dozens were wounded in airstrikes in Jisreen in East Ghouta Tuesday morning. [Qasioun]

 

Syria Now reports that the Syrian Army recovered Mohammediya town and surrounding farms and continues to make progress against Tahrir Al-Sham in East Ghouta. [SyriaNow]

 

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

 

Daesh publishes photos of its snipers’ activities south of Damascus. [ICDNMar6]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

Egyptian legislators say that, on Tuesday, the Egypt Council of Representatives extended the punishment for building, buying, or owning explosives for the purpose of terrorism to a possible death sentence. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh says it detonated an IED on an Egyptian Army patrol in the Al-Wadi area, east of Arish, on Monday. It also says it says its snipers targeted soldiers near Al-Ghaz security barrier south of Arish. It says at least ten soldiers were killed or wounded in both attacks. [ICDNMar6]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

The Russian federal security service arrested 5 Daesh supporters in Dagestan on Tuesday. [Ghad]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh issues a video of shooting a Somali Intelligence member in Afgooye. Daesh reported the assassination on Monday. [ICDNMar6] 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Afghan authorities say that 13 Daesh gunmen were killed on Sunday during a security crackdown in Darzab District in Jowzjan State. [FarsNews]

 

A spokesman for the Governor of Nangarhar says at least two people were killed by a bomb that was planted on a fuel truck in Nangarhar. The explosion was very large, setting 30 shops and workshops near the site of the explosion on fire. [Anadolu]

March 5, 2018

 

East Ghouta (BBC)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

CoR passes 2018 budget. [..]

Anbar Governor predicts high voter turnout in May election. [..]

Diyala PC member demands Al-Abadi do something about Diyala’s deteriorating security. [..]

IAF airstrike takes out Daesh leadership circle in northern Diyala. [..]

Government units win multiple clashes with Daesh in Hawija. [..] 

Daesh Daily source says PMFs in Ninewa killed four Daesh arrestees. [..]

Police in Mosul kill or arrest 19 Daesh members, but lose 4 policemen. [..]

Babel PC sounds alarm on Daesh “sanctuaries” along Baghdad border. [..]

 

Syria

SOHR says civilian death toll in East Ghouta has reached 794. [..]

UN aid convoy reaches East Ghouta; but medical supplies seized by Syrian Army. [..]

Russian bombing continues in East Ghouta. [..]

White House slams Russians for bombing civilian neighborhoods. [..]

Turks estimated to have captured 29% of Afrin. [..]

UN accuses YPG of refusing to let civilians leave Afrin. [..]

Daesh still targeting Syrian troops, SDF in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

The Independent published an article entitled “Inside Syria: With its enemies diverted or fighting each other, ISIS is making a swift and deadly comeback.” The article points out that Daesh is making a comeback in Hawija and in Raqqa, Syria. The article says that Daesh is reemerging because of the conflicts with the Kurds in Iraq and Northern Syria, saying that security efforts were diverted in Iraq because of the Kurdistan referendum and the federal government’s efforts to take back control of disputed areas on October 16, 2017. In Syria, the Kurds are suddenly caught up in fighting Turkish forces in northern Syria rather than focusing on fighting Daesh and ensuring the security of liberated regions. [BasNews]

 

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday. Al-Abadi stressed the importance of cooperation with NATO to fight terrorism. [Sumaria]

 

The British Air Force announced that it will not be withdrawing from Iraq, as it is a part of the International Coalition. British Air Force Commander Marshal Hillier said “We will not withdraw any of our troops until we have fully achieved our goals.” [Knooz]

DaeshDaily comment. Perhaps this is an answer to the startling statement last week by Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, a London resident for many years, that US “bases” in Iraq (so implicitly Coalition forces in general) compromised Iraq’s sovereignty, which seemed to advocate a Coalition withdrawal.

 

Germany is considering withdrawing some of its military personnel from Iraq, in light of the military victory over Daesh, and changing the nature of its forces’ role in Iraq. [SotIraq]

DaeshDaily comment. Germany’s personnel were reportedly most involved in supporting the Coalition airstrike campaign, which is now less extensive due to its success in Iraq and most of Syria. 

 

Budget

The CoR passed the 2018 budget on March 3. 176 of the 328 members voted yes. However, some of the 328 were not there. Kurdish members boycotted the vote. One Kurdish representative said We boycotted the vote and there are proposals to boycott the political process in Iraq completely due to the unfair treatment we are receiving.” [Rawabet]

 

KRG CoR members say they consider the passage of the budget in its current form to be in flagrant violation of the principle of partnership and consensus on which the new Iraq was built. [Rudaw]

 

Sunday, KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani expressed his concern over the 2018 budget, indicating that he will meet with Kurdish parties to take a stand on it. [Sumaria]

 

However, Gorran MP Hoshyar Abdullah called for the international community to intervene and impose the “guardianship of the UN” on the Kurdistan Region. Hoshyar says Kurds have lost their rights and have become victims of “fabricated” political conflicts between the federal government and the KRG. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, Iraq’s President Fuad Masoum called for “urgent” meetings between senior officials of the KRG and the national government as differences between the two sides escalate over the budget. [Anadolu]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

Daesh said it killed a tribal PMF commander in Tarmiya on Sunday. [ICDNMar5]

 

East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

A police source says two civilians were wounded in an IED explosion in east Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

Southeast (Mada’in, etc.)

Saturday, a security source said two unidentified bodies were found with gunshot wounds on the side of a road in southeast Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Monday, a security source said two civilians were wounded when an IED exploded near a popular market in southern Baghdad.  [Baghdadia]

 

West (Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Monday, a security source said that three civilians were killed by an IED placed near shops in Radwaniya. [Rudaw]

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:   5(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:   3

 

ANBAR

Governor of Anbar Mohammed Al-Habusi met with the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Jan Kubis, to discuss preparations for the upcoming elections. Al-Habusi stressed that Anbar will see a high turnout in the polls because the people of Anbar believe that voting will bring stability and prosperity to the governorate, which has been enjoying good security conditions since its liberation. 

Al-Habusi stressed that stability will continue to improve with more reconstruction and job creation. Jan Kubis said that he will personally oversee the reconstruction of Anbar and visit Anbar’s liberated areas to see the situation on the ground. [BasNews]

 

Anbar PC member Hammed Al-Dulaimi said on Monday that “returning IDPs to Anbar is futile because there needs to be a radical solution involving the tribes and security forces to ensure that the residents in those areas don’t experience security problems.” [Knooz]

 

Sources within the PMF organization are warning that there are 3,000 Daesh terrorists on the border with Syria that may try to infiltrate into western Iraq. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. We doubt the number, but more could be done about the actual number if some PMF organizations were not diverting some of their attention to supporting the Syrian Army in Idlib.

 

Falluja

A security source says that on Monday a security unit killed 2 suicide terrorists in Ameriyat Al-Falluja subdistrict in Falluja. [Baghdadia]

 

Ramadi

Sunday, Anbar Police thwarted an armed attack on a patrol carrying prisoners returning from court in the center of Ramadi. [Sumaria]

 

Iraqi forces killed a suicide terrorist and destroyed his motorcycle bomb near a checkpoint west of Ramadi on Friday. [Arabi21]

Daesh said it conducted a suicide attack on an Iraqi Army barrier near the Kilo 7 area, west of Ramadi, on Friday. [ICDNMar3]

 

Anah (including Rawa)/Al-Qa’im

Monday, a commander in the Upper Euphrates 2nd regiment said that 30 vehicles that were used to smuggle oil to Syria were seized in Rawa and Al-Qa’im. [BasNews]

 

Rutba

Sunday, a security source says two border guards were injured in a Daesh IED explosion near the Iraq-Saudi Arabia border. [Sumaria] 

In what may be another version of the same story, a security source in the Anbar Operations Command says that three members of the Anbar Border Guard were injured when a land mine left behind by Daesh exploded. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

A DaeshDaily source says four PMF fighters were killed and four others wounded when a Daesh rocket fell on their military position near Mtaibija. The source says Daesh is still in control of the woods areas and constantly attacks Iraqi forces from there. 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Sunday, a DaeshDaily source said a 1st lieutenant in a Rapid Response unit was killed in his car in a Daesh ambush on the road connecting Tooz District to Diyala.

In a news report on what may be the same incident, a security source said a Rapid Response squad was attacked by gunmen in Tooz and an officer was killed. [Sumaria]

 

A DaeshDaily source says the White Banners kidnapped three drivers who were providing logistics to PMF units in the Qadir Karam area, northeast of Tuz Khurmatu. 

 

DIYALA 

Diyala Police announced the arrest of 4 people on terrorism and criminal charges in Hibhib (southwest), Khanaqin (NE), and Mandali (SE). [Baghdadia]

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Monday, Diyala PC member Furat Al-Tamimi called on PM Haider Al-Abadi to intervene immediately to stop the deterioration of security in Diyala Governorate. Al-Tamimi accused the government of being preoccupied with the election campaign and says they are leaving the Governorate vulnerable to terrorist attacks. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

The Security Committee of the Diyala PC announced the elimination of a close circle of Daesh leaders in the Himrin area that manages all of the scattered Daesh cells in the area. The Iraqi Air Force strike is believed to have killed 5 Daesh leaders. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, a local official announced that 262 displaced families have started returning to their homes in Jalawla. [Sumaria]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Daesh said on Monday it killed or wounded IFP soldiers and destroyed 2 SUVs in an attack on the road between Mandali and Balad Ruz. 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk’s Governor Rakan Saeed Al-Jubouri says that a delegation from the Ministry of Interior arrived in Kirkuk Governorate to assess the security situation. Al-Jubouri says that during the meeting they discussed the reality of the security situation in Kirkuk, especially in Kirkuk city, and the importance of cooperation between citizens and security mechanisms. [Sumaria]

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

A DaeshDaily source says that IFP units killed two Daesh terrorists hiding in a tunnel in Ain Al-Ward south of Kirkuk. The IFP used grenades to smoke them out of the tunnel but the terrorists were killed inside.

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Mayor of Hawija District Sabhan Al-Jubouri said that 8 terrorists who attacked a police station in Hawija were killed. No policemen were killed. [TRT]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that IFP units killed 9 Daesh terrorists who were hiding in Sadouniya village. The source says several Daesh terrorists had fled the village towards the Makhmur area before the IFP raid. 

 

Sunday, the PMF announced that 4 terrorists were killed and 3 villages were cleared. One of the terrorists killed was a leader in the attack on PMF intelligence service members in Al-Sadouniya on February 18. [Buratha]

 

Sunday, a security source says clashes broke out between the PMF and Daesh in Al-Saadiya village in Al-Abbasi. The PMF killed 20 terrorists and say that another 15 terrorists are trapped in the village. The source says a number of PMF fighters were killed and wounded but did not give any further information. [SotIraq]

On Sunday, Daesh said a group of its terrorists killed seven Iraq soldiers, wounded five, and damaged 4 vehicles in clashes near Saadiya village, near and south of Abbasi, before returning safely. [ICDNMar4]

On Monday, Daesh said it killed three PMF fighters, wounded six others including a commander, and damaged 2 vehicles near Saadiya village. [ICDNMar5]

Daesh said it shot down a PMF recon drone in Tuwairiya village, west of Abbasi, on Saturday. [ICDNMar4]

 

Sunday, a DaeshDaily source said a leading PMF security official and his son were killed in a Daesh ambush near Kadhimiya village in Hawija.  The PMF official was the AAH intelligence officer for the southern Kirkuk area.

 

A DaeshDaily source says the PMF killed Daesh’s execution official in Abbasi subdistrict in Hawija south of Kirkuk, following a brief gunfight.

 

Sunday, a DaeshDaily source said the IFP killed 4 Daesh terrorists including a suicide attacker that attacked the 19th brigade’s headquarters near Riyadh subdistrict south of Kirkuk. A Daesh tunnel was also found in the area containing large quantities of food supplies and ammunition.

 

Saturday, a DaeshDaily source said three Daesh terrorists were killed in clashes with the IFP and the PMF near Abbasi in Hawija. The Daesh members were identified by local police as being from Sada village in Abbasi subdistrict.

 

Saturday, the IWMC reported that the PMF and IFP killed 6 Daesh members and trapped 10 others in Tuwairiya village in Abbasi subdistrict. [IraqPress]

 

On Saturday, Daesh said it wounded an IFP soldier and destroyed a vehicle in clashes west of Abbasi. [ICDNMar3]

Daesh said it killed an IFP member and wounded three others in ambush west of Abbasi on Friday. [ICDNMar3]

 

Saturday, A DaeshDaily source said a suicide attacker putting on an explosive belt was shot dead by PMFs before reaching his destination in Bakara village in Hawija.

 

NINEWA

Saturday, Ninewa Police Chief Brig. Gen. Hammed Al-Jubouri said that 11 Daesh members had been arrested and 8 were killed in Ninewa Governorate. [Sumaria]

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source says the PMF executed 4 Daesh terrorists immediately after arresting them. The terrorists were found in a tunnel in Sheikhan village.

 

Mosul

Monday, a security source says that Daesh killed four policemen, including a police captain, in clashes in old Mosul. The Daesh terrorists fled the scene after the attack. [BasNews] 

 

A security source says that some of staff belonging to Daesh’s A3maq news agency were arrested in the Al-Tanak neighborhood in west Mosul. [Ghad]

 

Saturday, a DaeshDaily source said local police units arrested 12 wanted Daesh terrorists in Sumer neighborhood in east Mosul, including the Daesh information minister and a hisbah official.

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Ninewa IFP units, supported by Coalition drones, arrested Atiya Al-Obeidi, a Daesh commander, who was hiding in a house in the Al-Quds neighborhood in east Mosul. The source says the units confiscated large amounts of money in addition to forged IDs from the house.

 

Monday, a security source says that security units arrested 3 prominent Daesh leaders in far northwest Mosul, including Daesh’s wali of Badoush. [Etejah]

 

Secretary General of the Babelyoun (Christian) battalions, Ryan Chaldean, denied reports that there is a mass grave containing the remains of 4 Christians in Badoush and said that the media should be more careful in broadcasting such news. [Baghdadia]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A DaeshDaily said on Monday that PMF units found large quantities of Daesh weapons and ammunition in a tunnel south of Hatra. 

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that PMF units, in coordination with the Hatra mayor, allowed 150 displaced families to return from displacement camps to their houses in several villages in the Hatra area. The source says even families who have members with Daesh were allowed to return. 

 

Western Ninewa 

Baaj

A DaeshDaily source says two PMF fighters were killed in a mortar attack on Wardiya village in Baaj District on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The shells are believed to have been fired from a location near Al-Hawl IDP camp in Hasaka, Syria.

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Babel

The Babel Provincial Council warned, on Saturday, that senior Daesh leaders are meeting in areas south of Baghdad. According to the Babel PC, areas in northern Babel Governorate, and Latifiya in neighboring south Baghdad, have become a sanctuary for thousands of terrorists. [Knooz]

 

Monday, a security source says that Kata’eb Hezbollah repulsed a Daesh attack in Jurf Al-Sakhar District in northern Babel, killing 5 Daesh terrorists. A PMF fighter was killed and 4 were wounded [Etejah] [BaghdadToday] 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Turkish security sources say that Turkish Intelligence units arrested 4 Iraqi Daesh members who were planning to attack the US Embassy in Ankara. [BasNews] 

 

Turkish security forces arrested 4 foreigners on suspicion they belong to Daesh, in the northern state of Samsun, on the Black Sea. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

East Ghouta

According to Civil Defense (White Helmets), 794 civilians have been killed in the last 15 days in East Ghouta. 38 civilians were killed in Russian and Syrian airstrikes on Monday. [Anadolu]

 

Monday, the UN announced the entry of its first aid convoy into East Ghouta. [ZamanAlWasl]

However, a World Health Organization (WHO) official says that the Syrian government went through the international aid convoy, before it entered the besieged East Ghouta, and confiscated first-aid kits, surgical supplies, kidney dialysis equipment, and insulin from the truckloads of relief supplies that are being brought in to aid the 400,000 trapped civilians. [Dorar]

 

The Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria claims that military factions operating in East Ghouta promised to allow civilians to exit through the designated safe passage and to allow the entry of aid convoys. The Center did not specify which factions made this promise. [Dorar]

 

However, the spokesman for the Rahman Corps, Wa’el Alwan, said on Monday that it is Russia’s continued heavy bombardment of East Ghouta that is preventing aid convoys from entering the region. [Dorar]

 

France’s President Emanuel Macron called on his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to “exert the necessary pressure” on the Syrian government to stop the attacks on East Ghouta. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Macron also called on Russia to fulfill its commitments and assume its responsibilities in order to prove its credibility. [Anadolu]

 

Russia in Syria

The Syrian Human Rights Network calculated the number of Syrian civilians that Russian forces have killed since the beginning of Moscow’s intervention in Syria in September 2015. The report says that Russian forces have killed 6,019 civilians in Syria since September 2015, including 1,708 children and 642 women. The report pointed out that Russian planes launched 914 attacks on vital civilian centers, including 162 attacks on medical facilities. [Dorar] 

 

According to Civil Defense (White Helmets), 11 civilians were killed in Russian airstrikes Monday morning in Jisreen town in East Ghouta. [Dorar] 

 

The White House attacked Russia, accusing It of killing civilians in East Ghouta under the pretext of fighting terrorism. [Dorar]

 

Russia’s Ministry of Defense responded to the White House’s accusations that the Russians are killing civilians in East Ghouta. Russia’s Ministry of Defense called the accusations “false” and said that the US is only complaining because the Syrian forces repelled pro-US militias in the region. [EnabBaladi]

 

Deputy Chairman of Russian State Duma Committee of Defense Affairs Yuri Shvetkin says that it is the US and its allies that are the ones violating UN resolutions. Shvetkin stressed that the US forces’ presence in Syria without the invitation of the Syrian government is an act of aggression against an independent and sovereign state. Shvetkin says that the US should take responsibility for its own violations. Shvetkin stressed that Russian and Syrian forces are working in accordance with all resolutions of the UN Security Council. [SyriaNow]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

Qasioun reports that the Turkish forces have captured 687 square kilometers in Afrin, of the 2,377 square kilometer area that the YPG controlled. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment. If you believe the claim, and assumed that the YPG controlled all of Afrin before, that equals 28.9% of Afrin now held by the Turks and their militia allies.

 

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bakr Bozdag says that nearly half of the Syrian territory targeted by Operation Olive Branch is under Turkish control. [Anadolu] 

DaeshDaily comment. Turkish math, perhaps.

 

Bozdag says that 41 Turkish soldiers have been killed and 200 wounded during Operation Olive Branch. [Anadolu]

 

The UN Secretary General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the YPG is preventing civilians from leaving the Afrin area. The UN says that only 5,000 civilians have managed to get out of Afrin. Dujarric says there are no contacts between the UN and the local authorities in Afrin. [Anadolu]

 

Qasioun reports that Turkish-allied militias captured another village in northwestern Afrin. [Qasioun]  

Hawar reports that the Turkish forces shelled Berbeni village in Rajo with heavy artillery, injuring 21 civilians, including 7 children. [Hawar]

 

Qasioun reports that Turkish-allied militias captured 4 strategic hills from the YPG in Shara subdistrict in northeast Afrin. [Qasioun] [Dorar] 

 

Northeast (No reports)

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

SOHR reports that clashes continue between Tahrir Al-Sham and Ahrar Al-Sham in Maarat Al-Numan city in southern Idlib. [SyriaHR] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says that Tahrir Al-Sham killed 14 Daesh terrorists in various ambushes in Idlib. The source also says there are unconfirmed rumors of a possible merger between Daesh and Tahrir Al-Sham.

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Qasioun reports that the Syrian forces are fighting Daesh in the villages of Dahla and Jadid Aqaidat east of Deir Ez-Zor and on the banks of the Euphrates River. [Qasioun] 

 

Albu Kamal

Qasioun reports that violent clashes continue between Daesh and the Syrian forces near the T2 base in southern Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

On Saturday, Daesh publishes photos of targeting a Syrian Army military position near Albu Kamal city with an SPG9 rocket. [ICDNMar3]

 

On Saturday, Daesh said its snipers killed a Syrian soldier in Al-Ghabra village, north of Albu Kamal. Daesh also said it destroyed a Syrian Army SUV with a rocket in the same village. Daesh issued a video of targeting the tank. [ICDNMar3]

 

On Sunday, Daesh its snipers killed a Syrian soldier near Albu Kamal city. [ICDNMar4]

 

On Sunday, Daesh issued a video of targeting a Syrian Army military position near Albu Kamal city with a rocket. [ICDNMar4]

 

On Saturday, Daesh issued a propaganda video about an attack on SDF units northeast of Al-Sha’afa.  [ICDNMar3]

On Monday, Daesh published photos of targeting SDF positions northeast of Al-Sha’afa with artillery shells. [ICDNMar5]

 

On Monday, Daesh published 2 photos of distributing its Naba’ magazine to its members in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNMar5]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

SOHR reports that airstrikes in Hamouriya city caused foul odors and more than 18 people sustained suffocation and breathing difficulties, in addition to the rising toll of other civilian casualties. [SyriaHR]

 

Syria Now reports that there was a sudden collapse in the ranks of Tahrir Al-Sham and its allies and they fled after the Syrian forces made significant progress into their area of control in East Ghouta. [SyriaNow]

 

On Saturday, Daesh published photos of targeting a Syrian Army military position near the city of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad with heavy machine guns. [ICDNMar3]

 

On Monday, Daesh said its snipers killed an opposition fighter in Yelda. [ICDNMar5]

 

On Sunday, Daesh issued a video of targeting a Syrian Army military position near Hay Al-Tadhamun, in south Damascus city, with heavy machine guns. [ICDNMar4]

 

Daraa/Quneitra

A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Daesh beheaded a young man publicly in Beit Rawa village, west of Daraa, after accusing him of working for opposition groups. 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

On Sunday, Daesh published photos of assassinating two Yemeni soldiers in Hay Al-Mansoura, in Aden. [ICDNMar4]

 

Daesh said it stopped a Houthi attack in the Qifa area on Sunday, killing a fighter and wounding another. [ICDNMar5]

 

Lebanon

In a joint press conference with his Brazilian counterpart, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil called on Brazil to “support Lebanon in changing the concepts that a group of countries are trying to impose [on Lebanon].” Bassil expressed his concern that there is a growing call to allow Syrian refugees to integrate into the communities of small host countries such as Lebanon. Bassil said “the impact of the imposition of integration and resettlement on host countries would lead to dramatic political changes at the international level.” Bassil stressed that the political process is the best way to solve the Syrian crisis and that a political solution should develop towards free elections in which the Syrian people decide the nature of the new administration. Bassil says that “Lebanon has suffered enough” from hosting Syrian refugees. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Middle Egypt

Sunday, according to Egyptian security sources, a Daesh cell of 6 members was arrested in Minya in Middle Egypt. The cell had set up a training camp near Maghagha city in north Minya and had detailed plans to target security and government facilities, churches, and military and security figures. [VetoGate]

 

North Sinai

Sunday, the Egyptian Army announced the killing of 10 dangerous terrorists as a part of Operation Sinai 2018. [BaghdadNews]

 

On Sunday, Daesh published a report about several operations against government forces in North Sinai.

It said it damaged 2 Egyptian Army M60 tanks with IED, south of Sheikh Zuweid. It also said it killed or wounded several soldiers with light, mid-sized, and sniper weapons in the same area. It said it destroyed an M60 tank and a military bulldozer and damaged another M60 tank and 3 other vehicles with IEDs, south of Arish. It said it destroyed a Humvee with an IED in the Sabika area, east of Bir Al-Abd city, killing the soldiers inside. It also said it killed or wounded six soldiers in clashes in different areas south and west of Arish. [ICDNMar4]

 

Daesh issued a video of an Egyptian Army tank that was reportedly set on fire by Daesh south of Arish on Thursday. [ICDNMar3]

 

On Sunday, Daesh published a photo of targeting an Egyptian Army military position with heavy machine guns, south of Arish. [ICDNMar4]

 

Daesh issued a video of exploding an IED on an Egyptian Army vehicle in Sheikh Zuweid city on Sunday. [ICDNMar5]

 

Libya

Users on social media in Libya are warning of online evidence that Daesh cells are moving in Sirte and that there may be terrorist attacks in Sirte soon. [Libya24]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Niger

Sunday, Daesh released a video of the Daesh attack on Nigerian and American soldiers last October, 2017. The footage is from a helmet camera that was worn by one of the American soldiers. [Yahoo]

 

Somalia

On Monday, Daesh said it assassinated a Somali Intelligence member in Afgooye. [ICDNMar5]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

On Saturday, Daesh said it wounded four Afghan soldiers and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Bati Kot area, in Nangarhar. [ICDNMar3]

 

On Sunday, Daesh issued a propaganda video about new areas it captured in Afghanistan. [ICDNMar4]

On Monday, Daesh published 2 photos of showing the video to its supporters in an unknown location in Nangarhar. [ICDNMar5]

 

On Sunday, Daesh said it shot and killed a Taliban member in Jalalabad. [ICDNMar4]

 

On Sunday, Daesh said it shot and killed an Afghan Army officer in Jalalabad. [ICDNMar4]

 

Pakistan

On Sunday, Daesh said it shot and killed a Shia “infidel” in Quetta. [ICDNMar4]

DaeshDaily comment. Translation: Replace the word “infidel” with “civilian.” 

 

Philippines

The Philippine military announced on Monday that it had thwarted a terrorist plot to launch attacks on cities in the southern Philippines. [Watan]

 

March 2, 2018

 

Hawija

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Foreign Minister says US bases in Iraq prevent meaningful sovereignty. [..]

Kurdish parties still attacking the federal budget. [..]

Anti-Daesh airstrike, operations kill 8, arrest 29 in Mosul. [..]

Vehicle bomb attack near Erbil was allegedly perpetrated by Iranian intelligence. [..]

 

Syria

Merkel, Trump demand that Syria comply with UN resolution. [..]

Turkish forces capture 4 villages in NW Afrin, move on subdistrict capital. [..]

SDF & Coalition still battling Daesh near Hajin, Al-Sha’afa in Albu Kamal. [..]

Syrian troops, anti-Assad militias still fighting in East Ghouta. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Between February 23 and March 1 the Coalition conducted 6 airstrikes in Iraq, near Kirkuk (1), Hawija (2) Qayara (1), Asad military base (1), and Rutba (1). [CentCom]

 

The Military Intelligence Directorate announced the downing of a Daesh espionage plane on the Iraq-Syria border as it was entering Iraqi airspace. [Sumaria] 

 

UNAMI revealed on Friday that 91 Iraqis were killed and 208 injured as a result of violence, terrorism, and armed conflict in the month of February. According to the report, Baghdad was again the hardest hit, with 49 civilians killed and 146 wounded, then eastern Diyala, with 12 people killed and 11 wounded. [Anadolu]

 

Belgium’s Minister of Interior Jan Gambon said on Thursday that there are 14 Belgians among the extremists detained in Iraq. Gambon said that their return “is not in the interest of the country,” referring to Belgium. [Sumaria]

 

Council of Representatives

CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri called for the closure of “outlets of corruption,” and accountability by those who have “allowed themselves” public money. Al-Jubouri also said that Iraq’s over-dependence on oil “must stop.” [Sumaria]

Daesh Daily comment. Stopping political corruption in Iraq is an enormous task. However, getting Iraq off its over-dependence on oil would be even harder. Among the major oil producing states, Iraq is the least diversified—the most dependent on its oil exports.

 

Election

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari said on Friday that Iraq will never achieve sovereignty over its territory until the US military leaves the country. Al-Jaafari said that Iraq is not the only victim of US military presence, pointing out that since WWII the US has had bases all over the world and that those countries with US bases also do not enjoy sovereignty. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. We are accustomed to the now-constant anti-American theme from the pro-Iran political parties, but hearing it from the Foreign Minister, whose party is allied with Al-Abadi, is another matter. Al-Jaafari spent years living in London and has seemed to be pro-Western. Apparently the anti-American election rhetoric has an audience whereas pro-US or pro-Coalition rhetoric is seen as risky. This puts the Prime Minister, whose government has been saved by the West and is getting billions in aid, in a box. He loses votes if the anti-American rhetoric gets people to vote for the pro-Iran parties, but perhaps opposing that rhetoric in this climate could also lose votes. 

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Iraq’s President Fuad Masoum met on Friday with leaders of the Kurdish blocs to discuss the draft federal budget law. The Kurdish blocs have been protesting the reduction of the Kurdistan Region’s share of the proposed 2018 Iraqi federal budget. [Rudaw]

 

MP for the KDP in the CoR, Ashwaq Al-Jaf said “Because of the failure to implement the demands of the Kurds in the draft budget law, the heads of the Kurdish blocs in the Iraqi CoR are proposing to withdraw from the political process in full.” [BasNews]

 

A Kurdish security source said that after the federal government agreed to open the Kirkuk-Erbil road, the opening was delayed after Iraqi authorities set “impossible conditions” for reopening it. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

The Baghdad Operations Command announced the discovery of a rocket launcher and IEDs and the dismantling of another IED in different parts of Baghdad on Friday. [Baghdadia]

 

Security-related incidents reported

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

A security source said that one person was killed and two were wounded when an IED exploded near a popular market in the Al-Zaidan area of Abu Ghraib. [Rudaw]

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

A security source says that Anbar Police thwarted an attempt to target security forces in western Ramadi. A suicide bomber targeted the security forces with his car but the Police blew up the car before it reached its target. [Sumaria] 

 

Rutba

Daesh says it killed 11 Iraqi soldiers, wounded others, and destroyed 2 vehicles with 2 IEDs near the Jordan border on Thursday. [ICDNMar2]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

Daesh says it shot down an “American Army spying balloon” east of Tikrit. Daesh publishes photos of the balloon. [ICDNMar2]

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Friday, a member of the Diyala Provincial Council, Abdul Khaleq Medhat, announced approval of the return of 525 displaced families to their liberated areas in northeast Diyala. [Sumaria]

The Higher Committee for the Return of Diyala IDPs approved the return of more than 250 displaced families to the Jalawla area in northeast Diyala. [Sumaria]

 

Friday, Peshmerga and Asayesh forces clashed with a number of Daesh militants, or perhaps Al-Rayat Al-Beed, who tried to kidnap an Arab shepherd in Qushlan in Kifri District. A shepherd and 3 Peshmerga fighters were killed in the clashes. The battle lasted more than two hours. [Rudaw] [BasNews]

Former director of the Information Directorate Mohammed Fa’eq said that five Peshmerga fighters were wounded when a bomb in one of their cars exploded in Qushlan village. This explosion took place after the Peshmerga and Asayesh units clashed with Al-Rayat Al-Beed militants. [BasNews] 

 

Daesh says it damaged 2 PMF vehicles in an ambush on the road between Sadiya and Khanaqin on Thursday. [ICDNMar2]

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

PMF media says that the PMF destroyed a Daesh hideout and seized light weapons and RPG-7 launchers as well as food and medical supplies in Al-Asriya. [PressIraq] 

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh terrorists in 4 machine gun mounted vehicles attacked Kadhimiya village in Hawija. The source says PMF fighters stopped the attack, forcing Daesh to flee. Two PMF fighters were killed in the attack. 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

Daesh says it killed two PMF fighters, including a commander, in clashes near Bashir on Thursday. [ICDNMar2]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

A security source says that the Iraqi Federal Police and Counter Terrorism Service have intensified inspections in Mosul and surrounding areas. This comes after Daesh launched attacks on security forces in Makhmur and areas south of Mosul. [Baghdadia]

 

Friday, the Security Information Center confirmed that security units stopped an attempted attack on a security point in Badoush. Four Iraqi soldiers were killed in an attack and a search is ongoing for the gunmen, believed to be from Daesh. [BasNews]

Daesh gave its version of the Badoush incident. It says a group of its terrorists attacked the main checkpoint at the Badoush entrance with light weapons, killing six soldiers before returning safely. [ICDNMar2]

 

Ninewa Operations Commander Maj. Gen. Najm Al-Jubouri announced that a Coalition airstrike targeting 2 tunnels in Badoush killed 8 Daesh terrorists. Al-Jubouri announced that units from Ninewa Operations arrested 17 terrorists, including 2 Daesh leaders. [Mawsleya]

 

A Daesh Daily source says National Security Service units conducted a search in Hay Al-Zahra and Hay Al-Tahrir in east Mosul, after cutting off mobile network and internet connections in the two areas. The source says the units captured 12 Daesh terrorists including Saleh Ismail Al-Obeidi, the Daesh mufti of Qayara. 

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh leaders who are hiding in Turkey are sending money to the families of dead Daesh members in Mosul using the “hawala” system, through several local money exchange offices. The source says the money is being sent to women in Mosul, in order not to attract attention, and those women distribute the money by hand to Daesh families. The source says Daesh business contractors are also distributing money to Daesh families. 

DaeshDaily comment. Daesh had a chunk of government contracts way before 2014 in Mosul. Reportedly, no government contract was done without giving Daesh at least 20%. Contractors and government officials who didn’t comply with this were killed. 

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

A DaeshDaily source says a female teacher who used to teach Daesh propaganda to children in Tal Afar was nominated by a local political party for the coming CoR elections. The source says Daesh has several candidates running in Ninewa and other provinces.

DaeshDaily comment. There are thousands of Daesh members and supporters who are not in prison yet. Many people are afraid of reporting these operatives. It’s not strange that the operatives are still able to work freely.   

 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence announced on Friday that a vehicle bomb attack was thwarted and the vehicle seized in northeast Tal Afar District. [Sumaria] 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

On Thursday, two Peshmerga from the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (DPIK) were killed by a remote-controlled bomb attached to their vehicle in Bnaslawa subdistrict in Erbil. [Rudaw]

Friday, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan accused Iranian intelligence of masterminding the bombing. DPIK representative Saleh Qadri says “Iranian intelligence has long threatened the members and fighters of our party, killing and retaliating against them and their family members in order to intimidate them and force them to leave the party.” [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Turkish media reported the possibility that the US will transfer its forces from the airbase in Incirlik in Adana to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in light of the escalation of differences between Washington and Ankara. [BasNews]

 

Turkish media says Turkey sent troops to Gaziantep as reinforcements for Afrin. [Qasioun]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

East Ghouta

Thursday night, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump demanded that the Syrian government and its allies implement the Security Council resolution and abide by the ceasefire. [Anadolu]

 

The Director of UNICEF in the Middle East, Khairat Kabalari, says that the Syrian government will allow an aid convoy to enter East Ghouta, and that it will reach 180,000 people on Sunday. [Hawar]

 

Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that the military operations in East Ghouta are necessary, stressing that Russia will not hinder the Syrian government from fighting terrorists. Zakharova says the Russian Air Force will continue supporting the Syrian forces in East Ghouta in the fight against terrorists that continue to bomb Damascus and kill innocent people daily. [SyriaNow]

 

Chemical weapons

Director of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, warned that opposition militias are planning to use poisonous gas near the lines of contact with the Syrian forces in East Ghouta in an attempt to frame the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack. However, activists say this statement is a sign that the Syrian government has the intention to target the region with chemical weapons and is trying to cover itself in advance. [Dorar]

 

The US asked the UN Security Council to set up an international commission to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria. [EnabBaladi]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

SOHR reports that fighting between the Turkish forces and the Kurdish militias is concentrated around the subdistrict capital of Rajo in northwest Afrin. [SyriaHR]

 

Qasioun reports that Turkish-backed militias captured the villages of Mamali, Maskanli, Atamanli, and Tal Balilka in Rajo. [Qasioun]

 

Hawar reports that YPG fighters destroyed a Turkish military vehicle, killing 7 Turkish soldiers, in Rajo subdistrict. [Hawar] 

 

Hawar reports that YPG fighters thwarted an attack by the Turkish forces in Badina village in Rajo, and says they killed 30 members of the Turkish forces. 

Hawar reports strong clashes between the SDF and Turkish forces in Damliya village, close to Badina. [Hawar]

  

Syrian government media reported the killing and wounding of a number of members of the pro-government “Popular forces” militia in Shara subdistrict. [Qasioun]

The Turkish Army says 8 Turkish soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in clashes with the YPG in northern Afrin on Thursday. [Qasioun]

Turkey’s Defense Minister Noureddine Ganikli announced that 41 Turkish soldiers have been killed and 116 Turkey-allied fighters have been killed fighting for Operation Olive Branch. 
Ganikli reports that Operation Olive Branch has cleared 615 square kilometers 
previously held by the YPG, including 95 residential areas and 28 strategic locations. [Dorar]

 

According to Hawar, the Turkish Army targeted a civilian vehicle with a tank shell, killing 8 civilians and wounding 12 others in Jinderes subdistrict. 

 

Northeast

Raqqa

West Raqqa (Tabaqa, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source says two SDF fighters were killed and another severely wounded when a Daesh leftover land mine exploded on their vehicle on the road between Tabaqa and Raqqa. The source says EOD units defused 4 more land mines in the same area. 

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

SOHR reports that Tahrir Al-Sham attacked Noureddine Al-Zenki in western rural Aleppo and recovered at least 23 areas it had previously lost. [SyriaHR]

 

Hama

SOHR reports that the Syrian forces attacked Tahrir Al-Sham in northern Hama on Friday. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Qasioun reports that Coalition planes launched airstrikes on Syrian forces’ positions near Khasham town. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal

Between February 23 and March 1 the Coalition conducted 17 strikes in Albu Kamal. [CentCom]

 

SOHR reports violent clashes between the SDF and Daesh in Hajin town and Al-Sha’afa. [SyriaHR] 

Qasioun reports clashes between the SDF and Daesh in the Hajin desert. [Qasioun]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Coalition planes killed 6 Daesh terrorists in an airstrike on Hajin, including a commander from North Africa who had been in Iraq since 2007 and left for Syria later. 

 

Daesh says it targeted SDF positions northeast of Hajin with 5 mortars. [ICDNMar2]

 

Daesh issues a video of the results of “American” bombing on a hospital in Al-Sha’afa village. [ICDNMar2]

DaeshDaily comment. Daesh uses civilian establishments, especially hospitals, schools, and mosques, as military headquarters. This is part of its propaganda strategy. Chances are this was a Daesh headquarters.

 

Daesh published 2 photos of Friday prayer in Al-Susah town. [ICDNMar2]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Dorar reports that clashes are still ongoing between the Syrian forces and opposition militias in East Ghouta. [Dorar]

 

Anadolu reports that 23 civilians were killed in attacks by the Syrian forces on residential areas on Friday. [Anadolu]

 

Daraa/Quneitra

Daesh publishes photos of Friday prayers in Koayiah town, west of Daraa. [ICDNMar2]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

Daesh says it killed or wounded 7 Houthis by detonating an IED on their vehicle in the Al-Shaar area, in Ibb. [ICDNMar2]

Daesh A3maq says 8 Houthis were killed or wounded in the attack. [A3maq]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh says it destroyed an Egyptian Army M60 tank with an IED south of Arish on Thursday, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. [ICDNMar2]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Burkina Faso

Friday, according to a government minister, at least 7 people were killed and 6 gunmen “neutralized” in Burkina Faso’s capital after an armed attack on the national army headquarters and the French Embassy. [Anadolu]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior says that on Friday one civilian was killed and 14 wounded in a vehicle bomb attack on a convoy of foreign troops in Kabul. [Rudaw]

Note to readers:  This Saturday, March 3, 11am-2pm, Daesh Daily readers in the DC area will have an opportunity to meet Daesh Daily Co-Editor, Dr. Thomas Renahan. The event is the College Park Book Festival, at the College Park Community Center, 5051 Pierce Avenue, College Park, Maryland. His book on Iraq is described at the end of this report. 

 

March 1, 2018

 

East Ghouta

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

CoR requests s government timetable for departure of foreign troops. [..]

Fight over current-year budget still going in Baghdad. [..]

Citizen posse frees shepherds in northern Diyala. [..]

Much of central Mosul still unfit for human habitation. [..]

40 executed Christians found in Tal Afar mass grave. [..]

 

Syria

1,389 more Syrian civilians were killed in February. [..]

UN spokesman calls Russia’s 5-hour truce irrelevant to ceasefire resolution passed by UN. [..]

East Ghouta residents not trying to leave under Russia truce. [..]

Turkey-allied militias capture four small villages in NW Afrin. [..]

Coalition strikes Syrian government positions in Deir Ez-Zor again. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

At an international conference entitled “Mobilizing Law Enforcement Efforts to Defeat ISIS,” US Department of State Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Nathan Sales said that Daesh is adapting and evolving to the defeats it is suffering in Iraq and Syria, warning that Daesh’s transformation from a centralized organization to a decentralized organization makes it more widespread and more dangerous. Sales said “It’s important to understand and to emphasize that the fight is by no means over. It’s simply moving to a new phase. We’re moving from a predominantly military effort to an increasingly civilian and law enforcement effort.” [State] [Ikh]

 

Thursday, the CoR passed a resolution calling on the government to set a timetable for the departure of foreign troops from Iraq, referring to the International Coalition that provided support during the war against Daesh. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. This story should be evaluated in relation to the first story. The CoR was equally foolish several years ago, leading to a US withdrawal in 2011 that turned into a disaster for Iraq (and wasn’t good for the US either). If nothing else, the resolution highlights the desperate urgency of electing a lot of new legislators to the CoR.

 

Reconstruction

The CoR voted to consider Baaj District and its villages; Tal Abta and its villages in far southwest Mosul Subdistrict near the Tal Afar border; Ayadhiya in Tal Afar; and Al-Qa’im, Anah, and Rawa in Anbar as war-stricken areas. [Sumaria] 

 

2018 Budget

A time-urgent meeting was held among the Council of Ministers, Presidency Council, and CoR leaders on the 2018 budget, which ended without reaching an agreement. An Al-Abadi spokesman says the “three presidencies” decided to ask the CoR Finance Committee to resolve remaining differences and meet with them on Friday. [Rudaw]

 

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Thursday that further delaying the budget would be irresponsible and would seriously damage the interests of the public. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, Head of the Badr bloc in the CoR, Mohammed Naji, announced its opposition to the draft budget bill, because it does not include additional funding for danger pay for PMFs and regular armed forces. [Sumaria]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Minister of the Ministry of Oil Jabbar Al-Luaibi announced the Ministry’s readiness to resume pumping oil through the Kirkuk pipeline to the Turkish Ceyhan port as agreed to by with the KRG.[SotIraq]

 

A KRG delegation is visiting Najaf with the aim of strengthening relations and dispelling current differences. The delegation met with the President of the Shia Waqf Bureau, Ali Al-Musawi, and religious leader Ali Bashir Al-Najafi. PUK Spokesman Saadi Ahmed Bireh called on Najaf to continue to support the people of the Kurdistan Region as they have in the past. Bireh stressed that the KRG respects “the sanctity of the Marji’iya and holy shrines, notwithstanding the differences between the KRG and Baghdad. “[Rudaw]

Bireh added that the Shia leaders promised the KRG delegation to work to preserve their “brothers. He says the KRG delegation asked them to play a role in resolving differences between the KRG and Baghdad. [BasNews]

 

Head of the KRG Security Council Masrour Barzani met with a group of US Congressmen in Washington DC. Barzani says they discussed the partnership between the US and the Kurdistan Region and the need for Baghdad to implement its constitutional obligations to the Region. [SotIraq]

 

US Senator Ted Cruz said on Thursday “I am strongly supportive of a free and independent Kurdistan.” Cruz explained that the Kurds “have stood by America in times of need. They’ve stood by America at real cost, at real sacrifice.” Cruz continued, saying “I have attempted in my entire tenure in the Senate to speak out loudly for the Kurds,” he said. “And, I will continue speaking out.” [Kurdistan24] [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

A security source says one person was killed and four wounded in an IED explosion in the Al-Ma’alef area in southern Baghdad. [Ghad]

 

Southwest (Rasheed, etc.)

The Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) announced the seizure and dismantling of explosive devices and the arrest the arrest of 1 person on terrorism charges in southwestern Baghdad. [Ghad]

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

A security source says a roadside bomb killed a man in his vehicle in Abu Ghraib District. [Ghad] 

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:   2

 

ANBAR

Al-Qa’im

The Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced on Thursday that 618 displaced persons (119 families) returned to their place of residence in Al-Qa’im, returning from the Khaldiya and Kilo 18 camps farther east.[Baghdadia]

 

SALAHUDDIN (No reports)

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

The Diyala Criminal Court sentenced a convicted suicide terrorist to death. [Baghdadia]

DaeshDaily comment. He failed? So he is guilty of attempted murder. Tough judge!

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Commander of Diyala Operations, Lt. Gen. Mizhar Al-Azzawi, announced on Thursday the destruction of 2 Daesh hideouts and 3 vehicles belonging to Daesh in an airstrike near Lake Himrin. [Knooz]

 

Chairman of the Udhaim subdistrict council, Mohammed Dhifan Al-Obeidi, says two shepherds who had been abducted by Daesh were freed by a popular uprising organized to hunt down Daesh on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin. Al-Obeidi says the Daesh gunmen fled to nearby deep valleys and the shepherds were freed along with their flocks of sheep. Daesh has recently kidnapped several shepherds from the villages near the border between Diyala and Salahuddin. [Sumaria] 

 

A security source said that PMFs were exposed to a Daesh attack on Thursday in Al-Sadiya in Khanaqin District, northeastern Diyala. Preliminary information indicates 3 PMF members were wounded and 1 has disappeared. [Ghad]

 

Commander of Diyala Operations, Lt. Gen Mizhar Al-Azzawi, announced that an airstrike destroyed 2 big hidden trucks and 3 construction vehicles belonging to Daesh cells in northeastern Diyala.[Baghdadia]

 

KIRKUK

Thursday, CoR Security and Defense Committee member Iskander Watut accused the Peshmerga of destabilizing the security situation in Kirkuk Province. Watut said “the participation of the Peshmerga in the maintenance of security has contributed significantly to the instability of Kirkuk Province . . . and necessitated that the federal government intervene to preserve security and stability and impose its authority.” Watut went on to say that “remnant terrorist cells belonging to Daesh, in addition to other groups of influential political parties in Kirkuk, are working to conduct criminal acts in the province.”[Buratha]

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

Commander of Counter Terrorism Special Operations, Maan Al-Saadi, said that the Counter Terrorism Service is spread throughout Kirkuk city and at its entrances and they will crush all those who seek to undermine the security of Kirkuk” [Forat]

 

A DaeshDaily source says IFP units killed a 16-year-old Daesh suicide bomber in Tal Al-Ward village, 20 km (12.5 miles) southwest of Kirkuk. 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

The Security Information Center announced that an “attempted attack” on a security point in Badoush in far northwest Mosul was thwarted. [BaghdadToday]

However, a DaeshDaily source says a group of Daesh terrorists sneaked into the Badoush area and killed four Iraqi soldiers and took a vehicle, weapons, and ammunition before escaping to the west. The source says many Daesh terrorists are hiding in the hills west of Badoush. 

 

The Military Intelligence Directorate announced on Thursday the discovery and seizure of a cache of weapons and explosives in the Wadi Okab area of Mosul. The cache contained 12 explosive belts, 30 adhesive IEDs, 30 detonators, and 8 hand grenades among other things. [Baghdadia]

 

Baghdadia reports that 8 months have passed since the liberation of Mosul city but that war remnants left by Daesh are still in place, preventing the return of thousands of displaced people. Daesh hid weapons, ammunition and poisonous gas in residential neighborhoods to avoid airstrikes. Today, security forces have simply put red tape on doors and written “danger do not approach” on buildings containing war remnants in order to warn the population and have not done anything to clear the remnants. [Baghdadia]

 

Southern Ninewa

Makhmur

A security force said on Thursday that Federal Police repulsed a Daesh attack on a police station in Makhmur District southeast of Mosul city.[Baghdadia]

 

WesternNinewa

Tal Afar

A DaeshDaily source says PMFs found the dead bodies of 40 people in a mass grave in Abu Mariya village in Tal Afar city. The source says six of the victims were identified. They had been kidnapped from the Nineveh Plain when Daesh captured the area. 

A source in the Syriac Orthodox Church said the victims were church members. [Ghad]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

According to a Sumaria correspondent, two people were wounded on Thursday when a sticky IED exploded in Bnaslawa, east of Erbil city. [Sumaria] 

 

DAHUK

The Turkish Army said on Thursday that an airstrike killed 4 PKK members and destroyed a missile in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq. [PressIraq]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

Anadolu reports that the police arrested a married couple belonging to Daesh who were trying to infiltrate into Turkey from Syria in the border state of Sanliurfa. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Thursday, according to Russia Today, Assistant to the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Alexander Venediktov, said that the US has established as many as 20 military bases in Syria’s Kurdish-held territory. Furthermore, Venediktov accused the US of “boosting” the Kurds with advanced weaponry. [Dorar]

 

Casualty Count  

According to the Syrian Human Rights Network, 1,389 civilians were killed in the month of February. It reports that 1,073 of those civilians (77%) were killed by Syrian forces. [Qasioun]

 

SOHR reports that 2,595 people were killed in Syria in the month of February. SOHR reports that of that number, 1,391 (53.6%) were civilians (including 373 children and 218 women), 66% of whom were killed in East Ghouta. 

DaeshDaily comment. Based on these numbers, the death toll for East Ghouta, which would include deaths prior to the current wave of government attacks, is 918.

 

SOHR’s report breaks down the casualties as follows:

Civilian casualties

  • 669 killed by Syrian airstrikes 

  • 183 killed by Syrian government forces 

  • 4 killed under torture in Syrian detention centers

  • 122 killed in Russian airstrikes

  • 64 killed by Islamic militias 

  • 72 killed in Turkish attacks 

  • 2 killed by Turkish border guards (1 of which was a child)

  • 162 killed in Coalition airstrikes 

  • 2 killed by Daesh

  • 8 killed by vehicle bombs 

  • 20 killed by Tahrir Al-Sham

  • 8 killed by the SDF 

  • 27 killed in mine explosions 

  • 46 killed due to unknown circumstances

  • 2 civilians and 1 child died due to poor health conditions and a lack of necessary treatment. 

Combat casualties

  • 689 opposition fighters (including members of the SDF)

  • 105 Syrian soldiers 

  • 9 Lebanese Hezbollah fighters 

  • 142 pro-government fighters of Syrian nationality 

  • 61 pro-government foreign fighters 

  • 16 people of unknown allegiance 

  • 182 fighters from Islamic militias (including Daesh) SyriaHR]

A small number of deaths could not be attributed to specific circumstances

 

East Ghouta crisis

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the UN has “nothing to do” with the 5-hour truce declared by Russia on Monday in East Ghouta. Dujarric describes the 5-hour truce as “absolutely insufficient to carry out the humanitarian tasks for some 400,000 trapped people.” Dujarric stressed “what we want to see is the full implementation of the Security Council resolution adopted last Saturday.” [SyriaHR]

 

The Russian Ministry of Defense says that armed groups are continuing to bomb the humanitarian crossing in East Ghouta, despite this being the 3rd day of the truce. [SyriaNow]

 

On Wednesday Putin claimed that Russian forces evacuated a large group of civilians from the opposition-controlled East Ghouta region. Thursday, Vice President of the Syrian opposition’s “Interim Government,” Akram Tu’ma denied Putin’s claim, saying that not even one civilian has left East Ghouta since the Russian truce was announced. Tu’ma said “The people in Ghouta do not trust the Syrian government or the Russian guarantor, which have not stopped their bombing even with the agreement to reduce the alleged escalation.” Tu’ma stressed the steadfastness of the people in Ghouta to stay in their towns and cities. [Arabi21]

Spokesman for Turkey’s President, Ibrahim Kalin, said that Vladimir Putin’s comments on the evacuation of civilians from East Ghouta, mediated by Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan, were related to an evacuation a month ago. According to Kalin, the comments referred to the evacuation of 700 civilians, who were supposed to be taken to Turkey for treatment a month ago. Kalin says the Russians evacuated the 700 civilians but they were taken to an area south of Damascus rather than to Turkey. [Anadolu]

 

Thursday, Jaish Al-Islam spokesman, Hamza Berqad, said that Jaish Al-Islam carried out a counter-attack on the Syrian forces in the Hawsh Al-Dawahra area in Douma city in East Ghouta, killing 15 members of the Syrian forces, and capturing weapons and ammunition. [EnabBaladi] [Dorar]

 

Thursday, Berqad, said that dozens of members of the Syrian forces were accidentally killed by one of the Syria military’s own airstrikes, on Al-Zuraiqiya village in East Ghouta. [Dorar]

 

Thursday, SyriaNow reported that for the third day in a row, “terrorists” are banning civilians from leaving East Ghouta through the safe passage to a temporary residence in Al-Duwair in Homs, by the Lebanon border, in order to use them as human shields. [SyriaNow]

 

Northwest

Afrin

Thursday, Turkish-allied militias captured Sheikh Mohammedli village in Rajo following heavy fighting with the YPG. [Qasioun]

 

Turkey-allied militias also captured the villages of Kharab Saluq, Haidarah, and Ja’anka in Rajo District from the YPG. [Qasioun] [Dorar]  

 

According to Bas News, sources in Afrin say that clashes took place between Kurdish militias and the Turkish forces near the villages of Tal Balilka and Jala in Rajo. [BasNews]  

Thursday, the pro-YPG Hawar reported that there are ongoing clashes between the Turkish Army and its allied militias on one hand and the YPG on the other in Balilka village, in which a number of Turkish soldiers got killed. [Hawar] 

 

According to Bas News, sources in Afrin say that Kurdish units shot down a Turkish combat helicopter near Rajo. [BasNews]

 

Thursday, Hawar reported that there are ongoing fierce clashes between the Turkish Army and its allied militias on one hand and the YPG on the other in Ja’anka village in Rajo subdistrict and Bakhja village in Bulbul subdistrict. This comes in conjunction with the Turkish Army bombardment of Badina town in Rajo subdistrict, and Arnada village in Sheikh Al-Hadid subdistrict. [Hawar]

 

Thursday, ROJ News reported that the Turkish Army and its allied militias targeted a humanitarian aid convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Mermin village in Shara subdistrict in Afrin. [ROJ] 

 

The Turkish General Staff announced the start of the participation of Turkish special forces in Operation Olive Branch. According to Turkish security forces the units are currently on duty 24/7 and equipped with weapons and night-vision. [Qasioun]

 

Northeast (No reports)

 

Central and West 

Idlib

SOHR reports that Tahrir Al-Sham is continuing its attacks on Ahrar Al-Sham and Suqur Al-Sham in an attempt to win back areas it lost in the past few days in Idlib. [SyriaHR]

 

Thursday, EnabBaladi reported that following clashes with the Syrian Liberation Front, Tahrir Al-Sham has recaptured Maarrat Masrin city (Idlib District); Kafr Lusin town and its border crossing with Turkey (Harem subdistrict in northwest Idlib); Kafr Yahmul town (western Afrin District), and Tarmanin and Telada villages (in rural western Aleppo), as well as Aqrabat town (Harem subdistrict, NW Idlib) and Deir Hassan village (Harem). A number of Ahrar Al-Sham members were reportedly arrested.  [EnabBaladi]

 

Syrian opposition members had observed that Tahrir Al-Sham seems to be “evaporating” from large parts of Syria the same way Daesh quickly disappeared from Deir Ez-Zor, Raqqa, and elsewhere. Tahrir Al-Sham withdrew from northern Hama and southern Idlib without confrontations with the Liberation Front of Syria (Ahrar Al-Sham and Noureddine Al-Zenki). [ZamanAlWasl]

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Thursday, Dorar reported that Coalition aircraft carried out several airstrikes on the Syria forces’ positions in Hatla and Marat towns in eastern Deir Ez-Zor District. Meanwhile, a number of SDF members were killed in a Daesh counter-attack in the Hajin desert in Albu Kamal. [Dorar]

 

Albu Kamal

A DaeshDaily source says the Syrian Army arrested 20 Daesh suspects who were returning to Albu Kamal. The source says the suspects were identified by local civilians who accompany Syrian Army intelligence units. 

 

Daesh publishes photos of its offices’ activities in the Albu Kamal areas. The few photos show zakat, hisbah, PR, and police activities. [ICDNMar3]

DaeshDaily comment. This was the only Daesh report today. A3maq published one report but it was a story Daesh reported yesterday about destroying an Egyptian Army tank in Egypt. 

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

SOHR reports that Daesh executed a man in the Yarmouk Camp for being a Tahrir Al-Sham spy. [SyriaHR]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya

Head of the Libyan Prosecutor General’s Office revealed pictures showing that Daesh has established an army in the Libyan desert led by Libyan national Al-Mahdi Salim Denqu, nicknamed Abu Barakat. The source says the Daesh army was established after the liberation of Sirte. According to the source, most of the fighters are foreign, mostly coming from Sudan.[Sumaria]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 121st issue of its Naba’ magazine. In this issue, Daesh republishes reports about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. Daesh says that Al-Qaeda, Tahrir Al-Sham specifically, failed because it sought popular support. From Daesh’s standpoint, seeking popular support is not a religious duty, and it weakens the “mujahedin.” [ICDNMar3]