An Update On ISIS Activities

December 12, 2017

 

West Anbar 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Military source says Daesh pockets in desert have not been removed. [..]

Daesh cells in rural Abu Saida, Diyala causing serious concern. [..]

British PM tells KRG it needs to reform. [..]

 

Syria

Iraqi military denies report of border coordination deal with SDF. [..]

Guterres takes issue with maneuverings of Iran’s General Soleimani. [..]

White House reiterates US has no plans to withdraw militarily from Syria. [..]

Daesh counter-attacks take ground from Syrian Army in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

Tuesday, an unnamed security source said that Daesh is still present in remote areas of the western desert, and despite Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s declaration of victory over Daesh, only the cities and towns have been liberated. The source added that Daesh will begin using the “traditional fighting methods” it used against Iraqi forces before taking over Iraqi towns and cities. The source said the government is still failing to reinforce the intelligence apparatus because it is enlisting and giving sensitive tasks to unqualified units. [IKH]

 

At a celebration in Najaf Province on Tuesday, commander of the PMF’s 11th brigade, Ali Al-Hamadani revealed that the remaining Daesh pockets will be cleared in the upcoming days. Al-Hamadani credited the Shia religious leadership’s fatwa and the PMF for the Iraqi victory over Daesh. [Mawazin] 

 

Baghdadia reported that according to Iraqi officials, the war on corruption will be pursued in part by opening Iraq’s real estate and officials’ offshore bank account cases, especially in Lebanon, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, UK, Greece, and Latin America, where investigations indicate that over 400 bank accounts were opened by Iraqi officials in past years. 

According to Baghdadia, a minister in the Iraqi government said that Iraq will regain stability if the government succeeds in “six battles” following the liberation from Daesh. The most critical battle is reaching Daesh’s cells and pockets, a reference to the 2,000-3,000 Iraqi fighters who are not in any government database. The minister expects that in the next two years, there will be armed attacks, suicide attacks with rigged cars and suicide belts, and IED attacks and explosions, some with the goal to fuel sectarian strife. 

The second battle, according to said minister, is returning the approximately 3 million IDPs to their homes, including 1 million whose cities are under PMF control. The other four battles are: reconstructing the destroyed cities; achieving a state monopoly on the use of arms, and stopping the militarization of Iraqi society; resolving the Kurdistan referendum’s aftermath, and the federal government’s imposed authority over border crossings and airports; as well as combating corruption. [Baghdadia]

 

Tuesday, Saraya Al-Salam official spokesman Safaa Al-Tamimi announced that the arms used by Saraya in the war on Daesh are state arms, and they will be returned to the state, based on orders from leader Muqtada Al-Sadr. [Sumaria]

 

International voices

Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron commended Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in front of the heads of international delegations at the Climate Conference, calling for recognition of him as a “world leader.” [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. This was more than political flattery. The years of media cynicism about government in Iraq obscures something really significant. Al-Abadi’s leadership has been outstanding and was critical to Iraq’s success against Daesh. 

 

Tuesday, the EU congratulated the Iraqi government for achieving victory over Daesh, reiterating the EU’s continued support to the Iraqi people and government in reforms and reconciliation in order to abolish extremism and terrorism. [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub announced that Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari is heading the Iraqi delegation participating in the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul. This is part of Ankara’s response to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. [Sumaria]

 

Reconstruction

In a meeting with Italy’s Ambassador to Iraq on Tuesday, CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri emphasized that after defeating Daesh, Iraq is approaching a new phasereconstructing areas destroyed due to military operations and returning IDPs to their home areas based on specific plans and set timelines. He urged  continued international support to speed up these efforts and achieve security and stability in liberated regions. Al-Jubouri said that the Iraqi people need the international community’s humanitarian support, noting that he values Italy’s support for Iraq and its role in the Coalition. [Ghad]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

At an EU foreign ministers meeting held in Brussels on Monday, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said that the EU’s policy is to normalize the relations between Baghdad and Erbil. She said the EU is “working to restore the relations and coordination between Baghdad and Erbil back to normal so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past,” adding that “the Iraqis have made great strides in defeating an extremist organization, and the policy of the European Union is to provide assistance to Iraq in the coming months so that it can overcome the sensitive stage it is going through.” [BasNews]

 

Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, who commanded the Ninewa Liberation Campaign, commended the PMF’s role in liberating Iraq, noting that the PMF was the first to fight Daesh when Mosul fell under their control, and that the PMF has been the first and essential supporter to the Iraqi forces throughout the past 3 years. He added that “after all the efforts and sacrifices made by the PMF, we simply absolutely cannot say to them “thank you, go back”,” adding that “the PMF are the fourth and important and essential force in defending Iraq.” Yarallah commended the “historical fatwa” of the religious leadership, “without whom we would not have reached this level, while some countries thought defeating Daesh would take 10 years.” [Qurtas]

 

Election

Monday, the Iraqi Forces Alliance emphasized the importance of fostering a suitable environment to hold the elections on time by returning displaced people to their cities. The alliance called for the withdrawal of “unofficial forces” from the cities and handing them over to local security forces. [Sumaria]

 

Dawa party leader Nouri Al-Maliki warned of a plan sponsored by takfiri regimes to alter the political map in Iraq and strike at the society’s unity and relative political stability. [Rudaw]

 

Tuesday, PUK member Razzaq Al-Haideri responded to Vice President Osama Al-Nujaifi’s statement saying the Sunni component in Iraq paid the price of the Shia politicians’ alliances with the Kurds, adding that some Sunni figures and parties abandoned the “national project,” and that it was Al-Nujaifi who led this “campaign” in the previous administration. [BaghdadToday]

 

Tuesday, CoR member Joseph Slewa described corruption as being a “covert Daesh” prevalent among state institutions and parties, and political leaders and their families, adding that it is more dangerous than Daesh. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. We have to put in consideration that Mr. Slewa is an Erbil resident. This statement is part of the ongoing struggle between the central government and the KRG. 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Northwest (Kadhimiya, etc.)

The BOC reported that security units arrested a suspect on charges of fraud in the Hurriya area in the Kadhimiya District. [BOC Facebook Page] 

 

East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

Tuesday evening, a police source reported that six people were wounded in an IED explosion near a café in the old Diyala Bridge area. [Sumaria] 

 

Southeast (Mada’in, etc.)

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

The BOC reported that IEDs left behind by Daesh were seized and defused in the Al-Abed area in south Baghdad. [BOC Facebook Page] 

 

Southwest (Rasheed, etc.)

The BOC reported that IEDs left behind by Daesh were seized and defused in the Al-Shurtan area. [BOC Facebook Page] 

 

West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Monday, Supreme Judicial Council spokesman, Abdulsattar Bairaqdar, announced that 4 terrorists were sentenced to death for carrying out terrorist operations in Baghdad, including a vehicle bomb in  a rigged vehicle in the Yarmouk neighborhood in May 2015. [Ghad] 

 

Tuesday, as a headsup to citizens, the BOC announced that it will be destroying Daesh remnants in western Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:   6(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:   3

 

ANBAR

Falluja

Tuesday, the Baghdad Security and Intelligence Directorate announced discovery of a depot containing 13 gallons of explosive substances, 4 rocket launchers, and 25 explosive devices in the Saqlawiya area in northeast Falluja. [Ghad] 

 

Hit/Haditha

Daesh says it detonated IEDs on 2 police vehicles in different areas of Hit on Sunday, killing five policemen and wounding three. [ICDNDec12]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Tuesday, in an operation to hunt down 4 wanted terrorists hiding in a guesthouse on a Tigris River island, the Military Intelligence Services and PMFs clashed with and killed 3 of them, while the fourth one detonated the suicide belt he was wearing on the eastern bank of Shirqat. [Baghdadia] 

 

Tikrit

Tuesday, Diyala PC Security Council member Abdul Khaleq Al-Azzawi announced that a joint security unit from the tribal PMF foiled an attempted Daesh infiltration of Albu Eissa village on the Diyala-Salahuddin border. Al-Azzawi added that some Daesh members were hunted down, while others escaped towards Mtaibija. [Sumaria] 

 

Daesh said it detonated a parked car bomb on the Al-Atiba’ (Doctors) Street in Tikrit city on Saturday, killing six policemen and damaging their vehicle. [ICDNDec12]

The IWMC said on Saturday that the car bomb killed a civilian guard. [Mawazin] 

 

Tuesday, the Military Intelligence Services announced the arrest of a terrorist at the Al-Aqwas checkpoint at Tikrit’s northern entrance while hunting down sleeper cells and Daesh remnants. [Sumaria] [Ghad] 

 

Samarra

Daesh says it destroyed a vehicle carrying “PMF members” with an IED in the Jalam Al-Daur area, northeast of Samarra. [ICDNDec12]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Tuesday, a Turkmen CoR representative, Jassem Mohammed Jaafar, revealed that 5 mortar shells were dropped on Tuz Khurmatu, one of which struck a high school. According to Jaafar, the mortar shells killed 2 people, wounded 20 others, and caused damage to civilian houses. Jaafar added that the Tuz Khurmatu residents were expected to organize a protest demanding that Prime Minister Al-Abadi send troops to secure the areas behind the mountain to prevent such incidents from recurring. [Sumaria] 

A version of the story from a source in Tuz Khurmatu says the PMF declared a state of emergency in the district after being hit by 5 mortar shells fired at the PMF headquarters by a Kurdish volunteer group. The shelling resulted in the death of one member of the PMF and the wounding of four others. [ROJ]

 

Tuesday, a security source reported that 3 tribal PMF members were abducted by an unknown group while leaving Tuz Khurmatu towards Daquq. Security units carried out searches, freed the abductees, and arrested the assailants. [Baghdadia] 

 

Tuesday, in receiving the leader of the Turkmen Front, Arshad Al-Salehi, President Fuad Masoum requested additional efforts to bring security and stability to Tuz Khurmatu. The two discussed security and political issues in addition to normalizing the situation in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu, as well as the upcoming elections. [Rudaw]

 

DIYALA

Muqdadiya/Abu Saida/Central Diyala

Tuesday, Abu Saida Security Committee Chairman Awwad Al-Rabi’i announced that a woman was killed by Daesh gunshots in the farm area  just outside Makhisa village. Al-Rabi’i added that there are still Daesh assailants present in the farm area surrounding Makhisa. [Sumaria] 

 

Abu Saida subdistrict manager Mohammed Al-Tamimi revealed that an armed cell in Abu Saida has been undertaking terrorist activity similar to Daesh’s methods to destabilize the district. He explained that the cell carries out various criminal activities, most notably threatening to kill several individuals, including himself, as well as firing mortar shells. He added that the cell has targeted 7 civilian houses with hand grenades, carried out 3 attempted assassinations, in addition to other activity intended to drive out a “certain category” of citizens. He added that some members of the cell are enlisted in a security entity which backs them with arms. He called for urgent intervention by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Ministry of Interior Qassem Al-Aaraji. [Ghad] 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A Kirkuk official in Altun Kupri, Kamal Kirkuki, revealed that as of Sunday, Iraqi forces and PMF militias have mobilized additional forces in several areas, and that they have set up 3 cameras to monitor the water tank in Altun Kupri’s town center, adding that the Peshmerga forces are ready to face all possibilities. [BasNews]

 

NINEWA

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

Tuesday, a security source reported that two policemen were wounded in an IED explosion that targeted an Iraqi Federal Police (IFP) vehicle in Al-Hinka village in Zummar. [Baghdadia] 

 

Tuesday, Commander Ahmed Al-Abidi of the Ninewa Police Command announced that the IFP in Ninewa arrested the wives of 3 prominent Daesh leaders (Ahmed Hamdoun, wali of Mosul; Finance Minister Khaled Kokjali, and “Abu Jahl,” head of assassinations). The arrests took place at a police checkpoint in Al-Ayadhiya in Tal Afar, where the women tried to pass using forged documents. The terrorists were reportedly using forged identification documents. [Etejah]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Wasit

Tuesday, head of the Wasit Police Command press, Salah Al-Rabi’i announced the arrest of a dangerous suspect who was planning to carry out terrorist acts in the province. [Ghad] 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

In a phone call on Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated to the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani the UK’s respect for Iraqi unity, calling on the KRG to undergo political, economic, and security reforms. [Sumaria]

By another account, British Prime Minister Theresa May called KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and reiterated the UK’s stance on the Kurdistan referendum and its support for Iraqi unity. May also welcomed Barzani’s respect of the Federal Court’s decision, emphasizing that the UK will continue seeking to protect the identity and the rights of the Kurdish people in accordance with the Iraqi constitution. [Rudaw]

 

Monday, KRG Representative to the UK, Karwan Jamal Tahir, criticized some new politicians and a number of Kurdish CoR members “who only speak up on KRG mistakes, but exercise silence when it comes to the federal government’s inhumane and unconstitutional stances and conduct, thereby legitimizing the hostile steps taking by the Iraqi-majority government vis-à-vis the Kurdistan Region and its citizens.” Tahir attributed their imbalanced criticism to their lack of understanding of the depth of the Kurdish cause with Iraq, or their intent to marginalize the cause. [SotIraq]

 

Tuesday, 436 German Parliament members voted in favor of extending the German Army’s training of the Peshmerga forces in the Kurdistan Region and allocating 6.9 million euros for this purpose, while 226 voted against the extension, and 10 members abstained. [Rudaw]

 

Head of the KRG office for Kurdish Regions Outside the KRG’s Borders, Nasreddin Sindi, said on Tuesday that “the KRG is preparing to hold a dialogue with Baghdad on all outstanding issues between the two sides.” Sindi stressed the need to address the conditions of “areas outside of the administration of the Region” covered by article 140, saying that “addressing the conditions of these areas according to the constitution will contribute to stability and prosperity.” [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

The agency responsible for the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing in the French Interior Ministry announced it had identified 150200 secret agents working out of Turkey and Lebanon to finance Daesh. Turkish newspaper Yurt revealed earlier this December that Daesh is operating in Turkey under the guise of humanitarian relief organizations. [SyriaNow]

 

According to Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, the Turkish attack on Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan is nearing, as the Russian forces retreat from Syria. [BasNews]

 

Turkish media reported from an informed source that Turkey will hold a meeting of its military leaders with military leaders from NATO, US, and Iraq. Attending the meeting will be Commander of European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, US Central Commander Joseph Votel, Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, and Iraqi Chief of Staff Othman Al-Ghanmi. [BasNews]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The Iraqi military denied yesterday’s report that Iraq had developed a coordination arrangement with the SDF hours after the SDF announced such coordination within a joint center. Spokesman for Operations Commander Yahya Rasul said that there is absolutely no agreement with the SDF to establish a center for joint coordination between Iraqi forces and the SDF. [EnabBaladi]

 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres criticized the movements of Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who has been traveling freely between Iraq and Syria. Guterres says Soleimani has violated international law despite travel bans imposed by UN resolutions. Washington classified the Quds Force as a terrorist group in 2007 followed by the EU in 2011, and these decisions prohibits its leaders from traveling. [EnabBaladi]

 

According to Tasnim News Agency, 3 fighters from the Fatemiyoun brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were killed in clashes in Syria; one was buried in Mashhad and two others will be buried in Isfahan on Thursday. [Rudaw]

 

The Russian Defense Ministry announced the arrival of 200 Russian troops from Syria to the Russian Republic of Dagestan as part of Russia’s withdrawal from Syria. [Qasioun]

 

Russia’s Fontanka News reports there are about 3,000 Russian fighters contracted with the “Wagner” company who have been fighting alongside the Syrian and Russian forces in Syria since 2015. It is not clear whether the withdrawal of Russian troops will include the withdrawal of the privately contracted Russian fighters. [EnabBaladi]

 

UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Syrian opposition delegation at the 8th Geneva talks to be “realistic,” considering that they no longer have international support and that the results of the Geneva talks are replaceable by the Sochi conference. [EnabBaladi] [Anadolu]

 

Tuesday, PMF deputy commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis confirmed that fighting against Daesh units is ongoing on the Iraq-Syria border. He reported that the Iraqi forces and joint forces will respond strongly in coordination with Damascus. According to Al-Muhandis, 60% of the border is under PMF control, and the remaining 40% is controlled by joint Iraqi forces. He added that Daesh has no military presence within Iraq, but it has military presence in Syria, and some posts near the border pose a threat to Iraq. [Youm7]

 

Monday, the White House announced that Washington does not intend to withdraw its troops from Syria, despite Moscow’s decision to withdraw its troops from Syria. “The US will continue to make progress … and secure all that it can to defeat Daesh on all fronts and, of course, to protect Americans’ lives,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. Sanders also stressed that the US forces will continue their operations against Daesh in order to prevent the revival of Daesh in Syria. Pentagon spokesman, Eric Pahon, announced earlier Monday that the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to start withdrawing Russian troops from Syria will not affect the actions and priorities of Washington in Syria. [Qasioun]

 

In an interview with the Turkish NTV channel on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Russia’s decision to withdraw from Syria was “unrealistic,” explaining that “Russia already has two military bases in Syria, not to mention the deployment of its troops in many areas there.” [Dorar]

 

Monday, Tahrir Al-Sham released Sami Al-Aridi, the Jordanian former Al-Qaeda commander and leader of the Nusra Front.  [Qasioun]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Raqqa

West Raqqa (Tabaqa, etc.)

According to private sources, the SDF has opened “Self-Defense Centers” for a compulsory draft in Tabaqa. The SDF claims that enrolling in these centers is a duty of the people of the city. [EnabBaladi]

 

Northwest

Aleppo/Idlib

Ahrar Al-Sham, operating in rural northern Aleppo, executed 4 Daesh leaders after detaining them as they entered Raqqa. [EnabBaladi]

 

Afrin/Azaz

Tuesday, Hawar News reported that the Turkish Army reinforced 20 trenches on the outskirts of the Bulbul area of the Rajo subdistrict in rural Afrin, while continuing to build watchtowers. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Activists say that it is no coincidence that the Syrian forces offensive operations in Hama coincided with Daesh’s offensives in Hama, speculating that the 2 parties may be working together. Daesh and the Syrian forces both began offensive operations in eastern Hama at the same time, splitting the anti-government Syrian opposition forces. Daesh as well as the Syrian forces have reached the Idlib border,  the last province in northern Syria remaining in the hands of the Syrian opposition, namely Tahrir Al-Sham. [Arabi21]

 

Monday, Tahrir Al-Sham said it foiled a Syrian forces’ attempt to infiltrate Hama’s northeastern village of Al- Zaferiya, killing 9 members of the Syrian forces.  [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Monday, Daesh’s Mu’tah news agency said that an Afghani commander in the Al-Fatemiyoun Brigade was killed, along with another Syrian forces commander, during the ongoing battles between the Syrian forces and Daesh in rural eastern Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army tank and an SUV carrying soldiers with 2 rockets near Al-Hashma village. [ICDNDec12]

 

Mayadin

Clashes continue between the SDF and Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor. The SDF managed to capture Suwaidan Jazeera east of the Euphrates River. [SyriaHR]

Tuesday, Hawar News reported that the SDF captured Suwaidan town after 12 days of fighting with Daesh, killing 273 Daesh members and seizing 4 vehicles loaded with weapons, 4 military vehicles, 5 mortars, a car bomb, and a motorcycle. [Hawar]

Monday, Daesh’s A3maq news agency reported that Daesh killed 7 SDF members with 2 IEDs and 5 others during the clashes near Suwaidan. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal

Clashes continue between the Syrian forces and Daesh on the west bank of the Euphrates River. [SyriaHR]

 

Qasioun reports that Daesh regained control of several villages and part of the Hamdan Agricultural Airport from the Syrian forces in western rural Albu Kamal. [Qasioun]

 

Tuesday, Daesh’s A3maq news agency reported that Daesh captured Albu Kamal’s northwestern villages of Al-Tuwaitha, Al-Abbas, and Al-Majawda, as well as the Al-Salihiya town, in an attempt to lift the siege on its last enclave in the region. [EnabBaladi]

 

Monday, Daesh’s A3maq news agency reported that Daesh had launched a large-scale attack on the Syrian forces’ positions west of Albu Kamal near the Second Station (T2), targeting one of them with a car bomb, killing and wounding a number of the Syrian forces. Meanwhile, pro-Syrian government sources said that more than 20 members of the Syrian forces were killed during clashes with Daesh near the Second (pumping) Station (T2). [Qasioun]

 

Daesh says it captured Al-Salihiya and Al-Wala’ towns in addition to 4 villages near Albu Kamal, killing 41 Syrian soldiers and Shia militiamen, and capturing 3 others. It says the attack is still ongoing. [ICDNDec12]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh executed a Syrian Army captain it captured in Al-Salihiya. The source says government forces surrounded the town from 4 sides and refused a Daesh offer to break the siege in exchange for releasing the captain. 

 

Daesh says it shot down a Syrian Army recon drone in Al-Susah, near Albu Kamal. [ICDNDec12]

DaeshDaily comment. All these stories add up to the difficulties encountered by the Syrian Army and its allies in trying to close Daesh out in Albu Kamal. Syria and Russia rushed into Albu Kamal prematurely, for political reasons, to prevent the SDF from taking Albu Kamal first. Even with the help of Iran’s General Soleimani, Iranian militiamen, and Iraqi PMFs, however, they have struggled and have lost a lot of men. Having rushed into the situation for self-serving reasons, they now own it. 

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

A SANA correspondent reported that the Syrian forces inflicted heavy losses on the Nusra Front in southwestern rural Damascus. [SyriaNow]

 

An official source says 11 Daesh members left their main stronghold in southern Damascus and left the region, with facilitation by the Syrian forces. The source says the 11 Daesh members, carrying light weapons, emerged from the stronghold, and the Syrian forces accompanied them towards a checkpoint. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Monday, Qasioun reported that 15 members of the Syrian forces were killed and wounded during an attempt to advance to the outskirts of Mazra’at Bait Jinn town southwest of Damascus.  [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya/Tunisia

Tunisian National Security units arrested a takfiri member in western Gabes in Tunisia. [Tunisien]

 

At the forum on combating terrorism on the African continent held on Tuesday in Oran, Algeria, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel warned that according to security reports, Daesh members leaving Syria and Iraq are already moving toward Libya and the African Sahel region. [Shafaaq]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

Friday, US federal agents arrested an 18-year old man in Houston on terrorism charges. According to the investigation, Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya had previously planned to travel to Syria to fight alongside Daesh but failed. [AlHurra]

 

According to the New York Times and other US media outlets, the Bangladeshi immigrant who detonated an IED in an underground passageway near Times Square on Monday told investigators he wanted to carry out an attack in the name of Daesh. While the NYPD did not confirm this, New York Governor Cuomo said that the suspect appears to have been influenced by extremist groups. [AlArabiya]

 

Great Britain

Tuesday, The Times published an article written by Melanie Phillips titled “It’s right to use lethal force against jihadis” arguing that sometimes killing terrorists is the only way to protect innocent civilians. This came in the midst of the controversy sparked by Defence Minister Gavin Williamson’s statement “that Britons who have fought for Islamic State abroad were rightly being hunted down and killed to ensure they never returned to Britain from Libya, Iraq or Syria, the breeding grounds for plotting attacks in the UK.” Phillips quoted Williamson saying “dead terrorists can’t cause any harm to Britain.” [Times] [Sumaria]

 

Belgium

Brussels-based Patriarch Benyamin I Aboud of the Unity Church said that the problems facing Iraqi Christians have not ended despite the elimination of Daesh from Iraq. He criticized the CoR’s laws which “are no different from Daesh resolutions, such as allowing the marriage of minors, warning of future implications. He added that there will be no true victory if the persecutions of Christians all over Iraq is not addressed. [Shafaaq]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Tuesday, Afghanistan Defense Ministry spokesman, General Dawlat Waziri, told Agence FrancePresse that the Afghan forces are preparing to carry out a large-scale attack against Daesh foreign fighters in northern Afghanistan. [Xendan]

 

Daesh says it killed 5 Taliban fighters and wounded 13 others, including a commander, in clashes in two different areas in Nangarhar on Monday. [ICDNDec12]

December 11, 2017

 

Iraqi Forces in West Anbar (CJTFOIR)

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi declares victory over Daesh in nationwide address. [..]

Ambassador Silliman says US seeks to curtail Iranian influence in Iraq. [..]

Iraqi Army, SDF will coordinate on protection of Iraq-Syria border. [..]

Iraqi units, Peshmerga clash in Kirkuk village. [..]

Estimated 1,000 Daesh fighters still hiding out in Hawija area. [..]

Turkish planes attack two PKK locations in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. [..]

 

Syria

Putin pays a surprise visit; announces most Russian troops will be withdrawn . . . but Pentagon says not to take that seriously. [..]

Syria delegation returns to Geneva talks after nine-day boycott. [..]

Russia, Syrian Army in intense efforts to recover villages in southern Aleppo, Idlib. [..]

 

Egypt

Putin visits Egypt; promises military support for anti-terrorism efforts. [..]

United States

Bangladeshi immigrant fails his Daesh mission to bomb NYC transportation hub. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh in an address to the nation aired on Iraqi state television Saturday evening, announcing the end of more than three years of fighting to regain control over nearly one-third of the country that had been under the terrorist group’s dominion. “Honorable Iraqis, your land has been completely liberated,” he said. “The liberation dream has become a reality. We achieved victory in difficult circumstances and with God’s help, the steadfastness of our people, and the bravery of our heroic forces we prevailed.”[NYTimes] [Reuters]

The Operations Command of the Jazeera and Upper Euphrates Operation announced Iraq’s complete liberation from Daesh on Saturday. [IraqPress]

 

Sunday, Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) Lt. Gen. Paul Funk congratulated the Iraqi government. [InherentResolve]

 

Monday, Sumaria published an infographic summarizing the war on Daesh which started on June 9, 2014, when Daesh had occupied one third of Iraqi land, and was declared over by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi on December 9. According to the infographic, 1,000,000 combatants participated in the war; 36,000 died; and 4,000,000 million Iraqis were displaced. Iraq’s financial cost is estimated at 100 billion USD. 360,000 Daesh social media accounts were shut down. 

Kuwait is set to host a donor conference on rebuilding Iraq on February 12-14, 2018. [Sumaria]

 

The Coalition Media Center announced the formation of a joint center to coordinate Iraqi Army and SDF efforts to protect the border between Syria and Iraq adjacent to Deir Ez-Zor Governorate. [Sumaria]

 

A source in the MoI said that the number of Daesh detainees from Arab and foreign nationalities is over 400, including 51 from Saudi Arabia, who mostly entered from the Syrian border. A CoR member said that their legal status is non-negotiable because they are involved in crimes against Iraqis. [AlAlaraby]

 

Monday, Secretary General of the Islamic Movement in Iraq, PMF Commander, and CoR Representative Ahmed Al-Asadi said that ideological confrontation is inevitable, as Daesh is ideology-based, as was Al-Qaeda. [Qurtas]

 

Saturday, 16 Daesh members were killed in Iraqi airstrikes on the Iraqi-Syrian border, according to the Iraq War Media Cell. [Sumaria]

 

Post-Daesh transition

Iraq Interior Minister Qasim Al-Araji said that the task of his forces in the next phase in Iraq is to “prosecute and eliminate illegal gangs and to work to limit Daesh’s weapons.” Al-Araji did not explicitly specify which parties will be involved. His statement comes amid rising demands that the PMFs, who fought alongside the Iraqi government forces, should disarm after Daesh is eliminated. [Anadolu]

 

In a televised speech on Sunday, Muqtada Al Sadr put forth a number of demands on the government before transforming Saraya Al-Salam into a humanitarian, civil, or service organization. Among the demands is that the government continue to support the families of the martyrs in honor of their sacrifices. He also emphasized the importance of integrating some Saraya Al-Salam units into the Iraqi Army or other security forces, while the Saraya Al-Salam units in Samarra (guarding Shia shrines) remain until further notice. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri received an EU delegation headed by Ramon Blecua, the EU Ambassador to Iraq. They discussed the political and security developments in the country, in addition to the economy, and the ways to support Iraq. Al-Jubouri reiterated that the war on Daesh has ended and that Iraq is entering a new phase of rebuilding liberated cities and returning IDPs to their homes. The EU delegation reiterated the EU countries’ support for Iraq. [Qurtas]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s Saturday speech announcing the end of the war on Daesh was met with a flood of criticism by KRG officials and prominent figures for not mentioning the Peshmerga forces. In his speech on Sunday, Al-Abadi congratulated the Peshmerga forces in addition to the rest of the armed Iraqi forces. [BasNews]

 

US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman said on Monday that the US is looking to curtail Iranian influence in Iraq and help the central government resolve its differences with the Kurdistan Region. On the topic of Iran, Silliman said “Iran simply does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors.” [BasNews]

 

Iraqi President Fuad Masoum and his Vice President Ayad Allawi called for a start to a comprehensive dialogue between the federal government and the KRG with a view of reaching agreements and procedures to achieve a solution to all outstanding problems. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, Iraqi Vice President Osama Al-Nujaifi called for “a frank and comprehensive dialogue between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region to discuss the problems, obstacles, and abuses that took place in the previous stage in order to reach final solutions under the constitution.” [BasNews]

 

Paris climate conference

Monday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and an Iraqi government delegation went to Paris to attend the Paris Climate Meeting. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Center (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

Monday, the IFP intelligence arrested two Daesh members in Al-Rusafa in Baghdad, according to a statement by MoI spokesman Saad Ma’en. He added that after interrogations, a guesthouse containing rifles and two IEDs was seized. [IraqPress]

 

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

Monday, the BOC announced that security units searched Albu Shallal and another area in north Baghdad, where they found an RBG7 projectile, ammunition, stun grenades, and 1 kg of TNT left behind by Daesh. [PressIraq] [BOC Facebook Page] 

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Monday, the BOC announced that security units found 18 mortar shells, a projectile, and explosive substances in a search in the Al-Fahaheel and Umm Al-Jeer areas in south Baghdad. Several suspects were arrested on various charges. [PressIraq] [BOC Facebook Page] 

 

Southwest (Rasheed, etc.)

Saturday, a civilian was killed in when a roadside IED exploded under his vehicle in the Al-Jihad neighborhood in southwest Baghdad, according to a police source. [Sumaria]

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:   3

 

ANBAR

The MoD reported that a 1 km stretch of road was cleared, and 22 IEDs were defused in Anbar. [MoD Website] 

 

Falluja

Monday, the BOC announced that security units searched the Halabsa area southwest of Falluja city, where they defused 7 IEDs and found a gallon of C4 and other ammunition. Several suspects were also arrested on various charges. [PressIraq] [BOC Facebook Page]

 

Ramadi

Monday, Baghdadi Tribal PMF Commander in Anbar, Qatari Al-Abidi, announced that a joint force from the 7th Army division and tribal PMFs carried out an operation in the north Baghdadi desert which led to the death of 7 Daesh members hiding in Al-Saridiya village. [Sumaria]

 

According to the MoD, three suspects were arrested on charges of terrorism in Albu Dhiab and Albu Hazim in Jazeerat Al-Khalidiya. [MoD Website] 

 

According to the MoD, security units located 12 various types of IEDs and 4 gallons of C4 in Jaraishi. [MoD Website] 

 

The MoD statement reported that 2 wanted terrorists were arrested by the Anbar Police in the Tameem area. [MoD Website] 

 

The MoD statement reported that a rigged vehicle was located and destroyed on the international highway during a search in the western desert. [MoD Website] 

 

Hit/Haditha

Monday, a security source in Anbar reported that security forces have cornered Daesh units hiding in a tunnel in a desert near Hit, adding that those Daesh units killed a soldier who discovered their location. [Sumaria] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

The MoD reported that a total of 148,125 families have now been able to return to Salahuddin following background security checks. The MoD provides a breakdown by district. [MoD Website] 

 

Shirqat

Daesh said on Sunday it blew up 3 houses “belonging to the PMFs” in Kan’ous village. [A3maq]

However, a DaeshDaily source sent us photos of the dead bodies of 5 Daesh terrorists killed by local residents and PMF fighters in Kan’ous village. 

 

Tikrit

Saturday, a civilian was killed and two were wounded in an IED explosion in central Tikrit, according to a security source. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said on Sunday its snipers killed a “PMF member” in Al-Hassan village, east of Tikrit. [ICDNDec10]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Saturday, a child was killed and 12 civilians wounded when armed men targeted Tuz Khurmatu neighborhoods with 7 mortar shells, according to the deputy head of Tuz Khurmatu Council, Ali Al-Husseini. [Sumaria]

 

Between December 8 and December 10, the Coalition conducted an airstrike in Tooz. [CentCom]

 

DIYALA

Monday, Dijla Ops Commander Mizhar Al-Azzawi announced the arrest of 5 suspects on various charges, including terrorism, in various parts of Diyala. [Ghad] 

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Monday, a security source reported that three people were wounded by a mortar shell by an unknown source in the Al-Khwailis town. [Baghdadia] 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Monday, a security source reported that clashes broke out between joint Iraqi and PMF units and Peshmerga in Fakaka village in Qara Taqa in Kirkuk. According to the source, this is the first time that the Iraqi Army has entered the village since 2014. The Iraqi units arrested two terrorists in the village. [Buratha]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Kirkuk Operations Command announced on Saturday a large operation to hunt down Daesh members in western Kirkuk. [Buratha]

 

The MoD reported that based on orders from Salahuddin Ops Commander Juma’a  Anad Saadoun, an EOD unit carried out a search in Juma’at Al-Aliyan village in Al-Zab, which located 3 IEDs. [MoD Website] 

 

Kirkuk representative Shawan Al-Daoudi estimates there are 1,000 Daesh assailants at large in Kirkuk and its outskirts. Al-Daoudi added that “all of the Daesh members who did not surrender themselves to the Peshmerga are in those areas.” He also said that following the liberation of Hawija, security units found 800-1,000 bodies of Daesh assailants, out of the 3,000 who were in the city originally, based on the estimates before the military operation. Burhan Muzhir Al-Assi, who participated with his tribal members in the liberation of Hawija, said that Daesh seized on the quick liberation campaign and the absence of scrutinizing processes to hide in houses. Al-Assi added that Hawija was then not cleared from Daesh remnants, as security forces became preoccupied with the deployment against the Peshmerga in Kirkuk. [Mada]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed two PMF fighters and wounded two others in clashes near Waridiya village, in Abbasi. [ICDNDec10]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

Spokesman for the Turkmen PMF northern axis Ali Al-Husseini said on Monday that an army has been deployed to the road linking Daquq District with Kirkuk and the Tooz District in Salahuddin after a series of abductions and assaults on trucks took place on this road. [Sumaria]

 

Saturday, a spokesman for the PMF Ali Al-Husseini said 5 suicide terrorists blew themselves up in an underground tunnel during a large-scale search operation in southwest Kirkuk Province. [Buratha]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

East Mosul

Monday, a source from the Ninewa Operations Command reported that residents who returned to their homes and markets in Old Mosul reported finding industrial equipment, including sewing machines, that  was stolen by Daesh and hidden in Old Mosul. The IFP and the Ninewa Operations Command are keeping a log of the equipment found by the residents. [Ghad] 

 

West Mosul

Monday, the MoD announced that the Ninewa Intelligence and Security Directorate discovered an ammunition depot in a Daesh house in the Sarjakhana neighborhood in central Mosul. The depot contained Kalashnikov rifles, laptops, and hand grenades. [MoD Website] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Qayara/Hatra/Makhmur

Monday, General Saad Ahmed Al-Janabi of the Rapid Response Command reported that 53 Daesh assailants dropped their weapons in the Hatra valley and surrendered themselves to the Iraqi Army and PMF which are clearing the Jazeera desert extending from Ninewa to west Anbar. Al-Janabi added that 25 of the surrendered Daesh members were locals and had joined the Daesh ranks as it took over Mosul in 2014, while the rest of them hold Arab and European nationalities. The local assailants were transferred to National Security for interrogation, whereas the foreign members were handed over to the CTS for transfer to Baghdad and coordinating with their respective embassies for deportation. Al-Jubouri added that the joint security forces have cleared 85% of the Ninewa desert and dozens of Daesh assailants were killed and arrested. [BaghdadToday]

 

Western Ninewa

Baaj

Monday, the IWMC announced shooting down two Daesh reconnaissance planes carrying explosives in the Tal Safouk crossing in west Mosul. According to the statement, two security personnel were wounded in the operation. [IraqPress]

 

Daesh publishes on Sunday photos of battles with PMFs near Tal Safouk village. [ICDNDec10]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL/DAHUK

Monday, the KRG congratulated the Kurds, Iraqis, and armed forces on their victory against Daesh, saying that the Peshmerga were the “top power” in abolishing Daesh. The KRG emphasized that ending Daesh corresponds to “correcting the political process and removing the floor which led to its emergence, and not just the military operations.” A presidential KRG statement said that on their meeting on Monday, the KRG ministerial council, headed by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, and attended by Deputy Qubad Talabani, congratulated the Peshmerga forces, the Kurdish people, and the Iraqi people and its armed forces, on the victory over Daesh. The statement commended the Coalition’s role in achieving the victory. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, the office of Masrour Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC), stated that Barzani met with the German Ambassador to Iraq, Cyrill Nunn. Nunn emphasized the importance of resolving disputes between Baghdad and Erbil in accordance with the Constitution, noting that Germany will intensify its efforts to get the two sides to engage in a dialogue. Barzani emphasized that the “KRG does not want to repeat past mistakes in Iraq which led to destabilization, growing terrorism, and creating problems for the region and international community,” adding that “the Iraqi government is evading the dialogue, and the situation on the ground indicates that authorities in Baghdad are still trying to resolve disputes through military means.” [Sumaria]

 

Monday, the Turkish army announced killing 17 PKK members in an airstrike in Hakurk in northern Iraqi Kurdistan, also destroying 3 caves and a hideout. The statement added that the group was planning an attack on police stations and Turkish military posts on the border. [Buratha]

 

Monday, Kurdish journalist Mahdi Daoud, reporting from Sidekan in northern Iraqi Kurdistan, reported that Turkish planes attacked PKK positions in the mountains near Sidekan. He says the airstrikes lasted for about an hour. [Sumaria]

 

Dahuk Rehabilitation Department manager Zaki Saleh reported that there are 49 women in the custody of the department, including 10 women arrested on charges of terrorism for involvement with Daesh, and the rest for infidelity. [Baghdadia]

 

On December 10th, Human Rights Day, Rudaw reported that the Yazidi women freed from Daesh are marginalized by international organizations, calling on those organizations to support these women. [Rudaw] 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

The Turkish army says that it has killed 29 “PKK militants” in airstrikes in northern Iraqi Kurdistan, according to Reuters. Ankara said that its planes destroyed the hideouts and caves used by Kurdish recruits, who were allegedly planning an assault on the nearby Turkish border posts from Hakurk and Metina. [RT]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

During his surprise visit and meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad at the Russian Khmeimim base, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of the bulk of the Russian troops in Syria, reasoning that they have performed their duties in the fight against terrorism. 

However, Pentagon Spokesman Major Adrian Rankin-Galloway said “Russia’s statements about withdrawing its troops do not usually mean a real reduction of its troops and will not affect US priorities in Syria.” [Arabi21]

 

Putin said that the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria would continue its work, and that Russia would continue to use the Khmeimim Airbase and the Syrian port of Tartus, which provides technical support for the Russian Navy. Russian special forces, military police and 25 aircraft will leave Syria, and a field hospital will be removed, according to the commander of the Russian forces in Syria, Colonel-General Sergey Surovikin. [EnabBaladi] [Dorar]

 

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said “Putin’s announcement of the start of the withdrawal of his troops from Syria will not affect the actions and priorities of the United States in Syria,” stressing that the Coalition will continue its activity in Syria. [Dorar]

 

Despite the Russian announcement of victory over Daesh in Syria, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a press conference on Sunday that “military operations against Daesh will continue until mid or late February,” according to the French Press Agency. “It will be necessary to establish long-term peace, which will be the main focus of France’s diplomatic efforts in the region,” he added. [Dorar]

 

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry announced that the 8th round of Astana talks on the Syrian crisis will be held on December 21 and 22 and that there is a plan to discuss the tension relief (de-escalation) zones. [SyriaNow]

 

The SDF’s media center announced the formation of a joint center with the Iraqi Army to coordinate the securing of the Syria-Iraqi border adjacent to Deir Ez-Zor. [Sumaria]

See the companion story under “Iraq.”

 

Sunday, Qasioun reported that the Syrian government delegation returned to Geneva to resume the UN-brokered peace talks after leaving in protest nine days ago.[Qasioun] [SyriaNow]

 

Monday, The Times Magazine published a report titled “Talal Silo, the defector embarrassing America.” According to the report, Talal Silo was the spokesman of the SDF. The Times reported that after defecting, Silo revealed a covert deal between the Kurdish-majority SDF and Daesh fighters, which allowed a thousand Daesh fighters to flee Raqqa. According to the Times Silo was working with the Turks in 2014 with the goal to form an armed Turkmen group in northern Syria, and when this plan failed, he shifted the SDF, which Washington tried to portray as a not religiously or ethnically based. [Sumaria] [Times]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

Sunday, Qasioun reported that the YPG in Hasaka received a new shipment of US weapons on Saturday morning through Simalka border crossing, located near the city of Malikiyah on the border with Iraq, according to private sources. [Qasioun]

 

Between December 8 and December 10, the Coalition conducted an airstrike in or near Al-Shaddadi (1), in southern Hasaka. [CentCom]

 

Northwest

Aleppo/Idlib

Monday, Qasioun reported that the Syrian forces, under the cover of intensified Russian airstrikes, captured Idlib’s southern villages of Um Khazim, Um Traikiya, and Shutaib, forcing the Syrian opposition groups to retreat. A number of civilians were reportedly wounded in Russian airstrikes on the villages of Abu Dali, Tal Khanzir and Um Muilat. [Qasioun]

 

Monday, Aleppo’s Media Center reported that Syrian and Russian warplanes launched 30 airstrikes on Aleppo’s southern villages of Burj Sabna, Maktaba, Muraba Al-Salloum, Muraba’at, and Al-Hass Mountain. Meanwhile, however, Syrian anti-government opposition groups captured Aleppo’s southern village of Hijara on Saturday. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Afrin/Azaz

Monday, according to YPG military sources, the Turkish army, stationed in the Samaan Castle, is bombarding Afrin’s villages of Basofan and Bayya in Shirawa Subdistrict with tank fire and mortars, and the YPG is responding to the source of the shelling. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Tahrir Al-Sham announced killing 9 members of the Syrian forces in the battles in rural northern Hama. [Dorar]

 

Monday, Qasioun reported the Syrian forces captured Hama’s eastern villages of Balal and Al-Zaferiya. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition groups foiled a Syrian forces’ attempt to advance to Al-Shakousiya village, killing a number of the Syrian forces and seizing their weapons.  [Qasioun][EnabBaladi]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin

Daesh publishes photos of a group of its terrorists watching its latest propaganda video near Hawi Abu Hamam village. [ICDNDec11] 

Daesh says it killed three SDF fighters with an IED near Hawi Abu Hamam village. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Sunday it killed 14 SDF fighters and captured 3 military positions in an attack south of the village. [A3maq]

Daesh published photos of targeting SDF positions in the village with heavy machine guns. [ICDNDec10]

 

Daesh says it killed four SDF fighters and destroyed their SUV with an IED southeast of the Al-Omar Oilfield. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Sunday its snipers killed two SDF fighters near Dernaj village, south of the Al-Omar Oilfield. It also said it killed an SDF fighter and wounded four others with an IED near the same village. [A3maq]

Daesh issued on Saturday a video of a suicide attack on SDF units near the Al-Omar Oilfield. [A3maq] 

 

Daesh says it destroyed an SDF SUV with an IED east of the Al-Tanak Oilfield. [A3maq]

 

A Syrian military source reported that an Army unit seized a large quantity of US and Israeli-made weapons, ammunition, mines, IEDs, rigged vehicles, tanks, and communication and tracking devices in the area between Mayadin and Albu Kamal, while clearing the area for the return of IDPs. [RT]

 

Albu Kamal

Between December 8 and December 10, the Coalition conducted 12 airstrikes in Syria near Albu Kamal. [CentCom]

 

Daesh says it launched a large-scale attack on Syrian Army units northwest of Albu Kamal. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it captured Al-Hasrat village near Albu Kamal. [A3maq]

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Bas News reports that Secretary General Qais Al-Khazali of the Iraqi PMF Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq visited the militia on the southern Lebanese border. [BasNews]

 

In a statement released on Sunday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced the death of 5 children in the besieged Eastern Ghouta in Rif Damashq. “Five children reportedly died because they could not get the medical care they needed,” the statement said, without giving further details. [Qasioun] [UNICEF]

 

Suwayda

Sunday, Qasioun reported that 3 civilians were killed, and others were wounded in when a land mine left by Daesh in Suwayda’s northeastern village of Buthaina exploded, according to local media sources. [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

CENTCOM spokesman Colonel John Thomas said it is likely that Daesh and Al-Qaeda are fighting against each other in Yemen, and it is unlikely they are working together. He added that Al-Qaeda, Daesh, and smugglers seize on the absence of a governmental authority in certain regions of eastern Yemen to threaten or “buy” people. [AAwsat]

 

Jordan/Lebanon

Bas News reports that a video has been spreading on social media of members of the Iraqi PMF Saraya Al-Salam in southern Lebanon. One of the people appearing in the video says “Saraya Al-Salam exists in Lebanon, it remains, and it is expanding.” The Mayor of the town where the video appears to have been shot denies the presence of foreign elements in his town. [BasNews]

 

North Africa

Egypt

During a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russia attaches great importance to military cooperation with Egypt and has agreed to strengthen the Egyptian Army’s capabilities to combat terrorism. [Anadolu]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it destroyed an Egyptian Army bulldozer and damaged 2 others with IEDs near the border with Gaza. It also says it targeted an Egyptian Army patrol with another IED. [ICDNDec10]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it destroyed an Egyptian Army bulldozer with an IED in the Isolation Area in Rafah. [ICDNDec10]

 

The Telegram-канал Directorate 4 channel published a video of a Daesh member speaking fluent Russian and claiming to be in Sinai and having seized Egyptian weapons. In the video, he threatens to expel infidels from Egypt before expelling all tyrants and infidels” from Al-Maghrib. Experts from the Russian channel noted that the low-quality recording indicates that the video was produced for local consumptionRussian-speaking Daesh members in Egypt—which also means it is likely that a large number of Daesh members will move there now that their caliphate has crumbled in Iraq and Syria. The experts added that the Kalashnikov rifle appearing in the video indicates that he had probably seized it from Libya. They added that his fluency in Russian indicates he could be a Russian citizen who received education by a radical Islamic school in Egypt. [SNGIQ]

 

Libya/Tunisia

A medical source says that in the past 11 days, 4 Libyan National Army soldiers have been killed and 10 wounded in clashes in Benghazi city, Libya. 3 of the soldiers were targeted by snipers and the 4th was killed in a land mine explosion. It is noteworthy that this comes as Khalifa Haftar has managed to take control of Benghazi despite continued daily clashes in the Kharabish neighborhood in Benghazi. [Libya24]

 

Medical sources say 8 people died and 96 were wounded in the month of November, mostly by land mines that were planted by “terrorist organizations” in Benghazi city. [Libya24]

 

According to a medical source, a military sergeant was killed in a mine explosion during a search operation to track down terrorists in Kasserine, Tunisia, on Monday. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

Monday, the NYPD reported that a blast by an unknown source took place in downtown Manhattan. [Sumaria] Other news outlets later reported that a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant, motivated by Daesh propaganda, blew himself up in the underground pedestrian tunnel between the Port Authority bus terminal and the nearby subway station, using an explosives vest he created himself. He failed even to kill himself but wounded himself and five others. [CNN]

 

Great Britain

Monday, the Daily Mail reported that a Daesh spelling app is targeting children aged between 4-14 years old in a British school. The app reportedly uses weapons as vocabulary examples of the alphabet. [Sumaria] 

 

Russia

A political analyst from the Russian International Affairs Council, Nikita Mendkovich, warned that groups fighting under Daesh have gained a foothold in Afghanistan. He added that the terrorists will try to create a suitable underground environment and engage in drug dealing. He warned that Ukraine may attract Daesh members due to its instability. He added that some armed units may retreat to unstable areas in Libya and Egypt, where they can join Daesh-affiliated groups, and others may try to live in Europe. [Sumaria] 

 

AFRICA

African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ismail Sharqi, announced that about 5,000 fighters in Daesh ranks in the Middle East may return to the African continent following the group’s defeat in Iraq and Syria. [Sumaria]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh said on Saturday it killed four Afghani policemen and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in Nangarhar. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed a Taliban “judge” with an IED in Ghani Khel in Nangarhar. [A3maq]

 

Daesh publishes photos of manufacturing an IED in Afghanistan. [ICDNDec11]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh Media

Daesh published on Sunday a propaganda video about its battles with Hezbollah in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNDec10]

 

December 8, 2017

 

West Anbar 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Report says Al-Abadi will run for re-election separate from Dawa party. [..]

Iraqi military, PMFs  claim capture of 40 desert villages north of Euphrates. [..] 

Arab leaders in Kirkuk ask Al-Abadi to send military reinforcements. [..]

 

Syria

Battles in eastern Hama continue among Syrian Army, Daesh, Tahrir Al-Sham. [..]

Coalition airstrikes continue in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

Other countries

Afghanistan mosque attack kills imam & 6 others. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election

Rudaw News predicts there are fundamental changes coming to the future of the Shia political actors in Iraq, indicating that PM Al-Abadi will announce his separation from the Dawa Party in order to appeal for support from Sunni and Kurdish parties in preparation for the elections in May 2018. [Rudaw]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

According to Al-Forat News, on Sunday, Iraq will be declared “free of Daesh” in a major military parade at the Grand Festivities Square, following the liberation of all Iraqi regions. [Forat]

 

The Coalition conducted no strikes in Iraq between December 4th and 7th. [CentCom]

 

Trump Jerusalem decision

Friday, Vice President Ayad Allawi said the war on terrorism will be a long-term war. He added that moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will bolster “extremist forces” and will impede the efforts to bring peace and security. Allawi’s press office stated that on Friday, as part of the IISS Manama Dialogue 2017, Allawi received a delegation from the US Department of Defense, headed by Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Robert S. Karem. The meeting addressed the war on terrorism in detail. [Sumaria]

 

Friday, a spokesperson for the Sadrist Saraya Al-Salam Militia, Safa Al-Tamimi, announced formation of the “Qudsio Al-Sadr Brigade” (Sadrist Jerusalem Defenders Brigade) in Iraq in order to defend Jerusalem, after US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the city as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Al-Tamimi added that this decision came in response to Al-Sadr’s latest statement, in which he announced that he will be the first soldier to defend Jerusalem, and not the first leader.” [Rudaw]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

Spokesman for the Office of PM Haider Al-Abadi, Saad Al-Hadithi, said that the ban on international flights in and out of the Erbil and Suleimaniya airports will be lifted once the airports are under federal Civil Aviation Authority control. [Rudaw]

 

According to a statement by the office of Deputy CoR Speaker Dr. Humam Hamoudi on Friday, President Fuad Masoum and CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri called on the Iraqi government to take responsibility in accordance with the constitution in regard to the airports, crossings, and borders, while emphasizing the importance of holding the elections on schedule. Masoum and Hamoudi met in order to discuss the Kurdistan crisis, the Kirkuk administration, and means of co-existence among its components. [Sumaria]

 

Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi affirmed on Wednesday that the unification of Iraq and the prevention of Iraq’s division is a victory no less important than Iraq’s victory over Daesh. [MojazIraq] [Ghad]

Al-Abadi’s statement generated negative responses.

The head of the KRG Parliament put out a statement responding to Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi’s statement that preserving the unity of Iraq is a victory no less important than the victory over Daesh saying that “the victory that Al-Abadi boasts of could not have been achieved without the Peshmerga.  Without the Peshmerga, Iraq would still be occupied by Daesh.” The head of the KRG Parliament added that it is irresponsible to compare victory over Daesh to the military attacks launched by the PMF against the people of Kurdistan on October 16th in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu, noting that this attack was a clear violation of Article 9 of the constitution which prohibits the use of military force against Iraqi citizens. [Sumaria] [Rudaw]

Friday, the Ministry of the Peshmerga responded to Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi’s comments on the deployment of Iraqi federal forces in Kirkuk Province and other disputed areas in October, stressing the need to create grounds for dialogue and eliminate differences. In a statement, the Ministry accused Al-Abadi of considering the “military occupation, the attack on the Kurdistan Region, the killing and displacement of people from Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu, and the bombing, destruction, and looting of houses of Kurdistan citizens by Iraqi forces as a great victory similar to the victory over Daesh.” Sumaria also reported Al-Abadi’s statement that the unification of Iraq and the prevention of Iraq’s division is a victory no less important than the victory over Daesh. [Sumaria]

 

The Director General of Information and National Awareness in the Ministry of the Peshmerga Brig. Gen. Halgurd Hikmat said that the Kurdistan referendum was organized to bring political change to the Middle East. He added that “the results cannot be canceled by any law or legislation because it was the vote of the people and no authority is above the power of the people.” Hikmat added that the only way to cancel the results of the referendum would be to hold another referendum in which voters would express their rejection of the notion of independence from Iraq. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Center (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

The US Embassy in Baghdad on Friday restricted the movements of its employees and American citizens in Iraq in anticipation of dangers resulting from the recent presidential declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. [Rudaw]

 

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Friday, a police source reported that three civilians were wounded in an IED explosion in the Arab Jubour area in southern Baghdad. [Sumaria] 

 

ANBAR

Friday, the Joint Operations Command announced the liberation of 40 villages by PMF brigades backed by Iraqi Army Air (IAA), part of the operation to clear the Jazeera desert. [PUKMedia] [Harbi] [Sumaria] [Harbi] 

 

Friday morning, the PMF announced that PMF forces and the Iraqi Army launched large-scale military operations to complete the liberation of the Jazeera desert connecting Mosul and Anbar to the Syrian border. [Harbi] [Sumaria] [Sumaria]

The IWMC reported on Friday that a large pile of light and medium weapons was found deep in the desert as part of a massive military operation to complete the liberation of the western desert in Anbar. [IraqPress]

 

Friday noon, the PMF intelligence announced that Daesh members escaped from the desert connecting Anbar and Mosul towards the Syrian border, and that communication between Daesh units was cut off. [Harbi] [IraqPress]

Friday, PMF’s Intelligence reported that 21 Daesh members were killed with backing from the IAA, 1 rigged vehicle was destroyed, Daesh command bases in the desert were seized, and an ammunition depot containing light and medium weapons was seized. [Harbi] 

 

Friday, Commander of the Jazeera and Upper Euphrates Clearing Operations, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, reported the clearance of 10 villages of an area over 7,000 km2. [Harbi] 

Friday noon, Sheikh Tahseen Al-Hashimi, member of the Guidance Committee to Protect Iraqi Holy Sites, reported that the Al-Imam Ali brigade, Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq, and the 9th Army division took control of a 15 km stretch from the Geneva Airbase towards the center of the Jazeera desert. [Harbi] 

 

Numerous PMF components reported on their successes in the desert during the day Friday.

 The Al-Abbas Combat Division announced it was advancing towards the Syrian border to close and  reinforce the final remaining gaps. [Harbi] [Harbi] Its fighters destroyed a Daesh rigged vehicle  parked on the main road near the Iraqi-Syrian border. [Harbi] [Harbi]

 The PMF organization announced that the 21st Badr brigade, the 25th Al-Shaheed Al-Sadr brigade, and the Al-Ataba Al-Alawiya Al-Muqaddasa, advanced deep into the western desert and liberated the Itmakhiyat and Daham villages. [Harbi] 

 Friday morning, the PMF announced that the 21st Badr brigade also liberated the Al-Khirfan village  west of Hatra. [Harbi] 

 Friday morning, the PMF announced that the 40th brigade (Imam Ali Battalions) liberated the  Jaloud village south of Baaj in the western Ninewa desert. [Harbi] 

A field source reported on Friday that the Ansar Al-Marji’iya brigade advanced in the Jazeera desert as part of the second phase of the Jazeera and Upper Euphrates Clearing Operations. [Harbi]

 

Hit/Haditha

Friday, the Military Intelligence Services announced seizure of a Daesh ammunition depot in the Hit District. The depot contained 15 (120mm) mortar shells, 13 (82mm) mortar shells, 40 explosive vaults, 8 IEDs, 11 (1 liter) C4 bottles, 5 cluster explosives, 5 kg of C4, 4 sticky remotely-detonated IEDs, 3 (60mm) mortar shells, 1 suicide belt, and 300 meters of explosive wires. [Baghdadia]

 

Anah (including Rawa)

Friday, a security source reported that security units arrested 9 Daesh members while checking the identification documents of families returning to Anah. [Baghdadia] 

 

Friday, a security source in the Anbar Operations Command revealed the death of a senior army officer and the wounding of two soldiers in an explosion of a rigged house in Al-Mualimeen neighborhood in the center of Rawa district. The source added that dozens of rigged houses and hundreds of IEDs left behind by Daesh have still not been discovered. [BasNews]

 

Al-Qa’im

Friday, a military source in Anbar reported that a major force—including the 27th brigade of the Army’s 7th division; the 31st brigade of the 8th division; and the 35th brigade of the 9th division headed to seize the desert between Anbar, Salahuddin, and Ninewa. According to the source, the forces were launched from north Al-Qa’im city towards Hatra. [Sumaria]

 

Rutba

Friday, a security source reported that a group of Daesh members attacked the 2nd division base on the Al-Waleed (Al-Tanaf) border crossing in west Anbar. According to the source, security units foiled the Daesh attack, killing two terrorists while two others escaped. [Baghdadia] 

 

SALAHUDDIN 

Shirqat

A DaeshDaily source says a Tribal PMF fighter was killed and another seriously wounded when Daesh targeted their vehicle with an RPG7 rocket near Kan’ous village. 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Friday, Chairman of the Diyala PC Security Council, Sadeq Al-Husseini, revealed that internal conflicts among Daesh sleeper cells have emerged in four areas, including: Himrin, Hod Al-Waqf, Al-Zor, and Hod Al-Nada. According to Al-Husseini, Daesh has lost its central leadership, which has caused internal divides as the cells try to dominate each other. [Sumaria] 

 

Muqdadiya/Abu Saida/Central Diyala

Daesh says it destroyed 3 PMF vehicles with mid-sized weapons in the Shirween area northeast of  Muqdadiya, killing or wounding the fighters inside. It also says it killed or wounded more PMF fighters after destroying their vehicle with an IED in the Luhaib area. Daesh says it damaged another vehicle in the Bazoul area with an IED, wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNDec8]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Friday, the Arab Council in Kirkuk called on PM Haider Al-Abadi to send military reinforcements to Kirkuk Province, saying that every Arab officer has become a target for assassination. This call comes in response to the assassination of Maj. Abdul Nabi Jassam in Kirkuk city. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. These are the kinds of attacks that have to be stopped before the people will accept that Daesh has been fully defeated. The province most affected by these small-scale Daesh cell attacks seems to be Diyala.

 

Friday, a security official reported that an armed attack took place in a street market in Kirkuk city. An unknown assailant opened fire on the Khan Khormani market, wounding 4 people. The attacker was arrested. [Baghdadia] The CTS media office reported that the shooting was not a terrorist incident, clarifying it was due to a dispute between two people over a fraud case. He added that the wounds resulted from gravel. [Baghdadia]

 

Thursday evening, unidentified gunmen attacked counterterrorism forces in Kirkuk city using grenades and light and medium weapons, causing no casualties. [IraqPress] [BasNews]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Daesh says it killed nine “PMF members” in Al-Asakra village, southwest of Riyadh. [ICDNDec8]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh killed six PMF fighters in an attack on Al-Sajera village, near Hawija. The source says Daesh captured the village for hours and arrested many civilians. 

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Ninewa Ops Command announced the arrival of military reinforcements to the Mosul Dam well north of the city to protect it from terrorist attacks. [IraqPress]

 

Mosul

Friday, a security source reported that Ninewa Ops Command units secured the old area of west Mosul, extending from the 5th bridge to the Old Bridge, after new Iraqi forces units were deployed in the area. The Iraqi units defused IEDs and found 10 tunnels, suicide belts, and boxes containing various types of ammunition. The Iraqi forces are coordinating with the service departments to remove rubble. [Baghdadia] [Baghdadia] [PressIraq]

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

Friday, the IWMC announced that the IAA carried out 8 combat sorties from Tal Qasab, south of Sinjar city, which killed 16 Daesh members and destroyed 4 vehicles carrying terrorists, 2 mortar shell launchers, and another vehicle on the Iraqi-Syrian border. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday that the Russian Air Force carried out 550 sorties in Syria in 1 week, hitting more than 1,300 terrorist military sites. [Qasioun]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

Dorar reports that on Friday a new batch of US arms was received by the YPG in northern Syria, despite President Trump’s pledges to Turkey that the US would no longer send arms to the YPG in Syria. The weapons arrived in Al-Malikiyah City near Hasaka through the Simalka border crossing with Iraq. [Dorar]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city 

Qasioun reports four civilians were killed in the last 24 hours by land mines left by Daesh in the western part of central Raqqa city. 11 civilians were killed by land mine explosions last week in 7 different neighborhoods in Raqqa city. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest (No reports)

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)

Hama

Tahrir Al-Sham announced that it repelled a massive offensive by the Syrian forces in Al-Shakousiya village east of Hama in the Aqairbat subdistrict of Salamiyah District. Qasioun reports that eastern and northern Hama are being shelled by the Russian Air Force and Syrian Army artillery in their daily attempts to advance to Abu Al-Dahur airport in Idlib via eastern Hama and southern Aleppo. [Qasioun]

 

Local sources say Daesh took control of 4 villages in rural eastern Hama after violent clashes with Tahrir Al-Sham. [Qasioun]

 

A Tahrir Al-Sham military source reports that on Thursday 28 members of Tahrir Al-Sham were killed by Daesh in rural eastern Hama after being ambushed by Daesh sleeper cells. [ZamanAlWasl]

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh captured and then beheaded a wounded Nusra Yemeni fighter in eastern Hama. 

 

Homs

Syrian government media reports that the bomber who hit the Akrama neighborhood in Homs last Tuesday was arrested by security units on Friday along with 4 other individuals who played a role in the attack. The explosion killed 11 civilians, mostly students of the University of Homs.  [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh offered to release 12 Syrian soldiers and Shia militia members if the Syrian Army allowed it to withdraw peacefully from an area near Ashara town. The source says Daesh executed the prisoners when the Syrian Army refused the deal. 

 

Albu Kamal

The Coalition conducted 18 strikes against Daesh in Syria near Albu Kamal (18) between December 4th and 7th. [CentCom]

South 

Daraa

Field sources report that Daesh-affiliate Jaish Khalid executed three young men in Tasil town in western Daraa. [ZamanAlWasl]

Daesh publishes photos of its affiliate, Jaish Khaled, publicly executing three men after accusing them of “spying” for opposition groups. [ICDNDec8]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Tunisia

Thursday, the Tunisian National Guard Research and Inspection Division dismantled a takfiri cell of 30 members in Ajim on Djerba island in Tunisia. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Friday, French authorities reported that former Lafarge Holcim Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Eric Olsen, and other company managers, were placed under formal investigation as part of “a government inquiry into whether the firm helped finance the Islamic State militant group and several other armed factions while operating a factory in Syria from 2012 to 2014.” An independent internal investigation previously showed that the company paid intermediaries in return for maintaining the operations of the Jalabiyah plant in northern Syria. Former manager Bruno Pescheux admitted that the company paid $100,000 per month to Syrian businessman Firas Tlas, who in turn paid $20,000 of that amount to Daesh when the terrorist group seized the area. [Sumaria] [NYTimes]

 

A London court sentenced a Daesh member to 10 years in jail on charges of terrorism. Mohammed Abdullah was sentenced after leaked documents proved he stayed in Daesh-controlled areas in Syria, where he was known as a “sniper specialist.” British security links Mohammed Abdullah to Salman Abedi, who carried out the suicide attack in Manchester last May, killing 22 people and wounding 50 others. [Dijlah]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Friday, the Governor of Monad Dara district, Mohammad Naseem, reported that a mosque in the Hazar Nao village was targeted with an IED, and the blast killed two civilians, including the mosque’s imam, in addition to wounding six others. According to later updates, the death toll rose to seven, and nine were wounded. [Rudaw]

 

Daesh publishes photos of stopping a Taliban attack on Jinako village in Nangarhar. [ICDNDec8]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 109th issue of its Naba’ magazine. In this issue, Daesh republishes infographic about its operations against US forces in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. It says it targeted US forces with more than 25 attacks, shot down 6 warplanes, foiled 5 airdrop operations, and killed or wounded 115 soldiers. In this issue also, Daesh published an editorial about Jerusalem. It criticizes Arab and Muslim countries, and says all its operations are meant to lead to Jerusalem. Daesh also published a report about a group of its dead terrorists from the Caucasus area. It says they had met in Saudi Arabia when they were studying religion there, and then kept in touch until they joined Daesh later. [ICDNDec8] 

 

December 7, 2017

 

West Anbar 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraq lodges official protest against Trump’s Jerusalem decision. [..]

Iraq offensives continue against Daesh sites in Jazeera & Rutba deserts. [..]

Mass grave in west Mosul yields 52 bodies. [..]

Iran reported reopening border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan. [..]

KRG’s parliament Speaker blasts its political corruption. [..]

 

Syria

Another report has Russians supporting SDF ground troops. [..]

SDF, Syrian troops, Iraqi PMFs drive Daesh out of more Albu Kamal villages. [..]

Syrian troops clash with allied Iranian & Iraqi PMF troops in Daraa. [..]

 

Great Britain

UK Defence Minister on British Daesh members: Better dead in Iraq than back in Britain. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

Wednesday in Washington, acting director of intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center, Laura Xiao, told the US Senate that Daesh’s territorial defeat does not necessarily equate to a diminished ability to inspire attacks in the West. According to Xiao, “the organization’s ability to reach sympathizers around the world with strong potential through social media is unprecedented and allows it to connect with large numbers of local extremists who pursue violence.” [SkyNews]

 

Thursday, BBC published a report about Russian intelligence units operating out of an unnamed hotel in Baghdad to rescue Russian children with Daesh parents. A BBC reporter described the units as men wearing black suits and speaking over wireless devices with armed troops outside the hotel. According to the reporter, the 5 children’s parents were killed or fled as Daesh crumbled. [BBC] [Baghdadia] 

 

Thursday, the IWMC reported that the Coalition carried out 5 airstrikes that led to the destruction of a Daesh hideout and 2 supply lines in the Anbar and Jazeera deserts. The IWMC added that the Coalition also killed a terrorist group near Taji in north Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

In a joint press conference with the Qatari emir Tamim Bin Hamad in Doha on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed that Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi will announce the liberation of Iraq from Daesh in mid-December. Macron added that funding to all terrorist groups will be stopped wherever they may be. [Sumaria]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

Advisor to the Iraqi President, Abdullah Aliyawey, announced that President Fuad Masoum’s efforts to resolve the disputes between Baghdad and Erbil are ongoing, and Masoum has met with the KRG regarding a dialogue. He added that foreign country representatives are not pressuring Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to agree to hold a dialogue, and said Al-Abadi is not willing to be pressured in this regard. [Rudaw]

 

President Masoum informed the leader of the National Iraqi Alliance, Ammar Al-Hakim, of the KRG’s willingness to engage in a dialogue to resolve disputes with Baghdad. According to a statement by Al-Hakim’s office, President Masoum and Al-Hakim emphasized the importance of holding a comprehensive dialogue, based on the constitution and the Federal Court’s decisions, to resolve all outstanding issues. They also emphasized the importance of holding the elections on schedule. [SotIraq]

 

Thursday, Kirkuk Province PUK representative in the CoR, Rebwar Taha, addressed a strongly-worded letter to Al-Abadi criticizing his measures against the Kurdistan Region. The letter said that “if the Iraqi government’s policies do not change, they will lead the country to where nobody wants.” It added that the KRG keeps hearing “statements and promises without action on the ground,” and it asked what the Kurdish citizens have done that they are not able to travel due to the federal government’s procedures. It also said these procedures have negatively impacted the Kurds, who have so far only heard promises concerning the payment of their salaries. [BasNews]

In a statement made on Thursday, Taha called on the Iraqi government to reconsider its policies with respect to the KRG and to listen to the religious leadership. Taha said that the Iraqi forces entrance to disputed areas created political conflicts, which “re-opens the gates of hell for sectarian strife.” Taha asked what is preventing Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi from holding a dialogue. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. Is it even worth mentioning that officially Mr. Taha does not even represent the KRG? Is it even worth mentioning that all these demands for “dialogue” seem increasingly to reflect a different motive? 

 

Thursday, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, France’s Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed France’s support for Iraqi unity to Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, noting Paris’ desire to strengthen bilateral relationships with Baghdad across all sectors. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, Prime Minister of the Flanders Region of Belgium, Geert Bourgeois, sent a letter to the Iraqi Ambassador in Brussels Jawad Al-Hindawi, calling on the Iraqi government to put an end to the punitive measures” imposed on the Kurdistan Region. Bourgeois did thank the Iraqi Army for their role in the war on Daesh, which paved the way for peace, stability, economic prosperity, and more respect for human rights in Iraq. However, he then expressed concern over the economic situation in Kurdistan, as the Iraqi government reduced the Kurdistan region’s share of the 2018 budget and imposed a ban on the airports in Kurdistan, thereby imposing a ban on civilian travel in and out of the country. [BasNews]

 

Reactions to Jerusalem decision

Thursday, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it summoned US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman in order to hand him a memo protesting President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to Ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, the Security Committee in the Baghdad PC said that it is possible that the US Embassy in Baghdad will be attacked in light of President Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Security Committee member Saad Al-Matlabi said that “President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel aims to ignite a new strife in the region, following the end of the Daesh strife.” He added that “this decision may act as a new pretext to form new terrorist groups in various countries.” [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. Trump’s decision can certainly be criticized. However, the implication that it creates a justification for violence against anyone is irresponsible. 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Service announced the arrest of a terrorist who escaped from Hawija to northern Baghdad. [Ghad] 

 

ANBAR

Thursday, a tribal PMF commander in Anbar, Tareq Al-Asal, announced tightened security measures all over Anbar Province because of a sandstorm, as Daesh could seize on the low visibility to carry out attacks on civilians. [BasNews]

 

Ramadi

Thursday, Commander of Anbar Operations Mahmoud Al-Falahi said that three tunnels and one Daesh pickup were located deep in the western Anbar desert south of Rutba. Al-Falahi added that the troops defused 7 IEDs in north Ramadi. [Baghdadia] 

 

Anah 

Anbar PMF Commander Qatri Al-Abidi confirmed that the operation to track Daesh cells in the western Anbar desert is ongoing despite the area’s challenging terrain. He also said in a statement that units from the Jazeera Ops Command, 7th division, PMF, and tribal PMFs have been able to take control over most of the desert land extending from northern Rawa to Salahuddin. He added that Iraqi Army Air (IAA) shelled Daesh locations, killing several Daesh members and destroying bomb-rigged vehicles and military equipment. [NNCIQ]

 

Thursday, a security unit in the 7th division command in Anbar reported that four wanted Daesh suspects were arrested during security checks of IDP families returning to the Anah District. According to the source, security units transferred the suspects to a detention center in Ramadi to continue interrogations. [BasNews] 

 

Al-Qa’im

Thursday, Anbar Ops commander Shihab Al-Mahlawi announced that 400 IEDs and 22 rigged houses have been defused in the Rawa and Al-Qa’im districts since security units began securing liberated areas in west Anbar. Al-Mahlawi also reported that 7 bomb-rigged vehicles and 9 trenches and underground hideouts were destroyed, and the Army EOD and Civil Defense continue clearing liberated areas of war remnants. [BasNews] 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Service confirmed in a statement that internally displaced families returned to their homes in the Tilul Al-Baj area, following security checks. [Ghad] 

 

Tikrit

Thursday, Diyala PC Security Committee Abdul Khaleq Al-Azzawi announced that PMF fighters took control of villages on the Hawi Al-Udhaim side of the border between Salahuddin and Diyala and are on high alert due to Daesh activity in the area. Al-Azzawi added that Daesh units deployed along the Salahuddin border, especially around Mtaibija, pose a growing threat to the northern Diyala border, where they are trying to gain a foothold. [Baghdadia] 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Thursday, the Diyala Police Command announced the arrest of 3 suspects on charges of terrorism in Baquba and its vicinity, according to spokesman Ghalib Al-Atiya. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

See story above under Tikrit

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk

Thursday, Kirkuk Police spokesman Afrasya Kamil reported that an armed group attacked a CTS patrol with hand grenades in Kirkuk city, followed by shooting. The armed group fled the scene. [Sumaria]

Thursday, a security source in Kirkuk reported that an armed group attacked a CTS base (Fawj Salahuddin) in the Al-Mas area near the central market near the Raheem Bridge in Kirkuk city. According to the source, the armed group used an RBG7 launcher and a hand grenade, followed by gunshots. The CTS responded to the armed group, who were in a vehicle and escaped. [Ghad] 

 

Thursday, a security source in Kirkuk reported that a Kirkuk Police unit found a body of an unidentified woman who was killed by gunshots in the Schwan area in northeast Kirkuk. [Sumaria]

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

Thursday, the Azadi Teaching Hospital administration in Kirkuk announced that a child wounded by shrapnel from Daesh’s remnants in Hawija was successfully treated. [Sumaria] 

 

Thursday, Kirkuk Operations commander Ali Fadel Imran announced the death of a terrorist and the arrest of another who participated in the attack on Al-Khuzaifi village east of Riyadh. Imran added that security units found a guesthouse where the two were hiding. [Sumaria] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

East Mosul

Thursday, a security source reported that security units arrested three suspected Daesh terrorists in the Al-Zuhur neighborhood. [Baghdadia] 

 

West Mosul

Iraq’s Martyrs agency announced that its technical team specializing in the search and excavation of mass graves has opened a mass grave in Wadi Okab, a neighborhood in the far west-central Mosul. The announcement said that 52 bodies had been lifted out. [Buratha] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil

Thursday, the general manager of the transportation company contracted by the Ministry of Transportation, Abdullah Lu’aibi, announced that over 2,600 IDPs were transported from the Tal Al-Jarabee’ IDP camp near Tal Abta to the Hammam Al-Alil Camp closer to Mosul city, based on orders from Minister of Transportation Kadhim Fenjan Al-Hamami and in coordination with the Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Lu’aibi described the task as exceptional and quick. [Ghad]

 

Makhmur

Thursday, the Makhmur Refugee Camp administration held the Iraqi government and the Coalition responsible for the attack that targeted the camp on Wednesday, which led to the death of five people and the wounding of eight. The administration’s statement said the attacking party remains unknown. [BasNews]

 

Western Ninewa

Sinjar

Thursday, in a speech in front of a gathering of a Peshmerga Ministry delegation, tribal sheikhs, and prominent Kurdish, Yazidi, and Muslim figures, Sinjar Mayor Mahma Khalil reported that 90% of Sinjar’s residents were displaced due to the Daesh attack in August 2014 and, he alleges, the Iraqi forces and PMFs invasion in mid-October. He criticized the ongoing attempts to Arabize Sinjar. He explained that the displaced residents are living under tough conditions due to shortages of basic needs. He added that the Sinjar IDPs are receiving support only from the KRG and the Kurdish people. He called on the international community and the UN to provide assistance to the IDPs, especially with the onset of winter. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. This sounds like a disingenuous statement. An pro-KRG mayor, in an area supposedly under federal authority but coveted and previously occupied by the KRG, publicly attacks the policy of the central government. So who appointed this mayor, remembering that “mayors” in Iraq are not elected officials but appointed district managers?  And by what authority was he appointed? 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

In a development conference held in Erbil on Thursday, KRG Minister of Interior, Kareem Sinjari, announced that it has implemented a new electronic system across all of its departments in the Kurdistan Region. Sinjar explained that the new system will help citizens complete their paperwork faster, and it will make the Ministry’s work more transparent. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. An automated system for any ministry function in the KRG is a major breakthrough. 

 

At a speech at an EU Parliament meeting on Thursday, KRG Parliament Speaker Yousif Mohammed Sadiq, a Gorran representative, announced his support for Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s efforts to combat corruption. He explained that the KRG’s inability to establish modern governance and to create a transparent system separate from personal interests led a ruling group to seize tens of billions of dollars in public funds. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. This is major though hardly unusual accusation against Masoud Barzani and the KDP. Gorran was founded as an anti-corruption party and corruption remains its primary issue.

 

SULEIMANIYA/HALABJA

Head of the Iranian-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, Yahya Aal Ishaq, announced that the border crossings with Kurdistan will be re-opened, and that these border crossings will return to their pre-September 25 status. Aal Ishaq said that “Iran is willing to resume its previous commercial levels with the Kurdistan Region and to re-open joint border crossings.” [BasNews]

 

ERBIL/DAHUK

Thursday, KDP leader Masoud Barzani and Iraqi Vice President Osama Al-Nujaifi met in Erbil and discussed the political situation between Baghdad and Erbil, and they reiterated that the disputes will not be resolved using the language of threat and use of coercion but through dialogue and understanding. According to a KDP statement, the two sides looked into the political future of the Iraqi components and the challenges within the political process. [IraqPress]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Dorar reports that the Pentagon revealed there were about 2,000 US troops fighting in Syria and about 5,200 fighting in Iraq. Dorar notes that the US Department of Defense announced in November that only about 500 US troops were fighting in Syria, while the media indicated the real number was 4 times higher. Dorar reports that the US has said that its military action in Syria is limited to training and supporting factions of the “Free Army.” The Coalition announced a few days ago that Washington withdrew 400 US troops after the end of military operations in Raqqa. [Dorar] [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. The whining tone of these reports can be attributed to the pro-Turkey media producing them.

 

The Russian Army announced the Russian special operations forces fought side by side with the Kurdish forces and local forces in eastern Syria against Daesh. Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, head of the general staff’s main operations directorate, said that the Russian military leaders planned the operations and coordinated with the Kurdish and local forces regarding specified targets. The announcement added that on December 3rd, the Kurdish and local forces, side-by-side with Russian special operation forces, and with Russian Air Force backing, dislodged the Daesh terrorists east of the Euphrates River and took control of the Syria-Iraq border. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. This is the second significant story describing coordination between the SDF and the Russians, neither from the US military. However, these arrangements must have involved the US military. There are probably some larger implications to this, but it‘s impossible so far to tell what they are.

 

Enab Baladi reports that Russia has convinced the Syrian government to return to the Geneva negotiations. The Syrian government delegation will rejoin the negotiations this coming Sunday. [EnabBaladi]

 

Thursday, a member of the Syrian-Kurdish National Opposition Council, Ibrahim Berro, announced that he will represent the council in the meeting between the Syrian opposition delegation and UN Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura in the second phase of the 8th Geneva talks. [BasNews]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Raqqa

Talal Silo, the former spokesman of the SDF who defected to Turkey has recounted that thousands of Daesh fighters were bused out of Raqqa under a secret US-approved deal. US officials deny this. [Yahoo]

 

Northwest

Al-Bab/ Manbij

Hawar reports the Turkish Army shelled civilian locations in Qarat Weran village and Arima town (in Al-Bab District) west of Manbij city. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.) (No reports)

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Hawar reports the SDF killed 35 Daesh fighters in Suwaidan village northeast of Deir Ez-Zor city. [Hawar]

 

Local sources say Syrian forces arrested a number of civilians returning to their homes in Kharita village in western rural Deir Ez-Zor. The sources pointed out that the civilians arrested were family members of opposition leaders. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment. This is an important and disturbing report, but we would like to see it confirmed by a more independent source.

 

Mayadin

Qasioun reports that Syrian forces have taken control of the international road linking Al-Qa’im in Iraq to Albu Kamal and Mayadin in Syria. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal

Qasioun reports the SDF captured Gharaniyij village near the Euphrates River. The SDF has also advanced to Hajin town 25 km (15 miles) from the Syria-Iraq border. [Qasioun]

 

According to field sources, Syrian forces and Iraqi PMFs have captured the villages and towns of Al-Jalaa, Al-Majawda, Al-Sayal, Hasrat, Al-Ramadi, and Al-Ghabra, mainly north of Albu Kamal city, and have thus taken full control of rural Albu Kamal. [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment. There is some overlap in this report with villages previously reported captured.

 

South 

Damascus/Rif Damashq 

Enab Baladi reports that Tahrir Al-Sham is expected to leave eastern Ghouta for Idlib Province according to an undeclared agreement between Tahrir Al-Sham and Russia. [EnabBaladi]

 

Daraa

The Daesh affiliate Jaish Khalid executed four young men belonging to Syrian opposition factions in Tasil town. [Qasioun]

 

According to informed sources, clashes broke out on Wednesday between the Iraqi PMF Nujaba Movement and the Lebanese Hezbollah militias on the one hand and the Jadiyah brigade affiliated with the Syrian forces on the other in rural Daraa. New disputes have reportedly emerged between the Syrian forces and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard militias. According to the sources, the Iranian-backed militias intended to attack the Zimrin area near Tal Al-Hara, a strategic location in northern Daraa where they want to establish a base. [BasNews]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya

A security source in Sirte, Libya, said on Thursday that 2 people were arrested for cooperating with Daesh. 8 Daesh members were arrested at the end of November in Sirte. Wednesday Sirte celebrated its first anniversary of the liberation of the city from Daesh. [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

Great Britain

British Defence Minister Geoff Williamson said he would rather that British nationals who joined Daesh die rather than return to Britain. He says “it’s very simple. The dead terrorist cannot harm Britain.” Williamson noted that 800 British citizens joined Daesh’s ranks in Syria and Iraq. [Anadolu]