An Update On ISIS Activities

December 12, 2018

 

A group of people in uniform

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Daesh Weapons Cache Found Near Shirqat (Dec 13)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Sectarian issue complicates selection of new Defense Minister. [..]

Abd Ul-Madhi government announces it will cancel all Al-Abadi decisions made during post-election interim period.​​ [..]​​ 

Former Minister of Finance sentenced in absentia on corruption charges. [..]

Iraq reaching a crisis point over Iranian gas and US sanctions. [..]

11 PMFs killed by Daesh attacks in Hatra. [..]

Freed Yazidi woman tells horror story of Daesh abuse. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan announces military campaign to seize area east of Manbij from SDF; Pentagon warns him against it.​​ [..]

​​ 

Syria

US completes installation of all its listening posts in NW Syria. [..]

Trump predicts Daesh will be fully eliminated from Syria within 30 days. [..]

Iraq PMFs find 7 Daesh mass graves with 900 bodies in Albu Kamal.​​ [..]

Coalition unleashed 250 airstrikes on Daesh in Hajin in 1 week.​​ [..]

Iraqi F-16s attack Daesh-occupied buildings in Al-Susah. [..]

SDF says it has liberated 35% of Hajin.​​ [..]

Powerful French artillery units pounding Daesh in Hajin area. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Iran:​​ Pompeo urges UN Security Council to re-impose sanctions on Iran’s missile program. [..]

Egypt:​​ Egyptian military summarizes its 2018 accomplishments in the Sinai. [..]

United States:​​ Trump signs Iraq and Syria Emergency Genocide Relief and Accountability Act. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

An MP from the Wataniya (National)​​ bloc​​ says Mohammed Al-Halbusi, the Speaker​​ of​​ the CoR,​​ sent a letter to​​ General Abd Al-Ghani Al-Asadi, the Shia CTS commander who was retired by the Prime Minister, to nominate him as the Minister of Defense. The​​ Speaker​​ says this is part of an effort to avoid sectarian divisions.​​ He​​ says the initiative was met positively by the political blocs. [Rudaw]

 

MP Talal Al-Zuba’ie, leader of the Al-Qarar (Decision) bloc, responded​​ via Twitter​​ to Al-Halbusi’s letter,​​ to​​ say that Defense was exclusively the domain of the Sunnis. [Rudaw]

 

The new government announced its intent to cancel all decisions taken by the government of former PM Haider Al-Abadi during the period​​ from​​ July 1 to October 24. Al-Abadi expressed surprise at the decision, describing it as politically motivated. He says many such decisions were taken for the good of the people, such as releasing financial allocations to Basra and meeting some demands of the citizens of Basra, Maysan, Muthanna, Babel, Najaf, and Karbala. He says such actions should not be taken in an institutionalized system by an incomplete government that has many​​ questions​​ regarding its legitimacy and selection of ministers. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If Al-Abadi is now to be treated as some kind of political enemy, this is a worrisome development that raises questions on where this new government really stands within the Iraq political spectrum.

 

Reconstruction

A delegation from the UN and the European Union Mission in Iraq visited several projects funded by the EU and implemented by the UN in Mosul to review the reconstruction effort over a year after the city’s liberation from Daesh. The EU signed a contract with the UNDP worth 47.5 million Euros and another with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) worth 10 million Euros. There was also an additional 20 million Euro grant to UNESCO and 15 million Euros for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, expected to be signed in January 2019. [BasNews]

 

Corruption

The Integrity Commission says that the Iraqi Judiciary sentenced in absentia Rafe’ Al-Eissawi, the former Minister of Finance, and Dhiya Al-Khayoun, a former bank manager for Rafidain, to 7 years imprisonment for intentionally​​ “causing damage”​​ amounting to $34 million, by granting loans which were never intended to be repaid. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Another in absentia conviction. It’s an Iraq tradition.​​ 

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said on Wednesday that conditions were favorable to open a “new page” with the central Iraqi government. For his part, Iraqi PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi said that he would fulfill his promises to the people of Kurdistan. Barzani was speaking at a ceremony in Dahuk commemorating the 1961 battle there between Peshmerga and Ba’athist Iraqi forces. [BasNews]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Diyala Criminal Court sentenced 6 Daesh members to death on charges of committing terrorist attacks, including the attack on Khan Bani Saad in 2015, which killed and wounded many civilians. [Sumaria]

 

General Wafeeq Al-Samarra’i, advisor to former Iraq President Jalal Talabani, says that Iran was the first state to initiate airstrikes on Daesh, saying that the intervention of the Iranian Air Force was coordinated by Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, current Deputy Commander of the PMF. He says Iraqis were the first to stop Daesh attacks on Baghdad, before the intervention of Coalition planes. He added that the Daesh “scheme” was far beyond the abilities of a single terror group, saying it was a larger-scale plot. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

The Coalition said that it conducted​​ 1 airstrike in Iraq between December 2 and 8, which was near Suleiman Bek in Tooz. [InherentResolve]

 

Foreign policy

The Saudi-owned daily​​ Asharq Al-Awsat​​ wrote that the Iraqi government​​ has​​ requested several times that the US exclude it from the sanctions imposed on Iran, but did not receive any response. A source in the Iraqi government says that Iraq needs at least 2 years, with US assistance, to end its dependence on Iranian gas. The period of sanctions exemption granted to Iraq by the US is about to end, which makes the situation rather difficult. [Sumaria]

 

PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi said in a statement on Wednesday that importing gas was related to the “sensitive” issue of electricity, which he said Americans understood. Abd Ul-Mahdi met with US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to discuss the issue.​​ Perry was in Iraq to attend a conference.​​ [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Center​​ (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

General Sa’ad Ma’an, the spokesman of the MoI, says that IFP units arrested a Daesh member in Karkh. The arrest was made after a lengthy chase. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

Anbar Provincial Council member Mahmoud Al-Dulaimi said on Wednesday that he had destroyed drugs, including poppies and datura​​ (flowering plants), planted by Daesh during its control of Anbar. He said that the sale of these drugs had been used as a source of income by Daesh from 2014 onward. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that Iraqi Army 20th division units captured a well-known Daesh terrorist near Shabali village. The source said the units were following a man who was smuggling food items to the terrorist and captured them together. The source said the terrorist guided​​ the units to several weapons and explosives caches.

 

The Security Media Center says that Coalition planes attacked a Daesh tunnel in the Makhoul Mountains and destroyed it completely. [Ghad]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin,​​ Khalis​​ north)

Daesh said it damaged an IFP vehicle in an ambush in Mubarak village, Khanaqin, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

Daesh said it killed one “SWAT member,” wounded four others, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in Mubarak village, on Tuesday. [ICDNDec12]​​ It’s not clear if this is a separate incident.

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

IFP says its units initiated a search campaign in 10 villages in Kirkuk, destroying 4​​ safehouses and an ammunition cache.​​ They also arrested a​​ terrorism​​ suspect​​ at the​​ Altun Kupri checkpoint. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

In a separate incident, the Security Media Center says​​ that​​ security​​ personnel​​ found​​ two​​ Daesh hideouts​​ in Daquq​​ District,​​ where 31 IEDs​​ were stored.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Hawija​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that IFP units shot and killed 2 Daesh suicide terrorists near Hawija city. The source said both terrorists were from the Riyadh area.​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

MoI spokesman Sa’ad Ma’an said that police had arrested 2 Daesh members in Al-Karama, east Mosul, and seized 12 “small rockets” in the process.​​ [Forat]

 

The PMF media office said on Wednesday that PMF units had seized a cache of weapons, equipment, and IEDs in west Mosul.​​ [PressIraq]

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says its 20th​​ Army Division arrested a Daesh executioner who was running a “secret cell” in Hammam Al-Alil. The cell was mostly formed of Daesh members​​ who had been​​ assigned​​ to​​ execution operations before the liberation of Mosul. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it killed two tribal PMF members when it targeted their motorcycle with an IED in Haj Ali village​​ in Qayara, on Tuesday. [ICDNDec12]​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

PMF and Army units carried out a joint operation on Wednesday to search Sheikh Ibrahim​​ Mountain, killing 3 Daesh members in the process.​​ [Forat]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that 5 PMF members were killed and 4 others wounded in a Daesh attack on Khunaifis village. The source said Daesh captured weapons and ammunition and lost 3 of its terrorists in the attack.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that​​ 2​​ PMF members were killed when Daesh terrorists attacked their military positions near Abu A’ba village, on the road between Hatra and Tal Abta. The source said 2 Daesh terrorists were also killed in the attack.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that a PMF commander and another fighter were killed when a group of Daesh terrorists in 7 pickup vehicles attacked​​ Um​​ Dabaghiya village, south of Hatra.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that​​ 2​​ PMF members were killed and two others wounded when an IED destroyed their pickup vehicle on the road between​​ Um​​ Dabaghiya village, a historic archaeological site,​​ and Hatra.​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

The Hungarian Army Chief of Staff, Ferenc Korom, says Hungary is intending to increase its forces in the Kurdistan Region. He was speaking at a press conference in Erbil with Deputy Minister of Peshmerga Sarbast Lezkin.​​ The​​ Hungarian​​ Army will​​ continue to​​ provide​​ medical support to​​ the​​ Peshmerga,​​ and will increase​​ the number of​​ its soldiers​​ there​​ to 200. [BasNews]

 

DAHUK

Sumaria​​ carried the story of Shada Saleem, a Yazidi woman who has reunited with her family in Dahuk after one year of living with a Daesh militant in Mayadin, Syria, where she became pregnant. She aborted her pregnancy before escaping. She says getting pregnant is the best escape for Yazidi women to escape continued rape. She says that many women “decided” to become pregnant after being raped by over 7 Daesh fighters. She herself was raped by 12 Daesh men until she became pregnant. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

The Turkey-US disagreement over northeastern Syria and the SDF appeared to reach a crisis point.

Turkey’s​​ President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Turkey is starting a military operation in a few days to eliminate the presence of the “PKK” (i.e., SDF) east of the Euphrates. He was speaking to the heads of Turkish military​​ companies​​ in Ankara.​​ Erdogan said that Turkey had​​ been subjected to a “stalling tactic” in Manbij, and that Daesh no longer posed a threat to Syria.​​ He added that​​ despite “deep differences in perception” with the US,​​ US soldiers in areas​​ east of the Euphrates​​ were not targets. [ZamanAlWasl] [Reuters]

 

Pentagon spokesman Sean Robertson said that unilateral military action into northeast Syria “by any party” would be “unacceptable.” [Guardian]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Erdogan’s statement could be taken as a dangerous escalation of US-Turkey tensions over the Kurds and northeastern Syria. Then again, it could be another of his trial balloons; if no firm response is forthcoming, he goes through with his threat, as he did in northwest Syria. If the US stands up to him, he backs off. The Pentagon response, immediate and succinct, was therefore necessary and appropriate. Still, Erdogan’s bullying tactics are worrisome.

 

On the heels of this announcement, commanders of the pro-Turkey “Free Syrian Army” met in Turkey for unclear reasons. A source from the Turkish-allied “FSA” said that military leaders from the Ahrar Al-Sharqiya militia participated in the meeting. [EnabBaladi]

 

Also see related stories below under Azaz and North Raqqa

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

The US announced on Wednesday that it had completed its project to develop observation posts in northeast Syria to support Kurdish militia fighters. [ElDorar]

 

US Special Envoy to the Coalition, Brett McGurk, says that US forces will stay in Syria until local security forces can maintain gains previously achieved. He says that the Daesh presence in Syria has been reduced to about 1%.​​ President​​ Trump says the war in Syria is almost over, and that Daesh will be fully eliminated in 30 days. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Iraqi tribal PMF leader for​​ Baghdadi subdistrict, Sheikh Qatari Al-Samarmad, said that 7 mass graves, containing more than 900 bodies, had been found in Albu Kamal near Iraqi border positions. Syrian state media also reported on the graves’ discovery, saying that civil defense and the Syrian Red Crescent had recovered 101 bodies so far, most of which appeared to​​ show​​ torture prior to execution. [BasNews]

 

The SOHR said​​ that​​ a mass grave in Albu Kamal was found by​​ Syrian Army units, seemingly containing civilians executed either by Daesh or Iranian militias. It also noted that the fate of over 200 persons arrested by Iraqi PMFs is still unknown. [SyriaHR]

 

On Wednesday, an informed source reported that Daesh was planning to orchestrate a series of what it called “lone wolf” attacks in northern Syria. The source said that the attacks are likely to be weak, due to Daesh’s decreased capacity and the wavering morale of its fighters. Security forces were deployed to Idlib Province in anticipation of more explosions. On Wednesday, a series of bombings also struck Al-Bab, Azaz, and Al-Ra’i. [ElDorar]

 

Northwest

Azaz

Local sources say a large explosion took place near the national hospital in Azaz, following Turkish President Erdogan’s threats to initiate more attacks east of the Euphrates. The explosion killed a child and wounded 70 civilians. [Hawar]

 

Manbij /Al-Bab

A roadside IED exploded near Haj Abdin village, southwest of Manbij, wounding military personnel. The explosion targeted a car of the Manbij Military Council. [Hawar]​​ 

 

On Wednesday at 4 pm in Al-Bab,​​ a bike bomb exploded near a hospital, killing and injuring civilians.​​ Anadolu​​ reports a very similar story, wherein the explosion resulted in 1 civilian death and injuring 6 others. [Hawar] [Anadolu]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed three SDF members, wounded others, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on the road between Manbij and Al-Bab. [ICDNDec12]

 

In Al-Rai, an explosion near a post office injured 10 civilians. [Anadolu]

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Daesh said on Wednesday it stabbed and killed an SDF “intelligence member” in Zayanat village, southeast of Shaddadi. [A3maq]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said it killed or wounded SDF members and damaged their SUV with an IED near the Modern Hospital in Raqqa city, on Tuesday. [ICDNDec12]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday that it killed an SDF member with machine guns on Al-Saqiya​​ Street in Raqqa city. [ICDNDec12]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed an SDF member in Al-Awja village, in Karama subdistrict​​ east of Raqqa,​​ on Tuesday. [ICDNDec12]​​ 

 

North Raqqa​​ (Ayn Eissa,​​ Tal Abyad, etc.)

A source in Tal Abyad, who is “close to the Kurdish units” there, said on Wednesday that YPG units had begun digging trenches and taking other military preparations for an attack by Turkey, following Erdogan’s remarks​​ threatening military action in northeastern Syria. The source said that the Kurdish forces were taking Erdogan’s remarks seriously, partially because they suspect there could be a behind-the-scenes deal between the Turks and the Americans to let the Turks attack them. [BasNews]

 

Central and West​​ 

No reports

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

The SOHR says that Daesh fighters attacked an SDF position in Al-Omar oilfield and engaged in a gunfight before withdrawing. The SOHR says a similar attack killed 3 SDF fighters in the same location on Tuesday. The SOHR also noted the increase of individual Daesh attacks on SDF in the area. [SyriaHR]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

Airstrikes

The Coalition said that it conducted 250 airstrikes in Syria between December 2 and 8, all of which were attributed​​ to​​ “near Hajin.” Additionally, 2 other strikes were reported that had not been reported in previous strike releases, which were carried out on October 4 and November 3, both also near Hajin. ​​ [InherentResolve]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ That’s over 35 airstrikes a day!—in one rather small place.

 

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command says that Iraqi F-16s carried out several attacks on Daesh positions in​​ Albu Kamal. The attacks were concentrated on Al-Susah. The first target was a shelter housing 30 Daesh fighters, while the second target had 14 fighters in it. The Iraqi Air Force also provided support to the SDF as required. [Qasioun]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that Coalition planes killed 5 Daesh terrorists, including a “judge,” and destroyed their pickup vehicle in an airstrike near Hajin.

 

Ground battle

The​​ SOHR reported a slow advance of SDF forces​​ in Hajin,​​ backed by​​ Coalition air​​ support,​​ because of​​ the​​ large quantities of mines and IEDs planted by Daesh and the urban nature of the area. It says​​ that​​ SDF tanks and artillery​​ have​​ never stopped​​ attacking​​ Daesh positions. It​​ also noted the​​ arrival of 20​​ new​​ SDF​​ tanks​​ at​​ battle fronts. [SyriaHR]

 

The SDF captured the central market area in Hajin after an intense gunfight that left 15 Daesh fighters killed. In response, Daesh attacked SDF positions near Nabdh​​ Al-Hayat​​ Hospital with a vehicle bomb. [Qasioun]

Daesh said on Wednesday that one of its suicide terrorists attacked SDF units​​ near​​ Nabdh Al-Hayat​​ Hospital. Daesh said 15 SDF members were killed or wounded. [A3maq] [ICDNDec12] [A3maq]

Daesh published photos of the suicide terrorist, the vehicle bomb, and a remote explosion. [ICDNDec12]

 

SDF forces​​ were​​ reported to be​​ advancing in Hajin amid​​ intense fighting.​​ They​​ killed 9 Daesh​​ fighters and destroyed several positions in the past 24 hours. [Hawar]

 

The SDF says it​​ has​​ liberated 35% of Hajin and is still advancing. It also says it arrested a Daesh fighter in the city. [Hawar]

 

SDF fighters destroyed a Daesh vehicle that approached an SDF checkpoint in Hajin. [Hawar]

 

Colonel​​ Jonathan Byrom, Deputy Commander of Joint Operations in Iraq, says French artillery carried out the “most violent” shelling on Daesh targets near Iraqi borders since the Vietnam War. The target was Hajin, in coordination with Iraqi allies. [Sumaria]

 

 A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that a woman and a child were killed and five others wounded when Daesh targeted Sukkariya village with mortars. The source said that government forces captured 5 young men after the attack and accused them of being Daesh members.

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it conducted a “double” suicide attack with a vehicle bomb near Hajin​​ Hospital. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday that one of its suicide terrorists attacked SDF units near Al-Taqwa​​ Mosque, near East Bahra village, with a vehicle bomb, killing or wounding 10 fighters, destroying 3 vehicles, and damaging 2 Humvees. [ICDNDec12]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it damaged an SDF bulldozer with a rocket near East Bahra. [A3maq]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at a UN Security Council session on Iran, urging the international community to re-impose restrictions against the Iranian missile program. He said that the​​ Security Council​​ should not lift the arms embargo on Iran in 2020​​ as previously scheduled. [BasNews]

 

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

Reuters​​ says that the Saudi and UAE-led Arab Coalition found 2 Iranian rocket-launching pads in Yemen. The pads are used for launching anti-armor missiles. The UN reported that​​ the​​ pads have the characteristics of Iranian manufacture. [Sumaria]

 

The US DoD says it is going to recover the costs of mid-air refueling​​ that were​​ incurred during the​​ war in​​ Yemen​​ between​​ the period​​ of​​ 2015-2018​​ from Saudi Arabia and UAE. The DoD was responding to​​ questions​​ raised by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)​​ on the issue. [Anadolu]​​ [TPM]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Egyptian media reports that the Egyptian Armed Forces destroyed 342 terrorist sites in the Sinai. [AhlMisr]

 

The 30th statement of “Comprehensive Operation – Sinai 2018,” a counterterrorism operation in the Sinai launched by the Egyptian Armed Forces and Interior Ministry, highlighted some of its accomplishments in 2018. It reported that the air force destroyed an ammunition depot, 61 vehicles on the western and southern border, eliminated 3 “high risk” individuals, eliminated 24 armed and dangerous​​ takfiri​​ fighters, and arrested 403 individuals wanted and suspected of belonging to criminal organizations and took legal measures against them. Military engineering teams destroyed 344 IEDs, 342 Daesh refuges, and 27 vehicles used by terrorists and 82 explosives​​ bikes. The border guards seized 2,750 rounds of automatic rifles, 250 rounds of cartridges, 6,246 kg of cannabis, 80 kg of heroin, 76 vehicles and other illicit drugs while also thwarting the illegal entry of 2,833 persons of various nationalities into the state. [AhlMisr] [AhlMisr]

 

Tunisia

On Wednesday, the Tunisian Interior Ministry released a statement calling on citizens to cooperate with security forces to quickly track down 2 “dangerous terrorists” and share any relevant information with security forces. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

President​​ Trump signed into law the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act, which will provide humanitarian relief to genocide victims in Iraq and Syria, and “hold accountable” Daesh perpetrators of genocide. The White House says that the law will encourage foreign governments to prosecute persons suspected of committing crimes against humanity. [Sumaria] [AP]

 

EUROPE

France

French prosecutor Remy Heitz said on Wednesday that the perpetrator of the Strasbourg attack shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great”) as he opened fire. Authorities said that the attacker had previously been charged with theft, espionage, and violence in France, Germany, and Switzerland, had spent time in prison, and was known to the authorities as a potential security​​ threat. The attack is now said to have left 3 dead and 13 wounded. [BasNews]

 

 

*****

 

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December 11, 2018

 

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Daesh Landmines Found in West Anbar (DD Dec 8)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Baghdad’s famous Green Zone is reopened to public traffic.​​ [..]

Abd Ul-Madhi wants out of US-demanded role in Iran sanctions. [..]

Anbar government frustrated by slow reconstruction help from GOI. [..]

Seven Daesh operatives arrested in Mosul. [..]

Continuing Daesh pocket in Shura subdistrict draws concerns. [..]

KDP nominates Nechirvan Barzani for​​ KRG​​ President.​​ [..]​​ 

 

Syria

UN refugee plan reveals there are 5.6 million official Syrian refugees.​​ [..]

SDF holding 2,250 European prisoners their countries don’t want back. [..]

Iraq conducts airstrikes, artillery strikes on Daesh in Albu Kamal.​​ [..]

SDF, Coalition force Daesh out of Hajin Hospital area.​​ [..]

Iraqi, Uzbek Daesh fighters shoot each other ​​ in internal feud. [..]

Impending Hajin defeat unleashes Daesh propaganda barrage. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen:​​ 

Government, Houthis agree to an exchange of 15,000 prisoners. [..]

UN says 20,000,000 Yemenis need help. [..]

Nigeria:​​ Two Boko Haram attacks in NE Nigeria meet resistance. [..]

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

On Monday, the Green Zone, which had been closed and highly fortified since the 2003 US invasion,​​ was​​ finally opened​​ to public traffic. Reopening the Green Zone had been delayed several times​​ and​​ its​​ official​​ opening was​​ then​​ arranged to coincide with the anniversary of Iraq’s​​ victory over​​ Daesh. [Guardian]

The office of Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi released a statement saying that in a telephone conversation between Abd Ul-Mahdi and Vice President Pence, the US VP congratulated Iraq on behalf of the US government and President Donald Trump for opening the Green Zone to the public. [Sumaria]

 

Reconstruction

Iraqi will meet the new year with heavy financial burdens following the war with Daesh, which​​ caused destruction in five​​ provinces​​ that will​​ cost​​ an​​ estimated $88 billion​​ to overcome. Iraq is heavily leaning on the donors​​ who pledged support at​​ the Kuwait Conference​​ to​​ reconstruct the country. US companies​​ are looking to gain a​​ large share of the investment opportunities​​ from​​ reconstruction. [BasNews]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Sot Al-Iraq​​ carried a summary of the recent CSIS report on Daesh’s persistence, as well as the follow-up​​ Financial Times​​ article, both of which were recently covered in​​ DaeshDaily. However, the article also included quotes from a Kurdish security official and Center for Security Information spokesman​​ General​​ Yahya Rasul, who agreed that the current fight was “an intelligence war, not a military one,” which consists​​ of chasing Daesh​​ down​​ in their hideouts. Hisham Al-Hashemi, an Iraqi advisor on armed extremist groups, estimated that there were still “over 1,000” Daesh fighters in Iraq, with 500 of them in desert and mountain areas. [SotIraq]

 

The Central Criminal Court sentenced a Daesh terrorist to death.​​ He​​ had​​ transported​​ two​​ suicide attackers who​​ staged a deadly​​ attack​​ on​​ the​​ Al-Meridi​​ Market in Sadr​​ City in 2016. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Foreign policy

PM Abd Ul-Mahdi stated on Tuesday that Iraq was not part of the US sanctions against Iran. He said that an Iraqi delegation would go to Washington to resolve the issue. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Daesh said it shot​​ out​​ and destroyed an Iraqi Army thermal camera in the Albu Firas area, in Meshahda, Tarmiya, on Sunday. [ICDNDec11]

 

West​​ (Mansour, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its units in the 6th​​ Army Division infiltrated a​​ 3-member​​ Daesh cell in Mansour.​​ One​​ was arrested in Dora, before the other​​ two​​ were lured out and arrested by surprise. [Ghad]​​ 

 

ANBAR

The Anbar​​ provincial government​​ criticized the weak performance of the central government and the reconstruction fund, saying that their efforts​​ were far below​​ adequate. It says that the main efforts to​​ return IDPs​​ to their homes​​ were made by the UN (rather than the central government). It also says that the level of destruction reached 80% in some areas of Anbar, such as Ramadi. [BasNews]

 

Falluja

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its units in the 10th​​ Army Division found and destroyed a large explosives and ammunition cache in the olive orchards of Khalidiya Island. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded policemen and destroyed a vehicle with 2 IEDs near the Baghdad bus station in Falluja city, on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

Hit

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says its units in the 10th​​ Army Division arrested 2 Daesh fighters in an ambush in Tal Aswad, in the Albu Nimr Desert in northern Hit. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

Daesh said it targeted an Iraqi Army military position in T1 village, near Al-Qa’im, with 5 82mm mortar shells, on Monday. [ICDNDec11]

 

Rutba

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that Iraqi Army 7th​​ Division units killed 4 Daesh terrorists and destroyed tunnels and hideouts in the desert near Rutba. The source said the units also destroyed large quantities of IEDs and land​​ mines. The source sent us photos of the explosives.

 

Daesh said it targeted an Iraqi Army military position in the Kilo 40 area, eastern Rutba, with 3 SPG9 rockets, on Monday. [ICDNDec11]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that PMF units shot and killed 2 Daesh terrorists, including 1 from Central Asia, in addition to a smuggler who was delivering food items to the terrorists near the Hawi Shakhir area​​ near Shabali.​​ 

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that PMF units arrested a man who was smuggling food items, clothes, and mobile phone cards to Daesh terrorists in the Makhoul Mountains area. The source said units followed the man and arrested him and his brother,​​ the​​ Daesh member who was waiting to receive the items.

 

Daesh said it targeted a “PMF gathering” in the Hajjaj area with a Katyusha rocket, on Monday. [ICDNDec11]

 

Tikrit

Daesh said it had damaged a vehicle carrying IFP members with an IED near Allas oilfield, on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

Samarra

The 133rd​​ PMF Brigade found a Daesh weapons warehouse in Albu​​ Jarub,​​ west of Samarra. The warehouses contained mortar shells, rockets, communications equipment, and explosives. [AIN]

 

Daesh said its snipers killed a PMF member and wounded another​​ near​​ the Sur Ashnas​​ historic​​ palace, a cultural heritage site north of Samarra city,​​ on Sunday. [A3maq]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Security sources say Daesh is increasing​​ its​​ activities in Diyala, and is carrying out sniping operations that​​ the sources​​ say have killed several Army soldiers and police. The main area of operation is said to be between Abbara​​ (north of Baquba),​​ Zahra​​ (16 miles northeast of Baquba in Al-Waqf),​​ and Had Akhdher​​ (10.5 miles north of Baquba),​​ all of it being​​ a demographically mixed area where Daesh is trying to inflame sectarian differences. [BasNews]

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin,​​ Khalis​​ north)

A security source reported on Tuesday that a land mine explosion, followed by artillery fire, killed a policeman and injured 2 others during a patrol in Khanaqin. [BasNews]

 

Daesh published on Sunday photos of setting a factory and vehicles that belonged to an “Asayish intelligence member” on fire in the Qulay area, western Khanaqin. [ICDNDec8]​​ Daesh said it conducted the attack last Wednesday. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Monday it targeted the house of a Shi’i​​ in Mubarak village in Khanaqin with an IED, causing damages. [ICDNDec10]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it targeted the Shia village of Jizani, in Udhaim subdistrict,​​ Al-Khalis, with 3 81mm mortar shells. [ICDNDec11]

Daesh published photos of the attack. [ICDNDec11]

 

KIRKUK

Dibis

Daesh said it killed or wounded IFP members and damaged their vehicle with an IED near Jaqmaqa village, in Dibis, on Friday. [ICDNDec8]​​ 

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that Counter​​ Terrorism Service units, supported by Coalition planes, raided several locations in Hawija city and its surroundings and killed 2 Daesh terrorists and captured 4 others.

 

Daesh said it targeted “an IFP gathering” in Al-Salmani village, west of Riyadh, with 8 81mm mortar shells, on Monday. [ICDNDec11]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

The commander of the 31st​​ tribal PMF Regiment said that 2 tribal PMF fighters from the regiment had been killed by an IED targeting their patrol in the​​ village of Shayalah,​​ in the​​ Arab-majority​​ Qaraj subdistrict. The commander also pointed out that these are villages in the border area between Ninewa and Salahuddin provinces. [SotIraq]​​ 

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, Bashiqa)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that PMF units prevented any vehicle coming from Mosul from entering the Hamdaniya area without a local guarantor. The source said the PMFs feared​​ a vehicle bomb attack in the area.​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

The Ministry of the Interior said on Tuesday that 7 Daesh members had been arrested in various locations in the city of Mosul. It added that the detainees had been working for Daesh’s “security” and “Islamic Police” divisions. [Sumaria]

 

The Center for Security Information says that Army units killed 2​​ Daesh​​ fighters​​ who were​​ trying to place an IED near​​ the​​ Al-Nouri mosque in​​ Old Mosul. [Ghad]​​ [Buratha]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed an Iraqi Army officer and a soldier, wounded another soldier, and damaged a vehicle with a sticky IED near the German Hospital, on the road to Baghdad in west Mosul. [A3maq]

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that many “dangerous” Daesh terrorists and commanders have returned to their houses in the Shura area. The source said that Shura was Daesh’s “launchpad” for areas south of Mosul, and is still filled with Daesh supporters. The source said that most of the attacks south of Mosul are planned in Shura.

 

West (Hamidat/Muhalabiya)

The IFP says its 66th​​ Brigade​​ killed​​ 2 Daesh fighters​​ while they were placing IEDs on the Mosul-Badoush​​ Road, 1 of whom was wearing an explosives​​ belt.​​ A member of the Ninewa Security Committee also mentioned the incident in a press conference on Tuesday.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Buratha]

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source also said on Tuesday that an Iraqi Army unit shot and killed 2 Daesh terrorists who were planting IEDs on the road between Badoush and Tal Afar.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A military source says 5 Daesh fighters attacked a checkpoint in Buwayr village, south of Hamra near the Mosul District border. 3 attackers were killed and 2 escaped. The​​ Army recovered the bodies of the 3 Daesh attackers. [BasNews]​​ 

 

The Center for Security Information says that Army units found 7 old Daesh tunnels in the mountains near Sheikh Ibrahim. [Ghad]​​ [Buratha]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that 121 families returned to their houses in​​ the Yazidi-majority village of​​ Hardan after an agreement was reached with Yazidi PMF units in the area.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The families in question may not be Yazidis but Arabs, whose return could be seen as a potential threat to Yazidis.​​ These are transitions that must be completed, however, if the IDP camps are to be finally emptied. Some families are still in IDP camps because of suspected loyalties to Daesh.

 

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that Yazidi PMFs allowed 30 Arab families who​​ had been​​ in a displacement camp in Hammam Al-Alil, to return to their houses in the Khana Sor​​ area​​ near the Syria border, after the families passed the required security check. ​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that Yazidi PMF units defused 11 leftover Daesh IEDs on the road between Sinjar and Al-Shamal subdistrict.​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that units belonging to Ansar Al-Marji’ya, a Shia PMF, withdrew from several areas in Hatra after military reinforcements from the Iraqi Army 9th​​ Division arrived in the area.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Putting Hatra’s security under the control of regular Army troops is a good idea, as Hatra is increasingly a conflict area and the PMF units successively assigned there have struggled at​​ times as Daesh activity increased. This is a desert area​​ on a key desert route to Syria​​ where Daesh needs to operate in order to continue its fight.

 

Baaj

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that​​ 2​​ PMF members were killed when an IED exploded on them on the road between Baaj and​​ the border town of​​ Tal Safouk.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that PMF units stopped a Daesh attack in the Tal Safouk area, killing 2 terrorists, including a commander.

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

The Kurdistan Democratic Party nominated Nechirvan Barzani, the nephew of Masoud Barzani, for the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region. [BasNews] [Aawsat]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Political developments

On Tuesday, a representative of​​ President​​ Erdogan’s Justice and Development Part (AKP), Omar Celik, stated that the US announcement that the US would train 35,000-40,000 SDF troops had greatly offended Turkey. He said that Turkey did not see good intentions behind the project, and that it would immediately destroy any threat to its national security. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If Turkey’s military power matched the brashness of its threats, it would actually be dangerous.

 

Military & security developments

The​​ Governor of Rize​​ Province​​ in​​ northeastern Turkey,​​ on the Black Sea,​​ says that the province’s​​ head of​​ security was​​ shot and​​ killed. Police sources say the​​ murderer​​ is a local police officer. [Anadolu]

 

Foreign policy

US Special Envoy to Syria James Jeffery visited Gaziantep in Turkey, and met with refugees and CSO representatives. His delegation also visited US and Turkish military positions. [EnabBaladi]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Local media sources say that the Syrian government sentenced several opposition and jihadi figures to death​​ in absentia. Among these are Abu Mohammad Al-Julani, the leader of Tahrir Al-Sham, Essam Al-Buwaidhani, the leader of Jaish Al-Islam, and Abd Al-Nasr Shammir, head of the Rahman Corps. 40 others are also sentenced to death, mainly people from east Ghouta, on charges of shelling civilian areas in Damascus. [Qasioun]

 

A source close to the government says that the Syrian government is facing a financial crisis, since Syria’s oil fields are controlled by the Kurds and Americans, the gas fields by the Russians, and the phosphate mines by the Iranians.​​ 

The source​​ also​​ says that the government called on reserve soldiers (born between 1980 and 1985) for military service, and is preparing lists of reserves born between 1975 and 1980 to call upon. [ElDorar]

 

United Nations

The UNHCR announced a $5.5 billion plan to meet the Syrian refugee crisis. The campaign will cover the more than 5.6 million refugees registered with the UNHCR. The funds include support to refugee host countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt. [EnabBaladi]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The money is huge, but the number of refugees—5.6 million—is staggering. Remember also that UNHCR is counting only the official refugees—those who have registered with the UNHCR (which means the number is documented). The total number of Syrian refugees is higher.

 

Foreign policy

Middle East

Al-Jazeera’s website says that military personnel from UAE and Saudi Arabia toured SDF-held areas in​​ northern​​ Syria, including 3 areas near Manbij. These delegations reportedly are discussing the possibility of training armed groups​​ fighting​​ with the SDF​​ as well as​​ local militias. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

NPR​​ reported last Monday that​​ 44 mostly​​ European states have yet to repatriate widows and orphans who are their citizens who are now held in SDF detention centers in northern Syria due to involvement with Daesh. The SDF centers contain over 500 Daesh fighters and suspects, about 550 women, and about 1,200 children of Daesh fighters.​​ NPR​​ reported that the UK stripped some of the fighters of their citizenship, and that France agreed​​ to take in children of Daesh​​ members, but not their parents. [BasNews] [NPR]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This reinforces a comment we made last week, that European countries don’t really want these people back in their countries, where they​​ would be​​ a security threat, but this leaves the SDF in the middle—and the SDF is not even a country​​ with any responsibility for these people.

 

Local sources say that the​​ PKK​​ released Said Awed, a Daesh commander arrested by the​​ PYD​​ in Al-Tayyana, Mayadin​​ District, for a ransom of $100,000. The “PYD” were said to have released over 40 Daesh fighters 3 months ago for large amounts of money. [Sumaria]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Aside from the probability that the “local sources” are probably referring to the SDF and not the​​ PKK​​ or​​ ​​ PYD,​​ possibly betraying a propaganda purpose, we don’t believe the story anyway, conceding that Sumaria is usually reliable.

 

Northwest

Afrin

The YPG claimed responsibility for 2 attacks in Afrin against the pro-Turkish Sultan Murad militia. The first was an IED attack that killed a security officer for the militia;​​ the second was an attack on a military position that killed 1 militia fighter and wounded 2. [EnabBaladi]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ These small counter-attacks in Afrin have been increasing over time. The Turks and their paid friends took control of Afrin from the Kurds, but the price of success is starting to rise.

 

Manbij​​ 

Daesh said on Saturday it shot and killed an SDF member at the Al-Madfa’ security barrier in Manbij city. [ICDNDec8]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday that it killed or wounded SDF members in an ambush near Al-Kitab circle, in Manbij city. [A3maq]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said on Saturday that it killed two SDF members with a silenced gun in Hos village, in Al-Karama subdistrict, east of Raqqa city. [ICDNDec8]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

The military spokesman for Tahrir Al-Sham, Abu Khalid Al-Shami, says the Syrian Army and its allied militias are mobilizing on the Idlib borders. He claims that fresh units from the 4th​​ Syrian Army Division and fighters from local militias that took part in the “national reconciliation process” with the government are arriving in the area. [ElDorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and wounded three SDF members, including a commander, in Hariji village, south of Al-Suwar. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded seven SDF members after targeting their vehicle with machine guns in an ambush in Al-Shuhail town, on Sunday. [ICDNDec10] [A3maq]

 

Mayadin​​ District

Local media sources say that unidentified armed men killed 5 SDF soldiers in Dhiban. [Qasioun]

Daesh said it killed two SDF members and wounded two others, including a commander, in an ambush near Dhiban,​​ on Monday. [A3maq]

In a different version, Daesh said it shot and killed five SDF members after attacking their vehicle with machine guns at the Dhiban town market, on Monday. [A3maq] [ICDNDec11]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

Airstrikes

Iraq announced that its planes carried out airstrikes on 2 Daesh positions in Al-Susah, 1 of which had 30 armed fighters, and the other 14. [Qasioun]​​ Al-Susah is on the Iraq border.

 

Meanwhile, according to a security source, Iraqi Army artillery shelled Daesh positions inside Syria, killing several Daesh fighters. The exact location of the shelling was unspecified or unknown but was presumably on the Syrian side of the Albu Kamal border. [Buratha]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that Coalition planes killed 8 Daesh media officials in an airstrike near Hajin. The source also said that the planes killed several Daesh Uzbek terrorists in another airstrike.​​ Significantly, the source​​ also​​ said that SDF units were advancing in Hajin, while many Daesh terrorists were withdrawing toward Al-Sha’afa.​​ 

 

The Russian TV station​​ RT​​ says that Coalition planes mistakenly bombed SDF positions near Hajin. It reported that the bombardment killed or wounded 15 SDF fighters. The attack followed close-quarters fighting between Daesh and the SDF, after which the SDF captured​​ the​​ city’s hospital. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh issued on Monday an infographic saying that between December 1 and December 10, Coalition planes conducted more than 230 airstrikes on Kashma, Al-Sha’afa, Al-Baghouz, and Al-Susah, killing more than 80 people, wounding 50, and destroying 4 mosques, 2 hospitals, and a water purification station. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ These probably seem like non-military targets with innocent victims. As we often point out, however, they are the kinds of places typically taken over by Daesh as key military positions. If there really were 80 people killed, not a surprising number if there were 230 airstrikes as Daesh says, you can assume that all or almost all of them were Daesh fighters or other Daesh personnel, and possibly some of their family members.

 

Daesh said on Monday that Coalition planes targeted Hajin with more than 30 airstrikes. [A3maq]

Daesh said that 15 members of the same family were killed in a Coalition airstrike on houses in Al-Kashma village, on Monday. [A3maq]

 

A Coalition press release said that Daesh had used the Hajin Hospital as a base from which to engage Coalition partner forces (i.e. SDF), and in doing so, had forfeited the “protected status” otherwise afforded the hospital under the Geneva Conventions. [InherentResolve]

 

Hajin

The SOHR says that intense fighting continued in Hajin between SDF and Daesh, leaving casualties on both sides. The battles were accompanied by intense SDF artillery shelling on Daesh positions near the Al-Tanak oilfield. Coalition planes also attacked Daesh positions in and around Hajin, says the SOHR. [SyriaHR]

 

SDF sources said that intense battles were taking place around the Hajin hospital, leaving over 50 Daesh fighters killed. SDF defused 15 IEDs and destroyed a car bomb before it reaches its objective. [Hawar] Later stories indicated that the SDF had captured the hospital, which was being used by Daesh as a military installation.

 

The​​ SDF media office says​​ that the​​ SDF​​ stopped a Daesh counterattack in Hajin, killing 55​​ Daesh fighters and destroying 43 Daesh positions. [Hawar]

 

Local sources​​ said that​​ 2​​ SDF soldiers​​ were killed and 4 wounded in Daesh rocket shelling of​​ the​​ Hawama neighborhood, in Hajin. [Qasioun]

 

Conflict was reported between Iraqi and Uzbek members of Daesh, amid news that the Iraqis wanted to keep foreigners out of influential positions in the group. The conflict reportedly manifested after powers were granted to Abu Aisha Al-Anbari, the commander of the Kawaser Al-Anbar regiment, to the dissatisfaction of the Uzbek regiment, which engaged Kawaser Al-Anbar in a battle in Hajin that killed or wounded 16, including field commanders. Reportedly “Al-Baghdadi” envoys failed to contain the conflict. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it killed seven SDF members, wounded others, and stopped their attack “on the outskirts of” Hajin on Saturday evening. It also said it killed five more SDF members after it “lured” them to a land​​ mine field. It also said its snipers killed three fighters in the same area. Daesh said the SDF retreated from the area after the losses they sustained. [ICDNDec9] [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh uses the term “on the outskirts of…” when it’s losing that city​​ or has already lost it. Later on, it will report victorious counterattacks, then victorious shelling and rocketing stories, then the city will disappear from Daesh reports pending terrorist attacks done by sleeper cells. ​​ 

Luring enemy soldiers into their land mine fields,​​ as well as​​ killing them with their snipers, are also stories most likely to spike when Daesh is losing.

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed seven SDF members and wounded others in another​​ attack on Hajin Hospital. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ So, the SDF was “on the outskirts” of Hajin, and now suddenly it’s in the main hospital of the city​​ and being attacked by the always-victorious Daesh fighters who were occupying the hospital as a military installation a few days ago. Daesh is always victorious, even when it’s not.​​ 

 

Al-Bahra and Albu Kamal

Daesh said on Saturday that it killed or wounded at least 10 SDF members when it targeted 2 military positions in East Bahra village, just northwest of Hajin,​​ with 2 rockets. [ICDNDec8]

Daesh published photos of one of the attacks. [ICDNDec8]

Daesh said on Saturday it targeted “SDF gatherings” in East Bahra with 15 mortar shells. [ICDNDEc8]

Daesh said on Sunday it targeted the SDF in East Bahra with 30 120mm mortar shells and 7 SPG9 rockets. [ICDNDec9]

Daesh published on Monday photos of targeting East Bahra with mortars. [ICDNDec10]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This news item perfectly illustrates the sequence of Daesh propaganda stories designed to mask their defeats, noted two comments above. This is one of the “victorious shelling and rocketing stories.” Daesh lost control of Al-Bahra some time ago.

 

Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed an SDF SUV with a rocket northeast of Al-Shaafa. [ICDNDec8]

Daesh said on Monday it destroyed a Syrian Army bus with a rocket near Albu Kamal city. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Monday it targeted Syrian Army position in Albu Kamal city and its outskirts with 42 120mm mortar shells. [ICDNDec10]

Daesh said on Monday it targeted Syrian Army positions in Al-Khairat village, north of Albu Kamal, with 8 mortar shells. [ICDNDec11]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Four more “victorious shelling and rocketing stories.”

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Lebanon

Lebanon’s​​ ​​ Minister of the Interior, Nihad Al-Mashnouq, says that Lebanese security personnel thwarted a Daesh operation to smuggle explosives into the country in cheese containers and assemble them inside Lebanon. The operation was exposed by an undercover Lebanese agent. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Yemen

Agence France Press​​ says that the Yemeni government and the Houthis have agreed​​ during their talks in Sweden​​ to exchange prisoners. The total number​​ of prisoners covered by​​ the agreement is 15,000,​​ including 8,200 from the government side. The exchange will be performed in stages in Sanaa, which is​​ controlled by​​ the​​ Houthis,​​ and​​ in​​ Seyoun​​ in the Hadhramaut Valley,​​ controlled​​ by the government. [Hawar]

 

The UN says​​ that​​ it needs $4​​ billion in 2019 to assist 20​​ million Yemenis. The UN says​​ that​​ although​​ the level of​​ fighting​​ has​​ decreased, there is no actual ceasefire on the ground. [Hawar]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said on Saturday it killed or wounded Egyptian Army members and damaged an M60 tank with 2 IEDs east of Arish. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it damaged an Egyptian Army bulldozer with an IED west of the Arish Airport, on Sunday. [ICDNDec10]

 

Daesh said its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier at the Al-Ghaz security barrier, south of Arish, on Sunday. [ICDNDec11]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it wounded Egyptian Army members and destroyed their bulldozer with an IED in Rafah. [ICDNDec11]

 

Daesh said on Sunday that an Egyptian Army​​ howitzer​​ exploded​​ as​​ the​​ Army was shelling the “houses of the people” of Hay Al-Rasm, west of Rafah. [A3maq]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

France

French authorities reported that on Tuesday evening 1 person was killed and 6 civilians injured by gunfire in Strasbourg.​​ The Guardian​​ reported​​ in the same story that 2 were killed and at least 12 injured. [Sumaria] [Guardian]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh said on Sunday it killed a policeman with machine guns and stole his weapon in Bakaara market in Mogadishu. [ICDNDec9]

 

Daesh said on Monday it shot and killed a Somali intelligence member at a vegetable market in Afgooye city in​​ Lower Shebelle, about 25 km​​ (16 miles)​​ west of Mogadishu. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it shot and killed a Somali intelligence​​ officer​​ near the municipality office in Bosaso city. [A3maq]

 

Nigeria

Two​​ soldiers were killed on Saturday morning when suspected Boko Haram terrorists loyal to factional leader Abubakar Shekau attacked a military base at Gulumba village, northeast Nigeria, according to a security source. A second source said that a suicide bomber tried to infiltrate the base but was “neutralized” by troops.​​ The source also confirmed, however,​​ that 2 soldiers were killed and said that 2 others were injured. Last month, Shekau released a video claiming attacks against troops in Gulumba. [News24]

 

Nigerian soldiers intercepted a column of Boko Haram terrorists on Friday near a military base in​​ Jakana​​ town,​​ northeast Nigeria​​ in Borno State,​​ which started​​ a gunfight​​ that killed​​ 3​​ civilians,​​ according to​​ security sources.​​ A soldier was injured in the​​ gunfight.​​ [News24]

Daesh said it killed three Nigerian Army​​ soldiers​​ and wounded others in an attack on a military position in Jakana,​​ located​​ near Maiduguri, on Sunday. [ICDNDec11]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

An explosion in Kabul on Tuesday killed at least 6 people, including 4 security personnel, and wounded at least another 6. [Khaama]

 

The leader of Daesh’s Khurasan branch (aka ISIS-K) in Bati Kot district was killed on Monday in an Afghan Special Forces operation in Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

On Tuesday, the Afghan armed forces said that they fought off 2 separate attacks by Daesh’s Khurasan branch in Kunar Province, eastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issued on Monday a propaganda video about the battles in the Hajin area. [ICDNDec10]

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

You are invited to add information to or comment on any Daesh Daily story​​ 

 

 

Notice to readers: Iraq has declared a holiday for Monday, to celebrate the anniversary of Iraq’s victory over Daesh. We have decided to​​ honor that and​​ resume with our Tuesday night​​ issue.​​ 

 

December 7, 2018

 

A picture containing ground, outdoor

Description automatically generated

House Shelled by Daesh in Hatra District (DD Dec 7)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Sadrists make death threats against TV​​ talk show host. [..]

Daesh mass murderer killed in western Salahuddin. [..]

Erbil police chief announces installation of 10,000 security cameras. [..]

 

Turkey

Foreign Minister Cavusoglu asks US to leave northern Syria.​​ [..]

 

Syria

Gen. Dunford says US needs to train 35-40,000 more Syrians for Syrian security operations. [..]

SDF, Coalition move further into Hajin; now control 70% of city.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen:​​ UN says civilian casualties in Yemen average 123 per week.​​ [..]

Libya:​​ Constitutional​​ referendum may be held by February​​ in Libya. [..]

Morocco:​​ Daesh cell dismantled in Morocco. [..]

United States:​​ 

Trump appoints State Dept. spokesman Nauert to UN Ambassador post. [..]

Lebanese Hezbollah financier goes on trial in DC. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Iraqi​​ Dijla​​ TV presenter Sahar Abbas Jamil says she received death threats from supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr, saying they threatened to break into the TV station. She says the threats were received after she hosted pro-Iranian journalist Najah Mohammed Ali​​ on her​​ Monitor” program. Sadrists say that a delegation from their movement met the director of the TV station, asking him to pledge not to host Najah Mohammed Ali again for his antagonistic position towards Al-Sadr. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its units in the 10th​​ Army Division found a large Daesh hideout containing a large cache with 150 mortar shells and other types of ammunition in​​ the​​ Thirthar​​ area​​ to the north. The cache was destroyed on location. [IKH]

 

Rutba

Security sources in Anbar said that the Iraq-Syria border is “crowded” with planes, which were conducting overflights on a wide area of desert and agricultural land on both sides of the Euphrates, from Al-Baghouz in Syria to the Makr Al-Dhib area in Rutba. The sources said that these flights were seeking to catch Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi if he fled from his presumed location in Albu Kamal. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

Salahuddin Ops Command says that Army units, in cooperation with the 88th​​ PMF Brigade, killed the Daesh “mufti” Hameed Jassam Al-Falo​​ on the Salahuddin side of​​ the Himrin Hills area, northeast of Tikrit. Al-Falo issued a​​ fatwa​​ (religious legal ruling) in 2014 to kill all men and capture all women from the​​ large​​ Jubouri tribe in Al-Alam, and took part in the​​ murder​​ of 22 Army officers​​ Daesh had captured​​ in Al-Alam. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF units surrounded 2 Daesh terrorists who were hiding in a tunnel in the Himrin Mountains area. The source said the PMFs asked, via loudspeakers, the terrorists to surrender, and when they refused, the PMFs shot and killed them. The source said the PMFs found weapons and food supplies in the tunnel. 

 

The Center for Security Information says that Army units ambushed and killed a Daesh terrorist and wounded 2 others in​​ the Salahuddin part of the​​ Himrin​​ Hills, as well as finding 13 IEDs in​​ Al-Hasudiya​​ (location unclear). [Ghad]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that two tribal PMF members were killed while stopping a Daesh attack east of Al-Alam. The source said the PMFs killed 2 Daesh terrorists, including a local commander.

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Daesh said on Thursday it killed or wounded PMF members and damaged their vehicle with an IED near the Huleiwa intersection, in the Tuz Khurmatu area. [ICDNDec6]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin,​​ Khalis​​ north)

A local source says maintenance personnel from the Ministry of Electricity found an IED placed near a high-tension power pole near Qara Tapa​​ in Kifri​​ subdistrict. Army EODs defused the IED.​​ [BaghdadToday]

 

KIRKUK

No reports

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, Bashiqa)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that 70 families are still trapped in the Salamiyah camp for displaced people, between Nimrud and Hamdaniya. The source said the camp management secured hundreds of people, but no help​​ arrived​​ from the Ninewa provincial government.​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

The MoI says IFP intelligence units arrested a Daesh operative who used to provide Daesh with the names of state employees and contractors in Mosul. He also headed a team of 6 that planted 10 IEDs to target security forces, and was active in Daesh’s “Services Office,” digging trenches and constructing fortifications.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Rudaw]

​​ 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its “special missions” units arrested a man on charges of supplying weapons to Daesh in​​ Al-Faisaliya, east​​ Mosul. [Sumaria]​​ [Buratha]

 

Mosul District (Hamidat, Muhalabiya)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that a woman and a child were severely wounded when Daesh targeted houses in Al-Hashash village, near Tal Abta, with mortars. The source said the terrorists fled the area when Iraqi Army 20th Division units arrived.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

The Center for Security Information said on Thursday that 17,600 sheets of counterfeit US $100 bills had been seized in Rabi’a subdistrict​​ in northern Tal Afar.​​ [Rudaw]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

The journal​​ Sada, published by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Carnegie, carried an analysis regarding the KDP’s relationship with the PUK and the Gorran (Change) Movement. The piece​​ argued that the KDP has moved away from its previous strategy of power-sharing with the PUK, and now seeks to dominate the KRG politically without attempting to form consensus with the PUK or Gorran. [Sada]

 

ERBIL

Abdul​​ Khaleq​​ Tallat, the Erbil Police Director, announced a major project to install 10,000​​ security​​ cameras in the streets of Erbil. He also says that his department made 4,324 arrests since the beginning of the year. [Shafaaq]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

On Friday, the Turkish Foreign Minister called on the US to cease its activities in northern Syria. He told US Envoy James Jeffery that the US should sever its ties with the YPG, and remove its observation posts in northern Syria. [ElDorar]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

General Joseph Dunford says that the US needs to train 35,000-40,000 fighters in Syria, saying that 20% are​​ already prepared. He added that this troop level​​ is needed for the fighters to be able to stabilize and secure the areas they control. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

On Thursday, the Coalition nations held a meeting to discuss the fate of the more than 700 Daesh prisoners held by the SDF. 13 countries met in Ottawa to discuss the destiny of these prisoners; Canada said that each country would define the destiny of its citizens. The SDF says it is holding 795 Daesh fighters and 584 of their wives as prisoners. [Hawar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ There has been professed reluctance by home countries to take such people back, which leaves the SDF in the middle.

 

The​​ BBC​​ broadcasted an interview with a Saudi Daesh fighter being held prisoner by the SDF. Mohammed Al-Shammari refuses to go back to Saudi Arabia, as he is accused of terrorist operations there, and he is certain that death penalty is waiting for him under the rule of Mohammed Bin Salman. He is also accused by the US of recruiting and sending fighters to France and Germany to carry out terrorist attacks. [Qasioun]​​ [Sumaria]

 

Northwest

Manbij/Al-Bab/Jarabulus

A joint US-Turkey statement said that both states​​ are​​ committed to accelerate progress in the Manbij “roadmap,” beginning implementation by the end of 2018. The statement said that the 2 countries’ Foreign and Defense Ministries agreed to collaborate on counter-terrorism, restoring stability and security, providing humanitarian assistance, and preserving Syria’s territorial integrity. [Qasioun]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Furat​​ says that the bodies of 50 SDF fighters arrived in Raqqa on Friday. All were killed in the previous 2 days, fighting Daesh in eastern Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

North Raqqa​​ (Ayn Eissa,​​ Tal Abyad, etc.)

Daesh said it stabbed and killed an SDF member near Suluk town on Friday morning. [ICDNDec7]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

The “National Liberation Front,​​ a pro-Turkey​​ militia,​​ carried out an attack on Friday in Aleppo against the Syrian Army, killing 4 militia fighters loyal to Assad. [ElDorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

The SOHR reported that unidentified armed men attacked a car carrying a member of the Deir Ez-Zor municipal council in Suwaidan, which is held by SDF. It also reported that armed men wearing SDF uniforms broke into a jeweler’s house and stole SL 4.5 million worth of jewelry (about $8,700 US). [SyriaHR]

In Daesh’s version, it said it killed four SDF members and wounded another when it targeted their vehicle with machine guns in Suwaidan village.​​ 

Daesh also said it killed five SDF members and wounded three others when it targeted their vehicle with machine guns in an ambush in Dhiban town, on Thursday. [A3maq] [ICDNDec7]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SDF says it is advancing in Hajin and already controls several neighborhoods inside the city. Ridur Khalil, an SDF commander, adds that liberating Hajin is not the end of Daesh, and the war against this terrorist organization will take a long time. [ElDorar]

The SDF also said in a statement that they had killed 12 Daesh fighters and advanced 700 meters from one direction and 1 km from another inside Hajin. [BasNews]

 

The SOHR reported a heavy presence of Coalition planes over Hajin, following heavy artillery and air bombardment on Daesh positions in the area. It says that the SDF and its allies are now in control of over 70% of Hajin,​​ but​​ advancing slowly due to intense minefields and IEDs planted by Daesh.​​ The​​ SOHR says over 300 Kurdish reinforcement​​ fighters arrived​​ at​​ the front lines. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Coalition planes killed 15 Daesh terrorists, including an “important” military commander in airstrikes on several areas in Hajin. The source said that SDF units advanced in Hajin and captured Hajin hospital in addition to Al-Sha’itat and Al-Sinbal, two major areas in the city. The source also said the SDF freed hundreds of civilians.  

 

Forat​​ writes that Iranian forces and Iraqi PMF units are establishing checkpoints in Albu Kamal. These forces are on alert for possible Daesh attacks, given the pressure on Daesh by the SDF and the Coalition. [EnabBaladi]

 

Daesh said on Friday that Coalition planes conducted more than 100 airstrikes on Hajin since Thursday evening. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Friday that Coalition planes bombed a hospital in Hajin. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh use of hospitals, and other civilian buildings, as headquarters is well documented. It was basically the same tactic in Ramadi, Falluja, Manbij, Mosul, Raqqa, etc. ​​ 

 

South​​ 

Daraa/Quneitra

Unnamed sources say that the Lebanese Hezbollah is re-deploying its units in southern Syria, following recent Israeli missile attacks on its positions in​​ Al-Kiswah, south of Damascus. It moved its units toward​​ Daraa,​​ including rockets launching pads. [Arabi21]

 

On Thursday, a land mine explosion in Daraa killed 1​​ newly-graduated​​ Syrian Army officer and injured 5 others. The explosion occurred​​ as​​ they attempted to dismantle the mine.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

The United Nations’ refugee agency said Friday there were nearly 1,500 civilian casualties in Yemen from August through October, the latest grim tally to emerge from a four-year civil war as opposing parties hold talks in Sweden.

 

The announcement came as Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the internationally recognized government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, met for a second day for U.N.-sponsored talks aimed at halting the bloodshed.

UNHCR urged the two sides to do more to protect civilians, saying data from Yemen shows an average of 123 civilian killed and wounded every week during the three-month period, in a war that has killed at least 16,000 civilians.​​ ​​ 

On Friday, at the venue in a castle in the town of Rimbo, north of Stockholm, U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths and various delegates from Yemen were seen walking on the grounds.

The talks opened Thursday on an upbeat note, with the warring sides agreeing to a broad prisoner swap, boosting hopes that the talks would not deteriorate into further violence as in the past.

In a release from Sanaa later Friday the rebels said their delegation had met with Griffiths and looked forward to having success in the talks and making concrete progress. [AP]

 

The U.N. warned Friday the world’s worst humanitarian crisis is getting worse. Because of an ongoing civil war, more than 20 million in Yemen face starvation.​​ The U.N.’s humanitarian chief has described what’s happening here as a major catastrophe and he said it has the potential to become the worst situation this generation of aid professionals has ever seen.

[CBSNews]

 

Saudi Arabia

Two​​ sources said that Saud Al-Qahtani had personally overseen the torture of at least 1 detained female activist earlier this year. The sources said that the woman and at least 3 other activists were​​ subjected to sexual harassment, electrocution, and flogging as part of their detention, and said that Al-Qahtani was present when at least 1 of the women was tortured. Al-Qahtani was an advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) until October, when he was sacked over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. [Reuters]

 

North Africa

Libya

Emad Al-Sayeh, head of the Libyan Elections Commission, says a referendum will be held regarding a new constitution for the country before the end of February. Authorities could not​​ confirm​​ the mechanism​​ or​​ final date of the referendum. Al-Sayeh says this is a step towards ensuring​​ the​​ unity and stability of the country. [Hawar]

 

EOD teams in Benghazi found 2 IEDs “ready to explode” inside a school in the​​ Al-Saberi neighborhood of the city. [Libya24]

 

A civilian was shot and killed by a “stray bullet” in the Al-Salmani​​ area of Benghazi city. [Libya24]

 

Morocco

The Moroccan MoI says it dismantled a Daesh cell of 6 members in Beni Mellal, in the​​ interior​​ of the country. Moroccan security captured communication equipment and publications promoting Daesh radical thought; initial investigations indicated that the cell worked on recruiting young men in the city. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

President Trump announced on Friday that he​​ is​​ nominating​​ current State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to the be the next US Ambassador to the UN. [Anadolu] [CNN]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This appointment is being criticized, based on Nauert’s lack of diplomatic experience. We have noticed, however, in numerous State Department press statements we have covered, that Nauert, formerly with Fox News, has been a knowledgeable and articulate spokeswoman.​​ 

 

The US Department of Justice says that Qasim Taj Al-Din, a major financier of Hezbollah, is standing trial in Washington for evading sanctions that ban him from dealing with US companies. He was listed by the Justice Department in 2009 as an important financier for Hezbollah. [BasNews]

 

EUROPE

France

French media said that in June, a Pakistani and​​ a Russian national from​​ Chechenia​​ were arrested after plotting to kill gay men by seducing them through social media. They were arrested after French security monitored their contacts with 20 potential victims. One of the potential victims contacted the police after a harsh conversation with the Pakistani suspect. The Pakistani suspect denied being gay, and said that he was a Muslim and against terrorism; however, authorities found that he had a collection of about 7,000 photos of Daesh. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

On Friday, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan said that it rejected the decision of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) to invalidate votes cast in Kabul during the October parliamentary elections. The IEC called the decision of the IECC “illegal and biased” and said it would continue its work as normal. [Khaama]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 159th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine, which includes​​ an infographic about its attacks last week in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and west Africa. It claimed it conducted 67 attacks, killing or wounding more than 197 people and destroying 34 vehicles. Daesh also published a story about 3 Egyptian security officers who defected and joined Daesh, and were killed later. Daesh had issued a video about the 3 terrorists. [ICDNDec6]

 

Daesh published on Friday a photo of one of its terrorists, saying​​ he was killed in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNDec7]

 

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December 6, 2018