An Update On ISIS Activities

February 22, 2019

 

A mountain with clouds around it

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Coalition Airstrikes on Makhoul Mountains (DD Feb 21)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Unofficial source says US to open a consulate in Anbar. [..]

303 terrorism suspects arrested in Ninewa so far this year. [..]

 

Syria

Family of US woman who joined Daesh and was denied re-entry files lawsuit against government. [..]

US has decided to leave 400 troops in Syria.​​ [..]

Another Daesh mass grave found in Raqqa, with “dozens” of victims. [..]

Rebel rocket attack in Hama kills 14 Syrian soldiers, wounds 22. [..]

Mass evacuation of civilians imperils remaining Daesh fighters in Al-Baghouz area. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Sudan: ​​ Al-Bashir declares yearlong state of emergency, dissolves government. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Iraq-KRG Issues

The Iraqi​​ central government and the KRG agreed to exchange documents and information regarding citizens missing due to Daesh attacks. 1,561 blood samples and 2,604 documents have been exchanged so far. [Rudaw]

 

Foreign policy

A source in Anbar Province said that preparations are underway to open a US Consulate​​ at​​ the Habbaniya base in Anbar. The Consulate will provide visa services for the people of Anbar and support small and “micro” projects. [BasNews]

 

A US think tank warned Iraq that it may lose close political and economic relations with major western powers if the CoR sanctions the expulsion of all foreign forces from Iraq. Although this is the sovereign right of the country, major western powers may lose interest in it if such a decision is made, says the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Baghdad Ops​​ Command​​ says​​ the​​ 2nd​​ IFP​​ Division arrested​​ a​​ man on terrorism​​ charges in​​ Saba’ Al-Bor, Tarmiya District. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

On Friday, the Iraqi Directorate of Military Intelligence announced that detachments​​ from​​ its 15th​​ Brigade arrested a Daesh executioner infamous for beheadings on the Iraq-Syria border. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Haditha

Daesh said it killed five PMF fighters from​​ the​​ Jaghaifa tribe on Thursday in an ambush near Haditha city. [ICDNFeb22-Telegram]

 

Rutba

Jazeera Ops Command said on Friday that with support from the Iraqi Air Force, it had destroyed Daesh safehouses that had allegedly been used by the terrorists who recently kidnapped mushroom-hunters in the western Anbar desert. [Ghad]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

The PMF media office said that on Friday evening, units from the 51st​​ PMF Brigade and the police responded to a Daesh attack on Al-Naml, Shirqat District. The fighting was still ongoing at the time of the PMF statement.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Baiji

The Directorate of Military Intelligence said that Coalition planes attacked Daesh tunnels in Makhoul​​ Mountains west of​​ Misahaq,​​ killing 2 terrorists, 1 of whom was nicknamed the “Wolf of Makhoul.” He was​​ one​​ of the Daesh operatives accused of kidnapping civilians collecting mushrooms in the desert. [Rudaw]​​ 

A security source in Salahuddin said that the​​ Iraqi​​ Air​​ Force killed​​ 2​​ Daesh operatives in​​ the​​ mountains​​ near Misahaq.​​ The source added that both men​​ were from the​​ Al-Zab subdistrict​​ in Hawija. [Sumaria]

 

DIYALA

Diyala Police Command said on Friday that 3 people had been arrested on terrorism charges in various areas throughout the province. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

Daesh said its snipers severely wounded a PMF member on Thursday in Mahmoud Aziz Agha village, in Khanaqin subdistrict. [ICDNFeb22-Telegram]​​ 

Daesh also said it targeted​​ a Shia​​ house with a hand grenade in the same village​​ on Thursday, causing damages. [ICDNFeb22-Telegram]

 

KIRKUK

Southwest (Rashad)

A security source in Kirkuk Province said on Friday that PMF units, in coordination with the “Falcons” intelligence cell, had killed the wanted terrorist Meizar Al-Jawali. A statement from the PMF media office said that the operation took place in Rashad. [Sumaria] [Forat]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

NINEWA

The Joint Intelligence and Security Center in Ninewa also gave a tally of operations in Ninewa since the start of 2019. It said that in 2019, 303 terrorism suspects had been arrested, 29 Daesh tunnels had been destroyed, 24 explosive belts had been found, and 12 gunmen had been killed.​​ [IraqPress]

 

The Director of the Joint Intelligence and Security Center in Ninewa said that Daesh leaders were crossing from Syria into Ninewa Province with large amounts of money. He said that Daesh was using social media and fake “charity” organizations to entrap citizens into working with them or set up citizens for future blackmail. He entreated the citizens of Ninewa to be vigilant and not have a false sense of security or fall victim to “exploitation.” [IraqPress]

 

Mosul​​ city

The Counter-Explosives Directorate said on Friday that 4 chemical containers left behind by Daesh had been found near a mosque in the 17 Tammuz (July 17) neighborhood, northwest Mosul. [Sumaria]

 

Mosul District

No reports

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

The PMF media office said in a statement that the 53rd​​ PMF Brigade had carried out a search operation​​ in the mountains southeast of Tal Afar,​​ and​​ destroyed​​ several Daesh tunnels. [PressIraq]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

No reports

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

 

No reports

See story below under Syria.

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Mustafa Sigri, the leader of the political bureau​​ of the Mu’tasim Brigade, part of the pro-Turkey Free Syrian Army, said that Russia proposed a peace initiative including abandoning President Al-Assad, a ceasefire, and the restructuring of state institutions. In a series of tweets, he said that this would mean a political process without Al-Assad and his government. [EnabBaladi]

 

The SDF published passport photos it said belonged to a Daesh fighter who was captured in the fighting in Al-Baghouz. It said that the passport granted him free movement to and from Turkey, and that he went back and forth between Syria and Turkey many times. The SDF alleges that this is proof that Turkey is facilitating terrorism.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Repatriation

European Commission spokeswoman​​ Natasha​​ Bertaud said that it is possible for Daesh fighters who are EU nationals to return to their countries. She said, however,​​ that the decision to repatriate them or not is a sovereign right for every member state to make on its own.​​ [Sumaria]

 

The family of Hoda Muthana, the New Jersey-born woman who went to Syria to marry a Daesh fighter,​​ and is being prohibited from returning,​​ filed a lawsuit against the US Administration.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The young woman is either a citizen or she’s not, a question that could be determined by documentation. The State Department announcement seemed to assume she was not a citizen and could therefore be excluded.​​ The family seems to believe they can prove otherwise. Speculatively, could a US citizen who went to Syria to join Daesh be considered to have renounced her citizenship in so doing? She was moving to a declared caliphate, albeit not to an internationally recognized country, which could be the basis for an argument that she intended to transfer her citizenship to another political entity, which was also a sworn enemy of the United States.

 

Foreign policy

United States

The​​ Wall Street Journal​​ wrote that the US would be maintaining a peacekeeping force of 200 soldiers in Syria. This came after a conversation between Trump and Turkey’s​​ President Erdogan​​ on Thursday. [Hawar]​​ [WSJ]

Later on Friday, the Administration said that the number could be higher than 200, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders saying that 200 was a rough estimate.​​ The Pentagon also returned to referring to them as troops rather than “peacekeepers.” [WSJ]

 

A senior US official said that the US had decided to leave about 400 US troops in Syria in a safe area (to be negotiated) and​​ at​​ the Al-Tanaf base. The troops in northeast Syria would be accompanied by 800-1500 troops from​​ other​​ Coalition​​ countries, to form and observe a “safe zone.” [BasNews]

The​​ New York Times​​ also wrote that the latest plan was for the US to leave 400 troops in Syria: 200 troops in a “multinational force” in northeastern Syria and another 200 at a “small outpost in the southeast,” who would try to counter Iranian influence. [NYT]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If those “Coalition countries” protecting the “safe zone” don’t include Turkey, this is not a good-news development for Erdogan.

 

The​​ Kurdish​​ Autonomous​​ Administration in Syria welcomed​​ the​​ US decision to keep 200 soldiers in Syria following its withdrawal. Abdulkarim Omar, a political official​​ affiliated​​ with the SDF,​​ said​​ it might encourage other states to keep forces​​ there​​ to pressure​​ the​​ Syrian government to seek a​​ political​​ solution.​​ He said the decision could “stop the Turkish threats” against northeast Syria.​​ [BasNews]​​ [WSJ]

 

Northwest

No reports

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

An explosion near Ayn Al-Arab city (aka Kobane) on Thursday killed and wounded several YPG fighters. 4​​ YPG​​ fighters and 1 15-year-old civilian were reported killed in the explosion. [Qasioun]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR reported that another​​ mass grave had been found in Raqqa, containing civilians executed by Daesh during its control of the city. It said the grave contained dozens of bodies, without specifying exact numbers. This is the second instance of its kind since January 23, when a mass grave of over 1000 bodies was found. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Friday it killed or wounded four SDF members and damaged their vehicle with an IED in Al-Amasi neighborhood in Raqqa city. [ICDNFeb22-Telegram]

 

Central and West​​ 

Hama

A military source said on Friday that “factions of the revolution” attacked the Jurin camp in​​ northwest​​ Hama, where Syrian Army soldiers were stationed, with homemade rockets. The rockets struck weapons stockpiles inside the camp and they exploded, killing 14 Syrian Army soldiers and wounding 22. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal​​ District

Reuters​​ reported that 30 trucks carrying civilians left Al-Baghouz on Friday. It wrote that it was unclear if there were remaining civilians in the Daesh-held area.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

Mustafa Bali, an SDF spokesman, said that about 7,000 civilians total had been evacuated from Al-Baghouz, and that he expected the evacuation to finish on Friday. He added that if all civilians were evacuated, the SDF would either assault the remaining Daesh-held​​ position in the​​ Al-Baghouz​​ area​​ or “force the terrorists to surrender.” [BasNews]​​ 

 

The SOHR said that Coalition airstrikes on farms and areas still under Daesh control killed several Daesh commanders from different non-Syrian nationalities, mostly French. The SOHR said that this brings the total persons killed to 1,340 Daesh fighters and 682 SDF fighters who have killed in fighting since September 10, in addition to 417 civilians. [SyriaHR]

 

The SOHR said that Daesh executed 1 of its “second echelon” Iraqi leaders because he​​ urged​​ civilians in eastern Deir Ez-Zor to hand themselves over to the SDF. [Sumaria]​​ [Ghad]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Algeria

Hundreds of Algerians demonstrated against President Bouteflika running for the presidency for the fifth time. The protestors headed to the presidential palace, where they were met by police​​ who used​​ tear gas. [Sumaria]

 

Sudan

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir declared a yearlong state of emergency on Friday, dissolved the current “national reconciliation” government, and said that he would dissolve state governments. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Al-Bashir is under enormous pressure of late, beset by street protests against his regime. This measure is therefore a kind of desperate effort to stay in power.

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

 

See above under Syria.

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 170th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. It includes​​ an infographic about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, west Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and “east Asia” in the last week. Daesh claimed it conducted 51 attacks, killing or wounding 134 people and destroying 20 vehicles. [ICDNFeb21-Telegram]​​ 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

February 21, 2019

 

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IFP Units Captured Daesh Terrorists Near Rashad (DD Feb 21)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

EU agrees to fund UNESCO project to revitalize the​​ old cities” in Mosul, Basra.​​ [..]

Iraqi intelligence dismantles major Daesh funding cell, seizes $500 million.​​ [..]

Iraqi intelligence arrests 13 Daesh leaders, fighters ​​ inside Syria. [..]

Iraq now receiving Daesh Iraqi prisoners from SDF. [..]

Coalition “hit” on notorious Daesh commander​​ sets off​​ celebration in Salahuddin. [..]

Ninewa security units discover 26 bodies of Shabaks killed by Daesh. [..]

 

Syria

Save the Children sounds alarm over 2,500 children sent to northern Syria refugee/IDP camps since January 1.​​ [..]

Families start returning to Hajin, Al-Susah in Albu Kamal. [..]

Bangladesh nixes idea of accepting female Daesh member UK has rejected. [..]

SDF on arrest campaign to clean up Daesh pockets in Albu Kamal. [..]

Daesh vehicle bomb near Al-Shuhail kills 15 civilians. [..]

Daesh Daily source says hundreds of Daesh fighters have surrendered. 300 holdouts are left.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Chad: ​​ Boko Haram attacks, kills villagers in western Chad. [..]​​  ​​​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

The EU and UNESCO agreed to fund a project to revitalize the “old cities” in Basra and Mosul. The media director for UNESCO in Iraq, Dhia’ Sabhi, said in a statement that the project will begin in early May​​ this year​​ and will be implemented over a period of 3 years. Sabhi said the project had $20 million of EU funding and that 80% of the workforce employed would be Iraqi youth, while the remainder would be​​ expats. [Rudaw]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Iraqi National Intelligence Service says it dismantled the “largest Daesh funding cell in the world,” which it said operated around the globe. The cell had a series of offices​​ and markets, through which the funds passed in a convoluted manner​​ in order to disguise​​ their​​ movement. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]

A security source​​ added​​ that​​ $500​​ million was​​ found with​​ a​​ cell arrested on charges of funding Daesh.​​ [Sumaria]

 

A source in the​​ Iraqi​​ National Intelligence​​ service said on Thursday that its​​ units​​ executed an operation inside Syrian territory,​​ arresting 13 Daesh commanders and fighters of French nationality. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

A security source says Iraq is​​ receiving, in groups,​​ hundreds of Daesh​​ fighters captured by​​ the​​ SDF in Syria. There are reportedly​​ 502 Iraqi Daesh fighters held by​​ the​​ SDF​​ to be repatriated. 150​​ have​​ already​​ been​​ received, according to Qatar Al-Obeidi, a tribal​​ PMF​​ leader in Anbar. [Sumaria]

Another report wrote that the SDF had handed 130 Daesh fighters over to the Iraqi government.​​ Agence France Press​​ said that these fighters were arrested in the fighting in eastern Deir Ez-Zor. The PMF media office confirmed that all Daesh fighters received are of Iraqi nationality. [EnabBaladi]

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source also said on Thursday that the SDF handed over 151 Daesh members it had captured in Al-Baghouz to Jazeera Ops Command and the Iraqi Army 7th​​ Division. The source said the terrorists,​​ from different Iraqi cities, were transferred to Baghdad for investigation.

 

Mahmoud Al-Dulaimi, a member of the Anbar Provincial Council, demanded the immediate​​ and comprehensive investigation​​ of the 150 Daesh fighters received by Iraq from the SDF, to discover what crimes they had committed and any connections they had in Anbar Province. [BasNews]

 

Also see related story below under Anbar.

 

Representatives of 60 countries agreed on Thursday to work together with the Coalition to develop “specialized Iraqi capabilities” to fight Daesh ideology and media use on social networking sites and in cyberspace. They also agreed to increase international cooperation to prevent Daesh’s use of cyberspace, and work on removing Daesh’s “electronic archives.” These statements occurred as part of the fourth international conference for combating the ideology and media influence of Daesh, which was held in Baghdad from Wednesday to Thursday. [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

The Security Committee for Anbar Province said on Thursday that families arriving in Anbar today were not families of Daesh members. Na’im Al-Ka’ood,​​ Chairman​​ of the Committee, said that the families entering Iraq were “just displaced Syrian families” and had nothing to do with Daesh. Al-Ka’ood said that the Iraqi security forces had received about 130 persons wanted on terrorism charges from the SDF, but that was a separate personnel transfer. [BasNews]

 

Falluja

A security source said that a search operation began in the Ameriyat​​ Falluja​​ IDP camp, south of Falluja, to find Daesh operatives. The search includes the re-checking of all IDP credentials as a step to return​​ people​​ to their​​ home​​ areas. [BasNews]

 

Hit/Haditha

Daesh said on Thursday it wounded the mukhtar of Kassara village, west of Hit, and his son, a tribal PMF fighter, with hand grenades. [ICDNFeb21-Telegram]

 

Brigade Commander for the PMF in Haditha,​​ Hussein Al-Jaghaifa,​​ said on Thursday that intelligence indicated that the Daesh fighters in the desert around Haditha had only 4 vehicles. He said this means​​ there could be at most 20 terrorists, assuming that every vehicle​​ can accommodate​​ 5 terrorists. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ What​​ about the​​ terrorists who​​ aren’t​​ using vehicles?

 

Daesh said on Thursday it wounded a tribal PMF commander with an IED in Al-Aqba village, in​​ eastern​​ Hit district. [ICDNFeb21-Telegram]

 

Rutba

Commander of the tribal PMF in Haditha,​​ Awad Al-Osman,​​ says 4 Daesh fighters were killed and a vehicle and a tunnel destroyed in the Wadi Horan (Horan Valley) and Makr Al-Dhib areas​​ in​​ western Anbar, on Thursday. The 7th​​ Army Division and joint forces were clearing the areas between Al-Qa’im and Rutba, with air cover from the Iraqi​​ Air​​ Force. In total,​​ 5 Daesh fighters have been killed and 5 tunnels destroyed since the start of the campaign, which Al-Osman said would continue​​ its efforts​​ to free all the civilians kidnapped by Daesh in the past few days. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Coalition planes killed 4 Daesh terrorists, including a senior local commander called “Saif Al-Dawla,” in an airstrike near​​ the​​ Makhoul Mountains. The source says the terrorist was a lieutenant​​ colonel​​ in Saddam’s army, who joined Al-Qaeda later on, and then Daesh, and was responsible for killing many people in northern Salahuddin. The source said people of the village and tribal PMF fighters celebrated after the airstrike,​​ paraded with bodies of the terrorists,​​ and thanked the Coalition.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Coalition planes targeted Daesh positions on Makhoul Mountains with 7 airstrikes.​​ 

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that 6 Daesh terrorists, including a local commander, were killed and their safehouse destroyed in airstrikes​​ in the Himrin Mountains area. The source said the terrorists were preparing to attack Oil Facilities Protection units north of Baiji.​​ Local PMF units went to the safehouse after the airstrikes and found weapons, ammunition, and explosives vests.​​ 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said its snipers wounded an Iraqi soldier on Wednesday in Al-Anbakiya village, in Khan Bani Saad​​ subdistrict​​ southwest of Baquba city. [ICDNFeb21-Telegram]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Southwest (Rashad)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that IFP units captured 4 Daesh terrorists in a tunnel in the desert near Rashad. The source said the IFP confiscated weapons, ammunition, and military uniforms.​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

Captain Tariq Hamad said that Ninewa security units found the bodies of 26 Shabak citizens, bearing marks of torture and gunshot wounds, in east Mosul.​​ 

In a separate item, he said that armed men killed a civilian​​ Ninewa​​ employee in the Al-Karama neighborhood of east Mosul. [BasNews]

 

Mosul District

South (Qayara)

The MoI said that 21 anti-armor​​ mines had been found in an abandoned house in Qayara​​ subdistrict. [Forat]​​ [PUKMedia]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

No reports

 

Southern Ninewa

No reports

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Babel

A security source said that the Babel police arrested a terrorist at a checkpoint near the north entrance to Babel. [Ghad]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Refugees and repatriation

Save the Children said in a statement on Thursday that over 2,500 foreign children from 30 countries were distributed across 3 refugee and IDP camps in northeastern Syria, and that about half of them had fled Daesh-held areas in Deir Ez-Zor since the beginning of 2019. The organization also said that at least 38 of these children were without caretakers, and that some were only days or weeks old. [Qasioun]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that 200 refugee families returned to their houses in Hajin, Al-Susah, and other areas in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, from the Al-Rukban camp in Jordan.​​ 

 

Bangladesh declined to provide citizenship to Shamima Begum, the Daesh wife whose UK citizenship was revoked.​​ Bangladesh says​​ that​​ she never visited the country and has no right to obtain nationality.​​ [Sumaria]​​ Shamima Begum begged the British government to reconsider her case​​ with a bit more mercy in their heart.” [Reuters]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It was never clear why Bangladesh should​​ have to​​ take​​ responsibility for​​ Begum​​ if the UK​​ wouldn’t. It’s also still unclear what effect this case, and that​​ of Hoda Muthana, whose​​ return​​ to the US​​ has been rejected amid an issue over whether she is a citizen,​​ will​​ have as a precedent for future cases.

International legal angles aside,​​ these decisions should be based first and foremost on​​ justice. If the international community agrees on​​ it,​​ a solution could be reached to deal with Daesh foreigners.​​ However, national governments​​ should think​​ first​​ about​​ Daesh’s​​ victims.​​ 

Many foreign terrorists​​ have​​ returned to their home countries without paying a price for killing, torturing, terrorizing, and displacing millions of people in Iraq and Syria,​​ and they pose​​ a​​ threat wherever they go. Many say they were just​​ performing​​ civilian​​ tasks​​ for Daesh, but that’s not the truth. Daesh has never been shy about its crimes. It​​ says​​ up front that it kills people. It takes responsibility, for example, for suicide attacks that kill civilians—men, women, and children. It shows beheading and torture​​ photos and videos on​​ a​​ regular​​ basis. Daesh leaves no​​ chance for any misunderstanding about its goals​​ and methods.​​ It uses this​​ kind of​​ propaganda to recruit people, including these two women.

Even if​​ the​​ two​​ women​​ didn’t​​ directly​​ kill​​ anyone, they committed other crimes against the local populations. They​​ married and supported known killers,​​ were supported by money stolen from Syrian people, and​​ lived in houses stolen from Iraqis​​ or​​ and Syrians,​​ some of them​​ Daesh murder victims.​​ News reports today even showed a social media message from Ms. Muthana urging people back home in Alabama to go out and kill people for her cause.​​ These women​​ understandably hope to escape prosecution at home​​ with their​​ naiveté’ defense, or​​ to​​ be tried by naïve judges and juries, but​​ Iraqis and Syrians​​ who know better would​​ be​​ better judges of​​ Daesh members.​​ 

​​ These women and others like them​​ are​​ Daesh members, not unwitting family members. They deliberately went to Syria to join Daesh, and they were influenced to do so by Daesh propaganda that made it constantly clear that they intended to kill a lot of people in sometimes cruel ways.​​ Doing that​​ makes you a member, and​​ at​​ the​​ least​​ an accomplice to their crimes. Justice for the victims of those crimes is a lot more important than giving criminals a break.

 

Also see stories above under Iraq regarding the transfer of Iraqi Daesh fighters.

 

Northwest

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus

Kurdish media wrote that 3 “Turkish occupation” soldiers and 3 “mercenaries” (i.e., pro-Turkish militia​​ fighters) had been killed by a car bomb in the town of Ghandoura, Jarabulus District. [Hawar]

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

Hama

The​​ Tahrir Al-Sham​​ affiliated Jaish Al-Izza (Army of Glory) militia claimed to have thwarted a Syrian Army attempt to approach their positions​​ in northern Hama—south of Lataminah​​ (located​​ 24 miles​​ north of Hama)—killing and wounding several soldiers. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Forat​​ reported that there was an arrest campaign by SDF units in several areas of Deir Ez-Zor Governorate, concentrating on Iraqi nationals. It also wrote that the SDF had confiscated Internet and communications equipment in Abu Nital village in Al-Suwar subdistrict. [Qasioun]

 

The SOHR said that the SDF, backed by Coalition helicopters, attacked a house in Al-Shuhail​​ in Al-Busayrah subdistrict​​ and arrested 3 Iraqi nationals following a gunfight. [SyriaHR]

Qasioun​​ wrote that​​ Coalition troops carried out an aerial landing operation in the Khayasa neighborhood of Al-Shuhail, arresting a Daesh security officer​​ and 3 of his companions.​​ [Qasioun]

 

A Daesh vehicle bomb targeted​​ a car carrying employees​​ home​​ from​​ the Al-Omar​​ oilfield​​ near​​ the town of​​ Al-Shuhail,​​ killing 15 civilians. [Hawar]

Daesh’s version​​ said it killed 15 “SDF​​ members” and destroyed a vehicle when it set off a parked car bomb in Al-Shuhail.​​ [ICDNFeb21-Telegram]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that hundreds of Daesh terrorists, including many foreigners, surrendered to SDF units in the Al-Baghouz area. The source said the SDF moved the families of the terrorists to Al-Hawl camp in Hasaka and to another camp near Al-Baghouz. The source sent us a video of some of the terrorists.​​ 

 

A Kurdish human rights group said that “hundreds” of Daesh fighters had surrendered inside Al-Baghouz. It said that thousands of civilians and families of Daesh had left the enclave, and that “more than 300” Daesh members were hiding with civilians in tunnels and farms near Al-Baghouz. [BasNews]​​ 

 

Coalition spokesman Sean Ryan said that the SDF is negotiating the handover of innocent civilians trapped in the battle areas with Daesh. Ryan did not clarify​​ whether​​ the negotiations involve Daesh’s surrender. [EnabBaladi]

 

SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said that the civilians in the last Daesh stronghold have not left the area. He said that trucks sent to transport them returned empty. [EnabBaladi]

 

The​​ Guardian​​ published a report on the collapse of​​ the​​ last Daesh​​ position​​ in Syria. It said that Daesh fighters were moved in trucks used to carry sheep, while covering their faces, as they were passing their Kurdish captors. It said that US, UK, and French Special Forces units are present in the location, and are preparing to enter Al-Baghouz as soon as civilians are evacuated from the city. Their aim is reportedly to look for western hostages held by Daesh. [Sumaria] [EnabBaladi] [Guardian]

 

On Thursday,​​ Sputnik​​ wrote that a Coalition airstrike killed a French-nationality​​ Daesh member in Al-Baghouz. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

Daesh issued on Thursday a video of targeting an Al-Qaeda vehicle with an IED in the Dhi Kalib Al-Asfal area, in Qifa. [A3maq]

Daesh had previously said on Tuesday that it destroyed the vehicle, wounding an Al-Qaeda fighter. [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

The police command for Zamfara State, northwestern Nigeria, said​​ that 6 farmers and 59 “bandits” had been killed in an apparent shootout between a “civilian task force” and the “bandits.” [DailyPost]

 

Chad

An official source told the​​ AFP​​ on Thursday that Boko Haram fighters had killed 5 people, wounded 5 others, and kidnapped another 9 people, including 6 women, in 2 separate attacks on villages in western Chad. Both attacks took place on Tuesday night. [VanguardNGR]​​ 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with the​​ controversial​​ First Vice President of Afghanistan, Abdul Rashid Dostum, in Kabul on Wednesday. Dostum’s office said that they discussed the peace process and the upcoming elections in Afghanistan, and added that Dostum emphasized the importance of intra-Afghan consensus in building peace. [Khaama]

 

An Afghan Special Forces intelligence operation arrested 4 members of a Taliban cell in Kabul city. The cell was responsible for a series of bombings, armed robberies, and assassinations in Kabul, according to the National Directorate of Security. [Khaama]

 

An Afghan Special Forces operation destroyed a Taliban prison and killed 2 Taliban fighters in the Tagab District of Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

February 20, 2019

 

A picture containing grass, outdoor, ground, field

Description automatically generated

Daesh IEDs Found Near Hatra (DD Feb 19)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Daesh Daily source details Daesh secret operation to free terrorists from Iraqi prisons.​​ [..]

50,000 displaced persons may be transferred to Iraq under UN-Iraq deal.​​ [..]

Daesh Daily source reports emerging Daesh operation in southeast Hamdaniya. [..]

Impending Daesh defeat in eastern Syria​​ traps many Daesh families along Iraqi border. [..]

Daesh Daily source flags long-standing Daesh tunnel system on Ninewa-Syria border. [..]

Influx of Daesh fighters from Syria sparks security concerns in western Ninewa. [..]

​​ 

Syria

SDF reported moving toward agreement with Syrian government. [..]

Jordan PM says most Syrian refugees in Jordan don’t want to return. [..]

Anti-repatriation decision by US adds to the confusion over status of SDF prisoners. [..]

US reportedly plans to​​ use​​ Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system for its own​​ forces. [..]

Russian RT network reports mass surrender by Daesh to SDF in Al-Baghouz. [..]

WSJ reports Daesh deal with SDF to let Daesh families leave Al-Baghouz in possible indication of impending surrender.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Egypt: ​​ 

Egypt ignores Amnesty International torture allegations, executes 9. [..]

North Sinai sees 5th​​ major security incident in 5 days, as Army attacks terrorist positions. [..]

Canada:​​ Seven​​ Syrian​​ refugee children die in a Nova Scotia house fire. [..]

Nigeria: ​​ Boko Haram kills 18 wood cutters in northeast Nigeria. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Gen. Votel visits Ghani, pledges continued US support.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that Daesh’s “Diwan Al-Asra” (Office of Prisoners) is one of the most active, important, and secretive of Daesh’s organizations. The source says that​​ the leaders and members of this office are not known even to Daesh members. The office has a network of lawyers in Baghdad, Ninewa, and other governorates who follow up on each and every captured Daesh terrorist. The source says the lawyers try to influence the cases by moving them to other provinces, where there are no witnesses, and try to influence the judges’ decisions based on their personal and tribal contacts. The source said the office’s work includes intimidating or killing witnesses and​​ their families, providing bribes to corrupt officials and security commanders, getting rid of evidence, providing fake IDs and other official documents (seemingly​​ showing, for example, that the terrorist is a different person, usually a victim of Daesh), providing money and supplies for terrorists inside prisons, supporting the families of the terrorists, including salaries and housing, and following up on the terrorists after they get released. The source​​ also​​ said that Daesh still has millions of dollars in resources, in addition to countless hideouts, weapons and explosives caches, and vehicles,​​ with which to​​ resume their activities.

 

The fourth international conference on combating and preventing the spread of Daesh’s ideology began in Baghdad on Wednesday, with the participation of representatives from 60 countries. Iraqi MoD and Security Media Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said that the conference would include “research sessions” on combating extremism. MoI spokesman General Sa’ad Ma’an said that the timing of the conference was important, coming after Daesh had been militarily defeated in Iraq, and that it was necessary to combat the spread of extremist ideology via media. [BasNews]

 

A​​ digital media​​ center said on Wednesday that within the past few weeks, Daesh members had begun to use a new application for instant messaging called “Rocket Chat.” A researcher with the center​​ said that within the past year many users publicly announced that they were affiliated with Daesh. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Foreign policy

On Sunday, a statement published by the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers announced that the UN and Iraqi government have discussed transferring about 50,000 displaced Syrians to Iraq. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

BAGHDAD

No report

 

ANBAR

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that 4 PMF fighters were killed when their vehicle was destroyed by a Daesh IED west of Rawa. The source said the PMFs were looking for civilians who had been kidnapped by Daesh in the same area.

 

Al-Qa’im

Al-Mada​​ wrote that events in western Iraq are “intertwined” with the battle to take the last few square hundred meters of Daesh-held territory in eastern Syria. It wrote that hundreds of families are still trapped between Al-Baghouz and Al-Qa’im, and trying to enter Iraq.​​ 

Al-Mada​​ noted that this also came as Iraq announced earlier this week that it​​ may​​ admit 50,000 refugees in coordination with the UN, which could possibly include the Iraqi families of Daesh fighters who fled to Syria. A security source told​​ Al-Mada​​ that the SDF were negotiating with families in Al-Baghouz who were asking to return to Iraq. However, it was also noted that this could be a means for Daesh to re-infiltrate Iraq. [Mada]

 

Rutba

The head of the tribal PMF for Anbar, Tariq Al-Asal, said on Wednesday that the occasional terrorist operations in the desert areas are evidence that Daesh has tunnels and headquarters permeating the desert. [BasNews]​​ 

 

A security source in Anbar Ops Command says that Army units clearing the western desert of Anbar killed 4 Daesh fighters and destroyed 2 vehicles. The operation started following the recent kidnappings of civilians in the desert. [BasNews]

 

A PMF Commander in Anbar, General Faisal Hussein, announced on Wednesday that the 10th​​ PMF Brigade had killed 5 Daesh members in​​ the​​ Horan Valley. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]

 

Daesh said it captured then killed four tribal PMF fighters and stole their weapons on Monday in​​ an​​ ambush​​ in​​ the Al-Nukhaib area​​ in eastern Rutba. [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

Daesh said it captured,​​ then killed a National Security Service member on Tuesday near Rutba city. [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

Daesh said on Wednesday it captured,​​ then killed 14 Iraqi soldiers, destroyed 2 vehicles, and stole 3 vehicles in addition to weapons and ammunition in an ambush near the border crossing to Arar, Saudi Arabia. [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

 

SALAHUDDIN

No report

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

A security source said on Wednesday that​​ a Daesh suspect was arrested on terrorism charges in an IDP camp in Baquba, following intelligence tips. [Sumaria]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Daesh said it killed or wounded Iraqi soldiers and destroyed their Humvee with an IED on Tuesday in the Al-Nida area, in​​ southeast Diyala.​​ [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

 

Daesh said its snipers wounded two Iraqi soldiers on Tuesday in the Al-Nida area. [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk

A security source says that a PMF fighter was killed and an intelligence operative wounded when unidentified armed men shot at them in the​​ Al-Wasti​​ neighborhood in Kirkuk. [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

Units of the 14th​​ Division of the Iraqi Army struck a Daesh position on Wednesday near Makhmur. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)

DaeshDaily​​ source says many Daesh fighters are hiding in Hawijat Al-Husan village​​ and surrounding areas in Hamdaniya’s Nimrud subdistrict.​​ The source says many of those fighters were members of Daesh’s Ashbal Al-Khilafa (“Cubs of the Caliphate”) and they have not been investigated because of how young they are. The source says many of the other Daesh terrorists in this area are barely in their twenties, but hold​​ important positions​​ within Daesh.​​ 

The source says Daesh is aiming at creating “Ardh Al-Tamkin” (“the Land of​​ Empowerment”) in areas that extend to Al-Shura subdistrict, where Daesh still has many loyalists. The source says Daesh plans to use these areas as training grounds and launchpads to attack other areas.​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

The​​ Falcons” intelligence cell said on Wednesday that its detachments had killed 5 suicide bombers who were wearing explosive belts, in northwest Mosul. [Sumaria]​​ [Ghad]

 

The​​ Counter-Explosives Directorate said in a statement that 2 IEDs were defused​​ at​​ the​​ Thalassemia​​ Hospital, which is under construction in Mosul. [Sumaria]

 

Mosul District

South (Shura)

 

See Shura-related story above under Nineveh Plain

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh had established “strategic” tunnels on the border between Iraq and Syria, in Tal Afar and other areas, even before it captured Ninewa in 2014. The source said Daesh is still using these tunnels to move freely between the 2 countries. ​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that Daesh blew up 8 electricity transformers between Tal Abta and Tal Afar.​​ 

 

Sinjar

 

See story below under Baaj

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that PMF units found a Daesh hideout in a deserted house in Rajm Al-Anzi village, south of Hatra. The source said the PMFs found weapons, ammunition, and food supplies in the hideout. The source also said the PMFs captured 2 Daesh smugglers after the raid.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that PMF units found 210 Daesh IEDs hidden in a tunnel near Al-Barit village.​​ 

 

Baaj

The PMF media office said on Wednesday that the 33rd​​ PMF Brigade was carrying out a “wide-ranging” security operation to clear the villages and district of Al-Baaj and Qayrawan subdistrict in Sinjar. [PressIraq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says the number of Daesh terrorists in southern and western Ninewa areas has increased to more than 1,000 terrorists recently, after the arrival of hundreds of terrorists from Syria. The source says some of the terrorists, including 12 “dangerous” commanders, were also released recently by corrupt PMF commanders and security officers. The source said the situation is getting more dangerous for civilians in those areas, in addition to western Anbar. The source also said that Daesh is planning to move its attacks to major cities, instead of only focusing on villages and remote areas. ​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that PMF units got information about 10 Daesh terrorists hiding in a tunnel west of Baaj. The source said the PMFs raided the tunnel, but the terrorists had​​ left. The source said the PMFs found dozens of weapons, in addition to food and medical supplies, in the tunnel.

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

A Turkish medical source said that “Al-Nusra” (i.e., HTS) leader Abu Mohammed Al-Golani​​ was transferred to​​ a Turkish hospital in Hatay Province​​ on Monday evening​​ after being wounded in an explosion in Idlib. [Hawar]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

The Foreign Relations Officer of the Democratic Society Movement​​ (an SDF organization,)​​ Aldar Khalil, says​​ that the​​ SDF is heading towards​​ an​​ agreement with Syrian government to protect them in case the European countries abandon them after the end of​​ the fighting​​ with Daesh. He told​​ Agence​​ France Press​​ that European countries have​​ an​​ ethical commitment to protect the Kurds who fought Daesh. He says​​ that​​ Kurdish forces​​ could​​ be connected administratively to the Syrian​​ Army, but should be formed of Kurds. He​​ also says that certain tax and oil revenue concessions can be offered to the Syrian government. [Arabi21]

 

Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to Al-Assad, said at a conference in Moscow that the Kurdish people in northern Syria are “part of the Syrian people, and the Syrian government is ready to protect them.” [Qasioun]

 

Refugees

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz said that Syrian refugees in Jordan are unwilling to return to their country. He was speaking at a conference regarding the Jordanian response to the Syrian refugee crisis, in Amman, where a plan to commit $2.4 billion for a response to the crisis was approved by the international community. [EnabBaladi]

 

Lebanese​​ President Michael Aoun said that Lebanon cannot wait for a political solution in Syria to have Syrian refugees return to their country. [Hawar]

 

Repatriation

Canadian media says Canada is working on repatriating Mohammed Khalifa, 35 years old, who worked as a presenter on Daesh TV and video productions.​​ He was captured by the​​ SDF​​ last month. Khalifa, of Ethiopian origin, narrated many of Daesh’s execution videos. Legal​​ experts say Canadian authorities need to build a case to prosecute Khalifa. [Sumaria]

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Hoda Muthana, a woman from Alabama who went to Syria to marry a Daesh fighter, was not a US citizen and would not be re-admitted into the US. The​​ Administration’s stance is that Muthana doesn’t qualify for citizenship because her father was a diplomat from Yemen. However, Muthana’s lawyer noted that she was born in​​ New Jersey​​ and had a US passport before joining Daesh in 2014, and said that her father had not had diplomatic status for months prior to her birth.​​ Muthana and her son are currently in the Al-Hawl refugee and IDP camp.​​ [AP]​​ [NYT]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This comes a day after the UK stripped​​ Shamima Begum of her citizenship.​​ Such decisions may ​​ reflect​​ a feel-good solution, but the UK and​​ now​​ the US​​ are not setting a good precedent for future cases here.​​ Readers may also recall that Trump​​ urged​​ on Saturday that the UK, France, and Germany repatriate their nationals who were being held by the SDF.​​ Certainly the SDF has no way to prosecute these people and may soon not be in position to hold them either. Conceding this is a no-win situation, all the countries concerned should try to set a​​ common​​ policy, in order to bring some rationality to​​ it.​​ 

 

Foreign policy

United States

The US State Department said that the US is committed to its decision to withdraw from Syria, although there is no timetable for the operation. It also said that discussions are continuing with Turkey regarding the “safe zone” planned by Turkey in the north of the country. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino made the comments in response to questions at a press conference on Tuesday. ​​ He said that such a withdrawal will be coordinated and well-planned. [Qasioun]

 

Israeli sources say the US is planning to deploy batteries of the Israeli-made “Iron Dome” air defense system to protect its forces in various areas of the world, including the Syria-Iraq border. The system is manufactured in Israel with a huge US financial contribution. The Al-Tanaf area on the border is 1 possible area for such a deployment. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If the Al-Tanaf base is moved to the Jordanian or Iraqi side of the border as previously rumored, the system would presumably be installed at the new location.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Israeli Directorate of Military Intelligence (Aman) said that Daesh is still a threat and has returned to its original terrorist form, although now unable to control territory or people. It said Daesh has escaped to the desert areas not controlled by the Syrian Army, following the Egyptian model. It estimated Daesh sympathizers worldwide as numbering between 150,000-200,000. ​​ [BasNews]

 

Northwest

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus

A Daesh suicide attacker detonated himself at an SDF checkpoint in Kasra, south of Manbij. [SyriaHR]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Forat​​ reported that​​ Coalition troops killed a civilian in Haddaj village, Raqqa subdistrict, following a​​ “landing operation”​​ by the Coalition in the​​ village. [Qasioun]

 

Central and West​​ 

No reports

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

The SOHR reported clashes between the SDF and Daesh fighters near the Conoco oilfield and the Khasham​​ Desert, with casualties reported on both sides. SDF fighters, backed by Coalition helicopters, searched the villages of Dhaman and Al-Hajna​​ in Al-Busayrah subdistrict. [SyriaHR]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It may seem like the fighting in Deir Ez-Zor District must have ended by now, and in most of the District, it has. However, Al-Busayrah is not far from Albu Kamal.

 

In a follow-up, the SOHR said that the SDF, backed by Coalition helicopters, killed 2 Daesh operatives in Dhaman village and 2 in Al-Hajna village, all Iraqi nationals, during a search operation. [SyriaHR]

 

On Wednesday, the​​ SOHR also said that the Coalition​​ had​​ carried out an aerial landing​​ operation in a village​​ near Al-Busayrah, and killed a “prominent” Daesh security official of Iraqi nationality.​​ [SyriaHR]​​ [IraqPress]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it shot and killed two SDF fighters in an attack on a security barrier in Al-Sabha village, in Busayrah subdistrict.​​ [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed an SDF fighter when it ambushed his vehicle on Tuesday in Al-Shahil town. [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

 

Mayadin​​ District

The SOHR said that despite Daesh’s​​ defeat in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, its cells are still operating daily within SDF-held areas. The most recent operation was the killing of 2 SDF fighters in an attack by Daesh fighters riding motorcycles in Al-Sabha village. [SyriaHR]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The Russian TV network​​ RT​​ reported that there had been a mass surrender of Daesh fighters and their families and weapons to the SDF in Al-Baghouz. [Qasioun]

 

The​​ Wall Street Journal​​ wrote that approximately 400 of the last civilians trapped in Al-Baghouz had left on Wednesday, and been taken by the SDF to IDP camps.​​ It reported that the SOHR said about 2,000 civilians, mostly families of Daesh fighters, had been transferred out of Al-Baghouz as part of a deal with the SDF. The​​ WSJ​​ wrote that the move “suggested” that Daesh was close to surrendering to the SDF. [WSJ]

 

The SOHR reported that over 50 Coalition trucks carried Daesh fighters and their families from Al-Baghouz to places unknown. Whether there are still Daesh fighters in the area is also still unknown. Coalition planes were described as “hovering” over the area, carrying out only sporadic strikes.​​ The SOHR wrote that​​ the day before,​​ a​​ total of 50-60 covered trucks​​ had​​ entered the​​ orchard​​ area,​​ between Al-Baghouz and the eastern bank of the Euphrates,​​ for the​​ purpose​​ of transporting either Daesh fighters and their families or civilians. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that Coalition planes killed 12 Daesh Iraqi terrorists near the border with Iraq. The source said the terrorists were trying to flee the Albu Kamal area to Iraq.​​ 

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

Daesh said it wounded an Al-Qaeda fighter and damaged his vehicle with an IED on Tuesday in the Dhi Kalib Al-Asfal area, in Qifa.​​ [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

 

North Africa

Egypt

On Wednesday, Egypt executed 9 men convicted of the 2015 murder of former public prosecutor Hisham Barakat. This followed Amnesty International calling on Egypt on Tuesday not to execute the men, as it alleged that their confessions had been obtained via torture. [NYT]

 

The Egyptian Army said that Egyptian Counter-Terrorism units​​ targeted 7 terrorist positions and​​ killed 8 “dangerous” terrorists​​ and destroyed​​ 2​​ vehicles​​ in the​​ northern​​ Sinai. This is the fifth major security incident in​​ 5​​ days. [Rudaw]​​ [AhlMisr]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

7 children from a Syrian refugee family died in a house fire in Halifax, Nova Scotia, early Tuesday morning. The family was from Raqqa​​ and had fled to Canada in 2017. [NYT]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

A militia leader said on Wednesday that 14 bodies had been found in Koshebe​​ Forest, 10 km​​ (6 miles)​​ from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, and that a search team was still expecting to find another 4. He said that​​ the victims were woodcutters who had been killed by an attack on Monday, carried out by the Boko Haram branch loyal to Abubakar Shekau. [VanguardNGR]

 

The Nigerian Air Force said on Wednesday that it had “decimated” a Boko Haram camp in the settlement of Arboko, Borno State, on Monday. [VanguardNGR]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

CENTCOM Commander Joseph Votel visited Kabul and met with President Ghani on Tuesday. A statement from President Ghani’s office said that Votel assured Ghani that the US would remain a strategic partner of Afghanistan. [Khaama]

Votel also met with Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib on Tuesday, and told him that the US would continue to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. [Khaama]

 

An Afghan Special Forces operation in Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan, killed at least 9 Taliban fighters, including 5 local commanders. [Khaama]

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

February 19, 2019

 

 

Badoush Hills (DD Feb 17)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Report says US diplomats have archive of “embarrassing” info on Iraqi politicians. [..]

Report describes power struggle among PMF organizations.​​ [..]

Increase of Daesh activity on western border sparks concern, brings Gen. Votel to Baghdad. [..]

Rash of Daesh kidnappings, killing​​ of civilians raises concern in Anbar.​​ [..]

IFP and​​ Saraya Al-Salam kills 13 Daesh in Samarra desert.​​ [..]

 

Syria

German study says Syria has carried out over 300 chemical attacks since 2012.​​ [..]

Trump calls on European allies to repatriate their nationals held by SDF. [..]

SDF Commander in Chief asks US to keep troops in Syria.​​ [..]

Russian report says US has set its final withdrawal for no later than April 1. [..]

Daesh incidents continue in Raqqa city. [..]

Two explosions in Idlib kill 13, wound 25. [..]

Diehard Daesh fighters holding human shields cling to last ½ kilometer of territory.​​ [..]

62 Albu Kamal escapees, mostly children, have died en route to Al-Hawl camp.​​ [..]

New anti-Assad militia surfaces in Daraa. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Egypt:

Amnesty International demands Egypt stop executions of prisoners tortured into confessions.​​ [..]

Clashes in north Sinai leave many Egyptian soldiers, Daesh militants dead.​​ [..]

Nigeria/Niger: ​​​​ Boko Haram, Daesh stage six more attacks in Nigeria, Niger. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ 

Khalilzad meets Ghani, other political leaders on peace negotiations.​​ [..]

32 Taliban members killed by Afghan soldiers, police in separate incidents. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Corruption

As reported by​​ Sumaria,​​ a Gulf newspaper quoted a “former minister” as saying that the US keeps an “embarrassing” archive of evidence of financial corruption, as well as humanitarian violations, implicating most Iraqi leaders both before and after 2003. The former minister said that the US reminds​​ Iraqi leaders of this archive whenever the situation​​ requires, and that the recent controversy over the US presence in Iraq had been the most recent such occasion. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Corruption in Iraq is a serious problem and we shouldn’t laugh, but we can’t help it; we just love this story.

 

An analysis published​​ in the​​ Washington Post​​ said that there​​ is an internal power struggle among PMF groups for money and power. It says that the recent closure of offices of some militias is in fact an operation to centralize​​ the​​ PMF Command. It says this struggle is part of a wider political struggle among Shia forces for control of the country. [BasNews] [WaPo]

Daesh Daily comment.​​ One of former Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s main initiatives was to bring the PMF organization under centralized military control. All the recent reports about dubious PMF activities in different parts of the country (Al-Qa’im, Mosul, Baghdad, etc) show that this initiative failed once Al-Abadi left office. More broadly, it also illustrates the relative weakness of the current government.​​ 

The major PMF organizations are an Iranian spearhead. It may be noteworthy that the efforts of Iraqi PMF units to make money from corrupt business practices seem to mirror similar and successful moves by elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to create an economic sector around themselves, which greatly weakened the elected side of the Iranian government. Not only are these organizations working around or outside of the military command structure, but because they have political protection in Baghdad, they don’t take orders from the Prime Minister, the supposed commander-in-chief. It is no wonder that Prime Minister Abd Ul-Madhi has had so much trouble getting a Minister of Defense approved.

 

Council of Representatives

The Victory bloc in the CoR, headed by Haider Al-Abadi, warned against the “ambiguous” understanding between Baghdad and Erbil. The bloc says the agreements reached between Baghdad and Erbil under the​​ new government are unclear, particularly with regards to the budget and the amount of oil to be exported by Kurdistan. [BasNews]

 

Reconstruction

On Tuesday, Belgium’s Deputy PM and Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo announced that Belgium would provide 7.6 million Euros in humanitarian aid to Iraq in 2019. [Sumaria]

 

The former Chairman of the Iraqi CoR’s Security and Defense Committee, Hakim Al-Zamili said that the amount of foreign debt owed by the Ministry of Defense was more than 2 billion USD. [SotAlIraq]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

On Tuesday during its weekly meeting, Iraq’s National Security Council (NSC) approved a strategy that had been presented by the National Security Advisor to counter violent extremism that leads to terrorism. It reviewed and amended the strategy.​​ 

The NSC also reviewed a report regarding the situation on the Iraq-Syria border and the monitoring of Daesh to prevent Daesh members from crossing the border into Iraq. [Sumaria]

 

The local TV program “Red Line” will host Ahmed Jassim and Ziad Khulaif, known Daesh terrorists who carried out several operations, and 1 of whom received 5 Yazidi women as a reward for his service. Both will speak of their experience with Daesh on Tuesday evening. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh resurgence

Recent security reports said that “hundreds” of Daesh fighters entered Iraq from Syria carrying hundreds of millions of dollars, even as a few Iraqi parties are discussing legislation to expel US forces from Iraq. US officials say that there are serious gaps along the border that allow​​ Daesh to infiltrate into Iraqi territories. These territories reportedly have seen increased Daesh activity, while some areas are under Daesh control during the nighttime. [Baghdadia]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that Daesh is reorganizing its “Wilayat​​ Al-Iraq” after hundreds of terrorists escaped the battles in eastern Syria and arrived in western Iraq. The source said Daesh appointed new leaders, including a military commander, a security commander, and a finance officer.​​ 

 

General Joseph Votel, Commander of US CENTCOM, flew to Iraq on Sunday for talks with US and Iraqi officials. The talks were expected to focus on preventing a Daesh resurgence in Iraq following Daesh’s defeat in Syria. [Reuters]

 

The MoD says a new battle against Daesh is highly probable, while the​​ Security​​ and Defense​​ Committee in the CoR says that Iraqi forces are ready for such a battle. Tahsin Al-Khafagi,​​ an​​ MoD spokesman, says that recent attacks show Daesh is still present in some areas,​​ and​​ added​​ that the role of intelligence in vital in this coming battle. [BasNews]

 

National Security Advisor Faleh Al-Fayadh says Daesh will reappear under a new name and form, similar to Al-Qaeda. He was speaking to the German​​ Der Spiegel. Al-Fayadh was participating in the Munich security conference in his capacity as the Iraqi National Security Advisor. While media reports have estimated the number of Daesh fighters remaining on the Iraq-Syria border at between 1,000 to 1,500, the UN believes there are still 20,000-30,000 Daesh fighters, and US intelligence reports have indicated there are about 15,000. [Baghdadia]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The numbers are an “apples and oranges” comparison. The number of Daesh fighters still fighting in Deir Ez-Zor may be 1,000 to 1,500 (and​​ likely less by now). The other numbers are about overall Daesh manpower.

 

Kidnappings

An unidentified “military expert” told​​ PUK Media​​ that Daesh is using “soft” spots in desert areas where there is no population to regroup and re-initiate attacks on Iraqi forces and civilians. It is now concentrating on capturing civilians who go to the desert to collect mushrooms. [PUKMedia]

 

Security and terrorism expert Hisham Al-Hashemi also said on Tuesday that Daesh was carrying out kidnapping operations in the Anbar desert, either for ransom or against the future possibility of a prisoner swap for imprisoned Daesh members.​​ This comes in the context of a recent spate of kidnappings in Anbar and the discovery of the bodies of some of the kidnapped.​​ [BasNews]​​ 

 

First Deputy Speaker Hassan Al-Ka’abi also said on Tuesday that the recent spate of kidnappings in Nukhaib​​ subdistrict in eastern Anbar​​ and attempts to infiltrate Iraqi territory showed the need for urgent security action to rescue the abductees and clear the terrorist cells that were beginning to re-form. [IraqPress]​​ 

 

The Secretary-General of Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq (AAH), Qais Al-Khazali, tweeted on Tuesday that he did not rule out the possibility of US involvement in the recent kidnappings which occurred in Karbala and Salahuddin. He suggested the US may have kidnapped civilians to justify its presence in Iraq. [Rudaw]

 

See also related kidnapping stories below under​​ Anbar

 

Court​​ decisions

The Federal​​ Supreme​​ Court says​​ that including individuals on the list​​ for freezing terrorist funds​​ is constitutional if sufficient grounds​​ for such a listing​​ are​​ provided. Spokesman for the Court Ayad Al-Samouk said the​​ Court​​ cited​​ an​​ appeal​​ that claimed that freezing the money of tourists​​ was unconstitutional. Al-Samouk​​ cited​​ constitutional and legal clauses that​​ make​​ such​​ a​​ listing compliant with the constitution.​​ [BasNews]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that​​ the​​ Kirkuk Counterterrorism Court sentenced the former Daesh​​ wali​​ of Kirkuk to death. The source said the terrorist had been captured in a tunnel.

 

Foreign policy

The US Embassy​​ in​​ Baghdad says that President Trump does not seek war with Iran, and has no intention of using Iraqi territory to attack Iran or any other country. [Sumaria]

 

The US​​ Chargé​​ Daffaires​​ in Baghdad,​​ Joey Hood,​​ says the US, Coalition, and NATO forces will leave Iraq if the Iraqi government asks them to, but he says Iraqi forces are not ready yet to maintain security on their own. He said that there are 5,200 foreign troops in Iraq, and that this is not a fixed number but a figure which changes weekly.​​ [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

A security source says that a joint group dismantled Daesh cells in the former Daesh “Wilayat​​ of Baghdad,” south of Baghdad, and​​ in​​ Diyala. The force also arrested a “serious” Daesh commander who was formerly the deputy governor of Daesh’s “Wilayat​​ of Baghdad,” who​​ was in​​ possession of​​ weapons and explosives​​ where he was​​ captured. [Ghad]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh kidnapped 9 fishermen on Saturday west of Rawa.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said Monday that during the last 7​​ days,​​ Daesh​​ has​​ kidnapped more than 20 civilians, from Anbar and Karbala provinces, in the desert west of Rawa. The source said the civilians were truffle gatherers.​​ 

 

The Mayor of Rawa subdistrict said on Tuesday that an Army unit freed 5 hostages who had been kidnapped by Daesh earlier in the west of the subdistrict. The Army assault took place in Al-Madham,​​ southwest of Rawa​​ toward the desert.​​ Sumaria​​ published photos of the 5 freed men. [Sumaria]

 

Rutba

A security source says Daesh kidnapped 10 civilians on the road between Nukhaib and Arar, Saudi Arabia, while another 2 fled from Daesh into the desert​​ and​​ their fate is unknown. The operation was preceded by an attack on a military checkpoint that left a soldier and a policeman​​ dead. [Etejah]​​ 

 

Sheikh Abdullah Hashal Al-Anzi, the Sheikh of the Anza tribe in Nukhaib, says the bodies of 6 people kidnapped by Daesh earlier were found in the desert with bullets in their heads. The bodies were​​ of​​ men from Anbar, Karbala, and Diwaniya who were kidnapped while collecting​​ truffles​​ in the desert.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

Ali Al-Mayali, the Deputy Governor of Karbala, says that Daesh executed 6 people, all from Hira, Najaf Province, after kidnapping them in Nukhaib. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Daesh said on Sunday that it killed a tribal PMF fighter, wounded another, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED near Shirqat intersection. [ICDNFeb16-Telegram]​​ 

 

Baiji

Daesh said it wounded three tribal PMF fighters and destroyed their vehicle on Saturday near Al-Laqlaq village, in the Al-Fatha area​​ just northeast of Baiji. [ICDNFeb17-Telegram]

 

Samarra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that IFP and Saraya Al-Salam units killed 13 Daesh terrorists, including a local commander, in an ambush in Jazeera Samarra. The source said that the terrorists, who were in SUVs and were accompanied by a construction truck, were trying to demolish sand barriers and launch an attack in the Samarra area. The source sent us a video of the dead terrorists.  ​​​​ 

 

However, some Saraya Al-Salam soldiers were casualties.

On Sunday, a​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said 2 Saraya Al-Salam fighters were killed and another severely wounded when an IED exploded on their vehicle between Huwaish village and Samarra city.​​ 

On Monday, a​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said 4 Saraya Al-Salam fighters were killed when an IED destroyed their Humvee south of Samarra.​​ 

Daesh said it killed seven Saraya Al-Salam fighters, including commanders, and destroyed their SUV with an IED on Saturday in Jazeera Samarra. [ICDNFeb17-Telegram]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF fighters with an IED on Sunday near Lake Thirthar, in the Jazeera Samarra area. [ICDNFeb18-Telegram]

Daesh said it damaged a PMF bulldozer with an IED on Sunday near Lake Thirthar. [ICDNFeb19-Telegram]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said its snipers wounded an IFP policeman on Saturday in Zaghniya Saghira village, in Al-Waqf. [ICDNFeb17-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said it wounded a tribal PMF fighter and a “spy,” and destroyed their vehicle with an IED, on Sunday near Sheikh Tami village, southern Buhriz. [ICDNFeb18-Telegram]

 

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin,​​ Khalis)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that 2 PMF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack on their military positions near the Udhaim Dam. The source said the PMFs killed a terrorist and forced the rest to flee.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that PMF units killed 2 Daesh terrorists and confiscated weapons and military uniforms on Friday,​​ in a safehouse​​ on a farm in Jalawla​​ subdistrict in Khanaqin.​​ 

 

Daesh said its snipers wounded a PMF soldier on Saturday near the Mikhas area, north of Khanaqin. [ICDNFeb17-Telegram]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed a Shi’i​​ on Monday in the Ali Awa area, in Khanaqin. [ICDNFeb19-Telegram]

 

KIRKUK

No reports

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Ninewa Police EOD units defused 105 IEDs in various areas​​ of​​ Hamdaniya​​ District.​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

The MoI says that​​ local​​ police,​​ with the assistance of a SWAT battalion, arrested 3 Daesh operatives in the Al-Rifa’i neighborhood, northwest Mosul. [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

Mosul District

South (Qayara)

A military source says that Daesh attacked a military checkpoint on the Qayara​​ Road, killing 1 soldier and wounding another. 4 Daesh attackers were killed in the battle. [Rudaw]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Military Intelligence Service units captured a former Daesh member who was appointed as a policeman in Qayara. The man had pledged allegiance to Daesh when it was in charge of the city, then worked as a PMF source after the liberation before joining the police.​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed four “PMF intelligence members” on Saturday in Al-Thaya village, in Qayara subdistrict. [ICDNFeb17-Telegram]

A​​​​ DaeshDaily​​​​ source had previously said on Friday that a group of Daesh terrorists murdered a man, his wife, and their 2 sons in Al-Thaya village.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ So, the four “PMF intelligence members” were just civilians, including a woman.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that the “Falcons” intelligence cell destroyed a Daesh vehicle bomb on Sunday on the road between Badoush Hills and Tal Afar, killing the suicide bomber inside. The source said the cell had obtained information about Daesh’s intent to send a vehicle bomb to Tal Afar city. The source sent us a photo of the destroyed vehicle.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Iraqi Army and Ninewa SWAT units shelled Daesh positions in Abu Mariya Hills.​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that 3 PMF EOD soldiers, including a commander, were killed when an IED destroyed their vehicle on the road between the Abu Mariya Hills and Tal Afar.​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

No reports

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

A video from the Russian Khmeimim​​ Air​​ Base confirmed that an elder Shammar tribal leader, Hamidi Al-Jarbi, formed an alliance with the Syrian regime. The alliance had previously been reported by​​ Bas News. He called on other Syrian tribal leaders to also embrace the Syrian regime and its allies. The video was shot with the Syriangovernment and Russian flags behind him. [BasNews]

 

The​​ Washington Post​​ wrote that​​ the Syrian government and affiliated forces​​ had carried out over 300 chemical weapons attacks since December 2012. The Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute​​ (GPPI) said that it had “credibly substantiated” 336 instances of chemical weapons uses. Of those, it said that 98% were carried out by the Syrian government or allied forces, including the Nimr Forces, nominally part of the Syrian Army​​ and​​ commanded by Suhail Al-Hassan. The remaining few attacks were attributed to Daesh.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [WaPo]

 

Repatriation

As reported by​​ Sumaria,​​ a Gulf newspaper says that Iraq officially approached the SDF to repatriate Iraqi nationals who are among the​​ Daesh POWs held by the SDF. Iraq wanted the Daesh fighters to stand trial in Iraq. It​​ also​​ wants​​ Iraq civilians in Hasaka and Al-Hawl​​ to​​ return to their homes. The SDF is reportedly holding approximately 1,300 foreign fighters​​ in addition to​​ Iraqis, and has called for an international tribunal to try them. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

President Trump said on Saturday that European countries need to repatriate their respective nationals​​ who​​ are held by the SDF for fighting for Daesh. Trump said in a tweet, “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial.” [AFP]

 

2 Daesh wives of French nationality arrived at Al-Hawl camp in Hasaka, saying had they fled the Daesh-held areas out of hunger rather than regret. They said they are not ready to abandon the​​ niqab​​ (full-face covering), and demanded a fair trial in their country. [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Both the American Hoda Muthana and the British Shamima Begum, who both went to Syria to marry Daesh fighters, pled to be allowed to return to their respective countries. Muthana is currently in the Al-Hawl refugee and IDP camp, and said she had had no contact with US authorities. Begum has previously said that she wants to return to the UK to raise her newborn child there.​​ USA Today​​ wrote that there were about 1,500 foreign women and children in the Al-Hawl camp. [USAToday]

 

However,​​ Shamima Begum had her British citizenship revoked by the UK Home Office, and is now banned from entering the UK. As Begum had dual citizenship, with Bangladeshi her other nationality,​​ the British decision​​ was premised on the judgment that this would​​ not leave her​​ stateless. However, Begum’s family’s lawyer said she did not have a current Bangladeshi passport and would be effectively stateless if she​​ is denied a visa to Bangladesh. [Telegraph]

 

Also see below under Europe – Great Britain

 

Iran

Jorf News​​ reported that the IRGC transferred its personnel in Deir Ez-Zor to the Al-Waha area in Aleppo to avoid Israeli airstrikes. They were followed by Syrian intelligence and members of the loyalist Syrian group Baqir Brigade. The network said that they took an entire residential building as their headquarters in Al-Waha, and they designated one floor for weapons storage. [ElDorar]

 

Foreign policy

United States

Mazloum Kobane, the Commander-in-Chief of the SDF, called on Monday for around 1,000 to 1,500 Coalition troops to remain in Syria to fight Daesh. Speaking to reporters, Kobane said that the SDF would like to retain air support and a ground-based force for coordination, and expressed hope that the US would rethink its plans to withdraw. He requested that “a partial group of American forces” remain. [Reuters]​​ [WSJ]

 

Abd Al-Karim Mustafa, an advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi, says that Iraq and the US reached an agreement permitting the US to withdraw its troops from Syria via Iraqi territory. The Russian news service​​ Sputnik​​ says the US says its withdrawal date will be no later than April 1. [Arabi21]

 

Northwest

Manbij​​ 

Kurdish security arrested a Daesh operative who​​ it​​ said was facilitating Daesh operations in Manbij and its surroundings. [Hawar]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR said that a land​​ mine explosion occurred near the Al-Na’im roundabout in Raqqa city on Monday.​​ [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a parked car bomb exploded near Hazima circle, in Raqqa city. The source said the car had been stolen from a civilian 2 weeks earlier.​​ 

 

The SOHR wrote that​​ unidentified gunmen believed to​​ belong to Daesh cells assassinated a pharmacist in the Panorama neighborhood of Raqqa. [SyriaHR]

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and killed an SDF “spy” in Panorama neighborhood, in Raqqa city. [ICDNFeb18-Telegram]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh’s first targets of extortion are doctors and pharmacists. The victim most likely didn’t pay Daesh and was killed for that reason.​​ Beyond that, notice the pattern of Daesh attacks in Raqqa, where Daesh activity had been largely stopped after its defeat by the SDF. This is the start of an intended Daesh comeback in Raqqa that needs more attention. Once US troops withdraw, Daesh in Raqqa won’t have them to worry about, likely leading to an expanded effort to restore some of its control​​ in​​ the province.

 

Forat​​ wrote that the SDF released several Daesh prisoners who had been previously arrested in Raqqa. [Qasioun]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

The SOHR said that​​ two​​ explosions​​ in the Qusour neighborhood of Idlib on Monday killed​​ 13 people and wounded​​ 25. The activist Idlib Media Center said that the bombings had killed 10 people and wounded “dozens.”​​ Civil Defense said 1 of its responders had been wounded in the second bombing.​​ [AP]

 

Hama

The Jaish​​ Al-Izza​​ (Army of Glory) militia​​ says it killed and wounded​​ several​​ Syrian soldiers in a​​ rocket​​ attack on their positions north of Hama​​ city. [ElDorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said on Sunday it killed an SDF fighter and wounded another in an ambush in​​ the town of​​ Al-Shahil.​​ 

 

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said on Saturday it killed three SDF fighters when it shot at their vehicle in an ambush in Dhiban town. [ICDNFeb16-Telegram]

 

Daesh said​​ that​​ it targeted an SDF security barrier in Dhiban town with​​ three​​ rockets on Monday. [ICDNFeb19-Telegram]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Two more “victorious” stories from Dhiban, which Daesh lost long ago.​​ Either there is a Daesh counter-movement in Dhiban that is going unreported or Daesh’s creative writing department is working overtime.

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

Combat

The SDF said on Monday that Daesh fighters defending the last patch of Daesh-held territory had “no choice but to surrender.”​​ Agence France Press​​ wrote that the last “diehard” Daesh fighters were trapped in less than half a​​ square kilometer​​ of territory. SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali told the​​ AFP​​ that Daesh was still using the last few civilians there as human shields, and that the SDF and the Coalition were working to get civilians out. [AFP]

 

Daesh is​​ reportedly reverting​​ to guerilla warfare tactics,​​ following its loss of Al-Baghouz,​​ by initiating sporadic attacks against the SDF in various areas, showing that it still has fighters on the ground. [EnabBaladi]

 

The SOHR says that negotiations between the SDF and Daesh are continuing regarding the transfer of Daesh fighters who surrender to a safe place, probably the Iraqi desert. No agreement has been reached so far, the SOHR says. [SyriaHR]

 

Civilians

International Rescue Committee (IRC) spokesman Paul Donohoe said on Monday that at least 62 people have died in the last few weeks during or immediately after their trip from Daesh-held territory to the Al-Hawl refugee and IDP camp. He said that two-thirds of the deaths have been children under 1 year old, and that the deaths were mostly from exhaustion or malnutrition. [AP]

 

Deir Ez-Zor 24​​ posted on its Facebook page a video of an entire family that had reportedly been​​ killed​​ by the SDF. It included a mother and 5 children, the oldest of whom was no more than 10 years old and the youngest was about 2 months old. The identity of the family was unclear. [ElDorar]

 

The UNHCR says 200 families are still caught in the crossfire between Daesh and the SDF, and are subject to bombardment by the SDF and the Coalition. It called on the Kurdish forces to make the protection of civilians a priority, taking into account that Daesh fighters are hiding among civilians. [EnabBaladi] [Ghad]​​ 

 

Kurdish media says that the SDF freed more civilians held by Daesh in Al-Baghouz. [Hawar]

 

South​​ 

Daraa

The “South Squad,” a new opposition militia, announced on its Facebook page that it was responsible for an attack on the Ba’ath headquarters in the town of Um Walad in Daraa. The announcement also stated that that​​ the​​ bombing was a “last warning” for the “dogs of Al-Assad,” and threatened to uproot any security posts belonging to the “gangs of sectarian occupiers and the Assad militia.” It also said that the South Squad was determined to overthrow the regime. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

The SOHR says that a land​​ mine killed a young man in Daraa, which it noted​​ was part of​​ a series of similar incidents this month. [SyriaHR]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Commander Mohammad​​ Pakpour​​ said that the February 13 bombing of a bus which killed 27 IRGC soldiers had been carried out by a team of 3 Pakistani citizens and 3 others from​​ Iran’s​​ Sistan and Baluchistan Province, where the bombing occurred. The​​ Salafi​​ group Jaish Al-Adl (Army of Justice) has already​​ claimed responsibility. [NYT]

 

Yemen

Daesh said it stopped a Houthi attack on the Za’aj area in Qifa on Sunday, killing or wounding many fighters and forcing the rest to flee. Daesh said it used light and mid-sized weapons and set off several IEDs. [ICDNFeb18-Telegram]

 

Daesh published a photo of one of its terrorists on Tuesday,​​ saying​​ he was killed in Al-Baidha. [ICDNFeb19-Telegram]

 

Bahrain

The High Criminal Court of Bahrain on Tuesday sentenced 3 people to life imprisonment (25 years), 2 people to 5 years, and another to 7 years. The court stripped the nationality of 5 of them. They were convicted of receiving military training in Iraq and Iran. [Sumaria]

 

North Africa

Egypt

On Tuesday, Amnesty International called on the Egyptian government to stop the execution of 9 people convicted of murdering Former Egyptian Public Prosecutor Hisham Barakat in 2015. An Amnesty representative said the​​ planned​​ executions were unfair because some of the confessions were extracted through torture. [Anadolu]

 

A suicide attacker detonated himself near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, killing a police NCO and wounding 3 officers. He was chased by the police​​ on Darb Al-Ahmar​​ Street prior to the explosion, a police source said. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

The Egyptian MoI says that 16 gunmen were killed in clashes with national security forces in 2 locations in Arish, northeastern​​ Sinai. This followed the explosion near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. [ZamanAlWasl]​​ [BBC]

 

A Daesh attack in​​ the Al-Safa neighborhood of Arish killed 15​​ Egyptian​​ soldiers and wounded at least 5, as evidenced by the killed and wounded sent to the Arish military hospital. An officer was among those killed. A spokesman for the Egyptian Army said that 7 of the Daesh attackers had been killed. [MadaMasr] [BBC]​​ 

Daesh said on Saturday that it killed twenty Egyptian soldiers in an attack with “different kinds of weapons” on a military position south of​​ the​​ Al-Safa​​ neighborhood, near Arish Airport. Daesh said the remaining​​ soldiers escaped, while its terrorists captured the position “completely” before retreating,​​ carrying seized​​ items. [ICDNFeb16-Telegram]

However, Daesh’s​​ A3maq​​ said that “at least” 15 soldiers were killed in the attack. [A3maq-Telegram]

Daesh published photos of the attack​​ on Tuesday. [ICDNFeb19-Telegram]

 

Daesh said on Monday its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier and wounded another at​​ a​​ security barrier in Sheikh Zuweid. [ICDNFeb18-Telegram]

 

Libya

The headquarters of the municipal guard in Benghazi was attacked on Tuesday by “outlaws,” 1 of whom was wearing a military uniform, according to the municipal guard’s media office. The office said that 1 guardsman was injured in the attack. [Wasat]

 

An EOD division found and dismantled 2 unexploded shells left behind by Daesh in Sirte. The shells were near a primary school. [Libya24]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Great Britain

The​​ Daily Telegraph​​ wrote that the UK may invoke a 650-year-old law related to high treason​​ in order​​ to face the issue of returning UK-national Daesh fighters. The​​ UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid​​ says​​ that he​​ will do​​ his​​ best to prevent the return of those who “hate the UK.” [Sumaria]

 

France

A person injured 2 others with a knife on Tuesday at noon in the center of Marseille, France. A policeman killed the perpetrator. Motives for​​ the attack are unclear. The​​ Independent​​ says that 4 people were attacked. [BasNews] [Independent]​​ 

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Boko Haram attacked a mosque in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on Saturday, with 2 suicide bombers and a gunman. All 3 attackers and 8 other people died, while 15 others were wounded. [VanguardNGR]

 

The Nigerian Army said on Sunday that it had repelled a Boko Haram attack on a military base in Yobe State on Saturday.​​ It said that 3 soldiers and an officer were killed in the fighting, and 5 other soldiers were wounded. [VanguardNGR]

Local reports said that 5 civilians were also killed in the fighting. [VanguardNGR]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed or wounded Nigerian soldiers and destroyed two vehicles in an ambush in Malam Fatori town. [ICDNFeb16-Telegram]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded Nigerian soldiers on Saturday in an attack on a military position in Gajiganna town, in Borno State. [ICDNFeb17-Telegram]

 

Niger

The Niger government said​​ on​​ Saturday​​ that 7​​ soldiers were killed​​ and 6 wounded​​ when their post was attacked by Boko Haram in the country’s southeast,​​ near Nigeria.​​ The​​ Niger MoI​​ said​​ that the​​ attack on Friday on the village of​​ Chetima Wanou had​​ also resulted in “several​​ deaths​​ of the Boko Haram attackers​​ and many injured.​​ The​​ MoI​​ said the assailants were repelled after heavy fighting, adding that the soldiers had captured​​ 8​​ jihadists and seized​​ 3​​ vehicles, assault rifles and​​ loads​​ of ammunition.​​ Chetima Wanou is a small village about 25 km​​ (15 miles) southwest of the regional capital Diffa. Since 2015, the group has targeted areas near Lake Chad, north of the city.​​ “Boko Haram wanted to surprise the Niger​​ Army by attacking an area far from Lake Chad,” a local elected official told​​ AFP. [DailyMail]

 

Daesh said it killed a Niger soldier, wounded two others, and stole​​ seven​​ vehicles on Thursday in an attack on a military position in​​ Chetimari, in the Diffa area, just north of the Nigeria border. [ICDNFeb16-Telegram]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the US was seeking a lasting peace in Afghanistan, not a way to exit Afghanistan. He made the remarks during a meeting with President Ghani, political party members, and representatives of civil society organizations and religious groups on Sunday evening. [Khaama]

During the same meeting, Khalilzad and Ghani agreed on a new working method regarding peace negotiations. President Ghani said that attention would be paid to the internal, regional and international situation in taking further steps. [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It would be nice if this sort of press release said exactly what the “working method” in question​​ is.

 

15 Taliban fighters were killed in an Afghan​​ Special Forces raid in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, military sources said on Sunday. A separate airstrike in Khogyani district, Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan, killed 5 fighters from Daesh’s Khorasan affiliate (ISIS-K). [Khaama]

 

At least 17 Taliban fighters and 3 Afghan Local Police​​ officers​​ were killed in fighting from Sunday night to Monday morning in the Qaisar district of Faryab Province, northern Afghanistan. Another 8 Taliban fighters and 4 Afghan Local Police were injured. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and killed an Afghan security member in District 11, in Kabul city. [ICDNFeb17-Telegram]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed an Afghan Army 4-star general with a sticky IED in the “Banshirwat” area, in Kabul city. [ICDNFeb18-A3maq]

 

 

*****

 

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February 15, 2019