An Update On ISIS Activities

 

 

Notice to our readers. In honor of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, we will not publish on Friday. Our next issue will be on Tuesday. Happy Eid to everyone. 

 

June 14, 2018

 

Hajin

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

17 charged in IHEC warehouse fire. [..]

Sadrist spokeswoman says new govt. to be announced in a few days. [..]

Captured Daesh leader describes its money problems, desertions. [..]

Diyala PC security chairman says Daesh “finished” in Diyala. [..]

Kirkuk Daesh leader & 6 associates killed by army, police units. [..]

Another mukhtar assassinated, in Tal Afar. [..]

 

Turkey

Three killed in attack on AKP candidate at political rally. [..]

18 Daesh members arrested in Izmir, Istanbul. [..]

 

Syria

Assad gives southern Syria opposition groups an ultimatum. [..]

Trump agrees to $6.6 million to fund White Helmets. [..]

Journalist & 10 Iraqi militiamen killed near Albu Kamal. [..]

Coalition, SDF attack Daesh near Hajin. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The UN Security Council unanimously voted to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) until May 31 2019. The current mandate was due to expire on July 31; the US drafted the extension proposal early because of concerns about the escalation of political tensions following the May 12 CoR elections. [Rudaw]

 

A security source said on Thursday that there was information on the activity of cells of the banned Ba’ath party outside of Iraq. The source said that the cells were still run by members loyal to Saddam Hussein, but that they did not represent any threat to the Iraqi government, as they could not find sources of funding. [Sumaria] 

 

Election/New government

Election

The Al-Rusafa Court of Inquiry issued 17 arrest warrants for the burning of ballot boxes and equipment in the IHEC warehouse fire. [Xendan]

 

New government

Jafar Al-Musawi, a spokesman for Muqtada Al-Sadr, said on Thursday that the alliance between Al-Sa’irun and Al-Fath had “ended the theory of civil war” by undermining those who were hoping to destroy Iraq. [Rudaw]

 

A CoR member in the Sadrist Al-Ahrar bloc,  Zeinab Al-Ta’ie, talked on Thursday about how the alliance between Sa’irun and Al-Fath came about. Al-Ta’ie said that the alliance was not a result of a meeting between Muqtada Al-Sadr and Hadi Al-Amiri, but of lengthy negotiations between the groups’ respective committees. Al-Ta’ie added that the alliance was not intended to be exclusive to the large Shi’a parties, but would be broader and have effective participation from Sunni and Kurdish groups, and that this would be announced within the next few days. [BasNews]

 

Arabi 21 carried an analysis of the Sa’irun-Al-Fath coalition based on interviews with political leaders. It said that the agreement raised questions about the role that Sunni and nationalist parties would play, especially since the Sa’irun-Al-Fath coalition appeared to have been created on a sectarian basis. They also noted that this allied the most prominent anti-Iran and pro-Iran Shi’a parties. 

Arabi 21 went on to quote an interview with Rashid Al-Azzawi, a winning CoR candidate in Haider Al-Abadi’s Victory alliance. Al-Azzawi said that negotiations with the new alliance were ongoing and not finalized. He said that Victory wanted to join a “national” coalition that had other parties in it besides the current parties, so that the new coalition would not be explicitly sectarian. He added that Iran and America both had important roles to play in Iraq and the Iraqis needed to maintain good relations with both.

Saleh Al-Mutlaq, whose party is part of Ayad Allawi’s Wataniya (National) alliance, agreed that they were in favor of any “national” and non-sectarian government. He then went on to criticize the election results as “corrupt” and “fraudulent,” and ask what that would mean for the next government. 

Atheel Al-Nujaifi, controversial brother of Vice President Osama Al-Nujaifi, leader of the Ahrar (Decision) alliance, said he was very doubtful of any alliance being formed before resolving the ongoing debate over the election results. Al-Nujaifi added that the issue of forming the next government and choosing a new PM were now decisions that he saw as “purely Shia,” and so there was no need for other groups to get involved before the Shia blocs came to an agreement. He finished by saying that the Al-Sadr-Al-Amiri coalition could only be evaluated based on their actual program of government. [Arabi21]

 

Hanan Al-Fatlawi, leader of the Irada party that won 2 seats in the newly elected CoR, says that the Saudis are quire annoyed by the recently announced coalition between the Sa’irun and Al-Fath alliances. She tweeted that “Both parties are Iraqis, so what’s your problem?” [Arabi21]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

A Daesh leader captured by Iraqi authorities spoke about Daesh’s funding woes and its current status. Saddam Al-Jamal says that Daesh is confused and divided due to the continued airstrikes and the territories it lost in Iraq and Syria. Al-Jamal says Daesh fighters have lost the will to fight, and many have deserted. He says several countries, which he did not name, funded Daesh, in addition to oil and antiquities sales, as well as taxes it imposed on rich people and farmers. [Qasioun]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Baghdad Ops Command announced on Thursday that 2 wanted persons had been arrested on terrorism charges in the area of Salman Pak south of central Baghdad. Security personnel also seized 8 IEDs, 2 containers of glycerin, 2 containers of ammonium nitrate, and 5 kg of “explosive paste” in the Al-Akhsaf area in south Baghdad. [Ghad] 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

On Thursday, the Falluja Police Directorate asked citizens to report any Syrian families living in the city. The Falluja Police Chief, Colonel Jamal Saleh, said that the police had already expelled several such families, and that the security forces did not allow Syrian families in Falluja “for reasons related to the security situation.” [Sumaria]

 

Baghdad Operations Command announced on Thursday that security forces had found 3 mortar shells, 2 IEDs, and 2 bombs in the area of Ma’amir, which were destroyed on site. [Ghad] 

 

Ramadi

The Center for Security Information announced on Tuesday that 22 persons wanted on terrorism charges had been arrested in Anbar Province. Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul credited Anbar Anti-Terrorism detachments and Anbar Ops Command for the arrests, which he said took place in the Al-Tash and Humaira areas, south of Ramadi. [Baghdadia] 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A DaeshDaily source says Daesh kidnapped four PMF fighters at a fake checkpoint in Makhoul subdistrict. 

 

A DaeshDaily source says local police units captured 4 persons in Kan’ous village who were delivering food items and other supplies to Daesh terrorists. The source says the captured persons, who have family members with Daesh, admitted there are more than 100 terrorists in the area, including foreigners.   

 

DaeshDaily sources say that Daesh terrorists in the Shirqat area are forcing civilians to provide them with military uniforms in order to use them for attacks on Iraqi forces. The sources say Daesh threatens the civilians that they could get killed with their families if they don’t comply. The source says the terrorists use this tactic in order not to bring attention to themselves.  

 

Tikrit

The Directorate of Military Intelligence announced on Thursday that it had arrested one of the terrorists responsible for the Camp Speicher massacre. A statement by the Directorate said that the terrorist was arrested at a checkpoint in the city of Tikrit. [Ghad] [Buratha] 

 

Al-Mada Press says that 47 officers accused of enabling Daesh to conduct the 2014 Speicher massacre still have not been held accountable. [BaghdadToday]

 

Samarra

The PMF announced on Thursday that the 313th Brigade (PMF) was shelling Daesh groups in Hawijat, northeastern Samarra. [Ghad] 

 

Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)

Daesh says it killed three PMF fighters, wounded two, and damaged their SUV in an ambush near Al-Adhiya village, in Ishaqi. [ICDNJun14]

 

DIYALA

The Chairman of the Security Committee for the Diyala Provincial Council, Sadiq Al-Husseini, gave an interview in which he said that Daesh was essentially finished in Diyala. He says it remains in a few scattered and remote areas. [Sumaria] 

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

The head of the Muqdadiya local council, Adnan Al-Tamimi, said on Thursday that Daesh fighters had attacked a police checkpoint in the area of Bablan, central Muqdadiya District, but were fought off by the security personnel there. Al-Tamimi added that there had been a second Daesh attack, on an Army checkpoint in Sinsil, but it was also thwarted and the attackers fled. [Ghad] 

 

North Diyala (Khanaqin, Kifri, Al-Khalis north)

A DaeshDaily source says a Daesh sniper shot and killed a PMF fighter in the small village of Albu Mar’i, north of Udhaim.

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

An intelligence source said on Thursday that Daesh’s so-called “Black Robe” (aka “Man in Black” in some English sources) was killed in Kirkuk Province. The source said that security personnel fought and killed “Black Robe” and 6 of his companions after receiving a tip regarding their location in Dibis. “Black Robe” was considered one of the most dangerous Daesh leaders in Kirkuk Province, and the source said that he had been responsible for recent bombings in Kirkuk. Captain Hamid Al-Obeidi confirmed the operation in a press statement, saying that it was carried out by a joint force of the Army and police. He added that these units had also retrieved documents relating to Daesh’s planned future targets. [Sumaria] [Rudaw]

 

An unknown group attacked Counter Terrorism units in the Shoraw neighborhood in Kirkuk city with a hand grenade, wounding two soldiers. The CTS opened fire in retaliation, reportedly killing an old woman and wounding three civilians. [Roj]

 

A DaeshDaily source says a PMF commander was killed and his driver wounded when an IED exploded on their vehicle near Shirnaw village, in eastern Dibis. The IED was planted near a PMF checkpoint. The source says PMF security units arrested 6 members of the checkpoint after accusing them of negligence.

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A DaeshDaily source says two tribal PMF fighters were killed when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle on the road between Abbasi and Tal Al-Dhahab village. 

Daesh says it targeted tribal PMFs in Tal Al-Dhahab with mortars on Tuesday, wounding several fighters. [ICDNJun14]

A DaeshDaily source confirmed the attack. 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

A source in the Federal Police said on Thursday that units in the Federal Police had searched villages in Rashad (Daquq) and Riyadh (Hawija),and found Daesh safehouses and explosive belts. The source, who asked not to be named, said that the operation was ongoing. [Baghdadia] [BasNews] 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

Daesh says it targeted an Iraqi Army Humvee with an IED near Bawabat Al-Sham, west of Mosul, on Wednesday. [ICDNJun14]

Here Daesh says it destroyed an Iraqi Army vehicle and damaged another with 2 IEDs near the intersection. [ICDNJun14]

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul Subdistrict

A DaeshDaily source says three PMF fighters were killed and their pickup vehicle damaged when an IED exploded on them near the Aski Mosul intersection just outside Mosul city, east of Tal Afar. 

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

Captain Amir Wathiq of the Ninewa Police said that the mukhtar of ‘Ayunat village, 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Mosul, had been killed by unknown gunmen. 

In an incident in the same area, Captain Murtada Ahmed of the Ninewa Police said on Thursday that 1 policeman had been killed and 7 Daesh fighters arrested in an attack on the Kasik junction northwest of Mosul.  [BasNews] 

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

The armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) announced on Thursday that it killed 5 Turkish soldiers in attacks on 2 Turkish Army positions in the Barzan subdistrict of northern Erbil. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

The Emirati Sky News Arabia reported that three people had been killed on Thursday during a rally held by Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). A later report by the Turkish state-run Anadolu said the attack happened in the southeastern state of Şanlıurfa. Anadolu quoted Baha Al-Deen Yildiz, the head of the AKP in the state of Şanlıurfa, as claiming that the incident was an armed attack by supporters of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).  Yildiz said that the PDP were targeting the AKP’s MP candidate in the subdistrict of Suruç, Khalil Ibrahim Yildiz. He added that one of the people killed was the older brother of the candidate, and that at least 11 people had also been injured. [Sumaria] [Anadolu]

 

Turkish authorities announced that they arrested 18 people suspected of belonging to Daesh in the cities of Istanbul and Izmir. A security source said that 10 of the suspects were arrested in Izmir, along the coast of the Aegean Sea, during operations by Turkish intelligence and counter-terrorism police. 8 were arrested in Istanbul on Wednesday. It is suspected that they had smuggled funds to Daesh, traveled to areas where Daesh fought and then returned to Turkey, and conducted training for executing suicide attacks. [Shafaaq]

 

A Turkish soldier was killed and 4 wounded in a PKK attack in Hakkari east of Turkey. The PKK used rockets in their attack. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, says that the southern Syria areas have two options, either negotiate or fight. He says the door is open to negotiations and peaceful solution, but if this fails there is always the military option. He also says that Iran is an allied country and so is Russia, and that’s why it’s natural for them to have bases in Syria if they want. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said in an interview with the Iranian state-owned Al-Alam TV that Saudi Arabia had offered to normalize relations with Syria if Syria cut all ties with Iran. Al-Assad said that Syria’s relationship with Iran was not on the table for negotiations, and so this and similar proposals had been rejected out of hand. [Dorar]

 

United States

The US State Department announced on Thursday that President Trump had agreed to allocate about $6.6 million to fund operations of the “Syrian Civil Defense,” or “White Helmets.” State spokesman Heather Nauert said in a statement that the US “strongly supported” the White Helmets, and claimed that they had saved 100,000 lives since the start of the conflict. The allocated funding is also intended to support the UN in investigating violations of international law in Syria. [Sumaria]

 

US Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield said that US troops were in Syria not only to stop Daesh but also to counter Iranian influence. Bas News noted that this may be the first such open admission by a US official. Satterfield was responding to a question from a US House subcommittee on the possible withdrawal of US forces from Syria. [BasNews]

 

Northwest

Manbij 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu says the US will withdraw the weapons of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Manbij before implementing the “road map” agreed upon with Turkey. [Dorar]

Northeast (No reports)

 

Central and West 

Aleppo/Idlib

SOHR reported increased Daesh activity in Idlib, reflected in a series of car bombs and IED explosions. The last one was in Kafr Nabl, near Maarat Al-Numan in southern Idlib, where a bomb destroyed a shop, killing a civilian and wounding another. Another car bomb explosion claimed by Daesh killed 6 Al-Nusra members. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

SOHR reported that a child was killed by a mine explosion in Deir Ez-Zor. (Location unspecified) [SyriaHR]

 

Albu Kamal District

A DaeshDaily source says a female journalist and 10 Iraqi militiamen were killed in a Daesh attack near Albu Kamal. 

 

Coalition planes and SDF units attacked Daesh positions near Hajin village, followed by intense battles between Daesh and the SDF. Hajin is the last stronghold of Daesh in the area. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh publishes photos of a Syrian soldier targeted by its snipers in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNJun14]

 

South 

Suwayda

A DaeshDaily source says government forces killed a Daesh Iraqi commander they captured in clashes near Urwa town, in Suwayda. 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh publishes photos of killing three Egyptian soldiers it captured in an ambush on a road west of Arish. [ICDNJun14]

 

Libya/Tunisia

Libya

The Libyan National Army announced that it was in control of the Veba oil terminal less than an hour after it was attacked by the Benghazi Defense Brigades. “Informed sources” said that the Army had also destroyed several military vehicles belonging to terrorists near the port of Sidra. Libyan Army Central Ops Commander Lieutenant Colonel Al-Sharif Al-‘Awami said that Sidra and Ras Lanuf had been under attack by terrorist groups since early Thursday morning. [Libya24]

 

Wasat wrote that multiple concurring sources reported ongoing battles in the “oil crescent,” with hit-and-run battles between Army forces and a force belonging to militia leader Ibrahim Jadhran in the area between Sidra and Ras Lanuf. [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

US authorities arrested an Israeli resident of the US on suspicion of using social media to promote and aid Daesh. Wahiba Issa Dis, 45, was arrested in a town near Milwaukee. She has been a legal resident of the US since 1992. A court indictment claims that Dis used several different social media accounts to promote Daesh, and that she constructed a “virtual library” of information on bomb-making, biological weapons, and explosives vests. She is accused of explaining to an undercover policeman the way to make ricin, and suggesting that he poison water tanks with it. [Sumaria]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh says it shot and killed a finance official in Mogadishu on Wednesday. [ICDNJun14]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it killed a pro-government militia commander, three of his associates, and an election official with an IED in Rodat District, in Nangarhar. [ICDNJun14]

 

Daesh says it killed an Askar Al-Islam militiaman with an IED in Nazyan, in Nangarhar, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

June 13, 2018

 

Captured Daesh Members in Ninewa

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Confusion over new government alliance continues. [..]

15 accused of being Daesh members arrested in NE Diyala. [..]

Daesh claims it killed 10 tribal PMFs in Dibis. [..]

Security units capture 40 Daesh members in northern Ninewa. [..]

 

Syria

SDF captures 2 more villages from Daesh in Dashisha. [..]

10 Syrian government soldiers killed in Mayadin battle. [..]

Syrian forces start engaging opposition militias in Daraa. [..]

 

Other countries

Afghanistan: 20 Afghan soldiers killed in Taliban checkpoint attacks. [..]

 

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New government

Bas News carried a report on the surprise alliance of Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Sairun and Hadi Al-Amiri’s Al-Fath (Conquest). They wrote that sitting PM Haider Al-Abadi and the Rule of Law leader Nouri Al-Maliki were now in competition for the post of PM. Al-Sadr and Al-Amiri announced their alliance Tuesday night at a joint press conference in Najaf. 3 days before, a “preliminary agreement” was announced between Sairun, the Wisdom movement led by Ammar Al-Hakim, and the National Alliance led by Ayad Allawi. Al-Sadr said at Tuesday’s press conference that this three-way alliance would be maintained. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. We wish the whole story were explained in these reports. We don’t get the Al-Abadi vs. Al-Maliki statement, unless Al-Sadr has agreed to include Al-Fath in the coalition on condition that Al-Amiri will not be the Prime Minister. Related to that, we note that in the reports of the past two days it seemed that Al-Abadi’s alliance was no longer in the prospective government coalition, which would seem to eliminate him, but we have wondered whether the news of the past few days is not about a different coalition without Al-Abadi but rather a broadened coalition. 

 

A source in the Badr movement says that the latest alliance announced between the Sairun and Al-Fath alliances came with “Iranian blessings”. The source says such a coalition would eliminate any possibilities of friction on the ground and would lead to forming a strong government. [Arabi21]

 

The London-based Al-Hayat reported on Wednesday that a coalition of Sunni blocs is expected to negotiate with “the largest Shia bloc” (i.e. Sairun) about government formation in the next few days. The report said that the Sunni lists were also expected to announce their alliance as one bloc in the next few days. It quoted Ra’ed Al-Dahlaki, a member of the National Alliance, as saying that despite a general resistance to forming blocs on a sectarian basis, in practice the current stage was not very different from the previous one, in which the winning Shia alliance formed the largest bloc in the CoR and was responsible for forming the government. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.) 

Daesh says it killed three Iraqi Army members, wounded two others, and damaged a vehicle in an ambush in the Al-Azza area, in Meshahda, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

Anbar Operations Command said that explosives detachments under its command had found and detonated 79 IEDs in Anbar. It said in a statement that the area covered ranged from the Al-Salam intersection in Abu Ghraib to Falahat, just west of Falluja. [Baghdadia]

 

SALAHUDDIN

The Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that the “Falcons” unit of the intelligence service had arrested a wanted terrorist in Salahuddin. [Baghdadia] 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

A DaeshDaily source says people of Tuz Khurmatu demonstrated in the city demanding that the government pull out Rapid Intervention units from the city. The source says people are concerned because Daesh is shelling the city indiscriminately, allegedly because of the presence of the units. However, a Rapid Intervention officer told our source that some of the demonstrators are upset because the units prevent them from making trade deals with Daesh terrorists hiding in nearby mountains. 

 

Daesh says it damaged an Iraqi Army Humvee with an IED in Sariya Tapa village, southeast of Suleiman Beg, on Tuesday. [ICDNJun13]

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

An Iraqi security source said that two civilians were killed and three soldiers wounded on Wednesday in 2 separate IED attacks. The two civilian victims were a married couple traveling in a car. The attack took place near the center of Khanaqin District. 

A separate attack on the three soldiers with a roadside IED took place near the village of Sariya Tapa, an obscure village reported to be on the outskirts of Qara Tapa in Kifri, but elsewhere reported (see story just above) to be in neighboring Tooz District in Salahuddin. The source blamed Daesh for both attacks. [Rudaw] 

Daesh says it killed a policeman and damaged his vehicle with an IED in the Ali Awa area in Khanaqin, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

A DaeshDaily source says Badr PMFs captured 15 young men in several villages in the Udhaim Dam area and the Himrin area and accused them of being Daesh members. The source says all those captured are from the Ubaid tribe. 

 

Daesh says it attacked a Saraya Al-Salam SUV with light weapons on the Military Road in Khanaqin, on Tuesday. [ICDNJun13]

Daesh says its snipers killed a policeman on the same road on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

KIRKUK

The Governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Al-Jubouri, said on Wednesday that residents of liberated areas will not allow “terrorism” to return again, stressing the importance of strengthening the military presence in Hawija. Al-Jubouri was speaking at a meeting discussing mechanisms for IDPs to return to their homes. [Sumaria]

 

An official in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) warned that Daesh will return to occupy areas around Kirkuk if the current situation continues. Hirsh Jabari, a member in the local Kirkuk leadership of the KDP, pointed out that the areas in question, including Daquq and Tuz Khurmatu, had been fully under control of the Peshmerga before the events of last October 16. He claimed that the PMF and Iraqi security services were unable to fully deal with Daesh attacks and kidnappings. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. This is the latest in the seemingly endless series of dueling statements about security in Kirkuk. Kurdish leaders keep saying it’s worse without the Peshmerga; others say security is good and no longer has a Kurdish bias. The real issue is not about security but about political control and future political status. The Kurds seized Kirkuk from the central government in 2014; the central government took control back in 2017. The KDP doesn’t like that. The rhetoric will continue. 

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

Daesh says it killed two tribal PMF fighters and wounded eight others in an attack on their military position in Qara Tapa village in Dibis, on Monday. It says it then targeted the vehicle carrying the wounded fighters with an IED, killing them and the driver. [ICDNJun13]

Daesh publishes photos of the attack. [ICDNJun13]

 

NINEWA

A DaeshDaily source says joint security units captured 40 Daesh members and confiscated large quantities of weapons in a campaign in northern Ninewa, including Badoush in northwest Mosul, Ayadhiya in eastern Tal Afar, and Zummar on the Tal Afar-Syria border. 

 

Mosul

The Center for Security Information responded on Wednesday to reports of 3 booby-trapped houses exploding in Mosul. Several media outlets previously reported that the 3 houses exploded in the Shahwan area of Mosul’s Old City, killing 27. These reports were attributed to a Ninewa policeman named “Ahmed Al-Obeidi.” The Center said that contrary to these reports, no such explosion happened, and that there is nobody with that name working for the Ninewa Police. The Center added that “necessary measures” will be taken against those who spread these rumors. [Sumaria]

 

Southern Ninewa

Makhmur/Qayara/Hatra

The Center for Security Information said on Tuesday that an operation by military intelligence detachments in the 20th Brigade had been successful at arresting a Daesh emir in the Haj Ali IDP camp in Qayara. [SotIraq]

 

Western Ninewa (No reports)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Dhi Qar

A security source in Dhi Qar said that security personnel had seized 3 vehicles carrying medium weapons coming from Syria. The source, who asked not to be named, said that the seizure followed fighting with the vehicles’ occupants after they tried to flee the checkpoint. 15 of the occupants were arrested. [Sumaria]

 

Babel

Daesh says it killed five IFP members, including an officer, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Al-Fadhiliya area in Jurf Al-Sakhar, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

ERBIL

A security source said on Wednesday that a Lieutenant Colonel in the Peshmerga had been killed by unknown gunmen in Erbil. The source, who asked not to be named, said that the attack took place at the Al-Farouq Mosque in the Kasnazan area, east of the city of Erbil. [Sumaria] [Roj] 

 

Turkish armed forces announced on Wednesday that they had killed 3 PKK fighters in an “aerial operation” in the area of Zab, a village on the Turkish border. Their statement claimed that the PKK fighters had been “preparing to launch attacks.” [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

See story just above.

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Wednesday that sarin and chlorine had been used in Syria on March 24 and 25, 2017. The OPCW said that their fact-finding mission had concluded that there was a “high probability” sarin had been used as a chemical weapon south of Lataminah (in northern Hama) on March 24, and that chlorine had been used during the bombing of the hospital in the area on March 25. [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

Iran

Iran’s President Rouhani told France’s President Macron over the phone that his country does not rule out the idea of withdrawing from Syria. Rouhani told Macron that he hoped that terrorism would be eliminated soon, so there would be no need for any foreign armies in Syria. [Qasioun]

 

Netherlands 

An official Dutch TV channel says that a Netherlands company provided Syria with materials used for making chemical weapons without obtaining necessary permits. The station NOS says a company based in Rotterdam exported 38 tons of acetone to Syria through the Antwerp port in Belgium. Belgian customs authorities say the same company exported 200 tons of acetone to Syria through Russia . [Qasioun]

 

Russia

Russian media reports say the US aircraft carrier Harry Truman is about to attack Syria, justifying its presence in the Mediterranean. The Sputnik news service wrote that the aim of the carrier’s presence is allegedly to counter terrorism, but is actually to deter Russia and the Syrian government. [Dorar]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

An unidentified source claims that Arab troops were currently working east of the Euphrates on an “extremely secret” basis, working with the Coalition forces to fight Daesh. The source told Bas News that “dozens” of Saudis, Emiratis, and Jordanians had been operating in Hasaka since 2014. The source, who declined to be identified, said that these forces were working in surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as outreach to Arab tribes in the region. The source concluded that these Arab units would soon enter the areas east of the Euphrates officially. [BasNews]

 

The Syrian government extended efforts to open the border between Syria and Iraq, in Albu Kamal from the Syrian side and Al-Qa’im from the Iraqi side. [Hawar]

 

Agence France Press says that while government forces have expelled Daesh from the urban areas of Deir Ez-Zor, Albu Kamal, Palmyra and Mayadin, they are unable to eliminate it from the desert. The report says that Daesh will keep causing headaches through attacks on oilfields, main roads, and border checkpoints. 

The report marked the east of Syria and northeast of Iraq as vulnerable points, saying that Daesh has established an infrastructure for its presence extending from Kirkuk and Diyala in Iraq to Qalamoun in southern Syria.  [Qasioun]

 

Northwest 

Manbij

A reporter for Hawar said that an IED exploded in a garbage bin near a roundabout in Manbij city. 1 citizen was slightly injured. [Hawar]

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

SDF says that it liberated the villages of Darwish and Amiriya after battles with Daesh on the western front of its Dashisha liberation campaign. It captured a vehicle with a mounted machine gun in the process. This makes 13 villages liberated since the start of the campaign. [Hawar]

 

A DaeshDaily source says PMFs on the Iraqi side of the border launched 8 locally made rockets on the Dashisha area, but killed two civilians and wounded another. 

 

Central and West (No reports)

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

SOHR reports an explosion caused by a booby-trapped motorcycle in Al-Suwar, north of Deir Ez-Zor. The explosion initially killed an SDF fighter and two civilians and wounded several others. [SyriaHR]

 

Mayadin District

Daesh inflicted losses on government forces and supporting militia in Maezila and the Al-Ward oilfield road south of Mayadin city. 7 Syrian Army soldiers and 3 supporting militiamen were reported killed. [Dorar]

 

Albu Kamal District

Daesh attacked government forces’ positions west of Albu Kamal, which caused intense fighting all Wednesday night. [Hawar]

 

On Wednesday, Iraqi PMF groups shelled groups of Daesh fighters from the Iraq side of the border. The PMF Commander for Western Anbar, Qasim Muslah, said in a statement that the shellings had succeeded in killing Daesh fighters and damaging their equipment. [PUKMedia] 

 

South 

Daraa

Sporadic battles started between government and armed opposition groups in various parts of Daraa, as more Syrian military reinforcements are still arriving to the area. Artillery shelling and machine gun fire was reported in Zimrin, north of Daraa. [Hawar]

 

Daesh issues a video about its affiliate, Jaish Khaled. [ICDNJun13]

 

Suwayda

SOHR reported that Syrian government forces had advanced in Suwayda in battles against Daesh. However, Daesh is still holding its positions in the province and has not withdrawn to the desert. [SyriaHR]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

President Trump says that Iran has started withdrawing its men from Yemen and Syria, saying that Iranians are no longer looking to the Mediterranean. Trump says that following US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran is changing and is not the same country it used to be three or four months ago. [Qasioun]

 

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

Daesh issues a video about its terrorists in Yemen. [ICDNJun13]

 

North Africa

Libya

A source in the Wadi Al-Ahmar Police Station in Sirte said that all shops in the area were ordered to close in anticipation of the Benghazi Defense Brigade” passing through the area. The Benghazi Defense Brigades support the Government of National Accord but are associated with various Islamist militias. Eyewitnesses said that scores of armed cars believed to belong to the Benghazi Defense Brigades were seen passing east of Sirte, with one witness putting the number of cars at about 200. [Wasat] 

 

Tunisia

On Tuesday, the Tunisian National Guard arrested a 21-year-old from the state of Kairouan for using Facebook to download and share pictures of terrorist leaders, and using Facebook Messenger to communicate with terrorists both in Tunisia and abroad. The detainee is being charged with “promoting terrorism” and suspicion of belonging to a terrorist group. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

U.S.

A court in Springfield, Missouri, sentenced Safya Yassin to 9 years’ prison time for writing tweets threatening to kill FBI agents. Some of the tweets included the agents’ personal information, addresses, and personal information of their family members. Yassin expressed her support for Daesh and contacted at least 1 person outside the US who she thought was a Daesh representative. In court, Yassin’s lawyer claimed that she was merely distributing news about Daesh without expressing support for the organization. [Sumaria] 

 

France

A French court has sentenced 3 French men to between 5 and 9 years in jail for attempting to travel to Syria to join Daesh, following the 2015 Paris attacks. The three are 22, 26, and 32 years old, and all come from a city near Strasbourg in eastern France. The 3 were convicted of forming a group “for the purpose of carrying out terrorist crimes.” [Xendan]

 

Italy

An Italian court levied a 9-year prison sentence against an Italian woman who fought with Daesh in Syria. A 10-year sentence was imposed on her Albanian husband, still in Syria, for the same charge but in absentia. A Canadian woman was charged in absentia as well, by the same court, for recruiting the previously-mentioned Italian woman. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. Advocates for gender equality will perhaps be cheered by this report.

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh says it shot and killed a Somali intelligence officer in Bosaso city. [ICDNJun13]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Director of the Badakhshan Provincial Council in northern Afghanistan, Abdullah Naji Naziri, said on Wednesday that 20 soldiers had been killed by Taliban fighters who attacked several security checkpoints in the Jorm area. [Sumaria]

 

 

 

 

June 12, 2018

 

Karha Qazan Village

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Major surprise: Al-Sadr announces coalition with Al-Amiri, Al-Hakim, Allawi. [..]

Al-Abadi confirms that the IHEC warehouse fire was arson. [..]

Daesh kills 20-30 tribe members of a tribal PMF near Iraq- Syria border. [..]

Local Kirkuk official warns of continuing Daesh presence in Yaychi-Dibis area. [..]

Daesh burns down a village in southwest Kirkuk. [..]

11 Daesh members arrested in northwest Mosul. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey’s Defense Minister says Turkish troops will stay in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. [..]

 

Syria

Saudi Arabia reported conferring with tribal sheikhs in SDF-held Arab areas about new Arab force. [..]

Mattis says US will start implementing Manbij “road map” with Turkey. [..]

Italian military trainers arrive in Deir Ez-Zor to work with SDF. [..]

Daesh battling SDF and Syrian units in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

Other countries

Afghanistan: Car bomb kills 5 policemen in east-central Afghanistan. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New government

New government

In a major surprise, Muqtada Al-Sadr announced on Tuesday that his Sa’irun alliance would form a coalition with the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance led by Hadi Al-Amiri. The announcement came at a joint press conference between Al-Sadr and Al-Amiri. Last week, Al-Sadr announced a coalition with the Al-Hikma (Wisdom) alliance led by Ammar Al-Hakim, and the Wataniya (National) alliance led by Ayad Allawi. Al-Amiri added at the conference that he had no problem with a manual recount of “5% or 10%” of votes. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. There is obviously a lot more to this story, but a coalition between the anti-Iran Al-Sadr and the pro-Iran Al-Amiri is certainly a surprise development. Al-Sadr’s agreement with the Sunni coalition is less surprising, as he has wanted to forge a coalition with Sunnis for some years and has promoted the idea of a non-sectarian government. The other third of this “triangle,” the coalition of the PMF militia leaders with the seemingly incompatible anti-Iran Sunni bloc might require a little more explanation. What happened to the constantly rumored Al-Sadr/Al-Abadi coalition is an unanswered question. What happened to all the Al-Maliki/Al-Fath rumors is another. So is the absence of Kurdish parties from the conversation. There will be a lot more to report on this story, which is just emerging over the past few days, and we would like to see some verification and perhaps clarification from Iraqi media sources.

 

Ahmed Al-Asadi, a spokesman for the Al-Fath (Conquest) alliance, said on Tuesday that their coalition with Sa’irun would form the “core” of a majority bloc. He said that this coalition would not exclude anyone and would serve as the basis for a “national service government.” [Rudaw]

 

Al-Hayat reported that the US had been seeking to unify the Kurdish party positions with respect to formation of a new Iraqi government. The newspaper wrote that this was the purpose of the meeting of US Ambassador Douglas Silliman and US Consul General Ken Gross’ with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Kosrat Rasul Ali. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment. Based on previous stories about a coalition that would extend Al-Abadi’s tenure as Prime Minister, it appeared that there would be enough seats represented to establish a majority in the CoR, as we reported. Support from the Kurds could have enabled this outcome. The fact that the US diplomats met with the PUK leader suggests that the KDP (or possibly the PUK) did not support that proposed coalition. The coalition reported today represents a potentially serious setback for the US, quite possibly the motive behind the meeting. Whether the announced coalition can actually provide a stable majority in the CoR remains to be seen, however.  

 

An “official source” said on Tuesday that there were ongoing attempts to form a coalition calling for the complete annulment of the elections, and to institute new procedures for provincial elections. The source told a Gulf newspaper that “several political forces,” including Kurdish and Shia figures, might form a coalition called “6/10,” and demand new elections in December. The name “6/10” is an apparent reference to the date of the IHEC warehouse fire. [Sumaria]

 

Election

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Tuesday that the preliminary report on the IHEC warehouse fire in Rusafa indicates that the fire was started intentionally. [Sumaria]

 

The High Judiciary Council committed to apply all the amendments passed recently by the CoR to the electoral law, which included manual counting of votes. The Council appointed 9 judges to replace Electoral Commission members and oversee this process. [Anadolu]

 

Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq (AAH) announced their position regarding the CoR elections on Tuesday. Its statement said that any recount should be carried out within a constitutional and legal context. They went on to say that they objected to the proposed recount and re-election procedures on two points: One, that even a 10% recount would likely lead to a “constitutional vacuum” due to the time needed to conduct such a recount. Two, that there was so far no proof of any major fraud that would necessitate a complete re-election; and that parties who claim that a new election was a popular demand were wrong, as the “street” was divided on this issue. [Sumaria] 

DaeshDaily comment. It seems strange at the least that the most reasonable statement about the election fraud issue comes from AAH. 

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

The Coordinator for International Advocacy in the Kurdistan Region (KRG), Dindar Zebari, said that the KRG had handed over more than 300 accused Daesh members to Baghdad over the past 8 months. This statement was in response to Baghdad officials and MPs accusing the KRG of refusing to transfer Daesh detainees. [Etejah] 

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The head of Interpol in Iraq said that a refugee arrested in France was a Daesh emir and had participated in the Camp Speicher massacre in June 2014. He said that the arrestee, called Ahmed Hamdan Mahmoud Ayash Al-Aswadi, had been in Salahuddin Prison in Tikrit and escaped after Daesh took over the city. He subsequently became a Daesh emir. Testimonies from other defendants implicated in the Camp Speicher massacre claim that “Al-Aswadi” executed 103 people there. [Sumaria] [Baghdadia]

 

A CoR member named Al-Zubaidi, writing on his Facebook page, warns that Daesh is beginning to implement plans to target Baghdad from the regions of Kirkuk and Samarra. [BaghdadToday]

 

Three Daesh stories

1.  Sumaria carried a report on the detailed confessions of a “first-rank” Daesh leader, Abu Ruqaya Al-Ansari, who was questioned before the Central Court of Inquiry.  Al-Ansari, aka “Al-Jamal” and “Al-Makni,” led the first armed factions in Albu Kamal (Syria), belonged to the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), and then defected to Daesh, where he was the “security officer” for the “State of the Euphrates.” Al-Ansari discussed how he was made Commander of the Eastern Front for the FSA before Al-Nusra became active in Albu Kamal. He said that after Al-Jolani (leader of Al-Nusra and later HTS) became more popular, the differences between Al-Nusra and Daesh grew, and various Daesh leaders went to Al-Jolani to try to persuade him to go to Iraq and meet with Al-Baghdadi, but he refused, and the split between Al-Nusra and Daesh became public. After Al-Nusra became more active and took control of several areas, they tried to assassinate Al-Ansari several times.

Al-Ansari joined Daesh after some of his relatives put him in contact with Daesh leaders in Iraq. He said that, at that time, Daesh was more interested in Iraq than Syria, although he met Al-Baghdadi once in Syria. He added that the existing Daesh leadership was afraid of him seizing power within Daesh because Al-Baghdadi was interested in him. Al-Ansari said that after he was appointed “security officer” for the “State of the Euphrates” within Iraq, he had a number of disagreements with the “Governor of the Euphrates,” Abu Anas Al-Samarri. He sent reports to the Daesh governing committee regarding what he perceived as mismanagement by Al-Samarri, for which Al-Baghdadi sent him a gift of cash and an “official” letter confirming his appointment. Around this time, Al-Ansari appeared in several Daesh propaganda photos, including photos featuring beheaded prisoners.

The report concluded with Al-Ansari’s summary of sources of funding for Daesh, which he said consisted of oil sales, antiquities smuggling, and taxation of farmers and shopkeepers within the territory it controlled. He added that Daesh was currently in a state of internal confusion and conflict following its territorial losses, and that many members were fleeing. [Sumaria] 

 

2.  Sumaria also reported the confession of a second Daesh emir, Isam Al-Zuba’ie, aka “Abu Abd Al-Haq,” who was 15 when he joined Daesh in 2007. Both the Court of Inquiry and intelligence services said that Al-Zuba’ie was the youngest emir in Daesh. His family was from Fallujah District, and he joined following his brother, after which his 2 other brothers and 3 sisters also joined. He was arrested in 2009 for participating in attacks on security personnel in Samarra District, and was released in 2014. After his release, he returned to Daesh, saying that his time in prison helped him learn Arabic, which helped him greatly afterward.

Al-Zuba’ie was sent to work under the “Governor of the Euphrates,” known as “Abi Anas Al-Furati.” He asked Abi Anas for permission to form his own fighting group, which he obtained, and they carried out many operations targeting security checkpoints and military positions, as well as countering the advance of Iraqi forces in Anbar, Salahuddin, and Ninewa. However, he and Abi Anas had interpersonal differences and he began to feel that Abi Anas was excessively corrupt. Al-Zuba’ie said that he considered Daesh suicide bombings to be done not just for military reasons, and that the possibility of early death was used as a rationale for Daesh leaders to justify enjoying their newfound wealth. This enabled the corruption, which he saw as rampant within the organization. [Sumaria] 

 

3.  Mawazin carried the story of a “simple farmer” who had become an “expert” in a Daesh IED factory. The story began when 44-year-old Jassim, who lived northeast of Baghdad, was approached by his cousin Mohammed, who also worked in farming, about joining Daesh. On the third such meeting, Jassim agreed and went to meet a man called “Abu Jabir” who said he was the “legitimate governor” of the north of Baghdad. Jassim was then given a Kalashnikov-type rifle and told to keep it in his house, and started working on making IEDs.

Jassim said that the “second stage” began after he had 3 months experience making IEDs; he was sent to the Thirthar area of the Samarra desert to open and supervise a workshop making IEDs. He said that he continued this work after the Iraq security forces began operations around Thirthar and Samarra, both making IEDs and participating in about a third of the attacks made with his IEDs. But after the Iraqi forces seized most of Samarra, he had to flee to Hit, and from there to Al-Qa’im. He continued to make IEDs in Al-Qa’im until he and fellow Daesh “officials” decided to flee to Dashisha in Syria. He was arrested after buying a fake ID near Mosul. [Mawazin] 

 

BAGHDAD

Baghdad Operations Command announced on Tuesday that it had arrested several wanted persons in various areas of the capital, including 4 arrests for terrorism. The BOC said in a statement that its  security personnel had made the terrorism arrests in the areas of Abu Nuwas in downtown Baghdad, the “Asia” quarter, Abu Mnaiseer (in Abu Ghraib), and at a checkpoint. [Ghad] 

 

ANBAR

Al-Qa’im

Sheikh Qatari Al-Samarmad, leader of the tribal PMF in the Baghdadi area in Hit, said on Tuesday that Daesh had killeded between 20 and 30 members of his tribe in an area close to the Syria-Iraq border around Al-Qa’im. Al-Samarmad said that intelligence services and Syrian eyewitnesses confirmed that the executions took place near the Albu Kamal (Syria) border with Al-Qa’im, and that his men were killed on charges on cooperating with Syrian and Iraqi forces. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

The Center for Security Information said that 3 Daesh safehouses had been discovered in Salahuddin. [Sumaria] 

 

Shirqat/ Baiji

The spokesman for the Center for Security Information, General Yahya Rasul, said in a statement that a cache of equipment left behind by Daesh had been found and destroyed in Shirqat. He said that the cache contained 18 60mm mortar shells, 6 IEDs, and an RPG-7 missile launcher. [Ghad] 

 

The PMF announced on Tuesday that its units had found an explosives cache left behind by Daesh in the Makhoul Mountains, which were being disposed of on-site by their engineers. It is unclear if this is the same cache referred to in the above story. [Ghad] 

 

The PMF said on Tuesday that PMF units had foiled an attack by Daesh fighters in northern Salahuddin. Field sources said that the Daesh fighters were trying to sneak in via the “open areas” along the Tigris. [Etejah] 

 

DIYALA

The Security Committee of the Diyala Provincial Council said on Tuesday that ”electronic recruitment” for Daesh has come to an end in Diyala and no longer has any impact on the ground. Committee head Sadiq Al-Husseini added in an interview that Daesh had failed to reorganize its “sleeper cells,” which he said were still present most notably in the Himrin Basin. He also noted that strengthening the security of the Diyala-Salahuddin border had weakened Daesh considerably because it impacted their main supply line for the sleeper cells. [Sumaria]

 

In a totally opposite statement, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) warned that Diyala is about to fall under Daesh control. It claims that the Peshmerga are needed to prevent this. [BaghdadToday]

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

A security source in Diyala said that the Anti-Explosives Division of the police had dismantled 3 IEDs planted at the entrance to the village of Al-Kubba, 12 miles northeast of Baquba. [Sumaria] 

 

KIRKUK

The Defense Ministry of Iraq announced on Tuesday that 4 Daesh fighters had been arrested and 3 Daesh sites destroyed in Kirkuk. Spokesman General Yahya said in a statement that the Federal Police, supported by Army Air, searched 13 villages in Kirkuk during the operation. [Rudaw] 

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

The manager of the Yaychi subdistrict, Falah Yaijli, warned on Tuesday of the danger of Daesh “secret and sleeper cells” in Kirkuk. In an interview, he expressed surprise regarding repeated and continuing attacks on the areas between Yaychi subdistrict and Dibis. He added that while the Federal Police were fully deployed in south and northwest Kirkuk Province, there were still large areas for Daesh to hide in and exploit. [Sumaria]

 

Commander of the Iraqi Federal Police Ra’ed Shakir Jawdat announced that a senior Daesh official, Fares Khaled Saleh Al-Mafraji, was killed during a search operation in the Dibis District. A police source confirmed that the 20th Brigade of the Federal Police (IFP) had killed the official. [Shafaaq] [Baghdadia] 

 

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A security source in Kirkuk Province said on Tuesday that a Daesh-affiliated group had kidnapped a mukhtar’s son from a village in Hawija subdistrict. [Sumaria]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)

A military source reported on Tuesday that at 11:00 on Monday night, Daesh members burned down the entire village of Karha Qazan in the Rashad subdistrict of Daquq. This was a revenge attack for recent deaths of their members in Kirkuk, who had been killed at the hands of some natives of Karha Qazan. A different source said on Tuesday that Daesh had been burning “large areas” of wheat and barley crops in Karha Qazan, and that this was in retaliation for the people of southwest Kirkuk not cooperating with Daesh. [BaghdadNews] [Sumaria] 

 

A police source, who asked not to be named, said that the IFP had arrested 5 Daesh fighters in various parts of southwest Kirkuk. [Baghdadia]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

Ninewa Police Chief Hamad Namis announced on Tuesday that a team from the Ministry of the Interior’s Internal Affairs had arrested 4 members of Ninewa Civil Defense, including 2 officers, near Taji (Baghdad Province). Chief Hamad said that the 4 were arrested with money and weapons hidden in their vehicles, which they were believed to have stolen from the bodies of Daesh fighters during their work exhuming bodies in Mosul. [BasNews]

 

A security source said on Tuesday that security personnel had arrested the Daesh official called Abu Sayf Al-Hilali in the Rashidiya area in northwest Mosul. Al-Hilali is said to be responsible for the mass executions of about 500 civilians in Mosul after it fell under Daesh control in June 2014. [Baghdadia]

 

The Ministry of the Interior announced on Tuesday that the 2nd Rapid Response Regiment (SWAT) under Ninewa Police Command had arrested 5 terrorists in Al-Harmat in northwest Mosul. [Sumaria] 

Center for Security Information spokesman General Yahya said on Tuesday that units under Ninewa Ops Command had arrested 10 suspects in Al-Harmat. This may include the arrestees mentioned in the above story. [Ghad] 

 

A security source said that 9 “Daesh cells” had been arrested in Yarimjah, in southeast Mosul on the Tigris. [Baghdadia] 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil/Qayara

The Center for Security Information said on Tuesday that 3 wanted terrorists had been arrested in the Hammam Al-Alil and Qayara areas south of Mosul. [Ghad] 

 

Center for Security Information spokesman General Yahya said on Tuesday that units under Ninewa Ops Command had arrested 1 suspect in Al-Arij, northwest of Hammam Al-Alil city.  It is unclear if this is part of the previous story. [Ghad] 

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

Center for Security Information spokesman General Yahya said on Tuesday that units under Ninewa Ops Command had found an anti-tank mine in the area of Mullah Jassem, west of Tal Afar city, and the Al-Hussein Hospital in Tal Afar. 

Another group searched the village of Qulabash, 4 miles west of Ayadhiya, and found 610 grenade launchers, 722 mortar shells, 60 “SPG-9” mortar caps, 42 other mortars of various types, 6 anti-armor rocket launchers, 6 explosives belts, 4 tank shells, 3 “Kornet”-type guided missiles, and 30 liters of glycerin. [Ghad] 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra/Dhi Qar/Qadisiya

A source in the National Security Service said that the Service had dismantled a Shia terrorist network called Junud Allah Al-Mulawayin, which had been planning to assassinate political, religious, and military figures in the southern provinces of Dhi Qar, Basra, and Qadisiya. The source claimed that the group had been taking orders from an unnamed “Gulf state” to create intrasectarian (Shia vs. Shia) conflict. [Ghad] 

DaeshDaily comment. This sounds like a significant story, but needs official verification.

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

DAHUK

An official from the Yazidi Rescue Office in Dahuk, Hussein Qa’idi, said on Monday that units from the Peshmerga and Asayesh (KRG intelligence and security service) had rescued 2 Yazidis from Sinjar—an 18-year-old kidnapped from the village of Tal Qasab, and a 14-year-old from the village of Solagh, both east of Sinjar city. He said that the two had been away from their families for 4 years. [BasNews] 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY 

 

On Tuesday, the Defense Minister for Turkey, Nurettin Canikli, said that Turkish troops would stay in northern Iraqi Kurdistan until they had “stopped terrorism.” Canikli said in a statement that the Turkish armed forces had “neutralized” more than 500 fighters from the PKK in northern Iraq since the beginning of 2018. He added that military operations “will continue in a way that does not violate the territorial integrity of another country . . . until all terrorists are eliminated.” [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. If you see a contradiction in the above statement, you are not alone. In fact, it is unlikely that the Turkish troops can just roll over the PKK fighters, who can melt into the terrain and resume fighting later. This means Turkey will be occupying parts of Iraqi Kurdistan indefinitely. 

 

Turkish authorities arrested an Iraqi national on charges of “belonging to Daesh.” The arrest was made in Samsun, in northern Turkey. [Anadolu] [Xendan] 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

Russia

Russian official sources say Syria is giving priority to Russian companies in plans for the reconstruction of Syria. However, the process has not started yet. They say that economic activities face difficulties due to Western sanctions against both Syria and Russia. [Qasioun]

 

Political opposition

Saudi Arabia started talks with Arab tribal sheikhs in SDF-held areas of Syria, aiming to form an Arab force backed by Saudi Arabia. The objective is to create a balance between Kurdish and Arab forces in areas mainly inhabited by Arab populations, and to prepare for the anticipated US withdrawal from Syria. [Anadolu]

 

Northwest

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus

Secretary of Defense James Mattis says that the US will start implementing the “road map” in Manbij that was agreed upon with Turkey. Delegations from both countries are currently discussing the mechanisms of implementation. Joint patrols are one such mechanism, Mattis says. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Northeast 

Hasaka

SDF forces liberated two villages east of Shaddadi on the 8th day of fighting in Hasaka, moving toward Dashisha. SDF admitted that there was fierce resistance by Daesh in these areas. The SDF says Daesh is planting mines in civilian houses in areas where its fighters have withdrawn. [Hawar]

 

Central and West 

Hama

A government media outlet says that the government army killed 4 Al-Nusra fighters and destroyed their vehicle north of Hama city. The group was moving about in Lataminah village. The 4 are from a group of 35 that arrived from Turkey recently. [SyriaNow]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin District

A group of Daesh fighters lured 6 SDF fighters to a house in Suwaidan village, using a woman, and killed them all. While withdrawing, they killed 2 more SDF fighters after engaging their patrol in the village. [Dorar]

 

A group of 50 Italian soldiers arrived at the Al-Tanak oilfield, coming from Hasaka. The group came in American Hummers. They will be working closely with the SDF, in training and command and control. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Albu Kamal District

SOHR reported that the SDF engaged Daesh in fierce battles. SDF were supported by Coalition planes, which attacked Daesh positions in Hajin. [SyriaHR]

 

Fighting between government forces and Daesh was reported near the “T2” station. The fighting occurred following an attack by Daesh on the border between Homs and Deir Ez-Zor. 

Fighting also started between the Syrian Army and Daesh in Albu Kamal, accompanied by artillery and shelling. [Hawar]

Dozens of foreign militia fighters loyal to the Assad regime were reportedly killed and wounded in a Daesh ambush near the T2 station. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh ambushed a convoy of pro-government militiamen near the desert area of Albu Kamal, killing 10 of them and wounding others. [Qasioun]

 

Tensions rose between Syrian Army units and Lebanese Hezbollah in Albu Kamal because of Hezbollah checkpoints that are searching Syrian Army soldiers and requiring them to hand over their weapons. [Qasioun]

 

South (No reports)

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya

The Libyan National Army media center says 2 suicide car bomb attacks in the Shiha area of Derna caused civilian casualties. This is a second attack of the kind within 2 days. The center says such attacks would not affect the Army’s advances in the city, and that the Army was continuing to liberate a “very small area” of Derna city remaining outside of Army control. [Hawar]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

France

French media reported on Tuesday that a person claiming to have a bomb had taken 3 hostages in the 10th District of Paris. The media noted that this was not a terrorist attack, based on reports they had received from several sources. The French channel BFM TV reported that the hostage-taker had asked to meet with the Iranian Ambassador to France.

 

Germany

German authorities announced on Tuesday that they had arrested an 18-year-old man based on the suspicion that he had joined Daesh in Mosul in 2014 and completed a 4-week military training program. His name is “Arqam A.,” partially withheld for privacy. He supposedly worked as a guard and in preparing fighting positions for Daesh before coming to Germany in 2016. [Shafaaq]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in Ghazna Province in east-central Afghanistan, killing five Afghan policemen.  It also wounded 26 civilians, including the head of the district. No organization has claimed responsibility so far. [Anadolu]

 

 

 

June 11, 2018

 

IHEC Fire 

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Arson at IHEC Baghdad warehouse deepens rift over Iraq election. [..]

Major Sunni alliance seeking a new election. [..]

Newspaper lists parties supporting and opposing an election recount. [..]

Diyala Police cite major drop-off in teen-age participation with Daesh. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan says Turkey will attack PKK HQ area in Qandil Mountains. [..]

 

Syria

UN says number of Syrian displace people reached a record this year. [..]

Coalition has conducted 132 airstrikes since June 1 in Albu Kamal, southern Hasaka. [..]

SDF in Hasaka moving closer to capturing Dashisha. [..]

Daesh attacks SDF units in two Deir Ez-Zor locations. [..]

Daesh retreats from gains in Albu Kamal city. [..]

 

Other countries

Iran: Iranian Kurds clash with Revolutionary Guards near Iraq border. [..]

Afghanistan: Daesh suicide bombing kills at least 12 in Kabul. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New government

IHEC warehouse fire

The Board of Commissioners for the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) issued a statement on Sunday regarding a major fire that occurred at one of the four IHEC warehouses in the Rusafa District where some ballots were stored. The Chairman of the Board, Ma’an Al-Heitawi, said they learned about the fire at 3 pm Sunday, and that several different security and legal teams were investigating it. He said that the fire affected the warehouse but not the ballot boxes or papers, that IHEC had backups of all its data, and that this incident did not affect the results of the election. [Sumaria]

 

Qasim Al-Aaraji, the Minister of Interior, stated that the fire in the Electoral Commission warehouse was premeditated. He says he is following the ongoing investigations closely and personally. [Anadolu]

 

Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council said on Monday that an Investigations Court had decided to order the arrest of 4 people in connection with the fire at the IHEC warehouse. The Council’s spokesman said in a statement that the people named in the arrest warrants were 3 policemen and 1 IHEC employee. [Anadolu]

 

Baghdad Operations Command also issued a statement on Sunday regarding the fire, to say that the security forces were only responsible for protecting the outer perimeter of the IHEC storage facilities. The Command confirmed that the fire started at 3 pm Sunday and said that Civil Defense units and security personnel extinguished the fire. [Sumaria]

 

An “informed source” said on Monday that the CoR will invite PM Haider Al-Abadi and Minister of Interior Qassem Al-Aaraji to the CoR within the next few days to discuss the results of the investigations about the Electoral Commission warehouse fire.  The source said that several MPs would start collecting signatures for this motion on Tuesday. [Rudaw]

 

Election

Ayad Allawi, the head of the Wataniya (“National”) bloc, suggested a UN-sponsored popular referendum to decide on adopting or repeating the recent election. [Anadolu]

 

Ghad wrote that the leaders of the National coalition (including Allawi and Speaker Al-Jubouri) are trying to hold a special session of the CoR to completely annul the results of the election. A “source in the Council of Ministers” told Ghad that CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri had telephoned PM Haider Al-Abadi to say that the National list would push to annul the electoral results after “a series of violations of the electoral process,” as well as the fire in the IHEC warehouses. The source said that Al-Abadi was against completely annulling the electoral results, and warned Al-Jubouri that this move could cause a political crisis. [Ghad]

DaeshDaily comment. One suspects that the larger reason for the initiative is that the Sunni alliance did not do well in the election, especially Al-Jubouri, and would like a re-run. If the problems with the election process are the reason for that, the alliance should be able to specify how those problems cost them votes but not other electoral alliances.

 

Muqtada Al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stop fighting over their fortunes and positions and unify to save the country. He says that there are concerns of a civil war, following the recent fire at the Electoral Commission warehouse. [ZamanAlwasl]

 

Nouri Al-Maliki, leader of the Rule of Law coalition, wrote that there needed to be a “complete match” between the electronically counted votes and a manual recount.  He made the remarks on Twitter, adding that he “refuse[d] to form a government based on the results of electoral fraud.” [Rudaw]

Al-Maliki expressed on Monday the need for electoral reform and his rejection of forming a new government based on a “state of manipulation.”  Al-Maliki’s media office said that he met earlier on Monday with UN Special Representative Ján Kubiš and discussed what he characterized as the problems with the electoral process and ways to address them constitutionally and legally. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment. Like the Sunni alliance, Al-Maliki did not do as well as he had hoped in the election. This put him at a disadvantage in his efforts to return as Prime Minister. He keeps talking about forming the government but would seem to need some change in the final voting results in order to serve his political purposes.

 

The London-based, Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat published on Sunday a list of the political groups supporting and those opposing a recount procedure.  

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the following are the most prominent political groups that announced their acceptance of the CoR election results and did not attend most of the recent CoR sessions, which were concerned with the election, mandating a recount, and the IHEC:

  • Sa’irun, led by Al-Sadr;

  • Wisdom, led by Ammar Al-Hakim;

  • Al-Fath (Conquest), led by Hadi Al-Amiri;

  • The KDP, led by Masoud Barzani;

  • The PUK;

  • The Baghdad Alliance, led by Jamal Al-Karbuli.

The political groups which have supported amending the electoral law and demanded a recount are as follows:

  • Rule of Law, led by Nouri Al-Maliki;

  • The National coalition, led by Ayad Allawi, of which CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri is a prominent member.

  • Decision, led by Osama Al-Nujaifi.

  • The Kurdish Gorran (“Change”) movement and the smaller Kurdish Islamist parties.

The Victory coalition, led by PM Haider Al-Abadi, has taken a compromise position, according to Asharq Al-Awsat. [Sumaria]

 

New government

CoR member Kazem Al-Sayadi said on Monday that he would seek a 3-month extension of the CoR’s mandate in order to prevent the country from entering into a constitutional vacuum.  Al-Sayadi said in a statement that there were efforts underway within the CoR to do this. The term of the CoR ends on June 30. Iraqi Bar Association member and outspoken legal expert Tariq Harb noted that the Iraqi Constitution does not allow for such an extension past June 30. [Rudaw]

 

An ”inside political source” told Ghad on Monday that Nouri Al-Maliki would hold a meeting within the next hour with Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and several leaders of Shia political blocs, to discuss the formation of the next government. The source claimed that Soleimani had arrived in Iraq on Saturday from Syria and would be present for suhur (early morning meal during Ramadan) at Al-Maliki’s house, where he would meet with Hadi Al-Amiri, leader of Al-Fath (Conquest), and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, a PMF leader. The source said that there was a consensus between Al-Maliki and Al-Amiri to nominate PM Haider Al-Abadi for a second term as PM, since he had refused to join Muqtada Al-Sadr’s coalition. [Ghad]

DaeshDaily comment. We are skeptical about the accuracy of the last sentence, as we have seen no evidence to support that and several stories to the contrary.