April 19, 2017
TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
Iran’s new Ambassador to Iraq is a Revolutionary Guard general. [..]
Huge Shia religious festival challenges Baghdad security. [..]
Daesh attacks army checkpoint near Baquba and tribe in northern Diyala. [..]
Several Daesh leaders killed in Mosul. [..]
CTS keeps advancing in southwest Mosul. [..]
Daesh runs out of medicine, kills the patients. [..]
SDF takes four more villages west of Raqqa. [..]
Syrian Army gains ground on Daesh near Palmyra. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Hartmut Gabriel arrived in Baghdad and met separately with President Masoum, Prime Minister Abadi, Speaker Jubouri, and Foreign Affairs Minister Jaafari to discuss the war on Daesh and reconstruction of liberated areas. After that, the minister flew to Erbil and was received by KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. [Rudaw] [Rudaw]
A general from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard assumed the post of Ambassador to Iraq on Wednesday.
Iraj Masjedi previously worked as adviser to Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. Soleimani is head of the Quds Force, the branch of the Revolutionary Guard responsible for operations outside of Iran, which has been controversial in Iraq.
After Daesh took control of swathes of Iraq in 2014, Soleimani worked with top Iraqi security officials to fight Daesh, primarily by assisting Shia PMFs. [Reuters]
DaeshDaily comment. This should probably be seen as an unfortunate development. First, an Ambassador position anywhere is generally a job for a diplomat, not for a leader of a clandestine militia organization that does not report to his nation’s foreign affairs ministry. It is well understood that the Revolutionary Guards are not under the control of Iran’s elected President, and the decisions of the Revolutionary Guards are not necessarily coordinated with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. So it’s not clear who in the Iran government is being represented by this new Ambassador, but the initial impression is not encouraging.
Iran and the Revolutionary Guards were valuable to Iraq in 2014 and 2015 when it was most vulnerable to Daesh. Maybe that’s why Al-Abadi’s government is not inclined or perhaps not in position to refuse the appointment. A stronger Iraqi government might have rejected such a choice. The probability is that this will make it harder for the Iraqi government to deal with Iran, and will put more pressure on American and European diplomacy to help Iraq stand up to Iranian pressure to support its sectarian agenda.
The manager of border crossings says 40,000 Shia pilgrims from different countries arrived in Iraq on Tuesday to participate in the Kadhimiya ceremonies in northwest Baghdad on Sunday. [Sumaria]
The Coalition says it conducted 12 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq, in or near Mosul (8), Tal Afar (1), Al-Qa’im (1), Rawa (1), and Rutba (1). [InherentResolve]
Security-related incidents reported
Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) says the Al-Suqoor checkpoint destroyed a car bomb under control south of Falluja, on the highway between Baghdad and Anbar. It says the car bomb was intended to attack Shia pilgrims heading to the Kadhimiya Shrine. [Sumaria] [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. The biggest Shia pilgrimage in Baghdad will happen in a few days. Millions of people from all over Iraq are heading to the shrine.
West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)
A police source says an IED targeted a police patrol in Ibrahim Bin Ali, and wounded three of them. [Sumaria]
Military Intelligence Service says it captured 2 persons on terrorism charges in the Al-Oweisat area in Abu Ghraib. [Ghad]
Daesh issues a propaganda video about its operations in Fallujah. The video talks about the insurgency in Fallujah since it started in 2003 and promises more attacks in Fallujah. [DawaAlhaq]
DaeshDaily comment. This is a Daesh media theme for these current days. The implication is that “we lost, but we are coming back as we did before.” The message is arrogant and totally objectionable, but it has to be taken seriously.
An Anbar Police commander says the explosions heard in Ramadi city yesterday were because army EOD units destroyed several IEDs under control in Ramadi city. He assured the people of Ramadi that the security situation is under control. [Sumaria]
The IAF destroyed several Daesh weapons and ammunition storehouses and command centers in Rawa, killing several terrorists. [MoD Website]
A DaeshDaily source says three young men removed Daesh flags from a mosque in Al-Qa’im. The source says Daesh identified the men after checking security cameras and captured and executed two of them. Daesh is still searching for the third man, who managed to escape.
Daesh issues a video of a PMF fighter targeted by its snipers in Ain Al-Baidha village. [A3maq]
IWMC says army units blocked a Daesh attack on Sheikh Ali village in the Makhoul Mountains, killing 4 combatants including a suicide attacker. [IraqPress]
Daesh publishes photos of targeting a PMF military position near the Al-Makhazen Bridge with B10 rockets. [JustPaste]
Daesh says it destroyed a PMF bulldozer with a rocket in Albu Draib village north of Baiji. [A3maq]
PMF says it initiated a preemptive attack in Zuwiya, northeast of Tikrit, destroying a vehicle bomb and an armored vehicle. It also captured explosives and used them against a Daesh guesthouse and equipment. [IraqPress]
Security units found 13 IEDs in the Al-Dayoum area, north of Tikrit. [MoD Website]
A security source says army units repelled a Daesh attack on an army checkpoint in Bazayez, east of Baquba, killing and wounding several attackers. One soldier was killed in the operation. [Ghad][Sumaria]
Daesh says it killed four Iraqi soldiers and wounded three others in an attack on a checkpoint in the Bazayez area of Buhriz. [A3maq]
The Diyala Police says security units defused 3 IEDs in Al-Salam subdistrict in Al-Khalis. [Sumaria]
A local source says Rapid Intervention units in Abu Saida clashed with terrorists in the center of the district, killing one of them and wounding another. [Ghad]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
The Zarkoush (Shia Kurd) tribe leader says Daesh cells in the Himrin area targeted his tribe’s village with 19 mortars during the month of April, including 4 on Tuesday. He criticized Iraqi government’s silence about Daesh growing in the Himrin area and about its attack on his tribe. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. Daesh had issued a fatwa to eliminate this tribe. The tribe has many members, and some of them joined PMF units to defend their areas.
The Diyala Police say security units captured a person on terrorism charges in the Himrin Dam area. [Sumaria]
Military Intelligence Service says its units captured a terrorist at the Anjana checkpoint, near Udhaim, on the road between Diyala and Kirkuk. It says the terrorist was heading from Suleimaniya to conduct an attack in Baghdad and was wanted on several terrorism charges. [Ghad]
A security source in Diyala says Daesh fired 8 mortar shells at oil police checkpoints in Nafut Khana, one of which destroyed an oil pipe.
Daesh says it detonated an oil pipe in the Al-Nida area in Mandali that extends from Nafut Khana oilfield in Khanaqin to Baghdad, with several IEDs. [JustPaste] Daesh publishes a video of a terrorist planting an IED near an oil pipe, then the video shows the oil pipe on fire. [A3maq]
Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)
The Diyala Police says security units defused a sticky IED under a civilian vehicle in Balad Ruz. [Sumaria]
Daesh says it detonated an IED on a police Intelligence Service vehicle in the Al-Dainiya area in Balad Ruz, destroying the vehicle and severely wounding two people inside. [JustPaste]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
Daesh publishes 2 photos of setting boxes of cigarettes on fire in Hawija city. [JustPaste]
Mosul liberation campaign
A military source says Iraqi units liberated 30% of old Mosul and that Daesh is holding only 17 neighborhoods now. The source predicts that the last Daesh battle in west Mosul will be in the 17th of July neighborhood, as it has symbolic value to Daesh, being the first neighborhood occupied by them in 2014. [Anadolu] The IFP commander says IFP liberated 30% of old Mosul and killed 58 Daesh combatants, including 6 snipers. [Ghad]
A Rapid Intervention major says Iraqi forces have captured 40% of Old Mosul during the last 38 days. He says fighting in the area is difficult because of the narrow alleys and because there are large numbers of civilians trapped in the areas. [Karemlash]
Military sources reported 6 airstrikes by the IAF on Daesh targets in west Mosul Wednesday. [PressIraq]
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh issued orders to its foreign terrorists in west Mosul to execute any local terrorist who wants to flee.
Daesh issues infographics about the 6th month of its Mosul battles March 18-April 17. It says it killed 790 Iraqi soldiers, conducted 32 suicide attacks, and destroyed 176 vehicles, damaged 34 vehicles, and shot down a helicopter and 25 recon drones. [A3maq]
Prime Minister Al-Abadi arrived in Mosul to inspect military units near battlefronts, his press office says. Sources spoke about a possible visit to Erbil to meet Kurdish leaders. [ROJ]
IFP units destroyed Daesh mortar units, vehicle bombs, weapons and explosives storehouses, a heavy cannon, a machine gun mounted vehicle, and a vehicle bomb factory and killed several Daesh snipers in several areas. [MoD Website]
The MoD says Coalition planes killed the Daesh minister of tribal affairs Abu Abdullah Al-Shabaki, and a son and a nephew, in an airstrike in Zanjili, northwest of downtown. [Harbi]
IFP says it killed Abu Abdul Rahman, described as the 1st assistant of Al-Baghdadi, by shelling Daesh HQ in Zanjili.
Military Intelligence Service says Coalition planes killed the Daesh “intelligence official” of Hay Al-Tayran in an airstrike on his motorcycle in Zanjili. [Ghad]
An IFP major says Iraqi forces stopped a major Daesh attack in Hay Al-Farouq, southeast of Zanjili. He says Daesh used 3 vehicle bombs in addition to a bulldozer bomb. [BasNews]
IFP says it killed Abul Waleed Al-Tunisi, a Daesh commander, and 4 of his men in the Old City. [Harbi]
The army constructed a temporary pontoon bridge over the Tigris in southern Mosul after access to the permanent bridges was blocked due to intense floods. Queues of cars and people were seen waiting on the east side to cross the river on the new bridge. UNHCR says that supplies to Hammam Al-Alil resumed due to the new bridge and the situation is normal now. It says 20,000 IDPs left west Mosul in the past four days. [PUKMedia]
Daesh says a group of its terrorists attacked IFP positions near the Al-Meshahda area, killing more than twelve soldiers and wounding others before returning safely. [JustPaste]
Daesh publishes 2 photos of an IFP bulldozer it destroyed near the Al-Meshahda area. [JustPaste]
Daesh issues a video of battles in the Meshahda area and Hay Al-Tanak. [A3maq]
A military source says the Coalition conducted an airdrop behind CTS lines in one of the old Mosul neighborhoods. The source says the intention is to provide logistical support to Iraqi forces in the area. [Ghad]
DaeshDaily comment. The airdrop story is credible. Assuming it’s true, however, we suspect there is more to this mission than the usual logistical support.
CTS commander says they are advancing from two directions in the Al-Thawra and Al-Tanak neighborhoods, inflicting heavy casualties on Daesh in fierce battles. He also says that safe routes were opened for civilians to escape battle areas. He says 80% of both neighborhoods are now liberated. [Mawazin]
Daesh says it snipers killed six Iraqi soldiers in Hay Al-Tanak and Hay Al-Thawra. [A3maq]
Here Daesh says its snipers killed ten CTS soldiers in Hay Al-Tanak and Hay Al-Thawra. [A3maq]
CTS says it has killed 45 Daesh combatants in Al-Thawra. It says it has also liberated the Rafidain neighborhood in central Mosul by the Tigris. [Harbi]
CTS says it separated Sina’at Wadi Okab from Hay Al-Tanak, isolating Daesh combatants and killing 12 of them, while destroying 6 vehicle bombs. [Harbi]
Daesh says its snipers killed three CTS soldiers in Hay Al-Yarmouk. It also says it destroyed a CTS Humvee in the same area. [A3maq]
North & northwest Mosul
Daesh issues a video of an Iraqi forces recon drone it shot down in northwest Mosul. [A3maq]
A security source says two children were severely wounded when a Daesh mortar shell fell near an elementary school in Hay Sumer. [Maalomah]
An IFP major says one civilian was killed and three others wounded by Daesh mortar shelling on Hay Al-Jaza’er. [BasNews]
Human conditions in Mosul
An intelligence source in Mosul says Daesh killed its patients infected with gangrene, who were kept in houses used as hospitals in west Mosul. The explanation was that it does not have the resources to treat or provide medicines to them . [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. Pardon us if we don’t quite believe the explanation. A band of killers making health care decisions is not good news for patients.
The Ministry of Migrations and Displacement says 119,000 displaced people have returned to their houses in east Mosul. However, 334,000 people have left their houses in west Mosul. The Minister had said earlier that 291,000 displaced people from Ninewa are living in camps in liberated areas and in the Kurdistan governorates. [Rudaw]
A Ninewa Police source says security units launched a major search in liberated areas south of Mosul and captured 16 Daesh members in Qayara and Hammam Al-Alil. The source also says security units captured many suspects who were posing as displaced people. [BasNews]
A DaeshDaily source says the UN suspended its operations west of the Tigris River in Ninewa, including Hammam Al-Alil and Qayara, because of potential Daesh attacks that could target UN and NGO workers.
Daesh says it killed two Iraqi soldiers in an attack on a military position near Al-Jassam village south of Qayara on Tuesday. [A3maq]
A field source says Iraqi F-16s destroyed a Daesh hideout, a house, a headquarters, and 2 cannons in two areas in Tal Afar, killing 25 terrorists. [Harbi]
Peshmerga Ministry general director says the US is arming 2 Peshmerga brigades, having already armed and equipped 2 other brigades . [Sumaria]
Babel criminal court issued death sentences against 4 terror convicts for blowing up houses of citizens for terrorist purposes. They were also fined IQD 60 million to be paid to Jurf Al-Sakhar municipality for damage to public buildings. [PUKMedia]
DaeshDaily comment. Collecting the fine might run into practical problems. Good luck with that.
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
The State Department denied knowing the whereabouts of Daesh leader Al-Baghdadi. It also says it does not have verification of earlier reports of his arrest by Russian units. [Mawazin]
The Coalition says it conducted 21 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria, in Tabaqa (3), Raqqa (8), and Deir Ez-Zor (5), and Albu Kamal (5). [InherentResolve]
Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)
West of Raqqa
SDF says it liberated 4 more villages in the Wadi Jalab area west of Raqqa from Daesh today amid heavy fighting. [PUKMedia]
SDF announced the liberation of Hatash village from Daesh in Wadi Jalab. [Hawar] It also captured Bir Jarba and Jarwa in the same area.
An SDF source says battles in Tabaqa left 47 Daesh combatants dead, including 7 suicide attackers. 20 of them were killed by a Coalition airstrike Tuesday. [ARA]
North of Raqqa
Daesh says one of its Syrian suicide terrorists attacked an SDF headquarters in Hatash village north of Raqqa with a vehicle bomb, killing everyone inside. [MRKZGulf]
Daesh says it damaged 2 SDF bulldozers with 2 rockets in Hatash village. [A3maq]
Daesh issues a video of an SDF fighter it captured near Tal Al-Saman. [A3maq]
SDF says it received 150 families escaping Daesh areas in Raqqa. The IDPs were moved to Ayn Eissa. [Hawar]
Daesh publishes photos of one of its media centers in Raqqa city. [JustPaste]
Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)
Syrian government says that an IED explosion in Salahuddin neighborhood in Aleppo killed 6 civilians and wounded 32 others. [Rudaw]
An opposition faction called Abu Amara for Special Operations claimed responsibility for the Aleppo attack, saying it targeted the Syrian Army and militias. [Qasioun]
11 buses carrying opposition combatants and their families left Zabadani in Rif Damashq toward Idlib, while 45 buses carrying 3,000 people left Fawaa and Kefraya towards Aleppo, as part of the 4-cities exchange deal agreed between the government and the opposition. [ARA]
Some of the civilians who came from Fawaa and Kefraya are suffering very bad living conditions in Hasba’, west of Homs, reports say. [EnabBaladi]
SOHR reported continued fighting between Daesh and government forces near Al-Jarrah military airport amid airstrikes on areas inside the airport held by Daesh. [SyriaHR]
Daesh publishes a photo of targeting Syrian and Russian aircraft with heavy machine guns east of Khanasir, in the Safira District in southeast Aleppo [JustPaste]
Kurdish sources say Turkey backed opposition elements shelled Jalma village in Afrin, wounding a 14 year old boy. [Hawar]
Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)
Syrian Army says it destroyed a Daesh bulldozer packed with explosives in Wadi Odhaib, east of Hama. [SyriaNow]
Syrian government says its army occupied re-captured several hills surrounding the Al-Qattar Mountain northeast of Palmyra. [SyriaNow]
Daesh says it damaged a Syrian Army bulldozer with a rocket near the Tadmur Silos. [A3maq]
SOHR confirmed advances of government forces on Daesh east of Homs, reporting heavy fighting and airstrikes. [SyriaHR]
SOHR reports smoke clouds over the Homs refinery, possibly due to non-stop battles between government forces and Daesh that reached two locations in the area under heavy air cover from planes and helicopters. [SyriaHR]
Daesh publishes a photo of a sheep market near Sukhnah city. [JustPaste]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Sources say a recent Coalition airdrop in areas between Mayadin and Duwer in Deir Ez-Zor resulted in arresting important Daesh figures who were in a car heading from Mayadin to Albu Kamal. The whole operation took only 15 minutes. [EnabBaladi]
Local sources say the number of victims of Coalition/Iraqi airstrikes on Albu Kamal went up to 33 civilians killed including many women and children. 7 civilian houses were totally destroyed in the raids, they say.
Meanwhile government forces and Daesh continued battling in the Maqaber area south of Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. As we commented yesterday, we lack any confirmation from other sources and cannot as yet evaluate the airstrike allegations. We note that neither story acknowledges any Daesh members killed by the airstrikes, which undermines their credibility.
Sources say Coalition and Iraqi planes again raided areas near Albu Kamal and Al-Hari village. Col. John Dorrian of the Coalition confirmed Coalition attacks on these areas, but says he has no information on casualties. [EnabBaladi]
Syrian Army killed 14 Daesh combatants and destroyed several positions in an artillery shelling on Jabal Tharda west of Deir Ez-Zor. [SyriaNow]
Daesh publishes 2 photos of targeting a Syrian Army position with a shell in Deir Ez-Zor city. [JustPaste]
Daesh publishes photos of building clay houses in Deir Ez-Zor province. [JustPaste]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack on a police checkpoint near Saint Catherine’s monastery in Sinai that killed one policeman and wounded 4 others. [Sumaria]
A security source says security units killed one of the terrorists who attacked the checkpoint. The source says local residents in South Sinai had informed security units about the terrorist’s location. [VetoGate]
Daesh says it targeted an Egyptian Army M113 armored vehicle with an IED south of Rafah. [JustPaste]
Daesh issues a video of a young boy who was killed by an Egyptian Army shelling near the Al-Harash area west of Rafah city. [A3maq]
DaeshDaily comment. This might be the first A3maq video we have seen from Egypt.
Tunisian Ministry of Interior says security units captured a takfiri in Manouba, in northeastern Tunisia. It says the man had a Daesh flag painted on the roof of his house, and admitted he was communicating with Daesh supporters via social media. [Tunisien]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Daesh says its snipers killed an Afghan soldier in the Achin area in Nangarhar. [JustPaste]
Videos of the Day
IFP soldiers advance near Al-Nouri Mosque. [Facebook]
Hundreds of civilians escape Daesh controlled areas north of Raqqa. [BasNews]
Daesh audio newsletter for today [Bayan]
Daesh publishes a photo of one of its Iraqi terrorists who might have been killed in Ninewa. [JustPaste]