An Update On ISIS Activities

December 13, 2018

December 13, 2018

 

A person sitting on a rock

Description automatically generated

Turkish Troops in Northern Syria

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Sadr’s bloc boycotting CoR sessions to block MoI nominee. [..]

PMF extortion racket reported still operating in Mosul. [..]

Coalition-backed military operation in Tarmiya kills 13 Daesh operatives. [..]

Ninewa PC accused of diverting stabilization funds to operating costs. [..]

Another mass grave found with Daesh victims, in Shirqat. [..]

Turks bomb Sinjar Mountain, kill 12 YPG soldiers.​​ [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey starts maneuvering to invade northeastern Syria.​​ [..]

 

Syria

SDF captures most of Hajin.​​ [..]

​​ 

Other​​ countries

Iran/Israel:​​ Netanyahu threatens Iran over missile deployment in Syria. [..]

Yemen/US:​​ US Senate passes resolution to withdraw funding for Saudi war in Yemen.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Sa’irun bloc says that no real advance has been made in discussions related to completion of the cabinet. It says it will not participate in any voting that includes Faleh Al-Fayadh as the nominee for Minister of Interior, and will keep boycotting sessions until this issue is resolved. [BasNews]

 

According to an anonymous source, a million Sadrists, headed by Muqtada Al-Sadr, are prepared to demonstrate in the center of Baghdad on Friday to “assert” the formation of the new government. Other goals of the demonstration are to reject influences from outside Iraq and assert the popular rejection of the candidate for the Ministry of Interior Falih Al-Fayyad (considered​​ close to Iran). Al-Sadr previously urged Iraqi PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi to appoint independent technocrats to the ministry. [BasNews]

 

Corruption

A source in Ninewa said there is a plot to rob the funds designated for stabilization, around IQD 180 billion (approximately $150 million US), granted by the central government​​ to Ninewa 6 months ago. The source says that the Ninewa Provincial Council approved the use of IQD 54 billion as operational costs, while IQD 37 billion was allocated to IDP camps and relief, without chapters or details. There will be​​ only​​ 42 billion​​ dinars​​ remaining​​ unallocated. The source says that none of the projects involving removing war detritus (IQD 47 billion) are serious. [Rudaw]

 

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed​​ wrote on Thursday that although PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi had promised to close the “economic offices” of PMF groups in Mosul 2 weeks ago, these offices were still in operation. Previous reports alleged that the PMF groups were using the “economic offices” to impose “taxes” on businesses that amounted to extortion.​​ Local officials in Mosul said that recent IED attacks had​​ struck​​ various businesses in Mosul that had refused to pay these “taxes.” [AlAraby]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Hakim Al-Zamili, a leading figure in the Sadrist movement, called on Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi to press the Kurdistan Region to hand over the Daesh prisoners held in the region, as there have been repeated reports of prisoners escaping. He says that over 5,000 Daesh fighters, among them top leaders of different nationalities, handed themselves over to Kurdish security during the military operations. [Sumaria]

 

See related story below under Suleimaniya.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Amnesty International says that Daesh deliberately destroyed agriculture in northern Iraq,​​ which has​​ obstructed​​ the return of thousands of IDPs. “They burned orchards, destroyed wells, and stole cables, pumps, generators, and power lines, the group says. Amnesty called​​ on the​​ Iraqi government to start reconstructing the infrastructure of the sector so thousands of farmers can return to their lands. The report focused mainly on​​ areas in​​ Sinjar,​​ where Daesh committed genocide against​​ the​​ Yazidi population. [Hawar]​​ [Amnesty]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This destruction is one of the reasons why many displaced persons from Ninewa have not returned​​ home. It is not just city residents who are affected.

 

Foreign policy

Sadia Al-Oqabi, a member of the CoR committee for oil and gas, stated that the CoR is seeking ways to run Iraqi power plants with Iraqi gas instead of Iranian gas. Al-Aqabi said that Iraq imports about 18 million cubic meters of gas each day, while it “wastes” about 17 million cubic meters of gas each day. [BasNews]

 

Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Othman Al-Ghanimi says a meeting will be held in Baghdad for Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian and Russian military commands to coordinate between them. He was talking following his meeting with the Russian military attaché to Baghdad. [SyriaNow]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

On Thursday, Baghdad Ops Command announced that 13 Daesh operatives had been killed by intelligence and​​ military units, in coordination with Coalition planes,​​ in a special attack in Tarmiya, including the Daesh “security official” Abu Mariam. [Shafaaq]​​ [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it captured, then beheaded a “spy” and set his vehicle on fire in the Al-Tabi area, in Tarmiya, on Wednesday. [ICDNDec13]

A security source says that an Army unit killed a terrorist equipped with an explosives​​ belt in Al-Tabi, in Tarmiya. The attacker was also in possession of a rifle and a pistol. Another man,​​ accompanying the terrorist,​​ fled the area.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Anbar officials stated that Daesh, during its time in power,​​ kidnapped more than 800 persons from Anbar Province. Most of those kidnapped were security personnel who had refused to join Daesh and were sent to secret prisons in Al-Qa’im. [FaceIraq]

 

The Security Media Center says that Army units under East Anbar Ops Command found and destroyed 54 IEDs in Hitawiyeen and Nuaimiya (Falluja​​ District), and Albu Salih (Hit), as well as an explosives​​ belt in Haditha and 2 ammunition caches in Tal Aswad (Hit). [Ghad]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said Thursday that PMF units found a mass grave of civilians killed by Daesh in Tal Manzur​​ village​​ [spelling approx.].​​ 

A confirming story says the 6th PMF Division found a mass grave that had been filled with civilians. [Ayn]

 

Baiji

The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units under Salahuddin Ops Command had found 32 IEDs and a 20-liter container of glycerin during an operation to clear the pipeline between Baiji and Siniya. [IraqPress]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that two PMF members were killed and their driver severely wounded when an IED destroyed a PMF food supply vehicle on the road between Baiji and Haditha.

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that two Oil Facilities Protection policemen, including a lieutenant, were killed when their vehicle was destroyed by an IED on the road between Baiji and Allas oilfield.​​ 

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack saying it killed two OFP members and wounded two others. [ICDNDec13]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said it wounded a Shi’i​​ with an IED in the Al-Mafraq area, in Baquba city, on Wednesday. [ICDNDec13]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that a PMF commander and his driver were killed when an IED exploded on their vehicle on the road between Baquba and Mandali.​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

IFP Command says in a statement that it captured large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and explosives in a search mission covering 17 villages in Kirkuk. It also destroyed a tunnel, arrested a Daesh suspect, and captured a motorcycle and a truck in the process. [Baghdadia]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Daesh said it targeted the houses of PMF and tribal PMF members in Al-Aqoula village, east of Hawija, with rockets on Monday, causing damage and destroying a well that belonged to the mukhtar of the village. [ICDNDec13]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad,​​ Taza,​​ etc.)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that a tribal PMF member and a civilian were killed and two other civilians wounded when Daesh attacked the house of​​ a​​ tribal PMF member in Kurdi Al-Nasr village, in Rashad subdistrict.​​ 

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units under Ninewa Ops​​ Command​​ found 65 155 mm “Austrian” shells that looked like IEDs, and an​​ 82 mm explosive shell, among other weapons,​​ in Hasudiya, Gwer subdistrict.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, Bashiqa)

Basim Bello, the​​ Mayor​​ of Tel Keif​​ District, says Christian families are still reluctant to return to the​​ district, saying​​ that​​ only 46 out of 1500 families​​ have​​ actually returned. He says among the reasons is that the city actually functions as a military barracks, as well as the existence of a prison hosting dozens of terrorists and the Ninewa court on terrorism. The district is also among the “disputed areas” contested between Baghdad and Kurdistan, and enjoys very​​ few​​ services. [Sumaria]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that PMF units are establishing a sand barrier around Bartella after capturing a Daesh terrorist who was trying to plant an IED in the area.​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units from Ninewa Ops Command arrested a wanted terrorist in​​ Al-Mamoun, west Mosul.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Sumaria]

 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says in a statement that its units, operating under Ninewa Ops Command, captured an explosives​​ belt and​​ 11 IEDs in​​ the​​ Makawi area​​ of Old​​ Mosul. All materials were destroyed​​ on site. [Ghad]​​ [Sumaria]

 

Mosul District

South (Qayara)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that two tribal PMF members were killed when a roadside IED destroyed their pickup vehicle on the road between Haj Ali and Kharab Jabur villages.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that Daesh appointed a new military commander for the Tal Afar area after the previous commander was killed by a Coalition airstrike.​​ 

 

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that 12 YPG-Sinjar​​ soldiers​​ were killed and four others severely wounded when Turkish planes targeted their positions on the Sinjar Mountain.​​ 

 

Also see first story under Turkey, below.

 

Southern Ninewa

No reports

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

SULEIMANIYA

A security source in Suleimaniya said that 21 Daesh leaders had escaped from the​​ Fort​​ Suse federal prison​​ in Suleimaniya​​ on Tuesday. The source said that over the past few days, 6 of these escapees had been arrested in Suleimaniya city and 10 around the Basyan area​​ in northern Dahuk. The remaining 5 are still at large.​​ [SotIraq]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

Abdullah Agar, a Turkish security analyst, says​​ President​​ Erdogan’s announcement of a military action east of the Euphrates in Syria is of extreme importance. He told the Turkish daily​​ Yeni Safak​​ that such an operation would cover over 550 square km and go 40 km​​ (25 miles)​​ deep. He expected that Sinjar, in​​ northern​​ Iraq,​​ would be part of​​ such a​​ Turkish operation. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ As we reported last night, the Pentagon has already objected to this scheme. This is Day 2 of the trial balloon. They need to keep objecting, perhaps more forcefully. If you don’t yet feel concerned, read the next four stories, then reread the Sinjar story above.

 

Turkish media published photos and videos of armored vehicles and tanks moving towards​​ the border with​​ Syria. Commando units also moved to border positions. Turkish units are deploying near​​ the​​ East Euphrates area,​​ according to​​ TRT Haber TV. [Qasioun]

 

Turkey says it mobilized 14,000​​ fully equipped​​ fighters from the​​ Turkey-backed militias in the​​ so-called​​ “Free​​ Syrian​​ Army​​ to participate in its operation in northeastern​​ Syria. The​​ FSA”​​ says this figure is​​ enough, but if needed,​​ it could send​​ more to​​ the​​ battle front. [ElDorar]

 

A spokesman​​ for​​ the pro-Turkey​​ National​​ Army” in Syria​​ says​​ that​​ Turkish operations against Kurdish units will start in Manbij, Kobane, and Tal Abyad. He says his group will be part of the offensive,​​ which will extend 50 km deep into Syrian territory. [SyriaHR]

 

The PYD called for a general mobilization in northeast Syria following the Turkish President’s threats to carry out an attack on these areas. The autonomous administration in northeastern Syria called on the international community, the UN, and the Coalition to interfere to stop Turkish aggression. [Qasioun]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign Policy

Israel/Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would not rule out the possibility of an operation against Iran in case it attacks Israel. He accused Iran of trying to bring 80,000 Shia militia fighters to Syria. He also says that the Israeli army is the only army in the world in direct confrontation with Iranians. He accused Iran of trying to deploy missiles with a range of 400-700 km in Syria, which could threaten all of Israel. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Middle East

The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, said in a meeting with the French Envoy to Syria that foreign interference on Syrian soil complicated and prolonged the Syrian conflict. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It would help to know whose foreign influence he is complaining about.

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

A bike bomb exploded in Afrin, killing and injuring at least 6 people. [Hawar]

 

The Turkish Army announced on Thursday that the YPG killed a Turkish soldier in Afrin. [Qasioun]

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Daesh said it killed a Syrian Army member with a silenced gun in West Nashwa neighborhood, in Hasaka city, on Wednesday. [ICDNDec13]

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF member and wounded another with machine guns in Tuwaimiya village, south of Ras Al-Ayn, on Tuesday. [ICDNDec13]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said on Wednesday it shot and wounded an SDF member in Jadidat village, in Karama subdistrict. [ICDNDec12]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

A military source from the pro-Turkish “National Army” said that​​ Turkish Army artillery shelled Syrian Army positions in Kashtaar village,​​ Afrin. The Syrian Army responded by shelling Jelbel village​​ in Azaz. No casualties were recorded. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

Hama

The SOHR says that 2 people were killed in a mine explosion in Salamiyah,​​ in eastern​​ Hama. The area is under the control of the Syrian Army and its allies. The SOHR also noted that this​​ is not the first explosion of the​​ kind in the area. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Local news sources said there were ongoing disputes between pro-government tribal sheikhs and important Syrian Army officers in Deir Ez-Zor, without reporting any clear reasons. A tribal mediator is working to solve the disputes. [Qasioun]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it killed or wounded seven SDF members after targeting their 2 vehicles with machine guns in Shuhail town, on Wednesday. [ICDNDec12]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SOHR says Daesh has retreated to the eastern side of Hajin city, after the SDF made considerable advances inside Hajin during the past 48 hours. The SDF now controls 3 hospitals in the city and the city market area, despite Daesh’s violent resistance that included a major suicide attack with 5 vehicle bombs. Most of the city is under SDF control now. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Coalition planes killed 7 Daesh terrorists, including a commander, in an airstrike near Hajin Wednesday afternoon.​​ 

 

Daesh said that 10 SDF members were killed in a land​​ mine field explosion near Khaled Bin Al-Walid Mosque, in Hajin, on Wednesday. It also said its snipers killed three more SDF members near the mosque. [A3maq] [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Repeating a recent comment, when Daesh is losing, two of the most common types of stories​​ it tells​​ are enemy soldiers killed in Daesh land mines and snipers killing enemy soldiers.

 

Daesh published on Thursday photos of battles in the Hajin area. [ICDNDec13]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Here is another deft and common propaganda tactic. Daesh has lost almost all of Hajin, so why publish a photo now of a battle about to be lost? But most of its readers maybe don’t know they are losing Hajin, and would take the photo as evidence of a successful battle. So these​​ stories are trivial and quite possibly false, but notice that on a victorious day for the SDF, three of our five reports on Albu Kamal are “victorious” stories from Daesh. It’s called “distracting attention.”

 

Daesh said on Thursday it targeted Syrian Army positions in Albu Kamal city and its outskirts with 29 120mm mortar shells. [ICDNDec13]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

The US Senate passed a resolution on Thursday requiring the US to end its military support for the war in Yemen. However, the resolution is not expected to come to a House vote, meaning it will expire with the current Congressional session at the end of the year. [CNN]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is a major development. The resolution could probably pass in the next Congress also, and there is no reason to believe the Democratic House majority would oppose it. More important than the legal status of the bill is the message sent to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and possibly others. Expect a few more reverberations from this.

 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that the Yemeni rivals meeting in Sweden have reached an agreement regarding Hodeida and its strategic port. He also says that both parties agreed to “ease the tension” in Taiz, and to continue talks in January. [Anadolu]

 

However, following the Yemen peace talks in Sweden, a spokesman for the Houthi rebels stated that there was “no indication” that the war in Yemen would end. Mohammad Abd Al-Salaam called on Hodeida and Taiz to be “vigilant and on guard.” [Anadolu]

 

North Africa

Libya

5 IEDs were found and defused near the Ibn Sina teaching hospital in Sirte.​​ [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

 

See story above under Saudi Arabia/Yemen.

 

EUROPE

France

Cherif Chekatt, the suspect in the Strasbourg shooting, was killed on Thursday in a shootout with police after being on the run for 48 hours. [Reuters]

 

Germany

A German media outlet published a report stating that the Islamic Community of Germany (ICD), which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a more dangerous security threat to Germany than the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. The ICD denies it. [Watan]

 

Russia

Russian security authorities arrested 7 people in Moscow, Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia, who were suspected of supporting Daesh and Al-Nusra financially under the guise of charity. [Watan]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Policemen stopped a female suicide bomber trying to infiltrate a security checkpoint in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri, foiling a suspected attack in the stronghold of terror group Boko Haram, police said on Thursday.

The teenage bomber was blown up by the improvised explosive devices strapped to her body as she made an attempt to pass the checkpoint in Maiduguri, the largest city and capital of the northern state of Borno, late Wednesday. Borno police chief Damian Chukwu told reporters that there was no other casualty. Chukwu suspected the lone bomber was a Boko Haram messenger. [Xinhua]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed three Nigerian Army members and wounded others in an attack on a military position in “Kokaoa” town, in the Lake Chad area, on Tuesday. Daesh said its terrorists stole weapons and ammunition and set the military position on fire. [A3maq] [ICDNDec13]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh said it killed or wounded five Shia with a hand grenade in the “Shiday” area, in Herat, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

*****

 

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