An Update On ISIS Activities

December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018


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SDF Units in Hajin (BasNews)







400 Iraqi refugees return from Syria.​​ [..]

Denmark promises $3M more for demining.​​ [..]

Iraq Foreign​​ Minister​​ protests Turkish bombing of Ninewa.​​ ​​ [..]



Erdogan says no further airstrikes in Iraq, conditionally [..]

… but​​ Turkish FM announces operations against 700 terrorists in “the mountains” [..]

Trump and Erdogan​​ talk​​ about anticipated northeastern Syria invasion.​​ ​​ [..]



KNC member says PYD should sever ties with PKK.​​ [..]

de Mistura​​ to start moves toward forming Syrian constitutional​​ committee.​​ ​​ [..]

UNSC approves extension of relief delivery mechanisms.​​ [..]

UN and NGOs outline $5.5B plan to aid refugees [..]

YPG attacks on pro-Turkish militias in Afrin continue.​​ ​​ [..]

SDF takes Hajin.​​ ​​ [..]


Other​​ countries

Yemen:​​ UN Envoy declares Sweden talks a success [..]





Council of Representatives

CoR speaker Mohammed Al-Halbusi pledged to work with the central government and the KRG to return all IDPs to their home areas. He was speaking in Shekhan, a Yazidi district divided between GoI and KRG control​​ by the Green Line. He promised to assign forces to preserve security, and​​ promised​​ financial allocations to compensate the IDPs. He also visited Erbil and then Sinjar to take part in Yazidi​​ religious​​ festivities. [Anadolu]



400 Iraqi refugees in Syria returned to their homes in Iraq, due to coordinated efforts between the Turkish NGO Humanitarian Relief Foundation and the Turkish and Iraqi​​ foreign​​ ministries. [Anadolu]


The UN welcomed Denmark’s initiative to offer an additional contribution of DK 19.5 million ($3 million US) for demining operations in Iraq. Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced this increase, which was confirmed by UNAMI. This brings the total Danish contribution to demining operations in Iraq to $14 million US. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This story is a reminder that over the post-2003 years, Denmark has been a solid asset to Iraq, going back to the CPA days, usually without doing anything to draw attention or credit to itself.


Foreign policy

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad, Fateh Yildiz, and handed him a letter protesting​​ frequent Turkish violations of Iraqi airspace. The Ministry was referring to​​ the​​ Turkish airstrikes in Makhmur and Sinjar,​​ which​​ resulted in both casualties and damage. [Sumaria]


The PUK called on the Iraqi government to take a firm stand​​ against the continued Turkish bombing of areas in northern Iraq. This came after Turkish planes bombed Ninewa on Thursday, bombings which the PUK claimed killed and injured civilians in IDP camps. It called the bombings a “flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and international law.”​​ [IraqPress]


Also see below under Turkey – Military & security developments



North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

On Friday, Baghdad Ops Command confirmed the killing of Majid Musa Salman, aka “Abu Mariam,” a​​ commander​​ for Daesh’s “State of​​ Baghdad,”​​ in Tarmiya.​​ DaeshDaily​​ previously reported his​​ death​​ on Thursday. [PUKMedia]​​ 


ANBAR​​ (No reports)




A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that three tribal PMF fighters were wounded while stopping a Daesh attack on Shabali village. The source said the PMFs killed 2 terrorists and forced the rest to flee.


Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad)

Daesh said it wounded PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Aziz Balad area, on Thursday. [ICDNDec14]



Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

The Security Media Center says that Army units operating under Diyala Ops Command found 2 Daesh hideouts with large quantities of rations, weapons, and explosives in Abu Khanazir, Muqdadiya. The hideouts were destroyed. [Baghdadia]​​ 




A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that people of Gharib village stopped a Daesh attack on their village, killing a terrorist and forcing the rest to flee. The source said that the terrorists, who were in 2 pickup vehicles and wearing military uniforms, were trying to kill the mukhtar of the village. The source said Daesh retaliated by targeting the village with mortars indiscriminately, killing one civilian and severely wounding his wife.  


A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that CTS units killed the Daesh commander of north Baghdad and captured 2 other terrorists in a tunnel near Barima village.  


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

IFP command says in a statement that its 15th​​ IFP Division EODs defused over 50 IEDs and recovered 58 detonators southwest of Daquq. [Baghdadia]​​ [Sumaria]



Mosul​​ city

MoI spokesman Sa’ad Ma’an says that the 5th​​ Emergency Police Battalion arrested 4 Daesh fighters, 1 of whom is accused of killing a police captain in 2014. The arrest was made in east Mosul. [Ghad]


The Security Media Center says that Ninewa intelligence and security units arrested 2 men wanted on terrorism charges in​​ the Al-Kindi neighborhood,​​ north​​ Mosul.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 


Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF units killed 6 Daesh terrorists, including the military commander of western Ninewa, near Tal Ghazal village in Tal Afar subdistrict.​​ 


A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that local police and PMF units captured 2 Daesh terrorists who had returned,​​ hidden among​​ refugees, from the Al-Hawl Camp in Hasaka.


A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF units captured a Daesh commander who was hiding in Al-Kifah neighborhood in Tal Afar City.



A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Yazidi fighters captured then killed 3 Daesh terrorists, including a commander, near Sinjar. The source said the terrorists had arrived from Syria.



(No reports)




Military & security developments

On Friday, President Erdogan acknowledged the airstrikes carried out in northern Iraq the previous day, and ambiguously said that there would be no further such strikes as long as Turkey faced no further threats from the area. The Turkish Defense Minister said that they had carried out 30 airstrikes on PKK positions.​​ [IraqPress]


The Turkish Foreign Minister said that there are about 700 terrorists remaining in “the mountains” and stated that Turkey would continue to pursue terrorists inside and outside the state. The Foreign Minister said that military operations would be launched on Saturday. [Anadolu]​​ 


The Turkish Defense Ministry announced on Friday that from December 7​​ to​​ 13, it had “neutralized” 21 terrorists inside and outside the country. [Anadolu]


Also see above under Iraq – Turkish airstrikes


Foreign policy

As previously reported, President Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey would launch a military campaign against the PKK on the east side of the Euphrates. The​​ New York Times​​ reported on Friday President Trump and President Erdogan agreed to improve their coordination in Syria, without specifying how.​​ Also,​​ on Friday, Erdogan gave a speech in front of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,​​ saying that Manbij must be cleared of the YPG. [NYT] [TRT] [Telegraph]


Trump and Erdogan reportedly agreed on a “more active” coordination in Syria during their telephone conversation, according to sources in the Turkish Presidency. The sources said that Erdogan told Trump about Turkey’s “legitimate security concerns” regarding the presence of the PKK, PYD, and YPG on its borders. [Qasioun]

However, US officials said that during the telephone call, Trump urged Erdogan not to carry out the attack on northeast Syria that he recently threatened. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ These admittedly fragmentary reports give the unfortunate impression that Erdogan and Trump talked past one another, which is not reassuring.


Madhlum Kobane, the SDF Commander-in-Chief, says his units will stop any Turkish attack, but it will keep up its diplomatic efforts to​​ forestall​​ such an attack. He says that the US is extending diplomatic efforts to prevent an attack, while the Turkish Army is still sending reinforcements to border areas. [Qasioun]


The Coalition issued a statement on Friday saying that its mission in northeast Syria remains unchanged.  It says it continues its normal operations, including observation posts in the border region to address the security concerns of its NATO ally Turkey. It says it remains committed to working with its partners on the ground to ensure an enduring defeat of Daesh.  It said that any reports indicating a change in the U.S. position with respect to these efforts is false and designed to sow confusion and chaos.​​ It concluding by saying that CJTF-OIR works by, with and through partner forces to defeat Daesh in designated areas of Iraq and Syria. [InherentResolve


Egypt and France warned of the dangers of Turkish escalation in northeast Syria. This came in a meeting between Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, and​​ Francois Senemaud, the French​​ President’s envoy to Syria. A statement released after the meeting said that such escalation will impact counter-terrorism efforts.​​ [ElDorar]





Anti-Daesh campaign

SDF Commander-in-Chief Madhlum Kobane says the anticipated Turkish attack in northeastern Syria will affect the war on Daesh. He says in case of such an attack, all Kurdish fighters in SDF will have to defend their families, which would mean halting operations against Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor. [ElDorar]


Political developments

Fuad Aliko, a member of the Kurdish National Council in Syria, called on the PYD to reconsider its positions and annul its ties with the PKK in order to avoid giving Turkey a pretext for its anticipated military operation that threatens Kurdish cities in northeastern Turkey. Aliko admitted that Turkish threats to invade were not new, but added that disassociating itself from the PKK would help the PYD’s relationship with the US, as it has been a source of stress in the past. [BasNews]


A spokesman for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces stated on Friday that “the suffering of the Syrian people continued at the hands of the forces of Assad, other terrorist organizations such as the IRGC, Hezbollah, and the YPG. Any military operation to remove these organizations would be welcomed and supported by us.” [Qasioun]


United Nations

Staffan de Mistura announced on Friday that he would arrange a meeting in Geneva with representatives of Turkey, Iran, and Russia at the beginning of next week, to arrange a committee to draft the Syrian constitution. An assessment must be sent to the UN Security Council next Thursday, December 20, on the ability to form a constitutional committee that is inclusive and credible. [Qasioun]


The Syrian Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, strongly attacked Turkey during​​ a​​ UN Security Council session related to mechanisms to deliver relief to Syria. Jaafari accused Turkey of allowing terrorists and weapons to pass through its borders to Syria. [Hawar]


On Thursday, the UN Security Council approved a proposal introduced by Sweden and Kuwait to extend the delivery mechanism of humanitarian relief materials to Syria for an additional year. The previous mechanism, approved in July 2014 through UN Security Council Resolution 2165, ends on December 10, 2018. 13 out of 15 nations voted for the proposal, while Russia and China abstained. [Qasioun]


On Friday, the UN and partnering NGOs devised a plan to support refugees and their host communities in 5 states neighboring Syria: Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon. The plan is estimated to cost 5.5 billion dollars, and it includes increased services in protection, education, and economic opportunities. [ElDorar]




The YPG claimed responsibility for Thursday’s motorcycle bomb attack on Turkish soldiers and pro-Turkey militias in Afrin, which killed 3 and wounded 4 others. It says its attacks in the city will continue. [Qasioun]


The YPG said on Friday that​​ it killed 5 Turkish soldiers and destroyed their position in​​ Kimar village, Shirawa subdistrict,​​ Afrin. [Hawar]


YPG units attacked Turkish forces​​ near​​ Tal Rifaat,​​ in​​ Azaz​​ District​​ but bordering Afrin.​​ The​​ Turkish​​ Army says​​ that​​ Kurdish fighters fired at Turkish soldiers in Afrin from neighboring Tal Rifaat.​​ 1​​ Turkish soldier was killed,​​ and​​ the Turks responded​​ with​​ artillery fire. [ElDorar]


Northeast​​ (No reports)


Central and West​​ 


A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that pro-Turkish militias captured Mohammed Mukhlef Al-Luhaibi, a senior Daesh military commander, in the Idlib area. The source said that Luhaibi, who had fled the battles in Hajin, was carrying a large amount of money.​​ 


The pro-Turkey militia National Front for Liberation says that it stopped a Syrian Army advance near the Rashideen​​ neighborhood,​​ western​​ Aleppo, claiming​​ to have​​ killed​​ and wounded​​ many​​ Syrian​​ Army​​ soldiers. [Qasioun]



The SOHR says that Jaish Al-Thuwar, an SDF-allied opposition militia, says it blocked a Syrian Army advance in the​​ Zarqa​​ area, near the “55” area and the Al-Tanaf military base held by the Coalition. It says that it forced the Syrian Army to retreat after inflicting several casualties on the advancing forces. 3​​ Jaish Al-Thuwar​​ fighters were killed, while 2 Syrian Army soldiers were captured. Opposition sources also claim that the Coalition fired 14 rockets on Syrian forces. [SyriaHR] [ElDorar]


East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it wounded three SDF members after targeting their military position in Al-Kassar village, in Busayrah​​ subdistrict, with an RPG on Thursday. [ICDNDec14]


Albu Kamal​​ District

The​​ SOHR says​​ that the​​ SDF,​​ backed by Coalition forces,​​ expelled Daesh​​ from​​ Hajin city. A local Syrian source said​​ there​​ were still 5,000 Daesh militants in Syria. [BasNews]​​ 


The​​ SDF completed​​ its takeover​​ of Hajin,​​ which was​​ the main Daesh stronghold.​​ Fighting is​​ still ongoing east​​ of the city,​​ as​​ the​​ SDF is​​ pursuing the​​ remaining Daesh​​ fighters. In the past 48 hours,​​ the​​ SDF captured 3 major hospitals and the market area, breaking down Daesh’s​​ defensive lines despite​​ their​​ resistance. [ElDorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Coalition airstrikes could have something to do with that.​​ 


The SDF liberated 400 civilians from Hajin and Al-Sha’afa as it advanced against Daesh in those areas. ​​ [Hawar]


The SOHR says that a Coalition convoy composed of 5 Hummers and 4 trucks, as well as artillery pieces, entered the war zone with Daesh in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, while fighting intensified after the SDF took full control of Hajin. It says that Daesh fighters are hiding in surrounding areas and residential quarters following heavy Coalition air bombardment in support of the SDF advance. [SyriaHR]


Earlier, pro-SDF media​​ said that​​ the​​ SDF​​ had advanced against​​ Daesh in Hajin. Media sources said that the​​ SDF captured parts of Albu Khater and Abu Hasan villages,​​ in the area​​ near Hajin,​​ following intense fighting,​​ with​​ Coalition​​ air support. [Qasioun]


Another earlier report said the​​ SDF destroyed a Daesh vehicle bomb while advancing in Hajin city. The fighting is continuing in the last parts of Hajin still held by Daesh. [Hawar]



The SOHR reported intense Daesh artillery and mortar shelling of areas held by pro-Iranian militias in Albu Kamal and the​​ so-called “Beirut-Tehran expressway,​​ to cover the withdrawal of its fighters from eastern Deir Ez-Zor. 4 Daesh fighters were killed when pro-Iranian militias returned fire on Al-Susah and Al-Sha’afa and surrounding areas. [SyriaHR]


Daesh said on Friday that its snipers killed two SDF members in the Hawi Hajin area. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Friday it killed four SDF members and wounded others when it targeted two military positions in the Hawi Hajin area with two rockets. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Friday it killed six SDF members with a rocket in the Hawi Hajin area. [A3maq]


Daesh said on Friday its snipers killed a Syrian Army member near Albu Kamal city. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Friday it targeted Syrian Army positions in Albu Kamal city and Sayal village with 78 120mm mortar shells. [ICDNDec14]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ And now the “victorious” Daesh stories, issued on a day when Daesh suffered a clear defeat in its most important bastion in Syria. Today it’s the sniper stories and the rocketing stories.


South​​ (No reports)




Neighboring countries


The UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said on Friday that the Sweden​​ agreement between the different Yemeni parties came into force from the date of its signing on Thursday. Griffiths called the agreement “a comprehensive solution to the conflict” and a “success.” [Rudaw]


North Africa


Daesh said on Friday it killed two pro-government militia fighters near Qasr Rashid, in the Al-Barath area south of Rafah. [A3maq]​​ 



Residents of the Wadi Jarf area, near Sirte, reported that an unidentified plane bombed an armored convoy believed to include Daesh fighters.​​ [Wasat]






See above under Turkey – Political developments




On Thursday,​​ Daesh claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Strasbourg, France, describing the attacker as a “soldier of the Caliphate.” On Tuesday, the attacker shot and killed 3 civilians, and wounded 13, before​​ later​​ being shot dead by the police. [Sumaria]​​ [A3maq]




Daesh said on Friday it shot and killed a Somali government tax policeman in a market in Afgooye city. [ICDNDec14] ​​ 




A Taliban “executioner” was killed by a US airstrike in Zabul Province, southern Afghanistan. [Khaama]




On Thursday, Daesh published the 160th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh published an infographic about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, West Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan during the last week. It said that it conducted 58 attacks, killing or wounding more than 170 people and destroyed 33 vehicles. [ICDNDec13]


On Friday, Daesh issued a propaganda video about its terrorists in Anbar. [ICDNDec14]






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