An Update On ISIS Activities

December 21, 2018

December 21, 2018

 

 

 

Note to readers: Due to the Christmas holiday starting Monday night, our next issue will be on Wednesday the 26th. We wish you all a wonderful holiday.

 

 

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Daesh Explosives Found in Gwer (DD Dec 21)

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Ninewa PC chairman wants to treat Daesh widows as victims. [..]

Another Daesh mass grave found, in Hammam Al-Alil, with 50 victims. [..]

Yazidi PMFs burn down houses​​ of 16 Arabs​​ in Sinjar​​ who have no Daesh connection. [..]

155 new transformers from UNDP arrive in Sinjar to upgrade electricity. [..]

PKK delegation may visit Syrian government in wake of Trump’s Syria decision. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan postpones northeastern Syria incursion after call from Trump.​​ [..]

 

Syria

SDF political council warns that SDF troops may have to leave Albu Kamal to fight the Turks. [..]

SDF & Coalition campaign against Daesh shifts toward towns near Iraq border. [..]

Coalition airstrike kills 27 Daesh fighters & family members. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Libya: ​​​​ Libya has an issue over Turkey’s weapons shipments to Libyan militias. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

Captain Najm Abd Al-Latif, Jazeera Operations​​ Commander, said on Friday that Iraqi “joint forces” had strengthened their presence in the areas bordering Syria, following the US decision to withdraw from Syria. [Rudaw]

 

Foreign policy

The first group of 16 Iraqi Yazidi women​​ who were victims of Daesh​​ arrived in Paris,​​ as part of a program expected to receive 100 of them by 2019. A delegation of 83​​ people, including the 16 women, traveled from Erbil to Paris, and were received at the airport by Nadia Murad, the​​ 2018​​ Nobel Peace Prize​​ laureate. The women will​​ visit with​​ President Emanuel Macron. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

Falluja

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says its units operating in the 14th​​ Army Division arrested a Daesh “activist” who fought Army units in Nuaimiya, just south of​​ Falluja. [Sumaria]

 

The Security Media Center said on Friday that Ministry of the Interior detachments had found 18 120mm mortar rounds, 6 SPG9 rockets, and 3 rocket launchers in Albu Ali Al-Jassem. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

The Security Media Center says 37 families have returned from Ameriyat Al-Falluja and Habbaniya to their homes in Al-Qa’im. [Sumaria]​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence said on Friday that its units had seized a cache of equipment and explosives in the village of Daghaima, Al-Qa’im. The cache contained 37 60mm mortar rounds and 14 120mm mortar rounds, as well as 4 rocket launchers and materials used in IED construction. [Rudaw]​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that tribal PMF units set trees and bushes on fire near Shabali village, where Daesh terrorists were hiding. The source said two PMF members were wounded when the terrorists shot at the PMFs and forced them to retreat.

 

Tikrit

The PMF media office said that units from the 88th​​ PMF Brigade had rescued farmers who were trapped by Daesh fighters in​​ a portion of​​ the Himrin Hills​​ in northern Salahuddin. The statement​​ said that the Daesh terrorists fled after a fight.​​ [Buratha]​​ 

 

DIYALA

No reports

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh)

The Security Media Center said on Friday that IFP units had carried out a search operation in Sharifiya, Al-Khuzaifi, and Al-Shlaghmah​​ (spelling approx.) in​​ Riyadh subdistrict, during which they found an IED and a terrorist “camp” with various supplies. [Ghad]​​ 

 

NINEWA

A​​ published​​ piece on the widows of Mosul and Ninewa said that while there​​ are an estimated 20,000 widowed women in Ninewa Province, as well as an additional 4,000 whose husbands were Daesh members or family of Daesh members. The Director of the Women’s​​ Committee in​​ the Ninewa Provincial Council, Sakina Mohammed Ali, said that these women should be considered victims, as they were living in difficult circumstances without identity papers. She said that her department had organized workshops to help integrate these women into society. She added that without help, these women may turn to criminal behavior out of desperation to feed their children. [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Makhmur

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that local police and PMF units found a Daesh safehouse in the Gwer area and confiscated locally-made rockets and IEDs. The source said 15 Daesh terrorists had fled the area before the arrival of the security units. The source said Daesh was planning to attack Christian and Shabak areas in Hamdaniya. The source sent us photos of the confiscated items.​​ 

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya,​​ Bashiqa)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that the Ninewa Directorate of Education will reopen 19 schools in the Ninewa Plain area in January. The source said the directorate had reopened 10 schools within the month of December.​​ 

 

The Security Media​​ Center says that EOD teams under Ninewa Ops Command destroyed 5 mines and defused 5 others in the Bashiqa area. [Sumaria]

 

Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that tribal PMF units captured a Daesh terrorist who was planting an IED on the road between the Baisan neighborhood and the tribal PMF office in the Al-Arabi neighborhood in north Mosul. The source said that the terrorist admitted he had been captured previously but was released after paying a bribe.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Ninewa Operations Command units released a jeweler who had been kidnapped by the AAH in Al-Arabi neighborhood on Thursday. The source said the AAH​​ had demanded $50,000 from the man’s family. The source sent us photos of the jeweler after his release.​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Pardon our reaction, but what idiot would assign the AAH, virtually an Iranian front, to Mosul?

 

Ministry of the Interior spokesman Sa’ad Ma’an said on Friday that 13 wanted persons had been arrested in various areas of both east and west Mosul, among whom​​ were 2 wanted on kidnapping charges.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil)

A source in​​ the​​ Ninewa police says​​ that​​ security​​ personnel​​ found a mass grave,​​ containing​​ the bodies of​​ 50 civilians​​ and police personnel,​​ in​​ Al-Adhba village​​ in Hammam Al-Alil, 12 miles south of the Mosul city border. 29​​ of the​​ bodies​​ were​​ police personnel. [BasNews]

 

The Security Media Center said that units under Ninewa Ops Command arrested 1 person on terrorism charges in Hammam Al-Alil. [Sumaria]

 

West (Hamidat)

The Coalition said on Friday that it carried out an airstrike in support of ISF personnel taking small arms fire in the Al-Atshana Mountains, near Badoush, on December 15. The statement said that Ninewa Ops Command had coordinated an airstrike which destroyed the entrance to a Daesh tunnel, killing 4 Daesh fighters.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Yazidi PMF fighters set 16 houses on fire that belong to Arab people in Sinjar who have no links to Daesh. The source said Yazidi PMFs say they won’t allow Arabs to return to Sinjar until all Yazidi kidnapped women return. The source sent us photos of one of the houses.​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ No excuses can be accepted for this, and those responsible should be fired and prosecuted. Yazidis in Sinjar have deep issues with Arab neighbors who set them up for Daesh’s attack on them, but treating all Arabs as Daesh members is not an acceptable response. Yazidi PMFs in Sinjar are being paid to protect all the people in their area, not to punish some of them to please others.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that UNDP delivered 155 electricity transformers to the Directorate of Electricity in Sinjar. The manager of the Directorate told our source that electricity will be restored in Sinjar District and its villages within the next few days.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Sinjar has limited electricity service, due largely to Daesh destruction during its period of control. Its electricity situation is worse than elsewhere in Ninewa.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF units captured 2 Daesh terrorists and confiscated weapons and IEDs in a tunnel near Baaj.​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Baaj

The director-general of the Baaj Education Directorate told​​ DaeshDaily​​ that more than 50 schools have been reopened in the district so far. However, he said that there is still need for furniture, supplies, and staff. He said that many teachers are working for free, awaiting allocations from the government to hire them.​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

SULEIMANIYA

Kurdish media reported that a delegation representing PKK leadership arrived in Suleimaniya from the Qandil Mountains. The delegation is reportedly preparing to visit Damascus to talk to the Syrian government regarding the situation in northern Syria and the area east of the Euphrates, following the abrupt US decision to withdraw from the country. [Qasioun]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday​​ that​​ the​​ planned​​ Turkish military operation in the area east of the Euphrates in Syria​​ would be postponed, following a telephone conversation with President Trump. He says that the operation will be delayed until Turkey sees the results of the US withdrawal plan on the ground.​​ Erdogan also said that Turkey would mobilize to fight the remaining Daesh forces in Syria.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [Reuters]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ No, we don’t know what this means either. ​​ However, the most immediate bad result of the President’s withdrawal decision​​ would be the withdrawal of at least the Kurdish components of the SDF from the​​ closeout campaign against Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor. (See the stories just below under Syria) This​​ could have seriously bad consequences for the war against Daesh, which is not over despite the President’s premature announcement. Possibly Trump urged Erdogan to hold off on attacking the YPG in northeastern Syria until the SDF has fully defeated Daesh.​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Elham Ahmed, the Co-Chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (the political wing of the SDF), says that the SDF may be forced to stop fighting Daesh and re-deploy to border areas in case of a Turkish attack. She says that the SDF will continue fighting terrorists, but that the task would be more difficult in view of the US withdrawal. ​​ [Rudaw]

 

Elham Ahmed also said that the SDF may not be able to keep Daesh prisoners if there is a Turkish attack and the situation gets out of control. She says any Turkish attack may allow radical groups to resume​​ their​​ activities,​​ as they are supported by Turkey. She requested​​ that​​ the EU impose a no-fly zone in northeast Syria. She was holding a press conference in Paris, where​​ she is visiting to discuss Turkish threats and stability in northeast Syria.​​ [Hawar]

 

Jihan Ahmed, an SDF spokeswoman, said on Friday that the SDF was willing to “raise the flag of the Al-Assad regime” over official institutions in Manbij city. Ahmed added that Syrian Democratic Council representatives had sat with government representatives several times before, and said that the SDF wanted self-government rather than separation from Syria. [ElDorar]

 

Major Yousif Hamoud, spokesman of the pro-Turkish​​ “National​​ Army​​ militia,​​ says​​ that the​​ PYD has​​ collapsed. He says they are meeting with the​​ Al-Assad government, the Russians, and the French to​​ find​​ a way out of their crisis. He says​​ that the​​ PYD are unable to form states and institutions,​​ and are only able​​ to serve foreign interests. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

France

A source in the French Presidency​​ had announced earlier​​ that an SDF delegation​​ would be​​ arriving in Paris to discuss​​ next​​ steps following US withdrawal from Syria. The source says the US is incurring huge consequences from its withdrawal, being the backbone of the coalition. France says it is keeping its forces in Syria in the meantime. [BasNews]

 

United States

The Russian news agency​​ INTERFAX​​ says that the US is intending to close down the Al-Tanaf base in​​ southeastern Syria. It says that the Americans trained the Maghawir Al-Thawra militia​​ at​​ that base. [Qasioun]

 

European Union

The EU says it approached Egypt regarding efforts​​ being made​​ to return Syria to its Arab league membership. The EU says, “The time is still not suitable to normalize relations with Syria and return it to international organizations.” Tunisia is playing a major role in efforts aiming to return Syria to the Arab league. [ElDorar]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

INTERPOL warned of a second wave of terror attacks following the release of Daesh prisoners from prisons and the return of Daesh fighters to their Western​​ home​​ countries. Many who were imprisoned for 5 to 15 years are going to leave prison soon. [Hawar]

 

Northwest

No reports

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

The SOHR reports an IED explosion in Afes village, eastern Idlib, near the local council building, wounding 3 persons. The SOHR says that the security situation in the area is highly unstable, amid continue assassinations and kidnapping operations. [SyriaHR]​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it killed four SDF members and destroyed an SUV with an IED in Mashikh village, in Al-Busayrah subdistrict, on Thursday. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SOHR says fighting between the SDF and Daesh is intensifying in Al-Susah,​​ Al-Baghouz,​​ Al-Sha’afa, and Kashma,​​ accompanied by heavy artillery shelling and​​ Coalition air support.​​ [SyriaHR]

Daesh is counter-attacking in Al-Susah and Al-Sha’afa. The SDF is blocking these attacks. [Hawar]

Daesh said on Friday that SDF members escaped after it attacked their positions northeast of Al-Sha’afa and Al-Kashma. [ICDNDec21]​​ 

 

The SOHR says that Coalition airstrikes killed 27 people in Al-Sha’afa, among them 14 family members of Daesh fighters, including 8 children, and 13 Daesh fighters. This bring the number of persons killed in airstrikes to 356, including 125 children and 80 women. 969 Daesh fighters have been killed in bombings since September 2018.​​ Qasioun​​ estimated the casualties at “at least 27.” [SyriaHR] [Qasioun]

 

Daesh is trying to make use of the bad weather conditions to regain control over Hajin,​​ which​​ it​​ lost to​​ the​​ SDF earlier. [SyriaHR]​​ An SDF spokesman was quoted by​​ Reuters​​ as saying that Daesh had launched an attack on Hajin on Friday.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

Daesh said​​ only that​​ on Friday it targeted SDF positions in the Hajin area with 150 120mm mortar shells and 7 SPG9 rockets. [ICDNDec21]

 

The SDF advanced against Daesh in Albu Khater village​​ near Hajin. The SDF​​ also​​ carried out an offensive against Daesh near Al-Sha’afa, backed by heavy Coalition air support. [Qasioun]

Local sources said that Daesh attacked a mosque near Albu Khater and sent car bombs and suicide bombers to attack SDF positions in Al-Sha’afa and Al-Susah. The sources also said that Daesh attacked Syrian Army positions on the outskirts of Albu Kamal city, killing 3 people. [Qasioun]

Daesh published on Friday photos of clashes with the SDF in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNDEc21]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Coalition planes killed several Daesh terrorists, including Sinan Mutaib, a senior Iraqi​​ military​​ commander originally from Hit, in an airstrike​​ on their vehicle in the Albu Kamal area. The source said that the terrorist, who had been a senior Baathist official in Anbar, was one of the founders of the AQI and had worked closely with Syrian intelligence in 2005.​​ He​​ later​​ became​​ the Daesh military commander of the Albu Kamal area.​​ 

 

South

No reports​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya

Libya expressed concern over continued Turkish support to “terrorist” groups, saying the world is overlooking Turkish weapons supplying to militia groups in Libya. Customs authorities captured 3,120 pistols and 400 rifles, in addition to 4 million bullets, shipped from Turkey​​ to​​ the port of Tripoli. [Hawar]

 

Libya deported 12 Egyptian children of Daesh members to Egypt. They arrived in Cairo on Thursday. The action was undertaken with the support of the Libyan and Egyptian authorities and Red Cross/Red Crescent organizations.​​ [Libya24]

 

The Minister of the Interior​​ in​​ the Interim Government, Ibrahim Bushnaf, declared on Thursday that Benghazi would be under a 3-month-long state of emergency, during which new security plans would be implemented.​​ [AfriGate]

 

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