An Update On ISIS Activities

December 4, 2018

December 4, 2018

 

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Daesh Tunnel in Hawija (DD Dec 2)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Abd Ul-Madhi says CoR “state of chaos” is blocking completion of the cabinet.​​ [..]

Ninewa CoR member alleges political parties trying to control parts of Ninewa economy. [..]

Another mukhtar assassinated in Hammam Al-Alil, in same area as yesterday.​​ [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey warns Saudis, UAE on collaborating with Kurds in northern Syria. [..]

 

Syria

Jeffery says US won’t leave Syria until “irreversible political process” is implemented.​​ [..]

British paper says Daesh has run out of places to retreat to in Syria, Iraq. [..]

1,000 civilians flee Daesh control in Hajin area. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Iran:​​ 

Iran in new debate with Security Council over its nuclear missiles. [..]

Rouhani threatens again to close Strait of Hormuz if Iran is prevented from exporting its oil. [..]

Saudi Arabia:​​ GOP Senators in US say Crown Prince involved in Khashoggi murder.​​ [..]

Yemen:​​ Houthi delegation leaves for peace talks in Sweden. [..]

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi told a news conference on Tuesday that a “state of chaos” in the CoR had prevented the completion of his cabinet. This followed​​ a​​ CoR meeting​​ that lasted for only​​ half an hour; video posted of the session to social media showed MPs shouting at each other. Abd Ul-Mahdi said that he was waiting for the CoR to schedule a new session to confirm​​ his minister nominees for​​ the 8 still-unfilled Ministry positions. [BasNews]

 

Corruption

Mansour Al-Mureid, a​​ CoR member​​ for Ninewa Province, said on Tuesday that most of the parties in the province impose “royalties” on the wealthy and control bidding (i.e., for government contracts). Al-Mureid said in a statement that there were “economic offices” that functioned internally for most parties in the province, and that the existence of these offices was one of the reasons that services had deteriorated. [Shafaaq]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Rakan​​ Al-Jubouri, the​​ Governor of Kirkuk,​​ announced​​ the suspension​​ of​​ work on​​ all customs points between Kirkuk and​​ the​​ KRG​​ provinces. This​​ follows the​​ federal government decision​​ to unify tariffs​​ with​​ the​​ Kurdistan​​ Region​​ last Wednesday​​ (presumably making “customs points” unnecessary). [Anadolu]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Council of Ministers declared Monday, December 10, 2018, a holiday in honor of the first anniversary of victory over Daesh. [Ain]

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

Falluja

On Tuesday, the 2nd​​ PMF battalion arrested 2 men, 1 of whom was wanted on terrorism charges, at a checkpoint in Falluja. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

Daesh said that it hit an Iraqi Army military position on the Syrian border with 2 heavy artillery shells on Monday. [ICDNDec4]

 

Rutba

Daesh said it killed two Iraqi Army members, wounded another, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Kilo 110 area, on Monday. [ICDNDec4]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

Daesh said it destroyed the vehicle of an IFP officer with a sticky IED in the Rabidha area​​ (spelling approx.)​​ in Al-Alam​​ subdistrict, on Monday.​​ [A3maq]

In a different version, Daesh said the vehicle belonged to a police captain. [ICDNDec4]​​ 

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Daesh said it shot and wounded three Peshmerga members in Qara Chai village, on Monday. [ICDNDec4]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh’s story​​ put the village in Kirkuk, like it does with areas that belong​​ to​​ Tooz. This village is actually in Tooz​​ and​​ close to Kifri​​ in Diyala.​​ 

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin,​​ Khalis​​ north)

A PMF group from Qara Tapa​​ in Kifri​​ shelled a Daesh position in Kheizranah​​ (spelling approx.) in​​ northern​​ Diyala, on Tuesday. [Mawazin]​​ 

 

A security source in Diyala Province said on Tuesday that a fisherman had been killed and his brother wounded in a Daesh attack near Lake Himrin. [BaghdadToday]​​ 

Daesh’s​​ version​​ says​​ it killed one “PMF member,” wounded another, and destroyed their boat in an ambush on Himrin Lake. [A3maq]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This looks like a possible Daesh retaliation for the killing of Daesh member on the lake by local residents some days earlier.​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Daesh said on Tuesday killed or wounded IFP members and damaged their Humvee with an IED on the road between Kirkuk and Tikrit. It said killed or wounded more IFP members with another IED that targeted their patrol. [A3maq] [ICDNDec4]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Daesh said it wounded three IFP members and damaged their SUV with an IED in Barima village, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

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

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that 2 IFP members were wounded when Daesh attacked their unit in the desert near Rashad. The source said the IFP killed 4 Daesh terrorists, including an Iraqi commander.​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

The Center for Security Information says that Army units found a large explosives cache and “used” rifles in a search campaign in old Mosul. [Baghdadia]​​ [Forat]

 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says its 1st​​ Battalion​​ surprised​​ and arrested a Daesh weapons procurement officer in a cafe in west Mosul. [Sumaria]

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

A Ninewa police source says Daesh attacked Jarn village (aka Upper Jarn), Hammam Al-Alil, kidnapping the​​ mukhtar​​ of the village and​​ 2​​ of his​​ companions.​​ The home of the Albu Badran tribe is located south of the village.​​ [BasNews]

In a subsequent story, Captain Amir Wathiq said that Iraqi security personnel had found the body of the​​ mukhtar​​ of Jarn less than 24 hours after his kidnapping. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is the second mukhtar assassination in two days in the same small area. Again, the mukhtar was not protected even though mukhtars are clearly priority Daesh targets and have been for some time. There are Army units around to find the body, but not to protect the mukhtar.

 

The Jarn incident followed a similar incident yesterday in Hammam Al-Alil.​​ A security source confirmed that a group of Daesh fighters in military uniforms entered the village of​​ Al-Amrini village,​​ which is close to Jarn, and killed the​​ mukhtar, who was one of the elders of the Albu Badran tribe.​​ [SotIraq]

Daesh said it shot and killed the​​ mukhtar​​ of Al-Amrini village on Monday. [A3maq]

A​​​​ DaeshDaily​​​​ source had said on Monday that 3 Daesh terrorists captured​​ and​​ then killed the​​ mukhtar​​ of Al-Amrini village. The source said the terrorists kidnapped the​​​​ mukhtar​​ from his house and took him on foot outside the village, then tortured and killed him.

On Tuesday, the Directorate of Military Intelligence announced that they had destroyed a Daesh safehouse in Ayn Al-Jahash, Shura subdistrict. It added that explosives and materials used in explosives manufacture were seized from inside.​​ [PressIraq]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it wounded several​​ SWAT​​ personnel​​ and destroyed a vehicle when it set off a booby-trapped house near Ayn Al-Jahash intersection. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

The Center for Security Information said that Army units destroyed 3 IEDs in Umm Al-Shababit village, Tal Afar. [Baghdadia]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

Local sources from Basra Province said on Tuesday that security personnel had attacked demonstrators and media who were gathered in front of the Basra Provincial Office. The sources said that the security personnel used clubs and live ammunition to clear the demonstration, and arrested several protestors and journalists. [BasNews]

 

Dhi Qar

The Dhi Qar Criminal Court sentenced a Daesh operative to death on charges of attacking the Imam Kadhim University in 2014. The convict led an attack on the building with explosives belts, leaving many civilians dead or wounded. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Devlet Bahçeli, head of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE against supporting “terrorists” in northern Syria. He says that if these countries support the so-called “border guards” forces financially, that it means they are paying back their debt to the US. He says that the​​ two​​ countries supported the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, and are attempting to please the US by supporting “terrorist secessionists” in Syria.​​ [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The controversy surrounding the Saudi Crown Prince adds further fuel to the controversy between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi murder. The involvement of the Saudis in Syria may now be more problematical than helpful.

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Russia

Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights, says she has received over 1,000 applications to return home from women who are Russian citizens and travelled with their husbands to Iraq and Syria. She says their husbands were fighting with Daesh in these countries, while many of them had​​ children. She says it is not easy to get them all home, as many of the​​ women also​​ fought with Daesh and some are charged with terrorism in these countries, which makes their return a potential danger. [Sumaria]

 

Iran

On Tuesday, Iran announced that it was not planning to establish military bases in Syria, because that would not serve its interests. It said that the presence of Iranian forces in Iraq and Syria are based on the requests of the governments of the respective states and is limited to expert advisory support. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

United States

James Jeffery, US Special Envoy to Syria, says that the Astana and Sochi talks​​ have​​ failed so far to form a constitutional committee and present it to the UN Special Envoy. He says if such failure continues, the US has to end the Astana track. [Qasioun]

However,​​ Rudaw​​ wrote that Jeffery expressed US support for the Astana talks “to find a political solution in Syria.”​​ Jeffery also said that​​ the US does not have any political agenda that concerns the Kurds or anybody else in Syria. He says that US policy is based on dealing with the population of north and east Syria, but the main objective is confronting Daesh. He says joint patrols and coordination with the Turks in Manbij will continue. He was speaking at a press conference in Washington. [Rudaw]

Jeffery also said that the US had different options for military engagement in Syria, including a strategy already taking place in Iraq. He said US forces would remain in Syria until it completed its​​ goals for​​ fighting​​ terrorism, which are eradicating Daesh, the withdrawal of Iranian forces, and implementing an irreversible political process. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Jeffery’s stated position is exactly right. Getting to “irreversible” may be the hardest part.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Independent​​ wrote that Daesh seems to have lost any place to retreat to after a series of defeats and the deaths of their main commanders. Their decline in Syria and Iraq​​ has​​ left them with very few options, says the paper. At the peak of its power, Daesh ruled an area as large as the UK, inhabited by 10 million persons, but now it is contained in a small area east of the Euphrates, under heavy Coalition fire. [Arabi21]

 

The Coalition said that together with the SDF, it was “continuing the fight” against Daesh. The Coalition press release noted that Daesh had tried to take advantage of poor weather conditions between November 24 and 30, but said the Coalition and the SDF had kept Daesh from effectively counter-attacking. [InherentResolve]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

The​​ SOHR reported a gunfight​​ in​​ the Mahmudiya​​ neighborhood​​ of​​ Afrin between unidentified​​ fighters​​ and​​ the​​ pro-Turkey militias​​ controlling the city. Yesterday, rockets from unknown sources killed a commander in an Islamist​​ militia​​ supported by Turkey and wounded several others.​​ The SOHR wrote that​​ indications pointed to​​ YPG​​ sleeper cells operating in Afrin. [SyriaHR]

 

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus

The YPG arrested 4 fighters from pro-Turkey militias, who they said were operating as spies for Turkish intelligence, along with explosives and small arms. The exact location of the arrests was not revealed. [Hawar]

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

The SOHR says that an explosion targeting​​ an HPG​​ (PKK)​​ vehicle at the Halko junction in the “Corniche” area of​​ Qamishli​​ wounded​​ 2​​ HPG members. [SyriaHR]​​ [Hawar]​​ [Qasioun]

 

Unidentified men shot​​ and killed​​ Qaed Tabor, an SDF commander,​​ on​​ the​​ Hasaka-Tal Barouk road, while others were killed in an IED attack on their car south of Hasaka. [Qasioun]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

Syrian state-run media says that the Syrian Army thwarted an attempt by a “terrorist group” to advance from a village south of Idlib towards a Syrian Army position. It says that Army units destroyed a 4WD vehicle and killed all terrorists onboard. [SyriaNow]

 

Ahrar Al-Sham engaged Tahrir Al-Sham in a gunfight west of Idlib on Tuesday, after​​ Ahrar Al-Sham​​ opened​​ a​​ headquarters​​ in Jadara without the approval of Tahrir Al-Sham. [ElDorar]

 

Tahrir Al-Sham executed a man on charges of spying for the Syrian government and participating in a car bomb attack in Idlib last year. It says he was paid SL 50,000 for his services, and that he is a former thief. [ElDorar]

 

“Harras​​ Al-Din” (the “Guardians of Religion),​​ Al-Qaeda allied​​ militia​​ in Idlib, published photos of a military camp it established in Idlib. It​​ said​​ that​​ the “Guardians of Religion”​​ are trained​​ there. [ElDorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it killed two SDF EOD members and wounded six others after “luring” them to a parked motorcycle bomb and then setting it off in Jadid Aqaidat village, on Monday. [A3maq] [ICDNDec4]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SOHR reported “intense” fighting on the northwest outskirts of Hajin between the SDF and Daesh. It says that the SDF made advances at several points, but the bad weather​​ led​​ to a counter-attack by Daesh, which always makes use of such conditions, since Coalition planes stop their operations. [SyriaHR] [Hawar]

 

A media source said that more than 1,000 civilians had fled areas in and around Hajin in the last 24 hours, as fighting between the SDF and Daesh intensified in the area. The source also said that the SDF had killed “dozens” of Daesh terrorists in the same period. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The civilians fleeing are important militarily, as they can no longer be used as human shields. The fact that so many left, under threat of death, suggests that Daesh is losing control of the city.

 

The SDF says it freed over 1,200 civilians who were held captive by Daesh, and moved them to safe areas. [Hawar]

 

A land​​ mine explosion in Hajin wounded 8 SDF fighters who were​​ advancing in​​ the​​ Hawama neighborhood in Hajin. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh said it shot down an SDF recon drone in Hajin on Monday. [A3maq]

Daesh issued a video of the​​ drone. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday that four women and three children were killed by Coalition airstrikes on Hajin. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it hit SDF military positions northeast of Al-Kashma with 2 Grad rockets and 3 heavy artillery shells, on Monday. [ICDNDec4]

 

Daesh issued a video of targeting a Syrian Army tank near Albu Kamal with a rocket. Daesh had reported the attack on Monday. [A3maq]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Iran announced on Tuesday that it rejects “arbitrary” interpretations of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. In 2015, the Security Council asked Iran not to develop missiles that could carry nuclear warheads,​​ On Tuesday it met​​ but reached no​​ consensus over Iranian nuclear testing, according to the Kuwaiti envoy to the UN. In an official statement, Iran said that it is the right of any state to develop missiles that carry​​ traditional​​ warheads, and that its program was compliant with Resolution 2231, unlike the US. [Anadolu]

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened again to close down the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-third of the world’s oil supplies pass. He says if the US ever deprives Iran from exporting oil, then “not one drop” of oil will pass through the straits. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Saudi Arabia

CIA Director Gina Haspel​​ briefed a small group of key US Senators about the details of the murder in Istanbul of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.​​ The briefing​​ was followed by statements from two Republican Senators—Lindsay Graham and Bob Corker—that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman​​ was involved directly in the murder. Corker said that if MBS were tried by a jury, “he would be convicted in 30 minutes.”​​ [Telegraph]

 

Yemen

The Houthi delegation left Sanaa to Sweden, accompanied by the UN Special Envoy, to start peace talks. The UAE says these talks form a vital peace opportunity. [Hawar]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed one Egyptian soldier with an IED near Rafah port. [ICDNDec4]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it destroyed an Egyptian Army bulldozer with an IED near the Arish Airport, south of the city. [A3maq]

 

Libya

The Benghazi Criminal Investigations Department arrested a person who they said was the murderer of a special forces soldier from Benghazi. [Libya24]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

A US Federal District Court in Hawaii heard the case of Sergeant Ikaika Erik Kang, who was accused of providing material support to Daesh. According to the DOJ, Kang met with FBI agents posing as Daesh members, and provided them with military equipment and classified documents. The DOJ said that Kang also agreed to carry out attacks in Honolulu. [IKH]​​ 

Kang was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. [WashingtonTimes]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Daesh said it killed or wounded several Nigerian Army members in an attack “with different kinds of weapons” on their military position in Malam Fatori town, on Monday. [ICDNDec4]​​ 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issued a photo of one of its terrorists on Tuesday, claiming he was killed in Libya. [ICDNDec4]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh​​ almost never reports battlefront casualties when they happen.​​ Those reported to have died heroically, such as by​​ (supposedly at least)​​ detonating their explosives vests and killing themselves, are regarded as succeeding in their mission​​ so they don’t count as casualties.​​ All​​ enemy​​ airstrikes kill​​ only innocent​​ civilians,​​ never Daesh fighters,​​ and​​ otherwise​​ Daesh terrorists “return safely” from their attacks. These after-the-fact photos are about the only acknowledgement they make of fighters killed, and​​ don’t​​ tell you how they got killed; and we are careful to use the word “claimed” or similar, as sometimes these stories are used to allow fighters actually still alive to go into hiding and reappear somewhere else later.​​  ​​​​ 

 

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