An Update On ISIS Activities

February 27, 2019

February 27, 2019

 

A group of people riding on the back of a horse in a field

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Al-Baghouz (AFP Feb 27)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Coalition airstrike kills 7 Daesh fighters in Siniya ​​ [..]

Iraq organizing a process to handle hundreds of SDF Daesh prisoners [..]

 

Syria

Exodus of Daesh fighters, civilians from Al-Baghouz area continues​​ [..]

SOHR reports Daesh is exchanging SDF POWs for food [..]

After Daesh massacre of Yazidi women, SDF frees 2 found among those fleeing [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Iran: ​​ Zarif relents, returns to Foreign Minister post​​ [..]

India/Pakistan: ​​ Pakistan​​ retaliates for Indian bombing attack; also downs Indian plane​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition said that between February 10 and 23, it conducted 25 airstrikes in Iraq.​​ [InherentResolve]​​ ​​ 

 

Sheikh Ali Al-Assadi, head of the political council of the Al-Nujaba Movement (Harakat Hezbollah Al-Nujaba), claimed on Wednesday that Daesh was returning to Iraq with the help of the US. Al-Assadi claimed that terrorists were crossing the Syria-Iraq border “in front of the occupiers” in areas near the Ayn Al-Asad air base. He called on the Army and security forces to defend Iraq’s sovereignty and secure the border. [Buratha]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We concede this is a propaganda statement (from a US-designated terrorist organization) and not a substantive news item, but it demonstrates the absurd extremes of the ongoing anti-American propaganda campaign in Iraq.​​ 

 

Repatriation

As reported by​​ Sumaria, a Gulf paper said that Iraq is forming investigations committees to interrogate Daesh prisoners handed over by the SDF, saying many of them are claiming to be civilians or state employees. The committees are composed of prosecuting judges and police and​​ intelligence investigators. They are staying in a special camp in Anbar under​​ intense​​ security measures, where no visits​​ from​​ relatives​​ have been​​ recorded so far. Many of the​​ detainees​​ claim they were taken by force during Daesh withdrawals​​ from​​ Al-Qa’im, Husayba​​ (on the border), and Baaj to be used as human shields.​​ The report said that Iraq had received 231​​ alleged​​ Daesh fighters from the SDF so far.​​ [Sumaria]

 

A military source said on Wednesday that Iraq had taken 330 terrorists from the SDF. The source said that 7 of them had confessed to planning to assassinate Iraqi Shia​​ PMF leaders. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi says Iraq is ready to receive Daesh fighters from Syria for trial in Iraq or deportation to their home countries. He says some countries, like France, might seek Iraq’s help in this regard. He says non-Iraqi Daesh fighters might​​ stand​​ trial in Iraq as well. [Anadolu]

 

Sumaria​​ produced a video report on Wednesday reiterating its reporting from Tuesday, which had said that Western countries, along with select Arab countries, were pressuring Iraq to accept 600 Daesh fighters of various non-Iraqi nationalities from the SDF and try them in Iraqi courts. It added that “about 60” French Daesh fighters had already been transferred along with the Iraqi Daesh fighters that have already been sent to Iraq. [Sumaria]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It is not clear to us what authority Iraq would have to try prisoners whose crimes were not committed in Iraq or against Iraqis.

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

The Directorate of Military Intelligence said on Wednesday that its units in the 10th​​ Division had​​ broken up​​ a group of 8 Daesh members in Anbar Province. It said the​​ group had been working as “security” for Daesh. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Rutba

Daesh published on Wednesday photos of​​ the​​ murder​​ of​​ four Shia​​ men it had captured in the Nukhaib area. [ICDNFeb27-Telegram]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

The Counter​​ Terrorism​​ Service (CTS)​​ said Wednesday that a Coalition airstrike killed 7 Daesh fighters in Siniya. The strike came as part of a “wide-scale” clearing operation​​ extending​​ from the Anbar desert​​ through​​ Zangoura​​ (Ramadi), and​​ the​​ Thirthar​​ area​​ to Siniya.​​ The CTS also said that it had found booby-trapped buildings, IEDs, and Daesh safehouses as part of the operation.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Media sources said that a mortar attack on Al-Jadida village, south of Baquba, left 2 civilians killed and others wounded. [Rudaw]​​ 

A security source said on Wednesday that the area mortared earlier was “almost under the control” of Daesh. The source said that the area had not been fully controlled by the security services for “years.” The mortar was reported to have killed 2 civilians and wounded 3. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

Daesh said its snipers wounded a Peshmerga fighter on Tuesday in the Yousef Bek area, in Khanaqin. [ICDNFeb27-Telegram]

 

Daesh said it set fire to the house of a Shi’i on Tuesday in Mubarak village, northeast​​ of Khanaqin. [ICDNFeb27-Telegram]​​ 

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Daesh said its snipers severely wounded an Oil Facilities Protection policeman on Tuesday in the Al-Nida area, in​​ the​​ Balad Ruz​​ District​​ near the Iran border. [ICDNFeb27-Telegram]

 

KIRKUK

No reports

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that local police units arrested a PMF fighter who attacked a police checkpoint with a silenced gun in the Al-Karama neighborhood, east Mosul, wounding a policeman. The source said a PMF commander claimed that it was​​ just​​ an “ordinary brawl” between the PMF fighter and the policemen.

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition said that between February 10 and 23, it conducted 186 airstrikes in Syria. It also said that over the same time period, it detected 342 strikes from “other actors” that “crossed the Euphrates River Valley.”​​ [InherentResolve] ​​ 

 

Northwest

No report

 

Northeast​​ 

No report

 

Central and West​​ 

No report

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said it shot and killed an SDF member on Tuesday in Abu Hardoub village,​​ east of​​ Mayadin​​ city. [ICDNFeb27-Telegram]​​ 

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

An SDF source said that the “last batch” of people to leave Al-Baghouz numbered about 1,450 people, including 400 Daesh fighters. However, the source said that “hundreds” of Daesh “emirs” and fighters were still in the Daesh-held portion of the town. [Buratha]​​ 

 

An SDF source said that the liberation of Al-Baghouz would be delayed due to the continued presence of “thousands” of civilians, who Daesh is still using as human shields. The source said that the Daesh-held portion of Al-Baghouz still held 4,000 civilians and 1,000 Daesh fighters. The source also said that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi might still be in Al-Baghouz.​​ [BasNews]​​ 

 

The SOHR reported that 35 more trucks entered Daesh-held areas to transport civilians and families of Daesh fighters to the Al-Hawl refugee/IDP camp in Hasaka. 1,400 people left the area on February 26, according to the SOHR, including 350 Daesh fighters who surrendered to the SDF. The SOHR said that 3,600 total Daesh-affiliated persons and civilians had left the Daesh-held areas in the past 2 days, including 470 Daesh fighters. [SyriaHR] [SyriaHR] [IraqPress]​​ 

 

Daesh fighters in the area remaining under​​ Daesh​​ control are​​ reportedly​​ divided, as some want to fight to​​ the end,​​ while others​​ are considering flight​​ or surrender.​​ The​​ SDF estimates​​ that​​ hundreds​​ of Daesh fighters​​ are​​ still in​​ the encircled area. Eyewitnesses said that​​ Daesh​​ had​​ lost the ability to fight​​ due to the​​ scarcity of food and drinking water. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

The​​ SOHR reported a new deal between Daesh and​​ the​​ SDF, in which​​ Daesh freed 20 SDF​​ POWs​​ in exchange​​ for​​ allowing food shipments into their area. 7​​ POWs​​ were already handed over and returned to their families in Raqqa. [SyriaHR]​​ [Buratha]​​ 

The SDF​​ version​​ said that it retrieved 7 of its fighters who had been captured by Daesh and handed them over to their families. It says it freed them during​​ the​​ recent fighting in​​ Al-Baghouz. [EnabBaladi]

 

Sumaria​​ published a video report regarding the 50 Yazidi girls whose severed heads were recently found by the SDF in Al-Baghouz. The report said that the girls’ execution was carried out by Daesh “leaders,” including Iraqi, Syrian, Turkmen, and Chechen Daesh leaders. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

A source in the SDF said on Wednesday that 2 Yazidi girls had been found among those fleeing Al-Baghouz, and were now freed. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Iran’s​​ Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif returned to his post following President Rouhani’s rejection of his resignation.​​ The​​ New York Times​​ wrote that despite his return to his position, it is doubtful​​ that Zarif will regain much power within Iranian domestic politics. [NYT]

 

North Africa

Egypt

An explosion at the Cairo train station left over 20 killed and 40 wounded, according to an initial count. The explosion was reportedly​​ not from terrorism but​​ from​​ the fuel tank of a train​​ speeding into​​ the station​​ and running into a barrier. [Rudaw]​​ [NYT]​​ [WaPo]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Taliban was reported as saying​​ that​​ current India-Pakistan tensions would affect the Afghanistan peace process. However, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid​​ denied this, saying​​ that this press statement was “fake” and that the​​ Taliban​​ had not issued any official statement on the India-Pakistan clashes. [Khaama] [Reuters]

 

India/Pakistan

Pakistan said it shot down 2 Indian Air Force (IAF) jets on Wednesday. According to Pakistani military spokesman General Asif Ghafoor, Pakistani jets carried out “strikes” on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir. 2 IAF jets then responded to the Pakistani jets and were subsequently shot down. India said that only 1 IAF jet had been shot down.​​ 

Pakistani officials briefly said that 2 Indian pilots were in their custody following the downing of IAF jets, and then amended that to say that 1 Indian pilot was in Pakistani custody. India demanded the safe return of its pilot. Videos circulating on social media appeared to show the Indian pilot being beaten by a crowd before the arrival of Pakistani soldiers, who detained him. Ghafoor said that the pilot was being “treated as per norms of military ethics.” [BBC]

All parties later confirmed that only 1 Indian pilot, rather than 2, was in Pakistani custody. [IndianExpress]

 

 

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