An Update On ISIS Activities

February 5, 2019

February 4, 2019

 

A large mountain in the background

Description automatically generated

Coalition Airstrike Targeted Daesh Position on Himrin Mountains (DD Feb 3)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Pace of progress in rebuilding becoming an issue to many​​ in Mosul. [..]

Trump anti-Iran rationale for keeping troops in Iraq sets off political firestorm.​​ [..]​​ 

US accuses Iran of rocketing Haditha base.​​ [..]

Sheikh from Anbar Tribal Council kidnapped. [..]

Daesh​​ reportedly​​ kills village mukhtar in eastern Falluja. [..]

Deadly border clashes kill 11 Iraqi service members in Rutba, Baaj. [..]

Noted Iraqi novelist gunned down in Karbala. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan says you can’t trust a “safe zone” to Coalition forces. [..]

 

Syria

US planes destroy Syria headquarters used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard near Albu Kamal, in possible retaliation for Anbar attack.​​ [..]

US, European​​ allies​​ press Middle East countries not to normalize relations with Syria. [..]

State Dept. statement thanks the SDF, emphasizes Daesh is still a major threat. [..]

State Dept. asks Coalition allies to repatriate, prosecute their own citizens held by SDF. [..]

SOHR flags large number of SDF soldiers, others, killed by Daesh in SDF-held areas. [..]

Daesh human shields strategy stalls SDF ground assault with 4 km2​​ to go. [..]

SOHR reports deteriorating security conditions in Daraa. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Egypt: ​​ 8 sentenced to death for attempted assassination of President Al-Sisi. [..]

Nigeria: ​​ 

Wall Street Journal flags​​ large​​ Daesh military buildup in Nigeria.​​ [..]

Amnesty International report of Boko Haram attack contradicted by Nigerian military. [..]

Philippines:​​ Two-hour gun battle with Abu Sayyaf kills at least 8 in Sulu. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

Reuters​​ published a report Monday morning saying that many in Mosul believe the slow progress in rebuilding the city is due to corruption. Abd Al-Sattar Al-Hibbu,​​ manager​​ of the​​ Mosul​​ municipal government, said that while little had been allocated to Mosul, the amount of money spent on removing rubble should​​ have​​ been enough to completely clear the city, but instead more than half of the debris remains. The​​ Governor of Ninewa denied the mismanagement and defended​​ the pace of the​​ rebuilding. [Reuters]

 

Foreign policy

United States

President Trump said in an interview with​​ CBS​​ on Sunday that he wanted to​​ keep US troops in Iraq because he wanted to be able to “watch Iran” from bases the US had built in Iraq. [CBS]​​ [NYT]​​ This statement set off a political firestorm in Iraq.

 

President Barham Salih expressed surprise at President Trump’s statements to​​ CBS​​ regarding the US forces’ mission in Iraq. He says he is waiting for an explanation from Washington regarding the mission and numbers of US forces in the country, adding that there is a binding agreement that governs US actions inside Iraq, and​​ the mission should be counterterrorism.​​ Salih also noted that the Iraqi Constitution forbids using Iraq as a platform from which to threaten neighboring countries.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [AP]​​ 

 

Former Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi expressed his rejection of President Trump’s statements to​​ CBS​​ regarding the mission of US forces in Iraq. He says such statements are harmful to IraqUS relations.​​ Al-Abadi wrote on Twitter, “We are not proxies in conflicts outside the interests of our nation.”​​ [Sumaria]​​ [AP]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is another example of why President’s anti-Iran policy is a major problem for Iraq. Whatever the arguments for the policy,​​ it​​ IS​​ militarily logical that a base along the transportation and supply routes between Iran and Syria, especially across Anbar (the Haditha base being the likeliest example),​​ could track what Iran is doing, and​​ Iran’s​​ maneuvering in Syria is certainly an issue. However, Iraqi political leaders​​ can’t take sides with the US against Iran without worsening political divisions in Iraq—even pro-American leaders like President Salih and former PM Al-Abadi.​​ 

 

In a major related development, the US accused Iran of attempting to target the Ayn Al-Asad base in Haditha with 3 rockets. The Saudi daily​​ Okaz​​ says that the US threatened to use all available means against any party targeting the base. [Sumaria]

 

Also see related stories below under Hit/Haditha and under Syria – Foreign policy – United States.

 

Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad, called on the US to withdraw its forces from Iraq, following the statements of President Trump that a base in Iraq is necessary to monitor Iran. He said Iraq’s security is up to the Iraqi Armed Forces, and that the decision to keep foreign forces in the country is up to the Iraqi government.​​ [Rudaw]

 

The Secretary-General of Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq (AAH), Qais Al-Khazali, says that Iraqi military units can expel US forces out of Iraq. He says that President Trump’s recent statements laid bare the US project in Iraq.​​ Al-Khazali​​ says that the CoR can make the “right” decision regarding the presence of these forces, and that the Army, Police, and PMF can expel these forces, no matter how numerous they are. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Following up on the comment above, this​​ statement reflects​​ part of the damage from US pronouncements​​ directed at​​ Iran: empowering the most anti-American/pro-Iran​​ elements to make divisive public statements.​​ Al-Khazali’s boast (the latest of many) can’t be backed up, of course, but he assumes he can run his mouth without incurring real consequences, so this kind of propaganda will likely continue and will intensify in response to American statements.

 

However,​​ Faiq Al-Sheikh Ali,​​ leader​​ of the​​ liberal​​ Tamadun​​ (Civilized)​​ CoR bloc, told Iraqis that President Trump’s statements were addressed to Iran and not Iraq, and so there is no reason why Iraqi officials should be so concerned about responding to them. [Rudaw]

 

Sumaria​​ quoted a Gulf newspaper as saying that Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi is going to visit Washington shortly, heading a large government delegation. The visit will discuss highly sensitive issues such as the US forces in Iraq, and the possibility of excluding Iraq from US sanctions on Iran. [Sumaria]

 

Kuwait

The​​ Kuwaiti daily​​ Al-Rai​​ says Iraq had paid Kuwait $300​​ million as part of​​ its reparations​​ for​​ losses​​ incurred in the​​ Saddam-era​​ occupation of Kuwait,​​ as imposed by the UN. Iraq will pay 0.5% of its oil revenues,​​ starting​​ from​​ 2018,​​ until the end of 2021,​​ at the rate of $300 million every 3 months. The UN imposed $4.6​​ billion in​​ reparations. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

A police source in Anbar says that Sheikh Omar Al-Alwani, a member of the Anbar​​ Tribal​​ Council, was kidnapped by unidentified persons. The Sheikh is known for his confrontation of terrorist groups and good relations with Shia parties. [BasNews]

 

Falluja

Daesh said it killed the mukhtar of Al-Annaz village​​ in eastern Falluja,​​ in his house on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

Ramadi

Daesh said on Sunday it shot down an Iraqi Army recon drone in the Kilo 60 area. [A3maq-Telegram]

Daesh published a photo of the drone. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Haditha

On Monday, a source within the Ninewa Police said that​​ Tribal PMF units seized missiles that were aimed towards Haditha. These were​​ separate from the missiles​​ that​​ had been​​ found aimed​​ towards Ayn Al-Asad airbase​​ on Saturday. A member of the Anbar Provincial Council said on Sunday that the missiles​​ that​​ had been found facing Ayn Al-Asad airbase​​ were positioned​​ in a location previously unreachable by Daesh. He​​ therefore​​ suggested​​ they were​​ part of the US-Iran conflict. [BasNews]

 

Al-Qa’im

Daesh said it killed two PMF soldiers, wounded another, and stole their weapons on Sunday in an ambush near Al-Qa’im city. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Rutba

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that three Border Guard​​ policemen, including a lieutenant colonel, were killed and others wounded in a Daesh attack near the Syrian border. The terrorists came from the Syrian side.​​ 

Daesh said it killed or wounded six Iraqi Army soldiers, including an officer, on Friday in an ambush in the Akashat area, by the Syria border south of Al-Qa’im. [A3maq]

 

Also see reports of other border attacks, under Baaj below

 

A security source says a​​ major​​ drug dealer was killed during an air​​ assault​​ by Iraqi units​​ in the Rutba desert. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

The Security Media Center said on Sunday that Coalition airplanes had carried out strikes against Daesh targets in the Makhoul Mountains and Himrin areas of Salahuddin. [Nas]

 

See related stories below

 

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Coalition planes killed 8 Daesh terrorists, including a local commander, in airstrikes in the Makhoul Mountains area. The source said Daesh arrested one of its smugglers, accusing him of providing information to the Coalition.​​ 

 

The Shirqat Police said that they had found 3,000 mortar shells in an abandoned house in Al-Khadhraniya, north of Shirqat city, on Monday. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Coalition planes targeted several Daesh positions in the Himrin Mountains.​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Himrin Mountains lie on both sides of the Diyala-Salahuddin boundary, which is why reports from the mountains come sometimes from one province and sometimes from the other.

 

Samarra

The Security Media Center said on Monday that IFP units had found 8 IEDs in the Jazeera Samarra area.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said its snipers killed two Oil Facilities Protection policemen on Saturday in Yousef Al-Hailan village, south of Buhriz. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

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

Daesh said it blew up several shops that belong to Shia with 3 IEDs on Sunday in the​​ rural​​ Qulay area, west of Khanaqin. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said its snipers wounded a PMF soldier on Friday on the road between Saadiya and Khanaqin. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF soldiers and destroyed their vehicle on Friday near the Kabashi area in Jalawla, near the Iran border. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said its snipers wounded two PMF soldiers on Saturday in the Nafut Khana area, south of Khanaqin. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

Daesh said its snipers killed a PMF soldier on Sunday on the Imam Wais road, in Saadiya.​​ [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Dibis

Daesh said it killed or wounded Oil Facilities Protection policemen and damaged their vehicle with an IED on Thursday, south of Dibis. [ICDNFeb2]

 

Hawija (Riyadh)

Daesh said on Monday it targeted an IFP office in Al-Hamal village, west of Riyadh, with 3 81mm mortar shells. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Monday it blew up the house of a local police officer in Al-Mansiya village, west of Riyadh. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Southwest (Rashad)

Daesh said it damaged an IFP armored personnel carrier with an IED on Saturday near the 7 Nisan village, in Rashad subdistrict. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Coalition planes targeted several Daesh positions on Qarachogh Mountain.

 

Mosul​​ city

Daesh said it killed an Iraqi Army soldier and severely wounded another on Saturday when it targeted a checkpoint at the entrance of Al-Bakr neighborhood in east Mosul with a hand grenade. [A3maq-Telegram]

Daesh said it wounded two SWAT members and destroyed their SUV with a sticky IED on Sunday in Al-Nour neighborhood, in east Mosul. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said it wounded three Iraqi Army soldiers and destroyed their SUV with a sticky IED on Saturday in Al-Maliya neighborhood, in east Mosul across the river from central Mosul. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

Mosul District

South (Shura/Qayara)

Daesh published on Monday photos of murdering a civilian man in Al-Naddas village in Shura. Daesh claimed the victim was an “intelligence member.” [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

Daesh Daily​​ had reported earlier, from a​​​​ DaeshDaily​​ source, that a man and his wife were​​ murdered​​ on Saturday January 26 near their house by a group of Daesh terrorists in Al-Naddas village.​​ 

 

Qayara

Daesh said on Saturday it blew up the houses of three tribal PMF fighters in Mushairifa village. [ICDNFeb2]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that PMF units captured 2 men who were smuggling weapons and food items to Daesh terrorists in the Abu Mariya Hills area near Tal Afar city.​​ 

 

Sinjar

The media office of the PMF said that EOD units from the 29th​​ PMF Brigade found 2 IEDs in the Qayrawan area on Monday.​​ [PressIraq]

 

Southern Ninewa

Baaj

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that four PMF soldiers were killed, others wounded, and 3 vehicles destroyed in a Daesh attack near the Syrian border.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that four PMF soldiers were killed in clashes with Daesh near a hideout west of Baaj. The source said the PMFs killed 7 terrorists and confiscated $1,000,000 from the hideout. The source sent us a video of the confiscated money. ​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Karbala

Iraqi novelist Alaa​​ Mashzoub was killed in front of his house in Karbala Province. Preliminary reports said that he was shot with 13 bullets.​​ Mashzoub had been a critic of foreign interference and militias in Iraq, and made a Facebook post in January critical of Ayatollah Khomeini. Ali Al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, said that Mashzoub’s assassination was part of a pattern of assassinations targeting media personalities and civil activists. [Nas] [National]

 

Several writers and journalists expressed their shock​​ online​​ at Mashzoub’s killing. Intellectuals and artists in Karbala staged a sit-in​​ over​​ his death on Sunday. [DailyNation] [ArabLit]

 

The US Embassy described the assassination of Iraqi novelist Alaa​​ Mashzoub in Karbala as “a savage crime.” The Embassy offered its condolences on its Facebook page to friends and family of the deceased. The novelist was with shot and killed by unidentified armed men in the middle of Karbala on Saturday. [Sumaria]

 

Wasit

A source in Wasit says a man and his pregnant wife were killed while the man was “tampering” with a hand grenade at their house in Sheikh Saad, southern Wasit. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

SULEIMANIYA

The Asayish Directorate of the KRG said in a statement that Asayish units had arrested 3 terrorists in the past few days, including 2 Daesh “emirs.” The 3 were reportedly responsible for terrorist acts in Himrin, Hawija, and Mosul. They were arrested​​ in Darbandikhan,​​ Suleimaniya.​​ [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that any “safe zone” in Syria should be entrusted to Turkey. In an interview with the Turkish state-run channel​​ TRT,​​ he said that a “safe zone” could not be entrusted to “coalition forces.” [Bloomberg]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

On Monday, the Israeli military intelligence website​​ Debka​​ said that US planes destroyed a headquarters used by the IRGC’s Al-Quds Brigades in Syria, which it said was often visited by Qasim Soleimani. The source said that the headquarters​​ “near Albu Kamal”​​ was also used by Iraqi PMF groups and​​ the​​ Iraqi Hezbollah.​​ Debka​​ implied that this was a retaliatory strike for the attempted attack on Ayn Al-Asad air base​​ in Iraq. [ElDorar] [Debka]

 

The official state-run Syrian news agency​​ SANA​​ said on Sunday that a Coalition airstrike had hit a Syrian Army position near the frontlines with Daesh in Albu Kamal. Coalition spokesman Sean Ryan said, “Our partner forces were fired upon and exercised their inherent right to self-defense.”​​ [Reuters]

 

President Trump said on Sunday that he is still determined to withdraw troops from Syria, but that he is also capable of returning​​ them quickly if necessary. [ElDorar]

 

Middle East

The Saudi paper​​ Asharq Al-Awsat​​ said on Monday that the US and European states advised Arab states against normalizing relations with Syria. Sources say that Arab states seem to have decided to wait before normalizing relations with Damascus. Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, said that there were conditions that must be met before Syria can rejoin the Arab League. [ElDorar]

 

A source within the French Presidency said on Monday that Egypt, the “most powerful” Arab state supporting Syria, has shifted its position on Syria to be more in line with France and the US. [ElDorar]

 

Qatar officially announced that it is providing $2 million to the “White Helmets” group to support “relief and development” projects.​​ Syria Now​​ characterized the White Helmets as being affiliated with Al-Nusra. [SyriaNow]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The US State Department issued a statement on Monday thanking the SDF for their contributions to Coalition efforts. The statement also said that despite the liberation of territory in Iraq and Syria, Daesh “remains a significant terrorist threat,​​ and collective action is imperative to address this shared international security challenge.”​​ [Sumaria]​​ [State]

 

The State Department also issued a statement calling on other countries to repatriate and prosecute their citizens who traveled to Syria to fight with Daesh and are now being held by the SDF. This comes after the SDF had recently announced the capture of alleged Daesh fighters from Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The SDF says it has​​ detained​​ over 900 Daesh fighters, in addition to over 4,000 family members of the fighters. [AP]

 

A security source in the Iraqi​​ Border​​ Guards​​ told​​ RT​​ on Monday that Iraqi PMF artillery has been “heavily” shelling Daesh in Syrian territory since the end of last week. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

On Sunday,​​ NBC​​ published a story​​ that​​ included​​ a handful of anecdotes on​​ Syrians who have converted to Christianity in Kobane,​​ in reaction to​​ their experience with​​ Daesh. [NBC]

 

Northwest

No reports

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

On Monday,​​ Hawar​​ said that a​​ man​​ had been killed as he attempted to plant an IED in Hasaka city. [Hawar]

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF commander, wounded several others, and destroyed their SUV with an IED on Sunday in Al-Sab’i village, near Shaddadi​​ in southern Hasaka. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said on Monday it killed or wounded seven SDF fighters and damaged their SUV with an IED near the Modern Medicine hospital on Al-Nour Street, in Raqqa city. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]

 

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

Kurdish media says that the Interior Committee for Tabaqa imposed a curfew of the city to avoid any riots that may arise out of differences between local parties. [Hawar]

 

Central and West​​ 

No reports

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

3 Daesh leaders, including the commander of Daesh’s military police, were also killed by the SDF after a gunfight in Ruwaished, Deir Ez-Zor District. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed an SDF fighter and wounded another in an ambush in Al-Zar village, in Busayrah subdistrict. [A3maq-Telegram]

 

Mayadin​​ District

Forat​​ wrote that unidentified armed men, most likely from Daesh, killed several SDF fighters at the Al-Tayyana water station on Sunday evening. [Qasioun]

The SOHR wrote that armed men executed 3 SDF fighters at the​​ Al-Tayyana​​ water station. It went on to note that 135 SDF fighters, 4 Coalition soldiers, and 49 civilians have been​​ killed by Daesh​​ in SDF-held areas recently. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed three fighters and stole their weapons in an attack on an SDF position in Al-Tayyana village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed two SDF fighters, including a commander, and damaged their SUV with machine guns in an ambush in Jama village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNFeb2]​​ 

 

The SDF and Asayish units are continuing their search campaign for Daesh sleeper cells, says the SOHR,​​ following the recent assassinations of SDF units and civilians in the area.​​ It wrote that a​​ Daesh cell was arrested in a house​​ in​​ Suwaidan by a​​ large​​ SDF force backed by​​ Coalition planes, which destroyed the house following the arrest. [SyriaHR]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SDF’s ground assault has halted in the face of Daesh’s use of civilians as human shields. The SDF is waiting for the remaining civilians to leave before advancing. The SOHR says that over 36,000 people​​ have​​ fled Daesh-held areas since December 2018, including an estimated 3,100 Daesh fighters, but recent displaced persons coming from the Daesh-held areas say there are still many civilians and foreign fighters remaining in Daesh-held areas. [AFP]

 

Fire from SDF positions killed 9 civilians (6 children and 3 women) who were​​ being smuggled from Daesh-held​​ areas​​ east​​ of the​​ Euphrates on Saturday. Smugglers​​ are reportedly​​ charging between​​ $700​​ and $10,000 to smuggle people who are​​ afraid​​ of​​ being​​ arrested by the SDF or the Coalition​​ out of​​ Daesh-held​​ areas. [SyriaHR]

 

The​​ SOHR says​​ that the​​ Coalition is transferring anti-armor missiles and heavy machine​​ guns to the​​ front​​ lines with Daesh,​​ despite the decline of Daesh’s​​ area of control to​​ approximately​​ 4 square​​ kilometers. Convoys carrying​​ the​​ weapons were noticed coming from​​ the​​ north of Iraq. 1,130​​ Coalition​​ supply​​ trucks​​ have​​ entered the area since the​​ US​​ withdrawal announcement by President Trump. [SyriaHR]

 

South​​ 

Daraa

Security and Army personnel in Daraa are on “full alert” following​​ a​​ recent security deterioration, the SOHR reported. It says that several Syrian Army soldiers and members of​​ militias​​ who “reconciled” with the government were recently assassinated,​​ including​​ an attack on​​ a​​ Syrian​​ Army checkpoint on Sunday. [SyriaHR]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

The Houthis demanded that government forces withdraw 15 km from their current positions as a condition for the​​ Houthis’​​ withdrawal from Hodeida and its port. [Hawar]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed 2 Houthi fighters and captured their weapons in an attack in the Al-Dhahra area, in Qifa. Daesh said its terrorists “returned safely” after the attack. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Monday it targeted a Houthi position in the Za’aj area in Qifa with one mortar shell. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

North Africa

Egypt

A military court in Egypt sentenced 8 people to death for attempting to assassinate President Abd Al-Fatah Sisi. The court will seek a religious opinion and allow the convicts to appeal before the High Military Appeals Court. [Rudaw]

 

Mohamed El-Baradei, former Vice President of Egypt, criticized the Parliamentary discussions to amend the clause of the Constitution regarding the term of the Presidency and extend it from 4 to 6 years. [Anadolu]

 

The Egyptian MoI says that 7 gunmen were killed by police in a firefight in Arish, northern Sinai. Quantities of weapons and explosives were also confiscated. [Anadolu]

 

Libya

3 children between 9 and 15 were injured by a grenade explosion after they found the grenade while playing near the Al-Sadriya Hospital, in the Al-Kuifiya​​ neighborhood in​​ Benghazi.​​ [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and wounded two Somali policemen in Tawfiq neighborhood, in Mogadishu city. [ICDNFeb3-A3maq]

 

Daesh published on Sunday a photo of one of its terrorists, claiming he was killed in Somalia. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

Nigeria

The​​ Wall Street Journal​​ wrote on Sunday that Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the Daesh-affiliated​​ offshoot of Boko Haram, represented the “next chapter” for Daesh as its territory in Syria shrinks. It wrote that ISWAP was more focused on attacking security forces and NGOs in northeastern Nigeria than Boko Haram itself.​​ The​​ WSJ​​ also​​ noted that some fighters from western Africa had traveled to the Middle East and had now returned to fight with ISWAP, and that theologians from Daesh had sent instructions regarding doctrine to ISWAP.​​ The Combating Terrorism Center estimates that ISWAP has 5,000 fighters. [WSJ]

 

Amnesty International wrote on Friday that at least 60 people had been killed in Boko Haram’s attack on Rann, Borno State, on January 28. It said that 11 bodies had been found inside the town and 49 outside, and that satellite images from January 28-30 showed evidence of mass burnings of “hundreds” of structures.​​ Amnesty called on authorities to investigate what it said was the withdrawal of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) from Rann before the attack.​​ [DailyPost] [Amnesty]

A Nigerian Army spokesman dismissed Amnesty’s report as “misleading” and said there was no evidence of such an attack. He said that Rann had been attacked on January 14, but not on January 28. [Punch]

The Nigerian CSO Save Humanity Advocacy Centre said that Amnesty’s claim was false and that no such attack had taken place. It accused Amnesty of being “hidden long-term collaborators” with Boko Haram. [VanguardNGR]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ For what it’s worth, we note that a Friday Washington Post story from Reuters carried the Amnesty International report, though noting briefly at the end that a Nigerian Army spokesman had denied it.​​ 

 

A spokesman for the military in northeastern Nigeria said that 4 Boko Haram fighters were killed by Nigerian troops in the border town of Malam​​ Fatori, Borno State, on Saturday. [AllAfrica] [Punch]

Daesh said it killed or wounded Nigerian soldiers on Saturday in an attack on a military position in Malam Fatori, in Borno state. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

Daesh said it destroyed 3 Nigerian Army tanks on Friday in an attack on a military position in Mile 4 village, in Borno. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed three Nigerian soldiers and destroyed a vehicle with an IED on the road between Marti and Dekoa, in Borno State. [A3maq]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

In his interview with​​ CBS, President Trump said that he would leave US intelligence personnel in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops.​​ [Khaama]

 

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that a partial withdrawal of foreign forces “would not be the end of the world” or the end of the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed an Afghan policeman on Saturday in District 11, in Kabul city. [A3maq-Telegram]

 

Philippines

At least eight people were killed and more than a dozen injured when soldiers clashed with Daesh-inspired militants in the southern Philippines province of Sulu. ​​ A heavy firefight started on Saturday morning (Feb 2)​​ in the city of Patikul in Sulu,​​ and lasted for nearly two hours between members of a scout ranger battalion and at least 150 members of the Abu Sayyaf group headed by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan Colonel Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said in a text message. ​​ The encounter in Patikul lasted nearly two hours, Col Besana said, with five soldiers and 15 militants also wounded. The deadly clash in Sulu comes nearly a week after Jan 27’s deadly blasts that left 22 people dead in a Catholic church.​​ 

Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said on Friday that two suicide bombers from Indonesia were behind last Sunday’s explosions in Sulu that also injured about a hundred people, with the Abu Sayyaf acting as a guide. CNN Philippines also quoted Mr. Ano as saying the Indonesian couple wanted to set an example among Filipino militants, adding there are still some foreign terrorists in the country.

The Philippine military this week launched an airstrike against a splinter group from the Abu Sayyaf that it believed led the attack. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said a Yemeni couple may have been behind the blast. In nearby Maguindanao province, military operations have intensified in a terrorist lair, and bomber planes were used to destroy militants’ bunkers. ​​ 

The bombings came days after voters endorsed a new autonomous region intended to end decades of violence in the impoverished Muslim-majority area. The Mindanao region, home to the provinces of Sulu and Maguindanao, has been under martial law since domestic and foreign fighters dressed in black outfits overran Marawi City in 2017 and clung on through five months of air strikes and street battles reminiscent of scenes in Syria and Iraq. [StraitsTimes]

Daesh said it killed five Philippine Army soldiers, wounded 18 others, and stole their weapons on Saturday in clashes in Patikul​​ city, Sulu Province. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram] [A3maq-Telegram] ​​ 

 

 

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