An Update On ISIS Activities

February 7, 2019

February 7, 2019

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SDF Fighters in Al-Baghouz (Hawar Feb 7)







Carnegie Endowment report cites lack of a functional coalition in Iraq government. [..]

Anti-Daesh activist shot, physically assaulted in Mosul by Governor’s nephew, tribal PMF commander. [..]



US officials offer contradictory​​ statements on whether there is a withdrawal deadline for Syria. [..]

SDF trying to root out large remaining Daesh elements in​​ Raqqa. [..]

Daesh diehards using human shields to hold out in Al-Baghouz area. [..]​​ 


Other​​ countries

Saudi Arabia: ​​ NY Times report uncovers further evidence of Crown Prince involvement in Khashoggi murder.​​ [..]

Yemen: ​​ UN relief workers blocked from accessing Hodeida grain storage warehouse by Houthis. ​​ [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Khalilzad insists there is no timetable for US withdrawal from Afghanistan.​​ ​​ [..]





New​​ government

On Thursday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a​​ report​​ that said that Iraqi Prime Minister​​ Adel Abd Ul-Madhi may​​ be forced to employ more​​ executive​​ decrees to overcome the lack of a functional​​ coalition in​​ the current government. [Sada]




See story below under​​ 


Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition said on Thursday that it was continuing to train Iraqi security personnel. It said that between January 20 and 27, the ISF had destroyed over 430 IEDs during route patrols, and that the Coalition and the ISF had conducted over 65 “coordinated fire missions.”​​ [InherentResolve]



West​​ (Mansour, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Baghdad Ops Command said on Thursday that the “Falcons” intelligence group had arrested a suspected terrorist in Zaidan, in Abu Ghraib District. [Ghad]​​ 




The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units under Anbar Ops Command had arrested 5 wanted persons in the​​ stadium​​ area​​ along​​ 60th​​ Street,​​ and found 70 IEDs left behind by Daesh in the Albu Daalj area,​​ south of​​ Falluja​​ city.​​ [IraqPress]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 



On Thursday a security source said an IED explosion killed a Civil Defense employee in Rutba. [BasNews]​​ 




Daesh said it killed a TV reporter, a “SWAT officer” and two other “SWAT members,” and wounded four others on Wednesday in clashes in the Hawi Kan’ous area. [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source had previously said that Coalition airstrikes killed several Daesh members around Hawi Kan’ous on Wednesday, and that 4 security personnel, including an officer, had been killed in ground fighting.​​ 


Daesh said it kidnapped,​​ then​​ killed​​ three tribal PMF soldiers on Wednesday near Misahaq village. [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]



On Thursday, a security source said that Daesh attacked a security barrier between Samarra and Al-Daur on Wednesday night, where the 9th PMF brigade was​​ concentrated.​​ The brigade​​ prevented Daesh from crossing the barrier. [Sumaria]


Daesh said it killed or wounded several Iraqi Army EOD experts with an IED on Wednesday on the road to Al-Mu’tasim, southeastern Samarra. [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]



No reports




An official security source said on Thursday that a sticky bomb planted under a civilian vehicle exploded in the Imam Qasim neighborhood of Kirkuk city, causing damage.​​ [SotIraq]



Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that the nephew of the Governor of Mosul and a tribal PMF commander beat up and shot an anti-Daesh social media activist. The source said the victim could have been killed, but civilians intervened and saved his life. The activist was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds and several fractures. The​​ reported motivation for the crime was that​​ the activist had reported 4 Daesh members, who are from the same tribe as the Governor, to security forces.​​ 


Mosul District

West (Hamidat/Muhalabiya)

Daesh said it targeted an Iraqi Army military position near the Aski Mosul area with machine guns, on Wednesday.​​ [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]


Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

Ninewa Ops Command said on Thursday that it was conducting a search of the Mount Sasan area in coordination with PMF units, and that the joint group had found several IEDs and various weapons.​​ [IraqPress]​​ 


Southern Ninewa

No reports



No reports




No reports





United Nations

A UN report presented to the Security Council said that Daesh has not been defeated in Syria, and is still the most dangerous terrorist group there. It said that there were between 14,000 and 18,000 extremist fighters in Syria and Iraq, about 3,000 of whom are foreign. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 



The Israeli newspaper​​ Haaretz​​ said on Thursday that Iran had​​ decided to try to​​ transfer its most sensitive​​ military posts​​ in Damascus to other parts of Syria in secret.​​ It said that the IRGC would move its weapons supply center for Syria to the “T4” airbase in Homs as a response to recent Israeli strikes on the Damascus airport.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [Haaretz]


Foreign policy

United States

The US reportedly set a target date for the withdrawal of its troops from Syria, with current and former US officials saying that there were military plans in place to pull out a “significant portion” of US forces in Syria by mid-March, and fully withdraw by the end of April. However, the State Department still says that there is no fixed timetable for the withdrawal. [WSJ]


In an interview, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that extremists in Syria are attempting to flee and regroup in Africa and northern Libya. He also said the duty of the US is to prevent them from taking territory in Africa, maintain pressure on them, and limit their financial​​ capabilities.​​ [Sumaria] [ElDorar]


Anti-Daesh campaign

The SDF said on Thursday that it arrests foreign fighters “daily,” and confirmed that it arrested a German named Martin Lemke in eastern Syria on suspicion of belonging to Daesh. [Rudaw] [ArabNews]



No reports




Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR​​ said​​ it has​​ many reliable sources saying​​ that the​​ SDF​​ operation to raid​​ Daesh locations in​​ Raqqa city continues. About 70 people were arrested,​​ of whom at least 48​​ are still​​ detained by the SDF or other security forces. The SOHR estimates there are between 4,000 and 5,000 fighters hidden in the villages under the SDF control who belong to Daesh and other regional groups. [SyriaHR]


Central and West​​ 


No reports


East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

Forat​​ reported said that the Coalition conducted an air assault operation to arrest Majid Al-Salama in Al-Shahil city. It said that the Coalition arrested 3 others in Al-Baghouz. [Qasioun]


Albu Kamal​​ District

The Coalition said on Thursday that it was continuing to support “partner forces,” and was “setting conditions for the enduring defeat of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley” area. It said that “partner forces” (i.e., the SDF) had now liberated approximately 99.5% of Daesh-controlled territory, following the liberation of​​ Marashidah. [InherentResolve]


The SDF said that 80% of Al-Baghouz is liberated from Daesh, and that it continues to advance against Daesh. [Hawar]


Rudaw​​ wrote that approximately 3,000 civilians and 500 Daesh fighters were still “trapped” in the Daesh-held portion of Al-Baghouz, an area of not more than 3 km square, and that the Daesh fighters refused to surrender to the SDF. It said that the fighting had died down due to the continued presence of the civilians. A field commander for the SDF was quoted as saying that Daesh was using the civilians in the area as human shields to slow down the SDF advance.​​ [Rudaw]​​ 

The SOHR also said that Daesh was using civilians and its​​ own​​ families as human shields against the Coalition planes. [SyriaHR]


On Thursday, Iraqi PMF units carried out a missile strike against Daesh in Al-Baghouz. A media report said that the operation involved 50 missiles. [Qasioun]



No reports




Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia

The​​ New York Times​​ wrote that intelligence intercepts recorded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) telling an aide in 2017 that he would “use a bullet” on journalist Jamal Khashoggi if Khashoggi did not return to Saudi Arabia and cease criticizing it, according to American and​​ foreign officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence reports. Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October​​ 2018. The​​ NYT​​ wrote that this was the most detailed evidence to date suggesting MBS’ direct involvement in Khashoggi’s killing.​​ [NYT]


Meanwhile, the Saudi government claimed that WhatsApp messages exchanged between MBS and his aide Saud Al-Qahtani on October 2, 2018, the day Jamal Khashoggi was killed, did not concern Khashoggi. A CIA assessment had previously concluded that MBS likely ordered Khashoggi’s killing; the exchange of WhatsApp messages on the day of the killing was 1 piece of evidence cited. [WSJ]



The UN warned that grain that is supposed to feed up to 3.7 million Yemenis is currently “stranded” and possibly rotting in warehouses in Hodeida.​​ The UN relief coordinator said that the Houthis had denied UN officials permission to access the Red Sea Mills, where the World Food Program has stored 51,000 tons of wheat.​​ [NYT]



The Qatari Foreign Minister announced that Qatar would host a high-profile regional event in 2019 to address crimes committed by Daesh. [Qasioun]​​ 


North Africa


Khalifa Haftar,​​ leader​​ of the Libyan National Army, took control of the Sharara oilfield in southwestern Libya. An official at Libya’s National Oil Corporation said this could lead to a resumption in production in the field. [WSJ]






2 French journalists who had been held captive by Daesh said on Thursday that Mehdi Nemmouche, who is standing trial for the murder of 4 people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014, was their jailer in Syria. Both the journalists said they “had no doubt” that Nemmouche had been their jailer, with 1 saying that he knew Nemmouche as “Abu Omar.” The journalists said that Nemmouche tortured them and other prisoners. [France24] [France24] [BBC]




Daesh said on Thursday a group of its terrorists killed or wounded several Nigerian soldiers in an attack on a military position in Malam Fatori town, in the Lake Chad area. [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]




US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Twitter that “no troop withdrawal timetable exists” for US forces in Afghanistan. This comes after some Taliban officials had claimed that the US committed to a timetable for withdrawal. [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ A timetable would obviously benefit the Taliban, as it could wait out the remaining US presence and then resume its efforts to seize control of the whole country.​​ This is why Khalilzad​​ is​​ anxious to avoid creating the impression that there is such a timetable.


Participants in the intra-Afghan dialogue hosted in Moscow issued​​ a joint statement as the summit closed, mainly focusing on the need to withdraw foreign forces and remove Taliban leaders from sanctions lists. The participants agreed to hold the next round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha, Qatar. [Khaama]​​ 






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