An Update On ISIS Activities

January 16, 2019

January 16, 2019

 

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Daesh Drones Found in Al-Sha’afa (DD Jan 16)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Daesh reported​​ to be​​ reorganizing in Shirqat, Baiji, desert areas. [..]

Daesh Daily source says Daesh still has 1,500 fighters in Hatra-Anbar desert area. [..]

16 Daesh terrorists captured in Hawija by IFP. [..]

 

Syria

Daesh suicide bombing kills 4 Americans in Manbij,​​ [..]

. . . but Pence reiterates to State Dept. that Daesh has been defeated.​​ [..]

UN states concern for Hajin-area Syrians caught in the SDF-Daesh crossfire. [..]

SDF says diehard Daesh fighters in Albu Kamal reduced to 15 square km. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen: ​​ UN Security Council agrees to post 75 international observers in Hodeida.​​ [..]

Nigeria: ​​ Boko Haram makes another attack on Nigerian soldiers in Borno. [..]

Kenya: ​​ Nairobi death toll rises to 21. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Taliban insists US troop withdrawal must be part of negotiations agenda. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Corruption

Al-Mada​​ reported that after the US announced its withdrawal from Syria, about 400 Daesh fighters left Syria and have moved near Mosul.​​ Sot Al-Iraq​​ quoted military sources as saying that the fighters had settled around the Al-Jazeera​​ (desert)​​ area between Ninewa, Salahuddin, and Anbar. It noted that the military sources disagreed about the seriousness of the threat, with some saying that the influx of Daesh fighters directly threatened Mosul, and others downplaying their importance.

Additionally, 7 million tons of scrap iron have been smuggled out of Mosul and sold for very low prices.​​ Reports​​ like these prompted the CoR to create a fact-finding committee in November to investigate the extortion of individuals in Mosul and the monopoly of the real estate market and other issues. An official said that the results of the report would be revealed at the end of the investigation.​​ [SotIraq]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ [AlMada]

 

See also story below under Shirqat.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Central Criminal Court sentenced a man to death for taking part in Daesh’s attack on Badoush prison in Mosul.​​ The same man​​ also participated in Daesh battles in Sinjar and Zummar, and executed prisoners on a sectarian basis. [Sumaria]​​ [SotIraq]

 

On Wednesday, the Ninewa Court​​ of Inquiry for terrorism​​ confirmed​​ the confession of a defendant accused of participating in both the killing of a judge, and in the capture and execution of 5 soldiers in Yathrib subdistrict, Salahuddin. [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif​​ claimed​​ on Wednesday that senior Iraqi officials​​ are​​ determined to cooperate with Iran, but that mid-level and local officials have refused to work with Iran because they fear the US. [Anadolu]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

A police source says unidentified armed men shot and killed a civilian in Taji using silenced pistols. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Anbar Ops Commander for the PMF, Qasim Musleh, said on Wednesday that his units were on alert following a Daesh attack on SDF units on the Syrian side of the border. [Sumaria]

 

Ramadi

2 Daesh members described as “serious”​​ suspects​​ were arrested in an ambush in Zangoura on Wednesday. [BasNews]​​ 

 

A security source reported on Wednesday that Anbar SWAT units arrested 2 Daesh members in Ramadi city. [Sumaria]

 

Hit

A police source in Anbar says unidentified armed men threw a hand grenade at a Daesh family member’s house in the Hit desert, wounding 2 civilians. [BasNews]

 

A security source in Anbar says​​ a​​ Daesh​​ tribal​​ affairs officer​​ was arrested in​​ the​​ Mohammedi area of Hit​​ District.​​ [BasNews]

 

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

The Directorate of Military Intelligence announced on Wednesday that its detachments from the 7th​​ Brigade and the 29th​​ Infantry Brigade seized a​​ Daesh​​ bomb factory​​ in the Rawa District​​ that contained more than 1,300 explosive materials. The factory contained a range of devices and materials involved in the manufacture of explosive devices, such as detonators, detonation timing clocks, and gas cylinders. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

DaeshDaily​​ sources say that Daesh reorganized its groups in the Kan’ous area and is building a “base” for its future operations in​​ the​​ northern Salahuddin and southern Ninewa areas. The sources said that Daesh is spreading rumors that Coalition units are coming back to the Baiji area. Daesh, in coordination with Ba’ath Party members, is forming “resistance” units​​ that will rely​​ on many civilian collaborators. The sources said Daesh is also forcing people​​ who don’t comply with its orders to leave or get killed. Daesh uses mobile phones to threaten people, according to the sources. Daesh is forcing civilians to transport food and other supplies to its terrorists who are hiding. Daesh is also using large amounts of money it had hidden​​ in tunnels in the area to finance its operations. Daesh terrorists are using IDs that belonged to victims Daesh killed, so as​​ to move around undetected. The sources said many people in the area, including tribal PMF fighters, accuse the Iraqi government and security units of ignoring this threat. ​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The “underground caliphate” is up and running. The videos our sources provided us yesterday show clearly that Daesh terrorists are living comfortably in​​ well-lit​​ and wellequipped tunnels in many areas in Salahuddin, Ninewa, and Anbar. Daesh stole hundreds of millions of dollars, and most of that money has not been recovered yet. Daesh can finance its operations for years to come, and can generate more money from corruption and extortion. According to our sources, the situation is similar to what was happening in Mosul and other Iraqi cities prior to 2014.  ​​​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a PMF fighter was killed by a Daesh sniper on Saturday in the Kan’ous area.​​ 

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh kidnapped and wounded tribal PMF members and stole weapons and ammunition on Tuesday in an attack on a military position near Zuwiya village, north of Baiji.​​ 

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh captured​​ and​​ then murdered 2 tribal PMF members on Tuesday near Siniya.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that PMF units stopped​​ a Daesh attack on Ba’aiji village​​ on Monday, killing 2 terrorists and destroying an SUV. The source said two PMF solders were also wounded.​​ 

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that​​ two​​ Oil Facilities Protection policemen were killed and another kidnapped on Tuesday, in a Daesh attack near Allas oilfield.​​ 

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

Daesh said its snipers killed an IFP officer and a soldier on Tuesday in the Qulay area, in Khanaqin. [A3maq]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a KDP official was shot and killed on Tuesday by armed men in an SUV near Al-Musalla Circle, in Kirkuk city.​​ 

 

The Security Media Center reported on Wednesday that an airstrike killed 3 terrorists in Kirkuk who were riding motorcycles. [Ghad] [Forat]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Aside from eliminating a few bad guys, this could be a good sign—that the military is trying to deal with the recent rash of motorcycle-borne Daesh attacks. (See the stories just​​ below.) It is obvious that Daesh is relying less on cars and more on motorcycles, which are harder to react to until it’s too late.

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Hawija subdistrict

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday that IFP units captured 2 men who were smuggling food and medical supplies to Daesh terrorists in the Hawija area using motorcycles. The source said the two men admitted there are more than 800 Daesh terrorists, including foreigners, hiding in the area. The source sent us a photo of the confiscated items.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 4 Daesh terrorists on motorcycles blew up 3 electricity towers near Barima village on Sunday. The source said the terrorists planted IEDs, then set them off using remote controls. The source said the North Electricity Company repaired the towers by Wednesday.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that IFP units captured 16 Daesh terrorists during the last 2 weeks in the Hawija area. The source said that the terrorists were members of 2 groups responsible for planting IEDs and conducting other terrorist activities. The source said some of those terrorists had been captured earlier but were released for lack of evidence.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday, IFP units captured a Daesh terrorist at a checkpoint at the entrance to Hawija. The source said that the man had been in Al-Hawl Camp in Hasaka, then moved to the Jada’a camp in Qayara. The Kirkuk Counterterrorism Court had issued a warrant to arrest him. ​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that IFP and PMF units started a military operation in the Hawija desert area. The source said that 2 PMF soldiers were killed and another wounded during the operation, and that the units killed 2 Daesh terrorists. ​​ 

 

Al-Zab

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that PMF units ambushed and killed 2 Daesh terrorists on Saturday near Shari’a village, in Al-Zab subdistrict.​​ 

 

Abbasi

Daesh said it killed or wounded seven tribal PMF soldiers and destroyed their vehicle on Tuesday with an IED in Tuwairiya village, in Abbasi subdistrict. [ICDNJan16-Telegram]

 

Riyadh

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that IFP units killed​​ 4 Daesh terrorists​​ on Monday​​ in a military operation to clear the valley near​​ Al-Sadouniya village. The source said many terrorists had fled the area on motorcycles towards the south.​​ 

 ​​​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that​​ 4​​ PMF soldiers were killed and six others wounded on Tuesday in a Daesh attack on their military positions near Tarqiya village, in​​ Al-Zab​​ subdistrict.​​ 

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed two IFP soldiers with an IED near Al-Salmani village, in Riyadh subdistrict. [A3maq-Telegram]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 1 PMF soldier had been killed and 2 others wounded on Saturday when a roadside IED exploded on them between Riyadh and Rashad.​​ 

 

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

Daesh said it damaged an IFP vehicle with an IED on Monday in Albu Rasheed village, in Daquq​​ District. [A3maq]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its units arrested the​​ most dangerous Daesh informer”​​ in​​ east Mosul,​​ nicknamed​​ Ahmed Satellite.​​ He used to inform Daesh of the names of​​ Army and police personnel, who would subsequently​​ be executed by Daesh. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]

 

Mosul District

South (Qayara)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 4 PMF soldiers were wounded on Sunday when an IED destroyed their vehicle on the road between Haj Ali and Al-Imam villages, in Qayara. The source also said that Qayara Police EOD units defused another IED on the same road.​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that there are still more than 1,500 Daesh terrorists in the areas between southern Ninewa and western Anbar. The source said that Daesh controls at least 150 square km (58 square miles) from Al-Sakhri village, south of Hatra, to Sahul Rawa in west Anbar. The source said that during the last week, hundreds of people who had returned from displacement left their houses again.​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

A military source says an explosion of unidentified war detritus killed 1 person and wounded 3 others in the Soran area of Erbil. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

4 US personnel killed in Manbij by suicide bomb

A suicide bombing targeted a joint US-YPG patrol in Manbij on Wednesday.​​ Reuters​​ quoted a US official as saying that 4 US soldiers were killed and 3 wounded in the explosion, for which Daesh claimed responsibility. Pentagon spokesman Sean Robertson subsequently said that of the 4 Americans killed, 2 were soldiers, 1 was a DoD contractor, and 1 was a civilian working for the DoD. The SOHR said that at least 8 people were killed in total. [ElDorar] [Reuters] [CNN]

Russia Today​​ reported that 10 people, including 4 US soldiers, had been killed in the attack. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh says a suicide attacker with an explosives belt attacked a US-YPG patrol, killing 2 US soldiers and wounding 2 others, along with several civilians. YPG units were supposed to provide protection to the patrol. 6 Apache helicopters scanned the area following the attack. [Qasioun]

In another version, Daesh said on Wednesday that it killed nine Coalition soldiers, wounded others, and killed or wounded SDF fighters when one of its suicide terrorists blew himself up on their patrol in Manbij city. [ICDNJan16]

 

Turkish President Erdogan said on Wednesday evening that the explosion in Manbij may influence the US decision to withdraw from Syria. [ElDorar]

 

Foreign policy

United States

Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech on Wednesday at the State Department in which he said of Daesh that “the caliphate has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated.” He said the​​ US would continue to fight to ensure that Daesh did not return, but also reiterated plans to withdraw US troops from Syria and “hand over” the fight against Daesh to US allies.​​ This came about an hour after CENTCOM confirmed that US troops had been killed in an attack in Manbij.​​ [Rudaw]​​ [ElDorar]​​ [Time] [CNN]​​ [Vox]

 

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) urged President Trump to reconsider his stance on withdrawing US troops from Syria, following Wednesday’s attack against US troops in Manbij. [BasNews]

 

Blackwater founder Erik Prince suggested to President Trump that after the US withdrawal, Blackwater mercenaries could be deployed into Syria. [ElDorar] [National]

 

Russia

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that the Syrian Army should take over control of the northern parts of the country. This came in his comments on the US-proposed “safe zone,” saying that only the return of the Syrian Army and government control will ensure peace in the area. He says that Russia supports talks between the Kurds and the Syrian government. [Qasioun]

 

Political developments

The SDF general command says that it supports establishing a “safe zone” in northeast Syria, on the condition that it provides protection for all ethnicities in the area, with international guarantees. [Hawar]

 

The Syrian Foreign Ministry says that any breach of Syrian unity is an act of aggression and occupation. It was commenting on the proposed “safe zone” in northeast Syria, adding that Syria will fight any occupation force, including Turkey. [ElDorar]

 

Middle East

Arab League.​​ Ahmed Aboul Al-Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, questioned whether the US would withdraw from Syria. He says the return of Syria to the Arab League is subject to an “Arab consensus.” [Arabi21]

 

US/Lebanon.​​ The Lebanese daily​​ Al-Akhbar​​ published a US message to Lebanon regarding Syrian participation in the ongoing Arab Economic Summit, held in Beirut. The letter contained threats to Lebanon of economic sanctions if Syria were invited to the Summit, and if Lebanon participated in Syria reconstruction. [ElDorar] [AlAkhbar]

Iran/Israel. ​​​​ The Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Mohammed Ali Jaafari, challenged Israeli threats to Iran in Syria, saying “our forces will remain in Syria.” [Hawar]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Abdul Adhim Rachut, a Pakistani Daesh fighter arrested by the SDF, told his story. He says he came to Turkey, where he could move freely, and then went to Syria, then to a training camp in Baiji. He says he participated in several Daesh battles in Iraq and Syria, and spoke of a special training camp for fighters who will return to Europe. Along with 5 other Daesh fighters, he surrendered to the SDF in eastern Deir Ez-Zor. [Hawar]

 

Northwest

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus

 

See major Manbij stories above under Syria, National News

 

The Political Bureau of the opposition​​ Mu’tasim​​ Brigade, under the Free Syrian Army, accused the PKK of orchestrating the Manbij explosion. [ElDorar]

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

Fighters from the pro-Turkey National Front for Liberation militias are fleeing in large numbers to the areas held by pro-Turkey militias,​​ though the numbers​​ decreased​​ after​​ the agreement signed with Tahrir Al-Sham on Tuesday, says the SOHR. The SOHR noted that many fighters were preparing to evacuate the areas they held in northwest Aleppo. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

United Nations

The UN expressed its deep concern for the safety of civilians caught in the crossfire between Daesh and the SDF around Hajin. It says that civilians have already suffered huge losses during the fighting, and noted that more IDPs from the area had headed to Al-Hawl camp, and only reached it after facing serious delays at checkpoints and war detritus, among other difficulties. It noted that 7 children recently died upon arrival at the camp. [Anadolu]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

A roadside IED killed Abu Ishaq Al-Ahead, a major member of​​ the​​ Deir Ez-Zor​​ Military​​ Council,​​ while​​ he was​​ in his car near​​ Al-Busayrah​​ town. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed seven SDF members, including a commander, wounded another, and destroyed an SUV with an IED in Tawamiya village, in Al-Busayrah subdistrict. [A3maq]

 

Mayadin​​ District

The​​ SOHR quoted sources as saying​​ that​​ Iranian​​ military​​ and affiliated militias​​ are expanding and enforcing their positions west of the Euphrates, east of Deir Ez-Zor, up to Mayadin city. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded ten SDF members, destroyed an SUV, and damaged another with two IEDs near Al-Jurzi village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNJan16]

In another version, Daesh said it killed five SDF members, including a commander, wounded five others, destroyed an SUV, and damaged another with two IEDs in East Yamama village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICNDJan16-Telegram]​​ 

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SDF says that Daesh is still holding a 15 km2​​ area in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, which is constantly shelled by the SDF and the Coalition. The SOHR says that Daesh fighters in this area have decided to fight to the death rather than surrender. [SyriaHR]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Wednesday that SDF units found tens of Daesh drones in a house in Al-Sha’afa town. The source also said the house was equipped with monitors and​​ satellite communications equipment.​​ 

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

An International Crisis Group study on the Iranian nuclear deal (the JCPOA) predicted that Iran would continue to comply with the terms of the JCPOA. However, it said that Iran’s calculations could change if its oil prices and domestic instability​​ problems​​ were​​ exacerbated. In that case, the report said that Iraq would be the likely theater for retaliation against the US. [BasNews] [CrisisGroup]

 

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

The UN Security Council unanimously agreed to a British proposal to post 75 international observers in Hodeida, Yemen, to monitor the cease fire. [Sumaria]

 

North Africa

Libya

The Health Ministry of the Libyan Government of National Accord reported that armed confrontations on Wednesday morning in Tripoli killed 5 and injured 20 others. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that Monday’s attack on Rann, Borno State, had damaged its “Humanitarian Hub” there. [VanguardNGR]

 

Daesh’s says its Boko Haram​​ affiliate​​ killed or wounded​​ more​​ Nigerian soldiers on Tuesday in an attack on a military position in Gajiram town,​​ north of Maiduguri​​ in Borno​​ State. [A3maq]

 

Daesh published on Wednesday photos of its attack on Magumeri town. [ICDNJan16]​​ 

Local media had previously said that Boko Haram attacked Magumeri, a local government headquarters in Borno State, on Sunday. 3 soldiers were reported killed and 6 injured. [PremiumTimesNG] [Legit]

Daesh had previously said that its fighters​​ killed or wounded Nigerian soldiers, wounded others, set fire​​ to​​ a military position and an SUV, and stole weapons and ammunition.​​ [ICDNJan15]​​ 

Daesh had also issued a video of the attack. [ICDNJan15]

 

Kenya

The death toll from the attack on a Nairobi hotel rose to at least 21 as of Wednesday. An American and a Briton were among the dead. [CNN]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Taliban threatened to suspend talks with the US if the US refuses to allow troop withdrawal to be on the agenda of the talks. The Taliban said that in the talks in November in Doha, the US agreed to discuss the “withdrawal of foreign forces,” but that the US was now backing away from that agenda.​​ [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The game here is not hard to see and it’s not encouraging. The Taliban will​​ likely​​ demand US withdrawal as a prior condition and the UJS will demand major Taliban concessions as a condition for withdrawal. The logical fear is that a US withdrawal would signal the start of a Taliban effort to seize control of the country, no matter what they promised in exchange for it.

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it destroyed an Afghan Police vehicle with an IED in District 11, in Kabul city. [ICDNJan16]

 

Pakistan

Police units killed 2 terrorists during an encounter near Chak 7/JB in the jurisdiction of Nishatabad police​​ in Punjab,​​ on Monday night.

The police team raided a hideout and tried to arrest the terrorists, later identified as Adeel Hafeez and Usman Haroon. On seeing the police, the accused opened fire at the police team, which​​ returned fire. As a result, both terrorists were killed. The police team also recovered suicide jackets, hand-grenades and sophisticated weapons. Sources said that the​​ dead​​ terrorists were allegedly involved in abduction of a foreigner and Haider Gillani, son of ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani. They were also involved in killing two police officers in Faisalabad and other crimes. [TheNews]

Daesh​​ claimed​​ it killed or wounded several Pakistani security members in clashes in the Nishatabad area. [ICDNJan16]

 

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