An Update On ISIS Activities

January 25, 2019

January 25, 2019

 

A group of people standing in front of a car

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Bartella (AINA)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

IFP rescues a captured mukhtar in southwest Kirkuk, kills 3 Daesh members. [..]

Report challenges moves by Shabaks in Bartella to extend control at Christians’ expense. [..]

CoR member​​ says​​ PMFs are stealing oil in Ninewa.​​ [..]

Daesh Daily source reports PMFs killed 4 Daesh captives in Hammam Al-Alil. [..]

 

Syria

Putin, Erdogan reportedly exchange Syrian takeover of Idlib for Turkey-run “safe zone”​​ in NE​​ Syria.​​ [..]

Daesh mass grave found near Homs; most of 75​​ murdered​​ victims are children. [..]

150 Daesh fighters surrender in Al-Baghouz; SDF stops counterattack. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Sudan: ​​ Opposition party leader calls for government resignation amid continuing violent protests. [..]

Somalia: ​​ 3 police, 3 civilians killed after Friday prayers in Afgooye. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Taliban appoints leader for Qatar political office to facilitate negotiations with US. [..]

Philippines: ​​ Government troops seize military camp from Daesh affiliate in Mindanao. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

An intelligence source says that Iraqi military intelligence arrested a terrorist cell in Ninewa that was in contact with Iraqi Daesh fighters in Hajin, Syria. Their confessions confirmed the​​ internal violence​​ between Iraqi and Uzbek Daesh fighters in Hajin, as well as the​​ demands​​ by​​ Iraqi Daesh members​​ that​​ the Uzbeks​​ be expelled from​​ the group.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

The director of the office for rescuing kidnapped Yazidis in the Kurdistan Region said on Friday that his office, with the help of the KRG, had freed 14 Yazidis who were held in Daesh-held territory in Syria. Of the 14, 10 were children and 4 were women; all had been abducted by Daesh in August 2014.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq and Iran,​​ Andrew Peek;​​ US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman;​​ and Nouri Al-Maliki discussed the completion of the Iraqi​​ ministerial cabinet​​ and the presence of US military forces in Iraq on Friday. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

No report

ANBAR

Rutba

Sources in Anbar said on Friday that 5 shepherds had been killed by unknown planes flying over an area near​​ the​​ Al-Tanaf base​​ in Syria, just over the border from Rutba. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Thursday, the PMF Commission issued orders to PMF units in Baiji to withdraw to the Speicher Base near Tikrit and hand over security to local police units. The source said that a Badr Organization brigade withdrew, but there are some units that refused the order.​​ 

​​ 

However, the story got a different interpretation from the spokesman for Iraqi tribes​​ in​​ disputed​​ areas​​ of Kurdistan, who​​ said via Twitter on Friday that the PMF was planning to attack US forces in Iraq with Iranian support. He claimed that the PMF group Jund Al-Imam Brigades​​ was leading training​​ inside Speicher Base to train other PMF groups on how to target US forces with IEDs, car bombs, and suicide bombers, and that Iranian advisors were overseeing these training​​ sessions. [BasNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 4 PMF fighters, including a commander, were killed on Thursday in a Daesh attack near the Makhoul Mountains area. ​​ 

 

DIYALA

The Internal Affairs and Security Directorate in Diyala says that its units arrested 2 men wanted on terrorism charges​​ at an unspecified location​​ in Diyala. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya)

A​​ CoR​​ MP for Diyala said on Friday that Makhisa village​​ near Muqdadiya​​ has been continuously bombarded by mortar shells for “days” from a nearby village that is controlled by “militias,” which want to expand their control. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

Daesh said it damaged an IFP Humvee with an IED on Thursday in the Ali Awa village area west of Khanaqin city. [ICDNJan25]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Dibis

Daesh said it blew up the farm of a tribal PMF commander on Wednesday in Kubaiba village, in Dibis. [ICDNJan25]

 

Southwest (Daquq)

The​​ IFP Command said that​​ IFP​​ units had killed 3 Daesh terrorists, wounded 2 others, and freed a captured mukhtar in an operation southwest of Daquq.​​ A Daesh field commander nicknamed “Abu Maria” was killed in the raid, and large quantities of weapons and explosives were​​ captured.​​ [IraqPress]

 

NINEWA

Ninewa Plain (Hamdaniya)

The Assyrian International News Agency reports expressions of concern by Assyrians in​​ Bartella about moves to effect demographic change​​ there at Assyrian expense. This had been a mostly Christian area, predominantly Orthodox, with a significant minority of Shabaks, divided between Shia and Sunni Muslims, with many non-minority Muslims also living in the​​ general area. AINA says only half the Christians who fled in 2014 have returned, while the number of Shabaks has actually increased.​​ A leading edge of the issue​​ is a major housing project, upscale by Iraqi standards, called “Sultan City,” planned for 182 residential units. Another part of the issue is the allegation that Assyrian property has been seized by others, an issue in other places also, most often against the Kurds. A Shabak MP, supported by 58 additional CoR members, has called for the distribution of “public lands” in Hamdaniya to Shabaks.​​ [AINA]

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

MP Ahmed Al-Jubouri tweeted on Friday that the PMF steals 100 tanks of petroleum daily from Ninewa and that Daesh robs the oil wells in Qayara. [BasNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that local police units found the bodies of 4 Daesh members in a sulfur field in the Hammam Al-Alil area on Thursday. The source said the terrorists had been captured,​​ and​​ then killed,​​ by PMF units.

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a PMF soldier was killed and another severely wounded on Thursday when their vehicle was destroyed by an IED on the road between Abu Mariya and Tal Afar city.​​ Abu Mariya, a mixed Sunni-Shia town, is 4 miles northeast of Tal Afar city.

 

Sinjar

Security sources said on Friday that an EOD detachment from the 33rd​​ Brigade removed 3 explosive devices in a clearing operation in the Adnaniya area. [IraqPress]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

The Security Media Center says​​ that​​ the Iraqi Air Force​​ carried out 4 airstrikes​​ in southern Hatra, which killed 2 Daesh fighters and destroyed 4 hiding positions.​​ [Forat]​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

An American delegation headed by James Jeffery arrived in Turkey on Friday to discuss the US withdrawal from Syria. He is scheduled to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister​​ Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu​​ and Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalan. [Qasioun]

 

Also see below under Syria – National News

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Madhloum​​ Kobane, the SDF general commander, says​​ that​​ its main​​ political​​ condition to reach an agreement is to recognize the role of​​ the​​ SDF and preserve its integrity following​​ its​​ contributions​​ to liberating​​ large areas from Daesh control. He also says he expects to announce Daesh’s​​ final defeat within the next month. [Arabi21]

 

Russia/Turkey

President Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday in Moscow to discuss the situation in Syria. Putin said following the meeting that Turkey was trying to help fix the situation in Syria, but that more was required​​ from​​ both Turkey and Russia to “liquidate” terrorist groups. The Russian Foreign Ministry had earlier warned that Idlib was almost completely under​​ the​​ control of “Al-Nusra” (i.e.,​​ Tahrir Al-Sham). Erdogan said Turkey and Russia had no disagreements regarding implementing a “safe zone” in northern Syria, but that it was important that the US withdrawal did not give terrorists room to maneuver. [Haaretz]

 

However, the Qatari-owned​​ Al-Quds Al-Arabi​​ wrote that the​​ Russian-Turkish meeting was particularly important because it occurred as​​ Russia and Turkey were negotiating the terms of a deal by which the Syrian government would take control of Idlib, with Turkey’s blessing, in exchange for the Turkish establishment of a “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border. [AlQuds]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This would seem to be another clear indication of Erdogan’s real priorities in​​ Syria.​​ Remember that Turkey’s co-guarantor role in Idlib is intended to preclude attacks by the Syrian government on rebels in the province.​​ 

 

Iran

The US imposed sanctions on Thursday against the pro-government Zainebiyoun​​ (Shia Pakistani) militia​​ and Fatemiyoun​​ (Shia Afghan)​​ militias, both of which are​​ working under the leadership of​​ the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.​​ The Armenia-based​​ Flight Travel​​ Company​​ and​​ the Iranian​​ cargo​​ airline​​ Fars Air​​ Qeshm​​ were​​ also​​ sanctioned. [ElDorar]

 

Hismat Bisha,​​ chairman​​ of the Security Committee in the Iran Shura Council, accused Russia of siding with Israel to attack Iranian targets in Syria. He says the delay​​ in​​ the activation of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system is evidence. [Hawar]

 

Foreign policy

United States

The DoD says that the size of​​ the​​ US force will vary during the stage of its withdrawal from Syria, which has no deadline. Spokesman Sean Robertson says that the numbers might increase or decrease across the withdrawal time span. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition said on Friday that it was investigating a self-reported “potential incident” involving civilian casualties on January 22. [InherentResolve]

 

The SOHR says that the SDF is holding a 16-year-old Lebanese girl, who is the daughter of a Lebanese Daesh fighter. Contact is being made with the government of Lebanon to repatriate the girl, as her father was killed in action. [SyriaHR]

 

Northwest

Afrin

Kurdish media say that Kurdish “guerillas” killed a Turkish soldier in an assault in Sarhad, near Afrin. [Hawar]​​ 

 

Manbij​​ 

The SOHR says that SDF EOD units defused several mines planted by pro-Turkey militias around Qerqizaq​​ Bridge near Manbij. The​​ strategic​​ bridge was partially damaged when pro-Turkey militias entered the city in 2014, but the SDF rebuilt​​ it​​ when​​ they​​ retook the city. [SyriaHR]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR reported several explosions in Raqqa, mainly caused by grenade attacks on SDF HQs in the city, causing some injuries. A car bomb explosion was also recorded on Wednesday, which did not cause casualties. [SyriaHR]

 

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

According to​​ Sputnik, the SDF deployed “thousands” of troops in an arrest campaign in Hunaida and Mansurah on Friday. It added that this followed fighting between the YPG and tribal groups.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Central and West​​ 

Homs

Syrian​​ Army soldiers​​ found a mass grave containing 75 bodies, mostly of children, in Amiriyah, southwest of Homs.​​ The victims were​​ murdered​​ by Daesh​​ in 2015. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Local sources said that a US air​​ drop operation​​ north of Deir Ez-Zor​​ two​​ days​​ ago​​ had targeted an Iraqi family whose head is a Daesh commander. He and several women from his family were arrested based on information provided by a Yazidi woman who had been freed from Daesh captivity. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said on Friday it shot and killed an SDF member and stole his vehicle on Al-Khurafi​​ Road, northeast of Deir Ez-Zor. [A3maq] [ICDNJan25-Telegram]​​ 

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

On Friday​​ Hawar​​ reported that a group of 150 Daesh fighters, most of whom were “foreign,” surrendered to the SDF in Al-Baghouz. [Hawar]

 

The SOHR says that 34 Daesh fighters were killed, and 21 others captured by the SDF following its major counterattack on the SDF in Al-Baghouz. In the same actions, 16 fighters from the SDF were killed. The SOHR says that the total number of Daesh fighters killed since September 10, 2018, is now 1,213, compared to 653 SDF fighters killed. [SyriaHR]

 

Qasioun reported that​​ SDF fighters were killed or wounded in​​ one of the​​ Coalition airstrikes​​ on Al-Baghouz. 5 were reported killed and 7 wounded as Coalition planes were backing the SDF assault on Daesh in​​ Al-Baghouz. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This report is subject to our usual caveat about Qasioun’s airstrike stories.

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded “many” SDF fighters and damaged a bulldozer on Thursday when 2 of its suicide terrorists attacked 2 SDF “gatherings” near Al-Marsoumi building, “on the outskirts of” Al-Baghouz. Daesh also said it killed or wounded fifteen SDF fighters when it targeted four SDF “gatherings” with rockets. [ICDNJan25]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Notice again from the choice of words that Daesh is implicitly conceding its defeat in Al-Baghouz. Given its propaganda motive, the accuracy of the story itself also loses credibility.

 

The Turkish news agency​​ Anadolu​​ reported that the “YPG” (i.e., the SDF) promised Daesh fighters personal safety if they handed over gold bars they stole from banks in Mosul during 2014-2017. “Sources” say that Daesh fighters did not take the offer and will fight till the end. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh published on Friday a photo of one of its Chechen terrorists, claiming he was killed in Albu Kamal. [ICDNJan25]

 

Daesh published on Friday photos of targeting SDF “gatherings” with mortar and “RGS” shells. [ICDNJan25]

 

South​​ 

No report

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian stated on Friday that France would impose “strict sanctions” on Iran if no progress​​ is​​ made on ballistic missile negotiations. [Sumaria]

 

US General Stanley McChrystal said that Qasim Soleimani is “singularly dangerous” and that he regrets​​ not​​ killing​​ Soleimani when he had the opportunity in 2007. [BasNews] [FP]

 

North Africa

Sudan

Sadiq Al-Mahdi, head of the opposition National Umma Party, called for the government in Sudan to resign and for the formation of a transitional government, following the ongoing mass protests.​​ He said that the total tally of casualties in the protests is 50 killed. He demanded that the armed forces, as citizens, stop killing people. [Anadolu] [VoA]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Germany

German police evacuated 500 passengers from a train in Frankfurt following a bomb alert. It also blocked the tracks for a search. [Anadolu]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

A security officer said​​ that on Friday,​​ 3 soldiers and 3 civilians were shot dead by armed assailants at a market in Afgooye, about 30 km​​ (19 miles)​​ south of Mogadishu. The officer​​ said the killing took place after Friday prayers​​ when young men with pistols shot the 3 soldiers in the market. He said​​ 3​​ women who witnessed the incident were also killed by the young gunmen who fled the scene after the incident. [Xinhua]​​ 

Daesh said on Friday it shot and killed four policemen and stole their weapons in the market of Afgooye​​ city, in Lower Shebelle state. [A3maq] [ICDNJan25-Telegram]

 

Nigeria

Nigerian Army troops killed 4 Boko Haram terrorists in a clearance operation in the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, northeastern Nigeria. [VanguardNGR]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Mullah Abd Ul-Ghani Baradar​​ was​​ appointed head of the Taliban’s political office in​​ Doha,​​ Qatar. He​​ is expected to engage with Washington in​​ the​​ peace negotiations to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.​​ A Taliban statement said that the appointment was made to “properly handle the ongoing negotiations” with the US.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Khaama]​​ [NYT] [AlJazeera]

 

The Nangarhar provincial government said that Qari Naqibullah, a “key member” of Daesh’s Khorasan affiliate (ISIS-K), had been killed in a drone strike in the Chaparhar​​ District of Nangarhar, eastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed a Taliban member on Thursday in Qaldara village, in the Chaparhar area. [ICDNJan25]

 

Philippines

The Philippines military said on Friday that government troops took over a camp​​ on the southern island of Mindanao​​ held by the Maute Group (aka Islamic State of Lanao, Daesh affiliate) following heavy fighting in Lanao del Sur. Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr. said that the​​ troops​​ seized control of the camp, located at the hinterlands of Sultan Dumalondong town, early Friday. The rebels​​ are led by Abu Dar, the current leader of the Maute Group. Brawner said the rebels escaped and security forces are currently pursuing them. The takeover of the camp came​​ prior to​​ the assault​​ by​​ government troops against the remnants of the Maute Group on Thursday. 3 soldiers wounded​​ by​​ the fighting are now in stable condition, Brawner said, claiming that 3 armed men were killed.​​ Sultan Dumalondong is located about 50 kilometers​​ (31 miles)​​ from Marawi City, where Daesh-inspired terrorists laid siege to the city for 5 months in 2017. [Inquirer]​​ 

Daesh said on Friday it killed more than thirty Philippines soldiers and wounded “tens” in battles with “different kinds of weapons” in Dumalondong village in Lanao del Sur. [ICDNJan25]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ And of course, we all know that pigs can fly.​​ 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 166th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh published an infographic about its attacks during the last week in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, west Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, claiming it killed or wounded more than 231 people and destroyed 31 vehicles in 68 attacks. It also published an infographic about its attacks in “west Africa” during the last 4 months. It says​​ it​​ conducted 17 attacks, killing or wounding 280 people, wounding “tens,” capturing 3 towns, stealing 17 vehicles and a cannon, and destroying 3 tanks and 4 vehicles. Daesh also published a photo of an Egyptian Christian forensic expert it says it captured last Friday in North Sinai. Daesh claimed it killed an Egyptian Army officer and wounded 2 soldiers when a military unit came to rescue the expert. [ICDNJan25]

 

 

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