An Update On ISIS Activities

January 29, 2019

January 29, 2019

 

A car parked on the side of a building

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Families Returning to Hajin (DD Jan 28)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraq is rated the 13th​​ most corrupt country in the world.​​ [..]

Ministry of Agriculture announces major increase in wheat production. [..]

9 Daesh operatives arrested in Suleimaniya. [..]

 

Syria

US Senate votes new sanctions on Syrian government. [..]

New clashes reported between Russian, Iranian units in Hama. [..]

Daesh fighters cling to dwindling territory around Al-Baghouz.​​ [..]

SDF in Al-Baghouz frees 4 more Yazidi women. [..]

Many families now returning to homes in Hajin area. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Egypt:​​ 54 arrested for planning violence, including Muslim Brotherhood members. [..]

Nigeria: ​​ 30,000 flee Boko Haram-targeted city for Cameroon.​​ [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Army rescues 38 people from Taliban prison in SE Afghanistan. [..]

Pakistan: ​​ Armed attack in Baluchistan kills 5 police, wounds 17. [..]

Venezuela: ​​ 40 more killed in ongoing political violence. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Council of Representatives

The Security and Defense Committee of the CoR called on the Iraqi government to expel the PKK from all Iraqi territory.​​ Representative​​ Al-Ghanimi, a member of the committee, says that the PKK is globally classified as a terrorist party, and that​​ the Iraq constitution does not allow the presence of forces threatening neighboring countries. Iraqi forces, not foreign ones, should assume such a mission, he says. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Indeed they should, but therein lies​​ the problem, which is political and not military. The Iraqi Army can’t assume the role because it would be too offensive to the Kurdish leadership to have Iraqi troops operating in its autonomous region. The Peshmerga won’t do it because it is still primarily in the control of the KDP and PUK​​ political parties, many of whose voters like​​ the PKK. The only solution​​ has been​​ to let the Turks do it themselves. This of course has set a precedent for Erdogan to move military personnel across the Iraqi border whenever it suits him (e.g., Bashiqa, Sinjar), to Iraq’s consternation.

 

CoR MP Alia Nussaif called on the government to impose intense supervision of​​ the Sumar border​​ crossing​​ in Mandali,​​ southeast Diyala,​​ or otherwise close it if​​ the government is not​​ able to control it. She says this border​​ crossing​​ is a​​ major​​ hub​​ for the​​ smuggling of harmful materials, while​​ the​​ Iranian side treats​​ it​​ as a legal border​​ crossing. The border​​ crossing​​ was inaugurated in 2015. [BasNews]

 

Corruption

Iraq was ranked the 6th​​ most corrupt country in the Arab world and the 13th​​ in the world, according to Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index. Denmark and New Zealand​​ came first and second, respectively, as the world’s most transparent countries. [Sumaria] [Transparency]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This sounds awful, but it could be taken as good news (if you can stifle your cynicism). Being 13th​​ from the bottom is a big improvement over previous annual ratings. Onward and upward!

 

Following this report, Prime​​ Minister​​ Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi announced the re-establishment and restructuring of the High Anti-Corruption Council. [AlMonitor]

The High Anti-Corruption Council issued a statement reasserting that it would fight “sincerely and seriously” against corruption in Iraq. [Sumaria]

 

Economy

The Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture said on Tuesday that it expected domestic wheat production for the 2018-2019 season to reach around 3 million tons due to increased rainfall, an increase from the 2.17 million tons produced in 2018. The Undersecretary of Agriculture said that this production is expected to fill around 60% of the needs of the food rationing program, which requires 4.5 to 5 million tons of wheat per year. [BasNews]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Central Criminal Court sentenced 2 Daesh terrorists to life imprisonment on Tuesday. 1 had been a double agent working for Daesh within the Counter​​ Terrorism Service;​​ the other had worked in Daesh’s “Islamic Police.” [Mada]

 

Foreign policy

On Tuesday, PM Abd Ul-Mahdi received a delegation from NATO,​​ including Stuart Peach, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee. Abd Ul-Mahdi stressed the importance of cooperation and the development of Iraq’s security and intelligence capabilities. [Rudaw]

 

Faleh Al-Fayadh,​​ Advisor to the National​​ Security​​ Council,​​ met with James Jeffery,​​ the​​ US​​ Special Envoy to the​​ Coalition​​ and former Ambassador to Iraq.​​ They reportedly​​ discussed​​ points​​ of cooperation in counter-terrorism. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Baghdad Ops Command announced several law enforcement successes in various locations on Tuesday.​​ In Adhamiya, the 2nd​​ Division of the 44th​​ Brigade​​ freed​​ a kidnapped person and arrested​​ the kidnapper in Shaab; the 5th​​ Emergency Brigade arrested​​ 1 person accused of terrorism in Waziriya; and​​ a​​ division of the 44th​​ Brigade arrested​​ an individual accused of money-laundering and financial crimes. A division of the 5th​​ Brigade of the IFP arrested someone accused of theft in Jakouk (in northwest Baghdad). ​​ A division of the 25th​​ Brigade arrested 1 person accused of selling drugs in Mahmudiya, in south Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

North​​ (Tarmiya)​​ 

A security source in Baghdad said on Tuesday that 3 people​​ were​​ killed when unknown gunmen opened fire inside a café in Tarmiya. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

The Security Committee of the Anbar Provincial Council said on Tuesday that Daesh had lost its ability to return and control areas of the province. Ibrahim Al-Fahdawi, a member of the Committee, said that Daesh was confined to the desert areas of the province, but added that any move to take weapons away from tribal PMFs would be “premature” until Daesh is fully eliminated from the desert areas. [BasNews]

 

Daesh published on Tuesday photos of three men it murdered west of Ramadi. [ICDNJan29]

Daesh had previously said it killed three intelligence​​ operatives, including two officers, and stole their vehicle on Friday in​​ an​​ ambush west of Ramadi city. [A3maq] [ICDNJan27]

 

Haditha

Bas News​​ published a document on Tuesday that it said showed the PMF’s intent to open a “religious reporting” unit in Haditha​​ District. Activists from Anbar Province expressed on social media their fears that the unit existed to spread Shia Islam in Anbar. [BasNews]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed two tribal PMF soldiers, from Jaghaifa tribe, and captured another in an ambush near Haditha city. [A3maq] [ICDNJan29-Telegram]

 

Rutba

A police source in Anbar said on Tuesday​​ that Army helicopters attacked and killed 6 “major” Daesh commanders in the Rutba desert. The source added that those commanders were directly connected to Al-Baghdadi. [BasNews]​​ [Ghad]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Any claims that anyone is “directly connected to Al-Baghdadi” right now should be taken with at least a grain of salt.​​ We could also mention that if we added​​ up​​ all the “major” Daesh leaders​​ who​​ people​​ have​​ claimed they​​ ​​ captured,​​ we would have a lot more people than Daesh has ever hired. It seems from the press releases that no “minor” Daesh leader is ever arrested, only “major” ones.

 

The PMF media office said on its website that PMF units from the 19th​​ PMF​​ Brigade had shot down a “night-vision” Daesh drone on the Iraq-Syria border in western Anbar. The statement​​ said that the drone was 1 out of 3 aircraft the 19th​​ Brigade had intercepted in​​ that same airspace. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF soldiers on Monday when it destroyed their SUV with an IED on the road between Tikrit and Baghdad. [ICDNJan29]

 

DIYALA

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya)

Daesh said it wounded a man on Sunday when it targeted the Shia village of Sarhiya, in Muqdadiya, with 2 mortar shells. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

The Security Media Center announced on Tuesday that Diyala Ops Command killed 1 terrorist and arrested 6 others in Khanaqin. [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A security source said on Tuesday that an IFP checkpoint in northwest Kirkuk was attacked, killing 1 policeman. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

NINEWA

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh is still distributing money to hundreds of families of its members in Ninewa Province.​​ 

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that Ninewa Protection Units captured a Daesh terrorist at the Hamdaniya main checkpoint. The source said the terrorist was trying to enter Mosul from Erbil. The NPU handed over the man to the Military Intelligence Service.​​ 

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

Daesh said it killed an “Iraqi Intelligence” member on Sunday in his house in Al-Naddas village, in Shura. [A3maq] [ICDNJan29]​​ We reported the rest of the story yesterday.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh​​ omitted​​ to mention that it killed the man’s wife also.​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed a PMF member on Sunday when it shot at a tribal PMF “gathering” in Huwaish village, in Hammam Al-Alil subdistrict. [A3maq] [ICDNJan29]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that Yazidi PMF units were deployed in the border area in west Ninewa in order to prevent Daesh terrorists, who are fleeing from eastern Syria, from entering Iraq.

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

A spokeswoman for the KDP bloc in the CoR, Vian Sabri, said on Tuesday that the PKK had destroyed “hundreds” of villages in northern Iraq, and called on the PKK to move away from​​ these​​ border areas. This follows an attack by protestors on a Turkish military base in Dahuk on Saturday. [Anadolu]

 

SULEIMANIYA

The Security Media Center​​ said on Tuesday​​ that​​ units from​​ the National Security​​ apparatus​​ in Kirkuk arrested 9 Daesh operatives who were hiding in Suleimaniya.​​ It said they had participated in​​ killing and displacing civilians and security personnel.​​ [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

Special forces units of the Turkish Army arrived in Kilis, southern Turkey, as part of the military buildup​​ along​​ the border with Syria. [Qasioun]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

The US Senate​​ voted to advance a bill​​ imposing​​ new sanctions on the Syrian government​​ and​​ entities doing business with it. The new bill also includes support for bodies that collect evidence to put those responsible for war crimes on trial.​​ The progress of the legislation had been postponed during the US federal government shutdown.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [Bloomberg]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said on Tuesday that Daesh was expected to lose the last of the territory in Syria that it controls to “US-backed forces” (i.e., the SDF) within 2 weeks.​​ This came at a press conference at the Pentagon.​​ [Qasioun]​​ [Anadolu]​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Northwest

Afrin

The Kurdish militia Afrin Liberation Forces carried out 2 attacks​​ on Turkish​​ soldiers and affiliated militias​​ in Afrin, killing 2 Turkish​​ soldiers and​​ wounding​​ another 2,​​ as well as​​ 6 pro-Turkey militia fighters. [Hawar]

 

Manbij /Al-Bab

On Tuesday a land mine blew up a military vehicle used by the Manbij Civil Council. [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed or wounded SDF members when it targeted their SUV with an IED near Al-Matahen Circle, on the road between Manbij and Al-Bab. [ICDNJan29-Telegram] [A3maq-Telegram]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

An explosion in Raqqa city on Tuesday injured 4 civilians and appears to have been caused by Daesh.​​ Media sources said subsequently​​ that an explosion near the national hospital in Raqqa slightly wounded 4 civilians, as well as causing some damage.​​ [BasNews]​​ [Hawar]

Daesh’s version said on Tuesday it wounded SDF fighters when it set off an IED targeting their vehicle near the General Hospital, in Raqqa city. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed an SDF “intelligence” investigator with a silenced gun in the Panorama area, in Raqqa city. [A3maq] [ICDNJan29-Telegram]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed an SDF member with a silenced gun near the Children’s Hospital, on Al-Nour​​ Street, in Raqqa city. [A3maq] [ICDNJan29-Telegram]

 

Eastern Raqqa

Daesh said it killed an SDF fighter and wounded another on Monday when it targeted a security barrier with a hand grenade in Hos village, east of Al-Karama. [ICDNJan29]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

London’s​​ Times​​ said there were compulsory military recruitment campaigns​​ underway​​ by the Syrian government to prepare for an attack on Idlib. It raised the age limit for reserve forces from 40 to 43 years. Many arrests were also made against deserters from the Syrian Army. This operation will be the largest by the Syrian Army in 8 years. [Qasioun]

 

The SOHR reported that Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) has​​ withdrawn from Maarat Al-Numan city in southern Idlib after agreements with its representatives. HTS will still control the checkpoints and entries to the city. HTS captured the city late on the previous night. [SyriaHR]

 

On Tuesday morning,​​ a​​ female​​ Daesh​​ suicide​​ bomber​​ fought with guards at the​​ Syrian​​ Salvation Government building in Idlib before detonating herself. Preliminary reports indicated that there were casualties.​​ Bas News​​ said that the explosion​​ killed and wounded security guards.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [BasNews]

 

Hama

New fighting was reported between the Russian-backed 5th​​ Corps and the Iranian-backed 4th​​ Division in​​ western rural​​ Hama. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal​​ District

Daesh and the SDF are reportedly still engaged in intense fighting around Al-Baghouz, while Daesh fighters are​​ reportedly​​ divided regarding the recent SDF offer to let them go if they hand over gold that they stole from Iraq. As negotiations are continuing, the SDF and the Coalition are imposing a siege on the remaining Daesh fighters in the town. [Anadolu]

 

Kurdish media reported that Daesh had requested to surrender to the SDF in Deir Ez-Zor in exchange for safe passage to Idlib, and from there to Turkey, but the SDF refused the request.​​ Hawar​​ wrote that Daesh now held an area of around 6 km square, including “small areas” of Baghouz Al-Foqani (Upper Baghouz), and that they were using civilians as human shields to slow down the SDF advance. [Hawar]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that Coalition planes killed several Daesh terrorists, including a French commander of Tunisian origin, in an airstrike near Al-Baghouz.​​ 

 

Local sources reported a new Coalition drone airstrike on Daesh positions in Al-Arqoub village in the Al-Baghouz area.​​ [Qasioun]​​ 

 

The SOHR reported that 15 US military vehicles entered the front lines between Daesh and the SDF, while at the same time 20 trucks took escapees from Daesh out of the area. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that SDF units handed over 4 Yazidi women it freed from Daesh in Al-Baghouz to Yazidi PMFs.​​ 

 

Local sources say that the SDF captured Daesh light and medium weapons and ammunition depots in Al-Sha’afa. [Qasioun]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that more than 300 families returned from IDP camps to their houses in Hajin and Al-Bahra.​​ 

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

The Iranian news agency​​ Mehr​​ reported that there had been 2 suicide bombings near a police station in Zahedan, near the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan,​​ on Tuesday.​​ [Hawar]

The Sunni insurgent group Jaish Al-Adl (Army of Justice) claimed responsibility for​​ the​​ two​​ bombings targeting an Iranian police station in Zahedan. Iranian media reported that 4 people were injured in the bombings. [Sumaria]

 

North Africa

Egypt

The Egyptian Ministry of the Interior said on Tuesday that 54 people had been arrested on charges of planning acts of violence, including what it said were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

The UNHCR says that 30,000 people fled Rann city, Borno State, northeastern Nigeria, to Cameroon, out of fear of attacks by Boko Haram after the joint African force departed the city. Boko Haram threatened to return to the city following the African force’s withdrawal. [Rudaw] [Reuters]

 

The UNCHR​​ also said that about 320,000 people in total had been displaced from northeastern Nigeria in the past 4 months. [VanguardNGR]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Commandos from the Afghan National Army rescued at least 38 people from a Taliban prison in Ghazni Province, southeastern Afghanistan,​​ according to​​ Special Ops Commander General Bismillah Waziri. The freed prisoners reportedly included 3 civilians. [Khaama]

 

Pakistan

4 armed men attacked a police station in Baluchistan, southwestern Pakistan, with rifles and grenades, killing 5 policemen and wounding 17 others. Police were looking for the attackers, believed to be sheltering in a building. [Anadolu]

 

SOUTH AMERICA

Venezuela

40 people were killed in Venezuela, 26 of them by government forces. Others were killed in criminal activities unrelated to the political tension, says the UN. 850 people were arrested between January 16 and 21. ​​ [Sumaria]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issued on Tuesday a propaganda video about its attack in the Kirkuk/Hawija area. [ICDNJan29]

 

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