An Update On ISIS Activities

January 8, 2019

January 8, 2019


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Explosion in Tikrit (DD Jan 8)







Al-Abadi warns of “mafias and armed groups” trying to take over​​ Iraq. [..]

Abd Ul-Madhi says Iraqi intelligence work now the best it has ever been. [..]

Karbala PC fires the Governor over corruption issues. [..]

Grave uncovered in Babel contains 10 bodies of people missing for 5 years. [..]

Human Rights Watch alleges that KRG security men tortured children. [..]

…The KRG rejects the accusations. [..]​​ 



Erdogan continues attack on Bolton’s withdrawal policy clarification. [..]



Russian military police now patrolling near Manbij. [..]

Tahrir Al-Sham continues attack on pro-Turkey militia in Idlib, Hama. [..]

Iraqi F-16s kill 30 Daesh members in Al-Susah. [..]

Coalition reinforcements join final push on​​ Al-Sha’afa,​​ Al-Susah. [..]

Daesh launches deadly counter-attacks on SDF in Albu Kamal. [..]


Other​​ countries

Iran: ​​ EU sanctions Iran for assassination attempts in Europe.​​ [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Taliban & US delegations to meet Wednesday in Qatar.​​ [..]





New​​ government

Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi is nominating Faleh Al-Fayadh for Minister of Interior,​​ for CoR Speaker​​ Salim Al-Jubouri for Minister of Defense, and Rezgar Mohammed Ameen for Minister of Justice, as revealed in an official letter obtained by​​ Sumaria. [Sumaria]


Council of Representatives

The office of Haider Al-Abadi released a statement saying that Al-Abadi hosted a meeting between the members of Al-Abadi’s Victory Alliance and Al-Sadr’s Sa’irun bloc on Tuesday. In this meeting,​​ Al-Abadi warned that there are signs that “mafias and armed groups” may take control of the state.​​ the MPs discussed security, the economy, basic services, employment opportunities, and countering corruption. [Sumaria]


Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition issued a press release summarizing its achievements in 2018. It noted that since the Coalition’s establishment in 2014, it had reclaimed over 99% of Daesh’s previously-held territory, and that in 2018, that it had further reclaimed territory from Daesh and “severely degraded” Daesh’s capabilities.​​ It said that in 2019, the Coalition would build on the training already delivered to the Iraqi military, and the NATO mission in Iraq would lead “train the trainer” missions to teach further key skills to the ISF. [InherentResolve]


On Tuesday, PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi said intelligence work is now the best it’s ever been, and that Daesh settlements along the Syria-Iraq border are under heavy surveillance. [BaghdadToday]


Foreign policy

The office of the Presidency says that President Barham Salih will discuss the reconstruction of Iraq and confronting terrorism with Qatari leaders during his visit to Qatar on Thursday. Salih recently visited Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, and Turkey. [Sumaria]



East​​ (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

A security source reported that on Wednesday, Baghdad security forces seized 3 IEDs, 2 hand grenades, and rockets in New Baghdad. [BaghdadToday]




The Security Media Center said on Tuesday that units under East Anbar Ops Command found 51 IEDs, a 20-liter glycerin container, and 30 “homemade” IEDs containing glycerin in the Al-Jolan neighborhood, Falluja. [Ghad]​​ 




Daesh said it captured​​ and​​ then killed a PMF member on Sunday in the Al-Fatha area, north of Baiji. [ICDNJan8]


Daesh said it killed or wounded Iraqi Army and PMF members when it set off a booby-trapped house on their convoy on Sunday west of Siniya. [ICDNJan8]


Daesh said it killed three PMF soldiers on Monday west of the Siniya area. [A3maq]

Daesh published on Tuesday photos of murdering the three tribal PMF members after capturing them. [ICDNJan8]



The Security Media Center says that the​​ Al-Aqwas checkpoint in Tikrit detected a car bomb trying to enter the city, which forced the attacker to detonate it prematurely, killing 2 persons and wounding 6 others. Earlier news reports said there were 3 killed and 10 wounded. [Sumaria]​​ [Sumaria]

An​​ Al-Etejah​​ correspondent reported Tuesday that a PMF group, in coordination with intelligence personnel from Salahuddin Ops Command, had arrested the “mastermind” behind the explosion at the Al-Aqwas checkpoint earlier that day.​​ [Etejah]​​ 



Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

On Tuesday, the 110th brigade of the PMF announced that it had, in coordination with Diyala Intelligence Command of the PMF, intelligence units in the 4th Brigade, and the Iraqi Army, launched an operation in Al-Tabaj and Tal Bardan in Jalawla, Khanaqin​​ District, to track Daesh cells. The operation resulted in arresting 3 Daesh members and dismantling 2 IEDs.​​ [Ghad]​​ [BaghdadToday]




Daesh said it killed four IFP soldiers and destroyed their Humvee with an IED on Sunday in Idris Khabbaz village, southwest of Dibis. [A3maq]​​ 


Daesh said it killed or wounded IFP soldiers and destroyed their SUV with an IED on Sunday near Sarheed Al-Matar village, southwest of Kirkuk city, near Hawija’s​​ Riyadh​​ subdistrict. [ICDNJan8]​​



Daesh said that PMF soldiers were killed or wounded on Monday when it set off an IED in Al-Ayoun village, in Al-Abbasi subdistrict. [A3maq]

In another version, Daesh said it wounded several tribal PMF soldiers with 2 IEDs on Monday near Al-Ayoun. [ICDNJan8]​​ 


Southwest (Daquq, Rashad)

Daesh said it set on fire the house of five tribal PMF members Monday evening near Al-Hamal village​​ in​​ Rashad​​ subdistrict. [ICDNJan8]​​ 



Mosul District

West (Hamidat/Muhalabiya)

Unnamed sources said that EOD detachments found and dismantled “dozens” of rockets and 7 IEDs in​​ (unnamed)​​ agricultural villages northwest of Mosul.​​ [IraqPress]​​ 




The Karbala Provincial Council unanimously voted to dismiss Governor Aqil Al-Turaihi,​​ from the​​ Dawa Party, from office. It says the reason is his failure to respond convincingly to questions provided by the Council​​ in an ongoing investigation of allegations of administrative and financial corruption. [BasNews]



Rashid Al-Azzawi,​​ a​​ CoR member for Babel,​​ says​​ that​​ authorities are investigating a mass grave found in Mahawil​​ District in Babel,​​ containing 10 bodies of persons​​ who​​ disappeared 5 years ago. [BasNews]




Human Rights Watch (HRW)​​ says​​ that the​​ asayesh of Kurdistan beat up and tortured children with electrical shocks to force them to confess​​ to alleged ties to​​ Daesh. It interviewed 20 imprisoned children​​ at​​ an​​ Erbil prison​​ and 3 who had recently been released.​​ 16 of the 23 said that they were tortured, and another 4 said that they were threatened with torture.​​ HRW​​ says​​ that​​ 2 years ago​​ the​​ KRG promised to investigate,​​ but​​ has​​ not so far. [Sumaria]​​ [HRW]

Dindar Zebari, the KRG’s ​​ Coordinator for International Advocacy responded to the report on his Twitter account on Tuesday saying that “KRG security authorities in Erbil have not received any complaints of ill-treatment and torture from the ISIS child detainees,”

Zebari stressed that the KRG not tolerate any such mistreatment towards the detainees and that there has not been any so far.​​ 

“Ill treatment of children or juveniles on behalf of the security or police department is not tolerable or permissible.”

He said that when Daesh overran a vast area in Iraq, hundreds of displaced people and Syrian refugees fled to the Kurdistan Region and that it was hard to differentiate between the ordinary civilians and those who had secret ties with the Daesh.

He concluded​​ “For this reason, we had to take certain security measures in order to ensure the security of the people of Kurdistan Region, civilians, the IDPs, and the Syrian refugees as well, but some local and international organizations repeatedly accused the region of mistreating the detainees.” [BasNews]



The Security Media Center says that Military Intelligence units, in cooperation with Suleimaniya security, arrested a Daesh leader in Suleimaniya. [Sumaria]




Military & security developments

Turkish President Recep​​ Tayyip Erdogan says that his army will start operations against terrorist groups in Syria very soon. He was speaking before his party’s parliamentary bloc. He says that John Bolton made a “serious mistake” in his statements regarding Syria, and that Turkey cannot make concessions regarding counter-terrorism. [Qasioun]​​ [WSJ]


Foreign policy

İbrahim Kalın, spokesman for the Turkish Presidency, says that Turkish officials discussed details of the US withdrawal from Syria with John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor. He says that the Turkish side stressed the importance of implementing the Manbij “road map” agreed upon earlier. He says that the US said that the withdrawal would take between 60 and 100 days.​​ [Anadolu]


Kalın also said that the US should hand over its bases and weapons provided to Kurdish fighters in Syria to local​​ fighters.​​ He added that Erdogan did not promise the US​​ to protect​​ Kurdish fighters in Syria, and that Turkey would not allow terrorist organizations to expand after the US withdrawal.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [AP]





Political developments

Shahoz Hasan, co-chair of the PYD, told the​​ AP​​ that the Syrian Kurds “will be ready” to fight Turkish forces, and that it was clear that Turkey was planning to enter northeastern Syria. [Haaretz]


Foreign policy

United States

The British​​ Times​​ writes the Kurds are still an ally of the West and Daesh is still a force to be reckoned with in Syria. ​​ It says that Kurds were suddenly left unprotected following the US decision to withdraw from Syria, and that the gap left by the US will be most likely filled by Russia, Iran, and the Syrian government. [BasNews] [Times]



Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry says that Syria must take several measures​​ in order​​ to return to the Arab League, including starting a political process and abiding​​ by​​ UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which called for a ceasefire and a political solution to the civil war. [ElDorar]



El​​ Dorar​​ reported on Tuesday that the Qatari diplomat Fahd Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah stated that Iran has a right to defend its legitimate interests in Syria. [ElDorar]




Russian​​ military police​​ were reported to be patrolling the surroundings of Manbij. A representative for the MPs said on Tuesday that Russia was there to ensure safety in the Manbij area and monitor the movements of “militant groups.”​​ [AP]


Hawar​​ reported on Tuesday that an IED explosion in Manbij injured 1 civilian. [Hawar]


Daesh said on Tuesday it killed or wounded four SDF fighters and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on Al-Jazeera road, east of Manbij. [ICDNJan8]




Daesh said on Tuesday it shot and killed an SDF member at​​ the​​ Ammu security barrier southwest of Hasaka city. [A3maq]



Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR reported a motorcycle bomb explosion​​ on Nour​​ Street in Raqqa, the second explosion in the past 24 hours. [SyriaHR]

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed or wounded three SDF members and damaged their vehicle when it set off a parked motorcycle bomb on Al-Nour​​ Street. [A3maq]


Central and West​​ 


The SOHR reported heavy fighting south of Idlib​​ city​​ between Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and the pro-Turkey National Front for Liberation militia. Tahrir Al-Sham captured 6 villages and is still advancing. [SyriaHR]



Syrian opposition sources say that Tahrir Al-Sham captured 15 National Front for Liberation fighters following intense fighting north of Hama. They also confirmed that HTS had made advances in Idlib. [Qasioun]


East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal​​ District

On Tuesday, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said that Iraqi F-16 aircraft killed 30 Daesh members in Al-Susah in Syria last Tuesday. The official stated that the attack killed “suicide bombers and planners” and caused “great confusion and chaos in the ranks of Daesh.” [IKH]


The SOHR reported that more Coalition reinforcements had arrived​​ in​​ the frontline areas. It says that the SDF is planning to knock out Daesh for good in these areas by intensifying artillery and rocket bombardment, with the support of the Coalition. Daesh is defending the last 2 areas it holds, and tries counterattacking every now and then. [SyriaHR]


Local media says that Coalition planes attacked Daesh targets in Al-Sha’afa Tuesday morning, mainly targeting Daesh tunnels. [Qasioun]


The SOHR reported a wide-scale Daesh attack Sunday on SDF positions in Al-Sha’afa, Al-Susah,​​ the neighboring town of​​ Marashidah, and the desert,​​ taking advantage of a​​ sandstorm and inflicting heavy casualties,​​ and forcing​​ the​​ SDF to retreat in several locations before returning again in the next day. [SyriaHR]


Agence​​ France​​ Presse​​ reported​​ that Daesh launched an attack on the SDF on Tuesday,​​ resulting in killing 23 SDF fighters. 9 Daesh fighters were​​ also​​ killed in the operation. [Qasioun] [AFP]


The​​ SOHR says over 300 civilians​​ fled​​ Daesh-held​​ areas towards SDFheld areas, mainly women, children and elderly​​ people.​​ The total number​​ leaving​​ since December 2018 is now at 14,050,​​ including 12,000 that​​ fled following the US withdrawal announcement. [SyriaHR]



No reports




Neighboring countries


The EU imposed new sanctions on Iranian intelligence and some of its officials on charges of arranging assassination attempts against​​ anti-Iran​​ opposition figures in the Netherlands, Denmark, and France. Penalties would include the freezing of assets. [Rudaw]


Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded to the EU sanctions on Tuesday by accusing Europe of harboring terrorists. Zarif said on Twitter that the Netherlands, Denmark, and France harbor members of the MEK, who he said had killed 12,000 Iranians and incited Saddam’s crimes against the Iraqi Kurds. [Ghad]​​ 


North Africa


Daesh issued on Tuesday a video of the results of Israeli airstrikes south of Sheikh Zuweid. [A3maq]

Daesh had previously said that Israeli planes conducted more than 20 airstrikes on Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid on Wednesday evening. [A3maq]






Daesh published on Tuesday photos of a​​ Boko Haram​​ attack on Nigerian Army units in Damasak​​ in Borno State. [ICDNJan8]

Daesh previously said it killed at least 15 Nigerian soldiers, wounded others, set on fire 3 tanks and 2 SUVs, and stole a vehicle on Saturday in an attack on a military position in Damasak. [ICDNJan6]




Taliban political leaders are scheduled to meet US officials in Qatar on Wednesday. A senior member of the Taliban said that the talks would last until Thursday. Other senior Taliban members said that this round of talks would be conducted with the US only. [Khaama]


Acting Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid and​​ Commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller visited Faryab Province, northern Afghanistan, on Monday, to​​ assess​​ the situation there. [Khaama]


An explosion in Khost Province, southeastern Afghanistan, at around noon on Tuesday,​​ killed at least 2 people and wounded 20 to 25 others. Local security officials said that the explosion came from a motorcycle carrying explosives. [Khaama]






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