An Update On ISIS Activities

June 21, 2018

June 21, 2018

 

Yazidi Girl Freed In Hammam Al-Alil

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Federal Court of Iraq says manual recount, appointment of ​​ judges to oversee final election process, are constitutional, but not annulment of KRG “special” vote. [..]

Shammar tribe stages revenge killings against brothers of two accused Daesh killers. [..]

11 Daesh officials, fighters arrested in Mosul. [..]

Army, IFP break up Daesh move across Iraq ​​ border toward Hatra desert. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey prepares for high-stakes presidential, parliamentary elections Sunday. [..]

Turkey has set up 11 military positions in Iraqi Kurdistan to counter PKK. [..]

Turkey reportedly will move allied militiamen from northern Syria to Iraqi Kurdistan to attack PKK HQ in Qandil. [..]

Foreign Minister blasts Syria, Russia for attacks in Idlib Province. [..]

 

Syria

Top-level US military delegation visits Manbij. [..]

4 Coalition airstrikes in Al-Sha’afa, Albu Kamal kill 21 Daesh; may have wounded civilians. [..]

Daesh kills 14 Syrian soldiers south of Albu Kamal city. [..]

Anti-Assad militias in southern Syria respond to government shelling with rocket attacks. [..]

Daesh claims deadly attack on Syrian forces in Suwayda desert. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Iran/Yemen: ​​​​ Iran moving naval ships, helicopters toward Yemen. [..]

Egypt: ​​​​ Egyptian Army operation kills 32 Daesh, captures 36 in Sinai. [..]

European Union: ​​​​ Most Daesh fighters from western Europe not returning home. [..]

Germany: ​​​​ Merkel nixes German reconstruction assistance to Syria, Iraq without prior political solutions. [..]

 

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election/New​​ government

Election

The Federal Court of Iraq deemed the decision of the Iraqi CoR to recount the electoral votes manually as correct and constitutional. ​​ However, the Court refused to acknowledge the CoR decision to nullify the results of the “special” vote in the Kurdistan Region. It approved the CoR decision to appoint judges to run the process in​​ place of​​ the Electoral Commission.​​ The Court reasoned that manual recounts are constitutionally permissible but annulling votes is not.​​ ​​ [TRT]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It is worth mentioning that under Iraq’s constitution, independent agencies report to the CoR, not to the executive branch. This was intended to protect their independence,​​ which was nevertheless compromised for a time by Al-Maliki. It appears that some CoR members, for reasons good and bad, have taken advantage of this provision to challenge the vote count.

 

Muqtada Al-Sadr called on Thursday for all parties to show restraint and compliance with the judicial decisions on the electoral measures passed by the CoR. Al-Sadr also emphasized the need to set a time period for the manual recount, and warned of the danger​​ that​​ the current government​​ will​​ take​​ advantage of a potential “constitutional vacuum.” [Sumaria]

 

New​​ government

Okaz, a Saudi daily newspaper, says that Hadi Al-Amiri, the head of the Al-Fath alliance,​​ declined​​ to join a meeting of the Shia parties to discuss the​​ formation of the new​​ government. Some observers believe that this meeting is aimed to undercut the national meeting of political forces called for by PM Al-Abadi. Sources also believe that Al-Amiri’s​​ decision not to attend​​ is aimed to​​ avoid giving an impression​​ of sectarianism, as he is currently in discussions with Sunni parties. [IKH]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

2 Iraqi women fled to Syria after paying at least $1,500 to be smuggled in from Iraq, according to a security source quoted by​​ Sputnik. The source, who declined to be named, said that the women are wives of Daesh leaders who were living in the Al-Mamoun neighborhood in west Mosul and moved to the village of Tal Wa’i (Shura subdistrict​​ of​​ Mosul). After this, they were able to employ Daesh-affiliated smugglers to bring them along the road towards Erbil and from there along minor dirt roads to Syria.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

BAGHDAD​​ (No reports)

 

ANBAR

Falluja

The Center for Security Information announced on Thursday that security personnel had found 45 IEDs in the area between Al-Salam intersection in Abu Ghraib​​ and​​ Falahat, just west of Falluja. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Ramadi

The Center for Security Information announced on Thursday that security personnel had found 42 IEDs in the area of Zangoura, west of Ramadi city. Several types of rockets and shells were also found in the area of Albu Dhiab, and 38 other IEDs were detonated in the Kilo 3​​ area​​ near​​ Ramadi. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Rutba

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Iraqi Army and Rapid Intervention units started a campaign to clear the Horan Valley area. The source says the forces arrested 14 wanted men and confiscated weapons and IEDs.​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says the Shammar tribe killed four young men in the Tilul Al-Baj area​​ in western Shirqat. The source says the victims are brothers of Daesh terrorists who​​ participated in killing​​ more than 30 members of the tribe during the last few days.​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This sounds like a​​ tribal​​ revenge killing of a type not unfamiliar in Iraq. A tribe retaliates for members killed by killing someone from the killer’s tribe, probably someone not involved in the crime.​​ It is a horrifying but often effective deterrent.​​ In this case, Daesh may be the other “tribe,” but those killed could also be members of an​​ actual​​ tribe.​​ The larger problem here is the breakdown of government authority ​​ in a critical area.

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

The​​ Diyala Police announced on Thursday that they had seized explosive materials on the banks of the Diyala River.​​ The police command said in a statement that units from the Buhriz Police had found 5 grenades, mortar shells, an IED, and materials for constructing explosives by the Diyala River, 7 km​​ (4 miles)​​ south of Baquba. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin,​​ Khalis​​ north)

Daesh says it wounded several PMF fighters and damaged their vehicle in an ambush in the Nafut Khana area of Khanaqin, on Wednesday. [ICDNJun21]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Iraqi security personnel stopped an attempt by Daesh to erect fake checkpoints in eastern Diyala Province. Iraqi Police Captain Habib Al-Shammari told a press briefing that units from both the PMF​​ and Iraqi security forces noted a procession of cars and uniformed armed men on the road between the Nafut Khana​​ oil field​​ in Khanaqin​​ and the Mandali subdistrict​​ in southeast Diyala. Al-Shammari said that after checking​​ with both​​ security and military forces, it became clear that the checkpoint was not affiliated with any security force but was a fake checkpoint set up by Daesh. The Daesh fighters manning the fake checkpoint fled after an exchange of fire. [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Daesh says it damaged an Iraqi Army Humvee with an IED in Mohammed Al-Faleh village, in the Al-Nida area, on Wednesday. [ICDNJun21]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk

The Federal Police said on Thursday that units from the 19th​​ Brigade, 5th​​ Division, arrested 2 persons on terrorism charges in the Laylan subdistrict of Kirkuk. Military Engineering units dismantled 10 IEDs around Tal Al-Ward.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

An “official security source” said on Thursday that security personnel had found the body of a young man previously kidnapped by Daesh from the village of Nafilah in Riyadh subdistrict. The young man was the son of the village​​ mukhtar. His body was found about 3 km​​ (2 miles)​​ from the village. [Shafaaq]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says local police captured 2 Daesh commanders hiding in a house in Al-Zab​​ subdistrict. The source says the terrorists had​​ given​​ large amounts of​​ protection​​ money to Kata’eb​​ Hezbollah earlier. The source says the KH came later and tried to take the terrorists from the police, but the police officer refused.​​ 

 

Daesh says it shot and killed an IFP “spy” in Al-Hora village, in Riyadh, on Wednesday. [ICDNJun21]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Ninewa Police said on Thursday that they had arrested Daesh’s former “governor” of Tel Keif, “Mujhim Abu Saif Al-Barari,” along with a companion of his. Relating the news, Colonel Saleh Yunis said that security personnel had also found 3 Daesh safehouses​​ in the​​ Wana​​ subdistrict, close to the Mosul Dam. Various weapons, including Katyusha rockets, were seized from the​​ inside of the safehouses. [BasNews]​​ 

 

Daesh says it destroyed a PMF vehicle with an IED in Kokjali, located by an entry point to East Mosul. [A3maq]

 

Mosul

The Ministry of the Interior announced on Thursday that 7 Daesh​​ members​​ had been arrested in Mosul. Ministry spokesman General Sa’ad Ma’an said that the 2nd​​ SWAT Regiment under the Ninewa Police​​ command had made the arrests in various parts of the city, and that 1 of the detainees was a Daesh official formerly responsible for collecting weapons from the security services during the period of Daesh control of the city. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh says it wounded the mukhtar of Hay Al-Zanjili​​ (Al-Zanjili neighborhood)​​ in west Mosul with an IED. [ICDNJun21]

 

Ninewa Ops Command announced on Thursday that they had found a workshop for making IEDs​​ in north Mosul,​​ in the area of Hawi Al-Kanisa, where the Tigris turns west. [Ghad]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says local police units captured 3 Daesh members in​​ Hay​​ Al-Intisar​​ in east Mosul. The police also captured the owner of the house, who​​ had been hiding the terrorists.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Ninewa Police units captured Faisal Al-Khatouni, the Daesh​​ hisbah​​ official of Baaj, who was hiding in a house in Hay Al-Wihda​​ in east Mosul.

 

Daesh says it shot and killed a PMF “spy” in Hay Al-Samah​​ in east Mosul, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says National Security Service units found a kidnapped Yazidi girl with a family in the Hammam Al-Alil camp for displaced people. The source says the family, which is from Tal Afar originally and connected to Daesh, had returned from the Al-Hawl​​ camp in Hasaka a month ago and tried to extort money, $300,000, from the family of the child. The source says the NSS returned the child to her family.​​ 

 

Hatra

On Thursday, Iraqi security personnel killed 9 armed fighters and arrested 4 others who were attempting to​​ enter​​ Iraq from the Syrian​​ Desert. SWAT Major Sadiq Al-Mufriji said in a press statement that 30 armed fighters in 6 4WD-type vehicles attempted to cross the Syria-Iraq border,​​ headed​​ toward the​​ Hatra desert​​ further east,​​ at dawn on Thursday. He said that they fought with Army​​ troops​​ and the Federal Police, and that the remaining 17 fighters fled to the Syrian side of the border.​​ [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Daesh says it shot and killed a Military Intelligence Service member in the Hatra area. [A3maq]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Babel

A security source said that unidentified gunmen had assassinated Colonel Safa’, the​​ acting director of​​ the​​ Babel​​ Passports Department,​​ as he was​​ heading home from his office. The assassination took place in Hilla. [Dijlah]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Election

The​​ Supreme Electoral Council of​​ Turkey says that​​ the​​ presidential election votes will be counted first​​ in next Sunday’s elections, followed by​​ the​​ parliamentary election votes. Mobile phones,​​ cameras, and similar equipment will be banned in polling stations,​​ which will​​ be​​ open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. [Arabi21]

 

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has published an analysis by​​ Ferhat Gurini,​​ a writer for a Danish​​ publication​​ that suggests​​ that​​ several​​ changes in election rules could allow​​ Erdogan’s ruling AKP party​​ to​​ subvert Turkey’s election process to gain an unfair​​ but decisive​​ advantage.​​ These include relocation of ballot boxes to put them closer to pro-AKP voters and farther from Kurdish voters, as well as loosened local ballot control procedures that could subject election returns to manipulation​​ by​​ election personnel​​ loyal to the AKP. One key to the outcome of the parliamentary election is that the pro-Kurdish​​ People’s Democratic Party​​ (HDP)​​ needs to clear the 10% threshold in order to win any seats in parliament. By reducing the number of Kurdish voters and/or recorded votes, the AKP could keep the pro-Kurdish party out of the parliament and gain a strong majority for itself.​​ 

The article​​ anticipates a runoff in the separate presidential election between Erdogan and his main challenger, Muharram Ince of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). It​​ also cites polls on the presidential​​ election showing that, in that eventuality,​​ Erdogan’s lead is only about .5 of a percent, which puts further emphasis on the integrity of the election.​​ [CarnegieEndowment]​​ 

 

Iraqi Kurdistan campaign

Turkish PM Binali Yıldırım says Turkish troops have​​ cleared over 400 km2​​ in Iraqi Kurdistan​​ from​​ the​​ PKK.​​ He also told a local TV station that Turkish forces​​ have​​ established 11​​ military​​ positions​​ in the area. As he says airstrikes alone cant eliminate terrorism, he says there are no problems with Iran regarding these operations. [Anadolu]

 

Turkey​​ reportedly​​ aims to involve the socalled​​ “Free​​ Syrian​​ Army​​ in its operations in​​ the​​ Qandil​​ Mountains,​​ and has assigned a large budget to pay $800​​ for each fighter, Kurdish sources say. In Afrin, Turkey spent $6 million​​ on​​ salaries and $5​​ million​​ on​​ various expenses. The aim, according to an anti-government source,​​ is to gather 5,500 “mercenaries” to take part in the proposed attack. [Hawar]

 

Syria​​ 

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkey’s​​ Foreign​​ Minister,​​ warned that Turkey will cancel all decisions reached in​​ the​​ Astana, Kazakhstan​​ meeting, should Russia and Iran continue their attacks​​ in Idlib. The Turkish​​ Army has 12 observation points in that area​​ related to the so-called de-escalation zone.​​ [Hawar]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Russia

The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry says that​​ the​​ foreign military presence​​ in Syria​​ is not helping to reach a political settlement. She also says that defeated factions are still hoping to recover their lost positions, which makes their participation in any political talks​​ of​​ limited​​ value. ​​ She called for continued diplomatic efforts to settle the Syrian problem on basis of UN​​ Resolution 2254 and the​​ Conference of National Dialogue in​​ Sochi. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest

Afrin

A local source says that 2 mines exploded in Afrin,​​ in​​ the​​ Mahmudiya neighborhood​​ in Jinderes subdistrict​​ and the cultural center used by Turkish​​ troops​​ as a​​ headquarters. [Hawar]

 

Manbij​​ 

A senior US delegation visited the city of Manbij on Thursday, including the commander of US Forces in the Middle East,​​ General Joseph Votel;​​ Under​​ Secretary of Defense John Rood, Commander of US Forces in Iraq and Syria,​​ Paul Funk;​​ and Commander of US Special Forces in Syria and Iraq,​​ Jimmy Gerard. The General Command for the Manbij Military Council said in a statement that the delegation toured the markets of Manbij and listened to people’s opinions and concerns regarding their future and the US-Turkish settlement. An “informed source” in the city said that the visit was aimed at reassuring the Manbij Council and the Kurdish component of the SDF. [BasNews]

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Hawar​​ quoted an SDF fighter as saying that the SDF had​​ captured​​ the​​ village​​ Al-Dhiba’i, near Al-Dashisha, from Daesh as of Thursday. The SDF lines​​ are​​ now reported​​ to be between 2​​ km and 6 km from the Syria-Iraq border. [Hawar]​​ 

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh says it destroyed 2 SDF vehicles with IEDs south of the Turkman​​ village​​ area, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNJun21]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

SOHR reported an armed attack, most likely by Daesh, on​​ a​​ Tahrir Al-Sham checkpoint south of Idlib. It also reported a car bomb explosion in​​ the city of​​ Maarat Al-Numan​​ in​​ southern​​ Idlib,​​ with​​ no​​ casualties. Recently, Idlib witnessed several assassinations targeting mostly Tahrir Al-Sham personnel. [SyriaHR]

 

Eight​​ civilians were reported killed and 35 wounded by 2 consecutive explosions in the city of Idlib. The blasts came from an IED and a car bomb near the Al-Tawhid mosque and the Carlton Hotel, respectively. [Qasioun]

 

Homs

Government forces claimed​​ control of large​​ desert​​ areas east of Homs,​​ extending to​​ the​​ Iraqi border,​​ after forcing Daesh out. The state-run official news agency​​ SANA​​ says that the​​ Army killed a group of Daesh gunmen in Sukhnah,​​ and​​ that the army holds additional 850 square kilometers following recent​​ gains​​ against Daesh east of Palmyra. [EnabBaladi]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh says it damaged 2 Syrian Army tanks east of the Third Station with hand grenades on Wednesday. [ICDNJun21]

Albu Kamal​​ District

Kata’eb Hezbollah said that the stage was set for responding to the Sunday night airstrike in Syria, which it said killed several of its members. Its spokesman, Jaafar Al-Husseini, was speaking at a press conference during a memorial ceremony in Baghdad for the “martyrs” who died in the strike. Al-Husseini said that the perpetrator of the strike had not yet been proven, but that it couldn’t be anyone other than the Americans or the Israelis. Al-Husseini said that if the perpetrator​​ is proven, there would be an “appropriate response.” [Rudaw]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ And what would this brave spokesman have KH do if his “appropriate response” actually did have to confront Israel or the US?​​ 

 

Local sources told​​ Bas News​​ on Thursday that US-led Coalition forces targeted the town of Al-Sha’afa, with 4 airstrikes that killed 21 Daesh fighters and wounded several others, as well as wounding civilians. The sources said that the first airstrike targeted a Daesh gathering, killing 11 Daesh fighters and wounding 4 civilians. The second targeted a house, killing 4 others, some of​​ them believed to be civilians. The third airstrike targeted a Daesh vehicle, killing 4 armed fighters and destroying the vehicle. The fourth targeted another Daesh vehicle near the Al-Sha’afa orchard, killing 2 fighters and destroying the car.​​ [BasNews]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh killed 14 Syrian soldiers and captured​​ ground​​ in an attack south of Albu Kamal city. The source says the government sent military reinforcements to the area after the attack.​​ 

 

South​​ 

Daraa/Quneitra

Anti-government opposition militiamen​​ used multiple rocket launchers to attack government units in Daraa and Suwayda, in response to the regime’s shelling of​​ opposition positions​​ in the​​ two​​ provinces. The opposition​​ group​​ says it inflicted losses on the government forces. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

Suwayda

Daesh says it killed a Syrian Army officer and 20​​ other​​ soldiers in an ambush near Tal Ghanem on Wednesday. [A3maq] Daesh says it captured a Syrian soldier in the Tal Ghanem area, near Al-Safa. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army tank and a machine gun-mounted vehicle in an ambush in the Al-Safa area, in​​ the​​ Suwayda desert. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh says it destroyed a government tank with a rocket near Tal Asfar, in the Suwayda desert. [A3maq]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran/Yemen

The Iranian news agency​​ Tasnim​​ says that Iran sent a destroyer and a helicopter carrier from its 54th​​ fleet to the Gulf of Aden, following recent developments​​ at​​ the port of Hodeida in Yemen. [Anadolu]

 

North Africa

Egypt

The Egyptian Army says in a statement that it killed 32 “extremist” gunmen and arrested 36 more in its operations targeting terrorist groups in the north and​​ central​​ Sinai. 15 IEDs were defused, while several storage​​ units for​​ vehicles and weapons were destroyed. [IKH]

 

Libya

The Libyan​​ National​​ Army says that it regained control of the ports of Ras Lanuf and Sadar, in the “oil crescent” area, after attacks that started Thursday morning.​​ 

The fighting to​​ capture the rest of​​ Derna is still ongoing. [Hawar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Derna was captured long ago. No one has explained why it needs to be captured again.​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

European Union

The EU Police Agency (Europol) said that the Europeans who have traveled to Syria and Iraq in order to join Daesh have not returned to Europe in substantial numbers since Daesh’s downturn.​​ Manuel Navarrete, head of Europol’s Counter-Terrorism Center, said that Western counter-terrorism officials remain concerned with tracking insurgents returning from conflict areas, but those​​ insurgents​​ have not returned in large numbers. Rather, Navarrete said the main threat they posed was inspiring low-tech attacks such as those carried out with knives or cars, noting that the police had more difficulty stopping​​ those​​ attacks than attacks by ex-combatants.​​ 

Europol said that over 5,000 Europeans overall, mostly from Britain, France, Germany, and Belgium, had traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with Daesh. Of these, about​​ 1,000 had been killed ​​ and​​ 1,500 had returned. A large number of returnees have been arrested, with​​ others​​ fleeing or in hiding in Malaysia, the Philippines, Libya, or Turkey.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that her country would not participate in a reconstruction process in Syria or Iraq without a political solution to​​ their respective political​​ crises. Responding to a question in a meeting with students at the German University of Jordan, she said that German efforts were presently focused only on humanitarian aid to refugees and IDPs. [Sputnik]

 

ASIA

Pakistan

Daesh says it shot and killed a policeman in the Hazar Kanji area, in Quetta. [A3maq]

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