June 26, 2018
Salahuddin PC Chairman blasts “negligence & corruption” of security services. [..]
PUK protests alleged deterioration of security in Kirkuk. [..]
Mosul council, GOI add up the bill for Mosul reconstruction: $20 billion. [..]
KRG official says KRG has freed 1,465 or 3,548 captured Yazidi women. [..]
Coalition reports 22 more airstrikes in Albu Kamal in past week. [..]
Daesh attacks SDF positions near Mayadin city. [..]
UN says 45,000 civilians have fled fighting in SE Syria. [..]
Syrian forces capture two more towns in NE Daraa. [..]
Syrian Army reportedly using barrel bombs in SE Syria fight. [..]
Iran: Unidentified gunmen attack Revolutionary Guard Corps battalion in SE Iran. [..]
Reports say Iran has major supply of missiles capable of hitting Saudi Arabia. [..]
US: Supreme Court upholds modified version of Trump’s travel ban on immigrants from Middle East countries. [..]
Afghanistan: Daesh attacks soldiers, police in four provinces. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
The Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar says that Prime Minister Al-Abadi and former PM Nouri Al-Maliki agreed to form a joint committee to reunite their opposing factions of the Islamic Dawa Party. The paper says that the two leaders plan to keep the PM’s office within the Dawa Party, which is rather threatened by recent political developments. [BaghdadToday]
The news service Gulf Online says that PM Al-Abadi agreed to the condition set by cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr to back Al-Abadi for the PM’s office. The main condition is reportedly withdrawal of Al-Abadi from Dawa, however, nothing can be confirmed before the Federal Court ratifies the election results. [Skypress]
DaeshDaily comment. This report obviously contradicts the previous report. Notice also that neither newspaper is in Iraq.
Okaz, a Saudi daily, says that Iran is fighting hard to form a government in Iraq headed by Nouri Al-Maliki, to prevent a coalition of the Al-Sadr and Al-Fath blocs. The paper says that the Iranians are holding meetings with various political factions that won seats in the next parliament to make their wish happen. The paper says that Iran believes the current alliances are just initial understandings that could change, and that nothing is final yet. [BaghdadToday]
Dhia Al-Asadi, a leader of the political wing of the Sadrist movement, says that Muqtada Al-Sadr can play influential roles in Iraq, but he rather prefers to stay in the observer’s seat rather than getting involved directly in politics. He says that Al-Sadr has always believed that politics is not the right place for the clergy. [Shafaaq]
DaeshDaily comment. If your spaceship just arrived on Earth and you have no knowledge of Al-Sadr’s history in Iraq since 2003, you might buy this explanation.
Security sources say influential political parties are using government IDs and vehicles to smuggle drugs from Kuwait and Iran into Iraq. The source says that these same parties are threatening judges to try to get their imprisoned convicts released. [BaghdadToday]
The Coalition against Daesh called on both the Iraqi (federal) government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to jointly coordinate the “disputed” areas between Erbil and Baghdad in order to counter the danger of a Daesh resurgence in these areas, which are currently under the control of Baghdad’s forces and the PMF. The station Kurdistan 24 reported on statements by US Commanders. General Joseph Votel said that the Coalition needed to continue coordinating with both Peshmerga forces and Iraqi forces, calling the Peshmerga a “key partner of the Coalition.” General Walter Piatt spoke, warning of the danger of increased Daesh activity in the “disputed” areas, especially Kirkuk. These statements follow Daesh’s kidnapping of 6 people on the Kirkuk-Baghdad road and their publication of a video of the kidnapping victims on Saturday night. [SotIraq]
DaeshDaily comment. It appears the kidnappings have provided a propaganda opportunity for the Kurds to argue that the “disputed areas” won’t have adequate security until they get the Peshmerga back. Statements are being twisted to fit the purpose. This propaganda line has been ongoing for some time, however, and is intended largely for US consumption. The following story provides two more examples.
On Tuesday, Masrour Barzani, the advisor to the Security Council for the Kurdistan Region, met with General Walter Piatt, the Deputy Commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq and Syria. Barzani reportedly emphasized the need to normalize the situation in the “disputed” areas outside of Kurdistan Region administrative control and the management of security in the “disputed” areas.
The General Secretary of the Ministry of Peshmerga, Jabbar Yawar, said in a separate statement that the security situation in the “disputed” areas is very bad, and stressed the readiness of the Peshmerga to return to Kirkuk and other “disputed” areas. [BasNews]
The Coalition reported that it had conducted 7 airstrikes in Iraq between June 18 and 24. There were 4 in Rutba, and 1 each in or near Bashir (Daquq), Tal Afar and Kasik (Tal Afar). Most strikes were against Daesh “tactical units.” [InherentResolve]
PM Haider Al-Abadi says that there are persons who spread rumors, magnify the enemy’s achievements and aim to undermine Iraqi society. He says that Iraq has triumphed over Daesh, which represents radicalism, and that this has proved that moderate Islam can be victorious. [BaghdadToday]
Security-related incidents reported
Center (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)
On Tuesday, the Karkh Criminal Court sentenced to death 4 Daesh fighters, who had been convicted of planting IEDs targeting security personnel in south Baghdad. The spokesman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Abd Al-Sattar Birqdar, said that the 4 had planted IEDs along the roads in the area of Al-Yusufiyah, which had killed several security personnel and wounded several others. [Ghad] [Dijlah]
Anbar Ops Command announced on Tuesday that it had supervised the return of 61 IDP families to their homes. The 61 families, comprising 281 individuals in total, had been staying in the Khalidiya IDP camp and have returned to their home communities in Falluja city, Qarma, and Saqlawiya. [Ghad]
The Center for Security Information said on Tuesday that units under the Military Intelligence Directorate had arrested 2 persons wanted on terrorism charges near Albu Shijil, in the Saqlawiya area. [Ghad]
A DaeshDaily source says 4 Kata’eb Hezbollah members, including a commander, were killed during a Daesh attack near the Akashat Compound south of Al-Qa’im by the Syria border. The source says the terrorists used motorcycles in the attack.
Daesh says it destroyed a military vehicle with an IED near the Jordanian border, killing the soldiers inside, including an officer, on Saturday. [ICDNJun26]
The Chairman of the Salahuddin Provincial Council, Ahmed Al-Karim, said on Tuesday that families had been displaced from the province because of Daesh threats. He went on to criticize what he characterized as the negligence and corruption of the security services. His remarks came at a session of the Provincial Council, at which he warned that there would be a “disaster” in Salahuddin Province if the security situation is not addressed urgently. [BasNews]
A DaeshDaily source says tribal PMF units found the body of a young man tied and shot in the Kan’ous area. The source says the body belonged to a Daesh commander who had been arrested by another tribal PMF unit earlier.
Daesh sources say that electricity was cut off on Al-Nahiya village when it destroyed electricity poles with IEDs. [ICDNJun26]
A DaeshDaily source says that on Monday, 150 civilians supported by AAH and Kata’eb Hezbollah members arrived in Albu Ajil village, east of Tikrit, and set the house of a tribal leader in the village on fire. The source says the civilians were family members of Speicher Massacre victims. The source sent us a video of the incident.
DaeshDaily comment. Many members of the Albu Ajil tribe participated in the massacre. It was reported that a tribal leader in the area promised some of the cadets protection, but handed them over to Daesh. The story is more complicated. According to our sources at that time, Daesh wanted to implicate local tribes in the massacre and ordered that each tribe provide armed men to shoot and kill the cadets. It gets even more complicated when we know that some of the tribe members joined PMF units and fought Daesh.
Daesh says it killed four policemen and damaged an SUV in an attack on the Allas oilfield area. [ICDNJun26]
Daesh also says its snipers killed three policemen and wounded others in the same area. [ICDNJun26]
Daesh says it killed or wounded three IFP members with an IED near Al-Zarqa Bridge, between Tuz Khurmatu and Tikrit. [A3maq]
Here Daesh says it damaged a vehicle with an IED near the bridge, then killed three IFP members with another IED. [ICDNJun26]
Daesh also says it killed a local police EOD expert with an IED in the same area. [ICDNJun26]
Daesh says it killed a PMF fighter west of Samarra, on Monday. [ICDNJun26]
Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)
Daesh says it wounded three PMF fighters by detonating an IED on their patrol in Dujail, on Sunday. [ICDNJun26]
DIYALA (No reports)
The PUK sent a letter to the Presidency, the Prime Minister, the CoR, the Kurdistan CoR, and UNAMI, protesting the deterioration of the security situation in Kirkuk and threatening to take unilateral action if no measures are taken. The letter sent states that Daesh is operating in and around Kirkuk amid the failure of the Iraqi authorities to stop it. [BaghdadToday]
The Center for Security Information said on Tuesday that Iraqi Federal Police (IFP) units had found a Daesh tunnel and a workshop for manufacturing IEDs in Kirkuk Province. Center spokesman General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that the search operation had covered a range of small villages in the north of Kirkuk Province. He added that the IFP had also found a vehicle formerly used by Daesh, 8 different mortar shells, a machine gun, 2000 unusable bullets, and about 20 kg of TNT. [Ghad] [PressIraq]
Federal Police Chief Major Raed Jawdat said that units from the 2nd Division of the Federal Police arrested a Daesh fighter in Laylan as he attempted to flee from Diyala into Kirkuk Province.
In another incident, units from the 6th Division found 6 RPG-7 anti-armor rocket launchers during a search of the Qadisiya neighborhood in Kirkuk city. A group from the Mechanized Division searched the village of Dhahiriya in Hawija and found 200 IEDs. [Baghdadia]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
Sumaria carried a video report on the fear of a Daesh resurgence in Hawija. They noted that this was a file that was supposed to be closed after the area was cleared of Daesh last year. However, despite federal forces’ control over the area, Daesh was not fully cleared from valley and mountain areas which they continued to use as headquarters. Sumaria added that the ongoing demand by the Kurdish parties to form a Joint Ops Room which would include Peshmerga and Asayish forces, a demand rejected by the Arabs and Turkmen in the area, continues to increase tension in the area. [Sumaria]
Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)
A security source in Kirkuk Province discussed the killing of one civilian and the wounding of two others in the village of Iftikhar, a Kaka’i village near Daquq city. The source, who asked not to be named, said that a group of 5 or 6 Daesh fighters came into the village and attacked a citizen and his relatives. As a result, several villagers fled the village for the city of Daquq. [Sumaria]
A security source said on Tuesday that unidentified gunmen suspected of belonging to Daesh entered the village of Iftikhar in Daquq district the night before on cars and motorcycles. The gunmen fired indiscriminately, killing one civilian and wounding two others, after which they gathered the village’s young people and beat them. A local official for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Idris Al-Haj Adel, confirmed the shootings and said that the citizen killed was a father of 8, and that one of the injured persons was an 11-year-old girl. [Baghdadia]
An MP from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Shakhwan Abdullah, said on Tuesday that “repeated” Daesh attacks on Kurdish areas have caused the displacement of about 200 Kurdish families in Daquq District. [Sumaria]
A security source in Kirkuk Province said on Tuesday that one of the most prominent Daesh leaders, referred to as “Mullah Nawzad Al-Jawali,” was killed in fighting in the village of Dakshaman The source, who asked not to be named, said that Al-Jawali had been linked with previous kidnappings and attacks around Tooz, Wadi Zeghitun and Abu Khanajir. [Sumaria] [IraqPress]
Daesh says it targeted the house of a tribal PMF fighter with an RPG7 shell, causing damage. [ICDNJun26]
A local source in Mosul says that the Iraqi government approved a project proposed by the Mosul municipality to rehabilitate the Old City in Mosul for $20 billion US. A multi-ministerial committee approved the proposal, which includes rehabilitating the old market (Souq), as well as compensating the owners of homes that were destroyed. [Anadolu]
Ninewa Police announced on Tuesday that they had arrested the former Daesh “traffic director” of Mosul, along with 3 of his accomplices, in west Mosul. [BasNews]
The PMF said on Tuesday that it was launching a “large-scale” operation to hunt down Daesh cells in the Hatra desert. General Ali Al-Hamdani of the 11th Brigade (PMF) said that forces from various PMF groups were participating, along with intelligence and special forces units, and that the combined forces had so far reached 15 km (9 miles) deep into the desert. [Sumaria] [PUKMedia]
Daesh sources say that three PMF fighters from the Shammar tribe were killed in clashes in the Hatra area. [ICDNJun26]
On Tuesday, the Dhi Qar Criminal Court issued death sentences on 3 terrorists. 2 were from Baghdad and 1 from Anbar. The 3 were sentenced for the killing of 2 civilians. [Ghad]
The chairman of the High Committee for Follow-Up and Response to International Reports for the KRG Council of Ministers said on Tuesday that the KRG had freed 1,465 Yazidi Kurdish women from Daesh, out of the total of 3,548 recorded kidnapped. [SotIraq]
DaeshDaily comment. This seems to claim that all the women freed were freed by the KRG, but it has been reported that the KRG has paid ransoms to free some captured Yazidi women. More important is the difference between the two numbers. Zebari’s numbers show that 2,083 Yazidi women—59% of the total—are still in captivity.
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
UN Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura and representatives of France, Germany, Jordan, the UK, the US, and Saudi Arabia, called for an immediate cessation of violence in Syria. The countries represented at Geneva were discussing the situation on the ground and the recent constitutional discussions. [Qasioun]
The head of the negotiating delegation for the Syrian opposition, Nasr Al-Hariri, held Russian forces responsible for all “massacres,” because of their support and air cover provided to government forces and affiliated militias. [Qasioun]
The Italian news agency AKI quoted Syrian opposition sources as saying that Russia was negotiating in Amman with opposition militias representing the southern Syria opposition front, after it found out that the opposition had weapons capable of downing planes. [Dorar]
Following discussions with King Abdullah of Jordan, President Trump expressed in a statement his concern about the Syrian Army attacks in the south of the country. He stressed that his main objective was to confront Iranian influence in Syria. [Qasioun]
A US source says that the main reason that the US will not interfere in southern Syria is President Trump’s wish to avoid conflict with Russia. He says that Trump, who inherited a complicated Syrian situation from his predecessor, has no intention to interfere militarily in southern Syria. [Dorar]
The spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Behram Qasimi, says his country is staying in Syria, while expressing concern about the future of Yemen. He stressed that his country will stay in Syria as long as terrorism does. [Qasioun]
The Coalition reported that it had conducted 28 airstrikes in Syria between June 18 and 24. Of these, 22 were in Albu Kamal, 5 were in the Al-Shaddadi area in Hasaka, presumably related to the SDF Dashisha offensive, and 1 was near Palmyra. The majority of strikes either targeted Daesh supply routes or Daesh “tactical units.” [InherentResolve]
Anadolu, the Turkish state-run news agency, says that Italy has sent 20 soldiers to a US base near the Al-Omar oilfield in Deir Ez-Zor. The Italians aim to support the SDF fighters. [Dorar]
Northwest (No reports)
Northeast (No reports)
Central and West (No reports)
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
A DaeshDaily source reports that four SDF fighters were killed and six others wounded in a Daesh attack near the town of Abu Hardoub, east of Mayadin city.
Local sources say that Daesh attacked SDF positions in Abu Hardoub, killing and wounding several of their fighters. The SDF consequently blocked the main road connecting Abu Hardoub to Abu Hamam. [Qasioun]
Local security, in cooperation with the SDF, arrested several “mercenaries,” as the Kurdish news service put it, in the village of Al-Shuhail. “Internal Security Forces” in Deir Ez-Zor says that it aided the village in searching for terrorist positions before arresting these persons and turned the detainees over to the SDF. It said it would issue a more detailed statement later. [Hawar]
SOHR wrote that Al-Shuhail was seeing increased tensions between the SDF, who control the area, and the local population. Eastern Deir Ez-Zor has seen a series of bombings targeting SDF members. SOHR added that some locals were staging sit-in protests against SDF searches. [SyriaHR]
The state-run Syrian news agency SANA says that Israel fired 2 missiles targeting Damascus International Airport. The agency claims that Israel is trying to relieve the pressure on Syrian opposition units after their defeats in Daraa, Suwayda and Deir Ez-Zor. [Dorar]
The UN says that at least 45,000 civilians have escaped the combat area in Daraa, mainly fleeing toward Jordan. [Qasioun]
Government forces took control of Busra Al-Harir and Malihat Al-Atash, strategic towns northeast of Daraa, and has reached Azraa, the SOHR says. Russian planes and Syrian helicopters initiated hundreds of airstrikes. Opposition-held areas are now isolated from each other. [Hawar]
The Syrian Army engaged a militia on Monday near Nahita, east of Daraa; further details were unknown. Meanwhile, Army helicopters dropped explosive barrels on the town of Nahita and the cities of Hirak (Izra District) and Daraa, combined with heavy artillery and rocket shelling. [Qasioun]
Daesh says one person was killed and three others wounded in Russian airstrikes on civilian houses in Adwan village, west of Daraa. [A3maq]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
The Iranian news agency Mehr (MNA) reported that there was an armed attack on a Revolutionary Guards battalion in the southeast region of Mirjaveh. It wrote that 3 members of the Revolutionary Guard and 3 of the attackers were killed in the fighting, following which the unidentified gunmen fled toward Pakistani territory. [Dorar]
The website “Missile Threat” and the UK daily The Guardian say that Iran has the largest missile arsenal in the Middle East, which includes 7 types of missiles, almost all of which can reach targets in Saudi Arabia. The closest Saudi point is 300 km away from Iran and can be hit from across the border; the Saudi capital Riyadh is 1304 km from the Iranian capital of Tehran, and Iran has missiles with a range of 2000 km. [BaghdadToday]
Ali Khorram, an advisor to the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, said that Russia was “stabbing Iran in the back,” both in Syria and in moving to expel Iran from OPEC. [Dorar]
On Tuesday, the Cairo Criminal Court added 186 persons to its list of “terrorist” figures, including TV journalist Moataz Matar. These persons will remain on the “terrorist” list for 5 years after the official publication of the list. [Sumaria]
On Tuesday, the Egyptian State Security Prosecution decided to imprison Anas El-Beltagy, the son of noted Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed El-Beltagy, for 15 days on charges of “joining a banned group.” [Anadolu]
Daesh sources say that ten Egyptian Army soldiers were killed in attacks on their positions near Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid cities. [ICDNJun26]
Daesh publishes photos of an attack on Egyptian Army units in the Al-Sayyah area, near Rafah port. [ICDNJun26]
Daesh sources say that a government TV station employee was killed in an attack on his house in Arish. [ICDNJun26]
The Takfiri Fatwa Observatory and the Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa organization issued a report discussing Daesh’s losses and its level of decline as of Ramadan 2018 as opposed to Ramadan last year. Given the symbolic and religious importance of the month, Daesh has attempted every year to increase its terrorist operations during Ramadan. However, the number of Daesh attacks declined severely between the previous Ramadan and the most recent one, as measured by Daesh operations in Iraq (down 55%), Syria (down 80%), the Philippines (down from 21 attacks to 2), and the Sinai.
The Observatory wrote that Daesh’s new strategy to compensate for its losses in Iraq and Syria involved two main goals. The first is to expand in areas of civil conflict, mainly Afghanistan and Somalia, and renew its activity in Libya and Yemen. The second is to intensify indiscriminate attacks in safe and stable areas in order to threaten security there and broaden recruitment. Examples given were Indonesia and attempts at terrorist attacks targeting the World Cup in Russia. [AhlMisr]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
The US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 decision, upheld President’s Trump’s order to ban travelers from several mostly Muslim-majority nations from entering the US. The decision affects people from Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia. [Skypress]
DaeshDaily comment. This decision has triggered a widespread angry response that will likely continue. Much attention will be focused on the powerful dissent read from the bench by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. This will become one of the most criticized Court decisions in recent times.
A senior Afghan intelligence official was killed in Farah Province. Local news agency Kharma Press quoted a spokesman for the provincial governor as saying on Tuesday that an unidentified gunman had shot and killed Yassin Khan, intelligence director for the province’s 5th Police District, before noon that day. [Anadolu]
Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for Nangarhar’s Governor, said that 17 Daesh fighters, including Pakistanis, were killed in recent air raids in Nangarhar province. The fighters were suppressed by security forces in various parts of Nangarhar. [Bahktar]
Daesh says it killed three pro-government militiamen and wounded four others in clashes in Nazyan, in Nangarhar, on Monday. [A3maq]
Daesh says it killed two policemen with an IED in an election center in the Sheikh Masri area, in Jalalabad.
A local official said on Tuesday that nine police personnel were killed and three others wounded in a suicide bomb blast in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar Monday night.
Provincial government spokesman Ghani Musamim told Xinhua that “A terrorist tried to make his way into an Afghan Local Police (ALP) camp in the Chawkay District at roughly 8:00 p.m. Monday. The ALP personnel intercepted the bomber after he was identified, but the attacker detonated his explosive, causing the casualties”. [Xinhua]
Daesh says it killed 13 pro-government militiamen and wounded five others in a suicide attack with an explosives vest in the Chawkay District, in Kunar, on Monday. [ICDNJun26]
Daesh publishes a photo of the suicide terrorist. [ICDNJun26]
Daesh says a group of its terrorists attacked Afghan Army units in the Darzab area, in Jowzjan, killing or wounding three soldiers and capturing an SUV and weapons and ammunition, before returning safely. [ICDNJun26]