An Update On ISIS Activities

March 1, 2019

March 1, 2019

 

A group of people posing for the camera

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Yazidi Children Freed from Al-Baghouz (Sumaria March 1)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Almost 400,000 Iraq civilians, over 180,000 soldiers & police, have died from violence since 2003.​​ [..]

Human Rights commissioner says1,500 Daesh women are in Iraqi prisons. [..]

SDF frees 21 Yazidi children; 3,000 Yazidis are still in Daesh captivity.​​ [..]

Daesh attacks, indifferent PMF security, raise issues in southern Shirqat.​​ [..]

200 Daesh fighters still operating from Qarachogh Mountains​​ despite Coalition bombing. [..]

Army Intelligence​​ in Tal Afar​​ nabs a perpetrator of Camp Speicher Massacre. [..]

Daesh Daily source describes Iraq escape route for Daesh terrorists from Syria. [..]

 

Syria

UN commission blasts continuing war crimes in Syria. [..]

Daesh now wants someone to kill Daesh wife from UK. [..]

Final group of surrendered Daesh fighters & family members​​ trucked out of Al-Baghouz. [..]

SDF begins final push to overcome remaining Daesh defenders.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Airstrikes kill 18 Taliban in southern Afghanistan; losing attack kills 9 more. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Council of Representatives

Osama Al-Nujaifi, head of​​ the​​ Al-Qarar​​ (Decision) bloc in the​​ CoR, said that​​ Mosul cannot be kept away from the decisionmaking process in Iraq. He warned​​ that “non-state” groups were emerging in the absence of state power, and​​ noted​​ sectarian divisions in Tal​​ Afar,​​ as well as other problems. He​​ also​​ said​​ that disagreements between​​ Baghdad​​ and​​ Erbil should be resolved​​ as soon as possible.​​ He made the remarks at a security forum held in Erbil.​​ [Rudaw]

 

Reconstruction

The Iraqi Embassy to Cairo said that the cost of reconstruction in the Iraqi provinces liberated from Daesh was estimated to be $88 billion, and that Egyptian companies would be at the forefront of these projects. All such provinces require extensive rehabilitation of basic services and infrastructure. This was mentioned during a workshop held in Cairo for this purpose. [Sumaria]

 

Corruption

Sumaria​​ reported that there were ongoing efforts to get charges against several Iraqi politicians dropped so that they could return to the country. It wrote that the most prominent of these figures was former VP Tariq Al-Hashemi, but that the effort also included former Ninewa Governor Atheel Al-Nujaifi, former Minister of Finance Rafi’ Al-‘Issawi, and​​ emir​​ of the tribes of Al-Dulaim in Iraq, Ali Hatem Al-Suleiman. The newspaper wrote that these efforts were signs of the continued animosity​​ toward former PM Nouri Al-Maliki in Sunni circles, as all 4 figures were considered political enemies of Al-Maliki. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment. Political maneuvers to get guilty politicians off the hook are nothing new in Iraq. Al-Maliki himself is infamous for getting charges dropped against a few thousand corrupt people, Sunni as well as Shia. Al-Hashemi, however, was convicted in absentia of murder. It is hard to see what argument could be made to​​ reverse his conviction, especially as he has escaped justice by living outside the country.​​ As for Al-Nujaifi, to our knowledge he is still​​ free​​ in Iraq.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

On Friday, Jabbar Yawar, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Peshmerga for the KRG presented data on the casualties of the war on terror in Iraq. Yawar said that since 2003, there had been 539,550 casualties in Iraq, including 395,549 civilians and 180,001 members of the security services. He said that US troops had suffered 4,384 deaths and 32,180 wounded in Iraq since 2003. Yawar was speaking at a security forum in Erbil. [Rudaw]

 

The Russian news service​​ Sputnik​​ quoted Ali Al-Bayati,​​ a​​ member of​​ the Iraqi​​ High​​ Commission for​​ Human Rights,​​ as having said​​ that there are 1,500 foreign Daesh​​ women being held​​ in Iraqi prisons.​​ Al-Bayati said that this included​​ French,​​ German,​​ and​​ South American​​ women.​​ He added that the figure​​ is over 1,700 when their​​ children​​ are included.​​ [Sumaria]

 

The SDF freed 21 Yazidi children, including 3 female children,​​ from Daesh captivity, according to the​​ Yazidi 24​​ website. The children arrived​​ at a legal center​​ in​​ Sinjar, coming​​ from Syria,​​ after spending​​ over 4 years in captivity. The Kurdistan Directorate of Yazidi Affairs said there are still over 3,000 Yazidi hostages held by Daesh. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

A military source in Anbar Province said on Friday that 22 wanted persons had been arrested in various areas of the province, including 10 wanted on terrorism charges. [Sumaria]

 

Rutba

A local official in Anbar said on Friday that Daesh​​ murdered​​ 5 kidnapped Rutba natives​​ execution style. Their bodies were found in the Anbar desert. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh published on Friday photos of murdering a man in civilian clothes near Rutba. Daesh claimed the victim was a National Security Service member. [ICDNMar1-Telegram]

 

Daesh published on Friday photos of “Iraqi Army members” it ambushed and killed near the border crossing with Arar, Saudi Arabia. [ICDNMar1-Telegram]

Daesh had previously said on February 20 that it captured​​ and​​ then killed 14 Iraqi soldiers, destroyed 2 vehicles, and stole 3 vehicles,​​ in an ambush near the​​ Arar​​ border crossing. [ICDNFeb20-Telegram]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The victims were in civilian clothes, although some of their IDs belong to security service members. Daesh didn’t publish photos of the alleged vehicles. ​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says there are still hundreds of Daesh terrorists, including foreigners, hiding in the Makhoul Mountains area. The source says the terrorists​​ have​​ conducted many attacks targeting civilians who cooperate with Iraqi forces. The Mayor of Shirqat told the source that many people from Zuwiya, Misahaq, Al-Naml, and other villages left the area because of continuous Daesh attacks. The source says​​ that​​ people​​ from​​ the area accuse some PMF commanders of dealing with Daesh and providing the terrorists with weapons, foods, and other supplies. The source says that on February 22,​​ two​​ local policemen were killed and another severely wounded when more than 20 Daesh terrorists attacked Al-Naml village. The source says people of the village helped the police repel the attack;​​ however, 17 families left the village,​​ fearing more attacks.​​ 

The source also says that a tribal PMF commander was killed on Sunday in a Daesh attack on Misahaq village. The source says PMFs in the area, for some reason, didn’t support the local tribal PMFs. The source says the terrorists fled when Shirqat tribal PMF units arrived in the area. The source also says that on Tuesday, around 10 Daesh SUVs were seen moving around in the area, but PMF units didn’t do anything to stop them.​​ 

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that​​ 2​​ truffle gatherers were killed on Monday by Daesh terrorists near Al-Zuwiya intersection. The source says the terrorists fled back to the Makhoul Mountains area after the murders.​​ 

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a Shirqat Water Directorate employee was killed on Monday when a roadside IED exploded on his government pickup vehicle near Tilul Al-Baj. The source says Salahuddin Ops Command units defused 6 more IEDs in nearby areas.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that​​ 2​​ civilians were killed and their vehicle destroyed by an IED on Tuesday on the road between Al-Aitha and Kan’ous villages.​​ 

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 2 Oil Protection Facilities policemen, including an officer, were killed on Tuesday when a group of Daesh terrorists in a military vehicle attacked an OPF position on the road between Al-Fatha and Baiji Refinery. The source says the terrorists set fire​​ to​​ the military position and a vehicle before fleeing.​​ 

 

DIYALA

No reports

 

KIRKUK

No reports

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says there are around 200 Daesh terrorists, including foreigners, hiding in caves and tunnels in the Qarachogh Mountains area. The source says Coalition planes have targeted Daesh on the mountains several times, but there is still a need for a military operation by Iraqi​​ troops. The source says that Coalition planes killed several terrorists in an airstrike on the outskirts of the Mountains on Monday.​​ 

The source says the terrorists were preparing to launch an attack on tribal PMF units near Qaraj village​​ (in Makhmur’s Arab-majority subdistrict).​​ The source says tribal PMF units had stopped an attack on Qaraj village on Sunday, killing 2 terrorists, and forcing the rest to flee back to the mountains. The source says the terrorists attacked the village in order to kill its mukhtar.​​ 

The source says​​ Daesh is also​​ conducting attacks on civilians and security units in many villages in Makhmur and Qayara on a regular basis.​​ Two​​ tribal PMF fighters were severely wounded on Sunday when an IED in a trash can exploded on the road between Makhmur and Qayara.​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF units were deployed “unprecedently” on Mosul streets after the car bomb explosion near Mosul University on Thursday evening. The source says the PMFs were searching cars and individuals, including security personnel.​​ 

 

Mosul District

South (Qayara)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Babelyoun, a Christian PMF faction, stopped a Daesh attack on Al-Imam village,​​ south of Qayara city,​​ supported by residents. The source says 2 Babelyoun fighters were wounded in the attack. ​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

The Directorate of Military Intelligence said that its units in the 15th​​ Army Division arrested “Abu Samiya,” a Daesh “emir,” in Rabi’a.​​ The Directorate described him as​​ one of the most prominent perpetrators of​​ the Camp Speicher massacre​​ in 2014. Several of his associates were also arrested.​​ [Sumaria]

 

A source in the Defense and Security Committee of the CoR said that security personnel arrested the mother and sister of the​​ infamous Daesh fighter Shakir Wahib. The 2 were using fake identities to travel in Rabi’a. Wahib, aka “Abu Wahib,” the commander of Daesh in Anbar, was killed by a Coalition airstrike in 2016. [Sumaria]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that Daesh has established a “safe route” for its terrorists who are fleeing from eastern Syria. The source says the route goes from Syria to western Anbar, to Hatra, and then to Hammam Al-Alil,​​ Shura,​​ and Qayara. The source says Daesh instructed the terrorists to reorganize themselves in small groups in “safe” villages and areas on the route. The source says Daesh also established a system to provide the terrorists with weapons, money, food, mobile phone cards, and other supplies. Daesh uses women to deliver the supplies to Daesh.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is part of an overall Daesh strategy that is by now completely clear.​​ They are operating in the desert, away from large population areas,​​ so​​ they can use hit-and-run​​ guerrilla tactics​​ and escape back to their tunnels. Although “the desert” is in multiple government jurisdictions—eastern Syria, western Anbar, Baaj, Hatra, Hammam Al-Alil, Shura, Qayara—it is essentially the same desert.​​ Iraq has so far been unable to gain secure control of it.

 

​​ A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 2 PMF fighters were killed on Tuesday in a Daesh attack near Khunaifis village.​​ 

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that PMF units killed 4 Daesh terrorists and captured 4 others, including a Saudi, on Wednesday in a raid on a tunnel near Khunaifis village, south of Hatra.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that​​ 4​​ PMF fighters, including a commander, were wounded on Wednesday when their pickup vehicle was destroyed by an IED on the road between​​ the village of​​ Safiyar​​ (spelling approx.)​​ and Hatra Storehouses, southeast of Hatra.​​ 

​​ 

Daesh said it killed or wounded​​ 4​​ PMF fighters, including a commander, and destroyed a vehicle on Thursday in when it ambushed a PMF convoy near Hatra city. [ICDNMar1-Telegram]​​ Daesh published photos of the ambush.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh kidnapped a shepherd and stole his sheep on Monday near Kharbat Hamad village, west of Hatra.​​ 

DaeshDaily comment. ​​​​ These incidents of kidnapped and murdered shepherds have become frequent. It’s sad that even innocent shepherds tending their flocks aren’t safe from these killers, and unfortunately shepherds have no place to hide. The likely motive is to steal food. By moving to​​ the desert, Daesh has moved away from food supplies and so either has to go out and steal food or have it brought in. Interrupting their food supply would seem to be a logical military tactic for the government.

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

The​​ UN​​ Commission of Inquiry​​ (CoI)​​ on Syria​​ issued a report​​ describing​​ the situation in the country as “cruel and unsafe.​​ It said that​​ despite​​ the​​ downturn in military​​ operations, war crimes, looting, and crimes against humanity are​​ ongoing. It accused​​ both​​ Syrian​​ Army troops​​ and​​ the​​ SDF of causing casualties among civilians. [EnabBaladi]​​ [UNHCR]

The UN CoI report also said that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that Turkey-backed armed groups in Afrin​​ have​​ committed multiple war crimes. It noted, “Due to the glaring absence of the rule of law, it similarly remains unclear whether Turkish forces were capable of exercising overall control over any armed groups present in the district.” [Kurdistan24]

 

Geir Pederson,​​ the​​ UN​​ Special​​ Envoy​​ for​​ Syria,​​ said that​​ his mission will not be​​ confined to forming the constitutional committee. He says that all aspects of UN​​ Security​​ Council​​ Resolution 2254​​ are within his purview,​​ including access to humanitarian aid,​​ the cessation of​​ all hostilities, combating terrorism, and​​ the​​ release of prisoners. He said he held a fruitful meeting​​ with​​ Syrian​​ Foreign​​ Minister Walid Al-Mu’alem and opposition coordinator Omar Al-Hariri. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

Turkey

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood supported Turkish oversight of the planned “safe zone” in the northeast of the country. It said that if any party other than Turkey participates, the “safe zone” would not be safe. [EnabBaladi]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We think the opposite. If​​ Turkey​​ participates, the “safe zone” would not be safe. One of the Turkish government’s​​ sources​​ of conflict with Arab countries is its​​ affiliation with the​​ Muslim Brotherhood, which explains the motive for the statement.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that 246 civilians were killed during February, including 54 children and 50 women. The victims were distributed among all parties to the conflict, including the Syrian Army, opposition militias, Daesh, and the SDF. [EnabBaladi]

 

The Coalition said that its planes killed Fabian Clain, the French terrorist who claimed responsibility for the November 2015 attacks in Paris. Clain was reportedly killed on a road in Al-Baghouz, where he was known as “Abu Anas Al-Faransi” (Abu Anas the Frenchman). [Sumaria]​​ [BBC]

 

The​​ Daily Telegraph​​ published the story of Habiba, a 10-month-old child​​ of​​ a Daesh family who died in a truck​​ that was​​ moving women and children of Daesh families from Aleppo to an SDF camp. The writer said that 80 other children like Habiba have been killed in the past 2 months following the chaos created by​​ the​​ Daesh-SDF fighting. [Sumaria]

 

Repatriation

Shamima Begum, the famous Daesh bride from the UK, disappeared from Al-Hawl camp in Syria, following death threats by Daesh fighters’ wives present in the camp, after her extensive meetings with the media.​​ British media outlets reported that Begum may have been moved to another refugee camp closer to the border with Iraq. But in a phone call on Friday afternoon, the lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said: “We don’t know where she has been moved to. We don’t know if it’s within the camp or to another one.”​​ The British​​ Sun​​ wrote that the Daesh fighters’ wives believed that her interviews hurt their “cause.”​​ [Sumaria]​​ [NYT]

 

Northwest

No reports

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

The SOHR reported a violent explosion in Idlib, which is​​ mostly​​ controlled by Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), caused by a suicide attacker with an explosives​​ belt. The explosion targeted a restaurant and left 5 killed and 27 wounded. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Forat​​ says a Daesh land​​ mine killed a civilian​​ who was​​ searching for mushrooms in Shoula, southwest of Deir Ez-Zor city. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF member with a silenced gun on Thursday in Jazrat Albu Hamid village, in Al-Kasrah subdistrict, in far northern Deir Ez-Zor. [ICDNMar1-Telegram]

 

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said on Friday it killed an SDF member with machine guns in Suwaidan village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNMar1-Telegram]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SOHR said that 30 trucks entered Al-Baghouz area to transport civilians and Daesh fighters and their families who decided to surrender to the SDF. The SDF​​ was still waiting for the departure of all civilians before launching its final attack. [SyriaHR]​​ 

 

However, on Friday, the SDF announced on Twitter that it would begin an attack on the final Daesh stronghold in Al-Baghouz. Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the SDF, claimed that the SDF had completed the evacuation of civilians and its own POWs. [BasNews]​​ The battle was under way by later in the day.

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia

Saudi authorities said they were preparing to try at least 9 detained women’s rights activists​​ in a “special terrorism court,​​ despite international pressure to free them. [WSJ]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Crown Prince’s reformist image is in tatters after recent developments, and if this trial goes ahead there will be a bigger international reaction than the Saudis anticipate.

 

North Africa

Libya

The​​ Khalifa Haftar-led Libyan National Army, which​​ controls​​ eastern Libya, announced that​​ it​​ had taken control of Umm​​ Al-Aranib town, a stronghold of what they described as the “Chadian opposition,” describing them as​​ gangs engaged in​​ smuggling and sabotage. Details of the operation were not revealed. [Anadolu]​​ 

 

Tunisia

The Daesh magazine​​ Naba’​​ published a picture of the Tunisian citizen Mohammed Al-Akhdar Al-Makhloufi, who was previously found decapitated on February 21. Daesh referred to the man as a “Tunisian Security spy.”​​ [Tunisien]

 

On Friday, a land​​ mine exploded on Mount​​ Arbata,​​ in Gafsa Governorate,​​ central Tunisia, injuring a soldier who was taking part in military operations on the mountain. [Tunisien]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Friday it killed a Tunisian soldier with a land​​ mine on​​ Mount​​ Arbata. [ICDNMar1-Telegram]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Sweden

The Swedish Center for Information (SCI) said on Friday that Swedish authorities had arrested an Iraqi immigrant on charges of spying on refugees and reporting on them. The immigrant, 45 and living in Stockholm, was reportedly arrested by the Swedish Security Service. He was accused of working for the Iraqi security services to monitor “dissident” Iraqi refugees or immigrants.​​ [Sumaria]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Military sources said that airstrikes in Shah Wali Kot District, Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan, killed 18 Taliban fighters and wounded 4 others. [Khaama]

 

Taliban fighters, including suicide bombers, attacked an Afghan Army base in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, on Friday. The media office of the Helmand government said that the attack was repulsed, killing at least 3 suicide bombers and 6 other Taliban fighters. [Khaama]

 

 

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