May 25, 2017
TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
Report says US warned Al-Abadi about a military coup attempt by Al-Maliki. [..]
Investigation of deadly Coalition airstrike in Mosul finds death toll attributable to Daesh explosives in the building. [..]
Controversial court decision in Finland frees two suspected Tikrit mass murderers. [..]
Coalition unloads major airstrike on Daesh near Al-Qa’im. [..]
More Mosul IDPs now returning home. [..]
Peshmerga in Sinjar complain that PMFs are invading their territory. [..]
PMFs report liberating nine more villages in Sinjar. [..]
PMFs start liberation operations in Baaj. [..]
Coalition hits Raqqa, Deir Ez-Zor, Bukamal with heavy airstrikes. [..]
Major Syrian campaign to retake Maskanah claims huge Daesh losses. [..]
Syrian forces make gains in several areas of Homs province. [..]
Syrian Army keeps moving toward Free Army area in southern Syria. [..]
Major, deadly Daesh attacks still reverberating in southern Philippines. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
According to Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, an unnamed US diplomat says the US warned PM Abadi about a possibility of a military coup by an armed force loyal to former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.
It also says that the President Trump’s advisor Jared Kushner, during his visit to Baghdad, asked Al-Abadi to remove 785 senior MoD and MoI officers and directors who have links to Iran from decision-making roles. [BasNews]
The Coalition says its investigation of a March 17 Coalition airstrike in the Al Jadida district of Mosul, Iraq, found that a secondary explosion triggered a rapid failure of the structure, in which two Daesh snipers, 101 civilians sheltered in the bottom floors of the structure, and four civilians in a neighboring structure were killed. An additional 36 civilians who were reported to be in buildings connected to the structure remain unaccounted for.
The investigation determined that Daesh emplaced a large amount of explosive material in a structure containing a significant number of civilians and then attacked Iraqi forces from the structure.
Maj. Gen. Joe Martin, Commanding General CJFLCC-OIR said “Our condolences go out to all those that were affected. The Coalition takes every feasible measure to protect civilians from harm. The best way to protect civilians is to defeat (Daesh.)” [InherentResolve]
Iraqi parliament Speaker Al-Jubouri says the judiciary has requested it to lift the immunity of 24 CoR members. He declined to mention names or the specific charges on which the request is based. [Anadolu]
District Court of Pirkanmaa, Finland made a ruling Wednesday in an exceptional case. Two 24-year-old Iraqi twin brothers were on trial in Finland for eleven murders committed during the Camp Speicher massacre in Tikrit, Iraq. Daesh singled out Shia and non-Muslim cadets from Sunni ones and murdered 1,700.
The twins went to Finland as asylum seekers and were arrested by the Finnish police based on tips received from other asylum seekers, who were terrified to see suspected ISIS terrorists in the reception center.
Before the trial, Iraq demanded extradition of the twins based on charges pressed against them in Iraq. Finland refused, as the twins might face the death penalty in Iraq. The state prosecutor Tom Laitinen demanded a life sentence. He says that the executioner shown on a video clip showing executions of cadets was one of the twin brothers.
The district court residing in Tampere, Finland, heard four eyewitnesses give their testimony in Iraq on a video conference call. The defense lawyer claimed the twins weren’t even in Tikrit at the time of the massacre and requested that the charges be dropped. According to the defense, it is impossible to prove that one of the twins is actually depicted on the video.
The twins were then acquitted. In addition, they are to receive compensation for the time they spent in jail during the trial. A total of 17 months in jail at the standard compensation rate of 100 euros per day equates to over 50,000 euros for each twin. And their lawyer is planning to seek much more than the standard rate, as the case has attracted so much publicity against the defendants. [MVLEHTI]
DaeshDaily comment. We wonder if Finland’s insistence on holding the trial in Finland, so as to uphold Europe’s proud opposition to capital punishment, didn’t backfire in this case. The distance from witnesses and from the horrible context of the case was perhaps too great. Iraq was apparently certain that these men were guilty, as were other Iraqis who saw them in Finland, which we concede does not prove they were guilty. Iraqi prosecutors have gotten guilty verdicts against many others similarly accused in this infamous case. So it seems that the twins have beaten the rap, and they will be happy residents of Finland for a long time, despite the bad publicity, as they will have lots of money from Finnish taxpayers to support them but are likely dead if they return to Iraq, even if the government doesn’t prosecute them. In the meantime, Meanwhile, the Finnish authorities should worry about the risk to their own people.
The Coalition says it conducted 13 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq, in or near Mosul (3) and Tal Afar (1); Rawa (1); and Baiji (7) and Tikrit (1). [InherentResolve]
Security-related incidents reported
North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)
Daesh says it killed a PMF commander after breaking into his house in the Al-Makarem area near Al-Meshahda. [DMNMay25]
Southeast (Mada’in, etc.)
A police source says an IED exploded in a marketplace in Mada’in, wounding two civilians. [Ghad]
A police source says a government employee was killed when a sticky IED exploded under his civilian car in the Jisr Diyala area. [Sumaria]
Total Baghdad incidents reported: 3 (Includes only incidents reported)
Total IED incidents reported: 2
An Anbar Emergency Police source in Anbar says the police detonated a car bomb under control on Street 60 in Ramadi. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says Coalition planes bombed Daesh military reinforcements coming from Syria to Al-Qa’im, killing tens of terrorists. The source says this was one of the biggest airstrikes since 2016.
An Anbar Operations Command source says Daesh publicly executed two of its commanders in Rawa. The source says Daesh terrorists had internal disputes regarding whether to stay or flee if Iraqi forces attacked northwest Anbar. [Maalomah]
The Mayor of Rutba says a Tribal PMF battalion arrived in Rutba to hold the ground after finishing its training in Ramadi. [Maalomah]
The Mayor of Shirqat District says a group of food smugglers for Daesh was arrested. The smugglers moved foodstuffs from government-controlled west Shirqat to Daesh-controlled east Shirqat, where Daesh would sell a bag of sugar for IQD 1 million (about $800) and a pack of cigarettes for IQD 60,000 ($50). The smugglers use the pretext of a humanitarian cause for their actions as the east side is under siege by Iraqi forces and its population faces big food shortages. [Maalomah]
Daesh says it targeted PMF positions in Ain Al-Baidha village and nearby areas with 31 mortars. [DMNMay25]
Daesh says its snipers killed a PMF fighter and wounded another in Allas oilfield. [DMNMay25]
Western Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)
Daesh says it destroyed a PMF machine gun–mounted vehicle with an IED in Al-Zarqa village, killing the fighters inside. [DMNMay25]
Diyala Police says intelligence units captured a Daesh suicide terrorist north of Baquba who was on his way to conduct an attack in a residential area in the city. It says within an hour, security forces captured a Daesh cell of 3 members who recruited the terrorist. It says the attack was supposed to be part of a Daesh major attack in the month of Ramadan in Baquba. [Sumaria]
Diyala police says its EODs defused an IED in the Qasab area in the Wajihiya subdistrict of Muqdadiya. [Ghad]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
The Mayor of Al-Khalis says Daesh is deploying its terrorists who fled the Mtaibija area on the Salahuddin side of the border to 3 villages in Udhaim, near the border with Salahuddin. He says the villages were liberated in 2014, but have remained empty since then. [Sumaria]
Daesh says it killed or wounded IFP soldiers in an ambush on the road between Muqdadiya and Himrin subdistrict. [A3maq]
A PMF commander says a warplane destroyed a Daesh vehicle in the Mtaibija area, killing the terrorists inside. [Ghad]
Daesh says it damaged a PMF vehicle in an ambush in Dalli Abbas, in Mansouriya subdistrict in northeast Diyala. [DMNMay25]
A Kirkuk Police commander says the Kirkuk Criminal Court sentenced 2 men to death for detonating explosives at a cemetery during a funeral in 2015. Twenty-one people were killed or wounded in the explosion. [Sumaria]
A PMF leader says 3 Daesh security commanders in Hawija escaped the city with their families, and that Daesh initiated a search, blocking all roads in areas under its control. [Sumaria]
The security committee of Diyala Provincial Council says internal fighting broke out among Daesh members in Hawija, resulting in the death of the interim Diyala wali recently appointed and two of his escorts. No more information is available on the incident. [Sumaria]
Daesh says it destroyed a PMF military vehicle with an IED in Al-Laqlaq village near Al-Riyadh, killing the fighters inside. [DMNMay25]
Mosul liberation campaign
The Ninewa Liberation Command issued a statement to the people in the remaining 9 locations under Daesh control in west Mosul to move toward the secure roads provided by Iraqi forces. IWMC says IAF planes dropped thousands of leaflets on the 9 areas. [Sumaria] [Ghad]
Daesh says it killed seventeen Iraqi soldiers in different areas in west Mosul. [DMNMay25]
The IFP commander says his forces are opening safe routes for civilians to evacuate combat areas. He says there are certain operations the IFP is starting in the Bab Al-Tob area of the Old City, and it has already captured some buildings that overlook the Grand Mosque minaret. [Ghad]
A security source says Daesh is besieging the Mosul population in the Old Mosul area where it announced its “caliphate,” in the face of obvious non-cooperation by the residents. It is holding women and children in houses and locking them up to prevent them from leaving the Old City and preventing food from reaching them. It has also planted many IEDS in the Bab Al-Jadid neighborhood, along the road expected to be taken by Iraqi forces when entering the Old City. [Sumaria]
Daesh issues a video of two Iraqi soldiers targeted by its snipers near the Bab Al-Jadid area. [A3maq]
Daesh says it killed or wounded several CTS soldiers and destroyed 2 military positions and an ammunition storehouse with rockets in Hay Al-Thawra. [DMNMay25]
North & northwest Mosul
Daesh says it killed seven CTS soldiers, including a sniper, and destroyed 2 Humvees in battles in Hay Al-Najjar. [DMNMay25]
Daesh says its snipers killed four Iraqi soldiers in Hay Al-Najjar and near Bab Al-Tob. [A3maq]
Daesh says its snipers killed two CTS soldiers in Hay Al-Najjar. It also says it damaged a Humvee in the same area. [A3maq]
Daesh says 2 of its Iraqi suicide terrorists attacked Iraqi units in Hay Al-Rifa’i with explosive vests, killing ten soldiers, wounding others, and damaging 2 Humvees. Daesh publishes photos of the 2 suicide terrorists. [ICDNMay25]
Daesh says its snipers killed four Iraqi soldiers in Hay Al-Thawra, Al-Rifa’i, and Ras Al-Jadda. [A3maq]
Daesh issues a video of battles near Hay Al-Rifa’i. [A3maq]
Daesh says it destroyed a CTS military position with an SPG9 rocket in Hay Al-Warshan. [DMNMay25]
Other Daesh reports
Daesh says it targeted “Iraqi Army and militias” in different areas in Mosul with 35 mortars. [DMNMay25]
Daesh says 101 people were killed and 199 wounded in “American and Iraqi” bombing on areas in Mosul city during the last 5 days. [A3maq]
DaeshDaily comment. The daily propaganda report on errant airstrikes that never kill Daesh members but only innocent civilians.
Human conditions in Mosul
Ministry of Migration and Displacement says 8,562 displaced people from Mosul returned to their houses during the last 3 days. [Buratha]
Daesh says it targeted PMF positions in the Tal Afar Airport and nearby villages with 48 mortars. [DMNMay25]
Peshmerga command says it secured the escape of over 450 families from Kasik in northern Tal Afar to safe areas in IDP camps in Kurdistan and killed 7 Daesh combatants who tried to obstruct the escaping families. [Anadolu]
A Kurdish CoR member says differences over liberation of Yazidi villages by the PMFs are not yet solved, as the KRG insists that these areas should be liberated by Peshmerga or a joint force of Iraqi army and Peshmerga. The PMF command, which has liberated Qayrawan and 30 villages around it, has held off on retaking some villages until an agreement is reached on the next steps. The Kurds say the Iraqi government violated the agreement with the KRG and let the PMFs operate in a Peshmerga zone of authority. [Mada]
DaeshDaily comment. Agreements aside, there are some big-time politics behind this issue. The Peshmerga have virtually disappeared from the news since Iraq forces entered Mosul city. However, they are still occupying some areas, such as in Sinjar, where the KRG has aspirations of acquiring the district for the KRG and an anticipated independent Kurdistan. This explains the ongoing hostility to the YPG units operating in parts of Sinjar, though that comes mostly from the KDP and Barzani. The PMF leaders are absolutely clear on the Kurdish motives, are loyal to the central government, don’t care for their own purposes about an agreement conceding control of territory to the Kurds that is legally Iraqi territory anyway, and are doing all the fighting in Sinjar.
Chairman of the Sinjar District Council says the PKK kidnapped several boys and girls during the last few days in the Sinjar area. He says Yazidi people are afraid of returning to their houses because of the PKK presence. [BasNews]
DaeshDaily comment. While it is a “standard” PKK procedure to recruit children, the other part of the statement is not quite true. Yazidi people are prevented from returning because of KDP checkpoints in the area.
PMFs say they reached the Domiz residential complex near Sinjar Mountain, liberating 9 villages north, east, and west of Qayrawan and killing 38 Daesh combatants and destroying 11 different vehicles and a mortar squad. [PressIraq] [Harbi]
A Peshmerga commander says a Peshmerga military intelligence officer was assassinated on Sinjar Mountain, without giving more details. [BasNews]
PMFs liberated the Yazidis’ tragic Kujo village south of Sinjar. Kujo witnessed the largest Daesh massacre against Yazidis in August 2014, and hundreds of Yazidi women were kidnapped, including Nadia Murad, the now-famous Yazidi who became a UN goodwill ambassador. [ROJ]
Daesh publishes photos of battles with the Iraqi Army near Kojo village west of Qayrawan. [ICDNMay25]
IWMC says PMF forces found a second Daesh prison in Qayrawan, used to detain Yazidi women before transferring them elsewhere. [IraqPress]
PMFs killed 12 Daesh combatants on the Sinjar–Adnaniya road. [PressIraq]
PMF says it shot down two Daesh recon drones over Adnaniya road west of Mosul. PMFs cut off the Adnaniya–Baaj road earlier in order to isolate the Qayrawan subdistrict. [Maalomah]
PMF says it destroyed a vehicle bomb near Hatimiya, a Yazidi village north of Qayrawan, while army helicopters destroyed three Daesh trucks, killing all combatants onboard south of Kujo. [Harbi]
Daesh says it destroyed a PMF T72 tank, a BMP armored vehicle, and a Humvee in Qayrawan. [A3maq]
The PMF Command says Baaj liberation operations started today and will extend to the Iraq-Syria border.
Baaj city is south-southeast of Sinjar city, toward the Syria border
PMF media says army and PMF units are chasing 7 Daesh trucks armed with machine guns, including one vehicle bomb, which escaped the village of Qabat Al-Wahbi, liberated earlier, towards Maghsal village northeast of Baaj. [IraqPress]
A local source says tens of Daesh combatants have are spread out in Baaj streets after Daesh announced a state of full alert, following attacks on three of its major HQs in the city. [Sumaria]
PMF media says its engineering units are constructing new roads to facilitate movement of its vehicles towards Baaj center. [Forat]
PMF media says Army helicopters destroyed 5 vehicle bombs preparing to attack PMF forces in Albu Khashab village northeast of Baaj. [Maalomah]
PMFs liberated 7 villages northeast of Baaj and destroyed three machine gun mounted trucks and several command centers. [Harbi]
PMF started establishing secure routes to evacuate civilians from combat areas northeast of Baaj. [Harbi]
PMF media says PMFs cut important Daesh supply routes from Kujo to Hatimiya and Baaj to Sinjar and liberated 2 more villages northeast of Baaj, destroying a vehicle bomb and several guesthouses. [Harbi]
A local source say IAF destroyed a Daesh convoy 10 km (6 miles) east of Baaj, destroying 5 vehicles and killing the Daesh emir of Baaj and several of his escorts and assistants. [Sumaria]
PMF Press says PMFs destroyed a Daesh vehicle near the liberated Tal Ghazi village, north of Baaj. [Harbi]
Daesh says a group of its terrorists attacked PMF positions west of Hatra, killing seven fighters, wounding others, destroying a military vehicle, damaging 4 others, and destroying 4 military positions before returning safely. [ICDNMay25]
DaeshDaily comment. The “news” that its terrorists “returned safely” is standard propaganda for Daesh’s creative writing department, even when the rest of the story makes that seem unlikely.
Turkish Army says its planes attacked PKK targets in Matina in northern Iraqi Kurdistan, killing three gunmen and destroying two positions. [Anadolu]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Turkish media says NATO countries are working on establishing a new treaty called METO (Middle East Treaty Organization) to confront the rising terror threat. The new treaty will be concerned with eliminating Daesh, dealing with terror threats after Daesh, limiting Iranian influence, limiting the Russian presence, and formation of new alliances. The media says the problems facing such a treaty include lack of a unified definition of terrorism, lack of unanimity of positions towards these issues, President Trump’s internal problems, and the stall in peace talks in the Middle East, as well as some financial and logistics issues. [Dorar]
Turkey’s Foreign Minister says the PKK (through the SDF) is not aiming to defeat Daesh in Raqqa but rather to gain more ground. He says that supporting terrorist groups is a big mistake. He says his country disagrees with Russia about many of its policies, but the relations between the two countries are very good, and improving. He says that dialogue channels are open with Iran, and there are agreements on several issues, although Turkey is not satisfied with Iranian “ambitions” in the region. [Anadolu]
DaeshDaily comment. We confess to being tired of commenting on Turkey’s foreign policy; but the Erdogan team keeps providing provocative material that seems to require a response. So contemplate the gentleman’s statement. He is the Foreign Minister of a NATO country. By contrast, he continues to speak with hostility toward the United States, and even has thugs who beat up peaceful protesters across from his US embassy in Washington. At the same time, he touts Turkey’s “very good” relations with Russia, the main reason there is a NATO, and its good communications with Iran. If you were advising Secretary of State Tillerson (and maybe some of you are), what advice can you give about dealing with this guy?
The SDF could provide a most satisfactory answer to this public dispute between NATO “allies” by defeating Daesh in Raqqa.
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
The US and Russia renewed and intensified their talks to avoid any aerial collisions or conflicts arising from their operations in Syrian skies. Such coordination reportedly stopped after the US attack on the Syrian airbase recently. [Dorar]
The Coalition says it conducted 21 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria, in Raqqa (15), Deir Ez-Zor (1), Al-Hawl (1), and Albu Kamal (4). [InherentResolve]
Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)
SDF granted a new grace period to Daesh combatants in Raqqa to surrender. The new period extends until the end of the month and was agreed to after the intervention of tribal sheikhs and the Raqqa civil council. The grace period is meant only for Syrian members of armed groups, including Daesh. [PUKMedia]
SOHR says Daesh land mines in Raqqa and the surrounding area killed 18 civilians in the past 48 hours. Casualties include 5 women and two children. [SyriaHR]
West of Raqqa
SDF says it liberated Kadiran village west of Raqqa killing 10 Daesh combatants, and clearing the whole area north of Hurriya Dam, it says. [Hawar]
Coalition planes attacked Dibsi Afnan village northwest of Tabaqa, wounding several civilians and leaving damage. [SyriaHR]
DaeshDaily comment. Once again, SOHR focuses only on alleged civilian casualties, ignoring the larger story altogether, and cites no reliable sources.
North of Raqqa
SDF says Daesh counterattacked SDF forces in Maysaloun village north of Raqqa, and that fierce battles are still going on in that village. [Hawar]
SDF is advancing to Asadiya village north of Raqqa and is engaging Daesh combatants in fierce fighting, while Coalition planes attacked three villages north of Raqqa. [Qasioun]
East of Raqqa
Daesh says it targeted SDF positions in Al-Karama and nearby areas with 48 mortars. [DMNMay25]
Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF positions in the Al-Karama area with mortars. [ICDNMay25]
Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)
Government forces are within 3 km of Maskanah, held by Daesh, after capturing two more villages west of the city. Rumors say Daesh combatants have already started withdrawing from the city under intense Russian air attacks. [Qasioun]
Syrian Army says it captured the fifth station near Maskanah. Syrian government says that Daesh has lost over 3,000 combatants in fighting between eastern Aleppo district and Maskanah since the start of operations including several emirs and other leaders. [SyriaNow]
SOHR says capture of Maskana by government forces is a matter of time, as Syrian and Russian planes initiated 62 airstrikes on the city, while land forces killed at least 18 Daesh fighters including a local emir. [SyriaHR]
Daesh publishes photos of its anti-aircraft machine guns shooting at warplanes in Maskanah city. [ICDNMay25]
Daesh says it shot down a Syrian Army recon drone southeast of Deir Hafer. [A3maq]
Kurdish sources say Turkish army is attacking three villages in Afrin with artillery and tank fire. The bombing is continuing until this moment, say the sources. [Hawar]
Two explosions, one with an IED and another with an explosives belt took place in Azaz. The second one killed 4 civilians and wounded tens of others. Observers believe that this was executed either by Daesh sleeper cells, or by the Shamiya Front as an act of revenge against opposition militant factions. [Hawar]
Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.
Government forces made further advances east of Homs, capturing 3 villages including Al-Barda, and 3 mountain areas, expanding the area it captured recently to 1300 sq. km. Daesh forces withdrew deep into the desert after intense fighting, in which Russian planes played an effective role. [Qasioun]
Daesh killed 8 government soldiers and destroyed two Syrian Army vehicles in a counter–attack near the grain silos east of Palmyra, while the Syrian Army forced Daesh out of Al-Qaryatayn strategic village west of Palmyra. [Qasioun]
This brings government forces very close to the Free Army-held areas southeast of Qaryatayn. [EnabBaladi]
Government forces say they destroyed 36 Daesh escaping Basiri village south of Al-Barda towards the Hamad area deep in the Syrian Desert. [SyriaNow]
Syrian Army says it recaptured Sawana, southwest of Palmyra, after battles with Daesh. [SyriaNow]
Daesh says one of its suicide terrorists attacked Syrian Army units in the Al-Sawana area west of Tadmur with a vehicle, killing or wounding “tens of soldiers” and destroying or damaging 8 military vehicles. [ICDNMay25]
DaeshDaily comment. In these paired reports, notice that the typically “victorious” Daesh story is about a village it seems to have lost, based on the Syrian Army account in the first story
SOHR says this series of battles has allowed government forces to recapture and control the Damascus-Palmyra expressway. [SyriaHR]
SOHR says Daesh shelled Jubb Al-Jarrah city held by the government east of Homs, without causing any casualties. [SyriaHR]
Daesh says it targeted Syrian Army positions in 2 villages south of the Al-Jarrah Military Airport with 13 SPG9 rockets, 20 mortars, and 7 tank shells. Daesh also says it shot down a Syrian Army recon drone south of the Airport. [DMNMay25] Daesh publishes photos of battles south of airport. [ICDNMay25]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Deir Ez-Zor city
Opposition sources say Daesh made advances on government forces in Haweiqa neighborhood in Deir Ez-Zor, using intense rocket shelling and artillery fire. Battles in Rashidiya are continuing without any advance by either party. [Qasioun]
Syrian government says its planes destroyed a Daesh command center in Al-Aradhi neighborhood in Deir Ez-Zor city, killing tens of Daesh combatants. It also says its artillery targeted over 5 Daesh locations, inflicting heavy casualties. [SyriaNow]
SOHR says civilians killed by Daesh through shelling on government held neighborhoods in Deir Ez-Zor rose to 34 including two women and 7 children in the past 7 days. [SyriaHR]
Unidentified planes, Coalition or Russian, killed 17 civilians in airstrikes on Mayadin city east of Deir Ez-Zor, while government planes killed 6 civilians in Mehemeda village east of the city. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. Once again, Qasioun accuses both the US and Russia of targeting civilians, and Syria too, without citing any reliable sources and without covering the larger story that would provide context.
South (Rif Damashq, Suwayda, Daraa, etc.
SOHR says government forces are advancing from several directions and are gradually gaining ground against both Daesh and Free Army forces. It is reported that they are aiming to reach the Tanaf border crossing and impose a status quo on US and Coalition forces. The Syrian forces in the Syrian Desert are still 55 km (34 miles) away from Tanaf but are gradually expanding into Free Army controlled areas. [SyriaHR]
DaeshDaily comment. Either SOHR is confused or we are confused. Based on our reports to date, the so-called Free Army, supported by the US, UK, and Jordan, is focused on helping to defeat Daesh and planning to move north along the Iraq-Syria border, perhaps timed with movement of Iraqi forces on the other side of the border. We have not heard that it was holding territory beyond the Al-Tanaf area, or competing with the Syrian government for territorial control in southern Syria.
Actually, it would be helpful if the Coalition would clarify the goals of the Free Army and the nature of its Coalition backing, but we assume that the continuing mystery surrounding it is deliberate and intended to serve military purposes. In the bottom line, we are sure even if SOHR isn’t that the Syrian Army will not be able to “impose” anything on the Coalition partners supporting the Free Army.
Daesh publishes photos of “normal life” in Al-Shajara town. [ICDNMay25]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
A security source says unidentified gunmen shot dead a police officer as he drove in his car with his family in Arish. [Anadolu]
Unknown armed men shot and killed a policeman in Arish city. [AhlMisr]
DaeshDaily comment. We don’t know if these reports are on the same incident.
Daesh says it detonated an IED on an Egyptian Army minesweeper south of Arish on Wednesday. It also says its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier west of Arish on Wednesday. [A3maq]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Russian federal police say they arrested a large Daesh network planning for attacks on public transportation facilities in Russia. It says the network is run and receives orders from Syria. [SyriaNow]
Daesh says it killed more than seventy Philippine soldiers in attacks on several positions in Marawi city in the south Philippines. Daesh also says it burned down a Philippine Army headquarters and destroyed several armored vehicles during the battles. [A3maq] [A3maq]
Daesh says it killed ten Philippine soldiers, including four officers, and destroyed 2 cars in an attack in Jolo Sulu Island in the southwest Philippines. [A3maq]
DaeshDaily comment. This indicates that Daesh has extended its target area beyond Mindanao. The whole Philippines story this week, even from the government’s side, sounds like a costly government defeat. A strong response can be expected.
Videos of the Day
Coalition Commander meets Iraqi commanders and takes a tour in east Mosul. [Mawsleya]
Civilians in Mosul capture a Daesh member in civilian clothes. [Yalla]
Daesh targets in west Mosul destroyed by a plane. [Facebook]
Iraqi forces destroy a Daesh vehicle bomb. [Facebook]
Daesh terrorists preparing for an attack in Anbar. [Facebook]
Daesh Audio Newsletter for Today [Bayan]
Daesh publishes the 82nd issues of its Al-Naba’ magazine. In this issue, Daesh says it captured most of Marawi city in the south Philippines. It also publishes infographics about its operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan during the last 8 months. It says it killed, wounded, or captured 2,300 people. Daesh also publishes reports about its operations in Iraq, Syria, and other countries. It says hundreds of fighters joined its ranks in the west Anbar, Deir Ez-Zor, and Raqqa areas. [ICDNMay25]