An Update On ISIS Activities

November 15, 2017

November 15, 2017

 

Rawa

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraqi forces close in on Daesh in Rawa. [..]

Political opposition group wants​​ KRG PM and Deputy PM to resign. [..]

 

Syria

UN resolution slams human rights abuses in Syria. [..]

SDF spokesman reportedly defects to Turkey.​​ [..]

The battle for Albu Kamal continues between Syrian forces, Daesh. [..]

 

US

Congress labels Iran-affiliated PMF organization a terrorist group. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Wednesday,​​ Prime Minister Haider​​ Al-Abadi issued a statement​​ interpreting​​ the Federal Court’s decision about Article 1 of the constitution to mean that the results of the Kurdistan independence referendum should be canceled. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

PUK representative Rebwar Taha welcomed the Federal Court’s decision and the KRG’s acceptance of it​​ yesterday, saying that this should be the starting point for dialogue between the KRG and the central government. [Sumaria]

 

The KRG stated on Wednesday that UNAMI Representative Jan Kubis handed a letter from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, in which Guterres expressed relief that the KRG and the Iraqi government are ready for dialogue. In the letter, Guterres emphasized the need for stability and reconciliation in order to combat the Daesh threat. [BasNews]

Wednesday, the EU welcomed the KRG’s​​ acceptance of​​ the Federal Court’s interpretation of Article 1 of the constitution. The EU reported that the KRG expressed its commitment to engaging in dialogue with Baghdad in clear terms. [BasNews]

French Foreign Ministry​​ spokeswoman Annis Espanyol says France applauds the KRG for recognizing the decision of the Iraqi Federal Court. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, the KRG invited Al-Abadi to refrain from the language of threats and to work on finding a solution to the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad. A KRG statement added that the federal government should stop resorting to the media and interpreting the constitution unilaterally without notifying the KRG or asking for their input.​​ [SotIraq]​​ [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Aside from the odd statement that a national government should not issue opinions on constitutional matters without consulting regional governments, the whining about resorting to the media is hypocritical. The KRG has been waging a public relations campaign for some days against the Iraqi government, as anyone reading Daesh Daily reports knows.

 

Wednesday, the KDP stated that it decided to return and participate in CoR sessions, because of the rough conditions facing the Iraqi people and​​ its​​ belief that communication is the only solution to disputes. [Rudaw]​​ [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Back to square one. Barzani will do his best to prevent Abadi from getting reelected.​​ ​​ 

 

Wednesday, Al-Abadi told Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, that human rights violations in Iraq are “few,” and that the government has taken concrete steps to punish the violators. Callamard reiterated that the UN supports Baghdad in this regard and encourages the steps the Iraqi government has taken. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, in a meeting​​ in Washington​​ with Senator Bob Corker,​​ Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,​​ CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri emphasized the need to mobilize the efforts to rebuild the areas destroyed due to Daesh’s takeover and to speed up the return of IDPs to their home​​ towns. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Wednesday, the IWMC reported that the Military Intelligence Services arrested two terrorists in the Taji area north of Baghdad. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

South​​ (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Baghdad Operations Command units searched the Kilo 5 area in south Baghdad, where 4 IEDs and other explosives left behind by Daesh were found. A number of wanted suspects were also arrested on various charges.​​ [BOC Facebook Page]

 

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Baghdad Operations Command units carried out a search in the Baijiya neighborhood in Mansour, which located 3 IEDs, 52 mortar shells, and other explosives. [BOC Facebook Page]​​ 

 

Tuesday, a security source reported the arrest of a group carrying C4 in a vehicle with the intention of blowing it up near the Mansour University in west Baghdad. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:  ​​​​ 4(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 2

 

ANBAR

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

Wednesday, the Jazeera Ops Command announced the liberation of 13 villages, according to a statement from the IWMC. In addition, 45 terrorists were killed​​ including​​ 3 suicide terrorists;​​ 10 vehicles carrying equipment and terrorists, 8 motorcycles, over 100 IEDs, and 6 booby-trapped cars were destroyed. [IraqPress] [Ghad] Jazeera Ops Commander, Lieutenant General Abdul​​ Amir Yarallah, announced Daesh’s losses in its last strongholds in west Anbar since November 13th, including the 13 villages recovered​​ north of the Euphrates River. Yarallah added that the​​ armed​​ forces continue advancing towards Rawa. [Baghdadia]

 

Wednesday, a security source reported that Coalition warplanes carried out 7 airstrikes on Daesh posts and weapon depots in Rawa, Daesh’s final stronghold. According to intelligence data, Daesh​​ fighters​​ are preparing to flee to the desert as the security forces approach the area. [Mawazin]​​ 

Wednesday, Coalition aircraft destroyed a Daesh IED factory and a vehicle bomb in Rawa, Western Anbar, a security source in Anbar said. [Sumaria]

 

A military source near Rawa said the EOD began setting up artificial bridges on the Euphrates River to pave the way for the liberation campaign to invade Rawa. [Mada]​​ 

 

Wednesday, security expert Hashem Al-Hashimi revealed that there are 12,000 civilians trapped by Daesh in Rawa’s center for use as human shields. [Forat]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This seems inconsistent with​​ recent​​ estimates that there are only 20 or maybe 40 Daesh fighters left in the city.

 

Wednesday, Anah​​ District​​ Mayor Sa’id Fayyad stated that the battle against Daesh in Rawa will be finished​​ in the next 2-3 days. [Sputnik]

 

Head of the Anbar Security Committee, Na’eem Al-Ka’oud confirmed on Wednesday that civilians held hostage by Daesh in Rawa have been evacuated by​​ boat across the Euphrates​​ River. [Sputnik]

The Ministry of Defense shared a video showing the Iraqi Army extending humanitarian help to IDPs from Rawa. [MoD Website]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

The MoD reported that​​ the​​ total​​ number of Salahuddin families who have cleared security background checks and returned home is now up to​​ 147,220. [MoD Website]

 

Baiji

According to the MoD, units from Salahuddin Ops​​ Command​​ searched the Al-Jazeera area from the area across​​ from​​ Uwaynat, where 61 IEDs were found and defused. [Etejah]

 

Tikrit

Wednesday, a PMF statement announced that PMFs​​ foiled a Daesh attack in Albu Eissa village near Mtaibija. [Forat]

 

DIYALA

A local official in Diyala issued a decree to bulldoze orchards belonging to those who cooperated with Daesh to destabilize internal security. [Sumaria]

 

Muqdadiya/Abu Saida/Central Diyala

Wednesday, Head of the Muqdadiya Council, Adnan Al-Tamimi, reported that a large-scale security conference was held in the Dijla Ops headquarters to discuss the security of Muqdadiya, with a focus on the recent events in the Nahr Al-Imam village. One of the decisions made is to destroy the farms belonging to collaborators and members of Daesh. Another decision was to secure the agricultural road that passes the Nahr Al-Imam village and to form a tribal PMF within the village to confront sleeper cells.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Manager​​ of the Abu Saida​​ subdistrict, Mohammed Al-Baqer, confirmed that armed clashes occurred recently between the Sunni and Shia tribes, but says they were reconciled through dialogue. Al-Baqer added that Daesh cells are still present in the Al-Waqf basin and attack security​​ units once in a while, but overall the situation is stable. He also added that the “federal government has no excuse not to provide residents of Abu Saida with services. Most service projects are on hold due to the shortages in medical and educational staff.” [BaghdadToday

 

Wednesday, Dijla Ops Commander Mizhar Al-Azzawi announced the destruction of 3 IEDs and the arrest of 17 suspects on criminal and terrorist charges during a search operation in the Makhisa basin to track Daesh members and sleeper cells. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Head of the Security Committee in​​ the Abu Saida council, Awwad Al-Rabi’i, reported on Wednesday that Daesh cells in the Makhisa farms​​ area​​ used “illicit and unprecedented means” to fight the residents of Abu​​ Qarma village​​ in the Al-Waqf area. Al-Rabi’i added that the Daesh cells cut off the flow of the Abu​​ Qarma River which passes the Makhisa farms and feeds Abu​​ Qarma, in order to drive the residents out of the village. He added that security units re-opened the river, but the terrorist cells planted 4 IEDs in the farm roads to impede their advance. [Ghad]

 

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

[See northern Diyala-related story below under Hawija]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Chairman of the Kirkuk Provincial Council​​ Rebwar Talabani confirmed on Wednesday that he will not return to the governorate before the “illegal” and “unconstitutional” procedures there are​​ stopped, describing the security situation in Kirkuk as “loose.” He added that there are armed gangs and they may carry out abductions and murders at any moment. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, dismissed Kirkuk Governor, Najmaldin​​ Kareem, said he is proud that the referendum was held in Kirkuk, and that he expects Kirkuk to be divided into two governorates; the first in Hawija and the second for the Kurds and Turkmen. [Rudaw]

 

Wednesday, the​​ head of the​​ KDP’s Foreign Relations Office, Hoshyar Siwaily, said that “the KDP really wants to return to Kirkuk, but only on the condition that it will not be a humiliating return,” stressing that such a return must be for the Kurdish people’s interest. Moreover, he expressed the KDP’s rejection of the PUK’s candidate, Rizgar Ali, as Kirkuk’s​​ Governor, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper. [Sumaria]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Daesh publishes photos of its terrorists training in the “Kirkuk” area. [ICDNNov15]

However, a​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says the hills in the photos are actually in the Himrin area in Diyala. The source says Daesh wants to “prove” to its loyalists that it still has a foothold in the Hawija area. The source says there are hundreds of Daesh fighters, including Iranians, in the area between Himrin and Mtaibija. The source says Iraqi forces haven’t been able to clear the area because of the difficult terrain.​​ 

 

According to the MoD, units from the IFP and the Salahuddin Command carried out pre-emptive search operations in the Al-Zab area to secure it from Daesh remnants. As a result, 9 IED materials, cables, and explosive lighters were found. [MoD Website]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil

Wednesday, a security source reported that unknown assailants killed​​ three​​ people in the Hammam Al-Alil area, including a child. The source added that the assailants shot them in front of their house. [BasNews]​​ According to the source, one of the victims was a tribal PMF member.​​ [SotIraq]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

Wednesday, a security source reported that Iraqi forces units expelled 10 Daesh families from Zummar. The Daesh families had returned to Zummar following the Peshmerga’s withdrawal and the federal forces deployment in the area. Two Daesh families also fled from​​ a​​ village in Aski due to threats from the residents. [Shafaaq]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Kerbala

Wednesday, the Kerbala Police​​ Chief, Ahmed Ali Zweini, announced the arrest of a wanted suspect on charges of terrorism. The suspect worked in Al-Qaeda before joining Daesh. [Ghad] [Mawazin]​​ 

 

Basra

According to the MoD, the Basra Ops Command carried out several search operations in the desert areas of Basra that are adjacent to other provinces. The operations, conducted by Iraqi Army Air helicopters, aimed to track wanted criminals, weapon traders, and drug dealers, and to prevent Daesh from using these areas to carry out attacks in the province. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

A statement signed by 109 political, parliamentary, academic, and Kurdish media personalities stated that the Kurdistan referendum held on September 25th​​ resulted in a disaster​​ for​​ the people, and it called on KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Qubad Talabani to take responsibility and resign. [Sumaria]

 

In a report issued by the Finance Committee in the​​ Kurdish parliament on the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s share of the​​ federal​​ budget, seen by Rudaw, it stated that “If Baghdad does not agree to pay 17% of the budget for the Kurdistan region, the Kurdistan region must​​ get by on​​ 12.67% of the total revenues of Iraq without deducting sovereign expenditures.​​ The report also stressed that “the difference in the number of employees of the Kurdistan region must be addressed by a specialized committee comprising experts from both sides,​​ as the​​ KRG​​ confirms the number is​​ 1,249,481 people, while Baghdad indicates that the number of​​ KRG​​ employees is only 681,021 people.” [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ These numbers are not even close. Presumably some of the difference is in who is counted as a government employee. It would be fascinating to know what the breakdown of​​ the KRG number is. In essence, the CoR seems to believe that the usual 17% share (minus some expenses) is based on inflated numbers. ​​ 

 

The Turkish Army neutralized 3 PKK members in Northern Iraqi Kurdistan. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Following a question about Daesh members from Raqqa posing a threat to Turkey, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu​​ said that Turkey is taking all necessary measures in the border areas and in cities in order to face possible Daesh or other terrorist organization threats. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Wednesday, the UN condemned the systemic violations and abuses against Syrian civilians since 2011, issuing a resolution to curb serious human rights violations in Syria. The UN resolution called on Iran’s militias to withdraw from Syria and blamed the Syrian government for violations against civilians. [Dorar]

 

Wednesday, Joint Leader of the PYD,​​ Shahuz Hassan called on the US-led Coalition to remain in Syria until a political solution is found in Syria. [Dorar]

 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that the fight against terrorism is not an “entry card” for “certain countries or coalitions for a military presence in Syria,” blaming the UN for allowing the presence of certain foreign militaries in Syria. [SyriaNow]

Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry approved using video footage as evidence of the US support for Daesh in Syria. [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The statement yesterday by Secretary of Defense Mattis that the US would stay in Syria until decisions on its political future are made in Geneva was guaranteed to set off stories like these. The strategy behind Russia’s ongoing anti-American propaganda is to force the US out of Syria so as to leave Assad’s rule unchallenged.

 

SDF spokesman, Big. Gen.​​ Talal Silo, reportedly left his unit and has gone to Turkey.​​ Silo arrived in Turkish territory early on Wednesday morning, according to AFP. Mohammad Abdallah, politburo chief of the Hamza Division,​​ a Turkey-backed opposition group,​​ told AFP that a deal to take Silo to Turkey was agreed upon between Silo and Turkish forces. Abu Al-Farouq, a deputy chief of Liwa​​ Al-Shamal, confirmed the deal to AFP.​​ Silo is a Syrian Turkman who has fought in the Turkmen Seljuk Brigade, a faction partnered with the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG).​​ [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

Daesh says it killed three SDF members with an IED near the city of Markada, south of Shaddadi. [A3maq]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ area

Tuesday, the Coalition admitted to the possibility that dozens of foreign Daesh militants, who might have escaped when 3,500 civilians were evacuated from Raqqa, are hiding among civilians. The Coalition also justified not targeting a large Daesh convoy on the grounds that there were civilians in the convoy.​​ Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said “there were about 300 militants who had been identified as potential fighters but not all those fighters who fled Raqqa were identified.” [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

Dara Mustafa, a member of the PYD’s diplomatic relations office in Europe, told Bas News that Turkey had not received any concessions from Russia regarding Turkey’s plan to enter Afrin, and Turkey’s request to ban the PYD from participating in the Syrian National Dialogue conference, to be held in Sochi. He also added “neither Russia nor the international community allows Turkey to enter Afrin in western Syrian Kurdistan region because Afrin is not occupied by Daesh.” [BasNews]

 

Coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said Tuesday the​​ Coalition would not offer support to any forces that are not fighting Daesh or working toward the U.S. mission.​​ “If you’re not fighting (Daesh) and you’re not working towards the same mission that we are, then you don’t get that support,” he said.

Dillon’s comments came during a briefing where he was asked whether the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve bears the responsibility to extend support to PYD militants who recently moved to Afrin in northwest Syria in case of a Turkish operation in the area.

Dillon said​​ that the coalition would protect forces who fight Daesh, giving the example of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).​​ He also said that the SDF is a Coalition partner and it is composed of Kurds, Arabs, Yazidis, and Christians. He said that the Coalition will protect its partners.​​ Dillon added he could not confirm any plan by Turkey to launch an operation in Afrin.

He gave the example of a Syrian opposition group called​​ Al-Shuhuk which stopped supporting U.S. operations in southeastern Syria around Al-Tanf.

“I think we’ve shown once in the past that with the element who were working out of Al-Tanf who did not want to fight​​ (Daesh)​​ and had other endeavors. We cut our ties with them because that’s what they wanted to pursue and then they were not going to be supported by the coalition any further.” he said.​​ [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Hawar reports the Turkish Army shelled​​ another village in Afrin. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Enab Baladi reports that​​ Syrian forces advanced at Tahrir Al-Sham’s expense in 5 villages in eastern Hama. [EnabBaladi]

 

Homs

Historical artifacts expert Mohammed Khalid Asaad,​​ in the Homs Department of Artifacts, reported that two stolen artifacts going back to the 2nd​​ or 3rd​​ century were found in a Daesh hideout in southern Tadmur. [Forat]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that 6 strategic T-22M3 bombers launched airstrikes on Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor, crossing Iranian and Iraqi airspace to hit their targets. [Sumaria]

 

Mayadin

The SDF advanced in Al-Shuhail town and captured a village near it as Daesh retreated to Abu Hamam town. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF units in the Al-Omar Oilfield with Katyushas. [ICDNNov15]

 

Daesh publishes photos of its terrorists near Mahkan village, south of Mayadin. [ICDNNov15]

 

Albu Kamal

SOHR reports that fighting continues between the Syrian forces and​​ Iraqi militias​​ on one hand and Daesh on the other in Albu Kamal. [SyriaHR]

 

Lebanese media reports that Daesh killed eight members of the Lebanese Hezbollah in Albu Kamal. [Dorar]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh beheaded four Nujaba’ Movement members near a mosque in Albu Kamal.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ They may have been among the PMFs who entered Albu Kamal before the Syrian Army could arrive and were trapped by Daesh.​​ 

 

Daesh says it killed seven Syrian soldiers and wounded others with a rocket near Albu Hamdan village, west of Albu Kamal. [A3maq]

It also says it destroyed a Syrian Army tank and a bulldozer, and damaged another tank with rockets in the same area. [A3maq]

Daesh publishes photos of targeting 2 groups of Syrian soldiers with rockets west of Albu Kamal. [ICDNNov15]​​ 

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Anadolu reports that eight civilians were killed and 100 others were wounded during Syrian airstrikes over the past 24 hours in Ghouta. [Anadolu]

 

Daesh publishes a propaganda video about its operations against Nusra Front south of Damascus. [ICDNNov15]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya/Tunisia

Tuesday, a security source in Libya reported that Daesh has re-emerged in Sirte, Libya, which it had lost 11 months ago in clashes with the Libyan forces. Daesh reportedly set up a checkpoint 20 km (12.5 miles) south of Buhadi near Sirte, and they are using it to​​ stop​​ and search civilian cars. The source added that Daesh is​​ set up​​ in rugged valleys 80 km (50​​ miles) south of Buhadi. [SPA]

 

Tuesday, the National Guard Research and Inspection Division dismantled a​​ takfiri​​ cell of 30 members in different parts of Tunisia. [Tunisien]

Algeria

Wednesday, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said that North Africa is under threat from foreign fighters escaping Daesh following its defeats in Iraq and Syria. [Youm7]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

US

The US Congress categorized the Iran-affiliated Nujaba’ Movement of the PMF as a terrorist group and called on President Donald Trump to blacklist the group and any foreign officials connected to it within 90 days. [Rudaw]

 

According to the​​ Military Times, a propaganda video published by Daesh on November 10th​​ shows a US-made thermal camera, originally intended for maritime use, which retails for $5,000. [MilitaryTimes] [Etejah]​​ 

 

UK

According to the​​ British​​ Telegraph​​ newspaper, the young son of Sally Jones (the White Widow), was not killed in the airstrike which killed his mother. According to witnesses, the boy was seen 35 miles away from the Euphrates River near the eastern Syrian border with Iraq. [Telegraph] [Youm7]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it shot and killed an Afghan Intelligence officer in Mandozi, west of Khost on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

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