November 17, 2017
TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
Iraqi forces liberate Rawa. [..]
CoR members blast US Congress for designating Nujaba’ as “terrorist organization.” [..]
Germany will fund de-mining project in Raqqa. [..]
At least 20 civilians killed in Daesh vehicle bomb attack on SDF checkpoint. [..]
SDF in control of three more villages in Mayadin. [..]
Syrian troops enter Albu Kamal city. [..]
Daesh threatens the Vatican. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Anti-Daesh liberation campaign
Friday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said that the armed forces liberated Rawa in record time, and they continue to clear the Jazeera (desert) area and are securing the Iraqi border. He added that Rawa’s liberation reflects the great power and capabilities of the armed forces as well as the successful planning of the battles. [Sumaria] Al-Abadi congratulated the Iraqi people on the liberation of Rawa from Daesh. [Rudaw]
The Coalition reports that between November 11th and 17th the Coalition conducted 26 airstrikes in Iraq, in or near Rawa (17) and Al-Qa’im (3), and Qayara (5) and Ramadi (1). [Defense]
Minister of Interior, Qassem Al-Aaraji, said Iraqi security units were able to intercept Daesh gatherings and cells by planting undercover agents among them. According to Al-Aaraji, in some cases, security forces pay for the vehicles used in explosions in Baghdad and ask of people to give statements and report false numbers of victims. Security units are also in contact with a wife of a Daesh leader who provides them with information, according to Al-Aaraji. [BaghdadToday]
In an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Thursday, Brian Hook, Senior Policy Advisor to the US Secretary of State, said “Secretary Tillerson has engaged in a great deal of personal diplomacy on Syria to defeat (Daesh),” adding that “(Daesh) as a physical caliphate will be defeated by the end of the year.” [Forat]
In the past several days, the Iraqi government has completed a 100-million-dollar plan to deal with the post-caliphate phase in Iraqi cities. This is an urgent matter in light of the retaliation attacks Daesh has promised and the risks of renewed internal strife.
The US and the UK contributed to the plan by offering support to the Iraqi forces, including the Army, CTS, intelligence, and local police. Jordan is set to begin intensive training of Iraqi officers in December. [AlAraby]
In a blog published on November 17th, Matthew Henman, editor of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC), said “Despite the hope – or perhaps misguided expectation – otherwise, the defeat of (Daesh) as a territorial entity will not represent its defeat as a non-state armed group, nor put a halt to its armed campaign. Instead, the group will almost certainly transition from a pseudo state back to an underground armed insurgency, remaining capable of conducting asymmetric attacks against security forces in Iraq and Syria and continuing to undermine security and central governance.” [Shafaaq] [IHS]
Member of the Security Committee of the Anbar Provincial Council, Na’eem Al-Ka’oud, said Daesh’s presence has ended in Iraqi cities, but they are still present in the deserts. [AlQurtas]
According to a military and a security source, over one–third of Daesh members were able to escape the areas they previously controlled in Iraq, especially in the north and west of Iraq. Those who escaped fled to the desert or hid among residents, without being recognized as sleeper cells. [AlAraby]
Issues with US Congress
Friday, Head of the Irada Movement in the Council of Representatives (CoR), Hanan Al-Fatlawi, criticized the US statements against certain PMF leaders and factions in describing them as terrorists. She called them a pretext to a war on the PMF. Al-Fatlawi accused the Iraqi government of silence and not defending those who stood up for Iraq, and she called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President to summon the US Ambassador and give him a memo protesting the US statements. [Sumaria] Fatlawi recently left the Rule of Law coalition to establish her own bloc.
Current Rule of Law representative Haider Al-Kaabi said he considers that the US Congress’ decision to list the Nujaba’ Movement as a terrorist group “clearly targets the PMF.” He emphasized the need for Iraq to exhaust all diplomatic efforts to clarify the reality of the PMF’s sacrifices. [Sumaria]
The leader of the CoR’s Citizen Alliance bloc (Al-Muwatin), Hamid Al-Khudari, expressed disapproval of the US Congress decision to list Nujaba’ as a terrorist organization. Al-Khudari called on the US administration to stop its “provocative American attempts” to target the PMF, which he objected to “in whole and in part.” [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. We understand why some Iraqi politicians, especially MPs linked to former PM Maliki, might object to the Congress designating a PMF faction as a terrorist group, Nujaba’ in this case. They claim to be defending Shia PMFs. However, they ignore the fact that the issue is not really the PMF in general but the pro-Iran PMF elements. These are precisely the groups most distrusted by Iraqi citizens, including Shia. More recently it was PMF factions who created the crisis with the Peshmerga. Not so many years ago, some of those factions killed American soldiers in cooperation with Iran.
Security-related incidents reported
West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)
A security source reported on Friday that four people were wounded in an IED explosion near a street market in Abu Ghraib. [Baghdadia]
Friday, representative Kamal Al-Dulaimi emphasized that the big victory against Daesh in Anbar will be marked by the return of Anbar’s residents to their home, rebuilding the area, and returning IDPs to liberated areas. He noted that there are 86 IDP camps in Anbar alone.
Al-Dulaimi added that the Rummana subdistrict in Al-Qa’im is a critical location in Anbar, as it is adjacent to Syria. He added that the residents of Rummana resisted Daesh for a long period, and would have continued had they not run out of ammunition. He added that because the government did not communicate with the tribes of these areas, Daesh killed 22 people and abducted 50 others. [Rudaw]
Anah (including Rawa)
Friday, Jazeera and Northern Euphrates Liberation Commander, Lieutenant General Abdul-Amir Yarallah, announced the complete liberation of Rawa, noting that the Iraqi flag was raised on top of its buildings. [IraqPress] Friday morning, security units and tribal PMFs launched a large-scale operation to invade and liberate Rawa from Daesh. [Sumaria]
Friday, Jazeera Commander, Qassem Al-Mohammedi announced the complete liberation of Rawa, according to the IWMC, adding that the Iraqi flag was raised over the mayor’s building. [Baghdadia]
Friday, the IWMC stated that the Jazeera Ops Command units and the tribal PMF liberated four neighborhoods of Rawa, the mayor’s office, the post office, the market, and the Rawa Bridge. [Baghdadia]
Friday, Psychological Operations issued instructions via radio to the residents of Rawa calling on them to raise a white flag on their houses and for Daesh members to surrender themselves to security units. The instructions began on Thursday. [Ghad] [Etejah]
Friday, Hawar News reported that the Iraqi forces captured the entire Rawa subdistrict, Daesh’s last territory in Iraq. Iraqi media sources said that the Iraqi forces were able to capture the center of Rawa after capturing four neighborhoods during the morning hours on Friday in the western part of the district. The Iraqi forces issued appeals to the people of Rawa subdistrict, and invited them to raise white banners over their homes, and urged Daesh members to surrender themselves. [Hawar]
According to a military source, the Jazeera Ops Command troops, 7th division, and tribes liberated Rawa with backing from the Coalition and IAA, which killed a number of Daesh members and caused many others to flee toward the desert. [Sumaria] PMF spokesman Ghassan Al-Eithawi announced that over 15 villages were liberated and over 45 Daesh members were killed in Rawa. [Mawazin]
Friday, the field Psychological Operations units played the Iraqi national anthem at Rawa’s entrance in celebration of its liberation from Daesh and the end of Daesh’s military presence in Iraq, according to the IWMC. [Baghdadia]
Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim Al-Araji announced that the liberation of Rawa marks the end of the Daesh military threat. “We congratulate the religious authority and the Iraqi nation on the liberation of Rawa town,” he said in a brief statement released on Friday. [Anadolu]
Friday, Minister of Defense Arfan Al-Hayali, stated that “the liberation of Rawa, Daesh’s last stronghold in Iraq, is a turning point in bringing peace and stability to Iraq.” [Sumaria]
Friday, the press office of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi revealed that Al-Abadi is supervising the “major clearing” operations of Jazeera and the western desert following the liberation of Rawa from Daesh. [Sumaria]
Friday, the IMWC published a map of Anbar in Arabic and English following the liberation of Rawa from Daesh, with Anbar appearing in green, indicating its complete liberation. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source sent us photos of Daesh documents on its members in the west Anbar-Albu Kamal area.
Friday, the IWMC announced that security units destroyed a pickup truck carrying a 12mm machine gun, killing a Daesh suicide terrorist who tried to infiltrate into Siniya. [IraqPress]
Daesh issues a propaganda video about its attacks in the Diyala area. [ICDNNov17]
Muqdadiya/Abu Saida/Central Diyala
Friday, head of the Abu Saida Security Committee, Awwad Al-Rabi’i, announced that a joint security unit discovered 3 decayed bodies most likely belonging to Daesh members, in the Makhisa farm area. [Sumaria]
A local source in Diyala reported that a Daesh attack on police checkpoints on the outskirts of Tawakul in western Muqdadiya was foiled on Friday. Security units searched nearby farms, and the situation is under control. [Ghad] [BaghdadToday]
Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)
Friday, a military source in Diyala reported that the Iraqi Army invaded an underground Daesh hideout in an agricultural area in the Al-Tarfaya area in south Diyala. Before the troops entered, the Daesh members had fled the hideout, leaving behind their suicide belts, weapons, and hot food. [Ghad]
Friday, armed clashes broke out between residents described as “volunteers” and PMF members stationed in the KDP political office in Kirkuk. According to eyewitnesses, the clashes resulted in dead and wounded among the PMF fighters, and clashes are ongoing in some neighborhoods. Eyewitnesses reported hearing gunshots in various Kurdish neighborhoods, and the police called on the residents not to leave their homes. The witnesses added that the PMF transported its casualties to private hospitals by plane, as opposed to Kirkuk’s hospitals. [Rudaw]
DaeshDaily comment. The story comes from a Kurdish source, and would need to be verified from a more independent source. That aside, why is Iraq stationing PMFs instead of regular Army troops at a KDP political office or anywhere else in Kirkuk city? Even if an incident is caused by the Kurds, there will be a Kurdish version that blames the PMFs.
Friday, Head of the Kirkuk Provincial Council, Rebwar Talabani said the Iraqi government seeks to repudiate Article 140 of the constitution. He noted that the Turkmen demand for a Governor appointment is unreasonable, and the priority is to normalize the situation in Kirkuk. [Rudaw]
Four months after the Iraqi government announced the complete liberation of Mosul, the residents of Old Mosul are unable to return to their homes due to various factors, such as the fear of sleeper cells, mines and IEDs, and in many cases the total destruction of their homes. According to social researcher Hamid Al-Zubaidi, the rebuilding of Mosul may be delayed by security, social, and environmental problems. [Karemlash]
A DaeshDaily source says people of Mosul threatened to stop the work of several humanitarian organizations who are distributing aid in Mosul, because the organizations included Daesh families among their recipients. The source says several people went to the Provincial Council demanding that these organizations stop their aid to Daesh families. The source also says that people have started to mark the houses of Daesh families.
DaeshDaily comment. It was Daesh members who used to mark the houses of their enemies. They should have known that payback would come later.
Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura
Friday, the Ministry of Transport announced that the displaced people of Mosul continue to be transported through efforts of the Higher Committee for the Relief and Shelter of IDPs. Head of the transportation company in charge of transporting the displaced people, Abdallah Lu’aibi, clarified that 100 displaced families were moved from the Tel Keif area to the Qayara airport, and 1,460 displaced people were moved from Tal Al-Jarabee’ camp near Tal Abta to the Hammam Al-Alil camps. [IraqPress]
Friday, Hammam Al-Alil subdistrict manager Khalaf Al-Jubouri announced the deaths of a father and son and the wounding of another person from the same family in a Daesh gun attack on their home in Jahuni village in south Ninewa. [Sumaria]
Subdistrict manager Al-Jubouri called for opening the Mosul Dam for two hours in order to force Daesh members to come out of their hideouts along the river banks (by raising the water level), from which they are attacking civilians. [Sumaria]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Turkish security forces killed 3 PKK terrorists late Thursday in Hazro District’s Kirmatas village, located in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir Province, according to a statement issued early Friday by Diyarbakir Provincial Governor’s Office. Improvised explosives and ammunition were also seized, the statement said. [Anadolu]
Friday morning, the Turkish Anadolu Agency reported that Turkish security forces raided 15 homes, arresting 11 PKK suspects in western Turkey’s Izmir province. Security sources said the suspects were apprehended during an operation in Izmir’s city center and in the Menemen District by provincial forces and intelligence services. Security forces also found photos of dead terrorists in 15 homes. [Anadolu]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again slammed the US policy in Syria, accusing it of sponsoring Daesh as well as failing to fulfill the promise to withdraw US-backed Kurdish militias from the Syrian Daesh-liberated areas, saying that “Washington has become an obstacle to the war against the YPG and Daesh due to its support of some terrorist organizations.” He also confirmed that “Turkey continues its war against all the terrorist organizations,” according to Russia Today. [Dorar]
DaeshDaily comment. If whining were a competition, Erdogan would win the Nobel Prize.
Leader of the anti-government Syrian Coalition, Mohammed Yahya Maktabi, strongly condemned Russia’s veto of the extension of the work of the Joint Investigative Mechanism on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria. [Rudaw]
The Coalition reports that between November 11th and 17th the Coalition conducted 13 airstrikes in Syria in and near Deir Ez-Zor (12) and Albu Kamal (1). [Defense]
Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)
Daesh says it killed four SDF fighters with an IED north of Markada city, south of Shaddadi, on Thursday. [A3maq]
Raqqa city area
Germany will spend an initial 10 million Euros to help remove mines from Raqqa, the Handelsblatt newspaper said on Friday. The foreign ministry is set to announce the increased funding as part of a pact with the United States on Friday, the paper added. The agreement calls for Germany to help fund Tetra Tech, a U.S. government contractor working to clear mines from Raqqa. The U.S. military continues to press Germany for additional aid in Syria, but Germany is waiting for measures on how to stabilize Syria, the newspaper said. [ZamanAlWasl]
Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation in Idlib is going as planned, while also emphasizing that the Afrin area must be cleared of PKK units. Erdogan expressed disappointment with the US for “not fulfilling its promises” and that he “does not want to repeat the experience in Afrin.” He also accused the US of financially supporting Daesh in Syria. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. Mr. Erdogan is relentlessly on his own agenda and his priorities have little to do with Daesh. His agreement with Russia to participate in monitoring the Idlib de-escalation zone was apparently motivated mostly by the opportunity to move troops closer to Afrin for a possible later attack on the YPG, which he has repeatedly promised to carry out. Neither the Russians nor the US have supported his Afrin scheme so far, one reason why he has not made his move.
Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)
Friday, Tahrir Al-Sham announced it killed 18 members of the Syrian forces Thursday evening in Abu Mayal village. [Dorar]
Enab Baladi reports Tahrir Al-Sham destroyed 4 Syrian tanks in Hama. [EnabBaladi]
Friday, SOHR reported that members of the Syrian forces were killed and wounded during the ongoing clashes with anti-government opposition groups in different locations in the vicinity of Al-Zara in rural southern Hama. [SyriaHR]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
20 civilians were killed, and 30 others were wounded in a Daesh car bomb attack on civilians in Faraj village, located between Jufra and Konica. [Hawar] [Sumaria] This is another report on the same incident.
SOHR reports that the Syrian forces have finally taken control of Hawija Qata from Daesh, a river island on the Euphrates. [SyriaHR]
SOHR reported that violent clashes continue between the SDF and Daesh on the outskirts of Tayyana and Dernaj villages, after the SDF, backed by Coalition airstrikes, captured the villages of Dhiban, Al-Tayyana and Shinan in rural eastern Deir Ez-Zor, which led to the death of a number of civilians. Two SDF members were reportedly captured and beheaded by Daesh. [Dorar] [SyriaHR] [Rudaw]
Daesh says it killed six SDF fighters and destroyed a vehicle in clashes east of the Al-Omar Oilfield. [A3maq]
SOHR reports that Syrian forces have entered Albu Kamal city. [SyriaHR]
Hawar reports the SDF killed 7 Daesh terrorists south of Al-Tanak oilfield near the Iraqi border. [Hawar]
According to SANA the Syrian Air Force destroyed a Daesh vehicle and all 6 of its passengers near Albu Kamal in Majawda village. [SyriaNow]
Friday, SOHR reported that Daesh beheaded two civilians on charges of “insulting God and witchcraft” in Hajin town.
Meanwhile, a young man was killed in airstrikes on locations in the Subaikhan desert. [SyriaHR]
Daesh publishes photos of mosques destroyed by Russian airstrikes in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNNov17]
DaeshDaily comment. Daesh use of mosques as military positions is well documented, however.
Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army SUV with a rocket in Al-Ghabra village, north of Albu Kamal. [A3maq]
Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army tank with a rocket near Al-Hamdan village, west of Albu Kamal. [A3maq]
Daesh publishes photos of targeting Syrian vehicles with rockets in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNNov17]
Daesh publishes a video of a Syrian soldier targeted by its snipers in Hay Al-Tadhamun. [A3maq]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
Friday, the Lebanese General Directorate of State Security announced the arrest of a terrorist cell working for Daesh in Lebanon. The cell members were tasked with spying on posts of the Lebanese Army and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the south and reporting statistics and photos back to Daesh in Raqqa and Albu Kamal. The cell also planned terrorist operations in the A’aliya District, and was involved in recruiting new members and sending money to Daesh. [Sumaria]
Security sources say that a group of armed men tried to exploit the heavy fog in the early hours of the morning and ambush a security post south of Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai, Egypt. Sources say troops spotted the car carrying armed terrorists and targeted it with artillery shells, forcing the terrorists to flee. [ElWatan]
A security source says security units found an IED planted on the Arish-Qantara East road in the Maidan area in Sinai, Egypt that was targeting buses transporting soldiers. Experts in detecting mines found the IED and secured 17 km of road for the passage of the buses. [ElWatan]
El-Watan reports that an armed group targeted a transport vehicle in the center of Arish, killing one person. [ElWatan]
A source from Al-Gala’ Hospital in Benghazi confirmed that armed groups shot at the hospital from 12:30 pm on Thursday to 3:00 am Friday, in intervals, due to a quarrel that took place outside the hospital and ended inside the entrance. The hospital was hit with an RPG and the corridors leading to intensive care and the radiology department were subjected to random shooting. [AfriGate]
The Chairman of the Committee for the Activation and Security of Security Services in Sirte, Libya, says there are Daesh members in areas near Sirte. [Libya24]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Daesh published a poster threatening to attack the Vatican on Christmas. The poster shows masked Daesh members driving a vehicle outside the church. This is the second threat against the Pope since August. The poster said “wait for a bloody Christmas.” [Sumaria] [Sumaria]
Friday, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Russian citizens of the possibility of terrorist attacks in major cities in the US and Europe over the new year’s holiday. [Sumaria]
Video of the Day
Iraqi forces capture Rawa. [YouTube]
Daesh publishes the 106th issue of its Naba’ magazine. It includes reports about its operations in Iraq, Syria, and other countries. It also publishes infographics about its attacks “outside the Caliphate” during the last Hijri (lunar) year. It says 60 of its terrorists conducted 38 attacks in 19 countries (Tunisia, the UK, Egypt, Russia, Bangladesh, Turkey, France, Germany, Jordan, Indonesia, the US, Palestine, Iran, Kenya, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, and Australia.) In this issue also, Daesh publishes an article about one of its “doctors,” claiming he was killed by Israeli drones in Sinai. Daesh also published an article about killing a 48-year-old blind man in its “Wilayat Al-Furat” after accusing him of witchcraft. [ICDNNov17]
Daesh publishes a photo of one of its Syrian terrorists, claiming he was killed in the Kirkuk area. [ICDNNov17]
DaeshDaily comment. We say “claiming” because some of the deceased in these photos have reappeared miraculously (when of course no one was looking for them anymore) to spread further mayhem.