An Update On ISIS Activities

November 28, 2017

November 28, 2017

 

Rutba

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi pronounces Anbar northern desert campaign a success. [..]

Iraqi forces still working to dislodge Daesh from Rutba desert. [..]

CoR Human Rights Com. accuses KDP of destroying​​ IDP homes​​ in Ninewa. [..]

 

Syria

UN​​ Syria conference starts in Geneva; government delegation will attend. [..]

Syrian opposition leader wants​​ Geneva​​ solution based on UN Resolution 2254. [..]

SOHR reports Albu Kamal battle killed 400 men. [..]

 

US

Pentagon says US has 1,720 military personnel in Syria, 8,892 in Iraq. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

In his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced that an area of nearly 14,000 km2​​ in the Jazeera area in Anbar has been cleared. He confirmed the​​ end of the​​ military presence of Daesh and called on regional leaders to co-operate in the war on terrorism. [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, Ahmed Al-Asadi announced his resignation from his position as the PMF’s official spokesman after three years in the role,​​ saying​​ he no longer represents the official PMF opinion. He added that “the PMF will remain an Iraqi security entity separate from elections, and whoever wishes to run for elections must resign from the PMF.” [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ That statement makes the logic curious, as his opinion appears to be the same as the Prime Minister’s position. Is he saying that the “official PMF opinion” is not the Prime Minister’s position?

 

Tuesday, National Security Advisor Faleh Al-Fayadh and Secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council Nikolai Patrushev discussed the fighting against terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria. They also discussed the technical military cooperation between Iraq and Russia and communication via security apparatus channels. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Tuesday evening, a security source reported that a stun IED exploded​​ on abandoned land in the Al-Salamiyat area​​ in​​ northern Baghdad. [Sumaria] [Ghad]

 

Tuesday, a security source reported that an IED exploded near a street market in the Al-Hora village in Tarmiya. [BaghdadNews]

 

Southeast​​ (Mada’in, etc.)

Tuesday,​​ UNAMI Representative, Jan Kubis, strongly condemned the armed attack and suicide bombing which led to the death and wounding of dozens of civilians in the Nahrawan area on Monday evening. Kubis extended his condolences to the Iraqi people and government. [Shafaaq]

 

Tuesday, PMF commander Jabbar Al-Maamouri said that the Nahrawan area was the second target of a new Daesh killing method “by sending two suicide attackers to shoot innocent civilians then blow themselves up.”​​ The first attack of this kind was carried out on the outskirts of Muqdadiya month ago.​​ Al-Maamouri added that Daesh has guesthouses on the​​ boundary​​ between Nahrawan and​​ Baghdad.​​ Al-Maamouri added that Daesh​​ also​​ has pockets in Kanaan and Buhriz​​ in Diyala, which are largely agricultural, and Daesh is able to enter Baghdad through them without passing security checkpoints.​​ [Sumaria]

 

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

Tuesday, a local police source reported the death of a former security member due to an IED attached to the bottom of his car in south Baghdad. [IkhNews]

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:  ​​​​ 3(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 3

 

ANBAR

Tuesday, London-based​​ Al-Hayat​​ newspaper quoted Anbar Provincial Council spokesman Eid Ammash explaining “the threat facing the return of IDPs to their homes is manifested by groups who have taken it upon themselves​​ to retaliate​​ against IDP families with members affiliated with Daesh.” He added that the areas of returned IDPs suffer from deteriorating services and​​ poor​​ living​​ conditions. Ammash added that on Sunday, 200 IDP families were transported to their homes only​​ to have​​ 50​​ of them​​ returned to the IDP camp due to suspicions of having family members​​ linked​​ to​​ Daesh. According to​​ Al-Hayat, the US Embassy in Baghdad stated that it has information on cases where Salahuddin and Anbar IDPs were forced to leave the camps. [Sumaria] [Alhayat]

 

Falluja

The Baghdad Operations Command notified civilians that on Tuesday morning it would destroy Daesh ammunition depots in Qarma area. [Forat]

 

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

Tuesday, a security source reported that the Jazeera Ops​​ Command​​ 7th​​ division​​ and tribal members are building a 140 km2​​ soil barrier extending from Rummana​​ subdistrict in Al-Qa’im​​ to east Rawa and the Haditha Lake to prevent Daesh members from​​ re-infiltrating into Iraq. [Mawazin]

 

Al-Qa’im

Tuesday, Anbar Operations commander Mohammed Al-Mahlawi announced that a pre-emptive operation in the​​ industrial neighborhood in the center of Al-Qa’im resulted in the arrest of 6 Daesh members and the capture of a depot containing 14 rockets, 33 IEDs,​​ and​​ 9 mortar shells, among other weapons and explosives. [BasNews]

 

Tuesday, Jazeera Ops Commander Major General Qassem Al-Mohammedi reported that a soil barrier is being built and a trench is being dug spanning 140 km along the border between Iraq and Syria to prevent Daesh members and​​ bomb-rigged vehicles from infiltrating into Iraq. The trench​​ and barrier will extend from the Al-Walid​​ crossing on the southwest, pass Al-Qa’im,​​ and continue​​ to the​​ Ninewa​​ desert.​​ [BasNews]

 

Rutba

Tuesday, Joint Operations Command​​ (JOC)​​ spokesman, General Yahya Rasul, announced that the JOC is ready to engage in the toughest battle in Wadi Horan in the Anbar desert, the final Daesh stronghold in Iraq. He added that the Iraqi forces cleared 50% of the western desert,​​ concluding​​ the first​​ stage of the second phase of the clearing operations.​​  ​​​​ [AlAraby]

 

Tuesday, Anbar Operations Major General Mahmoud Al-Fallahi announced the launch of a search operation in the southern Rutba desert. He added that the operation aims to track and eliminate Daesh units in the western Anbar desert. [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, General Al-Fallahi announced the destruction of a Daesh military base in southern​​ Rutba. The base contained an arms-building​​ workshop, rigging equipment, and a rigged vehicle. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN​​ 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says one person was killed and four others from the same family wounded in a Daesh shelling on Amerli.​​ 

 

DIYALA

Tuesday, Chairman of the Diyala Provincial Council, Ali Al-Dayni, warned of what he called “deadly spaces” in the province. He explained that​​ Diyala​​ is seeing noticeable activity by Daesh members, and it is important to eliminate it before​​ it becomes​​ a source of terrorism, as​​ there are still sleeper cells in Diyala. He noted the importance of expanding the tribal PMF in those spaces to prevent extremists from​​ harming​​ public security. [NNICQ]​​ 

 

Muqdadiya/Abu Saida/Central Diyala

Tuesday, Chairman of the Muqdadiya​​ District​​ Council, Adnan Al-Tamimi,​​ announced the launch of large-scale military operation to track Daesh cells in northeast Diyala. [Ghad]

 

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

Tuesday,​​ a​​ Diyala Provincial Council member, Abdulkhaleq Al-Azzawi, revealed that the Al-Mita area in Salahuddin, located​​ across the Wahhab Al-Salman and Albu Karhout villages in Diyala,​​ is uncontrolled and void of residents (they​​ are displaced) and poses a security threat​​ in the northern part of the province. He​​ called​​ for clearing​​ the area of Daesh cells​​ that​​ are using it as a safe haven. [Ghad]

 

Daesh says it destroyed an Iraqi Army Humvee with a sticky IED in Dali Abbas on Monday. [A3maq]

 

KIRKUK

Tuesday, the Kirkuk Provincial Council held a meeting and chose its eldest member, Jamal Mawlood, to chair the Council’s weekly sessions until a new chairman and deputy are elected, according to PUK member Ahmed Askari. [Rudaw]

 

Thursday, the​​ Kurdish​​ Kirkuk Brotherhood​​ List​​ (Al-Muta’akhiya)​​ in the Kirkuk Provincial Council announced its “approval”​​ for replacing​​ Acting Council Chairman, Rebwar Talabani, while​​ claiming the​​ right to fill the position. The Turkmen​​ members​​ rejected the Kurdish proposal,​​ as it “paves the way for the Kurds to take over the Council Chairman position.” The Kirkuk Brotherhood List​​ had​​ said Jowan Hassan had​​ been nominated for the position. [Sumaria]

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

Tuesday, a security​​ source​​ in Kirkuk reported that unknown assailants attacked a Turkmen satellite​​ television​​ channel headquarters in north Kirkuk, wounding the​​ security​​ guard​​ for​​ the building. [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Tuesday, the Human Rights Committee of Iraq’s Council of Representatives (CoR) accused the KDP,​​ led​​ by Masoud Barzani, of tearing down and torching IDP homes in Ninewa. According to Chairman Abdul Rahim Al-Shammari “once the IDPs returned to their areas, they discovered that their homes had been destroyed and torched by KDP-affiliated forces.” Al-Shammari called on the international community and international organizations to “conduct a fair and transparent investigation to show the international community what the KDP forces​​ have​​ done.” Al-Shammari also called on the government and humanitarian organizations to improve the conditions of IDPs and​​ to​​ work on returning them to their homes in Ninewa. Human Rights Watch had previously reported that security​​ units​​ in the KRG destroyed large numbers of Arab homes in Ninewa and Kirkuk using illegal​​ means. HRW noted that the same​​ security units​​ maintained Kurdish homes in those areas. [PressIraq]

 

Mosul

Tuesday, a​​ security​​ source reported that security units defused a rigged car and an IED near an elementary school in East Mosul. The source added that security units arrested 5 suspected Daesh members. [SNGIQ]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Baaj

Tuesday, the PMF’s 33rd​​ brigade announced locating a large number of Daesh guesthouses in the southwest Ninewa desert. The guesthouses contained depots of spare equipment used for vehicle rigging as well as medical supplies. [BaghdadToday]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

Wednesday, a security source in Basra reported that an unknown group attacked a Ministry of Electricity employee’s house in Basra with a stun IED. ​​ [Ghad]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

Tuesday, in a meeting with Turkish Consul to the KRG Mohammed Akef Inam, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani emphasized that the KRG regards its relationship with Turkey as “important,” expressing hope that the bilateral relationship between Erbil and Ankara will return to​​ its​​ former​​ state. The Turkish Consul extended his gratitude to Barzani for his support​​ in​​ strengthening​​ the relationship between Ankara and Erbil before bidding him farewell​​ at the end of the Consul’s assignment​​ in the KRG. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ There is a lot of truth on both sides here. The Iraqi Kurdistan private economy is heavily dependent on all the Turkish investment, Turkish-owned businesses,​​ and all the Turkish-managed construction and other projects, and Turkey is the KRG’s its best energy customer. They need each other.​​ 

 

Tuesday evening, according to a KRG statement, the Chinese Consul to the KRG delivered a message to PM Nechirvan Barzani from the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi in which he called on the KRG and the Iraqi government to maintain the status quo between Erbil and Baghdad and to resolve outstanding disputes between them in accordance with the constitution. [BasNews]

 

A delegation from the KRG met with the KDP, Kurdish Communist Party, and the Kurdish Toilers​​ Party (KTP) on Tuesday.​​ Advisor to the KRG​​ PM,​​ Dilshad Shihab, said in a​​ subsequent​​ press conference that “the delegation looked into the internal situation files, uniting the Kurdistan front, dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil, and dealing with the international community.” He added that that “it will be for the best​​ to hold early elections in Kurdistan in the event that the Kurdish political parties do not come to a joint solution to the crisis​​ in​​ the Kurdistan Region.”​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

In the meeting with KRG leadership and political parties on​​ Tuesday, KDP Leader Masoud Barzani called on the federal government to “let go of its impossible conditions” in order to begin negotiations with the KRG to resolve outstanding disputes. Barzani discussed negotiations, peaceful​​ solutions, and the breaches and selectivity in applying the constitution with respect to the KRG. He added that the KRG is willing to engage in a dialogue with Baghdad. He added that “betrayal and imposing the status quo through force and use of weapons are unacceptable,” emphasizing that “the current situation is temporary.”​​ [IraqPress]​​ Masoud Barzani said the decision to hold the referendum was “a correct decision” and a “sacred gain for Kurdistan.” He added that “imposing the status quo through force in disputed areas will not change the nature of their identity.”​​ [SotIraq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ One thing you can say for Masoud Barzani is that he is relentlessly on message. The phrase “often wrong but never in doubt” could have been based on him.

 

Tuesday,​​ Shirko Hama Amin, CoR representative of the​​ Kurdish Taghyir Bloc​​ (including Gorran),​​ called on the KRG and the Iraqi federal government to issue a formal warning to Turkey and Iran to stop their attacks on the Kurdistan Region’s territory. He also called on Turkey to withdraw its military​​ posts​​ from the Kurdistan Region. [ROJ]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

Tuesday, the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey announced that Turkish warplanes and drones carried out airstrikes on the​​ Assos​​ (aka Behram)​​ area​​ in northern Iraqi Kurdistan, destroying 41 PKK targets, including shelters and tunnels.​​ It said​​ Turkish Army and security forces continue targeting PKK positions and​​ personnel​​ in south and southeast Turkey as well as northern​​ Iraqi Kurdistan​​ in response to continual PKK attacks in on Turkish civilians and security personnel.​​ [Buratha]

Tuesday, Turkey said it could expand its military mission in Syria to two other provinces, potentially bringing its forces into confrontation with US-backed Kurdish fighters whom Ankara considers as enemies. “The Turkish army could launch a military operation in the Syrian city of Afrin controlled by the Kurdish militants in the near future,” Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Monday. ​​ “Who knows, tomorrow or maybe even earlier,” Canikli said in response to a question about possible dates for the start of the operation. ​​ [Arabi21]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We think the Defense Minister is just talking, now that the US has indicated its intention to keep limited forces in northern Syria.​​ Turkey would likely invade this area if it thought it could get away with it. However, the US and Syria (and likely Russia) stand in the way.

 

Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Ali Bin Yildirim said Turkey has eliminated 3,600 Daesh terrorists from Syria. ​​ He added that over the past 7 years Turkey has been the dream keeper of the Syrian people through its responses to the Syrian crisis. He explained that terrorist organizations are taking advantage of the divides in the country to spread terrorism. [TRT]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Tuesday, the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) officially announced the start of the eighth round of Geneva’s UN-brokered talks on Syria, confirming that the Syrian government will show up on Wednesday. [Anadolu] [Dorar] [Arabi21]

 

Tuesday, head of the Moscow platform of the Syrian opposition, Muhannad Dlykan,​​ explained​​ that some Kurdish opposition groups are not present with the opposition delegation participating in the 8th​​ round of the Geneva talks. He added that the Kurdish component in the opposition should be represented fairly. Dlykan said that UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura informed the delegation that his plan for his round concerns the constitution (including the 12 articles) and the elections. [Rudaw]

 

Tuesday, members​​ of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation and the Moscow platform of the Syrian opposition, Sami Beitinjaneh, said that there is no alternative to the UN-sponsored Geneva path, which is the only way to implement UN​​ Resolution No. 2254. He described resolution No. 2254 as “a complete roadmap for a political solution, democratic change, preventing bloodshed, and combating terrorism.”​​ [SyriaNow]

 

In a statement published on its website Tuesday, director of the SDF Media Center Mustafa Bali said that, contrary to news reports, there is no truce between the SDF and Daesh. The statement added​​ that​​ SDF forces​​ are “continuing to eliminate terrorism all over Syria with to the fullest extent of our energy and determination.” [Hawar]

 

The Chinese Ministry of Defense plans to send two units from the Special Operations Forces known as the “Siberian Tigers” and the “Night Tigers” to Syria in order to fight terrorists of the “East Turkestan Islamic Movement,” according to a Sputnik report on Tuesday. Sputnik added that “the Syrian President’s advisor and Chinese military officials discussed the participation of Chinese Special Forces in fighting terrorists of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, whom Syrian forces​​ spotted in the countryside of Damascus.” According to Sputnik, this is not the first time Chinese troops have crossed into Syria; in 2015 the Syrian government permitted some 5,000 soldiers to enter its territory as allied forces and stationed them in the western​​ province​​ of Latakia. [Dorar]

 

In a statement published by​​ the​​ Al-Sahab organization on Tuesday, Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri attacked Tahrir Al-Sham and its Leader “Abu Mohammed Al-Jolani,” two days after Tahrir Al-Sham had arrested a number of its former leaders affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Al-Zawahiri accused Al-Jolani of “breaking the covenant” by separating from Al-Qaeda, establishing a new entity that has aggravated disputes, fighting all Al-Qaeda-linked members, arresting their women, and interrogating their children. Al-Zawahiri also stressed his refusal to abandon the “jihad of the nation,” explaining that he does not accept Tahrir Al-Sham’s actions. [Arabi21]

 

Social media sources say Daesh arrested 4 of its former top leaders after accusing them of communicating with Al-Qaeda. Several Tahrir Al-Sham groups and commanders issued statements condemning the arrests. Tahrir Al-Sham issued a statement confirming the arrests without mentioning any names. [ICDNNov28]  ​​​​ 

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)​​ (No reports)

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

Military sources say the Turkish Army bombarded villages in​​ the​​ Bulbul​​ subdistrict​​ on the Turkish border. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Tahrir Al-Sham’s director of media relations Imad Al-Din Muhajid​​ praised​​ Daesh’s progress east of Hama, almost reaching the border of Idlib Governorate, saying​​ that​​ “battles in the Badia are fierce and the geography of the land allows for the rapid progress of military forces.” Daesh’s media has been silent regarding the battles in the region. [EnabBaladi]

 

Homs

Tuesday, SOHR reported that clashes broke out between the Syrian forces and Syrian Islamic opposition groups in the vicinity of Al-Hilaliya in rural​​ northern​​ Homs, in which two opposition fighters were killed and two were injured. Meanwhile, the Syrian forces targeted different locations in Al-Rastan city, located in rural​​ northern​​ Homs, with several mortar shells. ​​ [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Daesh issues a video of religious training for young boys southeast of Deir Ez-Zor. It says it has more than 1,700 students, boys and girls, in the area. [A3maq]

 

Mayadin

Tuesday, the Central Military Media reported that Syrian forces recaptured Quriya town, south of Mayadin, following battles with Daesh. The Central Military Media added that violent clashes are still ongoing on the western bank of the Euphrates River. [EnabBaladi]​​ [SyriaNow][SyriaHR]

 

Albu Kamal

SOHR has documented the​​ deaths​​ of 202 members of the Syrian forces and 197 Daesh fighters over the past 10 days in Albu Kamal. [SyriaHR]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

According to U.N. Special Envoy​​ Staffan​​ de Mistura, the Syrian government has accepted a Russian proposal for a ceasefire in the besieged opposition-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta. “I was just informed by the Russians today at the P5 meeting that the Russians have proposed and the government accepted a ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta because we were and are very concerned about it,” de Mistura said.​​ [Reuters]​​ [YeniSafak]​​ [ZamanAlWasl]

 

SOHR reports violent clashes between the Syrian forces and Tahrir Al-Sham in southwestern Damascus. [SyriaHR]

Tuesday, SOHR reported violent clashes resumed between the Syrian forces and Tahrir Al-Sham in the vicinity of Tal Baradiya in​​ southwest​​ Damascus, following a Syrian forces’ attack on the region, accompanied by heavy shelling and barrel-bomb attacks. According to SOHR, 4 members of Tahrir Al-Sham were killed, in addition to a number of members of the Syrian forces. [SyriaHR]

 

Daraa

Some Syrian anti-government opposition groups, including “Tajamo Al-Ahrar” and “Tajamo Al-Shahid Abu Hamza Al-Neamie,” have launched a battle​​ code-named​​ “The Landowners,” against​​ Jaish Khaled Ibn Al-Waleed,​​ the​​ Daesh affiliate​​ in southern Syria, in Tasil town in the Yarmouk Basin, in rural​​ western​​ Daraa. [EnabBaladi]

Daesh says it stopped an opposition groups attack on Tasil town, west of Daraa. [A3maq]

However, a​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says opposition groups captured 4 Daesh military positions near Tasil.​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

Tuesday, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior announced that National Security was able to detect activity by terrorist group commanders in north Sinai to execute a chain of hostile operations against vital establishments and Christian houses of worship. The MoI announced the arrest of 6 terrorist units and 3 of their assistants, and​​ that​​ 11 terrorists were killed in gunfire exchanges​​ with the police. [Aawsat]

​​ 

In a statement released on Tuesday, Egyptian Army spokesman Tamer Al-Rifai said that “Army forces successfully eliminated three extremists, arrested five others, and destroyed eight hideouts used by the terrorists” during an army raid in central Sinai, the southern part of North Sinai. [Anadolu]

 

A security source in northern Sinai confirmed that during​​ the​​ heightened​​ security campaigns, 6 convicts were arrested on various charges,​​ and 40 suspects were arrested on charges of belonging​​ to​​ takfiri​​ groups. The campaigns​​ also destroyed 3 houses belonging to terrorist leaders west of Sheikh Zuweid. [ElWatan]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S.

According to a Pentagon report released on Monday, there are 1,720 American troops in Syria, 8,892 in Iraq, and 15,298 in Afghanistan. [EnabBaladi]

 

Asia

Afghanistan

Daesh says it killed 3 Taliban fighters and wounded 8 in clashes in the Bira Khel area in Nangarhar. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh says it killed 3 Taliban fighters, including a commander, in clashes in Alingar District in Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan. [A3maq]

 

Malaysia

Tuesday, Malaysian Minister of Defense, Hishammuddin Hussein, said the Islamic Alliance States’ victories against Daesh in the Middle East led to the return of foreign​​ terrorists​​ to​​ Southeast Asia. He added that regional terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf, Al-Mujahidoun, and the Islamic group had previously declared loyalty to Daesh, and they may become a haven for terrorists​​ escaping Mosul,​​ Aleppo, and Raqqa. [Dijlah]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ And how many soldiers of the “alliance” were killed in these victories?​​ 

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