October 17, 2018
Security Units Capture a Daesh Member in Mosul (Source DD Oct 16)
Sadrist CoR bloc working to require foreign troops to leave Iraq. [..]
Iraqi CTS troops, US commandos stage anti-Daesh raids in Syria. [..]
Ninewa Police arrest 11 Daesh members in Hamdaniya. [..]
New York Times details high-level connections of Saudi team that killed Khashoggi, and gruesome details of his execution. [..]
NBC report says getting Iran out is new focus of Trump Syria strategy. [..]
Coalition conducted 136 airstrikes on Albu Kamal in one week. [..]
SDF leader concedes capturing Hajin will take longer than expected. [..]
Human Rights Watch alleges Syrian Government is preventing Damascus-area IDPs from returning home. [..]
Ukraine: Mass shooting at technical college kills at least 19. [..]
Afghanistan: 30 Taliban members killed by US airstrike in SE Afghanistan. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Council of Representatives
The Sa’irun alliance says it’s working hard on a resolution to force foreign troops to leave Iraq. Gayeb Al-Omeiri, a Sadrist MP, says that the effort was put off by the delay in forming committees for the new CoR. He says that any CoR resolution regarding the removal of foreign troops will be binding upon the new government. [BasNews]
DaeshDaily comment. If this is a Sadrist initiative, the resolution would presumably apply not only to US and NATO troops but also Iranian troops.
Current Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani discussed coordination to confront Daesh sleeper cells in a meeting in Baghdad on Wednesday. Both leaders also stressed the need for dialogue within a Constitutional framework as the best method to solve problems. [Sumaria]
A military source said that “elite units” of Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service, supported by US “commando units,” killed senior Daesh leaders in operations in Hasaka and Albu Kamal, well within Syrian territory. [Ghad]
It was reported in a Pentagon symposium that Daesh attacks went down by 23% in 2017, compared to 2016, and that the flow of fighters, mainly through Turkey, decreased to about 100 per month, compared to about 1,500 per month 3 years ago. General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also says that improved intelligence exchange has played an important role in such results. He was speaking at a counter-terrorism symposium held at the Andrews Joint Military Base, near Washington, DC. [Baghdadia] [Baghdadia] [ElDorar]
The Coalition said that between October 7 and 13, they carried out only 1 airstrike in Iraq, near Taji. [InherentResolve]
The Ministry of Justice says that 6 Daesh convicts sentenced to death were executed in Baghdad on Wednesday. [Sumaria]
A security source in Baghdad said on Wednesday that a Daesh attack had targeted a bus carrying civilians on [an unspecified location on] the Baghdad-Mosul road, wounding three people, including a child. [Sumaria]
West (Mansour, Abu Ghraib, etc.)
The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that intelligence units in the 24th Division arrested a man wanted on terrorism charges, at the Al-Shuhada checkpoint in Abu Ghraib. [Baghdadia]
General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for the Center for Security Information, said on Wednesday that a PMF group found a booby-trapped vehicle left behind by Daesh in Saqlawiya. [Mawazin]
Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded policemen with an IED in the Al-Jolan neighborhood of Falluja city. [A3maq]
The Directorate of Military Intelligence said on Wednesday that units under their 7th Division had arrested a “large sleeper cell” in Baghdadi subdistrict in northern Hit. [Sumaria]
Daesh said its snipers killed two tribal PMF members in Al-Mamoura village, near Hit city, on Tuesday. [ICDNOct17]
Anbar Ops Command says that Army units destroyed 2 Daesh “shelters” and 25 IEDs in Albu Nahi and 4 IEDs in Albu Zeyan (spelling approx.), both obscure desert villages between the Trebil border crossing and Rutba city. [Ghad]
Daesh said it killed or wounded ten Iraqi Army members, including a colonel, and destroyed 2 vehicles with several IEDs near the Okaz oilfields on Tuesday. [ICDNOct17]
A DaeshDaily source said that PMF units stopped a Daesh attack on the Tilul Al-Baj area, on Sunday, killing 2 terrorists. The source said 2 PMF fighters were wounded.
Daesh said on Wednesday it killed an Iraqi Army officer and another soldier and destroyed their Humvee with an IED in Al-Aitha village. [A3maq]
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that four PMF fighters were wounded when their pickup vehicle was destroyed by an IED on the road between the Baiji Refinery and the 600 Houses area.
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that 2 PMF members were wounded in a Daesh attack on Albu Juwari village. The source said the terrorists, who came on motorcycles, fled to the Makhoul Mountains after the attack.
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that a group of Daesh terrorists on motorcycles kidnapped a civilian from his house in the Al-Fatha area northwest of Baiji. The source said Daesh contacted the family of the man by phone and told them it killed him, after accusing him of being a “spy,” and threatened to kill other members of his family.
A DaeshDaily source said on Tuesday that two policemen were killed and three others severely wounded when an IED destroyed their vehicle on the road between Al-Fatha and Baiji.
Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Siniya area, just east of the Euphrates, on Tuesday. [ICDNOct17]
The Ministry of Defense says that Diyala Ops Command is continuing its joint operations with the PMF in various areas to clear the province of Daesh presence, destroying 22 Daesh safehouses and 20 IEDs. [MoD Website]
Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)
Daesh said it shot and killed a PMF member and wounded a commander in an ambush in the Himrin area, on Tuesday. [ICDNOct17]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
The Ministry of the Interior said on Wednesday that a terrorist had been arrested in possession of 3 IEDs in the Jalawla area. [Sumaria]
Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded six PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Nafut Khana area. [A3maq]
IPF Commander General Raed Shaker Jawdat says that the IFP 5th Division arrested a terrorism suspect at the Altun Kupri checkpoint, while 4 anti-tank rockets were found among other munitions in Hawija and were safely destroyed. [Baghdadia]
Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED west of Dibis, on Monday. [ICDNOct17]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
A Daesh attack on an IFP-PMF checkpoint in Al-Zab, Hawija, killed 1 IFP officer and wounded 2 soldiers. [Roj]
A DaeshDaily source said on Tuesday that IFP units stopped a Daesh attack on tribal PMF military positions in Al-Zab, killing 4 terrorists, including a local commander. The source sent us photos of the terrorists.
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh attacked Bakara village, in Al-Zab; it captured and then killed two shepherds. The source also said Daesh wounded two PMF fighters in an attack on a nearby PMF military position.
A DaeshDaily source said on Tuesday that two IFP members, including a 1st lieutenant, were killed and 2 others wounded by a roadside IED that targeted their vehicle on the outskirts of Hawija city.
A security source in Kirkuk says that military intelligence units arrested a Daesh operative in Daquq District. [Ghad]
A DaeshDaily source said on Tuesday that two IFP members were killed and another wounded in a Daesh attack east of Rashad. The source said the terrorists fled to Hawija desert after the attack.
Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)
The PMF media office says that PMF “special forces” dismantled a Daesh cell in east Mosul. The arrests were made before the cell had a chance to carry out any terrorist attacks in the city. [BaghdadToday]
The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its units in the 20th Army Division arrested 2 Daesh operatives in southwest Mosul. [Ghad]
PMF units withdrew from central Tal Afar and handed it over to local police forces under the Ministry of the Interior. The PMF will still protect areas in western Ninewa, but will be situated outside the cities. [Anadolu]
The Turkish Army said on Wednesday that it killed 12 PKK members in airstrikes around Metina, northern Dahuk. [BasNews]
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REPORTS FROM TURKEY
On Tuesday, Turkish officials provided the Washington Post with scans of the passports of 7 people out of the 15-person team they say was sent from Saudi Arabia and tortured and killed Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi consulate provided access to Turkish police, but both journalists and Turkish investigators said that the Saudis had brought in cleaning crews and repainted areas of the consulate in an attempt to scrub the scene. [WaPo] [WaPo]
The New York Times wrote on Tuesday that of the 15 suspects identified by Turkey in the Jamal Khashoggi case, 4 had direct ties to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and a 5th was a forensic doctor who held senior positions in the Saudi Ministry of the Interior “such … that he could only be directed by a high-ranking Saudi authority.” The NYT said that they had independently confirmed that 9 out of the 15 named suspects worked for Saudi security, military, or other government ministries. [NYT]
The New York Times also wrote on Wednesday that a “senior Turkish official” had leaked details of the audio recordings of Khashoggi’s torture, which the official said included cutting off Khashoggi’s fingers before beheading him in the consulate. According to both the Turkish official and the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, the consul, Mohammad Al-Otaibi, objected to the torture and execution being conducted in his office, and was brusquely told to “shut up” by the 15-person Saudi team. [NYT]
A more lurid version of Khashoggi’s torture, based on information Turkish sources gave to the independent website Middle East Eye, alleges that he was dismembered alive with a bone saw while screaming. [Sun] [MiddleEastEye]
The British Independent wrote that a source in Saudi Arabia said that “Jamal no longer had protection” from the Saudi royal family, and that MBS wanted to question Khashoggi over his loyalty, adding that “[t]here is no middle ground in the [Saudi] court now. You are either friend or enemy.” Another source claimed that Khashoggi’s disappearance was related to his relations with his family and their internal relationship with the court, rather than stemming from Khashoggi’s public criticism of MBS or the direction of Saudi Arabia. [Independent]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with both Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia and President Erdogan in Turkey.
In a press conference held in Beirut on Wednesday with the foreign ministers of Iraq and Lebanon, the Iraqi Foreign Minister stated that the disappearance of Saudi journalist Khashoggi was “alien, surprising, and contrary to human rights.” His Lebanese counterpart stated that they must wait for the results of the investigation before making official statements on the matter, but that it was natural to be “on the side of truth” and that every time a similar incident occurs, to emphasize the importance of respecting international agreements, the principle of sovereignty, and international legitimacy. [Anadolu]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
NBC News says that the Trump Administration has a new strategy for the war in Syria, concentrating on pushing Iranian forces and Iran–supported groups out of the country. [ElDorar]
The Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar says that the UAE is making contacts regarding the situation in Syria and its leadership. The UAE Foreign Minister recently met with several Lebanese figures that have close ties with Syria. The UAE is reportedly acting on behalf of itself and Saudi Arabia, to maintain their presence in the Syrian arena. [ElDorar]
The Coalition said that between October 7 and 13 it carried out 136 airstrikes in Syria. All 136 were near Albu Kamal. [InherentResolve]
DaeshDaily comment. That’s almost 20 airstrikes per day! This seems to confirm our impression that the effort to finally remove Daesh from Albu Kamal is proving to be extremely difficult.
General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the US is coordinating with several countries to determine the fate of 700 Daesh prisoners held by the SDF. [Hawar]
A roadside IED targeted a truck near Burj Haider, in Afrin’s Jinderes subdistrict, leaving 3 civilians wounded. [Qasioun]
Central and West
On Wednesday, US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey stated that the militias in the demilitarized zone around Idlib have completely withdrawn their heavy weapons, in accordance with the agreement between Turkey and Russia. He said that between 50,000 and 70,000 members of Tahrir Al-Sham remain in the area. [Qasioun]
Several fighters from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Guardians of Religion (aka Harras Al-Din) group were killed and wounded following a land mine explosion in northern Latakia. The group was on a reconnaissance mission to obtain intelligence on Syrian Army military positions. [Qasioun]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Deir Ez-Zor District
Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded five SDF members and destroyed their SUV with an IED near Jazrat Albu Hamid, Kasrah subdistrict. [A3maq]
Albu Kamal District
A leader of the SDF stated that expelling Daesh from Hajin would take longer than expected, and that Daesh benefited from the environment of that area, including sandstorms, which helped them hide from reconnaissance planes. The SDF stated that there are about 3,000 Daesh members remaining in Hajin. [Qasioun] [ElDorar]
The SOHR says SDF brought more reinforcements, mainly “special” or “elite forces” units, from Shaddadi to the battlefronts with Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor, where there is intense fighting and a high casualty rate. These battlefront areas include Hajin, Al-Sha’afa, Al-Susah, and parts of Al-Baghouz. [SyriaHR] [SyriaHR]
Daesh said on Wednesday it targeted SDF positions near Al-Baghouz with 30 mortars and 18 SPG9 rockets. [ICDNOct17]
Daesh said it shot at an SDF vehicle in Kashkiya village on Tuesday, wounding several fighters. [ICDNOct17]
Daesh published on Wednesday photos of killing five captured men after accusing them of being SDF “spies.” [ICNDOct17]
Daesh said on Wednesday it killed an SDF member, wounded others, and captured weapons and ammunition in an attack on SDF positions north of Hajin. It also said it targeted SDF positions in the same area with 2 130mm artillery shells. [ICDNOct17]
On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report accusing the Syrian government of illegally preventing displaced people from returning to Damascus and Rif Damashq. It stated that Syrian IDPs tried to return to Darayya, in Rif Damashq, and Qaboun, a municipality in Damascus, in May and July, but could not access their residential or commercial property. Civilians told HRW that the government restricted movement in Darayya and Qaboun, and that it may also have destroyed their property. [ElDorar]
Daesh said on Wednesday that it killed 4 Syrian Army or affiliated militia members in battles near Tilul Al-Safa, eastern Suwayda. This follows Daesh claims on Tuesday that it killed or wounded 46 Syrian Army troops. [EnabBaladi] [A3maq]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards say Iraqi “Islamic resistance” militias killed the mastermind of the attack on a military parade in Ahwaz last month. They say that planner was the Daesh leader nicknamed “Abu Dhuha,” who was also the “emir” of Daesh in Diyala province. [ZamanAlWasl]
DaeshDaily comment. As we reported previously, Hadi Al-Amiri announced on Tuesday that Badr Organization members had killed “Abu Dhuha.”
See above under Turkey – Political developments
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
At least 19 people were killed and 40 to 50 wounded in an explosion at a technical college in the city of Kerch, in Russian-annexed Crimea. A later report said that it was a “mass school shooting” in which the 18-year-old student who carried out the attack also set at least one explosive device. Russian authorities initially called the incident a “terrorist act,” but then reclassified it as “mass murder.” [Hawar] [BBC]
The Afghanistan High Peace Council denied that there were talks between the US Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban regarding the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. The head of the Council says such a withdrawal can be put to discussion after the war in the country is over and security is achieved. [Anadolu]
Parliamentary candidate Abdul Jabar Qahraman was killed in an explosion in his office in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility. [Khaama] [Khaama]
At least 30 Taliban-affiliated fighters, including 4 suicide bombers, were killed by a US airstrike in Ghazni Province, southeastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]
Daesh published on Wednesday a photo of one of its terrorists, claiming he was killed in “west Africa.” [ICDNOct17]