An Update On ISIS Activities

October 19, 2018

 

Daesh Rockets Found in Hawija (DD Oct 18)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Unofficial report says Sadrists, Al-Amiri bloc will each control 9 ministries, Kurds 3. [..]

Daesh officials responsible for many executions arrested in east and west Mosul. [..]

Russian report says PKK members joining Yazidi PMF militia in Sinjar. [..]

 

Turkey

Saudi officials concede Khashoggi dead, but say he died in a fight. [..]

 

Syria

Coalition airstrike at Albu Kamal mosque kills 11 Daesh but also 8 civilians. [..]

SOHR says Daesh has regained some positions in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

A member of the delegation representing the Al-Islah (Reform) bloc​​ (led by Al-Amiri & Al-Maliki)​​ in the formation of the new government, Fadi Al-Shammari, said that the Al-Islah and the Al-Bina’​​ (Sadrist)​​ blocs will​​ control a total of​​ 18 ministries,​​ equally,​​ between them. Al-Shammari said that the agreement was intended to give the Sunnis 6 ministries, and Sunni groups in the Al-Bina’ blocs asked for there to be 5 candidates for each ministry to give PM-designate Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi the freedom to choose the one he found most suitable for each position. He also said that Kurdish parties would get only 3 ministries “in accordance with their election [results].”​​ There are 23 or 24 ministries, total.​​ [BasNews]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The German Parliament (Bundestag)​​ approved extending the use of the German Army to confront Daesh for one more year. The mission of the Army would also include training of Iraqi forces. However, the use of German Tornado jets and aerial refueling services will stop by the end of October 2019. A maximum of 800 soldiers are authorized for the mission. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Foreign policy

The US State Department renewed its warning to its citizens against traveling to Iraq. A similar statement was issued a month ago, saying that US citizens could be subject to kidnapping and violence, and that the​​ Embassy’s ability to help is very limited. [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Baghdad Ops Command said on Friday that it had thwarted a Daesh plan to target religious pilgrims participating in the Arba’in commemoration of Imam Hussein’s death.​​ The​​ Command’s statement said that its security units seized a cache of explosives and IEDs intended to be used​​ against​​ pilgrims, in the Tarmiya​​ District​​ of northern Baghdad. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

A security source says Daesh initiated an attack on the Special Operations Battalion HQ situated in the Kilo 35 area, west of Ramadi. The attackers engaged the soldiers in a gunfight. Casualties​​ were reported on both sides. [Sumaria]​​ 

However, the Center for Security Information denied that there had been any Daesh attack on the HQ of the Special Operations Battalion HQ in Kilo 35, saying that the only incident was an IED explosion in the area. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Rutba

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that a secondary school teacher was killed in Rutba city when 4 Daesh terrorists on 2 motorcycles shot him using silenced guns.

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that IAF planes killed 6 Daesh terrorists, including the military commander of northern Salahuddin, and destroyed 2 pickup​​ vehicles,​​ in airstrikes in the desert near Siniya.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF EOD defused 4 IEDs planted on the road between Baiji and Siniya.

 

Daesh said it killed two tribal PMF members, wounded others, including a battalion commander, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Al-Fatha area, on Thursday. [ICDNOct19]

 

Daesh said it targeted PMF and tribal PMF units in Silo Al-Hajjaj with 2 Katyusha rockets, on Thursday. [ICDNOct19]

 

DIYALA

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

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that​​ four​​ PMFs, including an officer, were killed and another officer wounded when a parked vehicle bomb exploded on them in the Himrin area of northern Diyala. The source said that the PMFs​​ were conducting a search to clear the Himrin area. The area had been cleared earlier, but Daesh terrorists who fled from the Mtaibija area returned there.​​ 

 

In a story apparently from the same area, the PMF engineering corps destroyed 10 Daesh tunnels in “western Diyala,​​ presumably close to Mtaibija on the other side of the Salahuddin border. The PMF says the search operation for Daesh sleeper cells and safehouses on the “outskirts” of western Diyala is ongoing. [Ghad] [AIN]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that two Police EOD​​ technicians​​ were killed and a captain severely wounded when an IED exploded on them in Sadiya, in northern Diyala. The source said the IED was planted near the house of an activist who criticizes Daesh on social media. The source said the IED exploded while the experts were defusing another one.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is related to Daesh “luring” methods. Please see the Daesh Media section below.

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Daesh said it blew up the house of an Asayish member in Mama village, in Dibis, on Thursday. [ICDNOct19]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded IFP members and destroyed their IFP vehicle with an IED in Tuwaila village, in Dibis, on Thursday. [ICDNOct19]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

On Friday, a source within the Iraqi Federal Police (IFP)​​ said​​ that a Daesh operative working as a policeman at the Tal Al-Dhahab police station, in Hawija, was arrested. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

On Friday, the IFP announced that it had searched the oil field in Hawija, resulting in clearing the area of 2 Daesh depots containing clothing and “numerous” IEDs. ​​ [Buratha]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that IFP and tribal PMF units found several Daesh rockets prepared​​ for launch against​​ Al-Hilwat village. The source said Daesh terrorists were planning to rocket the village, but they fled when they​​ were spotted by the security forces.​​ 

 

Daesh said it targeted the house of a PMF member in Marata village with hand grenades on Thursday, causing damage. [ICDNOct19]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded IFP members and damaged their vehicle with an IED in Tar Al-Baghal, in Riyadh subdistrict, on Thursday. [ICDNOct19]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Friday that it killed two IFP officers, wounded four other IFP members, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED near Zakka’ village, in Riyadh subdistrict. [A3maq]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad,​​ Taza,​​ etc.)

A security source in Kirkuk Province said on Friday that PMF units had killed 3 Daesh members in the Rashad area. The source said that 1 of the killed Daesh members was a leader in the organization called “Musahir Najm Abdullah Al-Jawali,” who was connected with an attempt to assassinate officers in Kirkuk.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

A​​ source in the Ninewa police said​​ that police units arrested Khudheir Suleiman Hassan, aka “Judge Hassan,” from Tal Afar, and his brother in​​ west​​ Mosul. A security source said that Hassan had been sentenced to life imprisonment in Badoush before Daesh took over Mosul in 2014. The security source stated that the judge presided over the Daesh courts in 2015-2016, which issued thousands of death sentences to innocent people.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ [SotIraq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Ninewa SWAT units captured a “dangerous” Daesh terrorist in Al-Wihda neighborhood, in east Mosul. The source said the terrorist was responsible for Daesh public executions​​ on the west side of the city. The terrorist, who was trying to flee to Turkey, is one of the most important captured Daesh terrorists in the last two years. The source sent us a photo of the captured man.​​ 

 

General Sa’ad Ma’an, spokesman of the Ministry of the Interior, says that Ninewa police arrested 2 Daesh operatives in the Al-Intisar​​ neighborhood in east Mosul and​​ AlHadba’​​ in northeast​​ Mosul. Both worked for the Daesh “Office of Soldiers” (functioning as the Daesh Ministry of Defense). [Ghad]​​ [IraqPress]

 

The PMF media office says a that joint Army and PMF group dismantled a Daesh cell, which it said​​ was planning to launch attacks inside Mosul city,​​ and arrested​​ one​​ of its members in a night raid in west Mosul. [Ghad]​​ [Buratha]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

The Russian news agency​​ Sputnik​​ said on Friday that more and more PMF fighters in Sinjar​​ District were coming from the PKK. They wrote that Yazidi units in the PKK had been made into the PMF regiment “Al-Nasr Al-Mubain,” and that that the commander of the regiment, Said Hussein, had formerly been a PKK commander. [BasNews]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

Daesh said it killed 12 Shia and wounded eight others​​ Thursday​​ after targeting their bus with machine guns south of Hatra. [ICDNOct19]

 

Baaj

The PMF media office said that a PMF engineering team had cleared 60 houses in the Qataniya subdistrict of Baaj and found 20 IEDs.​​ [AIN]​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Kerbala

A security source says a man wanted on terrorism charges was arrested in Kerbala on Friday.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS​​ 

You are invited to add information to or comment on any Daesh Daily story, about Iraq or other countries​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Late on Friday, Saudi state TV made an announcement regarding the initial Saudi probe into the death of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi TV report​​ conceded for the first time that​​ that Khashoggi died, but said this resulted from​​ “a quarrel and a physical confrontation” with unnamed parties​​ in the consulate. The report also said​​ that 18 Saudi nationals had been detained as part of the probe.​​ The deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Assiri and​​ a senior aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), Saud Al-Qahtani, were reported to have been sacked over the affair. [WSJ] [BBC]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Conceding that this explanation seems more plausible than the bizarre account coming from Turkish government sources and carried by western media, it does not explain away the Turkish version, which confidently reported that Khashoggi had been tortured, murdered, and dismembered. It is also noteworthy, though not surprising, that the official account seeks to separate Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from any responsibility by (1) blaming the incident on an unexpected altercation (as if Khashoggi were somehow partly responsible, and​​ ignoring the​​ fact that a​​ 15-member team​​ was​​ sent to confront Khashoggi at the Istanbul consulate) and (2) blaming everyone else involved​​ including high-ranking officials (ignoring the fact that some of them are close to the Crown Prince.) This gives the Saudi story the appearance of a giant trial balloon.​​ Other sources will not take this cover story seriously.​​ Based on our knowledge, not that many people fight to the death when they apply for marriage licenses, and even fewer would attack 18 security personnel to do so.

 

Shortly after the Saudi TV broadcast, the Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a statement on​​ Twitter regarding​​ Khashoggi’s disappearance, in which it said that the​​ 18​​ “suspects” it had under investigation had travelled to Istanbul “after indications appeared [sic] the possibility of returning Jamal Khashoggi to the country.” The statement said that these suspects’ discussions with Khashoggi “did not go as required and escalated negatively which led to a fight between them and […] Khashoggi, which aggregated [sic] the situation and led to his death.”​​ [Twitter]

The official Saudi Press Agency published a slightly different version of the same statement, as well as one from the Saudi Public Prosecutor, saying that Khashoggi had died in a “brawl.” [SPA] [SPA]

 

Military & security developments

The Turkish Army says that it killed 33 PKK fighters in Mardin, Siirt, Diyarbakir, and Agri in​​ southeastern​​ Turkey, as well as in​​ unspecified locations​​ in​​ “northern Iraq” (i.e. Iraqi Kurdistan). The Army said that large quantities of weapons and ammunition were also captured. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Ajmad Othman, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Council (the political wing of the SDF) criticized the​​ recent statement​​ of Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jafari, who supported​​ Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem’s​​ statements rejecting decentralization in Syria.​​ Othman​​ said​​ that​​ the Iraqi minister betrayed his country’s constitution, which entails a federal state.​​ Othman added​​ that​​ Al-Jafari was speaking as if he​​ was in​​ “the​​ Iraq of the​​ 1960s” rather than a federal, decentralized state.​​ 

 On Monday, Muallem said that the Syrian government would seek to control the area east of the Euphrates after Idlib, and that the Kurds would pay a price if they continued with the “American illusion.” The Syrian Democratic Council criticized this as threatening language that did not further dialogue.​​ [BasNews]

 

Foreign policy

Russia

The Pentagon questioned the numbers of hostages held by Daesh stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Pentagon statement said that the US was are aware of the Daesh attack on the IDP camp, but that the figures stated by the Russian President were “highly questionable.” It added that it the US was unaware of any US or Western hostages from that camp being held by Daesh. [Qasioun]

 

Europe

The office of the French Presidency said on Friday that France’s participation in the upcoming 4-way summit on Syria, to be held in Istanbul on October 27, was conditional on there not being an attack on Idlib. The German government also announced the participation of Chancellor Angela Merkel in the upcoming summit, saying that the agenda would focus on the situation in Idlib and the Russian-Turkish agreement on it. [ElDorar]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Russian newspaper​​ Svobodnaya Pressa​​ carried a​​ report in which​​ it​​ alleged that Daesh had “re-established” a 30,000-strong army, and accused the Coalition of using white phosphorus while fighting Daesh in Syria, due to what it characterized as US “impotence” in finally clearing Daesh from the Albu Kamal area. The piece went on to say that​​ Americans were cooperating with the Russians around Albu Kamal, which should be taken as tacit American acceptance of an Iranian troop presence. [ArabWindow]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Accusing the US and Coalition of using white phosphorus bombs is old propaganda.

 

Northwest

Afrin

The YPG media office says that the YPG attacked the vehicles of pro-Turkey militias in Afrin,​​ saying​​ it killed 3 militia members and destroyed the vehicles. [Hawar]

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

The SOHR says an IED targeted​​ a Kurdish Red Crescent vehicle in​​ the​​ Salihiya​​ neighborhood of the city of​​ Hasaka,​​ and that the explosion​​ left several civilians wounded. [SyriaHR]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

Tahrir Al-Sham says it captured a Daesh vehicle bomb in southern rural Idlib, after raiding a Daesh HQ. It also claimed to have seized Daesh equipment and weapons in Mseibin village, south of Idlib city. [Qasioun]

 

Hama

1 person was killed and 8 others wounded in a gunfight in Masyaf, western Hama, which is controlled by the Syrian Army. Who was fighting and why, as well as the role of the Syrian Army,​​ are​​ unclear. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead​​ two​​ SDF officials in Jadid Baqara village, the SOHR reported. [SyriaHR]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that 11 Daesh terrorists and 8 civilians were killed, and 13 other Daesh terrorists wounded, in a Coalition airstrike on a mosque used by Daesh as a military base in Al-Susah.​​ 

 

The SOHR reported continued intense fighting between Daesh and SDF in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, saying that Daesh recovered some of the areas it lost to the SDF earlier following a counter-attack. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Friday it killed an SDF member and wounded others when it targeted their positions in Mozan village with 5 SPG9 rockets. [ICDNOct19]

 

South​​ 

Suwayda

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that government forces captured Marwa Younes Assal, a senior Daesh​​ hisbah​​ official from Ninewa, in the eastern Suwayda desert. The source said the​​ woman was also the wife of Abdul​​ Wahid​​ Ahmed Khudhair, a senior Iraqi Daesh commander who had been killed by Coalition planes during the Mosul liberation campaign. ​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia

 

See above under Turkey – Political developments

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said on Friday its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier near the Muslih security barrier, south of Sheikh Zuweid. [ICDNOct19]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the recent attack in Kandahar on Thursday, saying that such attacks during the lead-up to the elections are against the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan, as well as its stability and security. [Anadolu]

 

Daesh issued on Friday photos of killing an Afghan Army member in Badeel Valley, in Kunar. [ICDNOct19]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 152nd​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh published an infographic about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, West Africa, and Somalia during the last week. It said it conducted 118 attacks, killing or wounding more than 404 people. Daesh also published an infographic showing instructions to its members about how to “lure” security units and “spies” and then attack them. [ICDNOct18]

October 18, 2018

 

Rapid Intervention Units Capture a Daesh Commander in Falluja (DD, Oct 18)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Macron promises Abd Ul-Madhi to help with Iraq reconstruction. [..]

2,665 bodies found to date in Ninewa mass graves, including 851 children. [..]

 

Turkey

US awaits Saudi explanation of what happened in Khashoggi case.​​ [..]

 

Syria

UN​​ sounds alarm about potential civilian casualties in Albu Kamal fighting.​​ [..]

Putin says 700 civilian hostages being held by Daesh in Albu Kamal. [..]

SDF, Dulaim tribe come into conflict in Deir Ez-Zor. [..]

French magazine insists Baghdadi is directing​​ Daesh forces in Hajin. [..]

Russian report says Coalition accidentally killed 6 SDF soldiers.​​ [..]

SOHR anticipates prisoner exchange between SDF, Daesh. [..]

Ceasefire/surrender agreement with Daesh fails in Suwayda.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Germany:​​ Germany commits $90 million for Iraq reconstruction, IDPs. [..]

Afghanistan:​​ Gunman infiltrates Governor’s compound in Kandahar; kills 3 Afghan officials, wounds 3 Americans. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

Prime Minister-designate Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi received a letter from Emmanuel Macron, the French President, wherein Macron expressed his willingness for them to work together to reconstruct Iraq. [Sumaria]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Colonel Sean Ryan, spokesman for the Coalition, told the US-funded​​ Radio Sawa​​ on Thursday that Daesh still has “safe havens” in some parts of Iraq. He said that Daesh’s presence in Anbar and Kirkuk Provinces was notable, and that he estimated there to be 1,500 to 2,000 Daesh fighters in the Euphrates Valley area. [Hurra]

 

On Wednesday, the​​ Office of​​ Foreign Assets​​ Control in​​ the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Afaq Dubai​​ Exchange​​ Company,​​ on​​ suspicion of connections to Daesh. The company operates in Iraq only and has no offices in the UAE, despite its name. The​​ Department​​ says the company provided financial and technological support to Daesh, and​​ is a part of a complex​​ network that includes​​ other companies and individuals. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Northeast​​ (Adhamiya, etc.)

Baghdad Ops Command says it arrested a terrorism suspect in Rashidiya, Adhamiya subdistrict. Another 5 people were arrested in various areas of Baghdad on murder and drug trafficking charges. [Ghad]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Rapid Intervention units captured a Daesh leader who was hiding​​ on a farm in Falluja. The source said the terrorist, a senior recruitment officer, had just returned from Turkey with a fake ID to reactivate Daesh groups. The source sent us photos of the captured terrorist.

 

The Imam Ali Brigades, a PMF group, said on Thursday that​​ it​​ had arrested a Daesh official in Falluja city. The group said that the official had been responsible for assassinations in what Daesh refers to as the “State of Jazeera.” [Sumaria]​​ 

 

The Directorate of Military intelligence says​​ one of​​ its units, operating under the Army’s 14th​​ Division, arrested a man wanted on terrorism charges in Qarma. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Hit/Haditha

The Ministry of Defense reported that Anbar Ops Command helped 45​​ displaced​​ families return to their home areas. 192 individuals, comprising 35 families, from the Kilo 18 camp returned to their homes in Humaira, and 10​​ displaced​​ families returned from the Kilo 18 camp to their homes in Hit District.​​ [MoD Website]

 

Rutba

Jazeera Ops Command announced a “major” military operation to secure the perimeter of the Okaz oilfields. The 7th​​ Army Division, tribal PMF units, and Army helicopters are taking part in the operation, which includes securing the oilfields​​ and inspecting the surrounding desert areas. [BasNews]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that​​ four​​ Shia pilgrims, including a child, were killed and 10 others wounded when a group of Daesh terrorists​​ shot at a bus near Tilul Al-Baj in western Shirqat.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source that a local police officer and the director and another employee of the water purification unit in Al-Aitha village were killed when an IED destroyed the officer’s pickup vehicle. The source said the officer was transporting the employees to their work.

Daesh had said on Wednesday it killed an Iraqi Army officer and another​​ soldier and destroyed their Humvee with an IED in Al-Aitha village. [A3maq]

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that a Kata’eb Hezbollah commander and his driver were killed when an IED exploded, targeting their SUV, on the road between Baiji and Tikrit.

 

Daesh said on Thursday it killed or wounded policemen, including an officer, and destroyed their vehicle in the Thermal​​ (power)​​ Station area north of Baiji. [ICDNOct18]​​ 

 

Samarra

General​​ Imad Al-Zuhairi,​​ Samarra​​ Ops​​ Commander,​​ says​​ that​​ his units thwarted an operation by a sleeper cell, which was​​ planning​​ to attack pilgrims participating​​ in the​​ Arba’in commemoration of​​ Imam Hussein’s​​ death,​​ in Qala,​​ at the entrance​​ to​​ Samarra. The arrest of the cell was made in​​ the​​ Jubairiya​​ Al-Oula​​ neighborhood in Samarra city. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded IFP members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Albu Khado area, near Samarra, on Tuesday. [ICDNOct18]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Daesh said it shot and killed three Iraqi soldiers in their military position in Abboud village, in Amerli. [ICDNOct18]

 

DIYALA

The Center for Security Information said on Thursday that units under Diyala Ops Command found and destroyed 11​​ Daesh​​ shelters and safehouses in Diyala Province. Most of the shelters contained military outfits, munitions, and rations. [Ghad]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ As we reported, a security source said on Wednesday that these shelters were found and destroyed by PMF units.

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Daesh said it damaged an Iraqi Army bulldozer with an IED in the Al-Nida area, on Wednesday. [ICDNOct18]

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that two Iraqi Army​​ soldiers​​ were killed and four others, including a captain, wounded in a Daesh attack near Al-Zarqa village, in Riyadh subdistrict.

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded tribal PMFs and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Al-Fatha area, in Riyadh subdistrict. [ICDNOct18]

 

General Raed Shaker Jawdat, Commander of the IFP, says that ordnance disposal teams from the 5th​​ IFP Division destroyed 2 IEDs in Hawija, while units from the 20th​​ Brigade arrested 3 terrorism suspects and captured 9 AK-type rifles. [Baghdadia]

 

The Federal Police said on Thursday that they had arrested a man wanted on terrorism charges in Abbasi subdistrict.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed a 1st​​ lieutenant with light weapons near Al-Hilwat village, in the Al-Zab area, on Wednesday. [ICDNOct18]

 

NINEWA

The Iraqi Human Rights Commission says that 2,665 bodies have been recovered from mass graves so far in Ninewa Province. 1,871 are still unidentified. The total included 851 bodies of children. [IraqPress]​​ [Hurra]

 

Makhmur

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that an IFP staff sergeant was killed and​​ two​​ other IFP members were killed in a Daesh ambush south of Makhmur​​ city. The source said that the terrorists, who were on motorcycles, fled to the Qarachogh Mountains after the attack.​​ 

 

Daesh said on Thursday it killed or wounded five IFP​​ personnel​​ and set their vehicle on fire in an ambush​​ on a main road​​ southwest of Makhmur. [A3maq]

 

Mosul​​ city

The Ministry of the Interior says that Ninewa intelligence and counter-terrorism teams arrested 3 persons in​​ various parts of​​ Mosul who were planning terrorist attacks against civilians in the city. IEDs and fake IDs belonging to members of the group were also seized. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that local police units captured a Daesh official in east Mosul. The source said the terrorist was responsible for arresting and​​ killing many civilians in the city. The source sent us photos of the captured man.

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that one policeman was killed and four others severely wounded when a group of Daesh terrorists attacked the Antiquities Police station in Hatra.

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Babel

A security source in Babel said on Thursday that a “sticky” bomb placed under the car of an intelligence officer and exploded in central Hilla, causing damage but no casualties. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS​​ 

You are invited to add information to or comment on any Daesh Daily story, about Iraq or other countries​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy​​ 

President​​ Trump said on Thursday that it “certainly look[ed]” as though Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi​​ is​​ dead, and threatened “very severe” consequences if the Saudis were found to have murdered him. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Saudis should be given “a few more days” to investigate before blame is assigned. This follows Pompeo’s trip to Riyadh and Ankara to discuss the case. [AP]​​ [NYT]

 

A Turkish source claimed that​​ on Wednesday,​​ Mike Pompeo had heard the audiotape allegedly recording Jamal Khashoggi’s torture and execution, and had been given a copy of a transcript of the recording. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert denied that Pompeo had heard any such​​ recording. [ABCNews]

 

The​​ New York Times​​ wrote on Thursday that Saudi authorities were allegedly considering blaming intelligence official General Ahmed Al-Assiri for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi as a way to deflect blame from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).​​ According to sources “familiar with the Saudi plans,” the Saudis would announce that Al-Assiri received verbal authorization from MBS to capture Khashoggi but not to kill him, and Al-Assiri would then be blamed for the operation going bad. [NYT]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If this plan is really under consideration, its effectiveness at deflecting blame away from MBS seems somewhat compromised by the publication of this​​ story.

 

See also a related story below under Neighboring Countries – Saudi Arabia

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

A UN report says that thousands of Syrian​​ displaced people​​ in eastern Deir Ez-Zor are subject to grave danger due to the ongoing battles between Daesh and the SDF in Hajin, Al-Sha’afa, Al-Susah, and Al-Baghouz. It also says that around 1,000 civilians are threatened with death in Hajin, whereas over 7,000 others have left the area. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Thursday that terrorist groups in Syria “east of the Euphrates” had taken several American and European citizens hostage. Putin said that “Kurdish groups” (i.e. the SDF) had failed to complete their counter-terrorism work, because the terrorists (i.e. Daesh) were still present in the region. He said that “130 families, about 700 people,” were being held hostage.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Putin is apparently referring to the hostages kidnapped from the Al-Bahra IDP camp who are reportedly being held in Hajin. Daesh also has taken civilians from Suwayda prisoner. Other coverage has not indicated that American or European citizens are among the hostages.​​ 

 

Also see story below under Albu Kamal

 

Iran

A source in the Al-Quds Corps of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards told the Kuwaiti newspaper​​ Al-Jarida​​ that Russia has stopped supplying pro-Iranian groups in Syria with weapons. The source says that Russia informed Iran that it now has to pay in cash for any weapons. [ElDorar]

 

Northwest

Afrin

The YPG says that it killed 6 pro-Turkey militia fighters in 2 attacks in the Shirawa subdistrict in Afrin. [Hawar]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

Daesh said it killed an SDF member with a silenced gun near Al-Qarin intersection, west of Tabaqa, on Wednesday. [ICDNOct18]]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

The SOHR reported the killing of a commander of the​​ Al-Qaeda-affiliated Guardians of Religion (aka Hurras Al-Din)​​ by an IED that targeted his car in​​ the town of​​ Ma’asaran in Idlib. Abu Usama Khan Al-Subul was​​ reportedly​​ a commander​​ in Tahrir Al-Sham and a founder of​​ Al-Qaeda​​ in Syria before​​ joining the​​ Guardians of Religion. This​​ brings the total number of​​ persons assassinated in Idlib since April 2018 to 360, including 71 civilians. [SyriaHR]​​ 

 

Tahrir Al-Sham claimed it arrested several Daesh operatives in​​ Al-Kana’is village,​​ eastern​​ rural​​ Idlib,​​ and captured a large​​ stock​​ of explosives and munitions. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Tribal mediation is underway to contain the conflict between the SDF and the Dulaim tribe following the killing and wounding of 10 tribesmen by SDF units​​ on​​ the​​ Khabur​​ River in​​ northern Deir Ez-Zor. Major tribes, including the Shammar, are mediating. [ZamanAlWasl]​​ 

 

Daesh said it shot and severely wounded an SDF intelligence​​ officer​​ in Dhaman village, in Al-Busayrah subdistrict, on Wednesday. [ICDNOct18]​​ 

Daesh said it killed three SDF members and damaged two vehicles with 2 IEDs in Al-Hajna village, in​​ Busayrah, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

Daesh said it killed two SDF members and damaged their vehicle with an IED in Al-Shuhail town​​ in Busayrah, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said on Thursday it shot and killed an SDF leader in Jadid Baqara, 13 miles southeast of Deir Ez-Zor city. [A3maq] In another version it says it killed a mukhtar in Jadid Baqara. Adding to the​​ confusion, it claimed on Thursday to have killed an SDF-appointed mukhtar in nearby Jadid Aqaidat in Deir Ez-Zor District.​​ [ICDNOct18]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The French magazine​​ Le Point​​ claimed in a report that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is alive and is leading Daesh battles from Hajin. The paper says that Daesh has 3,000 fighters in the area, most of them escaped from Raqqa. It says that Al-Baghdadi is moving “in camouflage” among the civilians in the area.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

On Friday, the SDF reported that within the past 24 hours it killed 15 Daesh fighters in an assault between Al-Baghouz, Hajin, and Al-Bahra. The assault also included 11 Coalition airstrikes,​​ in which​​ 5 Daesh military positions​​ were​​ damaged,​​ but​​ 2 SDF fighters​​ were​​ killed, and 7 injured. [Hawar] [SDF]

 

RT TV​​ quoted a Russian military source as saying a Coalition airstrike killed​​ six​​ SDF fighters by mistake and wounded 15 others. According to​​ RT TV, the SDF units were attacking Daesh in Hajin with Coalition air support, but poor coordination resulted in the accident. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh kidnapped 120 Arab families from​​ the Al-Bahra IDP camp in Deir Ez-Zor on October 13, and has taken them to Hajin.​​ RT​​ TV​​ says Daesh is holding over 700 prisoners,​​ including some​​ Westerners. [Qasioun]

 

Also see above under National News – United Nations

 

As battles between SDF and Daesh continue in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, Daesh executed 3 civilians on charges of spying for the SDF and the Coalition, the SOHR reported. [SyriaHR]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Daesh killed 8 government forces soldiers, including an Iraqi militia commander, and captured 2 SUVs and weapons in an attack near Albu Kamal city. The source said Daesh members had sneaked in from the Al-Susah area.

 

South​​ 

Suwayda

The SDF council says it is ready to carry out a prisoner exchange with Daesh to release civilians from Suwayda who are held by Daesh. The SOHR says the exchange is expected to take place within 48 hours. According to Nuri Mahmoud, SDF spokesman, the SDF currently holds around 900 Daesh fighters from various nationalities as prisoners. [BasNews]​​ 

 

The Syrian Army reportedly resumed its shelling and advanced towards Daesh positions in Tilul Al-Safa following the collapse of the surrender agreement for Daesh in the area. The agreement was reached on Tuesday, and included a ceasefire and surrender of Daesh fighters, but Daesh failed to commit and tried to attack the Syrian Army’s positions in the area. [SyriaNow]​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Lebanon

On Thursday, a Lebanese military judge indicted a Syrian for the crime of belonging to the “Al-Nusra Front” (i.e. HTS) and attempting to recruit new members. He indicted 2 more Syrians for belonging to “terrorist groups.” The first was going to fight in Syria himself, and the second was involved in terrorist acts according to Lebanese law. The judge referred all 3 to the Permanent Military Court (commonly referred to as the Military Tribunal). [Qasioun]

 

Saudi Arabia

Mike Pompeo’s visit to Saudi Arabia coincided with the Saudis paying the US $100 million to “support stability” in the northern parts of Syria that have been liberated from Daesh. The​​ New York Times​​ reported that the funds deposit coinciding with Pompeo’s visit came as a surprise to many observers. Brett McGurk, the US Envoy to the Coalition, said that the amount was in accordance with an MOU signed by Saudi Arabia last August. [BasNews]

 

See​​ also related stories​​ above under Turkey – Political developments

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Germany

The German government is donating $100 million US to support stabilization in Iraq and Syria, including $10 million to Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa. $90 million will be given to the Iraqi government to implement programs related to the return of IDPs and reconstruction. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

A gunman​​ dressed as an Afghan military guard​​ opened fire during a high-level security meeting​​ in the compound of​​ the Governor of Kandahar Province, wounding at least​​ three​​ US citizens and killing​​ three​​ provincial officials, including Abdul Raziq, the region’s police chief. General Scott Miller, US commander in Afghanistan, was attending the meeting. NATO confirmed that General Miller was not harmed in the incident.​​ US Colonel David Butler, who also attended the meeting, said he believed Abdul Raziq was the target of the attack, not Miller.​​ [Rudaw]​​ [AP] [USAToday]​​ [WaPo]

 

Daesh said it wounded two guards of an election center in Khiwa district with an IED, on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

October 17, 2018

 

Security Units Capture a Daesh Member in Mosul (Source DD Oct 16)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

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. [..]

 

Turkey

New York Times details high-level connections of Saudi team that killed Khashoggi, and gruesome details of his execution.​​ [..]

 

Syria

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. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Ukraine:​​ Mass shooting at technical college kills at least 19. [..]

Afghanistan:​​ 30 Taliban members killed by US airstrike in SE Afghanistan.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

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.

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

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]​​ 

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

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]​​ 

 

BAGHDAD

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]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

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]

 

Hit/Haditha

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]​​ 

 

Rutba

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]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

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]

 

Baiji

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]

 

DIYALA

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)

A security source in Diyala says PMF units destroyed 11 Daesh shelters and safehouses in several areas around Himrin Hills and Lake Himrin, and defused several IEDs. [Mawazin]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

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]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

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.​​ 

 

Southwest (Daquq)

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.

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)

The Ministry of the Interior said on Wednesday that units under Ninewa Police Command had arrested 11 Daesh members in the Nimrud​​ subdistrict of Hamdaniya. [Sumaria]​​ [Mawazin]

 

Mosul​​ city

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]​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

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]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

DAHUK

The Turkish Army said on Wednesday that it killed 12 PKK members in airstrikes around Metina, northern Dahuk. [BasNews]

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS​​ 

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REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Political developments

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

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

NBC​​ News​​ says​​ that​​ the​​ Trump​​ Administration​​ has​​ a new strategy for​​ the​​ war in Syria,​​ concentrating on pushing Iranian forces and​​ Iransupported groups out of the country. [ElDorar]

 

Middle East

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]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

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]

 

Northwest

Afrin

A roadside IED targeted a truck near Burj Haider,​​ in Afrin’s​​ Jinderes subdistrict, leaving 3 civilians wounded. [Qasioun]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

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]

 

Latakia

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]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

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]

 

Suwayda

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

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

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.”

 

Saudi Arabia

 

See above under Turkey – Political developments

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Ukraine

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]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

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 MEDIA

 

Daesh published​​ photos​​ on Wednesday of two of its terrorists,​​ saying they were killed in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNOct17] [ICDNOct17]

 

Daesh published on Wednesday a photo of one of its terrorists, claiming he was killed in “west Africa.” [ICDNOct17]

 

October 16, 2018