June 20, 2018
INVITATION TO A MOVE PREMIERE—TODAY (THURSDAY) AT 4:00
Our colleagues at AM LLC have asked us to cordially invite DaeshDaily readers to an open bar networking reception and a private screening of “MOSUL.” This is A documentary feature film on the battle to reclaim the city of Mosul from ISIS. Two years in the making, MOSUL follows the true-life story of an Iraqi journalist who joins an army of uneasy allies and unforgettable characters in the epic battle.
When: Thursday, June 21
4:00 – 4:15 PM – Welcome and refreshments (lobby and bar)
4:15 – 5:45 PM – Screening of “Mosul” film (theater)
5:45 – 6:00 PM – Director’s comments and Q&A (theater)
6:00 – 6:45 PM – Post-screening reception (lobby and bar)
Where: Atlantic Plumbing Cinema
Reserve Your Ticket Here
Pivotal Federal Supreme Court ruling on election expected today. [..]
Newspaper says emerging coalition will give PM post to neither Al-Abadi nor Al-Maliki. [..]
UNHCR counts 250,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq, most in Kurdistan. [..]
Kata’eb Al-Hezbollah members provoke deadly shootout with Army, police in East Baghdad. [..]
Shammar tribe blasts government security failures as Daesh kidnappings continue in Shirqat. [..]
Turkish government newspaper says PKK has withdrawn from northern Erbil subdistrict. [..]
National election Sunday expected to generate heavy turnout. [..]
UN inquiry commission blames both Syria and opposition for war crimes and human rights violations in Damascus area. [..]
Tahrir Al-Sham kills 17 Syrian soldiers in Latakia. [..]
Coalition hits Daesh convoy near Palmyra, kills 14. [..]
Great Britain: British police stop Daesh terror plots against Prime Minister May. [..]
Germany: German police pre-empt biological terror attack. [..]
Afghanistan: Taliban breaks Eid ceasefire by killing 30 Afghan soldiers. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
The Wisdom alliance, led by Amar Al-Hakim, called on Wednesday for all political groups to adhere to the Federal Supreme Court’s decision, expected on Thursday, regarding the CoR elections. Salah Al-Arabawi, a leader in Wisdom, said that he expected a compromise position from the Federal Supreme Court, such as the partial cancellation of votes cast abroad. However, he added that he also expected the Federal Supreme Court to rule that recent attempts to amend election law were unconstitutional for several reasons, including their passage in special sessions of the CoR and the principle of separation of powers. Thursday, June 21, has been set by the Court as the date for President Fuad Masoum’s appeal against amendments in the electoral law. [BasNews]
An “informed source” told Bas News on Wednesday that there was an agreement between “major political forces” to keep the post of PM from being occupied by a member of the Islamic Dawa party (the party to which sitting PM Al-Abadi and former PM Al-Maliki both belong). The source, who asked not to be named, said that these political groups had yet to decide on an alternate candidate for PM. [BasNews]
Jaafar Al-Musawi, the spokesman for Muqtada Al-Sadr, said on Wednesday that the Sadrist Sa’irun alliance would nominate the next PM through the “large coalition” that they intend to form. In a press statement, Al-Musawi emphasized that this was a decision for Iraqis and not for foreign countries to exert pressure over. He noted that Article 76 of the Iraqi Constitution provides for the largest CoR bloc to name the PM. He ended by repeating that the coalition in question was not limited by Shia, Sunni, or Kurdish sectarian affiliation. [Rudaw]
An Inquiry Court responding to a case from the Commission on Integrity issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday for the Chairman of the Provincial Council of Kirkuk, Rebwar Talabani. The warrant charges that he illegally disbursed 76 million Iraqi dinars. [Ghad]
Security sources say the Euphrates is bringing dead bodies from Syria into Iraq, for the third time in less than two weeks. Sources say that 3, 6, and 17 bodies were brought by the river, successively, mostly of them men tortured and shot in the head. [Qasioun]
PM Haider Al-Abadi warned on Wednesday of Daesh attempts to infiltrate the Iraqi border to carry out terrorist operations. He made the remarks at his weekly press conference. [BaghdadToday]
Refugees. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Wednesday that Iraq had 250,000 Syrian refugees living within it, 97% of whom are in the Kurdistan Region. UNHCR official Bruno Geddo, speaking on the occasion of World Refugee Day, said that Iraq is currently sheltering 300,000 refugees, of whom 250,000 are Syrian, and that up to 700 new refugees per month are still coming into Iraq from Syria. [Sumaria]
Iran. Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, appeared in Iraq accompanied by several Revolutionary Guards leaders, while inspecting “the works of restoration of holy shrines in Iraq.” Soleimani attended several meetings with leaders of Iraqi Shia parties earlier. Photos published by IRNA, the state-owned Iranian news agency, showed Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis, the deputy commander of the PMF, accompanying the delegation. [Arabi21]
Security-related incidents reported
East (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)
A DaeshDaily source says Army and police units clashed with a Kata’eb Hezbollah convoy on Palestine Street when the convoy refused to stop at a checkpoint.
Baghdad Police announced on Wednesday that a suspect who had previously fired at security personnel on Palestine Street was apprehended. This follows a report from a security source earlier in the day, saying that 5 civilian cars carrying armed persons passed through a checkpoint on Palestine Street without stopping, and fired at security personnel when those manning the checkpoint tried to stop them. The earlier report said that 1 security unit member was killed and 2 others wounded in the shootout. [Sumaria]
The Chairman of the Security and Defense Committee, Hakim Al-Zamili, went on Wednesday to the headquarters of Kata’eb Hezbollah on Palestine Street. A security source said the purpose of the visit was to mediate clashes between Kata’eb Hezbollah and the security services. Rudaw added that according to eyewitnesses, a group of Kata’eb Hezbollah members were the riders of the 5 cars involved in the earlier shootout on Palestine Street. [Rudaw]
The spokesman for the Center for Security Information, General Yahya Rasul, announced on Wednesday that units under Anbar Operations Command had found and destroyed 67 IEDs while searching the area between the Al-Salam intersection and the Falahat train station just west of Falluja. [Baghdadia]
General Yahya also announced on Wednesday that another group under Anbar Ops Command had found and destroyed 42 IEDs and 5 rockets in the area around Zangoura, just west of Ramadi. A 2-km-long road in Albu Assaf was also cleared, and 8 IEDs made out of 20-liter barrels containing “C4” were disposed of. [Baghdadia]
The Directorate of Military Intelligence announced on Wednesday that it had stopped 2 terrorists planning to bomb a mosque in Hit District. [Sumaria]
A security source in Anbar Police said on Wednesday that Daesh fighters had kidnapped 4 civilians from private factories in the Al-Qa’im District, on the border with Syria. The source, who declined to be named, said that the Daesh fighters stopped a civilian vehicle, kidnapped the occupants at gunpoint, and took them to some place in the western Anbar desert. [BasNews]
The Shammar tribe issued a statement on Wednesday regarding the abduction and killing of a number of its members by Daesh in Shirqat and Tikrit. In the statement, the tribe both condemned the killings and kidnappings and said that the security forces had failed to protect civilians under its charge. The Shammar tribe demanded that PM Al-Abadi stand accountable for the security failure, and that as Commander-in-Chief, Al-Abadi should allow volunteer brigades to patrol the area if the security forces cannot ensure the safety of civilians there. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says PMF units found the body of the mukhtar of Ain Sadid village, located near Tilul Al-Baj. The victim had been kidnapped by Daesh from his house on Tuesday.
A “local source” said on Wednesday that Daesh had kidnapped 5 people from two small villages near Tilul Al-Baj, in western Shirqat subdistrict—3 from Ain Sadid and 2 from another village. The source, who asked not to be named, said that Daesh had confirmed its kidnapping of the victims by contacting their families. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says Shammar tribe PMF fighters ambushed and killed 3 Daesh terrorists near Tilul Al-Baj. The source says the PMF got information about a potential Daesh attack on the area. The source says several other Daesh terrorists fled after the failed attack.
A “security source” in Salahuddin Province confirmed on Wednesday that a Shammar tribal security group had killed 3 Daesh fighters trying to enter villages around Tilul Al-Baj. [Sumaria]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
Daesh says it killed a PUK official and destroyed his vehicle with an IED in Al-Mardan village, east of Khanaqin. [ICDNJun20]
Zahid Al-Dalawi, a member of the Diyala Provincial Council, said on Wednesday that the people of Khanaqin will conduct a peaceful sit-in Thursday to protest the crimes being committed by Daesh. [Sumaria]
A “security source” in Kirkuk Province said on Wednesday that Kirkuk security personnel had arrested 4 people, 1 of whom belonged to the PMF and another to the Dawa Party, for kidnapping a member of the Kurdish Asayish security force. The source, who declined to be identified, said that units from the Rahim Awa police station in Kirkuk city arrested the group of 4 at a house in Kirkuk’s Kurdish Tapa neighborhood and freed the Asayish member. The source added that the arresting units also seized various drugs and weapons found at the house. [Rudaw]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
The Federal Police announced on Wednesday that it had found and destroyed 2 Daesh tunnels and 13 IEDs in Hawija. [Ghad]
Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)
Daesh says it damaged a PMF military vehicle with an IED near Tal Rab’a village, south of Daquq, on Tuesday. [A3maq]
A DaeshDaily source says eight PMF fighters were killed and seven others wounded when IEDs exploded on their convoy near Al-Barit village, south of Hatra city. The source says the PMFs were moving from the Baiji area towards the Syrian border.
A DaeshDaily source says two civilians were severely wounded when an IED exploded on their vehicle on the road between Hatra and Aliba village.
The Turkish state-owned Anadolu reported that the PKK had withdrawn from its headquarters in Sidekan, in northern Erbil, due to the Turkish armed forces bombing the area. Anadolu quoted Ihsan Abd Al-Qadir, manager of the Sidekan subdistrict, as saying that the PKK was a “scourge” for the local population, and emphasizing that Sidekan did not want to be a shelter for militant groups. He credited the Turkish Air Force bombings of Sidekan, and of the Qandil area farther south, with driving the PKK out of Sidekan. [Anadolu]
The Turkish Army says its planes killed 10 PKK fighters in airstrikes on two rural areas in northern Dahuk. It also claims that it destroyed PKK weapons caches and defensive positions in these areas. [Anadolu]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Euro News carried a primer on the Turkish elections in Q&A format. Among the facts covered:
The election will take place on June 24. They were originally scheduled for November 3, 2019, then rescheduled through a constitutional referendum held on April 16, 2017.
The resulting constitutional amendment included the introduction of the “Executive Presidency,” replacing the current parliamentary system and abolishing the Prime Minister position. The number of MPs will increase from 550 to 600. These amendments will take effect after the June 24 election.
Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which currently has a parliamentary majority, has said that its goal was to get at least 300 seats in the new parliament. However, because the Prime Minister post will not exist after the elections, Erdogan himself needs to win the presidential election to stay in power, as he can’t rely on a parliamentary majority.
Parties need to win at least 10% of the national popular vote in order to secure seats in parliament. If a party “wins” seats but fails to hit the 10% threshold, their seats will be given to another party that does hit the 10% threshold. In practice, this could ensure an AKP majority if the opposition vote is split enough.
If any candidate for President wins the first round of the election by a simple majority (over 50%), that candidate will become President directly. If no candidate achieves a majority, a runoff election will be held between the two top candidates.
The most prominent candidates for the Presidency are President Erdogan of the AKP and the “People’s Alliance,” Muharrem İnce of the Republican People’s Party, Meral Aksener of the İYİ Party (“Good Party”), and Selahattin Demirtaş of the Peoples’ Democratic Party. [EuroNews]
Voting abroad began at Turkish diplomatic missions on June 7 and closed on Tuesday evening. Sadi Güven, the head of the Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey, said that participation from Turkish voters living abroad had previously reached a record number of 1.49 million voting. There are about 3.05 million Turkish voters registered abroad, meaning that participation from abroad stands at 48.8%. Electoral participation within Turkey is usually much higher, with a rate of 85% in the last parliamentary elections, held in November 2015. Sunday is election day in Turkey. [Youm7]
Turkish media reported an attack on a Turkish military vehicle near Ozonder village in Hakkari Province. 2 soldiers were killed and 1 wounded. [Hawar]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
The Independent Commission of Inquiry told the UN that both the Syrian government and the opposition have committed war crimes and violations against human rights in Ghouta and other areas over the years of fighting. [EnabBaladi]
The spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry says certain parties are preparing for a pseudo-chemical attack in Syria, and will blame the government for it. She describes such an action as ”paid.” She says that more information will be announced once received. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. The lady made a similar statement not long ago, predicting a chemical attack by regime enemies that would then be blamed on Syria—just before Assad unleashed such an attack himself, as verified by the UN.
Press reports indicated pressure on Russia to push pro-Iran militias further back from Israeli borders. Papers say that the Director of the Israeli PM office is on a secret visit to Moscow, following the visit of the Russian Military Police Director to Israel. News says that Washington and Tel Aviv want these militias kept farther north, beyond Damascus, rather than 20-25 km away from the Israeli border. [Qasioun]
A delegation from the Foreign Relations Committee of the Kurdish National Council in Syria is attending a meeting of the Syrian opposition held in Saudi Arabia, according to Bashar Amin, the head of the Office of Media and Culture for the Council. Amin said that the delegation is visiting at the invitation of the Syrian opposition head negotiator, Naser Al-Hariri, and that the purpose of the visit is to discuss political and organizational issues in preparation for the upcoming Geneva conference. [BasNews]
DaeshDaily comment. The Kurdish National Council is an “opposition” group funded by Barzani and Erdogan. As such, it may be more anti-PYD than anti-Assad.
Northwest (No reports)
Northeast (No reports)
Central and West
Tahrir Al-Sham killed 17 Syrian soldiers, including 3 officers, in an attack on Syrian military positions on Mount Turkmen, north of the city of Latakia. [Qasioun]
A DaeshDaily source says Coalition planes destroyed a Daesh convoy of 3 vehicles in the desert near Tadmur (Palmyra), killing 14 terrorists.
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Albu Kamal District
Local authorities said on Wednesday that Daesh executed a 15-year-old boy in Al-Susah. The boy was executed on charges of smuggling Daesh members to areas outside of their control. [Qasioun]
Daesh publishes photos of its affiliate, Jaish Khaled, celebrating Eid in the Yarmouk Basin area. [ICDNJun20]
Government forces made advances at Daesh’s expense in the eastern desert of Suwayda province on Tuesday. They announced their recovery of several areas in the Al-Dhaha Valley area, in fighting east of Tel Arar village. [Qasioun]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
Daesh says it killed an Egyptian Army officer and destroyed a Humvee with an IED south of Arish, on Tuesday. [A3maq]
Libyan security sources said that the terrorist “Al-Mahdi Salem Dangou,” aka “Abu Bakarat,” was present with Ibrahim Jadhran’s forces and allied with Jadhran’s attack on oil facilities. The sources claimed that “Abu Bakarat” had also been among those who attacked Sabha a few weeks ago. “Abu Bakarat” has previously worked for Daesh’s “Islamic courts” and was implicated in the massacre of Copts in Sirte. [Libya24]
The head of the Directorate of Security for Sirte, Colonel Ma’iuf Al-Madani, said that the Libyan Air Force bombing of Al-‘At’at, south of Sirte, had killed a member of Ansar Al-Sharia, an Al-Qaeda affiliate named on international terrorism lists. The terrorist killed was “Anas Mohammad Al-Lafi Suleimani.” Al-Madani said that the Libyan National Army will launch operations to take control of the oil fields over the next few days. [Libya24]
The Libyan Army is now in control of the center of the city of Derna, northeastern Libya. The fighters of the Mujahedeen Shura Council have withdrawn to the neighborhoods of Suq Al-Dhalam and Maghar, the last two areas still under their control. [Hawar]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
British authorities thwarted a suicide attack on 10 Downing Street (the residence of the British PM) targeting PM Teresa May, the Independent says. The paper says that a Daesh member was planning to get to the PM and behead her. He was planning to detonate an IED at the gate, and then use pepper gas against the guards to enter the building. [Anadolu]
British Daesh follower Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman has begun trial for his plan to assassinate Theresa May. The 20-year-old London-born Rahman was planning a suicide bombing attack on May, according to the Attorney General’s office. His plan was discovered last September and MI5 agents posing as Daesh operatives began to exchange letters with him, in which he spoke of his desire to join a Daesh “sleeper cell” and to target Theresa May and the British Parliament. Rahman was arrested in November. [Sumaria]
British police arrested a former fashion model who said she was “brainwashed online” and “seduced through Facebook” into trying to move to Syria. Kimberley Miners, 29, was arrested after police found correspondence with Janeid Hussein, including a bomb-making guide. Hussein was a Daesh recruiter, then using the name “Abu Osama Al-Britany,” who was killed in an airstrike in 2015. He contacted Miners after she began to express her sympathy for the Syrian people online, and invited her to come to Turkey, where he would meet her and take her to Syria. The case has drawn comparisons to Sally-Anne Jones, the British “White Widow” who moved to Syria to join Daesh. [Sumaria]
The German Police said on Wednesday that they had arrested a Tunisian national allegedly planning a biological terror attack in Germany. Holger Münch, head of the Federal Criminal Police Office, said that the 29-year-old suspect, “Saifullah H.,” had been arrested in Cologne with “concrete preparations” for a biological attack “unprecedented in Germany.” According to media reports, “Saifullah H.” had enough material in his apartment to produce between 250 and 1,000 doses of ricin. [BasNews]
The Governor of Badghis District, Afghanistan, told Agence France Press that the Taliban killed 30 government soldiers in its first major attack following the ceasefire agreed upon during the Eid holidays. He says the Taliban’s decision is to continue fighting the government. [Hawar]
Daesh says it killed a “US Army spy” in the Darzab area, in Jowzjan, on Tuesday. [A3maq]
Daesh publishes photos of its terrorists celebrating Eid in an unidentified location in “Khorasan” (Afghanistan/Pakistan.) [ICDNJun20]