An Update On ISIS Activities

February 1, 2018

 

Ghouta

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

2,500,000​​ Iraqi​​ IDPs have returned to their home areas. [..]

Kurds’ agitation continues over KRG share of 2018 budget. [..]

Daesh assassinates retired Army general in Daquq. [..]

Iraqi security arrests 15-member Daesh forgery cell. [..]

Turks claim to have killed 49 PKK in northern Kurdistan airstrikes. [..]

 

Syria

US officials accuse Syria of developing new chemical weapons. [..]

Syria asks UN to curtail Turkey’s invasion of Afrin. [..]

UN official slams Syria, Russia for escalation in Idlib, Eastern Ghouta. [..]

Turkey and allied militias make significant gains in northern Afrin. [..]

Syria claims to have captured 20 more villages in southern Idlib. [..]

Opposition militias, Israel both attack Daesh affiliate in southern Syria. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi attended the victory celebration​​ Thursday​​ organized by the​​ Iraqi Federal Police (IFP)​​ and its affiliates. Al-Abadi said that the government’s challenges following the elimination of terrorism lie in protecting the security of Iraq’s cities and civilians from terrorist cells. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, spokesman Sabah Al-Nu’man announced that the​​ Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS)​​ handed over​​ its​​ foreign Daesh detainees to the Ministry of Justice to stand trial. Al-Nu’man said in a press statement that “those who were handed over committed terrorist acts inside​​ Iraq;​​ therefore they will stand trial according to Iraqi law.”​​ There are 9 women among the detainees, including French and Germans, in addition to men with European citizenship. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Thursday, MoD spokesman Saad Ma’en told the press that the MoD will carry out a large-scale security operation across all Iraqi regions. He also said that “anyone who writes death threats on the walls of houses will be treated as a terrorist.” [Sumaria]

 

UNAMI announced on Thursday that 115 Iraqi civilians were killed and 250 were injured in violence and armed conflict that took place in Iraq last month. Baghdad was the most affected​​ governorate, with 90 civilian deaths and 233 wounded. In Diyala there were 8 civilian deaths and 15 wounded, and in Ninewa 13 civilians were killed and 7​​ wounded. [BasNews] [Rudaw]

 

Thursday, the Joint Operations Command announced the completion of the War Media Cell’s​​ mission as of​​ the final declaration of victory over Daesh in Iraq. The statement commended the​​ efforts of the War Media Cell and announced that the Security Media Center has been formed to provide the media with security information and facilitate their work. [AIN]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We offer our blessings to the IWMC for all its stories repeated in Daesh Daily, but we confess that we found them frustrating in some ways, and as the anti-Daesh struggle reached its later stages, they seemed to disappear. Hopefully the Security Media Center will restore the central coordination of media stories on military​​ and security​​ matters.

 

Reconstruction

Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed​​ newspaper reported from an unnamed Iraqi minister that there are 9 western countries​​ that​​ are hesitant to participate in the Kuwait donor conference, including states in the Coalition. 80 countries were officially invited to attend;​​ 32 have not responded, and 9 requested guarantees against marginalization and ostracism by other attendees. The source added that an Asian state that funded a project to rehabilitate a hospital in Anbar in 2007 has declined to attend the Kuwait conference, as the hospital it funded was destroyed in the battles between the US and Al-Qaeda. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Maybe we can all relate to the reasons why some aren’t coming. We are all invited at times to events where we will be expected to​​ donate​​ some money. Whether we attend is dependent on whether we (a) have money to​​ donate; (b) feel strongly about helping if we do;​​ and​​ (c)​​ won’t have our contributions marginalized when it turns out that we gave less than other people.

 

The Ministry of Migration and Displacement reported that the regular meeting of the Higher Committee to Rescue and Shelter IDPs, chaired by Jassem Mohammed Al-Jaff and attended by the governors of​​ 

Anbar and Ninewa, discussed the situation of IDP families, and​​ of​​ the families that have returned to their original areas;​​ the stability of liberated areas;​​ and coordinating the efforts of all responsible ministries to return IDPs to normal life. The ministry’s statement said that 2.5 million IDPs have returned to liberated areas. [Xendan]​​ 

 

Election

Thursday, UNAMI representative Jan Kubis announced that he met with Sadrist leader Muqtada Al-Sadr and discussed commitment to holding the elections on schedule, the preparations leading up to them, and the reform project. Kubis said UNAMI is committed to holding the elections on time and will help the IHEC and the government to achieve that. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, London-based​​ Al-Arab​​ newspaper reported that Iran is encouraging a number of its allies in Iraq to form the​​ widest possible​​ Shia​​ alliance in order to eliminate the prospect of a second term for Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, with Badr Secretary General Hadi Al-Amiri in mind as an alternative. The newspaper reported from “high level political sources” that Al-Amiri will receive full Iranian backing after the elections in May, and that Al-Amiri received “an explicit promise” from the National Wisdom Movement leader Ammar Al-Hakim to back him for Prime Minister. [BasNews]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Thursday, the KRG announced that the federal government’s delegation has recently visited the Kurdistan Region, and the two sides have reached an initial agreement consisting of 6 points, pending Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s approval, according to KRG spokesman Safeen Dizayee. He added that the official date to re-open the Kurdistan Region’s airport has not been set.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Kurdish CoR blocs met with Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi on the issue of the 2018 federal budget and discussed proportions and amounts to be allocated to the Peshmerga forces, the benefits of farmers in the Kurdistan Region, and a number of other outstanding issues between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.​​ A​​ KDP​​ CoR member,​​ Bariwan​​ Khailani said “the meeting with Al-Abadi ended without reaching any agreement we can​​ discuss.” [BasNews]

 

Thursday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said that the 17% allocated to the Kurdistan Region in previous years is a “mere political agreement.” He​​ stated​​ that the Peshmerga’s share in the budget was not changed. He also said that the allocations in Iraq are​​ insufficient​​ for all Iraqis,​​ not just the Kurds. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi​​ went to​​ the CoR again to resume discussions on the federal budget for 2018. Kurdish blocs had announced their intention to boycott the CoR sessions on the federal budget if​​ their​​ concerns are not taken into consideration, emphasizing the allocation of 17% of the budget to the Kurdistan Region,​​ and to deal with the Kurdistan Region as one entity as opposed to multiple governorates. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Given the way the KDP has treated Gorran and other Kurdish parties, trusting the KRG to​​ fairly​​ distribute all the money from Baghdad sounds like a truly absurd demand. Moreover, the record of past years shows that the two major traditional parties (KDP, PUK) have​​ spent​​ vast sums from the KRG treasury for their parties’ purposes while managing not to report the amounts.

 

Thursday, Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki’s office stated that Al-Maliki met with Pavel Jalal Talabani, son of the former Iraq President,​​ to discuss the overall political and security situation in the region as well as​​ the​​ latest local and regional developments. Al-Maliki reiterated the importance of resolving outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad in accordance with the constitution and working to unify the efforts to face the challenges facing Iraq.​​ [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Services announced the arrest of​​ 2​​ wanted terrorists in Baghdad. One was cornered in his house in Al-Jami’a neighborhood in west Baghdad, and the statement clarified​​ that​​ he had escaped from the Kubaisa- Bab Al-Sur area in Anbar. The second one was hiding among civilians in the Arab Jaloub area in Abu Ghraib. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Hit/Haditha

Thursday, a local source in Anbar reported that a policeman​​ died from​​ his wounds​​ caused by​​ the US airstrikes on Al-Baghdadi, raising the number of victims to​​ nine. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, a security source in Anbar revealed that the US forces are still deployed​​ in the Khasfa area of Haditha, Wadi Horan, and the deserts of Rawa and Al-Qa’im. [BasNews]

 

Rutba

Thursday, a security source in Anbar reported that a border guard was killed and​​ four​​ others wounded in an IED explosion near the Al-Walid border crossing from Daesh’s remnants. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a PMF logistics official and another PMF member were killed when an IED exploded on their pickup vehicle in the Makhoul Mountains area. The source says the pickup was loaded with weapons and ammunition.​​ 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Thursday, the Diyala Police announced that Hibhib police patrols arrested 3 suspects on criminal and terrorist charges.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)

Thursday, a local source reported there is an “influential politician” in Salahuddin​​ who​​ deals with Daesh and facilitates the terrorist group’s sale of stolen sheep from Diyala and Salahuddin. He says that hundreds of sheep were stolen in​​ recent​​ weeks. Allegedly,​​ the politician​​ transports them via​​ the​​ Udhaim​​ area, going​​ around Albu Bakr village. [Ghad]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a PMF Press media team member was killed and three others wounded when their vehicle was hit by a Daesh rocket near the Udhaim Dam. ​​ 

 

Thursday, the Military Intelligence Service announced the arrest of 4 terrorists in Udhaim. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)

A security source said that on Thursday​​ two​​ members of the Tribal PMF were killed in an armed attack at a Tribal PMF checkpoint in Al-Theban village. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday evening, the PMF’s 2nd​​ brigade and IFP units killed 3 Daesh members and destroyed Daesh tunnels in a pre-emptive operation in Hawija’s villages, according to the PMF media. [PressIraq]​​ 

 

IFP commander Ra’ed Shaker Jawdat announced that search operations in Al-Zab Al-Kebir and​​ in the​​ Qayara​​ subdistrict of Mosul District​​ led to the​​ death of one terrorist and the​​ destruction of a sleeper cell guesthouse that contained various​​ kinds of​​ ammunition. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Daesh says it destroyed a PMF vehicle with an IED near Al-Salmani village, southwest of Riyadh, on Tuesday, wounding one fighter. [ICDNFeb1]

Daesh says it detonated a booby-trapped house on a PMF patrol in Kawaz village, east of Hawija, on Tuesday, killing three fighters. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

A security source in Kirkuk Governorate reported that Daesh units killed retired Iraqi Army Maj. Gen. Anwar Al-Danuk Al-Abidi in the Tal Khadija village in Rashad on Wednesday. [Forat]

Former Ninewa Governor Atheel Al-Nujaifi said that the assassination of Maj. Gen. Al-Abidi constitutes a launch of “the first phase of a new Daesh plan” which targets Sunnis. He predicts that such operations will take place in the outskirts of Kirkuk, Diyala, Mosul, and south of Mosul. Al-Nujaifi said that Daesh is calling this phase “Sayd Al-Ghirban” (the hunting of crows), which is the first of four phases it is planning to carry out. He said the Iraqi government must direct its anti-terrorism policies towards reinforcing national unity before terrorism prevails again. [Shafaaq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ People say the darnedest things! There is hardly anyone else in Iraq who has undermined Iraqi unity more than​​ Mr. Nujaifi, a known separatist and​​ ally​​ of the Turks, who brought Turkish troops into Ninewa who are still there.

 

Daesh says it killed a PMF member in Tal Khadija village, west of Rashad, on Wednesday. [ICDNFeb1]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

Thursday, Ninewa PC member Husam Al-Abbar revealed that National Security Service captured a 15-member Daesh gang that forges documents for Daesh in Mosul. He added that security units​​ are working to capture former Daesh members,​​ based on intelligence data from Mosul residents in some instances. He added that the bodies of Daesh members still remain in Old Mosul in addition to war remnants. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Western Ninewa

Baaj

Thursday, Iraqi forces arrested the Daesh “Minister of Oil,” Abdulghani Dhirgham Abdulsamad, in​​ the​​ Baaj desert near the Iraqi-Syrian border​​ as he was trying​​ to escape to Syria, according to Ninewa Ops Commander Najm Al-Jubouri. [Buratha]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says PMFs stopped a Daesh attack near the Tal Safouk area, killing 8 terrorists. The source says four PMF fighters were killed in the attack.​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Najaf

Thursday, Sadrist leader Muqtada Al-Sadr and National Wisdom Movement leader Ammar Al-Hakim met in Al-Hakim’s office in Najaf. [Sumaria]

 

Babel

Babel representative Adnan Al-Janabi says​​ that “not one IDP from Jurf Al-Sakhar has returned.​​ By contrast, the​​ official spokesman of the​​ Hezbollah brigades,​​ the main faction in Jurf Al-Sakhar,​​ says​​ 85% of​​ its​​ IDPs have returned. Al-Janabi added that the IDPs have not been​​ allowed​​ to return due to “excuses​​ about​​ mines and explosives, which were not there to begin with.” He also questioned​​ how Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi is going to hold the elections while he is still obligated to return the IDPs, based on the amendments to the CoR elections law, which obliges the executive authorities to return IDPs as a condition​​ for​​ holding the elections. [Rudaw]

 

KURDISTAN NEWS

The Iraqi government has ordered that Kurdish communication companies stop their landline services without giving a warning or grace period, according to Fatih Ismail Ahmed, Nawroz Telecom spokesman. Ahmed added that this decision will have a great impact on the communications sector. [BasNews]

 

ERBIL

The US Consulate in Erbil announced that it will award $25,000 for new services projects that serve the Kurdistan Region. [BasNews]

 

Turkish airstrikes.​​ According to Anadolu, the Turkish Army announced the deaths of 49 PKK fighters in separate airstrikes on PKK locations in Qandil, Al-Zab, and Avashin. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Wednesday, a 27-year old Daesh commander called Hussein Bin Ali Bousaha, also known as “Abu Salman Al-Tounsi,” was detained by the Kurdish forces in northern Syria. He was in charge of selling sheep and petroleum in Deir Ez-Zor. During questioning he​​ revealed the details of an alleged deal between Turkey and Daesh that allowed 360 foreign fighters to enter Syria through Turkey​​ in​​ return for releasing Turkish diplomats in the Mosul Consulate who were detained when Daesh took over the city in 2014. [Forat]

 

Thursday, NTV reported that an explosion occurred in the heating room of the tax department in Ankara. [Sumaria]

 

After a meeting with the Iraqi Planning Minister Salman Ali Al-Jumaili in Ankara, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said that Turkey supports the opening of the two border crossings of Faysh Khabur and Ovakoy with Iraq, confirming that “Turkey does not support any authority, except the Iraqi Federal government, to implement taxes​​ and standards.” “We believe that the Iraqi Federal government has the only authority over all the goods entering Iraq through the Iraqi customs gates,” he added.​​ [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Chemical weapons.​​ US officials accused the Syrian government of developing new and more sophisticated chemical weapons. President Donald Trump is “not ruling out further military action” to deter the Syrian government from developing new chemical weapons or as a way of punishing President Bashar Al-Assad, according to US officials. [WashingtonPost] [Anadolu]

 

Afrin.​​ On January 25th, Dana W. White, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs,​​ reiterated that “Turkey is an ally and we’re going to work with them, but this current offensive is a distraction and we have to focus as allies on the mission at hand and that’s defeating ISIS.” [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Thursday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry called on the UN Secretary General and Security Council to put a limit to the Turkish attack on Afrin, adding that Turkey is violating resolutions 2170 and 2178. [BasNews]

 

United Nations.​​ Thursday, the United Nations called on the Syrian government, Russia and Iran to stop escalation in Idlib and the Eastern Ghouta, stressing the need to declare a “humanitarian truce.” At a news conference in Geneva on Thursday, Jan Egeland, adviser to the UN special envoy for Syria, said that the Syrian government’s approval of aid convoys has reached its lowest level since 2015.”Through December and January, there has not been a single convoy of lifesaving relief, medical supplies or food to any besieged areas. That is the worst we have experienced since 2015. We have not had​​ a​​ medical evacuation since the end of December,” Egeland added.​​ [EnabBaladi][​​ Anadolu]

 

Political future.​​ Thursday, the Syrian government announced that it welcomes the Sochi conference’s results, clarifying that the political process in Syria can only start and continue with Syrian leadership, without foreign intervention, according to a Syrian official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [Rudaw]

 

Northwest

Afrin

SOHR reports clashes between the YPG and Turkish forces in the Shankila​​ area​​ in Bulbul subdistrict​​ northwest of Afrin and in Khalil village in Sheikh Hadid​​ subdistrict in western rural Afrin. [SyriaHR]

 

SOHR reports that in the last 24 hours, the Kurdish forces in Afrin have killed​​ 1 Turkish soldier and​​ 14​​ Turkey-allied militia​​ fighters. [SyriaHR]

 

Wednesday, the Turkish army and its allied militias captured Mount Ain Al-Batman in​​ the​​ northwestern Rajo subdistrict. [Qasioun]

 

Thursday, the Turkish army and its allied Syrian factions captured the center of the Bulbul subdistrict as well as several other locations in Bulbul. [Anadolu] [Qasioun] Thursday, Turkey-allied Syrian opposition​​ militias​​ captured Ali Qar and Zarah​​ villages in Bulbul subdistrict in northern Afrin, following battles with the YPG. [Qasioun]

 

Thursday,​​ pro-PYD​​ Hawar reported that the​​ YPG​​ destroyed a Turkish military vehicle in Qurna village in Bulbul, killing its crew.​​ It claims that​​ at least 20 Turkish soldiers were killed during​​ clearing​​ operations​​ in​​ Zarah.​​ [Hawar]

 

In a statement to Anadolu on Thursday, an FSA officer said that the Free Syrian Army killed two PYD soldiers and captured two others inside a 50-meter-long tunnel recently discovered in Qastal Jando village in Shara subdistrict just​​ east​​ of Bulbul. [Anadolu]

 

Wednesday, Qasioun reported that the Turkish army targeted the YPG positions in Dermak Mountain in Afrin with aerial and artillery shelling. Likewise, Turkish​​ planes carried out several​​ airstrikes on the YPG positions in Al-Thuq, Bashamra​​ and Basofan​​ in the​​ Shirawa​​ subdistrict in eastern Afrin.​​ ​​ [Qasioun]

 

Thursday, a Turkish civilian was injured when a rocket fired by the YPG from Syria’s Afrin hit Turkey’s border province of Kilis. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Turkish media duly record any rockets and artillery fire that land in Turkey, generally leaving the implication that these are unprovoked attacks. They somehow don’t manage to report all the fire coming across the border from Turkey that kills soldiers and civilians in Syria.​​ 

 

In response to questions about a PKK attack on civilians in Kilis Turkey from the Afrin region of Syria, Kenneth McKenzie, spokesman for the US General Staff, said “we condemn any attack on Turkey,” adding, “I do not know about this specific attack, but of course we condemn the attacks of the PKK against Turkey and we are working with Turkey to limit the impact of this threat.” [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Did he actually condemn attacks on Turkey but not attacks on Afrin?​​ 

 

Azaz

Thursday, according to the SDF media center, the​​ YPG​​ targeted a Turkish military point and a convoy in Kaljibrin, in Azaz, with 17 missiles. Likewise, the​​ YPG​​ targeted two Turkish tanks in Mare’. [Hawar]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says opposition militia units captured 22 Iraqi Daesh members near Mare’, as they were trying to flee to Turkey.

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Daesh says it shot and killed a PYD Asayish member near Shaddadi on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Central and West​​ 

Aleppo/Idlib

SOHR reports clashes between the Syrian forces and opposition​​ militias​​ in the area between Abu​​ Al-Dhuhur and Saraqib. [SyriaHR]

Thursday, Qasioun reported that the Syrian forces captured Idlib’s southeastern villages of Abian, Jubb Zreiq, Abu Khanadiq Janoubi, Mazra’at Al-Aw, Al-Husseiniya, Tal Sultan, Misidah, Tal Khartah, Jabal Al-Tawil, Tal Kalba and Tal Al-Touqan, putting the Syrian forces around 16 km (10 miles) from Saraqib city in ​​ eastern Idlib.​​ [Qasioun]

 

According to a SANA correspondent in Aleppo, the Syrian forces captured​​ the​​ villages of Wasita Sharqiya, Wasita Gharbiya, Al-Tuwim, Tal Jina, Al-Ananah, Tal Fakhar, Tal Aqarib, Umm Al-Karamil, Tal Al-Hasan,​​ and​​ Tal Atshana, following clashes with Tahrir Al-Sham and its allied Syrian opposition factions. As a result, several members of Tahrir Al-Sham and its allies were reportedly killed and wounded.​​ [SyriaNow]

 

Hama

SOHR reports fierce clashes between the Syrian forces and Daesh in northeastern rural Hama. [SyriaHR]

 

Thursday, Dorar reports that the Syrian forces seized new villages in eastern rural Hama after Daesh fighters withdrew. [Dorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal

Wednesday, according to Russian media sources, Daesh carried out an attack on the Syrian forces’ positions near Albu Kamal. The chief of staff of the 67th​​ Syrian armored brigade,​​ General​​ Khalil Mahfouz was reportedly killed during the attack.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting a Syrian Army military position with a rocket in Al-Abbas village, north of Albu Kamal. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Daesh says it killed an SDF fighter and wounded another with a rocket near Al-Bahra village. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Daesh says it killed nine SDF fighters with IEDs near Gharanij on Tuesday. [A3maq]

Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF positions near Gharanij with BMP shells. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Daesh publishes photos of an attack on SDF positions northeast of Abu Hassan village. [ICDNFeb1]

Daesh says a group of its terrorists destroyed an SDF military position in the attack before returning safely. [ICDNFeb1]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Daesh publishes photos of a military training camp for young boys in the Damascus area. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Daraa/Quneitra

In a joint statement by the “People of the Land” and “Repelling the​​ Aggressors” operation rooms, the Syrian opposition​​ militias​​ operating in western Daraa announced the launch of a new​​ campaign, code-named “The Conquerors,” against the Daesh affiliate “Jaish Khaled ibn Al-Waleed” in order to drive it out of the Yarmouk Basin area in western rural Daraa. Meanwhile, the Israeli army, stationed in Tal Al-Furs in the Golan Heights, targeted Jaish Khaled’s positions in​​ the strategically important village of​​ Tal Al-Jumo’ in the Yarmouk Basin area with 4 rockets.​​ [Qasioun][Dorar]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

A security source says a policeman was killed and another wounded during an ambush when terrorists in a 4-wheel-drive car launched an attack on their position in southern Arish. The police​​ turned back​​ the attack, forcing the terrorists to flee. [ElWatan]

Daesh says its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier south of Arish. [ICDNFeb1]

 

Morocco

Thursday, a statement from the Morocco​​ MoD announced that Moroccan security authorities captured a terrorist cell of 7 members, which was active between the cities of Tangier​​ and Meknes​​ and​​ was planning to join a Daesh branch. The MoD added that the security operation led to the capture of weapons, books, and writings that glorify extremist ideology, as well as electronic equipment. [Watan]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

Reuters reported that “a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled on Wednesday that Twitter Inc.​​ is not liable to families of two U.S. government contractors killed in an Islamic State attack in Jordan for having failed to block that group from using its accounts and messaging services.” [Mawazin] [Reuters]

 

Germany

Head of the German​​ security​​ agency,​​ BFV,​​ Hans-Georg Maassen, said the German government must revise its laws that restrict the surveillance of minors, as “brainwashed” children of Daesh fighters who returned to Germany may carry out attacks.​​ [Mawazin] [Reuters]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it shot and killed an Afghan Intelligence officer in Jalalabad on Wednesday. [ICDNFeb1]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 117th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. It includes reports about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, and other countries, and an infographic about its attack on Save the Children in Afghanistan. In a short article, Daesh explained why the US policy of depending on local partners, in Iraq and Afghanistan, “failed.” [ICDNFeb1]

 

 

January 31, 2018

 

Atarib

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Kuwait announces major Iraq reconstruction conference with 70 countries, 950 companies. [..]

Egypt planning assistance to Iraq in physical reconstruction tasks. [..]

GOI, KRG reach agreement on reopening Erbil and Suleimaniya airports. [..]

 

Syria

French leaders pressure Turkey over Afrin invasion. [..]

UN Humanitarian Coordinator slams Russian airstrikes on hospitals, clinics. [..]

Turks claim advantage in Afrin but actual territorial progress unclear. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

Kuwait has officially announced that it will host the conference to rebuild Iraq, in which 950 global companies are participating. G7 state ambassadors confirmed to PM Haider Al-Abadi that their countries will take an active part in the Kuwait conference, which includes 70 state participants. Washington also announced its support for the conference. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Kurdish representative Najiba Najib called on the federal government, international community, and the UN to include the Kurdistan Region’s governorates in the international programs, grants, and assistance offered to rebuild Iraq during the Kuwait donor conference. [BasNews]

 

Wednesday, the media office of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced that Al-Abadi received a letter from Egypt’s President Abdel​​ Fattah El-Sisi,​​ congratulating him on his victory over Daesh.​​ The statement added that Al-Abadi received the Assistant to the Egyptian President, Ibrahim Mahlab,​​ and his delegation for a discussion of bilateral cooperation in health​​ and​​ especially the construction of hospitals, energy, industry, housing units,​​ and roads. [Sumaria]

 

According to a statement by Al-Abadi’s office,​​ he​​ met with prominent​​ Sunni​​ religious sheikh Ahmed Al-Kubaisi, and they discussed the importance of “uniting the word among the sons of the country following the major achievement of liberating Iraqi land taken over by Daesh and defeating the terrorist organization.” [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Minister of Defense Qassem Al-Aaraji and UNAMI Representative in Iraq Jan Kubis discussed the security mechanisms to facilitate the work of UN agencies in Iraq, in addition to other topics of mutual interest, according to a statement from Al-Aaraji’s office. [Youm7]

 

Election

London-based newspaper​​ Al-Arab​​ reported that based on expert opinions, there are three coalitions competing for the Shiite vote: The State of Law coalition headed by Nouri Al-Maliki,​​ the​​ Al-Fatah coalition headed by Hadi Al-Amiri, and​​ the​​ Al-Nasr coalition headed by PM Haider Al-Abadi. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Islamic Party leader and former CoR representative Omar Abdul​​ Sattar,​​ in a television interview,​​ claimed​​ that Iran threatened Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi “that they will detonate 60 rigged cars in Baghdad if he does not​​ form an alliance with​​ the​​ pro-Iran​​ Al-Fatah​​ coalition led by former PMF commanders), and if he does not ally with Al-Fatah, they will kill him like they killed Ali Abdallah Saleh in Yemen.” He added that after Al-Abadi surrendered and agreed to an alliance with Al-Fatah, they withdrew from Al-Nasr Alliance, in order to​​ make him look like a​​ failure​​ in front of the Sunnis, Kurds, and Shiites. All that​​ was intended to help​​ Hadi al-Amiri to be appointed as Prime Minister in the upcoming phase.” [BaghdadNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We have quoted the statement; we are not endorsing its accuracy. The Iranians do have an inside reputation for high-pressuring Iraqi and Kurdish leaders, so even this seemingly outrageous statement will have credibility with many people.

 

Corruption

Wednesday, the Sadrist Central Committee,​​ which organizes​​ the party-led​​ popular protests in Iraq,​​ called for a protest across all governorates on Friday to demand reform and the​​ accountability of the​​ corrupt. [BasNews]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Wednesday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi confirmed at​​ a​​ CoR​​ budget​​ session that the Kurdistan Region’s share of the budget was allocated based on​​ its share of the​​ population, noting that the Iraqi government wants “equality and fairness in distributing resources.” [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, the Kurdish Alliance stated that the​​ Alliance has “repeatedly called for holding a session between Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and heads of CoR blocs in order to start a serious dialogue concerning the budget” adding that “his arrival​​ at​​ the CoR will complicate the problem and will not be useful.” [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Masoud Haider, a member in the CoR Finance Committee,​​ reported that the​​ International Monetary Fund (IMF)​​ clearly told Baghdad not to approve the budget in its current form without increasing the Kurdistan Region’s share. It also informed Baghdad that it will not extend loans and financial assistance to Iraq, especially in the Kuwait conference, if the Kurdistan Region’s share is not increased to at least 10 trillion dinars. Kurdish blocs in the CoR boycotted the CoR session on the federal budget, attended by PM Haider Al-Abadi. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We think that the IMF should speak for itself, not be represented by a politician with an axe to grind. In fact, government revenues are supposed to be distributed based on governorate population. The question is whether this has been done. The IMF does not dictate the distribution of budget revenues by individual governments.​​ 

 

Wednesday, KRG Acting Minister of the Interior Karim Shinkali announced that Erbil and Baghdad have reached 4 agreements. One of the agreements signed concerns re-opening the Erbil and Suleimaniya international airports. Shinkali, who is currently​​ visiting the​​ US, noted that the US supports dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil, and that US officials support a “strong and united Kurdistan Region within a federal Iraq.” [BasNews]

 

Wednesday, Kurdish PUK representative Abdulaziz Hassan confirmed that there are gleams of hope to ending the crisis between Baghdad and Erbil, through the meetings held by the joint technical committees and the resulting meetings between the leaderships of the federal government and the KRG.​​ [Sumaria]

 

A​​ Badr official,​​ Mohammed Mahdi Al-Bayati, confirmed that the Turkmen Coordination Assembly discussed the security and political situation of Tooz, Kirkuk, and​​ other​​ areas​​ with large Turkmen populations​​ with​​ the leader of​​ UNAMI, Jan Kubis. The Turkmen emphasized that they “do not want to be victims​​ of Erbil and Baghdad,” as the elections approach.​​ [Buratha]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Turkmen lament about being marginalized in Iraq is seemingly constant. The primary reason is that they are in fact marginalized in Iraq, especially by the Kurds. Part of a meaningful national reconciliation policy is providing fairer treatment for the Turkmen, who are a large and important minority.

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Wednesday morning, a security source reported that 1 civilian was killed and 2 others​​ wounded in an IED explosion on​​ the​​ roadside of a commercial area in Taji. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Wednesday, the General Directorate of Security and Intelligence announced that​​ two​​ ammunition depots were found in Tarmiya. The depots contained 1 rifle, 6 projectiles, 6 rocket launchers, a 25​​ kg bag and a 50 kg bag of explosive substances, 46 rockets, 13 BMB1 rockets, 11 rocket charges, and 1 sound muffler.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Wednesday, the Military Intelligence Services announced the capture of​​ two​​ terrorists who were hiding among civilians in Abu Ghraib.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Today’s​​ security​​ reports are a reminder that​​ bad​​ incidents in Baghdad keep​​ arising in the same places: Taji and Tarmiya in the north, Abu Ghraib in the west. ​​ All three are “suburban” districts, within the Baghdad governorate but outside the city.​​ It has been obvious for a long time that Tarmiya, Taji, and Abu Ghraib are major problem areas but Iraq seems unable to secure them.

 ​​ ​​​​ However, we also notice a major positive trend. The vast South Baghdad area used to have more incidents than any other. Now there are hardly any. This is a credit to the police and Army units who gradually found and removed most the Daesh​​ cells,​​ weapons caches,​​ and other​​ Daesh locations, and​​ was helped by​​ the elimination of most of the Daesh presence in neighboring Falluja. However, the Abu Ghraib District is also on the Falluja border.​​ 

 

ANBAR

Wednesday, Anbar Governor Mohammed Al-Halbousi​​ estimated​​ that Anbar is in need of $200​​ billion for rehabilitation, especially for projects related to electricity, water, roads, bridges, and schools. Al-Halbousi added that the cement and glass factories and the phosphate plant were completely destroyed and​​ now​​ require large sums of money to return to operation. [BasNews]

 

Falluja

Wednesday, Anbar representative Mustafa Al-Ersan announced that​​ a​​ special governmental committee in Falluja has received over 4,000 submissions to compensate people​​ for​​ houses destroyed by terrorist operations.​​ 550​​ of those​​ submissions have been​​ processed​​ as​​ the​​ first phase. [BasNews]

 

Al-Qa’im

Wednesday, a military source in Anbar reported that security units arrested 4 wanted suspects in Rummana subdistrict in Al-Qa’im. The source added that security units searched the desert areas in Al-Qa’im and found old​​ Daesh​​ weapons​​ left behind. The search is ongoing.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

Daesh says it killed a PMF member, wounded two others, and destroyed their vehicle with a sticky IED in Al-Alam subdistrict. [A3maq]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Wednesday, Turkmen representative Jassem Mohammed Jaafar said that Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu are still in crisis and are in need of an “exemplary partnership” to administer them. He also expressed concern over “hints” by “important” political blocs​​ that are​​ intended​​ to win the​​ support​​ of Kurds in forming the next government. [Sumaria]

 

DIYALA

Wednesday, the Diyala Police announced the arrest of​​ eight​​ wanted suspects on terrorist charges in various parts of Diyala.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Wednesday, the Military Intelligence Service carried out operations to hunt down Daesh​​ elements​​ northeast​​ of​​ Baquba. The operation led to the destruction of a​​ bomb-rigged vehicle and a rigged motorcycle. The security units also found an RBG7 projectile, a number of missiles, and a number​​ of​​ hand grenades inside the guesthouses in the area.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

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

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says PMF fighters killed a Daesh suicide terrorist who attacked their checkpoint near the Udhaim Dam on Tuesday.​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Wednesday, Kirkuk PC​​ member​​ Ahmed Al-Askari said that the IFP is currently preparing to take over security​​ responsibility for​​ the Kirkuk​​ Governorate​​ in place of the PMF and the Golden Division.​​ ​​ [PressIraq]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

The PMF media reported on Wednesday that​​ the​​ PMF’s 2nd​​ brigade and IFP units​​ attacked​​ Daesh locations in Hawija villages, killing 3 Daesh members and seizing Daesh tunnels and guesthouses.​​ [Mawazin]​​ 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

A police source says unidentified gunmen assassinated​​ a​​ tribal chief in Tal Khadija village in Rashad​​ subdistrict on Wednesday. [Anadolu]

 

Wednesday, a security source in Kirkuk reported that a policeman was killed and​​ two​​ others wounded as they tried to defuse an IED-rigged house in Rashad. [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Wednesday,​​ the​​ Ninewa Ops Command​​ spokesman,​​ Brigadier General Mohammed Al-Jubouri,​​ said that the​​ Ministry of Defense​​ has ordered the appointment of Brigadier General Hamad Al-Nammes as commander of the Ninewa Police,​​ succeeding​​ former commander Watheq Al-Hamadani, effective Wednesday. [BasNews]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil

Wednesday, Captain Ahmed Al-Abidi of the Ninewa Police reported that local police units killed 5 Daesh members who​​ tried to enter​​ Albu Saif village​​ in Hammam Al-Alil. [BasNews]​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

Wednesday, a security source in Basra reported that unknown assailants set off an IED at a cafe in a residential area in​​ central​​ Basra​​ around midnight, causing damage. [Sumaria]

 

Kerbala

Wednesday, unknown assailants raided a house in​​ the​​ Al-Askari neighborhood in western Kerbala, killing a family of 1 man, 1 woman, and 4 children. [Rudaw]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

Norwegian lawmaker Himanshu Gulati nominated the Peshmerga for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for their role in fighting Daesh,​​ “the greatest enemy of humanity.” [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This would seem to rely on a distinctly minority opinion on who won the war against Daesh.

 

The KRG Foreign Affairs Department issued a statement​​ Tuesday​​ claiming that​​ Turkey and Iran​​ have​​ announced that they would like to develop their political and economic relations with the Kurdistan Region,​​ and have also​​ expressed​​ their support​​ for​​ the ongoing dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to end their disputes in accordance with the constitution,​​ following​​ meetings between Department official Falah Mustafa​​ and​​ the consuls of Iran and Turkey.​​ [SotIraq]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Istanbul​​ parliament​​ member Gulay Yadaki submitted a​​ memorandum to the Parliament on​​ recruiting​​ young Syrian refugees inside Turkey into the Turkish Olive Branch Operation in Afrin, saying that “It’s not known yet how long the military operation will last and how much damage it will cause.” He also noted that an online campaign is being conducted on social networking sites to​​ collect signatures in support of recruiting young Syrian refugees inside Turkey aged between 18 and 45 into the Olive Branch Operation.​​ [BasNews]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Wednesday, CENTCOM​​ Commander Gen. Joseph Votel said that the war on Daesh in Syria has not ended yet; with Daesh fighters​​ still​​ present in some pockets, and the role of the Coalition and its partners in Syria now is to stabilize liberated areas. [Rudaw]

 

Afrin.​​ French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday that “France has informed Turkey that it cannot support any Turkish attacks that harm civilians and refugees inside Syria. . . .​​ [France] will not accept what is happening in Afrin at the expense of civilians in addition to the thousands of refugees and IDPs,”​​ emphasizing​​ that Turkey “will face full condemnation.”​​ [Hawar]

 

French President Emanuel Macron said in a statement that France would see it as a real problem if what Turkey is doing on its southern border in Syria turned into an invasion. ​​ For his part, Turkish PM Binali Yildirim said “the whole world must know that Turkey is not moving with the intention of occupation.” [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ People are using deft language but not in a helpful way. It seems to us that when military units cross the border into another country it IS an invasion. Saying that there is no “intention of​​ 

occupation” does not mean there is no invasion.

 

Wednesday,​​ Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed​​ newspaper reported from a “Kurdish official in the Islamic Group in Suleimaniya” that a large number of young Kurdish men have headed to Afrin through the Syrian border from the Dahuk side, to Faysh Khabur, reaching Suwaidiya, and some of them were killed in clashes with the Turkish army. He says the KRG “should have prevented that.” [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that Russia urges Turkey and Afrin to restrain themselves, and that Russia supports the integrity of Syrian territory and sovereignty. “We would like to note that it was not us who consistently created the conditions in northern Syria that Turkey considered a threat to its national security. We are not responsible for impeding the restoration of the legitimate Syrian government’s control in that region,” Zakharova added. [Rudaw]

 

According to Russian media, Moscow is attempting to convince the Kurds to hand over Afrin to the Syrian government, in light of the Turkish attacks. [BasNews]

 

Idlib.​​ Turkey’s Presidential Palace announced on Wednesday that President Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed, in a telephone call, to accelerate the efforts to form observation points in Idlib Province to enforce the de-escalation zone. [Dorar]

Putin and Erdogan also agreed that the Sochi conference was “a big gain despite obstacles” and considered the most important outcome of the conference to be the steps taken in regard to forming a Syrian constitutional committee. [EnabBaladi]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Watch out! This is another move to pre-empt the UN-brokered peace process with something that does not threaten Assad’s indefinite tenure in power.

 

Enab Baladi reports that mortar shells targeted the plane carrying the Syrian government delegation​​ returning​​ from the Sochi conference​​ as it was landing in Syria, according to MP Faris Junaidan, who said there were no casualties and the plane was not damaged. [EnabBaladi]

 

Panos Moumtiz, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Crisis in Syria, condemned the targeting of hospitals and medical centers in liberated areas of Syria by Russian aircraft, saying “I have been appalled by the continuing attacks on hospitals and other medical facilities in northwestern Syria, while hundreds of​​ thousands of people are deprived of their basic right to health.” Moumtiz says it was the 4th​​ time in 10 days that airstrikes had caused major structural damage to a hospital in Saraqib in Idlib. [Dorar]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

SOHR reports that 91 Kurdish fighters have been killed, 85 members of Turkey-allied Islamic militias have been killed, and 9 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the first 11 days of Operation Olive Branch.

SOHR reports that 250 civilians have been killed since the beginning of​​ the operation and that humanitarian conditions are deteriorating to tragic levels for hundreds of thousands of residents and IDPs. [SyriaHR]

 

The Turkish Armed Forces announced that Turkish forces have now “neutralized” 712 members of the YPG since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch. [Qasioun]

 

The pro-PYD​​ Hawar reports that several areas of Afrin are witnessing​​ intense​​ clashes between the​​ YPG​​ and the Turkish Army and​​ allied militias. [Hawar]

 

Southwest.​​ In the Jinderes area, Turkish troops attacked Haserka, Bafloura, and the center of the Jinderes subdistrict. [Hawar]

 

Northwest.​​ Hawar reports that the SDF carried out an​​ operation in Khalil village and Shankila​​ village in Rajo​​ subdistrict, killing 3 members of the Turkish forces in Khalil village. [Hawar]

 

North.​​ Wednesday, Turkish media reported that the Kurdish Units in the Qastal Jando village in Shara subdistrict are using an underground network to avoid Turkish airstrikes. [BasNews]

 

Hawar reports clashes in Shara District, north of Afrin city, near the villages of Bir Ali and Deir Sawan. [Hawar]

 

Hawar reports that the Bulbul​​ area, north of Afrin city, witnessed strong clashes Wednesday morning​​ near​​ the villages of Qurna and Sheikh Khorza village. [Hawar]

Hawar​​ says​​ that the Turkish Army shelled Qurna village, resulting in two civilian deaths. [Hawar]

 

Anadolu reports that the Turkish forces captured the summit of Mount Qurna, north of Afrin. [Anadolu]

 

Hawar reports that the​​ YPG​​ carried out an​​ operation against the Turkish forces near the villages of Boca and Ali Kari in Bulbul​​ District, killing 15 members of the Turkish forces. [Hawar]

 

Qasioun reports that after clashes with the YPG,​​ Turkey-allied militias​​ captured Bak Obasi village in Bulbul.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Anadolu reports that Turkish fighters and artillery bombed​​ YPG military targets​​ on Mount Darmik in the Afrin area. [Anadolu]

 

Central and West​​ 

Aleppo/Idlib

SOHR reports that the Syrian forces advanced in 11​​ Idlib​​ villages and areas between Abu​​ Al-Dhuhur and Saraqib against Tahrir Al-Sham. [SyriaHR]

 

Qasioun reports that​​ Tahrir Al-Sham​​ managed to regain control of several villages in the Abu​​ Al-Dhuhur area. [Qasioun]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 2 Turkish soldiers were killed when an IED exploded on their truck at the entrance to Atarib city​​ in western Aleppo District near Idlib.​​ 

 

Tuesday, the Turkish Army announced the “martyrdom of a civilian employee following a terrorist attack” on a Turkish Armed Forces convoy which was conducting a ceasefire monitoring mission in Idlib Province. According to the Turkish Army, the military convoy was attacked by a vehicle bomb, an attack launched by “militants of the separatist terrorist organization.” [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal

SOHR reports clashes between the SDF and Daesh on the outskirts of​​ Al-Bahra village, near Hajin. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 6 Daesh terrorists, including an Iraqi commander, were killed in an airstrike near Al-Bahra village. ​​ The source says 3 more Daesh terrorists were killed in battles with the SDF near the village.​​ Two SDF fighters were killed in the battles.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 4 Daesh terrorists​​ and 2 SDF fighters​​ were killed when SDF units attacked Abu Al-Hassan village.​​ 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting an SDF military position with a rocket north of Abu Al-Hassan village, near Hajin. [ICDNJan31]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 14 Daesh terrorists were killed, including a French commander of Algerian origins, and 6 others wounded in a Coalition airstrike near Hajin.

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Daesh says its snipers killed two pro-government Palestinian militiamen near the Yarmouk Camp. [A3maq]

 

Daesh issues a video of two Syrian soldiers targeted by its snipers in Hay Al-Tadhamun, south of Damascus. [A3maq]

 

Daraa/Quneitra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh captured​​ and​​ then executed 6 Tahrir Al-Sham members in​​ the town of​​ Hait, northwest of Daraa city.

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

Law enforcement units in northern Sinai found 2 explosive devices planted by terrorists and detonated them safely, according to a security source. The devices were found in Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid. [ElWatan]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S.

Wednesday, the US designated three Egypt organizations as terrorist, according to the Department of State. The three organizations were Harakat​​ Al-Sabireen, Liwa​​ Al-Thawra, and Harakat Sawa’d​​ Misr (HASM). Also designated was​​ Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. US​​ Secretary of State​​ Rex Tillerson said that the designations “target key terrorist groups and leaders – including two sponsored and directed by Iran – who are threatening the stability of the Middle East, undermining the peace process, and attacking our allies​​ in​​ Egypt and Israel.”​​ [Sumaria] [Reuters]

 

January 30, 2018

 

Afrin

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi launches “mission to fight corruption.” [..]

Al-Abadi seems to sidestep offered US Army help in securing election. [..]

Kirkuk Governor attributes security problems to withdrawal of Army troops. [..]

Court convicts former Ninewa Governor Al-Nujaifi in controversial decision. [..]

KRG parliament resolution condemns Turkey’s invasion of Afrin. [..]

 

Syria

US, France, UK decline to participate in Sochi conference. [..]

Syrian opposition document envisions a​​ “non-sectarian democratic state.” [..]

Turkey denies it has killed any civilians in Afrin; Red Crescent says there have been 67 already. [..]

SDF says it has secured full control of Gharanij in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

Niger

Daesh Boko Haram affiliate stages another deadly attack on Niger Army. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Tuesday, Deputy CoR Speaker Humam Hamoudi said that he received the Turkish Ambassador to Iraq,​​ Fatih Yildiz,​​ in his office and​​ asked​​ him to accelerate the withdrawal of Turkish forces from Iraq. [Sumaria]

 

Reconstruction

Tuesday, in a meeting with a delegation from the US Institute for Peace, headed by​​ director of the Middle East & North Africa Programs,​​ Dr. Elie Abouaoun, CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri emphasized the need to foster an environment suited for social reconciliation in liberated​​ areas to safeguard the rights of​​ all citizens. He added that reconciliation is the “safety vault” that will ensure the stability of these areas. [Rudaw]

 

Election

In the weekly press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced the start of the “mission to fight corruption,” adding that the mission will “take more than just a few days,” and that the government has taken large strides in combating corruption.​​ 

Regarding the incident in Al-Baghdadi, Al-Abadi said that investigations are ongoing. He also said that the Iraqi forces are in full control of the Iraq-Syria border. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Al-Abadi has been an anti-corruption Prime Minister, but his progress has been limited by the self-serving ways of the major political parties, which benefit from the corruption. His new anti-corruption effort is an election-year strategy to overcome this recalcitrance by achieving a stronger​​ anti-corruption​​ majority through the election.​​ 

 

Tuesday, Sadrist​​ leader Muqtada Al-Sadr tweeted that “it is​​ shameful​​ for the “Mujahid” to fear the return of Al-Baath Party in the upcoming elections.” He​​ said​​ “we are telling them​​ that we will not allow them to spread tyranny and corruption in our Iraq again, and if they return, we will not show them any mercy.” [Sumaria] [@Mu_AlSadr]

 

Tuesday, General Secretary of the National Movement for Development and Reform​​ said he​​ predicts that the role of Kurds in the Iraqi CoR will diminish in the upcoming elections compared to previous years, due to the recent events and the boycotting of the elections​​ on the part of​​ some Kurdish parties. He expects that the Kurds will get 50 or more seats in the CoR elections. [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday,​​ a​​ spokesman​​ for​​ Prime Minister Al-Abadi, Saad Al-Hadithi, said that ensuring the security of Iraqi cities during the upcoming elections is the responsibility of the security forces, including the Army and the IFP. This statement appears to be a response to the US Army’s offer to the Iraqi government to help secure the governorates of Ninewa, Anbar, and Salahuddin on​​ election​​ day. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We wish the Prime Minister would accept the help. Stationing troops at polling places is easy enough, but this election has unusual complications that the presence of US troops in some places could help to overcome. IDPs are one of the major complications.​​ Predictable tensions in disputed areas are another .Just a few days ago we reported on an issue in Anbar over PMFs deployed to Anbar and their possible electoral impact. The next story suggests the possibility of voter fraud. Iraq has a lot at stake in this election, and it needs to go right.​​ 

 

A report by​​ Al-Arab,​​ a​​ London-based newspaper,​​ said that some parties participating in the elections have started buying old voter​​ cards from residents​​ for up to $100, and some Sunni political parties are accused of facilitating the purchasing of the cards. The report added that IHEC uses two types of voter​​ cards:​​ the “old” ones,​​ which contain​​ basic​​ information about the voter, and the “new” cards that include biodata that helps identify the voter. The new cards require the in-person presence of the voter at​​ a​​ polling​​ center on the day of elections, whereas the holders of the old cards do not have to be physically present. [BasNews]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Tuesday, a security source reported that a civilian was wounded​​ when​​ a sticky IED attached to his vehicle exploded​​ as it​​ passed​​ through​​ Radwaniya.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Hit/Haditha

Tuesday, Anbar PC member Athal Al-Fahdawi said that the Anbar PC decided to host​​ the​​ commander of Jazeera Operations,​​ Maj. Gen. Qassem Al-Mohammedi,​​ to discuss the recent incident in Al-Baghdadi.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, the media office of Anbar’s​​ Governor Mohammed Al-Halbousi announced that Al-Halbousi has ordered immediate compensation for the families of Al-Baghdadi’s martyrs and​​ other​​ casualties. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 2 Daesh terrorists were killed in a Coalition shelling on the Hawi Kan’ous area. The source says Coalition units at the Qayara Base shelled the area.​​ 

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a PMF fighter was killed and another wounded when an IED targeted their vehicle in the Mtaibija area​​ along the Salahuddin-Diyala border.

 

DIYALA

Tuesday, the Diyala Police Command announced the arrest of 8 wanted suspects on criminal and terrorist charges in various parts of Diyala on Sunday and Monday.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

The Directorate of Intelligence and Security announced the arrest of a dangerous terrorist in Muqdadiya.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Tuesday, Chairman of the Muqdadiya District Council Adnan Al-Tamimi announced that a Canadian humanitarian organization officially approved the funding of a project to rehabilitate and rebuild 300​​ IDP-owned​​ houses in 6 liberated​​ villages of Muqdadiya. [Sumaria]

 

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

A local source in Diyala reported that an IED exploded as a vehicle carrying coal workers passed an agricultural road in the outskirts of the Mohammed Shir Beg village​​ on​​ the outskirts of​​ Khanaqin. The explosion​​ caused​​ the destruction of the vehicle, with no human losses. As another vehicle​​ arrived​​ to collect the destroyed car, a​​ second​​ IED​​ exploded​​ in the same area, injuring the driver and partially destroying the vehicle. [Ghad]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Tuesday, the Diyala Police announced that a joint force from the Diyala Police carried out a security operation in Al-Nida, destroying 4 Daesh IEDs and a motorcycle.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Tuesday, Kirkuk Governor Rakan Sa’eed Al-Jubouri told the media that the​​ Higher​​ Security Committee in Kirkuk has called on Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to keep the Kirkuk Ops Command in the Kirkuk​​ governorate​​ because they “dealt with the residents​​ well,” supported the PMFs, excellently organized public affairs, and gained wide experience and knowledge, as the command was formed prior to the liberation of the areas taken over by Daesh inside and outside of the governorate. [Sumaria]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Governor Al-Jubouri said on Tuesday that Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi and the Ministry of Defense are responsible for the security violations in areas of Hawija District, noting that there is no coordination between the central and local governments.​​ 

Al-Jubouri said “the General Command did not take into account the advice of the Department of Kirkuk and the Higher Security Committee in the province on the importance of the continuity of the leadership of Kirkuk operations, saying that General Command Commander Ali​​ Fadel​​ Imran is an efficient man who could impose security in the region with very few troops and has responded to all of the demands of the people of Kirkuk.”​​ 

Al-Jubouri added that “the replacement of the army forces led to security breaches, where terrorists exploited the gaps that opened during the withdrawal of troops, the arrival of other forces, and during the replacement process, attacking points in Hawija District.” Al-Jubouri continued, saying that “the process of replacing​​ troop units​​ contributed to the delay of the return of IDPs to their areas in Hawija.” [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, a security source reported that security units, backed by PMFs, found 13 Daesh IEDs buried in the Hawija district center.​​ [Buratha]

 

Tuesday, a security source in Kirkuk reported that IFP units carried out search operations in a number Hawija’s villages in order to track Daesh members and sleeper cells. The search is ongoing. [Ghad]

 

NINEWA

A Rusafa court that handles ethical cases, money laundering, and economic crimes sentenced Atheel Al-Nujaifi to three years of confinement, a travel ban, and the seizure of his property. Atheel Al-Nujaifi said that the reason behind the decision was that he did not transfer some ​​ Sunni Awqaf (Islamic endowments) to the Shiite Waqf during his tenure as Governor of Ninewa.​​ The United for​​ Iraq​​ party headed by Vice President Osama Al-Nujaifi held Al-Waqf Al-Shi’i​​ (the Shia​​ Waqf)​​ responsible for the “unfair judgment”​​ on​​ the​​ former Governor, saying that Al-Waqf Al-Shi’i turned a public case into a personal one, and the “ill-chosen timing does not cover up its sectarian endeavors.” [BasNews]

 

Mosul

Tuesday, a security source reported that a man and his wife were injured in an explosion from​​ a​​ Daesh-rigged IED​​ when​​ they checked their house in​​ the center of​​ Old Mosul. [Knooz]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says the body of a Daesh terrorist, who had been arrested 5 days ago by security units, was found near Hay Al-Tanak. The source says the terrorist was responsible for distributing Yazidi kidnapped girls among Daesh members before the Mosul liberation.​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

Tuesday, a local policeman​​ in Ninewa was killed when an IED exploded on a local police patrol unit in Hammam Al-Alil, according to a security source.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Qayara/Hatra

A security source says the Coalition conducted airstrikes on Daesh sites in the Qayara subdistrict. [SotIraq]

 

PMF media says the PMF carried out search operations in the desert south of Mosul. [PressIraq]

 

Tuesday, security sources reported that Daesh has returned to locations south of Mosul.​​ Coalition warplanes and smart artillery​​ shelled​​ Marir village in Qayara.​​ [BasNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Kata’eb Hezbollah found 16 sniper guns, large quantities of sniper ammunition, and other military equipment in a Daesh hideout in Shayhan​​ village, south of Hatra.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says two PMF EOD members were killed when a booby-trapped house exploded on them in Hatra city. ​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Commander of Al-Rafidain Operations Maj. Gen. Ali Ibrahim reported that the Iraqi forces launched a large-scale operation in the southern Iraqi desert to track Daesh sleeper cells, with airstrikes by Iraqi Army Air (IAA) on​​ specific​​ targets. He added that the operation covered Najaf, Muthanna, and Dhi Qar governorates,​​ reaching​​ to​​ Basra. He added that the operation will go on for 3 days.  [AlHurra]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

Wednesday, the KRG​​ parliament discussed the Turkish attacks on Afrin, announcing​​ a resolution with the following provisions.

  • The KRG Parliament condemns and denounces the military attack by Turkey on Afrin city in Syria’s Kurdistan.

  • The KRG Parliament calls on the UN and international community to urgently stop the Turkish attacks on Afrin.

  • The Turkish state must respect the principles of international law and good neighborly relations, and the KRG Parliament demands that the attack and transgression on the city be stopped.

  • The KRG Parliament calls on international rescue organizations and volunteer parties to help the civilians in Afrin and provide assistance and humanitarian needs.

  • The KRG highly values the legitimate defense and Afrin’s and the Kurdish men and women’s resistance and wishes them victory. [Rudaw]

 

In​​ a​​ press conference on Tuesday,​​ Birzo Majeed of​​ Gorran’s​​ CoR​​ bloc​​ said that the Gorran (Change) Movement boycotted the Tuesday​​ CoR​​ session​​ in Baghdad​​ because​​ the CoR​​ has​​ not​​ taken any concrete actions against Turkey’s “unjust attacks” on Afrin,​​ has​​ “evaded its responsibility,” and​​ has​​ failed “to commit the government to issue some concrete orders and recommendation to help Afrin” by providing “logistical, political, humanitarian,​​ and diplomatic assistance, and, most importantly, reopening crossings between the Kurdistan Region and Rojava.”​​ [ROJ]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Syrian Arab and Kurdish activists are calling for​​ the​​ launch of an online campaign to support Afrin Province,​​ which has been under shelling by Turkish forces and Syrian opposition militias for 11 days. Activists are calling for the circulation of​​ the hashtag​​ #StopAfrinGenocide on social media​​ sites in the hopes of convincing the international community to impose an air embargo against Turkish aircraft. Organizers of the campaign are accusing Turkey’s​​ President Recep Erdogan of​​ attempting​​ to​​ realize​​ his dream of “establishing his Ottoman Empire at the expense of the peoples of the region in general and Syrian components in the north of Syria.”​​ [BasNews]

 

Military updates are in the Afrin section below.

 

Sochi Conference

Coalition positions.​​ French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday that the peace process for Syria should be held under the auspices of the UN in Geneva, not under the​​ auspices of Russia in Sochi. He said that​​ the solution to the crisis will happen quickly through a UN-sponsored solution in Geneva. . . .​​ This should not happen in Sochi;​​ it should happen in Geneva.”​​ [ZamanAlWasl]

Tuesday, Le Drian said France would therefore not be participating in the Sochi conference. He expressed doubts about the possibility of achieving any progress in​​ Sochi, especially as a major component of Syria will be absent, referring to the Syrian negotiating body. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Tuesday, the US Embassy in Moscow said that Washington will not participate as an observer in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. The Embassy​​ expressed​​ its respect for the decision of the Syrian negotiating body to refuse to participate in the conference. [ZamanAlWasl]

On a statement released on Twitter on Tuesday, British​​ Special Envoy to Syria, Dr.​​ Martin Longden,​​ said his country would not participate in the Sochi conference. He​​ pointed​​ out that “despite​​ Russia’s efforts, the Syrian government has damaged confidence that Sochi can help the Geneva process.” He also called on Russia “to use its influence to persuade the Syrian government to cease its destructive behavior.” [ZamanAlWasl]​​ 

 

Political platform of democratic opposition.​​ The final draft statement of the Syrian National Dialogue Conference in Sochi on Tuesday stressed the need for Syria to be a “non-sectarian democracy” based on equal citizenship, while stressing its “independence and unity” as a people and a land. According to the text of the document, the participants agreed on a “political settlement of the Syrian crisis based on 12 principles, including respect for, and full commitment to, sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and unity of the State of Syria and its people.

The​​ document stressed that “the Syrian people alone should decide the future of their country by democratic means and with their exclusive right to choose their own regime.”​​ 

The document states that “Syria shall be a non-sectarian democratic state based on pluralism and equal citizenship with a strong national army based on efficiency and with the foremost function of protecting borders and populations from external threats and terrorism according to the constitution.” It envisions a​​ country with the rule of law and respect for human rights.” [Sumaria]

 

The Turkish Foreign Ministry called on Russia to explain the appearance of the Turkish terrorist Miraj Ural, the leader of the Popular Salvation Front of Turkey, among the​​ listed​​ participants in the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi, although he was not on the invitation list. Russian authorities said that “the matter will be examined​​ immediately,​​ and we will inform the Turkish side of the result.” [Anadolu]

 

Tuesday, Head of the Astana Platform (affiliated with the Syrian Opposition),​​ Randa Qassis,​​ said in a press conference on the sidelines of the Syrian National Dialogue conference in Sochi that the priority is now​​ placed on​​ drafting the constitution so as to prevent the disintegration of Syria, while there are still disputes concerning​​ the establishment of​​ a special committee to draft the constitution. [Rudaw]

 

In a statement on its official accounts on the internet, the Russian Khmeimim Airbase said that the departure of Bashar Al-Assad will not be addressed during the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, adding that Al-Assad’s fate “is only determined by the Syrian people, not by those who belong to international terrorist organizations seeking to impose their extremist beliefs on Syrian society.” [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This disingenuous explanation ignores the fact that most of the Syrian democratic opposition movement has no real connection to the PKK, or the YPG or PYD.​​ It’s just a phony argument for why Assad should remain in power.

Tuesday, according to sources​​ participating in the Sochi conference, the Syrian opposition and Turkey have rejected a proposal by Russia and Syria to form six commissions​​ made up of 150 individuals​​ equally from the Syrian opposition and the Syrian government,​​ including the Higher​​ Conference​​ Committee. The Russian proposal also stipulates that the Higher Conference Committee​​ select the members of the​​ Constitutional​​ Commitee, which​​ is​​ also​​ to​​ be formed equally from the Syrian opposition and the Syrian government under the auspices of Russia. On the other hand, the Syrian opposition and Turkey proposed the formation​​ of a single committee (the​​ Constitutional​​ Committee)​​ under the auspices of the United Nations that shall have the right to amend it later during the Geneva talks. [Dorar]

 

Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey would represent the Syrian opposition during​​ the​​ peace talks in Sochi at the request of the Syrian opposition delegation that declined to attend the​​ meeting​​ in protest of “pictures and logos” depicting the “Syrian regime’s​​ flag” that were​​ displayed​​ at the Russian airport and at the​​ meeting​​ center.​​ He also added that a constitutional​​ committee​​ will be established under the chairmanship of UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura after the summit, and Russia, Turkey,​​ and Iran​​ will have equal an equal number of members in it. [Anadolu] [Hawar]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

Tuesday, SOHR reported that the Turkish Army and its allied militias captured Khalila and Sati Ushaghi villages in Sheikh Hadid and Rajo subdistricts in western Afrin,​​ in​​ an​​ attack on the YPG positions in the region. According to SOHR, clashes are still ongoing between the Turkish army and the YPG in the region, accompanied by mutual shelling, with reports of casualties on both sides. [SyriaHR][Qasioun]

Tuesday, SOHR reported that the Turkish army shelled Badina and Damliya villages in Rajo subdistrict as well as​​ a third​​ village in western ​​ Afrin. [SyriaHR]

 

Tuesday morning, Turkish warplanes resumed their shelling of Kurdish locations in Rajo and in Jinderes in southwestern rural Afrin, and there were continuing violent clashes between the Kurdish​​ units​​ and Turkish government and militia forces. [BasNews]

 

In a statement on Tuesday, Turkey’s Chief of Staff announced that 649 YPG​​ elements​​ have been​​ neutralized​​ since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch,​​ but said assuringly​​ that​​ the operation “solely focuses on terrorists and their shelters, hideouts, weapons, and vehicles,” and that “special attention is paid not to harm any civilians or innocents.” The statement also stressed that “the Turkish Air Forces do not use internationally-banned weapons or ammunition such as napalm, chemical or biological arms in its offensive in Afrin,”​​ and​​ that Turkey does not “own napalm or any ammunition prohibited by international law and agreements.” [Dorar][Qasioun] [Anadolu]

 

Tuesday, Turkish Defense Minister Noureddin Janakli said that no civilians have been harmed by the Turkish Army and​​ Free Syrian Army​​ during the ongoing Olive Branch Operation, despite the​​ YPG’s​​ use of civilians as human shields. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This​​ situation​​ has​​ little​​ resemblance to the Daesh human shields strategy used in Mosul and elsewhere, which forced unwilling people to move to locations that were likely targets of government forces and Coalition​​ airstrikes.​​ The Afrin population is overwhelmingly Kurdish, and presumably is overwhelmingly negative about Turkey’s invasion​​ and airstrikes.

 

These​​ official Turkish reassurances​​ were in effect contradicted by a medical source from the Kurdish Red Crescent in Afrin, who said that 67 Arab and Kurdish civilians have been killed,​​ including 20 children and 12 women, by Turkish airstrikes on rural Afrin since January 20. The source added that 155 civilians, including 26 children and 30 women, were wounded.[BasNews]

 

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Robert Manning told reporters that the Pentagon is in communication with Turkish officials concerning the events in Afrin in order to reach a solution to the crisis there. Manning said that the US is not aware of civilian deaths. [Rudaw]

 

The​​ YPG​​ reported its version of​​ the outcome of the fighting on Tuesday. In summary:​​ 

  • Clashes began in the morning hours in Maabatli subdistrict in the center of Afrin​​ and continued into the evening.​​ 

  • 2 Cobra helicopters bombed the Rajo​​ subdistrict, especially​​ Tal Ker and Tal​​ Amra. The Turkish forces attempted to infiltrate and attack Tal Ker but the​​ YPG says​​ it repelled the attack.

  • The​​ YPG attacked​​ a Turkish military convoy consisting of 5 SUVs loaded with weapons, destroying 3 cars completely.

  • In Bulbul,​​ the Turkish Army targeted the villages of Tubal, Khalouka, and Shikurza with indiscriminate shelling and the​​ YPG​​ responded with direct strikes​​ on​​ the Turkish station in Tubal.​​ 

  • The Turkish Army targeted Tal Bafloun, Dikmadash, and Arab Weran in Shara subdistrict next to Bulbul.

  • The​​ YPG​​ targeted 2 terrorist vehicles in the direction of the citadel of Samaan, hitting one of them directly while the other one escaped.​​ 

  • In Jinderes subdistrict, the Turkish Army targeted Jinderes​​ city​​ and Hamam village, 13 miles west of Afrin city,​​ with heavy weapons,​​ and the​​ YPG​​ targeted​​ the Turks in​​ Tal Salur village.​​ [Hawar]

 

UN Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller said on Tuesday that members of the​​ YPG​​ are restricting the movement of civilians in northern Afrin, especially those trying to leave the region.​​ 

[Anadolu]

 

The Nawras Center for Studies published a statistical report on the factions involved in the Turkish military operation in Afrin against the YPG, noting that 28 military factions are participating in support of the Turkish Army. [Dorar]

 

Tuesday, Turkish warplanes distributed leaflets in Afrin and its suburbs, warning the Afrin residents​​ against​​ allowing their sons to enlist in the Kurdish units, and “not​​ to allow them to take advantage of your sons and to destroy your home and your future.” The leaflets also extended “Ankara’s wishes of health, welfare, security, and peace to the residents of Afrin.” [BasNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says opposition​​ militias​​ captured 16 Daesh terrorists, mostly Saudis and Iraqis, near Mare’​​ in Azaz. The source says the terrorists were trying to sneak into the Idlib area but lost their way.​​ 

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Daesh says it shot and killed an SDF member in Al-Atala village, west of Shaddadi, on Monday. [A3maq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says there are hundreds of Daesh terrorists who fled the battles in western Anbar hiding in the Dashisha area. The source says the terrorists are preparing for an attack on the Iraq-Syrian border.​​ 

 

Central and West​​ 

Aleppo/Idlib

Tuesday, Director of Civil Defense (White Helmets) Mustapha Haj Yousif said that 7 civilians were killed, and 18 others were wounded, in a Russian airstrike on a street market in Ariha in Idlib, which is supposed to be a de-escalation zone.​​ [Anadolu]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 7 civilians and 4 Tahrir Al-Sham members were killed and 9 wounded, in addition to nine civilians wounded, when a vehicle bomb targeted a Tahrir Al-Sham pickup vehicle in Mushairifa.​​ 

 

Monday,​​ the​​ Russian RT network reported that the Syrian forces targeted a Turkish military convoy heading to Al-Eis town in southern rural Aleppo to establish a “de-escalation” observation point in the region. According to​​ an​​ RT correspondent, the convoy was targeted by 30 artillery shells after it “penetrated the Syrian border.” [Qasioun]

 

Qasioun reports that 5 civilians were killed and others were wounded in a Russian airstrike in Al-Bawabiya town in rural Aleppo. [Qasioun]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that Daesh withdrew from Jab Al-Ghadhab village after a deal with Tahrir Al-Sham. Tahrir Al-Sham released 3 Daesh commanders (2 Syrians and an Iraqi) it had captured earlier in exchange for the withdrawal.​​ 

 

Hama

According to SANA, the Syrian forces continue to carry out operations against Daesh in rural northeastern Hama. [SyriaNow]

 

Daesh says it targeted Al-Saan town, in far northeastern Hama in Salamiyah District, with 2 Grad rockets. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting Syrian Army positions in Abu Marij village, east of Hama, with heavy machine guns. [ICDNJan30]

Daesh says it killed five Syrian soldiers and captured a rocket launcher, several rockets, and light weapons in an attack on the village. [A3maq] [ICDNJan30]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal

Tuesday, the SDF announced it has taken full control of Gharanij town from Daesh. [Qasioun]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 4 Daesh terrorists were killed when a rocket hit their vehicle near Al-Bahra village.

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting an SDF military position near Al-Bahra village with an SPG9 rocket. [ICDNJan30]

 

Daesh issues a video of the results of “American” bombing on Al-Bahra village. [A3maq]

 

South​​ 

Daraa/Quneitra

Tuesday, SOHR reported that at least 6 Tahrir Al-Sham members, including a senior leader, were killed, and 10 others were injured,​​ when​​ a vehicle bomb went off in front of a Tahrir Al-Sham checkpoint on the outskirts of Al-​​ Mseifreh town in rural eastern Daraa.​​ [SyriaHR]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Niger

At least two soldiers were killed overnight while fighting off an attack by suspected Boko Haram jihadists in southeast Niger, a source in the security forces said Tuesday. Nigerian Army “It was an audacious attack repelled by our valiant​​ defense​​ and security forces who lost two men all the same,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. The insurgents from​​ neighboring​​ Nigeria “came aboard about a dozen vehicles” early Monday evening to attack a National Guard outpost near Chetimari, a village about 20 km​​ (12 miles) from the main regional town, Diffa, the source​​ said. “Since the Niger soldiers put up strong resistance, the Boko Haram elements withdrew to shell their positions from a distance,” he added. The arrival of reinforcements led by the head of the National Guard contingent in Diffa, Major Mohamed Alwata, enabled the army to drive the raiders back towards Nigerian territory, where Boko Haram first launched a bloody insurgency in 2009.​​ [Vanguard]​​ 

Daesh says a group of its terrorists​​ (Boko Haram)​​ attacked a Niger Army military post​​ near the border between Niger and Nigeria on Monday, killing more than 15 soldiers and capturing​​ 6 machine gun mounted vehicles and 4 other SUVs in addition to weapons and explosives. [ICDNJan30] ​​