March 30, 2018
Residents of tiny northern Diyala village hold off Daesh attack. [..]
Kurdish Kirkuk PC Chairman accuses Governor of destroying Kurds’ houses for political reasons. [..]
425 Iraqi refugees return to Mosul from Turkey. [..]
1 American, 1 British soldier killed by Daesh IED in Manbij. [..]
SDF mystified by reported Trump statement about US leaving Syria. [..]
Erdogan hostile to Macron’s offer to mediate between Turkey, Kurds. [..]
Erdogan again announces plan to take all of northern Syria from Kurds. [..]
Jaish Al-Islam agrees to leave East Ghouta for Idlib as mass exodus continues. [..]
SDF, Coalition attack Syrian government positions in Mayadin. [..]
Egypt: Coordinator of Daesh international operations reported operating from Sinai. [..]
Libya: Daesh car bomb kills 6, injures 9 in Ajdabiya in eastern Libya. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
The Coalition says it conducted 4 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq between March 23 and March 29 (near Qayara (2), Ramadi (1), and Rutba (1)). [InherentResolve]
During a tribal conference in Al-Hindiya district in Karbala on Friday, Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq (AAH) Secretary General Qais Al-Khazali attributed the destruction and collapse of the Iraqi state to corruption, and “the cause of corruption is the quota system set by the CoR.”
Al-Khazali also said that “nothing has changed with the respect to the rights of the PMF so far,” and the “security deterioration that has happened in more than one area is caused by not integrating the PMF into the security and intelligence systems.” [Sumaria]
Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff to the Kurdistan Region’s President, said that the Kurdish political parties are unable to implement their electoral campaigns in “disputed areas,” as the elections would be under the control of “others,” and “therefore, I imagine the Kurds will lose a number of seats in those areas.”
However, “it would be difficult to form any Iraqi government without the Kurds’ participation.” He elaborated that “we now have 63 seats in the CoR, and it is possible that we will lose 13-14 seats in the upcoming elections to be held in May.” [Rudaw]
Security-related incidents reported
South (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)
Friday, a Police source reported that a roadside IED near a street market in the Hor Rijab area of Dora in southern Baghdad exploded, wounding three civilians.[Sumaria]
Friday, a security source in the Anbar Ops Command reported that security units from the Army and the PMF carried out raids in the Qarma subdistrict in eastern Falluja, and arrested 3 on charges of terrorism and attacking security units.[Buratha]
An Anbar official says PMF units are prohibiting IDP families from returning to their liberated areas in Khaldiya. He says PMFs are limiting the free movement of the families in that area. He demanded withdrawal of PMF units and their replacement with army and local police. [BasNews]
Friday, the Security Media Center denied a report that a Daesh unit attacked security units in Jazeerat Al-Khalidiya north of Ramadi. The Center stated that a suspicious agency called “Shabakat Al-Izz” broadcasts pro-Daesh news, and recently promoted a report claiming security units were attacked in Jazeerat Al-Khalidiya. [Rudaw]
Friday, the PMF command for west Anbar announced that an ammunition depot was seized in Al-Qa’im. Commander Qassem Musleh said it contained dozens of mortar shells. [IraqPress]
A DaeshDaily source says Muthanna Al-Mar’awi, a Daesh member from Ramadi, was killed by an airstrike south of Rutba on Thursday.
Daesh says its snipers killed a PMF fighter on the Al-Imamain Road, east of Samarra. [ICDNMar30]
Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)
Daesh says it killed three PMF fighters and destroyed an SUV in an ambush in the Jalam Al-Daur area, on Thursday. [A3maq]
Daesh says its snipers killed a PMF fighter and wounded another in the Jalam Al-Daur area, on Thursday. [ICDNMar30]
Daesh says it destroyed a PMF vehicle with an IED in the same area, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [ICDNMar30]
Friday, the Diyala Police Command announced the arrest of 5 wanted suspects in Baquba, including 2 on terrorism charges. [Sumaria]
A Diyala legislator demanded the transfer of a terror case from Diyala to Baghdad, due to extensive political pressure and interference in investigations in Diyala.
The case relates to the arrest of a major Daesh leader, nicknamed the “Blood Prince” for his numerous crimes. [Sumaria],
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
Chairman of the Udhaim subdistrict council, Mohammed Al-Abidi, reported that Daesh carried out a violent attack on Albu Mar’i village north of Hawi Al-Udhaim at a late hour of Thursday night. He added that the village is one of the smallest of liberated villages, with only 7 residential houses, and the residents, including women, engaged in a battle with Daesh for over an hour to thwart the attack.[Sumaria]
Friday, PMF’s 110th brigade commander, Abu Jamal Al-Janabi, announced that the brigade discovered and cut off about 10 of Daesh’s secret pathways and roads used for infiltrating areas around Sadiya, Wadi Gent, Nafut Khana, and Al-Nida in east and northeast Diyala. [Sumaria]
A security source who requested to remain anonymous reported that on Friday the PMF’s 24th brigade thwarted a Daesh attack on a security point near the electricity towers in the Himrin Basin. [Sumaria]
Friday, a local source in Diyala reported that a PMF fighter was wounded in a Daesh attack on a security point in the Al-Hafayer area in the vicinity of Lake Himrin. [Sumaria]
The PMF stated that it thwarted a Daesh attack in Al-Hafayer, in Sadiya, on Friday evening. [Sumaria]
Daesh sources say a PMF fighter was wounded in the attack on the Hafayer area, in Sadiya. [ICDNMar30]
The Kurdish Chairman of the Kirkuk PC, Rebwar Talabani, accused the Arab Governor of destroying Kurds’ houses to gain Arabs’ votes. He says the Governor’s claims that these houses are trespassing on public areas are not supported by similar actions against trespassing Arabs and Turkmen. [Rudaw]
Daesh sources say General Abbas Samin of the Ministry of Interior was severely wounded when a sticky IED exploded under his vehicle in the Baghdad Road area, in Kirkuk city. [ICDNMar30]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
The acting Governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Al-Jubouri, says 150 families have returned to Hawija District from the Laylan 1 and 2 IDP camps. The return process is underway while the security checkup process for returnees continues. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh appointed Maysar Al-Afri as its general official of Kirkuk. The source says the former official, Abu Jaafar Al-Obeidi, was killed in an airstrike in the Himrin Mountains area four days ago. The source also says Daesh changed its commanders in several areas in Iraq and Syria because these commanders were not active recently.
Friday, the Ministry of Displacement and Immigration announced that 425 Iraqi IDPs in Turkey were returned to their home areas in Mosul through the Ibrahim Al-Khalil border crossing at Zakho in northwest Dahuk in cooperation with the Ministry of Transportation. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says Ninewa Police arrested 3 persons on terrorism charges in east Mosul.
Friday, MoI spokesman Saad Ma’en, said the Ninewa Police captured 3 Daesh operatives in raids in west Mosul. [BasNews]
Mosul Mayor Zuheir Al-Aaraji said that security units have begun operations to capture Daesh’s criminal gangs in Mosul. He also said that the Mosul police are concerned about the “phenomenon” of discovering unidentified bodies in the city streets.[SotIraq]
Friday, the Military Intelligence Cell announced that a terrorist cell was dismantled in west Mosul, and it had plans to carry out terrorist operation in the coming days.[Sumaria]
Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh terrorists in 3 pickup vehicles raided the houses of 3 Zoba’a tribe leaders in Al-Manayef village in Tal Abta, then executed them near the houses.
A DaeshDaily source says the Al-Ra’ad tribal PMF faction arrested the imam of Al-Huda Mosque in Hatra because he urged people not to participate in the elections. The source says the leader of the Al-Ra’ad militia is himself an election candidate.
DaeshDaily comment. This looks like a political corruption story, but could be seen as an anti-government Sunni extremist story.
Thursday, clarifying a story from yesterday, Captain Saif Eddin Al-Shammari of the border guard forces said that a group of Daesh operatives disguised in uniforms of the Iraqi forces set up a fake checkpoint on the road linking the Mosul district with Rabi’a subdistrict of Tal Afar on the Syria border and killed five soldiers in addition to stealing their weapons and vehicle.[SotIraq]
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh attacked Kata’eb Hezbollah positions near the Syrian border, killing 4 fighters, including a battalion commander.
Daesh sources say four PMF fighters were wounded in an IED explosion in Iskandariya. [ICDNMar30]
In a statement released on Friday, the Iranian KDP announced that one of its members, Ahmed Irani, was killed in an armed attack by two unidentified gunmen in Soran city in northeast Erbil Province. This is the second member of the Iranian KDP who has been killed in the Kurdistan Region this year. Another party member was killed when his car was blown up in Erbil on March 1. [ROJ] [Sumaria]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Friday, Enab Baladi news reported that 6 Turkish soldiers were killed, and at least 7 wounded, in a PKK attack against a Turkish military base in Turkey’s southeastern Siirt Province. [EnabBaladi] [ROJ]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
Friday, the Coalition Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said that two Coalition personnel were killed and five others wounded in an attack by an IED on Thursday in Syria. [Hawar]
Friday, the Pentagon announced that an American soldier working in the Coalition was killed in the IED explosion that went off on a Coalition military convoy on Thursday evening in Manbij, killing two soldiers and wounding five. The Pentagon did not reveal the identity of the second person killed. [Rudaw]
Friday, the SDF said it was not notified of any plan to withdraw the US forces working as part the Coalition in Syria, as stated by US President Donald Trump on Thursday. [BasNews]
DaeshDaily comment. The President was reported to have said that, but may have been taken too literally. Some clarification is in order.
Thursday, Hawar reported that France’s President Emmanuel Macron met with an SDF delegation that included YPG members in Paris. An Elysee source said that France shares the US position that any Turkish military operation in Syria is “unacceptable.” According to an SDF representative, Macron pledged to send military reinforcements to Manbij and the other SDF-held areas in northern Syria in order to support the SDF and prevent Turkey from attacking the city. [Hawar]
According to a statement released by Macron’s office, “Macron assured the SDF of the support of France, in particular for the stabilization of the security zone in northeast Syria, within a framework of inclusive and balanced governance, to prevent any revival of Daesh.” He also expressed hope for a dialogue between Turkey and SDF mediated by France and the international community, the statement added. [Dorar]
According to France 24, however, Macron’s office said Friday that “France doesn’t intend to conduct any unilateral military operations in northern Syria outside the International Coalition.“ France remains involved in the joint fight [against terrorism] and does not plan to conduct a new operation in northern Syria, except the one conducted by the International Coalition against Daesh,” the statement said. [France24] [Qasioun]
Friday, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he was “extremely saddened” by France’s position after Macron met with the SDF delegation and offered to mediate with it. “We are extremely saddened by France’s . . . wrong stance on this issue,” Erdogan said. “We do not need a mediator. Since when has Turkey been sitting at a table with terrorist organizations?” Erdogan said, describing Macron’s move as “nothing but a hostile expression against Turkey.” “Those who say ‘we guaranteed support to the YPG’, ‘we can mediate between Turkey and the SDF. . . are out of their depth and are surpassing their limit,” Erdogan added. “You can sit down at the table with terror organizations but Turkey will continue its fight against terror.” “Those who go to bed with terrorists, or even host them in their palaces, will sooner or later understand the mistake they’re making,” he said, adding that “we have no intention to harm soldiers of allied nations, but we cannot allow terrorists to roam freely (in northern Syria).” [Elaph]
Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said “France’s offer to mediate between Turkey and the PYD/PKK-led SDF terrorist group in Syria is unacceptable.” “Who are you to mediate between Turkey and terrorist organizations?” Cavusoglu said. “Such high level meeting with the terrorist PYD/PKK demonstrates France’s double standard regarding terrorist organizations,” he added. [Anadolu]
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin declined Macron’s proposal, saying that Turkey “rejects any efforts to promote ‘dialogue’, ‘contact’ or ‘mediation’ between Turkey and those terrorist organizations, which are trying to masquerade as legitimate organizations, hiding under the guise of different names, including the so-called “SDF.” Countries, which we consider to be our partners and allies, should also demonstrate a clear and tough stance on any manifestation of terrorism, rather than taking steps aimed at legitimatizing terrorist organizations. Different names . . . cannot hide the true face of these terror formations,” Kalin added. [Qasioun][Dorar]
Friday, Turkey’s President Erdogan said that the Turkish Army has begun necessary preparations to “clean Ayn Al-Arab, Tal Abyad, Ras Al-Ayn and Hasaka from “terrorists” up to the Iraq border. He also stated that the Olive Branch Operation will continue with its plan to capture Tal Rifaat in Azaz and its surrounding area. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. In other words, Erdogan intends to roll back ALL of the gains in northern Syria made by the YPG and SDF in the fight against Daesh, and do so on his own authority and tolerating no interference from any other country. President Macron has tried to broker some kind of understanding and gotten the predictable response. So far, aside from occasional hints that its few soldiers in Manbij are not leaving, the US has not clearly stood up to Erdogan’s bullying tactics. In that context, Trump’s perhaps tentative suggestion that the US will soon leave Syria is ill-timed at the least. Time is running out on this scenario. If Erdogan is allowed to get away with bullying his NATO allies in this way, and seizing all of northern Syria, that will go down as one of the most shameful failures of American policy in the Middle East.
The Coalition says it conducted 7 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria between March 23 and March 29, all near Albu Kamal. [InherentResolve]
Friday, Russia’s General Staff announced that it has reached an agreement with Jaish Al-Islam on East Ghouta. The head of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Department, Sergey Rudskoy, said that “an agreement has been reached with Jaish Al-Islam to evacuate the militants and their families from Douma city.” According to Rudskoy, the agreement will be executed “soon.” [Qasioun] [Hawar]
Friday, Qasioun quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying that “the anti-terrorism operation in Syria’s East Ghouta is almost over with the opposition factions shrinking down to just one city after abandoning the rest of the East Ghouta enclave.” [Qasioun]
Friday, under the ceasefire agreement, Syria Now reported that the 6th batch of buses has headed to Idlib. A SANA correspondent reported that under the Red Crescent auspices, 128 buses carrying 7,003 people, including 1,243 “terrorists,” have left Jobar, Zamalka, Arbin and Ain Tarma and headed to Idlib. [SyriaNow]
Syria Now reports that the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria has decided to extend the ceasefire agreement in order for Failaq Al-Rahman to completely leave Arbin towards Idlib. According to a statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday, the militiamen and their families headed to Idlib through a humanitarian corridor. This raises the total number of people who have left Arbin since the ceasefire agreement to 31,915. [SyriaNow]
Friday, SOHR reported that Failaq Al-Sham blew up an underground network of tunnels in Jobar neighborhood before leaving the area. Meanwhile, the 7th batch of buses is preparing to transport civilians, fighters and their families to northern Syria in accordance with the agreement with Failaq Al-Rahman. [SyriaHR]
Thursday, Qasioun reported that 7 civilians were killed when a land mine, planted by the YPG, exploded near Fafin village in Azaz. Likewise, Qasioun reported, a member of the Turkey-allied militias was killed, and another wounded in an explosion of a YPG land mine in Afrin. [Qasioun]
Friday, Hawar reported that a YPG “special operation” against the Turkish Army on Mamê Gur Hill in Bulbul subdistrict, killing 4 Turkish soldiers, wounding 3 others, and destroying a Turkish tank. [Hawar]
Enab Baladi reported that six SDF members were killed, as well as dozens of Daesh, in yesterday’s Daesh surprise attack on the SDF positions in the city of Shaddadi in southern Hasaka. [EnabBaladi]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Thursday, Zaman Al-Wasl quoted an SDF military source as saying that “the SDF in Conoco oilfield targeted the Syrian forces’ positions in Deir Ez-Zor with rockets.” Unconfirmed reports said that the International Coalition conducted several airstrikes against the Syrian forces’ positions in Mayadin, Al-Ashara and Khasham in Deir Ez-Zor. [ZamanAlWasl]
Friday, SOHR reported that a major explosion took place in Mayadin, killing at least 12 people and wounding others. According to intersecting sources, the explosion was probably caused by an unidentified plane that targeted a Syrian forces’ headquarters in Al-Rumaila neighborhood in Mayadin. [SyriaHR]
Albu Kamal District
Daesh says its snipers killed a Syrian soldier in Al-Ghabra village, northeast of Albu Kamal. [A3maq]
Daesh publishes photos of Friday prayer in Hajin city. [ICDNMar30]
Daesh publishes photos of targeting Syrian and Russian planes with anti-aircraft machine guns in Hajin. [ICDNMar30]
Friday, SOHR reported that negotiations are still underway between Russia and Syrian opposition factions in southern Rif Damashq and the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus in order to reach a new agreement on the future of the towns of Yelda, Bait Sahm and Babila towns. Meanwhile, SOHR added, the Syrian forces are preparing to launch a new military operation against Daesh in south Damascus as Tahrir Al-Sham prepares to leave the Yarmouk Camp with the last batch of IDPs coming out of Jobar, Zamalka and Arbin under the agreement reached with Failaq Al-Rahman. [SyriaHR]
Daesh publishes photos of its affiliate, Jaish Khaled, collecting zakat (tax) on olive oil and then distribute it to poor people in the Yarmouk Basin area. [ICDNMar30]
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh executed 11 young men publicly in Sahm Al-Jolan after accusing them of communicating with government forces.
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
A DaeshDaily source says that Yaseen Al-Thamer, aka Abu Bakr Al-Obeidi, is leading Daesh international activities from his hideout in the Sinai desert. The source says Al-Thamer arrived in Sinai more than a year ago.
A security source says a car bomb explosion on Thursday evening hit a security check point in the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya, some 120 km (75 miles) west of Benghazi, killing six people and injuring nine others. “The car bomb was parked near the Salama security checkpoint. It was detonated remotely,” the source told Xinhua. [Xinhua] [Reuters]
Daesh says it killed or wounded 19 Libyan National Army soldiers and destroyed several vehicles when one of its suicide terrorists attacked a checkpoint with a vehicle bomb at the eastern entrance of Ajdabiya city on Thursday. [ICDNMar30] [A3maq]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Daesh says it killed a Taliban fighter and captured another in clashes in the Manoki area, in Kunar, on Thursday. [A3maq]
Here Daesh says it stopped a Taliban attack on the Wadi Shorki area, in Kunar, killing a fighter, capturing another, and capturing 2 machine guns. [ICDNMar30]
Daesh says it killed an Afghan Army soldier in an attack on a military base in Watapur, in Kunar. [A3maq]
Daesh says it shot and killed a pro-government militia commander in the Ghani Khel area, in Nangarhar. [ICDNMar30]
Daesh says its snipers killed two Afghan soldiers in the Darzab area, in Jowzjan, on Thursday. [ICDNMar30]
Daesh says it shot and killed an Indian police officer in Bijbehara in Kashmir on Thursday.