March 14, 2018
Modul’s Old Bridge
5 Border Patrol officers killed by Daesh in Mandali, Diyala. [..]
18 more Daesh fighters killed in Hawija; 2 PMFs also die. [..]
Reopening of Mosul’s Old Bridge brings celebration and PM visit. [..]
Bodies found in West Mosul suspected to be Daesh members executed by Iraqi troops. [..]
EU increasing its support for 3 million Syrians living in Turkey. [..]
Erdogan says Afrin is about to fall; and Manbij is next. [..]
Fighting between SDF & Turkey-allied militias starts in Azaz. [..]
Anti-Assad militia organizations open new front in northern Hama. [..]
Syrian forces including Iraqi militiamen burn down 12 houses in Deir Ez-Zor revenge attack. [..]
Russian airstrike kills 12 anti-Assad militia members in East Ghouta. [..]
Philippines: Daesh Arab terrorists reported moving toward Marawi. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Council of Representatives
Wednesday, CoR speaker Salim Al-Jubouri confirmed that the budget bill has become a ratified law after it was voted on by the CoR. He noted that “veto” method of rejection does not exist in the Iraqi constitution and cannot be used as a method of rejection. He clarified that “the CoR is not concerned with presenting the budget law project again or to conduct any vote on any of its paragraphs, as once it was voted in, it must be taken into consideration by proceeding with normal procedures of publishing.” [Rudaw]
DaeshDaily comment. We concede that the constitutional provision (Article 70C) is a bit vague, but the President has the “power” to “ratify and issue the laws” passed by the CoR. So a bill is not ratified merely by being passed. The dictionary gives “approve” as a synonym for “ratify.” The lack of a clear veto provision would not seem to render the power to ratify meaningless. We seem to recall instances in which Talabani withheld initial approval. Maybe a constitutional lawyer among our readers would like to weigh in.
Wednesday, an Al-Iraqiya leader, Haider Al-Mulla attacked the recent decisions of the Accountability and Justice Commission, which he says have harmed society and robbed the state of some of its most competent people. He said that “we bitterly followed the joke called “Law 72” of 2017, which mandates the seizure and confiscation of the movable and immovable money of the former regime’s senior members, and confiscating properties. He stressed the need to transfer the case to the judicial system. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. As we commented on the original story, some of those affected by the Commission’s decisions are citizens in the Tikrit area who have not been charged with crimes.
Iraqi Minister of the Interior, Qassem Al-Aaraji confirmed the re-opening of the Erbil and Suleimaniya airports to international flights in accordance with the Iraqi law, noting that airports are under the exclusive authority of the federal government, and there is “great cooperation” between the KRG and the two airports’ administrations with Baghdad.
Al-Aaraji also said that Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi ordered that the Kurdistan Region’s employees’ salaries be disbursed before the Nawroz holidays. [Rudaw]
Wednesday, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met with Al-Aaraji to discuss the developments in the dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad and the decision to re-open the two KRG airports. Both expressed the hope that this step rebuilds confidence between Erbil and Baghdad and will be followed by additional steps such as disbursing employee salaries and resolving other issues. [Buratha]
Wednesday, Vice President Ayad Allawi said that the decision to lift the ban on the Erbil and Suleimaniya airports is a “positive step,” adding that “this step crowns the efforts and initiatives that aimed to resolve the dispute in accordance with the constitution.” Allawi said “the next steps must be directed towards resolving the Kurdistan Region’s employees’ salaries file as fast as possible” to be followed by other steps to come to final solutions. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, the Kurdish National Unity Bloc in the CoR also described PM Haider Al-Abadi’s decision to re-open the Erbil and Suleimaniya airports as “a positive step towards resolving outstanding issues,” inviting Al-Abadi to take additional steps to further reduce tensions such as providing the salaries of the Kurdistan Region’s employees. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, KDP leader Masoud Barzani said that “the decision to lift the ban on the airports is a good step, but the problems between Erbil and Baghdad are not limited to the airports and budget issues,” but are historic, political, national, humanitarian, economic, and constitutional. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. The statement is generally true, but it will be said by many, though not the KDP leader, that many of these problems were caused and exacerbated over many years by Masoud Barzani.
Wednesday, head of the KDP bloc in the CoR, Arafat Karram reiterated the KRG’s commitment to any agreement between Baghdad and Ankara in regard to the war on terrorism, as defense is under the authority of the federal government. He noted that the Kurdistan Region is part of Iraq, and any agreement must be preceded by a dialogue between Erbil and Bagdad so that it does not adversely affect the Kurds, also noting the Peshmerga’s interest in this as they are part of the Iraqi security system. [Sumaria]
Security-related incidents reported
North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)
Wednesday, the BOC announced that it targeted a 3-member terrorist group in the Baghdadi area in north Baghdad with an airstrike, killing 2 of them, while the third escaped. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, a military source in the Anbar Ops Command announced that a large-scale operation has been launched to clear the desert towards the Syrian border and Saudi Arabian border. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says security units captured in Ramadi city Saleh Al-Mi’mari, aka Abu Rasoul Al-Ansari, a senior Daesh doctor who fled Mosul after the liberation war ended there. The doctor had appeared in several Daesh publications in Mosul.
A DaeshDaily source says an Iraqi Army captain and four other soldiers were killed when Daesh targeted their vehicle with an RPG rocket in the Haditha desert.
Wednesday, a security source in Anbar reported that two civilians were wounded due to a hand grenade thrown by unknown assailants at a house in Al-Dolab in Hit. Initial investigations indicate the attack is related to an old tribal conflict. [BasNews]
Wednesday, a source in the Anbar Ops Command reported that two Daesh vehicles were destroyed in a Coalition airstrike in the western desert in Rutba, killing all passengers. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, a military source in Anbar reported that troops of the Anbar Ops Command located a Daesh tunnel in the Rutba desert. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says Coalition planes killed 4 Daesh terrorists near the Shirqat Cement Factory. The source says the planes supported Iraqi Army units who were searching the area after getting information that a group of terrorists sneaked in from the Tilul Al-Baj area to the west.
Wednesday, the Security Media Center stated that 6 suspects were arrested in connection with the death of Gen. Sharif Ismail at a Sadrist militia checkpoint in Samarra. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, a security source reported that Muqtada Al-Sadr sent a delegation to Samarra to look into the death of General Ismail, reported from an armed clash with Sadr’s Saraya Al-Salam militia. This followed Al-Abadi’s orders that the incident be investigated. [Sumaria]
Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)
Wednesday evening, a security source in Salahuddin reported that Daesh terrorists attacked a security unit in Tal Al-Thahab in southern Balad district (or south), which led to the death of security members and wounding of three others. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, Diyala CoR representative Ra’ad Almas called for an urgent meeting after two members of the Bani Tamim tribe were killed on Tuesday by a criminal gang. He added the incident has created tension and concern among the residents, who fear the situation will erupt at any moment. [Sumaria]
Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)
Wednesday, Diyala CoR representative Furat Al-Tamimi announced the death of five border police members, including two officers, in a trap set by Daesh on the Mandali-Balad Ruz road near the Karkoush military base, the second trap of its kind in March. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, chairman of the subdistrict Security Committee, Haider Sattar Al-Mandalawi, confirmed that Daesh killed the three border policemen whom they abducted and disposed of the bodies 1 km from the incident location. Al-Mandalawi had reported on Wednesday evening that two border policemen were killed and three others were abducted in a Daesh terrorist attack in Mandali. [Ghad]
Wednesday, leader in the Arab Project in Kirkuk, Abdulrahman Munshid Al-Assi, announced their rejection of forming a joint ops command with representatives of the Peshmerga in mixed areas, and asked Al-Abadi to maintain central government and security forces supervision in Kirkuk. [Sumaria]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
Wednesday, a source in the PMF reported that 11 Daesh terrorists were killed in a PMF and IFP trap in Wadi Umm Al-Khanajer in Riyadh. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says PMF units killed 7 Daesh terrorists who were hiding in a house that belonged to a displaced person in Sadouniya village. The source says two PMF fighters were killed in the clashes.
Wednesday, the PMF stated that it found a grave containing 6 bodies at the Bakara base in Hawija, all people executed by Daesh. [Sumaria]
Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)
Daesh says it destroyed an Iraqi Army SUV with an IED near Al-Murra village, south of Daquq, killing the soldiers inside. [ICDNMar14]
Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi arrived in Ninewa for the public celebration of the grand reopening of the Old Bridge.
His office announced that Al-Abadi issued several orders aimed at improving the security and stability of the Ninewa governorate during a meeting with security and military commanders of the Ninewa Ops Command. [Sumaria] [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source sent us photos and videos of bodies that were found by local residents in Hay Al-Maidan, in west Mosul. The source says the bodies might belong to Daesh members who were executed by Iraqi troops months ago.
A DaeshDaily source says a senior Badr commander was killed with 4 of his associates in a Daesh ambush near Saqqar village, near Baaj. The source says the commander was on his way back from Syria.
Wednesday, Gorran CoR representative Sarwa Abdulwahid announced that the Erbil Police issued an arrest warrant for her following her criticisms of officials in the governorate. She added that the decision “demonstrates political bankruptcy after the failure of the referendum.” [Sumaria]
Wednesday, an eyewitness in Sidekan in northern Kurdistan, Mahdi Daoud, told Sumaria that 4 Turkish planes targeted a PKK location in an area of the Sidekan subdistrict in Erbil for over an hour. [Sumaria]
Wednesday, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for his efforts to reduce the tensions between Erbil and Baghdad, reiterating that one of his priorities is to reinforce the relations and friendship between France and the Kurdistan Region. [Rudaw]
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told local administration officials in Ankara that “we search for terrorist cells in northern Iraq at every chance” and that “soon we will obliterate the terrorists there.” [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. If only they hadn’t let so many of them into Turkey. They could maybe have obliterated them there too.
Wednesday, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said the EU proposed the allocation of a further 3 billion Euros ($3.7 billion) for supporting over 3 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey, as part of a refugee deal signed in 2016. “Of that, 1 billion Euros should come from the EU budget and 2 billion Euros should be contributed by member states,” Avramopoulos added. [ZamanAlWasl]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
Wednesday, Bashar Al-Assad received PM Haider Al-Abadi’s envoy and National Security Advisor, Faleh Al-Fayyad. Al-Fayyad stressed that resuming the war on terrorism by both the Iraqi and Syrian people is essential to re-stabilizing the region as a whole.
Al-Assad said that despite “great achievements” in Iraq and Syria, the “US, its allies, and collaborators in the region have not given up their plans to weaken and divide the region by continuing to provide material support and political cover to armed organizations,” according to official Syrian media. He added that “this requires intensifying and unifying the efforts of the countries standing up to these plans and seeking to maintain their unity and bring back security and stability to the region.” [BasNews]
Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon accused Russia of being responsible for the crimes committed by the Syrian government in eastern Ghouta. “We urge Russia to stop creating distractions and compel the Assad regime to stop brutalizing innocent Syrian citizens and allow much-needed aid to reach the people of Eastern Ghouta and other remote areas,” Pahon said. “By enabling the Assad regime’s brutality, Russia is morally complicit and responsible for Assad’s atrocities,” Pahon added. [Dorar]
Wednesday, Dorar reported that Russia warned the US for the third time in the last 24 hours about striking Syrian Army positions in Damascus. In a statement released on Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “As always, the US will attract the global community’s attention to civilian sufferings and civilian victims.” “Under this pretext, the US-led coalition may use force, particularly attacking the Syrian capital,” Lavrov said, adding that he hoped “such irresponsible plans will not be realized.” [Dorar]
DaeshDaily comment. The several repetitions of this theme over several days suggest that the Russians were in fact worried that the US would attack Syrian positions in the East Ghouta area, using the chemical weapons issue as justification.
Wednesday, Zaman Al-Wasl reported that the Foreign Ministers of the guarantor states of the “de-escalation zones” agreement in Syria—Russia, Iran and Turkey—will meet in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana on March 16. [ZamanAlWasl]
DaeshDaily comment. What de-escalation zones? And what is the difference in this context between a “guarantor” and a “conspirator,” if any?
Wednesday, Iranian news agency “Holy Defense” reported that 5 members of the Afghani “Fatemiyoun Brigade,” affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, died in battle against Daesh in Syria, without specifying where they were killed. [Dorar]
Wednesday, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said he “hopes that Afrin will have completely fallen by Wednesday evening,” according to Reuters. He also reiterated that in the Turkish-led operation, the utmost care is being taken to avoid harming civilians. He also pointed out that civilians are being evacuated from the city through a special corridor. “We will clear Afrin of terrorists, clear Manbij, and east of the Euphrates River to our border with northern Iraq, we will rid the terrorists from all of them the same way,” he added. [Dorar]
Wednesday, Dorar reported that the Turkey-allied Syrian militias captured a town and 10 villages in Afrin, following clashes with the YPG. According to the “Olive Branch” operations room, “the Turkish Army and the “Free Syrian Army” are now 600 m away from Afrin city.” [Dorar]
Wednesday, Qasioun reported that the Turkey-allied Syrian militias captured Al-Ghazawiya and Shadir villages west of Afrin city. A number of YPG soldiers were reportedly killed and wounded during the clashes. [Qasioun]
Wednesday, Qasioun reported that the Turkey-allied Syrian militias captured the villages of Al-Yabisa in Bulbul and Kuran in Jinderes, following violent clashes with the YPG. [Qasioun]
Wednesday, Hawar reported that a YPG operation in Badina village in Rajo subdistrict killed 10 members of the Turkish Army. [Hawar]
Tuesday, pro-YPG Hawar reported that 25 members of the Turkish Army as well as 46 of its allied militias were killed during clashes with the YPG in Shara, Jinderes, Maabatli, Bulbul, and Rajo. [Hawar]
Wednesday, Dorar reported that 8 members of the pro-Syrian government “Public Forces” militia were killed, and 6 others wounded in Turkish airstrikes on Al-Harsh checkpoint separating Nubl, 11 miles east of Afrin city, from Al-Zahra’a. [Dorar]
Tuesday, according to military sources, Anadolu reported that a Turkish soldier was killed by a bomb that the terrorists planted between pages of the Holy Quran in a village in Sheikh Hadid subdistrict. [Anadolu]
Wednesday, according to Reuters, a Syrian forces leader said that the Shia militias in Nubl and Al-Zahra’a towns in Afrin shelled Turkish positions in Mare’ city in Azaz in response to the Turkish airstrike that killed 8 members of those militias. [EnabBaladi]
Wednesday, SOHR reported that clashes broke out between Turkey-allied militias and the SDF in Maraanaz in Aziz, accompanied by mutual shelling, without any reports of casualties. [SyriaHR]
Northeast (No reports)
Central and West
Wednesday, Qasioun reported that Syrian opposition factions have launched a new military operation, code-named “Anger for Ghouta,” in rural northern Hama, in order to alleviate the Syrian forces’ military pressure on Eastern Ghouta. The factions participating in the operation are Jaish Al-Izza, the Fighting Salvation Front, Jaish Al-Shaab, the Syrian Liberation Front, Jaish Al-Ahrar, the 1st Infantry Division, Tajammu’ Ahl Al-Sham, Regiment 111 and Shuhada’ Al-Tremseh Martyrs Brigade. “Anger for Ghouta” has reportedly captured the small city of Karnaz, north of Hama, following fierce battles with the Syrian forces, killing and wounding several members of the Syrian forces. [Qasioun]
Wednesday, SOHR reported that violent clashes are still ongoing between the Syrian forces and opposition factions in the villages of Hamamiyat, Zalin, Karnaz, Buraidij and Al-Mugheer in northern Hama, following the latter’s attack on the Syrian forces’ positions as part of the “Anger for Ghouta” battle. The clashes are accompanied by violent mutual shelling, SOHR added, with reports of casualties on both sides. According to SOHR, the opposition factions have captured the northern neighborhood of the small city of Karnaz and most of Hamamiyat village. [SyriaHR]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Deir Ez-Zor District
A DaeshDaily source says government forces and Iraqi militias burned down 12 houses and arrested several young men in Muhasan town after a Nujaba’ Movement fighter was killed in an IED explosion that targeted his vehicle.
Albu Kamal District
A DaeshDaily source says two SDF fighters were killed and civilian houses destroyed when government forces targeted Gharanij with rockets.
Wednesday, Qasioun reported that intermittent clashes broke out between Daesh and the SDF in Hajin in rural eastern Deir Ez-Zor. Meanwhile, Daesh carried out several attacks on the Syrian forces’ positions in the vicinity of Albu Kamal, Al-Qom, and Muaizila, without any reports of causalities.
Meanwhile, the SDF has reportedly released 12 Daesh family members who were arrested while they were fleeing Hajin and heading to the desert. [Qasioun]
Daesh publishes photos of the results of “American” bombing on Al-Sha’afa village. [ICDNMar14]
DaeshDaily comment. The photos don’t show civilian casualties, which means that the target was actually not occupied by civilians; i.e. it was a military target.
Wednesday, SOHR reported that 12 members of Failaq Al-Rahman, including two senior leaders, were killed in a Russian airstrike on East Ghouta. [Hawar]
Wednesday, Qasioun reported 3 civilians were killed, and others were wounded in Syrian airstrikes on Kafr Batna and Haza in East Ghouta. [Qasioun]
Wednesday, Enab Baladi reports that the Syrian forces are launching a ground attack on the outskirts of East Ghouta’s towns of Jisreen, Arbin, Hamouriya and Saqba under the cover of heavy artillery and rocket shelling. [EnabBaladi]
An Enab Baladi correspondent reported that the Red Crescent Society evacuated a second group of people, including 25 wounded, from opposition-held areas in East Ghouta, under a medical evacuation agreement reached between the Syrian government and the Jaish Al-Islam last Monday under UN auspices. [EnabBaladi]
Daesh published a photo of two Syrian soldiers it killed in Hay Al-Qadam. Daesh says it killed 40 soldiers so far in the ongoing battles in the area. [ICDNMar14]
Daesh publishes photos of setting cigarette boxes on fire south of Damascus. [ICDNMar14]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
Daesh says it destroyed an Egyptian Army armored personnel carrier with an IED near the Al-Ghaz Security Barrier, south of Arish, killing the soldiers inside. [ICDNMar14]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Daesh says it killed a policeman in Bosaso city on Tuesday. [ICDNMar14]
According to intelligence reports, including the CIA and Australian, dozens of Daesh terrorists of Moroccan and other Arabic nationalities have been heading to Marawi in southern Philippines using forged documents, and the last group joining them is led by an extremist called “Abul Bara’a.” [Sumaria]
Daesh publishes photos of executing two Afghan soldiers and a “spy” in Nangarhar. [ICDNMar14]
Daesh says it killed a pro-government militiaman in clashes in the Bandar area, in Achin. [ICDNMar14]
Reuters reports that on Wednesday at least 7 people were killed and 18 others wounded by an explosion that targeted a police checkpoint near Lahore, according to a spokesman of the rescue teams, Jam Sajjad Hussein. A police source, Haider Ashraf, said the incident happened during a shift change in the checkpoint set up in front of a religious gathering with 80,000 participants. [Sumaria]
Daesh published a photo of Easa Fazili, aka Abu Yehia Al-Kashmiri, standing and raising his index finger in the usual Daesh fashion. [ICDNMar14]
DaeshDaily comment. This worrisome news. This video shows that thousands of angry people participated in Fazili’s funeral in Srinagar. This means that Daesh has succeeded in becoming part of a very long struggle in Kashmir, and it might be able to recruit thousands of people in Kashmir. We published two Kashmir stories on Monday. The issue over control of Kashmir has always been between India and Pakistan, and that is an opening for Daesh to present itself as the protector of Muslims.