April 23, 2018
14 convicted Saddam officials still in jail, some with death sentences. [..]
Reported secret deal would switch President position to a Sunni Arab, Speaker position to a Kurd. [..]
Christian leader alleges minority voters being intimidated by militias. [..]
IHEC Chairman says May 12 results will be announced within hours instead of days. [..]
Two Iraq ministries will be consolidated. [..]
UAE commits $50 million to rebuild two war-destroyed Mosul mosques. [..]
16 PMFs killed by Daesh attack near Rawa. [..]
Gunmen kidnap a police officer in Basra. [..]
Ambassador Silliman dedicates new US consulate building in Erbil. [..]
Daesh leadership controversy causes internal violence in Syria. [..]
Syrian democratic opposition leader criticizes withdrawal of US support. [..]
Guterres laments UN inability to solve the Syria crisis. [..]
Syrian government forces take significant casualties in effort to control Homs, Hama. [..]
Syrian Army medical team killed in Mayadin. [..]
Coalition airstrikes reported hitting Syrian troops and Daesh in same town. [..]
Syrian forces, Daesh in major battles in and near Damascus. [..]
Canada. Toronto truck attack kills 10 pedestrians; may not be terrorism-connected. [..]
France. Macron has a plan to remove Assad from power. [..]
Afghanistan. Daesh suicide-bombs a voter registration center; kills 57, wounds over 100. [..]
Daesh spokesman calls supporters to intensified violence; threatens Iraq voters. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
14 Iraqi officials from Saddam Hussein’s regime are still in jail 15 years after the US-led invasion. The International Coalition had an original list of 55 wanted persons, of whom 5 were executed, 6 killed, and 16 released prior to 2011. Remaining prisoners include Sultan Hashim Ahmed, the former Defense Minister, who was sentenced to death but whose sentence has not been carried out, and mid-level Ba’ath Party and army officials. Badi Arif, a lawyer who follows the cases of some of the prisoners, said that most were in Nasiriya Prison in southern Iraq, and that their detention conditions were very bad. Most of the prisoners have been sentenced to death, although there are exceptions such as Hala, Saddam Hussein’s daughter, who has been held without trial since 2003. Arif said that he expected the prisoners would remain in prison until they died, since human rights organizations seemed disinclined to do anything about their situation. [Arabi21]
The Secretary-General for the Islamic Union of Iraqi Turkmen, the MP Jassem Muhammad Ja’afar Al-Bayati, revealed on Monday a behind-the-scenes political movement to make Barham Salih the Speaker of the Council of Representatives and give the President position to the Sunni Arabs. Al-Bayati said that the proposed secret agreement would involve nominating a Kurdish candidate as Speaker, then a Sunni Arab as President, and then a Shia Prime Minister. [Sumaria]
CoR member Joseph Sylawa said that militias and armed factions are persecuting and intimidating Christians, both in the Ninewa plan and in southern Iraq. “The big parties in Iraq are trying to swallow the seats set aside for the Christians, the Shabak, and the Turkmen, in order to control the power of these groups,” Sylawa said. “The practices of these parties are against moral and democratic values. . . . We are not afraid of the big parties when they are genuinely democratic and support Christians within the party, only of extremist religious and nationalist parties that are trying to silence the Chaldean – Syriac – Assyrian [people].” [Rudaw]
The head of the Independent High Electoral Commission, Dr. Riadh Al-Badran, said on Monday that election results will be announced within hours of when the polling places close, thanks to the new electronic voting system. Badran said, “The results will be announced within hours rather than days.” He also said that “The new system greatly reduces the possibility of vote tampering.” He added that the Iraqi government has a $135 million contract with the Korean company Mero Systems for the electronic system, which includes about 70,000 devices. [Rudaw]
Qais Al-Khazali, leader of the pro-Iran Asa’eb Ahl Al-Haq (AAH) PMF said on Monday that the government is “still deficient” with regards to the rights of PMF fighters. In a tweet, Al-Khazali called on the government to install PMF members in the security services on an equal footing with their peers. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. This sounds like a minor political story, but has large implications. The PMF– leaders–turned–politicians continue to present themselves as the champions of the PMFs, in part by promoting equal pay and status with the regular Army. That sounds like it’s just politics. However, if the militia leaders (especially the pro-Iran leaders of the major militias) can install PMF personnel in decision-making positions, this would tip political control of the Army to parties working for Iran. The larger implication is that this is a political assault on Al-Abadi, who has kept these major militias somewhat at bay but desperately needs to reduce their influence. If the Fatah Al-Mubin alliance of the PMF leaders can defeat Al-Abadi and win the election, the direction of their leadership, as reflected in Mr. Al-Kazali’s tweet, is toward a pro-Iran military establishment.
An intelligence source said on Monday that the Daesh second-in-command had been killed by the most recent Iraqi airstrike targeting Daesh headquarters in Syria. The Iraqi Air Force, in coordination with their Syrian counterparts, had targeted a meeting of Daesh leaders inside Syrian territory. The Center for Security Information said that the strike killed 36 Daesh members, including Abu Luqman, who had been responsible for recruiting suicide bombers and smuggling them into Iraq. [Sumaria] [Baghdadia]
The Supreme Court announced death sentences on Monday for two terrorists, one of whom participated in the attack on the Ministry of Justice in 2013. The Court’s spokesman, Judge Abd Al-Sattar Birqdar, said in a statement that the two convicted had carried out several terrorist operations, including the car bombing in question. The other defendant had worked in a Daesh sharia court and previously belonged to the Jaish Al-Mujahidin. [Sumaria]
The Central Criminal Court sentenced two Daesh-affiliated defendants to life imprisonment on Monday. A judicial source said that the two were arms and explosives smugglers, and were also responsible for transporting fighters and suicide bombers. The defendants, a young man and his father, confirmed that they had taken a loyalty oath [to a Daesh leader]. [Ghad]
The Times (of London) reported that a team of British architects will conduct a course to train Yazidi women to document genocide sites. Jonathan Morrison, architecture correspondent for The Times, wrote that the British-based architects will train Yazidi women to document genocide sites in Iraq using kites and helium balloons. The project will document the sites of mass killings and rapes in Sinjar, enabling researchers to produce 3-dimensional models and correlate them with the testimonies of survivors in preparation for the prosecution of Daesh defendants. This is the first attempt to create a permanent record of these atrocities through aerial photography. [BasNews]
A source in the Iraqi government said that an order had been issued to dissolve the Ministry of Science and Technology and maintain a smaller body within the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. According to Iraqi media, the order includes the transfer of the existing Ministry’s employees to the directorates of pensions, taxes, and excise, and will be implemented before the end of term of the current government. [BasNews]
DaeshDaily comment. This appears to be part of the Prime Minister’s effort to consolidate government functions and reduce the number of ministries, which in turn will reduce the opportunities for corruption.
Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi said during a meeting with a Viennese MP that he has plans for the reconstruction, investment, and job creation stages. In a statement, Al-Abadi’s media office said that Al-Abadi had received an MP from the city of Vienna and a member of its Municipal Council, Omar Al-Rawi, originally from Iraq, and discussed how to benefit from their experience in urban planning and services delivery in Vienna. [Rudaw]
On Monday, Iraq and the UAE reached an agreement about the reconstruction of Al-Nuri Al-Kabir Mosque and Al-Hadba’ Mosque in Mosul, which were destroyed during the battles to expel Daesh. UAE Minister of Culture Noura Al-Ka’abi announced during a ceremony at the National Museum in Baghdad that the UAE would finance $50.4 million worth of construction work in a 5-year project. [Rudaw]
Security-related incidents reported
North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)
Daesh said it killed a National Security Service member with an IED in the Sheikh Hamad area, north of Taji, on Thursday. [ICDNApr21]
West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)
Baghdad Ops Command announced on Monday that it had discovered 16 IEDs and arrested four suspects in different regions of the capital. In a statement, the Command said that security units under the Baghdad Ops Command had carried out a search in west Baghdad, Karkh in central Baghdad, and other areas resulting in finding 16 IEDs and detonating 3 explosive devices left behind by Daesh.
The Security Information Center announced on Monday that 12 rockets had been dismantled and 2 wanted men arrested in Anbar. The Center spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Rasul, said in a statement that security forces under Eastern Anbar Ops Command had arrested 2 wanted men after taking control of the Abu Ghraib road. He added that they had also dismantled 12 homemade rockets and 4 missiles around Saqra, west of Haditha. [Ghad]
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Anbar Police units captured 4 Daesh members, including a hisbah official, in Qarma. The source says local residents reported the terrorists.
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that three PMF fighters were killed in a Daesh ambush near Haditha. Daesh detonated an IED on their vehicle, then shot and killed the wounded fighters.
Anah (including Rawa)
A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that Daesh used the bad weather conditions to attack PMF units near Rawa. The source said 16 PMF fighters were killed and 4 captured in the attack. Daesh also stole large quantities of weapons and ammunition.
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that a man was killed in his house in Rawa by armed men in local police vehicles. The source said the man’s brother is a senior Daesh security official and was responsible for killing many security personnel before the liberation.
A security source from Anbar Ops Command announced on Monday that its forces had destroyed 3 Daesh tunnels along the Iraq-Syria border. The source, who asked not to be named, said that the 25th Regiment of the Anbar police had detonated 40 IEDs found within the tunnels as well as the tunnels themselves, and added that security forces were working to secure all the desert areas of Anbar. [BasNews] [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that a civilian was killed and his brother severely wounded when a Daesh leftover IED exploded on them on a farm near the Akashat Compound along the Syria border.
The chairman of the subdistrict council, Muhammad Dhaifan Al-Obeidi, announced on Monday that Daesh had destroyed 30 wells, and also stole all of the pumps and electric transformers in 2014, during its control of Shirqat. Al-Obeidi said that the council formed a committee to count the number of artesian wells destroyed during Daesh control of the area.” [Sumaria]
Daesh said on Sunday that it wounded four SWAT members and destroyed their SUV with an IED in Abu Qarma village, in the Al-Waqf area. [ICDNApr22]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
Diyala Ops Commander, Lieutenant General Mizhar Al-Azzawi, said on Monday that security on the border with Salahuddin province is under control. Al-Azzawi said that the border area has been placed under security measures to prevent activity by any Daesh cells. [Sumaria]
On Monday, The Kirkuk provincial administration denied that Rakan Al-Jubouri, the Governor, requested that the US form a joint military operations room with PM Haider Al-Abadi, stressing that Al-Abadi is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Al-Jubouri’s media office issued a press release blaming the spread of this information on social media. [Sumaria]
Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, Taza, etc.)
Daesh said it destroyed an IFP machine gun-mounted vehicle with an IED near Al-Mirbat village, west of Rashad, on Sunday, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. [ICDNApr23]
A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that security units found a Daesh weapons cache hidden in a grave in the New Mosul neighborhood in west Mosul, using information obtained from a captured terrorist.
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Emergency Police units defused 12 Daesh leftover IEDs and confiscated 25 SPG9 rockets in Hay Al-Shifa’ (Al-Shifa’ neighborhood), in west Mosul.
The Ninewa Police said on Monday that a village leader in Badoush, in northwest Mosul, was killed and his wife seriously injured by gunmen. Captain Salaam Mahmoud said that unidentified gunmen broke into the village leader’s house and shot him and his wife with light arms. Security forces surrounded the town to search for the attackers. The injured woman was taken for hospital treatment. [BasNews]
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that security units defused 3 IEDs on the main road in Hay Al-Ma’moun, in southwest Mosul. The source said the IEDs had been planted by a Daesh member in the area. The source said the terrorist had been captured by security units earlier but was released because of his tribal connections.
The Ninewa Criminal Court announced on Monday that it had received the confessions of two Daesh terrorists, one of whom worked as a security official for the court and the other as a Mosul weapons supplier. The Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Salim Badrani, said that security forces had arrested one defendant in possession of a “pile” of various weapons, and that he had admitted to forming two terrorist groups to destabilize the security situation in Mosul. [Baghdadia]
The Center for Security Information announced on April 23rd the arrest of one of the “Daesh wives” in Mosul. The Center’s spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Rasul, said in a statement that military intelligence detachments from the 20th Brigade had arrested her as she was trying to flee from Mosul to the north. She was the wife of a Daesh leader who had been killed during the fighting [for Mosul] and will be charged in accordance with Article 4/1 (terrorism). [Baghdadia]
Mosul subdistrict/ Hammam Al-Alil/Shura
The Center for Security Information announced on Monday the discovery of a factory for manufacturing IEDs in the Shura subdistrict of Mosul. General Yahya Rasul said in a statement that “Military intelligence detachments from the 20th Division found a factory in Shura . . . containing iron smelters, 30 molds for IED production, another for the manufacture of 82mm mortar rounds, as well as 4 kg of explosives and a large quantity of iron.” [Ghad]
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that tribal PMF units found 50 bodies in mass grave in Um Al-Batt village. The source said the bodies belonged to civilians executed by Daesh, including women.
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that IFP units killed 3 Daesh Iraqi terrorists in a search in Khadhra village.
Western Ninewa (No reports)
An Iraqi military source said on Monday that unidentified gunmen carjacked a police officer in Basra and forced him to drive to an unknown location at gunpoint. Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Khalaf of the Iraqi Army said that masked gunmen driving a civilian car had intercepted the police officer’s car in the Al-Jineina area, and that the Basra Ops Command had begun searching for him. This incident comes one day after the Basra Governor, Asaad Al-Eidani, held a press conference to announce the arrest of an armed group responsible for kidnappings in the province. [Anadolu]
The Security Committee of the Basra Provincial Council announced on Monday that a civilian had been killed by a land mine explosion. The Chairman of the Committee, Jabbar Al-Sa’adi, said that the explosion was caused by a leftover landmine in the Al-Salamah border area in the Shatt Al-Arab District. [Sumaria]
The US Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Silliman, on Monday inaugurated the project to build a new US consulate in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in cooperation with the KRG. The US opened a diplomatic office in Erbil for the first time in 2007, which was developed into a consulate after 4 years. US companies will build the new consulate on the site of the current offices, in the Ankawa area adjoining the city. [BasNews]
A local source in northern Erbil province, who did not wish to be identified, said that he saw an explosion at Tal Lilkan, where Turkish troops were stationed. He said that the explosion occurred while Turkish troops were coming down a hill, and that it killed at least 3 of them. [Roj]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
Major Daesh leadership split
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh appointed Abu Fatima Al-Tunisi as its military commander for Syria. The former commander, Abdullah Mu’ijil, was killed by a Coalition airstrike in the Dashisha area near the Iraq border. However, Daesh members are dissatisfied with the new appointment because the new commander has no battle reputation. The source said Syrian members wanted Abu Ayat, a Syrian commander. Tunisi is former Al-Qaeda member and had been an associate of Osama Bin Laden.
Murky media reports indicate that this reflects a major split. According to the Furat Post network, the Daesh governing committee split on whether to nominate Al-Tunisi as the successor to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, at the request of Western and foreign Daesh fighters. Sharp differences have extended to the Daesh ranks over the last few days, during which a number of clashes, killings, and arrests have affected Daesh fighters and leaders.
According to the same source, after breaking away from the “caliph,” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Abu Khalid Al-Tunisi, one of the leaders of the move to name a successor, was assassinated in a clash near his home, as retribution for the execution of a Baghdadi follower, a Moroccan national, in the village of Al-Sha’afa in Albu Kamal, on accusations of being a “Kharijite,” a term applied to Al-Baghdadi’s opponents. Al-Baghdadi’s supporters then declared a nighttime curfew, set up checkpoints, and began arresting civilians for unknown reasons.
The reported execution of 8 foreign Daesh fighters who opposed Al-Baghdadi also reveals these differences, which escalated when Al-Baghdadi’s supporters stormed a house in Al-Sha’afa. Foreign fighters reportedly retreated into a previously-dug tunnel and blew up the house, killing the Iraqi and Syrian fighters who carried out the raid. Further clashes between foreign fighters and Iraqi and Syrian fighters in the villages of Abu Khater and Al-Baqaan outside of Albu Kamal resulted in 7 dead on both sides.
As the conflict escalated, supporters of Al-Baghdadi issued a fatwa describing his opponents as “Kharijites,” accusing them of fighting them and stealing their women. This ruling was announced during Friday prayers in mosques in Al-Sha’afa and the city of Al-Susah. Sources report that Tunisian fighters with the “Kharijite” foreign fighters have said that Al-Baghdadi must either come to Albu Kamal or make a new video that addresses his followers, and there must be a new “caliph” if Al-Baghdadi is unable to do either. [Sumaria]
The Reuters news service published an interview with the head of the Syrian opposition negotiating team, Nasr Al-Hariri, on Friday. “The US cannot bear the consequences of withdrawing from Syria, as it has not achieved any of its objectives in the region,” he said. Responding to the comments of the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, that his country would send troops to Syria within the framework of a US-led coalition, Al-Hariri said that Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries still wanted a political solution, and that they had stopped providing military support to opposition fighters because of US policy. [Qasioun]
Hawar confirmed that Nasr Al-Hariri said that Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries had stopped providing military support to revolutionary factions. “Military support stopped at the end of last year, not by Saudi, Turkish, or Jordanian decisions … [This is] the decision of the United States of America.” [Hawar]
DaeshDaily comment. It is too easy to forget that while governments play big-power politics in Syria there are some distinguished Syrian citizens who continue to identify as the democratic opposition to Assad. We have too easily marginalized them because they could not raise a large-enough military force. The democratic political opposition was also connected to some of the opposition militias in the field, conceding that the political identification of opposition militias because impossibly complicated later. The US, UK, and Jordan worked with some of them, but they later got marginalized too in what looks, even in retrospect, like a concession to the Russians. They also got marginalized by the Saudi-supported Islamist militias whose sectarian extremism undermined their cause. It’s worth remembering that before Daesh came along to wipe out their gains, the armed Syrian opposition had taken large parts of Syria away from Assad.
At a time when it seems the US lacks a comprehensive strategy in Syria, maybe giving some attention to people like Mr. Al-Hariri and his colleagues would be a good thing. Instead of trying to advance our objectives by making short-term deals with scoundrels from inside and outside Syria, maybe we could think more long-range and give some role to the Syrians who care the most about their country.
The Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, admitted on Sunday that the UN had been unable to resolve the Syrian issue, and said that he believed the Cold War had returned. Guterres was taking part in an informal working meeting with Security Council representatives in southern Sweden. [Dorar]
The Russian Khmeimim base in Syria said that regime forces would have the full right to confront a Saudi military presence in Syria, if the Saudi military enters Syrian territory after the departure of US troops. The base expressed this via its unofficial social media presence. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. If the Russians succeeded in getting the US out of Syria, however, they wouldn’t care that much about the Saudis.
Northwest (No reports)
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh in the Dashisha area buried the body of Saher Al-Najah, a senior Daesh explosives expert, who was killed by a Coalition airstrike two days earlier.
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that two PYD members were killed and three others wounded when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle near Hasaka.
Raqqa (No reports)
Central and West
Responding to a question on social media about dealing with Idlib and its control by Tahrir Al-Sham, the Russian Khmeimim base said, “The local population must either expel the organization [Tahrir Al-Sham] or take responsibility for its survival in the area mentioned, which will face military solutions this year.” This comes two days after Turkey’s President Erdogan announced his intention to take control of Idlib, according to the Turkish channel “TRT”. [Dorar]
The Syrian Liberation Front, as well as the Saadiya Society, took control of the villages of Al-Habata and Blinta in western Aleppo, following fighting with the As-Sham Liberation Organization. This was the second day of such fighting in western Aleppo District. [Qasioun]
On Monday morning, regime helicopters dropped leaflets instructing residents to leave Homs and Hama. The leaflets contained “safe passage instructions” and claimed that bearing the leaflet would entitle the holders to pass army checkpoints and receive food and medical assistance. [Qasioun]
More than 17 fighters from regime and allied militia forces were killed early yesterday, following an ambush by opposition militia fighters near the village of Salim, near Al-Hamrat in northern Homs. Regime forces entered military positions near Salim and Quneitra villages, and were subsequently attacked. After that, over 30 airstrikes were carried out on both villages. [Qasioun]
The same media source reports that Syrian opposition forces repelled an attack by regime and allied militia forces in northern Homs and Hama, in fighting that lasted for hours. Several regime fighters were killed in heavy fighting, including heavy artillery and rocket fire, in addition to airstrikes on the village of Al-Hamrat that produced only material damage. Regime forces attacked the village of Qubbat Al-Kurdi, in southern Hama 28 miles northeast of Homs, which they had tried and failed to take for days. In the same period, a civilian was killed and others wounded by artillery fire in the Al-Zahabiya area in northern Homs. [Qasioun]
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh attacked Failaq Al-Sham near Kafr Nan, north of Homs, killing 24 fighters, including 6 commanders, and capturing vehicles, weapons, and large amounts of money before retreating.
A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group tortured a man to death north of Homs. The source says the man was a member of Jaish Al-Islam.
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that a group of 4 Daesh terrorists attacked a Syrian Army position near Mayadin city, killing 8 soldiers. The source said all four attackers were also killed.
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh destroyed a Syrian Army tank with a rocket near Mayadin, killing 5 soldiers, including a major.
Several regime personnel, including officers, were killed on Sunday. The regime’s media arm said that a medical officer, Ali Al-Ridha Mohammed, and the entire medical staff accompanying him, were killed in an ambush. Another officer, a lieutenant in the 11th division, was killed in another attack. [Dorar]
Daesh said on Saturday that it killed or wounded several Syrian soldiers and destroyed a truck loaded with weapons and a bulldozer in an ambush west of Mayadin city. It also said it destroyed a Syrian Army tank with a rocket. [ICDNApr21]
Albu Kamal District
Coalition airstrikes killed several Assad regime fighters on Monday in around the town of Abu Hasan in Albu Kamal, near Hajin. Regime forces also shelled the town of Al-Sha’afa. Similarly, several other regime fighters were killed on Sunday in airstrikes as they attempted to establish control of a hill in Al-Bahra village near Hajin. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. This is obviously a major story, but the lack of context and the uncertain media source make us inclined to get some verification before making conclusions about it. Some of our hesitation comes from the report below on a Coalition airstrike against Daesh, but in the same village.
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Coalition planes killed or wounded 20 Daesh terrorists in an airstrike near Abu Hasan village. The source says Daesh terrorists were gathering to execute a Syrian soldier when they were targeted by the airstrike.
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that Syrian Army and supporting Iraqi militia units destroyed and looted houses in Albu Kamal city.
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that six civilians, including three women, were killed in a Syrian Army rocketing of Al-Sha’afa village. The source said the army is targeting the village indiscriminately. The source also said there are around 100 Daesh terrorists who refuse to allow civilians to leave the village, in an apparent human shields tactic. The source said the terrorists are occupying civilian houses and don’t have stationary locations.
A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that 4 soldiers, including an officer, were killed by a Daesh attack on a Syrian Army road barrier near Sukkariya.
Daesh said on Saturday it targeted 2 Syrian Army positions in Al-Sukkariya and Al-Ashayer villages with 2 SPG9 rockets. [ICDNApr21]
Daesh said on Sunday it again targeted Syrian Army positions in Al-Ashayer village, with 6 mortars. [ICDNApr22]
Daesh said on Saturday it destroyed a Syrian Army position in Al-Ghabra village with an SPG9 rocket. Daesh published photos of the attack. [ICDNApr21]
Daesh said on Sunday it targeted a Syrian Army position near Albu Kamal with an SPG9 rocket. [ICDNApr22] Daesh published photos on Monday of targeting a Syrian position with an SPG9. [ICDNApr23]
A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that 12 Syrian soldiers were killed, 7 captured, and 4 tanks destroyed in fighting near the Yarmouk Camp, south of Damascus. The source also said a senior Tahrir Al-Sham commander was killed. The source said Daesh members were fighting alongside Tahrir Al-Sham.
Daesh said it stopped a pro-government militias’ attack north of the Yarmouk Camp on Sunday, destroying a tank and killing 5 fighters. It also said it killed 16 government forces troops who had captured a building in the same area and forced the rest to flee. It also said it stopped a Syrian Army attack south of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, near Damascus, killing 10 soldiers. It said it stopped another attack on Hay Al-Qadam, killing 11 soldiers, wounding others, and forcing the rest to flee. [ICDNApr23]
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that a Syrian Army captain was killed when a roadside IED exploded on his vehicle near the Yarmouk Camp.
A DaeshDaily source said on Monday that government planes dropped thousands of leaflets on Daesh and Tahrir Al-Sham controlled areas in the Yarmouk Camp, and on Al-Hajar Al-Aswad 3 miles south of Damascus, demanding that they surrender.
Daesh said on Saturday it stopped a Syrian Army attack on Hay Al-Tadhamun, a neighborhood in south Damascus, killing 4 soldiers, including a commander, and wounding others. It also said it stopped a Syrian Army attack on Hay Al-Qadam, killing two soldiers, wounding others, and forcing the rest to flee. Daesh published photos of the results of the 2 attacks. [ICDNApr21]
Again on Monday, Daesh said it stopped a Syrian Army attack on Hay Al-Qadam, killing 25 soldiers and wounding others. It said it also stopped another attack on Hay Al-Tadhamun, killing 4 soldiers and wounding others. It also said it destroyed 2 Syrian Army tanks in the same area on Sunday. Daesh published photos and a video of the results of the attacks. [ICDNApr23]
Later on Monday, Daesh said it stopped another Syrian Army attack on Hay Al-Tadhamun, killing 9 soldiers, wounding another, and forcing the rest to retreat. [ICDNApr23]
A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that Daesh executed 12 government soldiers it had captured south of Damascus a day earlier. The source said government troops had executed a Daesh Iraqi leader in the same area.
Daesh issued a video on Monday of executing 2 Syrian soldiers in Hay Al-Qadam. [ICDNApr23]
A DaeshDaily source said on Saturday that a Syrian Ministry of Defense journalist was killed by a sniper in fighting south of Damascus.
Daesh said on Monday its snipers killed an opposition fighter in the town of Hait, northwest of Daraa city. [ICDNApr23]
The “Revolutionary Army” of the Southern Front in Daraa announced a prisoner exchange between the “Syrian Resistance” and the Daesh-affiliated Khaled Bin Al-Walid Army operating in Yarmouk Basin. Abu Bakr Al-Hassan, Revolutionary Army spokesperson, said that the agreement included the release of one prisoner from each side. [ZamanAlwasl]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
Daesh said on Saturday its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier east of Arish. [ICDNApr21]
Daesh said on Sunday it killed or wounded Egyptian soldiers, destroyed a bulldozer, and damaged another in clashes near the Rafah port. [ICDNApr22]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
A truck driver deliberately ran over pedestrians on the east side of Toronto on Monday. On Twitter, the police estimated between 8 and 10 injured. A subsequent police statement said that the driver was arrested within minutes. [Anadolu]
Update: The death toll was later set at 10, with 15 others injured. The perpetrator is a 25-year-old local resident and student whose motive has not been revealed, and no terrorism connection has been established to this point.
According to Russia Today (RT), a senior US State Department official said on Monday that the US would try to keep its reconstruction money from going to areas controlled by the Assad regime. The Wall Street Journal recently confirmed that President Trump ordered a freeze on $200 million worth of US spending in Syria. [Dorar]
Al-Rai reported that French President, Emmanuel Macron, has prepared a plan to remove Bashar Al-Assad from power. According to White House sources, Macron has a plan for forcing Al-Assad’s exit and imposing a political settlement with reconstruction funding from Western capitals as well as Arab countries, which he will reveal during his American visit. Macron will arrive in Washington today and meet with Trump on Tuesday. [Hawar]
The French newspaper Liberation published an article on Sunday questioning ties between the international cement company Lafarge, French intelligence agencies, and terrorist groups. An ongoing investigation alleges that the company was funding Daesh. The newspaper pointed out that Jean-Claude Veillard, the former security director of Lafarge, met with various French intelligence services on 33 occasions between 2012 and 2014, and it alleged that the meetings were really about intelligence on northern Syria, which was the real purpose of the Lafarge cement plant. Liberation wrote that although the investigation was initially concerned with Lafarge’s pursuit of profit, even to the extent of funding Daesh and disregarding its employees’ safety, its story shows that the French state was more concerned with intelligence-gathering all along. [Dorar]
At least 57 people were killed and over 100 wounded in a Daesh suicide bombing of a voter registration center in Kabul, raising questions about the ability of authorities to provide security for the upcoming parliamentary elections in October. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is under international pressure to hold elections this year, following previous postponements. A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said that 5 children and 21 women were counted among the dead, with the body count likely to rise. 119 were wounded, including at least 12 children and around 50 women. Kabul police chief General Daoud Amin said that the suicide bomber was targeting civilians who were seeking identity cards as part of their voter registration. [Ikhbaria]
A BBC report added that the blast hit the queue outside. Children were standing in line with their parents waiting to register when the bomb went off on Sunday morning. Voter registration began this month for legislative elections, which are due to take place in October. [BBC]
Daesh said on Sunday that one of its suicide terrorists attacked Shia at an election gathering in Kabul, killing 40 people and wounding more than 60. [ICDNApr22]
Daesh published on Monday a photo of the suicide terrorist, wearing a mask. [ICDNApr23]
DaeshDaily comment. As we anticipated a few weeks ago, based on Daesh articles in its Naba’ magazine, Daesh has escalated its attacks against Shia in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These attacks will continue, because they rhyme with the same anti-Shia propaganda employed by Daesh in other countries, derived from its adherence to the radical Saudi Wahhabi ideology. This propaganda is not only directed against Shia—Christians being among the others targeted—and the killings will continue as long as there is no real effort to stop them.
Daesh has threatened to target polling places during the upcoming elections, describing all participants as “kafir” (infidel). Daesh spokesman Abu Al-Hassan Al-Muhajir said in a speech on Monday, “All those who run as candidates or vote in the elections scheduled for May 12 will be a target.” He also threatened the Iraqi government, saying that if any woman belonging to Daesh is executed, there would be “rivers of blood.” Al-Muhajir went on to claim that Daesh was still active in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, and West Africa, and called on Daesh fighters to double down on attacks in Iran and Russia as a response to their forces in Syria and Iraq. [PUKMedia] [Shafaaq] [Hawar]
The leader of the “Kulna Iraq” [“We are all Iraq”] movement, Mahmoud Anwar, played down the threats to Iraq, saying that Daesh has largely ceased to exist in Iraq, and has only some remnants now pursued by the armed forces. He emphasized that the armed forces would safeguard the electoral process. [Hawar]
Daesh terrorists beheaded 3 brothers who all worked in medicine in the Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, according to the spokesman for the provincial governor. Atalluh Khojani, the spokesman, said that the incident occurred on Saturday evening. The victims’ father, who was also a doctor, was beheaded by Daesh last year. [Sumaria]
Daesh said it shot and killed a Taliban member in Khogyani, in Nangarhar, on Friday. [ICDNApr21]
Daesh said it killed three pro-government militiamen and wounded four others in an attack on their position in the Darzab area, in Jowzjan, on Thursday. [ICDNApr21]
Daesh published on Monday photos of its hisbah members destroying an opium farm in Kunar. [ICDNApr23]
Two men from the Hazara region were killed, and a third person injured, by gunfire in Quetta’s Western Bypass area on Sunday. Police sources said unknown miscreants opened fire and killed two people identified as Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Zaman. One person was wounded, the sources said. The injured man was rushed to Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta for treatment.
Police said the incident appeared to be a targeted attack. The assailants escaped unhurt. Police and other law enforcement personnel reached the spot as an investigation into the incident was initiated. [Dawn]
Daesh said on Sunday it killed three Shia “infidels” in an ambush in Quetta.
Daesh issued on Sunday an audio speech by its spokesman Abu Al-Hassan Al-Muhajir. He praised the “plowing” and stabbing attacks “on roads in London, Paris, and Manhattan.” He said there is no difference in fighting the troops of Khamenei, Hamas, (Palestinian president) Abbas, the Russians, the Americans, or the Europeans; however, the Arabs who oppose Daesh are bigger enemies.
He urged Daesh supporters to join its ranks, saying that Daesh is still fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, west Africa, Somalia, and elsewhere. He promised a big victory soon. He claimed that the US is not winning in Iraq or Syria, and it’s allowing Iran to have more influence. He said that there are still “soldiers” joining Daesh from all over the world. He asked Sunni people in Syria to support Daesh because it is their only defender. He threatened Shia in Iraq and Iran if any “Muslim woman” is executed.
Al-Muhajir ordered Daesh members to attack the Iraqi government, military, economic establishments, and media establishments. He also ordered Daesh terrorists to kill Sunni imams, speakers, and teachers who support the government. He threatened everyone who participates in the Iraqi election—voters, candidates, and workers. He also asked his followers to use the conflict between the US on one side and Russia and Iran on the other side to attack both sides. He also told Daesh members to remain alert on their mobile devices. [ICDNApr22] [ICDNApr22]
DaeshDaily comment. At a fast glance, there is nothing new in this speech. He calls for a “holy war” until everyone on earth becomes a “Muslim” i.e. a Daesh Muslim. Everyone else is an enemy—men, women, and children—and they must surrender or be killed.
His emphasis on women is important, however. Daesh managed to provoke Sunni people in 2014 when Iraqi forces captured some female Daesh members. That was one reason for the “tribal revolt” that helped Daesh to capture large parts of the country. Iraqi forces subsequently captured many Daesh female members, during and after the liberation battles. Some of these women have been linked to the Daesh leadership.
Daesh published on Monday a photo of one of its Iraqi terrorists, saying he was killed in Anbar. [ICDNApr23]