An Update On ISIS Activities

April 23, 2018

 

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MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

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. [..]

 

Syria

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. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

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

 

NATIONAL NEWS

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]

 

Election

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​​ leadersturnedpoliticians​​ 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.​​ 

 

Anti-Daesh Campaign

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]​​ 

Reconstruction

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]

BAGHDAD

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. ​​ 

 

ANBAR

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]​​ 

 

Falluja

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.​​ 

 

Hit/Haditha

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.

 

Al-Qa’im

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.​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

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]​​ 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

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]​​ 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk

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]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

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]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

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]​​ 

 

Qayyara​​ 

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.​​ 

 

Makhmur​​ ​​ 

A DaeshDaily source said on Sunday that IFP units killed 3 Daesh Iraqi terrorists in a search in Khadhra village. ​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa​​ (No reports)

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

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]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

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

 

NATIONAL NEWS

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]​​ 

 

Syrian opposition

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.​​ 

 

United Nations

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]

 

Russia

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)

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

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​​ 

Aleppo/Idlib

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]

 

Hama

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]

 

Homs

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)

Mayadin​​ District

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]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Yarmouk Camp

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.

 

South Damascus

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.​​ 

 

Daraa

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

 

North Africa

Egypt

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

 

U.S./EUROPE

Canada

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.

 

United States

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]

France

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]

ASIA

Afghanistan

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]

 

Pakistan

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 MEDIA

 

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 electionvoters, 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 enemymen, women, and childrenand 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]​​ 

 

April 20, 2018

 

C:\Users\pemd7\Desktop\Mosul.jpeg

Mosul

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

IHEC warns it will nullify votes compromised by vote tampering. [..]

Iraq resumes reparations payments to Kuwait. [..]

Mass grave of executed Daesh fighters found in Old Mosul. [..]

Army kills 18 Daesh who attacked Tal Afar-Syria border. [..]

 

Syria

State Dept. accuses Russia, Syria of trying to destroy evidence of Douma chemical attack. [..]

Lavrov suggests Russia will install its missile defense system for Syria in response to US strikes; influential Israeli expert suggests Israel would immediately destroy it. [..]

Syria​​ Kurdish political spokesman says Trump’s plan to insert Arab forces into​​ Syria would give Erdogan an excuse to keep occupying Afrin.​​ [..]

Tahrir Al-Sham attacks Syrian troops in northern Latakia. [..]

SOHR reports 28 Daesh killed by Coalition airstrike on Hajin, Albu Kamal [..]

Coalition hits Daesh in Albu Kamal with 23 airstrikes in 1 week. [..]

Daesh deal with Syria to evacuate Yarmouk refugee camp is back on, after heavy Syrian & Russian airstrikes. [..]

Deal reached for opposition militias to evacuate West Ghouta for Idlib, Syrian Desert. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election

The​​ Independent​​ High​​ Electoral​​ Commission​​ (IHEC)​​ threatened to nullify​​ the​​ votes​​ of any political alliance, party, or candidate trying to tamper with​​ polling place​​ vote counts, emphasizing that they would punish any manipulator who tried to subvert the people’s ability to choose their own representatives. ​​ The Board of Commissioners issued a statement saying that this included any proven attempt to tamper with electronic vote-counting devices, and that legal action would be taken in addition to nullifying votes from the polling place in question.[Rudaw]

 

Muqtada Al-Sadr​​ urged young people on Friday to turn out in the upcoming election. ​​ Al-Sadr wrote in an article,​​ titled “Future Generations and The Future of Generations,​​ that​​ “There isn’t a basis here for me or my family, but most of all, I want to say that I am concerned for the future of Iraq and the future of the current generations, particularly our children and young people who grew up in wars, fighting, sectarian conflict, etc. ​​ I call upon the generation coming of age, with great hopes and liberal minds, who dislike violence and don’t want to see Iraq become another Kandahar or Chicago. . . . ​​​​ We don’t want them to have an era like the one we lived through; we want them to have a future that they themselves can plan and build.”​​ [Rudaw]

 

On Friday, a​​ CoR member from​​ the National Alliance accused the intelligence services of other​​ Middle East​​ countries of using cyber warfare in Iraq,​​ which he says​​ violates​​ “Iraqi honor.” ​​ Ali Al-Badiri said that foreign “electronic armies” were fabricating videotapes of candidates in the upcoming elections,​​ and​​ criticized​​ the Ministry of Communications for​​ its​​ weak response to this “invasion.” ​​ He added that seats in the Council of Representatives must be won fairly, and that “Iraqi honor” was a “red line” that could not be crossed. [Sumaria]

 

PM Haider Al-Abadi said on Friday that one enemy in the reconstruction campaign is corruption, saying that corrupt people were continuing to frighten people who had already become frightened. ​​ Al-Abadi issued this statement at a tribal meeting in Maysan province, in which he also said, “We will continue to hunt down and destroy Daesh,” pointing to the airstrike the day before yesterday on Daesh fighters in Syria. [Sumaria]

Anti-Daesh​​ campaign

The Coalition says that between April 13 and April 19 it conducted 7 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq, in or near Al-Qa’im (3), Ain Al-Assad​​ base​​ (1), Hawija (1), Qayara (1), and Tal Afar (1)). [InherentResolve]​​ 

 

Friday, Qasioun quoted Security Media Center spokesman Gen. Yahya Rasul as saying that Iraq is going to conduct more airstrikes on the Daesh-held sites in Syria in the coming days. He added that those airstrikes will continue as long as Daesh still exists on the border with Iraq, which is considered as a threat to Iraq’s internal security. [Qasioun]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

The British Ambassador to Iraq, John Wilks, said on Thursday that the issue of Kirkuk​​ Province will be on the list of issues to be discussed by Erbil and Baghdad after the May elections. ​​ “We must prevent hate, problems, and violence, and recognize the situation in the disputed areas after their recapture from Daesh,” Wilks said in a statement to reporters, adding, “It is necessary to have a collective effort in those areas, and for everyone to be able to participate in free and safe elections.” [SotIraq]

 

Foreign policy

In a statement released on Friday, the United Nations said that Iraq has resumed paying Kuwait compensation for the destruction of Kuwaiti oil fields and facilities during the 1990-91​​ Gulf War. Since 2014, payments have been suspended because of security and budgetary problems​​ caused by​​ Iraq’s​​ fight against Daesh. “The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) today made available $90 million to the Government of the State of Kuwait,” the U.N said. “With today’s payment, the Commission has paid out $47.9 billion, leaving approximately $4.5 billion remaining to be paid to the only outstanding claim.” According to the UN body, payouts will be made quarterly as funds become available. If payments are made on schedule, the debt should be repaid by 2021. Kuwait and Iraq agreed last year that payments would gradually increase from 0.5 percent of Iraqi oil proceeds in 2018 to 1.5 percent in 2019 and 3 percent in both 2020 and 2021. [Dijlah]

 

BAGHDAD​​ (No reports)

 

ANBAR

Al-Qa’im

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says​​ units of the​​ PMF Ali Al-Akbar Brigade stopped a Daesh attack on the Akashat Compound, south of Al-Qa’im, killing 3 terrorists. The source says 20 terrorists in pickup vehicles attacked the compound but were forced to flee.​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Salahuddin Operations Command units found a Daesh weapons and explosives cache in the Makhoul Mountains area.

 

Tikrit

Friday, the PMF Media Center announced that the PMF 23rd​​ Brigade dismantled 7 IEDs during a search operation in the Mtaibija area along the Diyala border. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

The Chairman​​ of the Muqdadiya District Council, Adnan Al-Tamimi, said that Coalition warplanes shelled a Daesh hideout in Al-Zor Basin north of Muqdadiya.​​ An Iraqi soldier was killed and​​ another wounded in an IED explosion near a Daesh​​ rest​​ house in Al-Zor Basin. ​​ [Sumaria]

 

The Chairman of the Diyala PC Security Committee, Sadiq Al-Husseini, said on Friday that a Daesh leader, whom he called the “right hand” of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in the province, had been killed. ​​ Al-Husseini said that the bombing of Daesh locations in Al-Zor Basin had killed two Daesh fighters, one of whom was the “right hand” of Al-Baghdadi, according to preliminary information. [Sumaria]

Daesh says it killed an Iraqi Army soldier and wounded three others, including an officer, with an IED in the orchards of Isaiwid village. [ICDNApr20]

 

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

Sadiq Al-Husseini, the head of the Diyala Security Committee, said on Friday that what he called the “Diyala security border” with neighboring provinces was complete. ​​ Al-Husseini said that joint operations between Diyala and the neighboring provinces had formed a High Committee under the directive of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces​​ (the Prime Minister)​​ in order to locate any gaps that would threaten civilians’ security. [Sumaria]

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Friday, Hawar quoted a Tribal PMF official as saying that Daesh conducted a suicide attack against a PMF security checkpoint in​​ the​​ Al-Zab area on Thursday. [Hawar]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says the PMF 56th brigade (Badr) killed 2 Daesh suicide terrorists in Sadouniya village, in Riyadh​​ subdistrict. The terrorists were in Iraqi military uniforms. One was Iraqi from Tal Afar; the other was unidentified.​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

East Mosul

Friday, The Ninewa Police Chief, Brigadier General Hamad Al-Jubouri, said that 3 Daesh members were arrested during a surprise​​ raid​​ in East Mosul. [Xendan]​​ 

 

Center for Security Information​​ spokesman,​​ General​​ Yahya Rasul, said on Friday that various quantities of weapons and explosives used by Daesh had been found. ​​ Rasul said in a statement, “A unit from Ninewa Ops Command found 7 explosives belts, 3 IEDs, 24 grenades, a damaged drone, and 15 flash bangs in the area of Al-Faisaliya,” on the east side of the river. ​​ He added that a different unit had found 4 gaps in the embankment in the village of​​ Asriya, and carried out a controlled detonation of 10 mortar shells. [Rudaw]

 

West Mosul

Al-Etejah Press quoted a security source as saying that security forces found a mass grave in Old Mosul containing the remains of over 60 bodies of Daesh fighters and leaders who were executed by their Daesh commanders after they fled battles with the Iraqi Army.​​ [Etejah]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says volunteer teams working with Civil Defense units retrieved 30 bodies in the Al-Farouq neighborhood and buried them in Wadi Okab cemetery in far western Mosul.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says the Ninewa Police found​​ 32​​ rockets in the Al-Shifa’ neighborhood in west Mosul. ​​ 

Friday, the Iraqi MoD announced that the Ninewa​​ 4th​​ Police Emergency Regiment​​ found 23 homemade rockets left behind by Daesh in Al-Shifa’. [Sumaria]​​ This is probably the same story as above despite the number discrepancy.

 

Southern Ninewa

Mosul subdistrict

Friday, the Center for Security Information announced the discovery of 30 explosives belts, several IEDs, and the body of a suicide bomber during a security inspection just southwest of the city. The Center said the search was carried out by the​​ Army​​ 20th​​ division in the Atshana area. ​​ They also found 7 tunnels, which were destroyed. [Sumaria]

 

Makhmur/Qayara

Daesh says it killed or wounded IFP members in clashes in Al-Khadra village, in Makhmur’s Qaraj​​ (Arab)​​ subdistrict. [ICDNApr20]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says armed men in a pickup​​ truck​​ wearing military uniforms shot at the oil pipe between the Qayara Refinery and Hammam Al-Alil. The source says the men were shouting “Our oil is being stolen, we want our share.”​​ Maintenance units from the refinery arrived later and fixed the pipe.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

Military sources said on Friday that Daesh had been repelled and 18 of their fighters killed on the Iraq-Syria border. ​​ Major Ali Al-Araji of the​​ Army​​ 15th​​ Division​​ said, “Iraqi forces repulsed a violent attack that Daesh made on the Iraqi-Syrian border near the Rabi’a area, and were able to kill the attackers and seize their weapons.” ​​ Al-Araji added that the same forces had spread out along​​ the​​ border for fear of Daesh fighters sneaking into districts​​ in​​ northwest​​ Ninewa, and that they had subsequently launched a search operation in​​ that area​​ to arrest Daesh affiliates. [BasNews]

Sinjar

Friday, a security source said that a 13 year old Yazidi girl​​ was freed​​ after her relatives paid a ransom of $18,000 to the Daesh members who kidnapped her. According to the same source, Daesh kidnapped her as well as her family over three years ago during its attack on Sinjar District. [Sumaria]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It is encouraging to see any Yazidi returning home, but the pattern of paying off terrorists to do it is troubling. Not explained in these stories is whether the money is going to the individual terrorists or through them to the Daesh organization, which of course could use it to kill and kidnap other people.​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Friday, Anadolu quoted Turkish security sources as saying that 3 Daesh suspects were arrested during 4 security operations in Turkey’s southeastern Adıyaman Province, north of Gazientep. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Chemical weapons

Thursday, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, said that the U.S. has “credible information” that Russia and the Syrian government are trying to eliminate any trace of sarin or chlorine gases at the sites of Douma’s chemical attack. “We have credible information that indicates that Russian officials are working with the Syrian regime to deny and delay these inspectors from gaining access to Douma,” she said. “We believe it is an effort to conduct their own staged investigations. Russian officials have worked with the Syrian regime, we believe, to sanitize the locations of those suspected attacks and remove incriminating evidence of chemical weapons use,” she added. In addition to destroying evidence, said Nauert, Russia and Syria are pressuring witnesses to change their stories. “We have also watched as some people have seemingly been pressured by the government to change their stories about what actually occurred that night. . . .​​ We have reports from credible people on the ground who have indicated that they have been pressured by both Russia and Syria to change their stories,” she added. [Qasioun]

 

Friday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, said that the United Nations asks to be given access to the Syria​​ chemical attack sites. Al-Hussein said if the Syrian government “wants us to believe its narrative, they should have no problem allowing us in.” “By not allowing us in, then I don’t believe what it is that they are saying,” he added. “We believe that if the evidence suggests culpability, the OPCW should be capable and [impartial]​​ enough​​ to make that decision,” he said. [ZamanAlwasl]

  

Friday, Germany’s​​ Foreign Ministry said that based on the available data, the Syrian government has used chemical weapons at least four times since 2014, according to the German​​ Der Tagesspiegel​​ newspaper. “The German government​​ also​​ has unconfirmed indications that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons in three other cases,” it added. [Anadolu]

 

Missile defense system

Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the latest US missile strikes against Syria have removed any moral obligation for Moscow not to deliver advanced S-300 missile defense systems to Syria so it can defend itself in the face of such acts of “aggression.” “We promised not to do it around a decade ago at the request of our partners, and we took into consideration their argument that this would destabilize the situation, despite this [S-300] being a purely defensive system,” he said. “We heeded their call. But now we have no such moral obligation,” the top Russian diplomat added. [France24]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We suggest that the appropriate US response is that when this system is installed, we are committed to destroying it. However, based on the story below, we won’t even have to bother.

 

In a report published on Friday, according to Bloomberg, the​​ Lavrov​​ announcement has raised fears in Israel, which has conducted​​ airstrikes against various targets in Syria. “Israeli analysts and former defense officials say there’s only one likely response from Israel if the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems are delivered to Syria: An immediate attempt to blow them up,” the report said. According to former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, the deployment of S-300 in Syria has been a concern for Israel in the past two decades and “at the end of the day, it will happen.” Yadlin told​​ Bloomberg it was inevitable that the S-300 missile system would be deployed in Syria and then targeted by Israel. “If I know the air force well, we have already made proper plans to deal with this threat. After you remove the threat, which is basically what will be done, we’re back to square one,” he said. [Dorar]

 

Friday, Jordan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman, Mohammed Al-Kayed, said that preserving the “de-escalation” zone in southern Syria is a priority for Jordan. Al-Kayed stressed that de-escalation zone in southern Syria​​ brought an​​ end​​ to most of​​ the bloodshed​​ there. He added that the zone​​ is​​ also a move towards a blanket ceasefire​​ in​​ Syrian territory, which preserves Syria’s unity. [Qasioun]

 

Proposal for Arab troops

Arab forces led by Saudi Arabia​​ that​​ enter northern Syria​​ would apparently​​ face​​ Kurdish political opposition. The Secretary of the Communist Party of Kurdistan (Syria), Najm Ed-Din Omar, said​​ that​​ “Sending Arab troops will give Turkey a pretext to legitimize entering its troops into Afrin and other parts of Syria. . . .​​ We need UN peacekeepers, or a no-fly zone over Syrian Kurdistan and the east Euphrates so that our people can live in peace; if Arab forces come, the Turkish regime will say that it is also in Afrin, occupying 365 villages and 7 cities and towns in Afrin, and that it is the same type of ‘Arab force.’” [Rudaw]

Northwest​​ (No repots)

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says several Daesh terrorists, including Egyptian and Saudi explosives experts and an Iraqi commander, were killed in an airstrike on a house used by Daesh as a​​ vehicle bomb-rigging factory near Dashisha, by the Iraqi border. ​​ 

 

Raqqa​​ (No reports)

 

Central and West​​ 

Homs

Friday, SOHR reported that fierce clashes are still ongoing between the Syrian forces and Tahrir Al-Sham in Salim and Al-Hamrat in rural northern Homs, following a Syrian forces’ attempt to infiltrate the​​ opposition-held​​ area. Casualties are​​ reported​​ on both sides. [SyriaHR]

 

Latakia

Friday, Qasioun reported that 12 members of the Syrian forces were killed, and 9 others wounded in a Tahrir Al-Sham attack on their positions in Tal Rasho in the vicinity if Al-Tufahiya Mountain in northern Latakia. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

Friday, Qasioun reported that Daesh launched a surprise attack on the Syrian forces in the vicinity of Al-Duwair village in Ashara subdistrict in Mayadin. Meanwhile, the SDF heavily targeted​​ Daesh in​​ Hajin,​​ in Albu Kamal,​​ with artillery and rocket bombardments. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

Friday, SOHR reported that 28 Daesh members, including 7 leaders, were killed​​ by​​ a​​ Coalition airstrike​​ as​​ they were meeting in a house in Hajin last Tuesday. [SyriaHR]

 

The Coalition says that between April 13 and April 19, it conducted 23 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria21 in Albu Kamal and 2 in or near Shaddadi. [InherentResolve]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says the earlier Iraqi​​ Air Force​​ airstrike on Hajin targeted a Daesh weapons and explosives factory and killed several Daesh explosives experts, including an Iraqi.

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Friday, SOHR reported that due to the intensified Syrian forces’ artillery and rocket shelling on Al-Tadhamun neighborhood in Damascus and the Yarmouk Camp, Daesh announced that it “reaccepts” the original evacuation agreement reached with Russia and the Syrian government. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh says more than 100 Russian and Syrian airstrikes have targeted Yarmouk Camp, Hay Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, Hay Al-Tadhamun, and Hay Al-Qadam since Thursday. Daesh issues a video of the results of the airstrikes. [ICDNApr20]

 

Daesh says that after heavy shelling and bombing, Syrian Army units attacked Hay Al-Tadhamun in  ​​​​ south Damascus city. It says it killed 10 soldiers, including an officer, wounded others, and damaged a bulldozer with a rocket. [ICDNApr20]

 

Daesh says it stopped a Syrian Army attack on Hay Al-Qadam, south of Damascus, killing three soldiers, wounding others, and capturing light weapons. Daesh says it forces the Syrian Army to retreat. [ICDNApr20]

 

Friday, Dorar reported that Tahrir Al-Sham foiled a Syrian forces’ attempt to infiltrate into Al-Yarmouk Camp south of Damascus, killing 10 members of the Syrian forces and besieging others. [Dorar]

 

However,​​ SANA​​ has​​ reported that a ceasefire agreement was reached between the Syrian government and the anti-government militias, including Daesh, in West Ghouta. According to that agreement, all the anti-government militias, including Daesh, should leave West Ghouta and head to Syria’s eastern desert​​ or​​ Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Lebanon

In a report published on Friday, Human Rights Watch criticized Lebanese municipalities for what it called the unjustifiable expulsion of hundreds of Syrians from their homes since 2016, as sentiment against refugees simmers. “At least 13 municipalities in Lebanon have forcibly evicted at least 3,664​​ Syrian refugees from their homes and expelled them from the municipalities, apparently because of their nationality or religion,” from the start of 2016 through to the end of March this year, and almost 42,000 Syrian refugees remained at risk of eviction in 2018,” the report said. [Hawar]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Friday, Afghan media sources reported that​​ five​​ civilians, including a child, were killed, and​​ nine​​ others wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in eastern Nangarhar province. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh publishes photos of some of its terrorists in the Darzab area, in Jowzjan. [ICDNApr20]

 

Daesh publishes photos of cutting off hands and foot of two men in Kunar. [ICDNApr20]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 128th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine, republishing reports about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, and Pakistan.​​ It also includes an infographic about attacks related to the Iraqi elections in Anbar, Diyala, and Kirkuk. Daesh also continues its series of security instructions for its members and supporters. [ICDNApr20]

April 19, 2018

 

Yarmouk Camp

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraq signs major financial reform agreement with EU. [..]

Human Rights Watch accuses army troops, PMFs in Mosul of seizing houses of families of Daesh members. [..]

Sunni CoR members allege PMF militias are forcing “demographic changes” in areas they patrol,​​ discouraging IDPs from returning. [..]

Iraq, Iran, Syria Russia military & security officials meet in Baghdad to discuss counter-terrorism. [..]

16 Daesh members arrested in several locations in Mosul. [..]

 

Syria

SDF captures alleged accomplice in 9/11 attacks. [..]

SDF in Tabaqa area discovers mass grave of Syrian Army personnel killed by Daesh. [..]

Iraqi Air Force launches airstrikes against Daesh in Albu Kamal District. [..]

Report says Daesh has agreed to leave Yarmouk Camp for Syria’s eastern desert; then it doesn’t. [..]

Islamic militias reported seizing towns from Daesh in Daraa. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Election

The former and controversial Governor of Ninewa, Atheel Al-Nujaifi, has postponed his call for the establishment of a region including Sunni provinces. He points