An Update On ISIS Activities

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

 

Idlib

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Ambassador Silliman promises more US funding for Iraq reconstruction. [..]

Security operation targets border locations on Salahuddin-Diyala border. [..]

Kirkuk Governor says 116 Kirkuk Province villages are destroyed. [..]

Labor ministry investigating charges children in Mosul shelter were sold to Daesh. [..]

 

Syria

Turkey accuses Syrian forces, Russian planes of violating de-escalation zone in Idlib. [..]

Syrian opposition complains Sochi conferences undermining UN Geneva process. [..]

150,000 civilians now displaced from southern Idlib- northern Hama area. [..]

Daesh still attacking SDF, Iranian Quds Force troops in Albu Kamal. [..]

White Helmets organization says 1,337 civilians killed in Eastern Ghouta in 2017. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Netanyahu says Israel won’t allow Iran to establish a base in Syria. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Tuesday, at the Iraqi Police Celebration of the 96th​​ anniversary of its founding, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi stressed that the sacrifices and heroism of the joint security forces are what maintained the unity of the country. Al-Abadi also commended the interventions by the Ministry of Interior and its victories over terrorism.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Reconstruction

Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman announced that the U.S. government is providing $75 million in additional funding to help stabilize Iraq, following its full liberation from Daesh. “Our commitment to the Iraqi people does not end with the eradication of Daesh,” said Ambassador Silliman. ​​ “Communities in the liberated areas now face the daunting challenge of rebuilding their lives and restoring their cultural heritage. ​​ These funds will help restore basic services like water and electricity so that Iraqi families of all ethnic and religious backgrounds can return to their homes – safely, voluntarily, and with dignity.” [Anadolu]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Tuesday, Prime Minister Al-Abadi announced that the revenue generated in 2017 from oil exports by the Kurdistan Region amounted to 9 trillion Iraqi dinars (about $7.6 billion).​​ In addition,​​ there are other “undisclosed” revenues which the Kurdistan Region​​ has​​ yet to declare, Abadi said,​​ during his weekly press conference. Abadi criticized the Kurdish authorities for not being able to fulfill the promise of abiding by the Iraqi constitution,​​ but​​ reiterated​​ the​​ national​​ government’s commitment to pay salaries of the Kurdistan Region’s public servants. [Anadolu]

 

Al-Abadi stressed that removing the Turkish forces from Iraqi lands requires a strategic solution, noting that the government is prepared to carry out this procedure and devise strategic solutions with the Kurds.​​ Al-Abadi added that the Turks are in​​ a​​ war with the PKK, and Iraqi does not want to enter a proxy war; it rather wants to co-exist peacefully.​​ [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Tuesday, security units found 40 various IEDs left behind by Daesh in Al-Shurtan area in west Baghdad.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Haditha

A security source said​​ on Tuesday​​ that two​​ armed men riding in a pickup truck attacked​​ two​​ civilians, killing one and wounding the other in Haditha near the Hajlan Bridge. This is the first attack of its kind in​​ the​​ Haditha​​ area,​​ which was never under terrorist control.​​ [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tuesday, the Dijla Ops Command announced the continuation of operations to track Daesh on the borders between Diyala and Salahuddin for the second day in a row. The Dijla Ops Command also noted that a rigged vehicle was destroyed and a Daesh guesthouse was seized.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Also see stories below under “Northern Diyala”

 

Baiji

Tuesday, the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) announced that it continues to return IDPs to their areas in Baiji and its liberated areas. According to the announcement, 340 internally displaced families were​​ recently​​ returned to their original areas.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Tikrit

Tuesday, the CTS announced the arrest of​​ 2​​ terrorist brothers in a trap set up at the eastern Tikrit entrance in Salahuddin.​​ [IraqPress]​​ 

 

Tuesday, a high-level security source in Diyala revealed that Daesh has for the first time appointed one of its Kurdish commanders as an​​ emir​​ over the Mtaibija basin.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur,​​ Tooz)

Tuesday,​​ a Kurdish​​ Kirkuk​​ CoR​​ representative,​​ Shakhwan Abdullah,​​ stated​​ that Daesh is behind the destabilization and targeting of Tooz,​​ not Kurds,​​ and added that there are parties putting pressure on the government to not target them. Abdullah said “those who are accusing the Kurds of supporting terrorist groups must first cleanse the area of terrorist groups, and it is the​​ Daesh​​ “White Banners” group which is responsible for attacking the Iraqi forces, which we have documented with photos.”​​ [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ A note for clarification:​​ We have reported a previous admission that the White Banners militants were​​ Daesh members​​ linked to the KDP. ​​ 

 

DIYALA

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

Tuesday, the Diyala Police announced that a joint security unit from the Diyala Police and the tribal PMF destroyed 4 Daesh guesthouses in a security operation in the Mtaibija area on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin, during a security operation that covered​​ places on both sides of the provincial border, including​​ Udhaim Dam, Albu Talha​​ (Salahuddin), Shakir Al-Haj, Hibhib​​ (west of Baquba), Um Talil, Albu Oud, and Albu Jumaa. Furthermore, the security units seized 10 artillery​​ shells, defused 12 IEDs, and​​ took control of​​ the​​ bodies of​​ two​​ terrorists killed during the operation.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Tuesday, Dijla Ops Commander Mizhar Al-Azzawi announced that security units from the Army, Police, and PMF, backed by the IAA, destroyed 2 Daesh guesthouses and 1 rigged vehicle in Hawi Al-Udhaim in northern Diyala.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Tuesday PMF units found Daesh tunnels and guesthouses in the Himrin Mountains from the Diyala province side, according to a reporter.​​ [Knooz]

 

Tuesday,​​ head of the Udhaim Council, Mohammad Daifan Al-Abidi,​​ revealed that the rigged vehicle which was defused remotely by the EOD in Al-Maita basin on the border with Salahuddin belonged to civilians who were abducted and had their property stolen.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Tuesday, Diyala Field Security and Intelligence units located an ammunition depot in the Al-Nida area in Mandali. The depot contained various explosives and hand grenades and​​ two​​ mines. ​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

The Iraqi Ministry of Petroleum expressed its surprise at the CoR’s decision concerning the export of petroleum in Kirkuk and stopping the work of a technical company affiliated with the​​ KRG​​ in​​ Kirkuk. The Ministry stated that it directly supervises the administration of the petroleum sector in Kirkuk and that the North Oil Company is the only party which is rehabilitating and developing the petroleum fields and facilities in the province, including the Bai Hassan and Avana oil fields.​​ [BasNews]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Tuesday, Kirkuk Governor Rakan Al-Jubouri said that the southern and western Kirkuk areas are the most affected in Iraq as they were occupied by Daesh for over three years. Al-Jubouri confirmed that there are 116 destroyed villages in the governorate. Al-Jubouri met with the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Iraq and discussed the Kirkuk administration’s efforts to return IDPs and execute the re-stabilization plan through rehabilitating education, water, electricity, and governmental buildings.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, commander of the PMF’s 56th​​ brigade, Hussein Ali Najm, announced the arrest of a large number of Daesh members who had escaped to villages east of Hawija. Najm added that the 3rd​​ and 56th​​ PMF brigades and the Iraqi Amy’s 34th​​ brigade continue the operations to impose security in the eastern side of Hawija, noting that the forces have reached the village of Albu Hamdan​​ (Dibis),​​ after​​ passing​​ through several other villages.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

Tuesday, PMF spokesman in the north Ali Al-Husseini announced the death of the​​ mufti​​ of​​ Wilayat​​ Kirkuk​​ in Daesh, known as Abdulqader Al-Azzi, along with three of his companions in a military​​ operation to impose security in the south of the province. Al-Azzi said the operation took place near a village in Daquq.​​ [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

According to a Ministry of Labor statement, there is an investigation of information about the manager of the special needs department in Ninewa allegedly selling children living in shelter homes to Daesh, after Daesh seized Mosul in 2014. According to Bas News’ information, the number of children and persons with special needs housed in shelter homes was about 60 children during Daesh’s control over Mosul. Daesh converted these homes into military training bases to train children to use weapons and explosives.​​ [BasNews]

 

Tuesday, a Mosul Police officer reported that the​​ mukhtar​​ of the Qadisiya neighborhood in east Baghdad was attacked with an IED by unknown assailants.​​ [BasNews]

 

Tuesday, the MoD Intelligence arrested 4 Daesh terrorists in Mosul.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Dhi Qar

Tuesday, Dhi Qar Governor Yahya Al-Nasiri called on the security units to prepare for the post-Daesh phase, describing it as the “most dangerous” and will need a redoubled effort. He added that security units must find pre-emptive solutions against sleeper cells.​​ [Knooz

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

Tuesday, Alistair James Hendrie Burt, the British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa stressed that the Kurdistan Region is undergoing economic pressures from within and outside of Iraq, calling on the UK government not to support one party at the expense of another in Iraq. He also mentioned the UK’s historical relationship with the Kurds in Iraq and​​ said​​ that the UK ought to have mutual goals with the Kurds considering they are on the frontlines in the war against Daesh.​​ [Rudaw]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Turkey summoned the ambassadors of Russia and Iran to complain about the Syrian forces’ violation of the borders of the de-escalation zone in Idlib province, Turkish foreign ministry sources said on Tuesday. Turkey asked the envoys to urge the Syrian government in Damascus to end the border violations, the sources said. [ZamanAlWasl]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment:​​ Turkey has taken responsibility with Russia for enforcing the Idlib de-escalation zone.​​ The Syrian violation follows a pattern and is hardly surprising, as they have done the same thing in the Damascus area and elsewhere. The Russians arrange a de-escalation zone and their Syrian friends are the ones who violate it, without criticism from Russia.

 

Also see story below under “Idlib.”

 

Tuesday, it was reported that Turkish counterterrorism teams carried out two concurrent security operations in the center of Bitlis and in Güroymak,​​ a district in Bitlis province,​​ which led to the arrests of three suspected Daesh members.​​ [BaghdadToday

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Tuesday, the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) warned of the risk of the UN-​​ brokered process in Geneva being undermined by a ‘parallel process’ in Sochi, during meetings with the UN in New York. “The Sochi process risks undermining the Geneva talks and the goal of transition set out in the Geneva Communiqué and UN Security Council resolution 2254,” said SNC spokesman Dr. Yahiya Aridi. [EnabBaladi]

 

Tuesday, SOHR reported that more than 150,000 civilians have been displaced from the villages and towns in rural southern and southeastern Idlib, rural northern and northeastern​​ Hama, and rural southern Aleppo to​​ central and northern​​ Idlib due to the ongoing battles there. [SyriaHR]

 

Pentagon Spokesman Col. Robert Manning said “the U.S. troops in Syria have only one mission, from which they will never deviate, namely fighting Daesh.” He also added that “what is happening now in Syria and Iraq is essential to keep the recent victories.” ​​ [Dorar]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)​​ (No reports)

 

Northwest

Idlib

Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the Russian and Syrian airstrikes on Idlib are in violation of the “de-escalation” agreement reached by Ankara, Moscow and Tehran in​​ the Astana 8 talks.​​ Cavusoglu warned that such a move would undermine the political settlement process in Syria and the preparations for the Sochi summit.” [Dorar]​​ [SyriaNow]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that Yaseen Al-Ahmadi, aka Abu Aisha Al-Iraqi, one of the founders of the AQI, and a leader​​ in​​ Tahrir Al-Sham, was severely wounded by a Daesh mortar shell south of Idlib.​​ 

 

Afrin/Azaz

Tuesday a Kurdish-Syrian military official said that Turkey will not obtain the “blessing and green light” from world powers in order to carry out attacks on west Kurdistan and northern Syria. The source noted that there is a Russian-American agreement to end the Turkish and Iranian presence in Syria. In response to news reports that reported a Turkish-Syrian agreement to strike Kurdish units in Afrin, head of the defense in the Afrin District, Bahjat Barakat, said that “the regimes dividing Kurdistan are following the same approach to strike the Kurdish people’s will, and the regimes are against the democratization and federalization of northern Syria.”​​ [BasNews]

 

Central and West (Homs,​​ Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Tuesday, Dorar reported that Daesh captured 10 villages in Al-Hamra​​ subdistrict in rural eastern Hama, following Tahrir Al-Sham’s withdrawal from these villages, after the Syrian forces captured Sinjar​​ in southern Idlib, which cut Tahrir Al-Sham’s supply route in the area. [Dorar]

 

Based on​​ military sources, Enab Baladi reported on Tuesday that the Syrian forces captured Al-Rahjan and Al-Shakousiya in rural northeastern Hama, following battles with Tahrir Al-Sham. [EnabBaladi]​​ [SyriaNow]

 

Tuesday, Qasioun reported that Daesh​​ captured 13 villages and towns in eastern Hama. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin

Tuesday, Qasioun reported that 3 civilians were killed and others injured by land mines left by Daesh in rural eastern Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal

Monday, Zaman Al-Wasl reported that clashes resumed between the SDF and Daesh in the city of Gharanij, after Daesh reneged on an agreement, reached between them under the auspices of Deir Ez-Zor Military Council’s “Barq Al-Shuaitat” forces, to withdraw its members and their families to Hajin, according to Furat Post’s correspondent “Ibrahim Al-Hussien.” [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Monday, pro-Daesh media reported that Daesh snipers killed 8 members of the SDF in the vicinity of Gharanij. [Qasioun]

Daesh says it killed 20 SDF fighters and captured four others in heavy clashes in Gharanij. Daesh says it detonated a booby-trapped house during the battles. [ICDNJan9]

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF units in Al-Bahra village, near Hajin, with SPG rockets and heavy sniper guns. [ICDNJan9] [ICDNJan9]

 

Qasioun reports that 20 members of Iran’s Quds Force were killed and 4 were captured by Daesh in Gharanij. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting a government bulldozer with a rocket near Al-Bagouz village, southeast of Albu Kamal city. [ICDNJan9]​​ 

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting a Syrian Army 14.5 mm cannon in Al-Ashayer village, north of Albu Kamal. [ICDNJan9]​​ 

Daesh issues a video of targeting a Syrian Army watchtower with a rocket in the same village. [A3maq]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

In a statement posted on its social media account on Tuesday, the White Helmets civil defense agency said that more than 1,337 civilians were killed, and 9,123 others wounded in Syrian forces’ attacks on Syria’s besieged Eastern Ghouta in 2017. [Anadolu]

 

Tuesday, Anadolu reported that 17 civilians were killed by Syrian aerial and artillery bombardment of the Eastern Ghouta cities and towns of Hamouriya, Saqba, Harasta, Arbin, Douma and Madeira. [Anadolu]

 

Tuesday, SOHR reported that violent clashes are still ongoing between the Syrian forces on one hand and Tahrir Al-Sham, Ahrar Al-Sham and Al-Rahman Corps on the other in the vicinity of the Vehicle Department near Harasta, accompanied by the Syrian forces’ intensified shelling of the region.​​ [SyriaHR]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It seems to be going without much notice that all this military activity, and the civilian deaths, are occurring in the Damascus area.

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

Daesh publishes photos of an IED it says it defused in Baidha​​ in Yemen. Daesh says the IED was planted by Houthis. [ICDNJan9]​​ 

 

Israel

In a meeting with NATO ambassadors, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of sending 100,000 Shia fighters to Syria as part of the project to “invade and colonize Syria.” He stressed that Israel will prevent Iran from establishing a base in Syria, which he said would lead to a terrorist resurgence in Syria, in turn causing new immigration waves to Europe. He added that​​ Israel is using several methods at this stage to prevent terrorists from reinforcing their bases in Sinai.​​ [Shafaaq]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Germany

A German newspaper warned about the threats posed by the children of German nationals with Daesh membership who were born in areas under Daesh control in Iraq and Syria. The report pointed out the German authorities’ concerns about a “new Jihadi generation” which will require urgent attention. The newspaper reported that according to the federal government, the timeline to return these children cannot be determined as it depends largely on the cooperation of Iraqi authorities.​​ [BasNews]

 

Spain

Spanish​​ daily​​ newspaper La Vanguardia​​ published a report discussing Daesh’s restarting its caliphate in Afghanistan following its defeats in Syria and Iraq last year. The newspaper added that Daesh’s focus regions are Africa,​​ especially Libya and the coastal region, Chad, Mali, Niger, Egypt, and Afghanistan. ​​​​ [SkyPress]

 

ASIA

Pakistan

Tuesday, “Geo TV” reported that at least​​ six​​ persons, including​​ four​​ Baluchistan Constabulary personnel, were killed, and 17 others were injured in a suicide​​ attack near the Baluchistan Assembly building in Quetta in southwestern Pakistan, according to medical sources. [Anadolu]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh issues a propaganda video about its media machine. [ICDN]

 

Daesh publishes a photo of one of its Iraqi media members,​​ saying he was killed in the Albu Kamal area. [ICDNJan9]​​ 

 

January 8, 2018

 

Coalition Bombing South of Mosul

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

EU leader outlines reconstruction strategy for Iraq. [..]

Turkmen vs. Kurd argument rages on in Tuz Khurmatu. [..]

Command of Salahuddin-Diyala border operation declares success. [..]

Bodies of 20 women found in west Mosul mass grave. Another mass grave found in Tal Afar. [..]

Six Daesh terrorists arrested for deadly​​ September​​ attack in​​ Dhi Qar. [..]

 

Syria

Several Daesh commanders reported enjoying life in Turkey. [..]

Clashes between Syrian Army & Tahrir Al-Sham continue in southern Idlib. [..]

Civilian death toll rising from Syrian Army-Tahrir Al-Sham​​ fighting near​​ Damascus. [..]

 

Afghanistan

Military operation kills 72 Daesh, Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

Monday, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the​​ European​​ Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy​​ and​​ Vice-President of the European Commission,​​ put forward​​ a Joint Communication proposing an EU strategy for Iraq. The proposal outlines both ongoing and longer term EU support to the country, fully taking into account the Iraqi government’s priorities. Federica said: “Iraq is at a crossroads in its history following the territorial defeat of Daesh at great sacrifice.​​ It is now crucial to act quickly and rebuild the country with the participation of all the components of Iraqi society, to promote and protect fundamental rights and the rule of law in each and every area. . . .This needs international support and we are ready to contribute, to keep supporting the Iraqi people and government in these challenges.” The strategy focuses on delivering continued EU humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people and facilitating the stabilization of areas liberated from Daesh, with three million displaced Iraqis still unable to return home. It also seeks to address the longer term reform, reconstruction and reconciliation efforts that Iraq needs to pursue in order to consolidate peace and build a united, democratic country in which all citizens can fully enjoy their rights in greater prosperity. [Anadolu

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Monday, ROJ News reported that the Iraqi parliament voted to ban the Kurdish engineering company Kar Group from operating oilfields in Kirkuk, after lawmakers in the Iraqi Parliament claimed the Kurdish firm “refused to cooperate” with Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company (NOC) regarding the handing over of the Khurmala oilfield. The parliament authorized NOC to take over production and export operations at the field. In addition, parliament requested the Iraqi central bank to track down cash deposited at banks outside Iraq that​​ were​​ generated from Kurdish oil exports. It asked the central bank to draft a detailed report on the names of banks used to deposit the cash. [ROJ] [Kurdistan24]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

The Iraqi Police Command said on Monday that its forces seized explosives​​ and​​ arrested several people on different charges in Baghdad. [Rudaw]

 

Southeast​​ (Mada’in, etc.)

A Police source says an​​ IED exploded​​ near a street market​​ wounding three civilians in Nahrawan in southeast Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Monday, the BOC announced that its security units seized 40 IEDs left behind by Daesh in the Shurtan area in west Baghdad. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:  ​​​​ 3(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 2

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

Tribal PMF commander, Ismail Al-Dhiabi announced that dozens of Daesh families​​ have​​ returned to liberated Ramadi areas, especially Albu Mahal and Sufiya, and that there are political and governmental entities providing protection to those families, despite legal complaints and tribal opposition​​ to​​ the return of “the terrorist cells.” Al-Dhiabi​​ says​​ the majority of these families are blacklisted for security reasons. [BasNews]​​ 

 

Daesh says it damaged a PMF Humvee with an IED, wounding an officer in the Albu Dhiab area on Sunday. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Hit/Haditha

Monday, the CTS announced that its units located a Daesh ammunition depot in Hit. The depot contained 59 explosive wire rollers, 52 SPG9 rockets, 3 Kalashnikov depots, 24 mortar shells, 11 IEDs, 18 boxes of ammunition, 9 guided missiles,​​ and​​ 9 KG of TNT, among other explosives.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Daesh said it killed two PMF fighters in clashes near Al-Hanka village, south of Shirqat, on Thursday. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Baiji

Saturday, the PMF say they killed 7 Daesh terrorists in Makhoul District.​​ [Forat]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 80 displaced families returned to their houses in Baiji, after an agreement with the PMF units in the area.​​ 

 

Tikrit

Monday, PMF commander Jabbar Al-Maamouri revealed that Daesh executed some of its​​ own​​ members in Mtaibija because they refused to carry out suicide attacks. Al-Maamouri added that Daesh is struggling to find militants for suicide attacks,​​ either​​ local or foreign.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur,​​ Tooz)

Sunday, PMF commander Ali Al-Husseini announced that Tuz Khurmatu was attacked by mortar shells launched from the mountainous areas “which are controlled by a group of separatists.” Al-Husseini added at the time of the report that 10 rockets had fallen since Sunday morning.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

A spokesman for the PMF and Deputy Chairman of the Tuz Khurmatu Council Ali Hashem Al-Husseini says separatist gangs associated with​​ what he called​​ the “Barzani militia” shelled neighborhoods​​ in​​ Tuz​​ Khurmatu​​ with mortars, causing panic among residents of the neighborhoods, although not causing injuries or casualties so far. The PMFs​​ have responded to the​​ separatists​​ with artillery and are continuing to track the sources of the shelling, according to Al-Husseini. [PressIraq]

 

Monday, Turkmen representative Memar Uglu said in a press conference that the shelling against civilians is an act of​​ retaliation​​ by​​ Daeshaffiliated​​ (Kurdish)​​ parties for the October 16 events to impose the rule of law​​ because of​​ the Kurdish parties’ failure to administer disputed areas. [Ghad]

 

Monday, Kirkuk representative Shakhwan Abdullah said in a press conference that the violations in Tuz Khurmatu​​ have​​ included setting buildings on fire, looting of houses, and “even rape,” which were all reported to concerned parties. He added that the Turkmen PMF has voted​​ to​​ form an investigation committee to stop violations. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, Turkmen representative in the CoR, Mohammed Jafar, announced the deaths of 2 civilians and the wounding of dozens of others in mortar shelling on​​ residential areas in Tuz Khurmatu, and​​ accused “Kurdish gangs” of carrying out the operations. Jafar called on Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to send security forces to those areas immediately.

 

In a press conference on Monday, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said the CoR’s decision concerning the formation of an investigation committee to look into the Tuz Khurmatu events and holding the perpetrators accountable is “an important step.” Barzani warned of “Arabization attempts” in Kirkuk and added that he “hopes Baghdad will put an end to the Arabization and​​ the​​ problems in Kirkuk.”  [Rudaw]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed an Iraqi Army officer, wounded other soldiers, and destroyed a vehicle with an IED in Al-Qurshiya village, east of Suleiman Bek. [A3maq]​​ 

 

DIYALA

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 11 fighters from Al-Nujaba’ Movement were killed in a Daesh ambush in the Himrin Mountains area on Saturday.​​ 

 

A security source in Diyala said 4 Daesh bodies were found on the border with Salahuddin. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, the Diyala Police Command announced the arrest of 12 wanted suspects during security operations in various parts of Diyala, 2 of them arrested on charges of terrorism. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

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

Monday, ROJ reported that PMF units attacked the Zinana vicinity in Kifri with mortar shells and helicopter airstrikes. The PMF says it was responding to mortar shelling on Tuz Khurmatu from Kurdish areas that led to the deaths of 6 civilians. [ROJ]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment. ​​​​ This is related directly to the stories about Tuz Khurmatu above, under Eastern Salahuddin. Tuz Khurmatu is an especially contentious disputed area because of the hostility of the Turkmen to Kurdish efforts to control it and eventually move it into Kirkuk and thereby into Kurdistan. The movement of Iraqi Army and PMF troops into Tuz Khurmatu has thus frustrated the Kurds but emboldened the Turkmen.

 

Commander of Tigris Operations Lt. Gen. Mizher Al-Azzawi announced the end of military operations on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin in the Al-Maita Basin. [Sumaria]

According to a PMF statement, a comprehensive operation was launched on Monday morning to track and hunt down Daesh cells from four sides in Al-Maita, Albu Awad, and Albu Bakr in northern Al-Udhaim in Diyala, as part of the operations to track Daesh that have been taking place over the past 5 days by the 23rd​​ and 24th​​ brigades of the PMF with participation from the Iraqi Army. [Knooz

 

Monday, a security source reported that 8 Daesh guesthouses were destroyed in Hawi Al-Udhaim. The source added that security units located a rigged vehicle in the Al-Maita basin, which was detonated under control. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Monday, an unnamed security source in Diyala reported that a joint security unit discovered 4 bodies of Daesh militants in the western side of Hawi Al-Udhaim on the border between Diyala and​​ Salahuddin. The source added that the Daesh members had been killed in IAA airstrikes in the past days. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Monday, a security source in Diyala reported that a joint security unit captured and destroyed a rigged car in the Al-Maita basin on the border with Salahuddin. The source added that security units defused 8 IEDs planted in agricultural areas in Al-Maita.  [Sumaria]

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting the Udhaim police station with mortars. [ICDNJan8]

 

Eyewitnesses say Daesh attacked the Iraqi Police south of Qara Tapa on Saturday and violent clashes broke out. [SotIraq]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

Saturday, the Diyala governor said that​​ the house of the tribal leader of the Al-Nida area was attacked by a​​ parked vehicle bomb and by a suicide terrorist. He said a woman and a man were killed in the attack. [Sumaria]

Daesh said one of its foreign suicide terrorists attacked a tribal gathering in the Al-Nida area with an explosives vest on Saturday. It also says it detonated a parked car bomb on the same gathering. The targeted house belongs to the tribal leader of the area. [A3maq] [ICDNJan7]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Monday, a security source says unidentified gunmen in four-wheel drive vehicles opened fire on the Arab Tribes headquarters in Kirkuk. Several people were injured in the attack.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

The PMF announced on Saturday that security forces had finished clearing 70% of the Zegheitoun Valley west of Kirkuk city.​​ [PressIraq]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Monday, a PMF source reported that the PMF arrested Khaled Khamis, also known as “Wali​​ Daesh” in Hawija, in addition of a number of​​ khatibs​​ (persons who deliver sermons) in clearing operations​​ along​​ the borders of Hawija, Rashad, and Zarqa. The source added that security units and the PMF completely cleared the areas adjacent to Hawija, Rashad, and the Himrin Mountains, adding that 5 rigged vehicles were destroyed during the search and clearing operations.​​ [Etejah]​​ 

​​ [PressIraq]

 

Saturday, Commander of the 11th​​ brigade Ali Al-Hamdani announced that 25 villages in the vicinity of Hawija city were cleared and a number of suspects were arrested.​​ [IraqPress]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

East Mosul

Daesh said on Saturday it shot and killed the mukhtar of Hay Al-Intisar. It also said it killed two Military Intelligence​​ personnel​​ in Hay Sumer. [A3maq]​​ 

 

West​​ Mosul

Monday, police officer Omar Al-Hajjar announced the discovery of a mass​​ grave containing the bodies of 20 women with signs of torture in west Mosul. Al-Hajjar​​ said​​ that the women were killed by Daesh units as they tried to escape to east Mosul during the liberation campaign.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ [Buratha]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that IFP units arrested 4 Kata’eb Hezbollah members who refused to close down their office in Hay Al-Shuhada. The Ninewa Operations Command had issued orders recently to close down all militia offices in Mosul. The source says the 4 members were released after they signed a​​ written pledge not to reopen the office.​​ ​​ 

 

Ninewa PC Deputy​​ Chairman, Noureddin Qablan, told Al-Sabah newspaper that 400 Mosul families returned from the southern Mosul camps to their homes in Old Mosul on Sunday evening. Qablan added that the security units which supervised the transportation buses also provided smaller vehicles and other necessities for transporting the returned families to their​​ own​​ homes. Qablan also said that this was the first batch of returning families in 2018, and there will be more in the next few days.​​ [Xendan]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed an Iraqi government “spy” in Hay Al-Arabi, on Saturday. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Coalition planes killed several Daesh terrorists near Shakir village. The source sent photos of the dead terrorists.

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says security units found a mass grave with many Daesh victims, including former policemen, south of Tal Afar. The source sent photos of the mass grave.​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Dhi Qar

Dhi Qar Governor Yahya Al-Nasiri announced the arrest of 6 terrorists​​ from “Wilaya Al-Janoub” (the southern state) of Daesh,​​ who were involved in bombing a restaurant and the Fadak checkpoint in Nasiriya in mid-September 2017. The head of the Dhi Qar PC called for execution of​​ the Daesh members involved in the attack. Al-Nasiri added that the Daesh members admitted to carrying out attacks in Baghdad, Basra, Muthanna, Al-Diwaniya,​​ and​​ Najaf, as​​ well as the attack in​​ Dhi Qar, which killed and wounded 177 people. Al-Nasiri also said the arrests took place over several phases during operations targeting guesthouses of “Wilaya Al-Janoub” in the Anbar desert. [Mada]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

Monday, the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said that committees have been formed to settle the issue related to paying salaries of the employees at the Kurdish ministries of health and education. He added that the resources of the region are not sufficient to pay the salaries of the​​ KRG employees. The Kurdish leader expressed the KRG readiness to coordinate with Baghdad to settle this issue. Meanwhile, Barzani​​ characterized the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to ban Kurdish engineering company Kar Group from operating oilfields in Kirkuk as a wrong decision. [ROJ]

 

Eyewitnesses say Turkish warplanes bombed border areas in Erbil in the area of Khawakarak, targeting PKK militants. [Sumaria]

 

DAHUK

Monday, ROJ News reported that the Turkish forces carried out airstrikes on​​ PKK targets in​​ Barbula village in Zakho District,​​ in​​ northwest Dahuk province. [ROJ]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that Harbi Yaseen Amash, a Daesh commander from the Shirqat area, was seen in Istanbul. The source sent photos of the terrorist taken in a public place in Istanbul. The source also says that several Daesh commanders, who fled the south Damascus area, have arrived in Turkey. The source says the terrorists paid bribes to government soldiers in order to flee. ​​ 

 

Monday, Turkish security forces arrested the Daesh commander of “Wilaya​​ Qaysari” (Wasat) who held an​​ imam​​ position​​ with​​ Daesh, according to Anadolu. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir​​ Bozdag announced on Monday that the state of emergency in Turkey will be extended another 3 months. [Sumaria]

 

In a statement released on Monday, Turkey’s​​ Ministry of Interior​​ announced that Turkish​​ troops “neutralized​​ 17 PKK terrorists in 729 counterterrorism operations between Jan. 1 and 7. During the operations, 112 suspects were arrested on charges of aiding and abetting the terrorist PKK group, while 46 were taken into custody for alleged links to Daesh, according to the statement. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The Syrian government is seeking to form a delegation of people from Al-Jazeera Province in northeastern Syria to go to the peace conference in Sochi. The Syrian government is planning to make a delegation with Kurdish, Arab, and Christian members, along with members from other components of Syria’s society. Meanwhile, The Kurdish government institutions in Qamishli city in northeastern Syria have nominated 120 people to participate in the Sochi conference.​​ [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The obvious strategy here is to undermine the PYD’s claim to represent the population of northern Syria by assembling a group of people who don’t support them. Indeed, the PYD has always had opponents, and it has acted high-handedly at times.

 

Monday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that Russian air defense forces defeated an attack by 13 drones on its Khmeimim air base and Tartus naval bases in Syria. The ministry said in a statement that 10 drones attempted to attack Khmeimim Air Base, while three attempted to attack Tartus. The ministry also confirmed that the attack had resulted in no casualties among Russian military personnel, and the two bases “continue to operate as normal.” [Dorar]

 

Sunday, the PMF announced the deaths of 8 Daesh members in a rocket shelling that targeted a Daesh gathering in Syria. The PMF statement said that the 28th​​ brigade detected movements of Daesh members in east Dahhaj village​​ who​​ were planning to carry out terrorist attacks on the Iraqi-Syrian border.​​ [Mawazin]

 

Bas News reported that the YPG in Syria published a video of the confessions of the French Daesh member called “Emily Koenig” who had played a significant role in online recruitment and spreading Daesh propaganda since joining their ranks in Syria in 2012. Koenig was listed on a UN watch list and on the US State Department terrorist list.​​ [BasNews]

 

Al-Qaeda officially announced the existence of one of its branches in Syria, although it did not announce the name of its new formation in Syria or any other details about it. [Arabi21]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)​​ (No reports)

 

Northwest

Idlib/Aleppo

Turkish Anadolu News quoted a military source as saying that Afghan elements believed to be from the militia of the​​ Iran-controlled Afghan​​ Fatimoun brigade took control of Sinjar​​ town​​ under intensive Russian aircover, putting pro-government militias only 18​​ km (11 miles) from Abu​​ Al-Dhuhur airport in eastern​​ Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

A Syrian government official commented on Monday about the losses of the Fatimoun militia that were recently revealed by Iranian media, saying​​ that​​ “what is being published about the existence of a brigade called Fatimoun that is made up of Afghani elements is untrue and it is shameful to give the impression that there are thousands of them. The official added “How many elements are there in this brigade, which kills 2,000 people and has wounded 8,000 and is still on the battlefield?” The official claims that the​​ numbers​​ of​​ Fatimoun​​ volunteers who have come to Syria to fight with the government are in the dozens, not the hundreds,​​ and these reports are inflating intelligence information. [Dorar]

 

Tahrir Al-Sham killed more than 20 pro-government fighters​​ in the Al-Zahra’ neighborhood north​​ of Aleppo city. [Dorar]

 

Tahrir Al-Sham announced on Monday that​​ it​​ carried out a surprise attack on the Syrian forces in rural southern Idlib by disguising themselves as Syrian​​ Army​​ members and attacking from within the Syrian forces’ positions.​​ [Dorar]

 

Monday, Qasioun reported that more than 59 civilians were killed, including 35 in a car bomb explosion in Idlib and 24 others in Russian and Syrian airstrikes on Kafr Nabl, Al-Sheikh Ahmed, Al-Ghadfa, Kansafra, Al-Fa’alul and Abu​​ Al-Dhuhur. [Qasioun]

 

Monday, Dorar reported that a Turkish military vehicle exploded near Darat Azza, northwest​​ of Aleppo city near southern Idlib. Meanwhile, a Turkish military convey was targeted with a rocket in Zarzita village,​​ northwest of Darat Azza, with​​ no​​ reports of causalities. [Dorar]

 

Monday, Dorar reported that​​ the Turkestan Islamic Group militia​​ sent military reinforcements, including dozens of military vehicles, tanks and heavy machineguns, to several front line​​ locations in rural southern and eastern Idlib in order to repel the Syrian forces’ advance in the region. [Dorar]

 

Central and West (Homs,​​ Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Sunday, the Syrian opposition​​ militia​​ Jaish Al-Ezza announced it shot down a Russian reconnaissance drone in Lataminah,​​ north​​ of​​ Hama​​ city. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a Syrian soldier was killed and another wounded when an IED exploded on their vehicle in Mayadin city.​​ 

 

Albu Kamal

Daesh said on Sunday its snipers killed four SDF fighters in Al-Bahra village, northwest of Hajin. It also said it destroyed an SDF SUV with a rocket near the same village. [A3maq] [A3maq]​​ 

Daesh published photos of targeting SDF units in the village with mortars. [ICDNJan7]

Daesh said on Saturday it killed five SDF fighters in clashes near the village. [A3maq]​​ 

Daesh publishes photos of battles near the village. [ICDNJan8]​​ 

 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF positions northeast of Hajin with mortars. [ICDNJan8]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 3 Hezbollah fighters were killed and others wounded when an IED exploded on their vehicle in Albu Kamal.​​ 

 

Daesh said on Saturday that a group of its terrorists attacked SDF positions near Al-Kashkiya village, killing seven fighters, before returning safely. [ICDNJan6]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Sunday it destroyed a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in Al-Abbas village, northeast of Albu Kamal. [A3maq]​​ 

Daesh publishes photos of targeting an SDF vehicle with a rocket east of Al-Shaafa village​​ near Albu Kamal city. [ICDNJan8]

Daesh publishes photos of targeting SDF positions near Gharanij with mortars. [ICDNJan8]​​ 

Daesh publishes photos of its “air defense units” shooting at Coalition planes near Gharanij. [ICDNJan6]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Monday, SOHR reported that more than 280 people have been killed since Tahrir Al-Sham and the Ahrar Al-Sham militia launched their attack on the Syrian forces in Harasta on the 29th​​ of December, 2017. [SyriaHR]

 

Sunday, SOHR reported that the Syrian forces managed to open a corridor for their members inside the Vehicle Department​​ near​​ Harasta,​​ who have been​​ besieged by Tahrir Al-Sham, Ahrar Al-Sham and Al-Rahman Corps. [SyriaHR]

 

Monday, Enab Baladi reported that at least 21 civilians were killed by Syrian forces’ aerial and artillery bombardment of the Eastern Ghouta cities and towns of Douma, Utaya, Hamouriya, Saqba, and Madeira. [EnabBaladi] [Anadolu]

 

Monday, a source in the Damascus Police said that armed groups in Eastern Ghouta launched two rockets on the Toma Neighborhood in Damascus. A woman was injured in the attack. [SyriaNow]

 

Daesh publishes photos of its terrorists south of Damascus. [ICDNJan6]

 

Daesh publishes photos of rain in the Yarmouk Basin area. [ICDNJan7]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Jordan/Lebanon

Monday, Jordan’s state news agency (Petra) says the country’s intelligence service has foiled a massive terrorist scheme, planned by a Daesh-backed cell. The agency​​ said​​ that the cell planned to carry out attacks last November. It said that security forces arrested 17 people and seized weapons and other materials. [Anadolu]

 

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

Daesh said on Sunday it killed 3 Houthi fighters in Yemen with an IED in Qifa. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Israel

Monday, Israeli internal security announced that with help from the Israeli police, two Arab-Israeli women in the Negev desert were arrested on charges of communicating with Daesh members abroad and planning to carry out attacks on Israelis. [Elaph]

 

North Africa

Egypt

According to an Egyptian security source, Anadolu reported on Monday that three militiamen were killed, and two Egyptian army recruits were wounded during security raids in central Sinai. Meanwhile, 8 terrorists were reportedly killed in a security crackdown in the North Sinai city of Arish, according to a local security source.​​ [Anadolu]

 

Daesh sources said on Sunday that an Egyptian police captain died of wounds he sustained in a Daesh attack in Arish few days earlier. [ICDNJan7]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that Zakariya Satam Al-Jubouri, aka Abu Ishaq Al-Iraqi, is now a senior Daesh leader in North Sinai. The source says Jubouri, who used to be the​​ wali​​ of Al-Zab,​​ appeared​​ in the latest Daesh publication from North Sinai.​​ 

 

Tunisia

Sunday, the Tunisian Preventive Security Department of the National Guard in Kasserine, Tunisia, in coordination with the National Unit for the Investigation of Terrorist Crimes,​​ arrested 30 members of a​​ takfiri​​ group residing in Kasserine. [Tunisien]

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Germany

According to Reuters, German officials estimate that 1,000 German nationals have​​ joined Daesh in Iraq and Syria. Interior Ministry State Secretary Emily Haber said that “a low three-digit number of minors is expected” to return to Germany. Reuters pointed out that German officials have “concerns about the radicalization of minors.”​​ [Sumaria] [Reuters]

Germany’s​​ Green Party reports that Germany expects more than 100 minors​​ whose parents joined Daesh​​ to return from Iraq and Syria. [Sumaria]

 

France

Monday, after the French government said that it did not intend to repatriate French nationals suspected to have fought for Daesh and suggested that they should stand trial locally, the International Federation for Human Rights and the French Human Rights League expressed concern that foreign nationals may not receive fair trials in accordance with international human rights​​ from​​ Kurdish​​ authorities​​ in northern Syria. [Shafaaq]

 

France’s​​ Minister of Interior Gerard Collomb announced on Monday that 20 terrorist attacks were thwarted in France in 2017. [Anadolu]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Afghan Ministry of Defense reported that 72 Taliban and Daesh assailants were killed and an approximately equal number wounded in military operations in 13​​ areas. [Sumaria]

 

The 201st​​ Silab Corps of the Afghan Army reported on Monday that 12 Daeshaffiliated militants were killed and 30 others wounded in artillery shelling and airstrikes in eastern Kunar province. The source added that Daesh militants had carried out a coordinated attack on the local Afghan police in Soki,​​ to which the Afghan​​ Army​​ responded. [Ghad]

Daesh said on Sunday it attacked pro-government militiamen in Kunar killing 15 fighters, wounding 27, destroying 6 Humvees and 4 military positions, and capturing several areas. [ICDNJan7]

 

Daesh published photos of the “graduation” of a group of its terrorists in a camp in Kunar. [ICDN]

 

Pakistan

Monday, Pakistani police arrested a Daesh member in Punjab as he attempted to carry out a terrorist operation against a “sensitive target,” according to a police official who added that security forces seized an IED and other explosives that were in the man’s possession. [SPA

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh published a propaganda video about its battles in the Deir Ez-Zor area. [ICDNJan6]

January 5, 2018

Deir Ez-Zor Province

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi proposes to unify the Iraqi armed forces​​ under one command.​​ [..]

Iraq & KRG will start negotiating oil issues shortly. [..]

Iraq closes Ramadi IDP camp, as all its inhabitants have returned home. [..]

Hawija security sweep kills 50 Daesh fighters, forces 35 Daesh families out. [..]

IDP commander says 1/2 of Mosul streets now restored to pre-Daesh level. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey arrested 4,765 Daesh members in 2017. [..]

 

Syria

Erdogan re-emphasizes opposition to Assad continuing in power. [..]

Brett McGurk thanks SDF fighters for their sacrifices and accomplishments. [..]

Coalition launched 54 airstrikes in Albu Kamal in past week. [..]

Syrian forces have now captured 14 villages in southeastern Idlib. [..]

Daesh Daily source says Iraqi militiamen looted houses in Mayadin. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

US suspends most of its military assistance to Pakistan. [..]

Iran’s Foreign Minister blames Trump, Saudis for internal violence. [..]​​ 

 

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

British Minister of Defence Gavin Williamson said on Thursday that his government is committed to continuing its work with the Coalition to hunt down extremist fighters in Syria and Iraq. He​​ also said​​ that the UK is determined to win the online war with Daesh and prevent their propaganda from recruiting more extremist fighters or causing more attacks against innocent people. Williamson signed a statement of intent with Iraq’s​​ Defense Minister Irfan Al-Hayali to invest $13.5 million to boost Iraqi counterterrorism efforts. [Arabiya]

 

Between December 29, 2017, and January 4, 2018, the Coalition conducted​​ 4​​ strikes in Iraq,​​ near Baiji (2) and Mosul (2). [CentCom]

 

Reconstruction

Friday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi called on Iraq to maintain the victory Iraq has achieved by unifying the army, the PMF, and the Peshmerga, as well as other armed forces. He stated that Iraq is capable of rising to the same levels as other developed countries. [Rudaw]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Iraqi Minister of Oil Jabbar Al-Luaibi announced that Al-Abadi is prepared to hold negotiations with the KRG on​​ oil and expects consultations to start in the coming days. [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Northeast​​ (Adhamiya, etc.)

The Ministry of Defense announced that​​ detachments​​ of the Department of Intelligence and Security in Baghdad arrested the so-called information officer of Daesh’s “Wilaya Diyala” in Adhamiya.​​ [Sumaria]

 

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

A security source reported on Friday that five civilians were injured in a roadside bomb explosion in the Radwaniya area in western Baghdad.​​ [Baghdadia]

 

ANBAR

Ramadi

At the end of December 2017, the government of Anbar closed​​ its​​ first​​ IDP​​ camp,​​ in Ramadi,​​ after all of its inhabitants had been returned to their liberated areas.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Anah​​ (including Rawa)/Al-Qa’im

An adviser​​ on displaced​​ persons to the Governor of Anbar,​​ Mazen Khalid,​​ announced the return of​​ 160 families to western parts of Al-Qa’im District on Friday.​​ [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a Tribal PMF commander was killed in clashes with Daesh north of Shirqat.​​ 

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source sent us​​ photos, taken from the mobile phone of a captured Daesh member, showing a group of terrorists hiding in the Makhoul Mountains area.​​ 

 

Tikrit

The Ministry of Defense announced on Friday the discovery of 7 Daesh​​ hideouts​​ in Salahuddin Province, saying in a statement “The Salahuddin Operations Command has launched a large-scale operation​​ in​​ Al-Jazeera west of Tikrit to gather information on the presence of a group of terrorists in the villages of Al-Joza and Al-Shiha.” The Ministry announced that 3 Daesh members were spotted in the Tigris River and killed, including one wearing an explosives​​ belt.​​ [Baghdadia]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur,​​ Tooz)

Badr Secretary General Hadi Al-Amiri pledged to respond to the demands of the Tuz Khurmatu residents concerning the withdrawal of the PMF and allowing the displaced​​ residents​​ to return within a week. [Rudaw]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh says it wounded an Iraqi Intelligence officer with a sticky IED under his vehicle in the Qatoun area, west of Baquba. [A3maq]​​ 

 

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

A security source said on Friday that 3 Daesh members were killed during a security operation in the Albu Awad area​​ in Udhaim,​​ along​​ the border between Diyala and Salahuddin. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

The​​ tribal elders and dignitaries of Al-Nida rallied to declare a tribal war on Daesh sleeper cells. They say the​​ Al-Nida Basin, west of Mandali, has seen the worst security breaches compared to other parts of Diyala in terms of the presence of Daesh sleeper cells, long periods of violence, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion of civilians.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A security source says an unknown gunman assassinated a lawyer late Thursday night in eastern Kirkuk in an Arab-majority neighborhood. This is the 2nd​​ assassination in Kirkuk in one week. [BasNews]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

A local source said on Friday that more than 50 terrorists were killed and dozens arrested as a result of the search and clear operations​​ in​​ liberated areas of southwest Kirkuk and eastern Salahuddin on Thursday, specifically Hawija​​ city, Riyadh, Abbasi, Al-Zab, Qata Al-Zarqa, and the Himrin Hills.​​ [Etejah]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says tribal leaders kicked out 35 Daesh families from Hawija to the Daquq​​ IDP​​ camp. The source also says security units captured 25 Daesh terrorists, including 3 local commanders, in the Hawija area.​​ 

 

NINEWA

The​​ Chairman​​ of the Ninewa Provincial Council thanked Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi for agreeing to open the international road between Mosul and Dahuk,​​ saying that​​ establishing​​ normal​​ control​​ will​​ facilitate movement between the two​​ jurisdictions. [Rudaw]

 

Mosul

IFP​​ Commander Brigadier Louay Jawad said 50% of the streets and roads in Mosul, including​​ Old Mosul,​​ have been rehabilitated to​​ the level​​ they were​​ at​​ before Daesh, which he credited​​ to the engineering efforts​​ in the city.​​ [Baghdadia]

 

East Mosul

A security source said on Friday that 3 terrorists belonging to Al-Qaeda were arrested in east Mosul. They​​ were found hiding in a tunnel.​​ [Baghdadia]

 

A security source said on Friday that security services arrested 3 people hiding in a house in east Mosul.​​ [Etejah]

 

West​​ Mosul

A police source says Iraqi Federal Police found 20 bodies of young people, including that of a Daesh terrorist, in Old Mosul. The police source says the bodies bore signs of torture.​​ [Etejah]

 

Southern Ninewa

Qayara

A security source said on Thursday that 4 Daesh members were killed in a village west of Qayara. [Ghad]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Thursday, Turkish authorities announced the arrests​​ of 26 people suspected of belonging to Daesh in different cities in Turkey. Turkish authorities announced on Thursday that Turkey arrested 4,765 suspected Daesh members in 2017, 1,447 of​​ them​​ in Istanbul. [Kuna]

 

The Turkish Gendarmerie arrested 2 Daesh members as they tried to infiltrate from Syria into Turkey on Friday, according to security sources. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Turkish President Recep Erdogan​​ reiterated his position that Bashir Al-Assad should not be allowed to retain his position as President of Syria. Erdogan​​ said on Friday that the​​ “guarantor”​​ countries will continue the Astana talks to reach a solution in Syria without Bashar Al-Assad. “We will continue discussion with Astana to reach a solution without [Al-Assad]. We do not want a solution with [Al-Assad], we want a democratic Syria and we want the Syrian people to impose their own will on the fait accompli,” said Erdogan.​​ 

Returning to his favorite subject,​​ Erdogan​​ insisted that​​ Ankara “will not allow the PYD terrorist organizations to reach the Mediterranean Sea,” calling on “the countries of the world to fight these terrorist organizations”​​ and​​ saying that “unfortunately America still supports them (the PYD) with weapons.” [Dorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ As the “guarantor” countries include Russia and Iran, we are not confident that the Astana and other conferences designed to pre-empt decisions of the UN-sponsored conferences that are unlikely to favor Assad will have the result that Erdogan says he expects. It would help, however, if he would maintain​​ this​​ public​​ stance on Assad and see that his real interests lie in working with the US and Turkey’s other NATO allies​​ who support him on this issue.​​ 

 

Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron called for Western nations to play a greater role in ending the war in Syria, saying the crisis cannot be resolved by just “a few” foreign powers. He added that the international community should “not give ground to certain powers which think that just a few, recognizing one part of the opposition from the outside, will be able to find a stable and lasting solution for the situation in Syria.” “In this context, the United Nations, regional powers, Europe and the United States have a great responsibility, and I will fully commit… to succeeding in building the peace in Syria,” he told the diplomatic corps in Paris. [Dorar]

 

Special Envoy Brett McGurk thanked​​ the SDF fighters, saying “the sacrifices of these fighters resulted in the liberation of 50,000​​ sq km from the grip of Daesh.” [Rudaw]

 

In a statement published on his Telegram account Thursday, Abdul Razzaq Al-Mahdi, a Syrian anti-government Islamist cleric and a former Tahrir Al-Sham​​ sharia judge, called on the opposition groups in northern Syria and Ghouta to “shell the Russian Khmeimim airbase and the Syrian military airports​​ from which warplanes take off​​ with Grad rockets,​​ as they have destroyed everything.” ​​ [Qasioun]

 

Between December 29, 2017, and January 4, 2018, the Coalition conducted 54 strikes in Syria,​​ all in or​​ near Albu Kamal. [CentCom]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Raqqa

Raqqa city& district

In a statement released on its official website Thursday, the PYD said its troops​​ killed 14 “terrorists” during a security operation in Al-Karama town in rural eastern Raqqa. According to the statement, the “terrorists” were planning to attack the PYD checkpoints and the IDP camp in Al-Mabrouka in rural Hasaka. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Northwest

Idlib

Friday, SOHR reported that the Syrian forces captured Idlib’s southeastern villages of Al-Mashhad, Mreijeb Al-Mashhad, Tal Khazna and Um Rajim, following clashes with Islamic opposition groups, bringing the total villages captured by the Syrian Forces in rural southeastern Idlib to​​ at least​​ 14 villages over the last 24 hours. [SyriaHR]

 

Friday, Araby 21 reported that under the cover of intense Russian airstrikes, the Syrian forces captured Al-Khawin village in rural southeastern Idlib. [Arabi21]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 4 Daesh terrorists were killed in a failed assassination attempt on a Nusra commander in Idlib.​​ 

 

Thursday, Iba’a reported that Tahrir Al-Sham raided a Daesh hideout In Al-Halbeh village in southeastern Idlib, killing 3 Daesh members and seizing some IEDs, explosives​​ belts and ammunition, according to Saad Al-Din Mohammed, a Tahrir Al-Sham security official. [Qasioun]

 

Friday, SOHR reported that violent clashes resumed between the Syrian forces and Tahrir Al-Sham, after the latter foiled a Syrian forces​​ attempt to capture Sheikh Baraka village, with reports of casualties on both sides. [SyriaHR]

 

Qasioun reported that the Syrian forces had​​ advanced to within 2 km of the Strategic Abu Al-Dhuhur military airport in rural eastern Idlib​​ near the Aleppo border. This​​ followed​​ up​​ their recent attack on Sheikh Baraka village,​​ 2 miles​​ southwest of Sinjar​​ in southeastern Idlib near the Hama border. This​​ occurred in the context of a​​ Daesh attack on Al-Huwais Castle​​ on the Hama side of the border. [Qasioun]​​ See story below under “Hama”

 

Central and West (Homs,​​ Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Friday, according to local military sources, Enab Baladi reported that Daesh captured Huwais Castle and Khirbet Rasm Al-Teen in rural eastern Hama. [EnabBaladi]

 

Friday, SOHR reported that violent clashes are ongoing between Tahrir al-Sham and Daesh, following a Daesh attack on different Tahrir Al-Sham-held locations in rural northeastern Hama, in an attempt by Daesh to advance​​ into rural southeastern Idlib. ​​ [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

The YPG freed two Yazidi children along with a young Kurdish woman from Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor Province. [Rudaw]

 

Mayadin

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says pro-Iran Iraqi militias destroyed and looted many houses in Mayadin city and other areas in Deir Ez-Zor province.

 

The SDF says it seized control of Al-Jadila and Ilyas, 23 km (14 miles) southwest of Mayadin, after Daesh withdrew from them. [Dorar]

 

Albu Kamal

Daesh publishes photos of its “air defense units” shooting at Coalition planes over Hajin. [ICDNJan5]

 

Daesh publishes photos of a group of its terrorists near Albu Kamal. [ICDNJan5]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Friday,​​ SOHR reported that 76 members of Tahrir Al-Sham were killed over the last week, along with 48 members of the Syrian forces.​​ SOHR​​ says violent clashes are still ongoing between Tahrir Al-Sham and the Syrian forces, due to the​​ military’s​​ attempt to end the siege imposed by Tahrir Al-Sham on the Vehicle Department in​​ the city of​​ Harasta,​​ a northeast suburb of Damascus,​​ and free its​​ servicemen held there. [Hawar] [SyriaHR]

 

According to several sources, Enab Baladi reported on Friday that the Syrian forces captured some houses in the vicinity of the Criminal Security area, southwest of Harasta near the city of Arbin. The same sources said that the Syrian forces haven’t captured any buildings in Al-Ajami​​ neighborhood in Harasta. [EnabBaladi]

 

Friday, SOHR reported that violent clashes broke out between Daesh and Jaish Al-Islam in the groves, located between Yelda town in Rif Dimashq and​​ the​​ Al-Hajar Al-Aswad​​ neighborhood in southern Damascus, with reports of casualties on both sides. [SyriaHR]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Friday,​​ Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in​​ Tehran,​​ accused US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia of supporting “violence, death, and sabotage in Iran.” [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Zarif is blaming the wrong people, perhaps because it is politically unacceptable to offend Khamenei and his thugs by blaming the regime leaders who are the real source of the problems, and there is a felt need to​​ deal with the​​ political​​ pressure by​​ blaming​​ someone. Khamenei made a statement that did the same thing. Conceding the unfortunate deaths during the protests, the protesters in the streets are arguably on the​​ elected​​ government’s side in its efforts to make progress in the face of the obstruction from Khamenei’s side. ​​ Trump’s rhetoric may have been strong, but at least he is openly supporting the Iranian people, which neither side of the Iranian government is willing to do, for different reasons.

 

North Africa

Egypt

Al-Azhar’s deputy Abbas Shoman said that the killing of terrorists is a “legitimate duty” for the police and the army. He said​​ Al-Azhar has no right to​​ atone for the actions of​​ the terrorists. Shoman said terrorists are just exploiting religion to convince young people of their​​ political​​ ideas. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

France

The French Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet confirmed that although France does not recognize the Kurdish state, the authorities in the Rojava area of northern Syria could try French citizens who joined Daesh or other militant groups. Belloubet said that if the Rojava authorities guarantee them the right of legal defense, France has no objection to the trial of French citizens in Rojava. Belloubet also said that if Rojava does not guarantee legal defense, French authorities will intervene through their embassy, the Red Cross, or other humanitarian organizations. She did not use or recognize the term “local authorities in Rojava” and instead referred to “local authorities that arrested jihadists.” [Hawar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This may be more about France than the PYD. Officials in various European countries have indicated that they would rather have their terrorists prosecuted and punished in Iraq and Syria than have to deal with these people back in their home countries and take the risk of Daesh-inspired incidents they might cause.

 

AFRICA

Nigeria​​ 

Daesh publishes photos of dead Nigerian soldiers it says it killed in Borneo. [ICDNJan5]​​ 

 

ASIA

Pakistan

The US has suspended almost all of its security assistance to Pakistan, claiming that Pakistan has failed to deal with terrorist networks operating inside Pakistani territory. The​​ State​​ Department says that aid will be withheld until​​ it takes action against the Haqqani network and the Afghani Taliban. [Sumaria]

 

Pakistan said on Friday that it is too early to say whether the suspension of the US security assistance to Pakistan’s military will affect the fight against terrorism in the region or not. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said on Wednesday that Pakistan is not ready to reconsider its cooperation with the US “unless this cooperation is appreciated.” [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment. ​​​​ Pakistan has been getting away with its double game for many years, largely because it is a large, strategically located, and important country whose cooperation is really needed and which has generally been given. However, the operatives it has harbored in Pakistan continue to destabilize neighboring Afghanistan and kill US soldiers. In short, its defense policy embraces contradictions it has consistently refused to face up to. Actually changing its policy to be consistently cooperative and start​​ rooting out​​ these terrorist networks will not be easy because their supporters in the government are well entrenched.​​ 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 103rd​​ issue of its​​ Naba​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh reports​​ on​​ its attacks in Iraq, Syria, and other countries. It also publishes​​ an​​ infographic​​ trying to​​ explain why Hamas is an infidel organization. [ICDNJan5]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ There is a new generation of jihadis in Gaza that supports Daesh. Several Daesh leaders who fled from Iraq or Syria have gone back to Gaza. Also, the “older” Daesh generations tried to keep a de facto peace with Hamas (although Daesh announced Hamas to be infidel last year). However, new Daesh leaders, who almost lost everything in Iraq and Syria, are trying their luck.​​ 

 

January 4, 2018

 

Hawija

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

IOM counts 3.2 million displaced Iraqi returned, 2.6 million still displaced. [..]

Iraqi units kill at least 51 Daesh in Hawija “purge” campaign. [..]

Gorran leader says Kurds now have more faith in Al-Abadi than the KRG. [..]

Iraqi intelligence​​ announces​​ arrest of perpetrators of deadly Nasiriya attack. [..]

 

Syria

Daesh mines still killing​​ many​​ civilians in Raqqa. [..]

Syrian forces take five more southern Idlib villages from Tahrir Al-Sham. [..]

53 civilians reported killed in one week of Syrian airstrikes in Damascus area.[..]

 

Afghanistan

Daesh stages deadly suicide attack on police officers in Afghanistan. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh Campaign

A security source says Iraqi security forces have launched several raids and search operations aimed at pursuing Daesh cells in the cities of Kirkuk, Mosul, and​​ Diyala. The source added that “the region has recently seen significant activity of Daesh elements and security forces have intelligence on where these cells are located and are working to flush them out.” [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Sumaria News reports that British​​ Minister of​​ Defence Gavin Williamson arrived in Baghdad for an official visit on Thursday. A source who asked not to be named says Williamson discussed with Iraqi officials and Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi​​ the​​ relations between the two countries and the security and political situation in Iraq and the Middle East in general. [Sumaria]

 

Foreign Affairs magazine published an editorial warning that just because Daesh is defeated, that does not mean that the world is safe from extremist groups. The article said that Salafist jihadis constitute about 35% of the major armed groups in Iraq, 50% of the armed groups in Somalia, and 70% of the armed groups in Syria. [SkyPress] [ForeignAffairs]

 

Reconstruction

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as of​​ the end of December 2017, 3.2 million displaced​​ Iraqis had​​ returned to their homes while 2.6 million are still displaced. ​​ More than 1 million people have returned to Anbar Province where the last battle against Daesh took place. Among the returnees, “about a third say they found their homes completely or largely​​ destroyed. 60% found their homes​​ moderately damaged” according to​​ IOM​​ spokeswoman Sandra Black.​​ [Xendan]

 

Election

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday “I pledge my support to the Iraqi government to urge it to disarm militias that are not linked to the government.” Macron added that the Iraqi government must be helped “to hold free elections and restore calm to the country.” [BasNews]

 

Thursday, Head of Independent Electoral Commission Maan Al-Hitawi said that the PMFs have no right to participate in the special voting in the upcoming elections, along with other security forces. “All the PMF voters have the right to participate in the public voting, and thus, they cannot be allowed to participate in the special voting for there is no data about the PMF members,” Maan said. [BasNews]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Thursday, a leader in the Gorran (Change) Movement, Saber Ismail, said that the Kurdish people have much more confidence in Al-Abadi’s government than​​ in​​ the KRG, pointing out that “the Kurdish people have fully realized that Baghdad is the capital of all Iraqis and political forces.” “The Kurdish powers are fully aware that without holding a dialogue with Baghdad, the Kurdistan region will not be financially, administratively and politically settled,” he added.​​ [Buratha]

 

The office of Iraqi PM Al-Abadi announced that Al-Abadi received a delegation comprising a number of Kurdish parties on Thursday. Al-Abadi stressed that the central government is continuing to secure the salaries of the Kurdistan employees, stressing that he wants to maintain the unity of Iraq while ensuring its ethnic and sectarian diversity. [Sumaria]

 

KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani met with US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman on Thursday. A statement from the Barzani’s office says the two sides discussed the situation in the Kurdistan Region​​ and​​ the need to secure the financial​​ amounts owed to​​ the Kurdistan Region in the budget​​ while maintaining stability after the tensions between Baghdad and Erbil. They also discussed preparations for the elections and steps to reform the Kurdistan Regional Government. [Sumaria]

 

Nechirvan Barzani said on Thursday that Turkey could play a positive role in solving problems between the KRG and the central government. Barzani received new Turkish Consul Hakan​​ Karajai in Erbil and indicated that Karajai stressed the development of relations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region​​ and Turkey’s readiness to exert efforts to solve the problems between Erbil and Baghdad. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It says something about Barzani’s desperation to find support against Baghdad that he is now appealing to the Turks, who were among those most hostile to the independence referendum.

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

The General Directorate of Intelligence and Security announced the arrest of a man wanted on​​ terrorism​​ charges in Baghdad. [Baghdadia]

 

ANBAR

Al-Qa’im

A security source in Anbar Province said on Thursday that a​​ Border​​ Guard officer was wounded in an IED explosion on the​​ Al-Qa’im-Syria border. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday, according to the PMF website,​​ military​​ engineering teams dismantled the communications towers in Al-Qa’im District in the effort to restore the towers to actual service. “The troops set up a field hospital to provide medical services to fighters and civilians in the Province,” the official PMF website added. [Baghdadia]

 

The General Staff of the 13th​​ brigade announced on Thursday that “the brigade forces have secured the return of 5,000 displaced families to Al-Qa’im District.”[IraqPress]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

Daesh says it killed a PMF fighter, wounded others, and damaged a vehicle in clashes in the Makhoul Mountains area. [A3maq]​​ 

 

DIYALA

An official in Diyala Province said on Thursday that the first steps are being taken to withdraw the army from city centers and hand over security responsibility to the police. [Sumaria]

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Thursday, according to Dijla Ops Commander Mizhar Al-Azzawi, Dijla Ops units killed 13 terrorists and wounded​​ 1​​ other in a security operation in northeast Baquba, finding explosives​​ belts with the terrorists. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

The General Directorate of Intelligence and Security announced that a security unit found a pile of hardware in Baquba that terrorists were planning to use as explosives. [Baghdadia]

 

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

Thursday, the Security Committee in the Diyala Provincial Council announced that Special Operations Intelligence in the Counterterrorism Apparatus killed Daesh’s “Governor of Diyala” in the Himrin Hills. ​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

The Military Information Cell announced on Thursday that the Kirkuk Operations completed the inspection of 30 villages in several areas of Kirkuk. [Sumaria]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Thursday, a member of the Hawija Provincial Council said security forces killed more than 40 Daesh terrorists and arrested 10 during the first day of the “purge of Hawija District.” [Sumaria]

Ali Al-Hamdani, leader of the PMF, announced the end of the first phase of the purge of Hawija and surrounding areas in the western part of Kirkuk.[AIN]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a joint PMF and Tribal PMF force, disguised as Daesh fighters, ambushed and killed 11 Daesh terrorists and confiscated 2 vehicles in Halat village, in Riyadh subdistrict.​​ 

 

A security source said that security units began raids and search operations for Daesh terrorist cells in Kirkuk Province in the areas of Hawija, Rashad, and Kirkuk​​ city.[Baghdadia]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

According to local sources,​​ Daesh leader Abu Omar was arrested in Mosul. Omar is known as a barbarically brutal figure and enjoyed causing panic among the residents in Mosul when Daesh had control of the city.[Ghad]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Qayara/Hatra

The PMF announced it killed 4 Daesh terrorists in Imam village on Thursday in western Qayara.​​ [Ghad]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says PMF units stopped a Daesh attack on​​ Qayara’s​​ Ihjala village. The source says​​ that as​​ the Daesh members were fleeing, a citizen shot at them,​​ killing 2 terrorists, an Iraqi and a Moroccan. The source sent a photo of the dead Iraqi terrorist.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says four PMF fighters were killed in a Daesh ambush in Al-Sakhri village, south of Hatra.​​ 

 

WesternNinewa

Baaj

Daesh says it killed or wounded Iraqi Border Guard members, including an officer, with 2 IEDs in the Tal Safouk area. [A3maq]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Dhi Qar

The Falcon Intelligence Cell (Al-Suqour) reported on Thursday the arrest of the planners and executors of the terrorist attack in Nasiriya which took place on September 14, 2017. [Mawazin]

 

Najaf

Thursday, a security source says border guards on the Iraqi-Saudi border found a tunnel heading in the direction of Najaf with “entrances, exits, and rooms.” [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Al-Arabiya News reported on Thursday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard withdrew a number of its members from Syria to return to Iran to​​ help​​ suppress the protests​​ there, which​​ have been ongoing for 8 days. [Dorar]

 

In response to a question about whether the PYD should participate in the Syrian Dialogue Conference in Sochi, Russia,​​ Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for Turkey’s​​ President,​​ said that a terrorist organization cannot represent the Syrian people. “They are not Syrian Kurds,” Kalin said, “Turkey is well aware how injustice has been exercised to expand the territory it (the PYD) controls.” Kalan accused western media of ignoring PYD abuses because “its practices are part of a US plan that is currently being implemented.” [Anadolu]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Syrian activists documented the​​ deaths​​ of 83 civilians last month​​ from​​ mines left behind by Daesh in Raqqa Province. [EnabBaladi]

 

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

According to the Coalition, a Coalition team worked with Syrian partners and erected a steel bridge in record time on December 27, 2017 near Hawi Al-Hawa village west of Raqqa. Commanding General​​ James Jarrad​​ says the​​ bridge will help the Raqqa Internal Security Force to provide better security for the people of Raqqa and will facilitate humanitarian relief and assistance efforts in Raqqa.​​ [CentCom]

 

Northwest

Aleppo/Idlib

Thursday, Qasioun reported that Syrian forces, backed by intensive artillery shelling, captured Idlib’s southern villages of Um Saharij​​ (Hama), Maar Hattat, Rasm Al-Abd, Labidah and Fahil Jallas, after battles with Tahrir Al-Sham. ​​ [Qasioun] [SyriaHR]

 

Thursday, Qasioun reported that 5 civilians were killed, and more than 10 others, including women and children, were wounded in Russian airstrikes on Al-Tuqan city in rural eastern Idlib, according to medical sources. [Qasioun]

 

Central and West (Homs,​​ Hama,​​ etc.)

Latakia

Thursday, Sputnik reported that air defense forces​​ at​​ the Russian Khmeimim airbase destroyed two drones, used by the Nusra Front to attack different residential locations in Jableh and Mhardeh cities in Latakia. [SyriaNow]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin

Thursday, Hawar reported that the SDF captured Al-Jadila and Ilyas villages, 23 kilometers southwest of Mayadin, following violent clashes with Daesh, killing 11 Daesh members. [Hawar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It is noteworthy but unexplained that the SDF is still fighting in Albu Kamal while government troops seem to have stopped fighting.

 

Albu Kamal

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Coalition planes killed Sabah Hassan Sanbar Al-Ahmadi,​​ AKA​​ Abu Omar Al-Shayeb, a senior Daesh leader, in an airstrike near Albu Kamal, in addition to several other terrorists. The source says Ahmadi, originally from Mosul, was one of​​ the first Iraqis to join Al-Qaeda, and was appointed the general security commander of the “caliphate.”  ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

 

Daesh published photos of targeting SDF positions near Al-Bahra village (near Hajin) with mortars. [ICDNJan3]​​ 

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

SOHR reports the first week of the violent attack by Tahrir Al-Sham and the Ahrar Al-Sham militia against the Syrian forces on the outskirts of Harasta city has ended. The region​​ has​​ seen intensive bombardment, causing extensive destruction of infrastructure and causing the death and injury of dozens of civilians. 53 citizens have been killed during this bombardment in​​ Eastern Ghouta since Friday December 29, 2017, according to SOHR. [SyriaHR]

Thursday, according to police sources, a woman and a girl were killed and 24 civilians were injured when Syrian opposition​​ militias​​ shelled​​ the​​ Al-Emarah​​ neighborhood in Damascus​​ city​​ and Harasta in Rif Damashq. [SyriaNow]

 

Thursday, SOHR reported that the Syrian opposition​​ militia​​ Jaish Al-Islam launched an attack on the Syrian forces’ positions in Al-Nashabiyah town in Rif Damashq, killing at least 14 members of the Syrian forces. ​​ A number of Jaish Al-Islam’s members were also killed and wounded. [SyriaHR]

 

Thursday, SOHR reported that 4 civilians, including a woman and a female child, were wounded​​ by​​ ​​ Syrian forces shelling of​​ thee town of​​ Masraba in Eastern Ghouta. Meanwhile, the Syrian forces reportedly targeted​​ the​​ Rif Damashq cities of Hamouriya, Arbin, Douma and Harasta with rocket and artillery shelling and airstrikes. [SyriaHR]

 

Daraa

Wednesday evening, Dorar reported that Syrian opposition​​ militias​​ foiled a surprise attack by Daesh’s affiliate, Jaish Khaled, on their positions near Al-Sheikh Saad town in rural western Daraa, killing and wounding many members of​​ Jaish Khaled. [Dorar] [ZamanAlWasl]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh sources say a policeman and two other persons were killed in​​ an​​ ambush on the International Road, west of Arish. [ICDNJan4]​​ 

 

A new Daesh propaganda video released on Wednesday says that the Egyptian wing of Daesh has declared war on Hamas for allowing Trump to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The video shows the execution of a man who Daesh claims worked with Hamas’s armed wing. [Newsweek]​​ [ICDNJan4]

 

Tunisia

Wednesday, the Tunisian National Unit for Research on Terrorist Crimes of the National Guard in El-Aouina​​ dismantled a Takfiri cell consisting of 9 operatives in Sousse Province. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Thursday, officials and eyewitnesses confirmed that a suicide attack targeted police officers who were handling a protest. Daesh has claimed responsibility. The Police Department says 5 officers were killed and 11 were wounded. [BBC]​​ [Ghad]

Afghanistan’s TOLOnews channel quoted the Ministry of Health and the Kabul Police as confirming​​ that at least 15 people were killed and 20 injured in Thursday evening’s suicide attack on Afghan Police forces in Kabul. [Anadolu]

January 3, 2018

 

Christians in Mosul (BBC)

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi says government trying hard to bring Iraq’s Christians home. [..]

Discussions begin between GOI, KRG officials on managing disputed areas. [..]

Al-Jubouri moves to soften post-referendum anti-KRG measures. [..]

Al-Qa’im council chairman says restoring normal services will cost $1.5 billion. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan​​ again says Turkey’s attack against Kurds in NW Syria is imminent. [..]

 

Syria

SDF spokesman says Coalition will continue supporting autonomy for SDF-held areas. [..]​​ 

Syrian Army, Russians regain three villages in southern Idlib. [..]

SDF captures three more villages in Deir Ez-Zor. [..]

 

Somalia

US airstrike targets​​ Al-Shabab militants west of Mogadishu. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reuters has reported that three Iranian intelligence officers were killed in clashes in the western Iran city of Piranshahr, near the border with Erbil Province in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iran’s Revolutionary​​ Guards issued a statement saying that the three died in “a fight with revolutionary elements,” suggesting that the​​ clash resulted from the protests ongoing in Iran.​​ 

However, Rudaw, a Kurdistan media source, says the clash was between KDP-Iran​​ Peshmerga and Iranian​​ troops.​​ Their “local sources​​ report the deaths of 6 members of the Iranian forces.​​ [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Anti-Daesh Campaign

Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi said on Wednesday that there are still security challenges in Iraq,​​ citing plans to eliminate terrorism and corruption. Al-Abadi said “we must expose corruption in order to preserve the victory achieved by the blood of heroes,” referring especially to any corruption in the security forces that might impair their​​ effectiveness. [Sumaria]

 

Since​​ Mosul’s​​ liberation in July, 3,000 missing persons reports have been filed by Mosul residents. Most of the missing persons are men or boys, some taken by Daesh, others being held by Iraqi security forces on suspicion of​​ fighting for​​ Daesh. According to​​ Human Rights Watch, around 20,000 people are being held in detention centers across Iraq on suspicion of belonging to Daesh and there are unthinkable numbers of bodies in the many mass graves Daesh left behind. One Iraqi investigator says it will be years before these families find out what happened to their relatives,​​ as​​ Iraq does not have enough forensic experts to exhume the dozens of mass graves left by Daesh and the Iraqi judicial system is illequipped to​​ efficiently​​ process all the detainees that were taken during the liberation process. [WashingtonPost] [Mada]

 

Reconstruction

Prime Minister​​ Al-Abadi also said Wednesday that religious and sectarian diversity must be preserved in Iraq, adding that the government is “working full force” to return displaced Christians to their areas of residence. According to a statement from the PM’s Media Office, Al-Abadi received the heads of the Christian denominations and “wished them a merry Christmas and happy new year filled with love and peace,” reassuring all Iraqi citizens of their rights as citizens “regardless of their affiliation, religious or political.” [Sumaria]

 

See reconstruction story below under Al-Qa’im

 

Election

CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri said on Wednesday that no official date has been set for the upcoming​​ parliamentary​​ elections, while the electoral process is linked to budget laws and the elections. Al-Jubouri reassured that “there is no intention at all to formally delay the elections.” [Sumaria]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Delegations from the federal government and the KRG arrived in Mosul to negotiate​​ the management of​​ disputed areas on Wednesday, according to a local source. The central government delegation is headed by Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Othman Al-Ghanmi and the KRG delegation by Interior Minister Karim Sinjari.​​ The source said “the 2 delegations resumed negotiations for the purpose of agreeing on a joint formula to manage the disputed areas. [Buratha]​​ [Sumaria]

 

Leader of the Kurdistan Islamic Group,​​ Shwan Rebar,​​ announced on Wednesday that a Kurdish delegation is heading to Baghdad for talks with government officials. Rebar said “The delegation will meet with Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi and the Iraqi​​ political parties,” adding that the delegation is a joint political delegation including the Taghyir Movement​​ (Gorran), the Kurdistan Islamic Group, and the Justice and Democracy Alliance led by Barham Salih.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Deputy Head of the​​ Gorran (Change)​​ CoR delegation,​​ Amin Bakr,​​ warned of any side agreements or secret negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil, suggesting that such negotiations would serve only the political parties and not the people of Kurdistan as Iraqi citizens. Bakr said that secret or undeclared negotiations could lead to concessions made by the KRG in return for KDP political gains. Bakr says he supports a dialogue to resolve differences through legal and constitutional means in the public interest but that should not mean “offering the people of Kurdistan as a sacrifice to fix the ruling party and those who stand with it,​​ with the sole intention of preserving chairs.” Bakr stressed that all Kurdistan parties should be represented in the dialogue, not just the​​ two​​ main parties. [Sumaria]

 

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat​​ newspaper reported on Wednesday that Baghdad and Erbil intend to form a joint committee to review all controversial issues. The committee will be composed of 7 members: 5 from the national government and two from the KRG.​​ [Sumaria]

 

CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri announced on Wednesday an official letter to the Federal Supreme Court to inquire about abolishing the punitive decisions taken against the Kurdistan Region after the referendum held on September 25, 2017. Al-Jubouri said “we have stated that the decision of​​ the Federal Court canceled the consequences and effects of the Kurdistan referendum.” He added “I think if everyone is confident that the referendum has been canceled, those decisions will be canceled and we will return to legislation as it was before September 25, 2017.” [BasNews]

 

Al-Jubouri said on Wednesday that the amount of money obtained from oil exports​​ from​​ the Kurdistan Region could be enough to cover the salaries of all of the Kurdistan Region staff. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

South​​ (Dora, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiya, etc.)

Wednesday, Detachments of the General Directorate of Intelligence and Baghdad Security arrested a man on​​ terrorism​​ charges and found a stockpile of materials and mechanisms for building, detonating, and launching explosives in Latifiya.​​ [Baghdadia]

 

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

The Military Intelligence Directorate arrested a fugitive on terrorism charges on Wednesday in Mansour. [Baghdadia]

 

Wednesday, Baghdad Operations Command announced the arrest of​​ 2​​ people on​​ terrorism​​ charges and the seizure and dismantling of explosives in Abu Ghraib. [Baghdadia]

 

ANBAR

A statement made by the Mistry of Defense said that security units found hidden caches in agricultural and residential areas in Anbar Province used by terrorists to target innocent civilians. [Mawazin]

 

Ramadi

Al-Sabaah news reports that tactical​​ units​​ of the Falcon Cell (Al-Suqour) destroyed a secret Daesh tunnel in the​​ Ramadi​​ desert. [Sabaah]

 

Al-Qa’im

Wednesday, a police source said three policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb targeted a security patrol in Al-Qa’im District. [BasNews]

 

Head of the Al-Qa’im District Council,​​ Nathim Bardan,​​ said on Wednesday “the security situation is stable in Al-Qa’im District but the infrastructure and service projects are completely destroyed.” He added that “the electricity, health, and education departments are more than 90% destroyed and the District needs more than $1.5 billion to restore services to what they were before 2014. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Southern Salahuddin (Balad, Dujail)

Samarra Operations Command announced on Wednesday that security units killed 4 suicide terrorists in southwest Dujail. [