An Update On ISIS Activities

December 17, 2018

 

Smoke coming from it

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Hajin

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Abd Ul-Madhi gives CoR four alternatives for ending cabinet selection crisis.​​ [..]

Court orders Al-Fayyad reinstated to positions from which Al-Abadi fired him. [..]

CoR member decries past persecution of Jews in Iraq. [..]

New UNAMI director arrives in Baghdad. [..]

Kurdistan still has 1,250,000​​ million IDPs.​​ [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan says invasion of NE Syria will begin at any moment; says Trump approves.​​ [..]

 

Syria

Sudan’s President pays Assad a supportive visit. [..]

Fighting continues in Hajin area, as Coalition airstrikes kill 17. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen:​​ Yemen ceasefire scheduled to start today.​​ [..]

Somalia:​​ US airstrikes kill 62 Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.​​ [..]

Nigeria: ​​​​ Major gun battle kills at least 12 Nigerian soldiers & 28 Boko Haram terrorists. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi proposed 4 solutions to complete the ministerial cabinet:​​ 

  • Vote on​​ the remaining names as they are, and if they are rejected, then put forth alternatives within 2 days.

  • Vote on 5-6 ministries and postpone the rest to be resolved by voting or consensus.

  • Let the 2 main blocs present new names to the Prime Minister.

  • The 2 main parties leave the names to the Prime Minister and the CoR.​​ ​​ [BasNews]

 

Rebwar Taha, a​​ PUK member of​​ the CoR for the PUK, says his bloc will boycott the CoR session on Tuesday if voting on​​ the​​ remaining ministerial posts is held without introducing the PUK nominee Khalid Shawani for Minister of Justice. [Sumaria]

 

The Administrative Court of Justice announced on Monday that the decision of former PM Haider Al-Abadi to remove Faleh Al-Fayadh from his posts was invalid. Instead, it has decided that Falih Al-Fayyad should be restored to his posts as a national security advisor, head of the National Security Service, and the chairman of the PMF. [PUKMedia]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This decision does not seem to make constitutional sense, so we rechecked the story to find the reason(s) for it. Unfortunately, the original reporter did not think an explanation necessary.

 

Council of Representatives

CoR MP Faiq Al-Sheikh Ali tweeted about Iraqi Jews, describing them as peaceful, patriots, traders, persons of literature, and people of fine taste, but who were wrongly accused of treason by some people who attacked them, robbing their fortunes and expelling them out of the country. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This statement reflects the​​ opinion​​ of many Iraqis, especially youth.​​ They know​​ that a country that doesn’t protect its own​​ citizens​​ is not a real country.​​ ​​ 

 

 

Reconstruction

On Monday, the Foreign Ministry announced the arrival​​ in Baghdad​​ of​​ the UN Secretary-General’s new Special Representative in Iraq,​​ Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. She is​​ the new UNAMI​​ director, succeeding​​ Jan Kubis.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Hennis-Plasschaert,​​ who is from the Netherlands,​​ stated on Monday that the UN will continue to support all areas of development in Iraq. [Baghdadia]

 

Norway contributed 1.7 million dollars to the UN Mine Action Service in Iraq. [PUKMedia] [UNMAS]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition announced that there are more than 5,000 US troops presently​​ in Iraq. [Baghdadia]

 

Foreign policy

The Counter Terrorism Service (CTS)​​ says an MOU was signed with Hungary in the field of counter-terrorism and capacity-building, as well as strategic coordination between counter-terror organizations in both countries. The MoU was signed between Lt. General Talib Shaghati, the commander of CTS, and Haji Younis, who headed the Hungarian delegation. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Some may feel uncomfortable about doing this with Hungary, a NATO member but​​ a​​ problem country​​ at odds with other NATO members over its leader’s anti-democratic and pro-Russia tendencies. We wonder who in the Iraqi government authorized this agreement.

 

Mohammed Ali Al-Hakim, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, called on EU countries to “strongly” enter into investments in Iraq. He specifically named supporting IDPs, power, transportation, trade, agriculture, and health projects as sectors in which EU countries could invest. The Minister extended this invitation during his meeting with David McAllister, Chair of the EU Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, in Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry says that German Foreign Minister​​ Heiko Maas has arrived in Baghdad. Maas is in Baghdad to discuss bilateral relations in economic and security fields. This comes a day after the visit of​​ Stef Blok, the Dutch Foreign Minister, to Iraq. [Sumaria]

 

CoR Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbusi, who is currently visiting Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, praised the development of Iraqi-Saudi relations in all fields, stressing the 2 countries’ joint historical, cultural, and geographic ties, according to the​​ Saudi Press Agency. He says he looks forward​​ to​​ more cooperation in the future,​​ especially​​ given​​ Iraq’s need​​ for help to reconstruct its destroyed cities and infrastructure. [Rudaw]

 

The Iranian media network​​ Tasnim​​ reported on Monday that the Central Bank of Iran and the Central Bank of Iraq have begun to discuss the “finishing touches” on using riyals and dinars instead of dollars in business transactions. [Rudaw]

 

BAGHDAD

Baghdad Ops Command announced that 6 suspects, including women, were arrested in various parts of Baghdad for criminal and terrorist activity. [Baghdadia]

 

North Baghdad

Daesh said it shot and destroyed an Iraqi Army thermal camera near Um Al-Zuhour village, in the Al-Abaichi area, on Sunday. [ICDNDec17]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

The Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok visited the city to witness IDPs returning to their homes after 2 years. He inspected the projects being implemented, including the​​ Old Bridge, finalized two months ago. He also visited the Falluja​​ Hospital. [BasNews]

 

Ramadi

Daesh said it killed three Iraqi Army members, including an officer, and wounded two others after targeting them in a house in Ramadi city with hand grenades, on Saturday. [ICDNDec17]​​ 

 

Rutba

Daesh said on Saturday it killed four Iraqi Army members, including an officer, and destroyed a Humvee with an IED in the Kilo 130 area. [A3maq]

 

Al-Qa’im

The Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced that 528 IDPs from IDP camps returned home to Al-Qa’im. [Baghdadia]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

Daesh said it targeted tribal PMF positions in the Al-Fatha area with 4 mortar shells, on Friday. [ICDNDec16]

 

Samarra

Daesh said it severely wounded an Iraqi Army officer and destroyed 2 SUVs in the Al-Jam’iyat area, in Al-Mutasim subdistrict, on Saturday. [A3maq]

In another version, Daesh said it killed or wounded Iraqi Army members, including a major, and destroyed 2 SUVs after targeting an army convoy in the Al-Jam’iyat area on Saturday. [ICDNDec16]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded Saraya Al-Salam members and damaged 2 SUVs in an ambush in the Jazeera Samarra area, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

DIYALA

No reports

 

KIRKUK

Hawija

Daesh said it killed a PMF “intelligence member​​ with a silenced gun in his house in Gharib village, in Abbasi subdistrict, on Friday. [ICDNDec15]

 

Daesh said it blew up the houses of four IFP members in addition to the house of the mukhtar​​ of​​ Barima village, on Sunday. [ICDNDec17]

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

The MoI said on Monday that​​ the Ninewa​​ police arrested 2 persons wanted on terrorism charges, 1 on each side of Mosul. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]

 

Daesh said it killed three Iraqi Army members and destroyed a vehicle with a sticky IED in Al-Ba’ath (Al-Ghufran) neighborhood, in east Mosul, on Friday. [A3maq] [ICDNDec15]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If true, we wonder how Daesh managed to plant a sticky IED under a military vehicle.​​ 

 

Mosul District (Shura)

Daesh said it wounded a tribal PMF member and destroyed a vehicle with an IED in Bejwaniya village, west of Shura, on Sunday. [A3maq] [ICDNDec17]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

The Minister of Planning of the Government of Kurdistan, Ali Sindi, released statistics that showed there are 7,150,000 people currently residing in Kurdistan. He stated that the current​​ Kurdish​​ population is 5,900,000. The number of Iraqi and other IDPs is estimated at 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 people.​​ The number of Syrian refugees is​​ estimated at​​ 250,000. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Working a little with these numbers, there are 1,000,000 IDPs and​​ 250,000​​ refugees in Kurdistan, who together make up the difference between the native population and the total population (1,250,000).​​ Getting more of those people to go home is an urgent priority. However, enormous credit is owed to the KRG and the Kurdish people for taking in all those threatened people who had no place to go and adding to their own burdens at a difficult time. It is a humanitarian effort that deserves to be remembered.

 

Masoud Barzani expressed his worries regarding the future of the Kurdish people in Syria to a visiting US delegation, headed by Brett McGurk. During the meeting in Erbil, both sides discussed the situation in Syria, while the US delegation explained its strategy in that country. [Rudaw]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

On Monday​​ President​​ Erdogan stated that Turkey will begin a military campaign in Syria at any moment. He said that President Trump “responded positively” to the plan to launch a campaign east of the Euphrates. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We doubt that the President approves, but the lack of any US statement in response might be taken to imply acceptance.

 

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu says Turkey already carried out​​ two​​ major military operations in northern Syria without concern for the US reaction. Speaking from Pakistan, he says Turkey does not need to take orders from the US to start military operations. He says that the US did not approve of the Afrin operation,​​ but Turkey carried it out​​ anyway, and that Turkey will not allow itself to be “surrounded” from the area east of the Euphrates.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

Bahram Qasimi, the spokesman for Iran’s​​ Foreign Minister, commented on the anticipated Turkish military operation in northeast Syria, saying that any military action should be approved by and coordinated with the legitimate Syrian government. He says this is Iran’s “fixed” position, and otherwise, the Turkish role in future cooperation regarding Syria might be affected. [ElDorar]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

The SOHR reported a Coalition convoy of over 150 vehicles carrying military and logistic supplies to its bases in northern Syria. The supplies included fuel for airplanes and Hummers. A similar reinforcement convoy was also reported by the SOHR on November 30. [SyriaHR]

 

Middle East

Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir finished a visit to Damascus on Sunday, during which he met with President Bashar Al-Assad. Sudan’s Foreign Minister said in the Khartoum airport that any weakening of Syria was a weakening of all Arab causes. Al-Bashir is the first Arab president to visit Syria in 8 years. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The SOHR says that the future of the military campaign against Daesh was discussed in a meeting between the SDF and Coalition delegates in Al-Tanak oilfield. Two​​ Coalition helicopters were hovering over the meeting place for protection. [SyriaHR]

 

Northwest

Manbij

Daesh said on Sunday it killed or wounded SDF members and destroyed an SUV near a park on the road between Manbij and Al-Bab. [A3maq] [ICDNDec16]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Daesh said on Saturday it killed the​​ head​​ of the Raqqa Lawyers Association with a silenced gun in Hay Al-Thakana, in Raqqa city. [A3maq] [ICDNDec15]

 

Daesh said on Monday it set an SDF SUV on fire in Al-Sina’i neighborhood, in Raqqa city, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

Ansar Al-Tawheed, an Islamist opposition militia, says it​​ conducted​​ a suicide attack on a Syrian Army position in Dhahabiya village,​​ in​​ eastern​​ Idlib, causing “several” casualties. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin District

Daesh said on Saturday it killed two SDF members and destroyed their vehicle with machine guns in an ambush near Suwaidan village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNDec15]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

Fighting continued in Albu Khater village and other areas surrounding Hajin, between Jaish Al-Thuwar, fighting under the SDF, and Daesh. The fighting is continuing under heavy shelling from several parties. 17 people were reported killed, 13 of whom were said to be Daesh fighters. It is not clear if they were killed by Coalition or Iraqi shelling. This raises the number of Daesh militants killed since September 10 to 945, versus 545 SDF fighters​​ reported​​ killed. [SyriaHR]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We would like to see some confirmation​​ before accepting​​ of those overall casualty numbers, as the SDF number especially seems high.

 

Syrian media says Coalition planes killed 17 civilians in Albu Khater village, southwest of Hajin, on Sunday. They reported that casualties included women and children. [Qasioun]

Daesh said on Sunday that 17 people were killed and others wounded in Coalition bombing on Albu Khater village, in Hajin subdistrict. [A3maq]

Daesh issued on Sunday a video of the results of a Coalition airstrike on a mosque in Albu Khater village. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Notice that Qasioun, whose airstrike stories always focus solely on alleged civilian casualties, attributes its 17 deaths estimate to “Syrian media,” while the Daesh version coincidentally also says 17 people. So who is the real source of this number?

 

On Sunday, the Coalition said that it had destroyed a Daesh “command and control facility” in a mosque in Hajin. The Coalition’s press release noted that Daesh continues to use “protected” facilities such as hospitals and mosques, in violation of the Law of Armed Conflict. [InherentResolve]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it targeted SDF positions in Hajin with 30 mortar shells and 15 SPG9 rockets. [ICDNDec16]

 

Daesh said it killed seven SDF members and wounded others when it “lured them” to a land​​ mine field explosion in Hajin city, on Sunday. [A3maq] [ICDNDec17]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Another land mine story. There are so many of these stories when Daesh is losing.

 

Daesh issued on Monday a video of battles with the SDF “on the outskirts of” Hajin city. [A3maq]

 

The SDF made further advances against Daesh in Al-Susah on Monday, while Coalition planes executed airstrikes against Daesh in Al-Baghouz. [Qasioun]

 

The SOHR reported continued mutual artillery shelling between the Syrian Army and allied groups and Daesh on the eastern and western banks of the Euphrates in Deir Ez-Zor. This has been ongoing for several days now, following Daesh fighters’ attempts to flee Hajin. [SyriaHR]

 

Hawar​​ reported on Monday that the SDF seized a car bomb that was prepared to detonate and “dozens” of mortar shells and other weapons in liberated areas of Hajin, amid clashes. [Hawar]

 

Local sources say Daesh is transferring all prisoners of war and persons arrested by it from Hajin to other areas​​ still​​ under its rule​​ in​​ eastern​​ Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

The warring parties in Yemen are preparing to implement a new ceasefire,​​ following​​ a message to that effect from UN​​ Special​​ Envoy Martin Griffiths. This followed heavy​​ fighting​​ that left several casualties on both​​ sides. ​​ The new ceasefire​​ is scheduled​​ to​​ start on Tuesday. [Anadolu]

 

Qatar

Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani, the Foreign Minister for Qatar, accused the UAE and Saudi Arabia of suspicious destabilizing activities in several countries. Talking to​​ CNBC, he said that both nations had carried out such activities in Libya, Yemen, and Somalia, as well oppressing activists and their own citizens in general. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

North Africa

Egypt

Egyptian security officials say two roadside bombs hit a police convoy in northern Sinai, killing two conscripts. The officials say Monday’s attack just west of the border town of Rafah also wounded six conscripts. The bombs struck two armored vehicles that were part of a convoy on a search-and-destroy mission in the area. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.​​ Daesh said it “lured” an Egyptian Army convoy to an ambush in the Al-Maghara area, in Central Sinai, on Sunday. [AP]

Daesh said it set off several IEDs on the convoy then clashed with the soldiers using heavy and mid-sized weapons, killing or wounding 20 of them, destroying a Humvee and 2 SUVs, and damaging an SUV. [ICDNDec17] [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it damaged an Egyptian Army bulldozer with an IED in the Al-Rasm area, in Rafah city, on Sunday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Monday its snipers killed an Egyptian Army soldier in Al-Muqata’a village, south of Rafah. [A3maq]

 

EUROPE

Greece

Greek police reported an IED explosion near​​ Sky​​ TV​​ station in Athens early Monday, causing windows to shatter and other damage to the building. A warning telephone call was received by the media prior to the explosion. [Sumaria]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

The US military announced that it had killed 62 armed Al-Shabaab terrorists in 6 airstrikes in Somalia from Saturday to Sunday. [Ghad]

Four air strikes on Saturday killed 32 militants and a further two on Sunday killed 28, it said in a statement. These were the deadliest air attacks in Somalia since November 2017 when the US said it had killed 100 militants. Somalia has seen a sharp increase in the number of airstrikes and casualties since President Donald Trump took office.​​ The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals that at least 400 people have been killed in airstrikes since the beginning of 2017, far more than the previous 10 years combined. The latest strikes bring to at least 40 the number carried out in Somalia so far this year, compared with 35 recorded in 2017. [BBC]

 

Garowe Online reported that heavy fighting erupted on Saturday between Al-Shabaab and Daesh in the Bur area, resulting in casualties on both sides. The two terrorist groups are waging a war on each other over levies they impose on traders in Mogadishu and Bosaso.​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ So, now we know why several Daesh reports claimed​​ they​​ killed​​ government tax and customs employees.​​ 

Daesh said that​​ a group of Al-Qaeda in Somalia members was​​ gathering near Bur​​ Meirale,​​ Puntland, southwest of Qandala city, on Saturday to attack Daesh positions, when a group of Daesh​​ fighters​​ attacked them,​​ killing 14, wounding others, and capturing weapons and ammunition. Daesh said its terrorists “returned safely.” [ICDNDec16]

 

Nigeria

Leaders of countries in the Lake Chad region met in Nigeria to give fresh impetus to their fight against Boko Haram. The summit meeting, grouping Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Benin and the Central African Republic, is a follow-up to a November gathering in Chad called to tackle a surge in Boko Haram attacks in the restive region. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said the meeting was “a clear demonstration of the resolute commitment” that the countries attach to the fight against Boko Haram. [ZBC]

 

Daesh said it killed a Nigerian Army​​ soldier​​ and wounded another near Gambor town, in the Lake Chad area, on Friday. [A3maq]

 

The Friday evening attack by Boko Haram on soldiers​​ in the​​ Gudumbali area of Borno State left many soldiers dead, military sources in the state have said.

The Nigerian Army, however, said only one soldier was killed in the attack. The army also said it successfully repelled the attack and killed many of the insurgents.

The Nigerian Army on Sunday said it repelled an attack on Gudumbali on Friday. One soldier was killed and another wounded in the firefight. Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement that troops “repelled an infiltration by suspected Boko Haram terrorists that came disguised as civilian Internally​​ Displaced Persons.” Nwachukwu said the militants “took advantage of the ongoing distribution of relief materials”​​ by​​ the army and opened fire on troops. This was followed by fire “from other terrorists in gun trucks along​​ the​​ Gudumbali-Kukawa axis.” Trucks carrying humanitarian aid were set on fire, and a Cobra Armored Personnel Carrier and a military truck were also damaged.

Troops “inflicted heavy casualties” on the attackers and recovered bodies, Nwachukwu said but did not specify how many. A “large quantity of ammunition” and eight rocket propelled grenades were also recovered.

Three military sources told Reuters on Sunday that at least 12 Nigerian soldiers were killed and dozens of others were missing after the attack on a military base and a nearby community in​​ the​​ Gudumbali local government area. One source said 28 militants were killed. [PremiumTimes] [DefensePost]​​ 

Daesh said it killed five Nigerian Army members, destroyed 2 tanks and 2 vehicles, and captured 3 SUVs in addition to weapons and ammunition in​​ its attack​​ on Gudumbali. [A3maq] [ICDNDec15]

 

On Sunday, Boko Haram lit on fire 100 Nigerian homes in a village near Maiduguri, Borno State, northeast Nigeria. [Ghad]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

President Trump said he would review the case of​​ Major Matt Golsteyn,​​ a US Special Forces soldier who was charged with murder after​​ Golsteyn​​ shot and killed​​ a man he suspected was a bomb-maker for the Taliban. The case was originally investigated, without any charges being filed, in 2011. [Khaama]

 

Taliban political leaders were expected to meet with Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation, in the UAE on Monday. Earlier reports had suggested the meeting would take place in Islamabad. [Khaama]

 

A roadside IED explosion killed 6 civilians in Logar Province, eastern Afghanistan. Logar security says the IED exploded while a civilian car was passing by. The Taliban is suspected to have planted the IED. [Rudaw]

 

A “prominent Taliban leader,” Mullah Ghulam Sakhi, was killed in a drone strike in Herat Province, western Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed an Afghan policeman and stole his weapon in District 6, in Jalalabad city, on Saturday. [A3maq] [ICDNDec16]

 

Daesh said it killed an Afghan intelligence​​ officer​​ with machine guns in District 11, in Kabul city, on Friday. [ICDNDec16]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed three Afghan Army members and wounded two others with an IED near the gate of the Military Airport in Jalalabad city. [A3maq]​​ 

In another version, Daesh said it killed three Afghan Army Special Forces members and wounded two others with 2 IEDs near the airport. [ICDNDec17]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh published on Monday a photo of one of its terrorists,​​ saying he was killed in the Albu Kamal area​​ in Syria. [ICDNDec17]

 

 

*****

 

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December 14, 2018

 

A truck driving down a dirt road

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SDF Units in Hajin (BasNews)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

400 Iraqi refugees return from Syria.​​ [..]

Denmark promises $3M more for demining.​​ [..]

Iraq Foreign​​ Minister​​ protests Turkish bombing of Ninewa.​​ ​​ [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan says no further airstrikes in Iraq, conditionally [..]

… but​​ Turkish FM announces operations against 700 terrorists in “the mountains” [..]

Trump and Erdogan​​ talk​​ about anticipated northeastern Syria invasion.​​ ​​ [..]

 

Syria

KNC member says PYD should sever ties with PKK.​​ [..]

de Mistura​​ to start moves toward forming Syrian constitutional​​ committee.​​ ​​ [..]

UNSC approves extension of relief delivery mechanisms.​​ [..]

UN and NGOs outline $5.5B plan to aid refugees [..]

YPG attacks on pro-Turkish militias in Afrin continue.​​ ​​ [..]

SDF takes Hajin.​​ ​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen:​​ UN Envoy declares Sweden talks a success [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Council of Representatives

CoR speaker Mohammed Al-Halbusi pledged to work with the central government and the KRG to return all IDPs to their home areas. He was speaking in Shekhan, a Yazidi district divided between GoI and KRG control​​ by the Green Line. He promised to assign forces to preserve security, and​​ promised​​ financial allocations to compensate the IDPs. He also visited Erbil and then Sinjar to take part in Yazidi​​ religious​​ festivities. [Anadolu]

 

Reconstruction

400 Iraqi refugees in Syria returned to their homes in Iraq, due to coordinated efforts between the Turkish NGO Humanitarian Relief Foundation and the Turkish and Iraqi​​ foreign​​ ministries. [Anadolu]

 

The UN welcomed Denmark’s initiative to offer an additional contribution of DK 19.5 million ($3 million US) for demining operations in Iraq. Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced this increase, which was confirmed by UNAMI. This brings the total Danish contribution to demining operations in Iraq to $14 million US. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This story is a reminder that over the post-2003 years, Denmark has been a solid asset to Iraq, going back to the CPA days, usually without doing anything to draw attention or credit to itself.

 

Foreign policy

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad, Fateh Yildiz, and handed him a letter protesting​​ frequent Turkish violations of Iraqi airspace. The Ministry was referring to​​ the​​ Turkish airstrikes in Makhmur and Sinjar,​​ which​​ resulted in both casualties and damage. [Sumaria]

 

The PUK called on the Iraqi government to take a firm stand​​ against the continued Turkish bombing of areas in northern Iraq. This came after Turkish planes bombed Ninewa on Thursday, bombings which the PUK claimed killed and injured civilians in IDP camps. It called the bombings a “flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and international law.”​​ [IraqPress]

 

Also see below under Turkey – Military & security developments

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

On Friday, Baghdad Ops Command confirmed the killing of Majid Musa Salman, aka “Abu Mariam,” a​​ commander​​ for Daesh’s “State of​​ Baghdad,”​​ in Tarmiya.​​ DaeshDaily​​ previously reported his​​ death​​ on Thursday. [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

ANBAR​​ (No reports)

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that three tribal PMF fighters were wounded while stopping a Daesh attack on Shabali village. The source said the PMFs killed 2 terrorists and forced the rest to flee.

 

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad)

Daesh said it wounded PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Aziz Balad area, on Thursday. [ICDNDec14]

 

DIYALA

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

The Security Media Center says that Army units operating under Diyala Ops Command found 2 Daesh hideouts with large quantities of rations, weapons, and explosives in Abu Khanazir, Muqdadiya. The hideouts were destroyed. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Hawija

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that people of Gharib village stopped a Daesh attack on their village, killing a terrorist and forcing the rest to flee. The source said that the terrorists, who were in 2 pickup vehicles and wearing military uniforms, were trying to kill the mukhtar of the village. The source said Daesh retaliated by targeting the village with mortars indiscriminately, killing one civilian and severely wounding his wife.  

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that CTS units killed the Daesh commander of north Baghdad and captured 2 other terrorists in a tunnel near Barima village.  

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad,​​ Taza,​​ etc.)

IFP command says in a statement that its 15th​​ IFP Division EODs defused over 50 IEDs and recovered 58 detonators southwest of Daquq. [Baghdadia]​​ [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

MoI spokesman Sa’ad Ma’an says that the 5th​​ Emergency Police Battalion arrested 4 Daesh fighters, 1 of whom is accused of killing a police captain in 2014. The arrest was made in east Mosul. [Ghad]

 

The Security Media Center says that Ninewa intelligence and security units arrested 2 men wanted on terrorism charges in​​ the Al-Kindi neighborhood,​​ north​​ Mosul.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF units killed 6 Daesh terrorists, including the military commander of western Ninewa, near Tal Ghazal village in Tal Afar subdistrict.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that local police and PMF units captured 2 Daesh terrorists who had returned,​​ hidden among​​ refugees, from the Al-Hawl Camp in Hasaka.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that PMF units captured a Daesh commander who was hiding in Al-Kifah neighborhood in Tal Afar City.

 

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Yazidi fighters captured then killed 3 Daesh terrorists, including a commander, near Sinjar. The source said the terrorists had arrived from Syria.

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

(No reports)

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

On Friday, President Erdogan acknowledged the airstrikes carried out in northern Iraq the previous day, and ambiguously said that there would be no further such strikes as long as Turkey faced no further threats from the area. The Turkish Defense Minister said that they had carried out 30 airstrikes on PKK positions.​​ [IraqPress]

 

The Turkish Foreign Minister said that there are about 700 terrorists remaining in “the mountains” and stated that Turkey would continue to pursue terrorists inside and outside the state. The Foreign Minister said that military operations would be launched on Saturday. [Anadolu]​​ 

 

The Turkish Defense Ministry announced on Friday that from December 7​​ to​​ 13, it had “neutralized” 21 terrorists inside and outside the country. [Anadolu]

 

Also see above under Iraq – Turkish airstrikes

 

Foreign policy

As previously reported, President Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey would launch a military campaign against the PKK on the east side of the Euphrates. The​​ New York Times​​ reported on Friday President Trump and President Erdogan agreed to improve their coordination in Syria, without specifying how.​​ Also,​​ on Friday, Erdogan gave a speech in front of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,​​ saying that Manbij must be cleared of the YPG. [NYT] [TRT] [Telegraph]

 

Trump and Erdogan reportedly agreed on a “more active” coordination in Syria during their telephone conversation, according to sources in the Turkish Presidency. The sources said that Erdogan told Trump about Turkey’s “legitimate security concerns” regarding the presence of the PKK, PYD, and YPG on its borders. [Qasioun]

However, US officials said that during the telephone call, Trump urged Erdogan not to carry out the attack on northeast Syria that he recently threatened. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ These admittedly fragmentary reports give the unfortunate impression that Erdogan and Trump talked past one another, which is not reassuring.

 

Madhlum Kobane, the SDF Commander-in-Chief, says his units will stop any Turkish attack, but it will keep up its diplomatic efforts to​​ forestall​​ such an attack. He says that the US is extending diplomatic efforts to prevent an attack, while the Turkish Army is still sending reinforcements to border areas. [Qasioun]

 

The Coalition issued a statement on Friday saying that its mission in northeast Syria remains unchanged.  It says it continues its normal operations, including observation posts in the border region to address the security concerns of its NATO ally Turkey. It says it remains committed to working with its partners on the ground to ensure an enduring defeat of Daesh.  It said that any reports indicating a change in the U.S. position with respect to these efforts is false and designed to sow confusion and chaos.​​ It concluding by saying that CJTF-OIR works by, with and through partner forces to defeat Daesh in designated areas of Iraq and Syria. [InherentResolve

 

Egypt and France warned of the dangers of Turkish escalation in northeast Syria. This came in a meeting between Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, and​​ Francois Senemaud, the French​​ President’s envoy to Syria. A statement released after the meeting said that such escalation will impact counter-terrorism efforts.​​ [ElDorar]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

SDF Commander-in-Chief Madhlum Kobane says the anticipated Turkish attack in northeastern Syria will affect the war on Daesh. He says in case of such an attack, all Kurdish fighters in SDF will have to defend their families, which would mean halting operations against Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor. [ElDorar]

 

Political developments

Fuad Aliko, a member of the Kurdish National Council in Syria, called on the PYD to reconsider its positions and annul its ties with the PKK in order to avoid giving Turkey a pretext for its anticipated military operation that threatens Kurdish cities in northeastern Turkey. Aliko admitted that Turkish threats to invade were not new, but added that disassociating itself from the PKK would help the PYD’s relationship with the US, as it has been a source of stress in the past. [BasNews]

 

A spokesman for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces stated on Friday that “the suffering of the Syrian people continued at the hands of the forces of Assad, other terrorist organizations such as the IRGC, Hezbollah, and the YPG. Any military operation to remove these organizations would be welcomed and supported by us.” [Qasioun]

 

United Nations

Staffan de Mistura announced on Friday that he would arrange a meeting in Geneva with representatives of Turkey, Iran, and Russia at the beginning of next week, to arrange a committee to draft the Syrian constitution. An assessment must be sent to the UN Security Council next Thursday, December 20, on the ability to form a constitutional committee that is inclusive and credible. [Qasioun]

 

The Syrian Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, strongly attacked Turkey during​​ a​​ UN Security Council session related to mechanisms to deliver relief to Syria. Jaafari accused Turkey of allowing terrorists and weapons to pass through its borders to Syria. [Hawar]

 

On Thursday, the UN Security Council approved a proposal introduced by Sweden and Kuwait to extend the delivery mechanism of humanitarian relief materials to Syria for an additional year. The previous mechanism, approved in July 2014 through UN Security Council Resolution 2165, ends on December 10, 2018. 13 out of 15 nations voted for the proposal, while Russia and China abstained. [Qasioun]

 

On Friday, the UN and partnering NGOs devised a plan to support refugees and their host communities in 5 states neighboring Syria: Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon. The plan is estimated to cost 5.5 billion dollars, and it includes increased services in protection, education, and economic opportunities. [ElDorar]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

The YPG claimed responsibility for Thursday’s motorcycle bomb attack on Turkish soldiers and pro-Turkey militias in Afrin, which killed 3 and wounded 4 others. It says its attacks in the city will continue. [Qasioun]

 

The YPG said on Friday that​​ it killed 5 Turkish soldiers and destroyed their position in​​ Kimar village, Shirawa subdistrict,​​ Afrin. [Hawar]

 

YPG units attacked Turkish forces​​ near​​ Tal Rifaat,​​ in​​ Azaz​​ District​​ but bordering Afrin.​​ The​​ Turkish​​ Army says​​ that​​ Kurdish fighters fired at Turkish soldiers in Afrin from neighboring Tal Rifaat.​​ 1​​ Turkish soldier was killed,​​ and​​ the Turks responded​​ with​​ artillery fire. [ElDorar]

 

Northeast​​ (No reports)

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that pro-Turkish militias captured Mohammed Mukhlef Al-Luhaibi, a senior Daesh military commander, in the Idlib area. The source said that Luhaibi, who had fled the battles in Hajin, was carrying a large amount of money.​​ 

 

The pro-Turkey militia National Front for Liberation says that it stopped a Syrian Army advance near the Rashideen​​ neighborhood,​​ western​​ Aleppo, claiming​​ to have​​ killed​​ and wounded​​ many​​ Syrian​​ Army​​ soldiers. [Qasioun]

 

Homs

The SOHR says that Jaish Al-Thuwar, an SDF-allied opposition militia, says it blocked a Syrian Army advance in the​​ Zarqa​​ area, near the “55” area and the Al-Tanaf military base held by the Coalition. It says that it forced the Syrian Army to retreat after inflicting several casualties on the advancing forces. 3​​ Jaish Al-Thuwar​​ fighters were killed, while 2 Syrian Army soldiers were captured. Opposition sources also claim that the Coalition fired 14 rockets on Syrian forces. [SyriaHR] [ElDorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it wounded three SDF members after targeting their military position in Al-Kassar village, in Busayrah​​ subdistrict, with an RPG on Thursday. [ICDNDec14]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The​​ SOHR says​​ that the​​ SDF,​​ backed by Coalition forces,​​ expelled Daesh​​ from​​ Hajin city. A local Syrian source said​​ there​​ were still 5,000 Daesh militants in Syria. [BasNews]​​ 

 

The​​ SDF completed​​ its takeover​​ of Hajin,​​ which was​​ the main Daesh stronghold.​​ Fighting is​​ still ongoing east​​ of the city,​​ as​​ the​​ SDF is​​ pursuing the​​ remaining Daesh​​ fighters. In the past 48 hours,​​ the​​ SDF captured 3 major hospitals and the market area, breaking down Daesh’s​​ defensive lines despite​​ their​​ resistance. [ElDorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Coalition airstrikes could have something to do with that.​​ 

 

The SDF liberated 400 civilians from Hajin and Al-Sha’afa as it advanced against Daesh in those areas. ​​ [Hawar]

 

The SOHR says that a Coalition convoy composed of 5 Hummers and 4 trucks, as well as artillery pieces, entered the war zone with Daesh in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, while fighting intensified after the SDF took full control of Hajin. It says that Daesh fighters are hiding in surrounding areas and residential quarters following heavy Coalition air bombardment in support of the SDF advance. [SyriaHR]

 

Earlier, pro-SDF media​​ said that​​ the​​ SDF​​ had advanced against​​ Daesh in Hajin. Media sources said that the​​ SDF captured parts of Albu Khater and Abu Hasan villages,​​ in the area​​ near Hajin,​​ following intense fighting,​​ with​​ Coalition​​ air support. [Qasioun]

 

Another earlier report said the​​ SDF destroyed a Daesh vehicle bomb while advancing in Hajin city. The fighting is continuing in the last parts of Hajin still held by Daesh. [Hawar]

 

 

The SOHR reported intense Daesh artillery and mortar shelling of areas held by pro-Iranian militias in Albu Kamal and the​​ so-called “Beirut-Tehran expressway,​​ to cover the withdrawal of its fighters from eastern Deir Ez-Zor. 4 Daesh fighters were killed when pro-Iranian militias returned fire on Al-Susah and Al-Sha’afa and surrounding areas. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Friday that its snipers killed two SDF members in the Hawi Hajin area. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Friday it killed four SDF members and wounded others when it targeted two military positions in the Hawi Hajin area with two rockets. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Friday it killed six SDF members with a rocket in the Hawi Hajin area. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Friday its snipers killed a Syrian Army member near Albu Kamal city. [A3maq]

Daesh said on Friday it targeted Syrian Army positions in Albu Kamal city and Sayal village with 78 120mm mortar shells. [ICDNDec14]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ And now the “victorious” Daesh stories, issued on a day when Daesh suffered a clear defeat in its most important bastion in Syria. Today it’s the sniper stories and the rocketing stories.

 

South​​ (No reports)

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

The UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said on Friday that the Sweden​​ agreement between the different Yemeni parties came into force from the date of its signing on Thursday. Griffiths called the agreement “a comprehensive solution to the conflict” and a “success.” [Rudaw]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said on Friday it killed two pro-government militia fighters near Qasr Rashid, in the Al-Barath area south of Rafah. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Libya

Residents of the Wadi Jarf area, near Sirte, reported that an unidentified plane bombed an armored convoy believed to include Daesh fighters.​​ [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

 

See above under Turkey – Political developments

 

EUROPE

France

On Thursday,​​ Daesh claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Strasbourg, France, describing the attacker as a “soldier of the Caliphate.” On Tuesday, the attacker shot and killed 3 civilians, and wounded 13, before​​ later​​ being shot dead by the police. [Sumaria]​​ [A3maq]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh said on Friday it shot and killed a Somali government tax policeman in a market in Afgooye city. [ICDNDec14] ​​ 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

A Taliban “executioner” was killed by a US airstrike in Zabul Province, southern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 160th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh published an infographic about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, West Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan during the last week. It said that it conducted 58 attacks, killing or wounding more than 170 people and destroyed 33 vehicles. [ICDNDec13]

 

On Friday, Daesh issued a propaganda video about its terrorists in Anbar. [ICDNDec14]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

You are invited to add information to or comment on any Daesh Daily story​​ 

 

December 13, 2018

 

A person sitting on a rock

Description automatically generated

Turkish Troops in Northern Syria

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Sadr’s bloc boycotting CoR sessions to block MoI nominee. [..]

PMF extortion racket reported still operating in Mosul. [..]

Coalition-backed military operation in Tarmiya kills 13 Daesh operatives. [..]

Ninewa PC accused of diverting stabilization funds to operating costs. [..]

Another mass grave found with Daesh victims, in Shirqat. [..]

Turks bomb Sinjar Mountain, kill 12 YPG soldiers.​​ [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey starts maneuvering to invade northeastern Syria.​​ [..]

 

Syria

SDF captures most of Hajin.​​ [..]

​​ 

Other​​ countries

Iran/Israel:​​ Netanyahu threatens Iran over missile deployment in Syria. [..]

Yemen/US:​​ US Senate passes resolution to withdraw funding for Saudi war in Yemen.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Sa’irun bloc says that no real advance has been made in discussions related to completion of the cabinet. It says it will not participate in any voting that includes Faleh Al-Fayadh as the nominee for Minister of Interior, and will keep boycotting sessions until this issue is resolved. [BasNews]

 

According to an anonymous source, a million Sadrists, headed by Muqtada Al-Sadr, are prepared to demonstrate in the center of Baghdad on Friday to “assert” the formation of the new government. Other goals of the demonstration are to reject influences from outside Iraq and assert the popular rejection of the candidate for the Ministry of Interior Falih Al-Fayyad (considered​​ close to Iran). Al-Sadr previously urged Iraqi PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi to appoint independent technocrats to the ministry. [BasNews]

 

Corruption

A source in Ninewa said there is a plot to rob the funds designated for stabilization, around IQD 180 billion (approximately $150 million US), granted by the central government​​ to Ninewa 6 months ago. The source says that the Ninewa Provincial Council approved the use of IQD 54 billion as operational costs, while IQD 37 billion was allocated to IDP camps and relief, without chapters or details. There will be​​ only​​ 42 billion​​ dinars​​ remaining​​ unallocated. The source says that none of the projects involving removing war detritus (IQD 47 billion) are serious. [Rudaw]

 

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed​​ wrote on Thursday that although PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi had promised to close the “economic offices” of PMF groups in Mosul 2 weeks ago, these offices were still in operation. Previous reports alleged that the PMF groups were using the “economic offices” to impose “taxes” on businesses that amounted to extortion.​​ Local officials in Mosul said that recent IED attacks had​​ struck​​ various businesses in Mosul that had refused to pay these “taxes.” [AlAraby]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Hakim Al-Zamili, a leading figure in the Sadrist movement, called on Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi to press the Kurdistan Region to hand over the Daesh prisoners held in the region, as there have been repeated reports of prisoners escaping. He says that over 5,000 Daesh fighters, among them top leaders of different nationalities, handed themselves over to Kurdish security during the military operations. [Sumaria]

 

See related story below under Suleimaniya.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Amnesty International says that Daesh deliberately destroyed agriculture in northern Iraq,​​ which has​​ obstructed​​ the return of thousands of IDPs. “They burned orchards, destroyed wells, and stole cables, pumps, generators, and power lines, the group says. Amnesty called​​ on the​​ Iraqi government to start reconstructing the infrastructure of the sector so thousands of farmers can return to their lands. The report focused mainly on​​ areas in​​ Sinjar,​​ where Daesh committed genocide against​​ the​​ Yazidi population. [Hawar]​​ [Amnesty]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This destruction is one of the reasons why many displaced persons from Ninewa have not returned​​ home. It is not just city residents who are affected.

 

Foreign policy

Sadia Al-Oqabi, a member of the CoR committee for oil and gas, stated that the CoR is seeking ways to run Iraqi power plants with Iraqi gas instead of Iranian gas. Al-Aqabi said that Iraq imports about 18 million cubic meters of gas each day, while it “wastes” about 17 million cubic meters of gas each day. [BasNews]

 

Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Othman Al-Ghanimi says a meeting will be held in Baghdad for Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian and Russian military commands to coordinate between them. He was talking following his meeting with the Russian military attaché to Baghdad. [SyriaNow]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

On Thursday, Baghdad Ops Command announced that 13 Daesh operatives had been killed by intelligence and​​ military units, in coordination with Coalition planes,​​ in a special attack in Tarmiya, including the Daesh “security official” Abu Mariam. [Shafaaq]​​ [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it captured, then beheaded a “spy” and set his vehicle on fire in the Al-Tabi area, in Tarmiya, on Wednesday. [ICDNDec13]

A security source says that an Army unit killed a terrorist equipped with an explosives​​ belt in Al-Tabi, in Tarmiya. The attacker was also in possession of a rifle and a pistol. Another man,​​ accompanying the terrorist,​​ fled the area.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Anbar officials stated that Daesh, during its time in power,​​ kidnapped more than 800 persons from Anbar Province. Most of those kidnapped were security personnel who had refused to join Daesh and were sent to secret prisons in Al-Qa’im. [FaceIraq]

 

The Security Media Center says that Army units under East Anbar Ops Command found and destroyed 54 IEDs in Hitawiyeen and Nuaimiya (Falluja​​ District), and Albu Salih (Hit), as well as an explosives​​ belt in Haditha and 2 ammunition caches in Tal Aswad (Hit). [Ghad]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said Thursday that PMF units found a mass grave of civilians killed by Daesh in Tal Manzur​​ village​​ [spelling approx.].​​ 

A confirming story says the 6th PMF Division found a mass grave that had been filled with civilians. [Ayn]

 

Baiji

The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units under Salahuddin Ops Command had found 32 IEDs and a 20-liter container of glycerin during an operation to clear the pipeline between Baiji and Siniya. [IraqPress]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that two PMF members were killed and their driver severely wounded when an IED destroyed a PMF food supply vehicle on the road between Baiji and Haditha.

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that two Oil Facilities Protection policemen, including a lieutenant, were killed when their vehicle was destroyed by an IED on the road between Baiji and Allas oilfield.​​ 

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack saying it killed two OFP members and wounded two others. [ICDNDec13]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said it wounded a Shi’i​​ with an IED in the Al-Mafraq area, in Baquba city, on Wednesday. [ICDNDec13]

 

Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that a PMF commander and his driver were killed when an IED exploded on their vehicle on the road between Baquba and Mandali.​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

IFP Command says in a statement that it captured large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and explosives in a search mission covering 17 villages in Kirkuk. It also destroyed a tunnel, arrested a Daesh suspect, and captured a motorcycle and a truck in the process. [Baghdadia]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Daesh said it targeted the houses of PMF and tribal PMF members in Al-Aqoula village, east of Hawija, with rockets on Monday, causing damage and destroying a well that belonged to the mukhtar of the village. [ICDNDec13]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad,​​ Taza,​​ etc.)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that a tribal PMF member and a civilian were killed and two other civilians wounded when Daesh attacked the house of​​ a​​ tribal PMF member in Kurdi Al-Nasr village, in Rashad subdistrict.​​ 

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units under Ninewa Ops​​ Command​​ found 65 155 mm “Austrian” shells that looked like IEDs, and an​​ 82 mm explosive shell, among other weapons,​​ in Hasudiya, Gwer subdistrict.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, Bashiqa)

Basim Bello, the​​ Mayor​​ of Tel Keif​​ District, says Christian families are still reluctant to return to the​​ district, saying​​ that​​ only 46 out of 1500 families​​ have​​ actually returned. He says among the reasons is that the city actually functions as a military barracks, as well as the existence of a prison hosting dozens of terrorists and the Ninewa court on terrorism. The district is also among the “disputed areas” contested between Baghdad and Kurdistan, and enjoys very​​ few​​ services. [Sumaria]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that PMF units are establishing a sand barrier around Bartella after capturing a Daesh terrorist who was trying to plant an IED in the area.​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units from Ninewa Ops Command arrested a wanted terrorist in​​ Al-Mamoun, west Mosul.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Sumaria]

 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says in a statement that its units, operating under Ninewa Ops Command, captured an explosives​​ belt and​​ 11 IEDs in​​ the​​ Makawi area​​ of Old​​ Mosul. All materials were destroyed​​ on site. [Ghad]​​ [Sumaria]

 

Mosul District

South (Qayara)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that two tribal PMF members were killed when a roadside IED destroyed their pickup vehicle on the road between Haj Ali and Kharab Jabur villages.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that Daesh appointed a new military commander for the Tal Afar area after the previous commander was killed by a Coalition airstrike.​​ 

 

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that 12 YPG-Sinjar​​ soldiers​​ were killed and four others severely wounded when Turkish planes targeted their positions on the Sinjar Mountain.​​ 

 

Also see first story under Turkey, below.

 

Southern Ninewa

No reports

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

SULEIMANIYA

A security source in Suleimaniya said that 21 Daesh leaders had escaped from the​​ Fort​​ Suse federal prison​​ in Suleimaniya​​ on Tuesday. The source said that over the past few days, 6 of these escapees had been arrested in Suleimaniya city and 10 around the Basyan area​​ in northern Dahuk. The remaining 5 are still at large.​​ [SotIraq]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

Abdullah Agar, a Turkish security analyst, says​​ President​​ Erdogan’s announcement of a military action east of the Euphrates in Syria is of extreme importance. He told the Turkish daily​​ Yeni Safak​​ that such an operation would cover over 550 square km and go 40 km​​ (25 miles)​​ deep. He expected that Sinjar, in​​ northern​​ Iraq,​​ would be part of​​ such a​​ Turkish operation. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ As we reported last night, the Pentagon has already objected to this scheme. This is Day 2 of the trial balloon. They need to keep objecting, perhaps more forcefully. If you don’t yet feel concerned, read the next four stories, then reread the Sinjar story above.

 

Turkish media published photos and videos of armored vehicles and tanks moving towards​​ the border with​​ Syria. Commando units also moved to border positions. Turkish units are deploying near​​ the​​ East Euphrates area,​​ according to​​ TRT Haber TV. [Qasioun]

 

Turkey says it mobilized 14,000​​ fully equipped​​ fighters from the​​ Turkey-backed militias in the​​ so-called​​ “Free​​ Syrian​​ Army​​ to participate in its operation in northeastern​​ Syria. The​​ FSA”​​ says this figure is​​ enough, but if needed,​​ it could send​​ more to​​ the​​ battle front. [ElDorar]

 

A spokesman​​ for​​ the pro-Turkey​​ National​​ Army” in Syria​​ says​​ that​​ Turkish operations against Kurdish units will start in Manbij, Kobane, and Tal Abyad. He says his group will be part of the offensive,​​ which will extend 50 km deep into Syrian territory. [SyriaHR]

 

The PYD called for a general mobilization in northeast Syria following the Turkish President’s threats to carry out an attack on these areas. The autonomous administration in northeastern Syria called on the international community, the UN, and the Coalition to interfere to stop Turkish aggression. [Qasioun]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign Policy

Israel/Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would not rule out the possibility of an operation against Iran in case it attacks Israel. He accused Iran of trying to bring 80,000 Shia militia fighters to Syria. He also says that the Israeli army is the only army in the world in direct confrontation with Iranians. He accused Iran of trying to deploy missiles with a range of 400-700 km in Syria, which could threaten all of Israel. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Middle East

The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, said in a meeting with the French Envoy to Syria that foreign interference on Syrian soil complicated and prolonged the Syrian conflict. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It would help to know whose foreign influence he is complaining about.

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

A bike bomb exploded in Afrin, killing and injuring at least 6 people. [Hawar]

 

The Turkish Army announced on Thursday that the YPG killed a Turkish soldier in Afrin. [Qasioun]

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Daesh said it killed a Syrian Army member with a silenced gun in West Nashwa neighborhood, in Hasaka city, on Wednesday. [ICDNDec13]

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF member and wounded another with machine guns in Tuwaimiya village, south of Ras Al-Ayn, on Tuesday. [ICDNDec13]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said on Wednesday it shot and wounded an SDF member in Jadidat village, in Karama subdistrict. [ICDNDec12]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

A military source from the pro-Turkish “National Army” said that​​ Turkish Army artillery shelled Syrian Army positions in Kashtaar village,​​ Afrin. The Syrian Army responded by shelling Jelbel village​​ in Azaz. No casualties were recorded. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

Hama

The SOHR says that 2 people were killed in a mine explosion in Salamiyah,​​ in eastern​​ Hama. The area is under the control of the Syrian Army and its allies. The SOHR also noted that this​​ is not the first explosion of the​​ kind in the area. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Local news sources said there were ongoing disputes between pro-government tribal sheikhs and important Syrian Army officers in Deir Ez-Zor, without reporting any clear reasons. A tribal mediator is working to solve the disputes. [Qasioun]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it killed or wounded seven SDF members after targeting their 2 vehicles with machine guns in Shuhail town, on Wednesday. [ICDNDec12]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SOHR says Daesh has retreated to the eastern side of Hajin city, after the SDF made considerable advances inside Hajin during the past 48 hours. The SDF now controls 3 hospitals in the city and the city market area, despite Daesh’s violent resistance that included a major suicide attack with 5 vehicle bombs. Most of the city is under SDF control now. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Coalition planes killed 7 Daesh terrorists, including a commander, in an airstrike near Hajin Wednesday afternoon.​​ 

 

Daesh said that 10 SDF members were killed in a land​​ mine field explosion near Khaled Bin Al-Walid Mosque, in Hajin, on Wednesday. It also said its snipers killed three more SDF members near the mosque. [A3maq] [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Repeating a recent comment, when Daesh is losing, two of the most common types of stories​​ it tells​​ are enemy soldiers killed in Daesh land mines and snipers killing enemy soldiers.

 

Daesh published on Thursday photos of battles in the Hajin area. [ICDNDec13]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Here is another deft and common propaganda tactic. Daesh has lost almost all of Hajin, so why publish a photo now of a battle about to be lost? But most of its readers maybe don’t know they are losing Hajin, and would take the photo as evidence of a successful battle. So these​​ stories are trivial and quite possibly false, but notice that on a victorious day for the SDF, three of our five reports on Albu Kamal are “victorious” stories from Daesh. It’s called “distracting attention.”

 

Daesh said on Thursday it targeted Syrian Army positions in Albu Kamal city and its outskirts with 29 120mm mortar shells. [ICDNDec13]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia/Yemen

The US Senate passed a resolution on Thursday requiring the US to end its military support for the war in Yemen. However, the resolution is not expected to come to a House vote, meaning it will expire with the current Congressional session at the end of the year. [CNN]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is a major development. The resolution could probably pass in the next Congress also, and there is no reason to believe the Democratic House majority would oppose it. More important than the legal status of the bill is the message sent to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and possibly others. Expect a few more reverberations from this.

 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that the Yemeni rivals meeting in Sweden have reached an agreement regarding Hodeida and its strategic port. He also says that both parties agreed to “ease the tension” in Taiz, and to continue talks in January. [Anadolu]

 

However, following the Yemen peace talks in Sweden, a spokesman for the Houthi rebels stated that there was “no indication” that the war in Yemen would end. Mohammad Abd Al-Salaam called on Hodeida and Taiz to be “vigilant and on guard.” [Anadolu]

 

North Africa

Libya

5 IEDs were found and defused near the Ibn Sina teaching hospital in Sirte.​​ [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

 

See story above under Saudi Arabia/Yemen.

 

EUROPE

France

Cherif Chekatt, the suspect in the Strasbourg shooting, was killed on Thursday in a shootout with police after being on the run for 48 hours. [Reuters]

 

Germany

A German media outlet published a report stating that the Islamic Community of Germany (ICD), which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a more dangerous security threat to Germany than the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. The ICD denies it. [Watan]

 

Russia

Russian security authorities arrested 7 people in Moscow, Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia, who were suspected of supporting Daesh and Al-Nusra financially under the guise of charity. [Watan]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Policemen stopped a female suicide bomber trying to infiltrate a security checkpoint in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri, foiling a suspected attack in the stronghold of terror group Boko Haram, police said on Thursday.

The teenage bomber was blown up by the improvised explosive devices strapped to her body as she made an attempt to pass the checkpoint in Maiduguri, the largest city and capital of the northern state of Borno, late Wednesday. Borno police chief Damian Chukwu told reporters that there was no other casualty. Chukwu suspected the lone bomber was a Boko Haram messenger. [Xinhua]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed three Nigerian Army members and wounded others in an attack on a military position in “Kokaoa” town, in the Lake Chad area, on Tuesday. Daesh said its terrorists stole weapons and ammunition and set the military position on fire. [A3maq] [ICDNDec13]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh said it killed or wounded five Shia with a hand grenade in the “Shiday” area, in Herat, on Tuesday. [A3maq]

 

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