An Update On ISIS Activities

February 7, 2019

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SDF Fighters in Al-Baghouz (Hawar Feb 7)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Carnegie Endowment report cites lack of a functional coalition in Iraq government. [..]

Anti-Daesh activist shot, physically assaulted in Mosul by Governor’s nephew, tribal PMF commander. [..]

 

Syria

US officials offer contradictory​​ statements on whether there is a withdrawal deadline for Syria. [..]

SDF trying to root out large remaining Daesh elements in​​ Raqqa. [..]

Daesh diehards using human shields to hold out in Al-Baghouz area. [..]​​ 

 

Other​​ countries

Saudi Arabia: ​​ NY Times report uncovers further evidence of Crown Prince involvement in Khashoggi murder.​​ [..]

Yemen: ​​ UN relief workers blocked from accessing Hodeida grain storage warehouse by Houthis. ​​ [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Khalilzad insists there is no timetable for US withdrawal from Afghanistan.​​ ​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

On Thursday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a​​ report​​ that said that Iraqi Prime Minister​​ Adel Abd Ul-Madhi may​​ be forced to employ more​​ executive​​ decrees to overcome the lack of a functional​​ coalition in​​ the current government. [Sada]

 

Corruption

 

See story below under​​ 

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition said on Thursday that it was continuing to train Iraqi security personnel. It said that between January 20 and 27, the ISF had destroyed over 430 IEDs during route patrols, and that the Coalition and the ISF had conducted over 65 “coordinated fire missions.”​​ [InherentResolve]

 

BAGHDAD

West​​ (Mansour, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Baghdad Ops Command said on Thursday that the “Falcons” intelligence group had arrested a suspected terrorist in Zaidan, in Abu Ghraib District. [Ghad]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units under Anbar Ops Command had arrested 5 wanted persons in the​​ stadium​​ area​​ along​​ 60th​​ Street,​​ and found 70 IEDs left behind by Daesh in the Albu Daalj area,​​ south of​​ Falluja​​ city.​​ [IraqPress]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Rutba

On Thursday a security source said an IED explosion killed a Civil Defense employee in Rutba. [BasNews]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Daesh said it killed a TV reporter, a “SWAT officer” and two other “SWAT members,” and wounded four others on Wednesday in clashes in the Hawi Kan’ous area. [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source had previously said that Coalition airstrikes killed several Daesh members around Hawi Kan’ous on Wednesday, and that 4 security personnel, including an officer, had been killed in ground fighting.​​ 

 

Daesh said it kidnapped,​​ then​​ killed​​ three tribal PMF soldiers on Wednesday near Misahaq village. [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]

 

Samarra

On Thursday, a security source said that Daesh attacked a security barrier between Samarra and Al-Daur on Wednesday night, where the 9th PMF brigade was​​ concentrated.​​ The brigade​​ prevented Daesh from crossing the barrier. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded several Iraqi Army EOD experts with an IED on Wednesday on the road to Al-Mu’tasim, southeastern Samarra. [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]

 

DIYALA

No reports

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk

An official security source said on Thursday that a sticky bomb planted under a civilian vehicle exploded in the Imam Qasim neighborhood of Kirkuk city, causing damage.​​ [SotIraq]

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that the nephew of the Governor of Mosul and a tribal PMF commander beat up and shot an anti-Daesh social media activist. The source said the victim could have been killed, but civilians intervened and saved his life. The activist was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds and several fractures. The​​ reported motivation for the crime was that​​ the activist had reported 4 Daesh members, who are from the same tribe as the Governor, to security forces.​​ 

 

Mosul District

West (Hamidat/Muhalabiya)

Daesh said it targeted an Iraqi Army military position near the Aski Mosul area with machine guns, on Wednesday.​​ [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

Ninewa Ops Command said on Thursday that it was conducting a search of the Mount Sasan area in coordination with PMF units, and that the joint group had found several IEDs and various weapons.​​ [IraqPress]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

No reports

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

United Nations

A UN report presented to the Security Council said that Daesh has not been defeated in Syria, and is still the most dangerous terrorist group there. It said that there were between 14,000 and 18,000 extremist fighters in Syria and Iraq, about 3,000 of whom are foreign. [Sumaria]​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Iran

The Israeli newspaper​​ Haaretz​​ said on Thursday that Iran had​​ decided to try to​​ transfer its most sensitive​​ military posts​​ in Damascus to other parts of Syria in secret.​​ It said that the IRGC would move its weapons supply center for Syria to the “T4” airbase in Homs as a response to recent Israeli strikes on the Damascus airport.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [Haaretz]

 

Foreign policy

United States

The US reportedly set a target date for the withdrawal of its troops from Syria, with current and former US officials saying that there were military plans in place to pull out a “significant portion” of US forces in Syria by mid-March, and fully withdraw by the end of April. However, the State Department still says that there is no fixed timetable for the withdrawal. [WSJ]

 

In an interview, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that extremists in Syria are attempting to flee and regroup in Africa and northern Libya. He also said the duty of the US is to prevent them from taking territory in Africa, maintain pressure on them, and limit their financial​​ capabilities.​​ [Sumaria] [ElDorar]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The SDF said on Thursday that it arrests foreign fighters “daily,” and confirmed that it arrested a German named Martin Lemke in eastern Syria on suspicion of belonging to Daesh. [Rudaw] [ArabNews]

 

Northwest

No reports

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR​​ said​​ it has​​ many reliable sources saying​​ that the​​ SDF​​ operation to raid​​ Daesh locations in​​ Raqqa city continues. About 70 people were arrested,​​ of whom at least 48​​ are still​​ detained by the SDF or other security forces. The SOHR estimates there are between 4,000 and 5,000 fighters hidden in the villages under the SDF control who belong to Daesh and other regional groups. [SyriaHR]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

No reports

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor District

Forat​​ reported said that the Coalition conducted an air assault operation to arrest Majid Al-Salama in Al-Shahil city. It said that the Coalition arrested 3 others in Al-Baghouz. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The Coalition said on Thursday that it was continuing to support “partner forces,” and was “setting conditions for the enduring defeat of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley” area. It said that “partner forces” (i.e., the SDF) had now liberated approximately 99.5% of Daesh-controlled territory, following the liberation of​​ Marashidah. [InherentResolve]

 

The SDF said that 80% of Al-Baghouz is liberated from Daesh, and that it continues to advance against Daesh. [Hawar]

 

Rudaw​​ wrote that approximately 3,000 civilians and 500 Daesh fighters were still “trapped” in the Daesh-held portion of Al-Baghouz, an area of not more than 3 km square, and that the Daesh fighters refused to surrender to the SDF. It said that the fighting had died down due to the continued presence of the civilians. A field commander for the SDF was quoted as saying that Daesh was using the civilians in the area as human shields to slow down the SDF advance.​​ [Rudaw]​​ 

The SOHR also said that Daesh was using civilians and its​​ own​​ families as human shields against the Coalition planes. [SyriaHR]

 

On Thursday, Iraqi PMF units carried out a missile strike against Daesh in Al-Baghouz. A media report said that the operation involved 50 missiles. [Qasioun]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Saudi Arabia

The​​ New York Times​​ wrote that intelligence intercepts recorded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) telling an aide in 2017 that he would “use a bullet” on journalist Jamal Khashoggi if Khashoggi did not return to Saudi Arabia and cease criticizing it, according to American and​​ foreign officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence reports. Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October​​ 2018. The​​ NYT​​ wrote that this was the most detailed evidence to date suggesting MBS’ direct involvement in Khashoggi’s killing.​​ [NYT]

 

Meanwhile, the Saudi government claimed that WhatsApp messages exchanged between MBS and his aide Saud Al-Qahtani on October 2, 2018, the day Jamal Khashoggi was killed, did not concern Khashoggi. A CIA assessment had previously concluded that MBS likely ordered Khashoggi’s killing; the exchange of WhatsApp messages on the day of the killing was 1 piece of evidence cited. [WSJ]

 

Yemen

The UN warned that grain that is supposed to feed up to 3.7 million Yemenis is currently “stranded” and possibly rotting in warehouses in Hodeida.​​ The UN relief coordinator said that the Houthis had denied UN officials permission to access the Red Sea Mills, where the World Food Program has stored 51,000 tons of wheat.​​ [NYT]

 

Qatar

The Qatari Foreign Minister announced that Qatar would host a high-profile regional event in 2019 to address crimes committed by Daesh. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

North Africa

Libya

Khalifa Haftar,​​ leader​​ of the Libyan National Army, took control of the Sharara oilfield in southwestern Libya. An official at Libya’s National Oil Corporation said this could lead to a resumption in production in the field. [WSJ]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

France

2 French journalists who had been held captive by Daesh said on Thursday that Mehdi Nemmouche, who is standing trial for the murder of 4 people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014, was their jailer in Syria. Both the journalists said they “had no doubt” that Nemmouche had been their jailer, with 1 saying that he knew Nemmouche as “Abu Omar.” The journalists said that Nemmouche tortured them and other prisoners. [France24] [France24] [BBC]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Daesh said on Thursday a group of its terrorists killed or wounded several Nigerian soldiers in an attack on a military position in Malam Fatori town, in the Lake Chad area. [ICDNFeb7-Telegram]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Twitter that “no troop withdrawal timetable exists” for US forces in Afghanistan. This comes after some Taliban officials had claimed that the US committed to a timetable for withdrawal. [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ A timetable would obviously benefit the Taliban, as it could wait out the remaining US presence and then resume its efforts to seize control of the whole country.​​ This is why Khalilzad​​ is​​ anxious to avoid creating the impression that there is such a timetable.

 

Participants in the intra-Afghan dialogue hosted in Moscow issued​​ a joint statement as the summit closed, mainly focusing on the need to withdraw foreign forces and remove Taliban leaders from sanctions lists. The participants agreed to hold the next round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha, Qatar. [Khaama]​​ 

 

 

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READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

February 6, 2019

 

A close up of a dry grass field

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Military Operations in the Hawi Kan’ous area (DD Feb 6)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Report explains why​​ Abd Ul-Madhi’s​​ government has remained weak.​​ [..]

Red Cross counts Iraq’s IDPs: Still 1.8 million.​​ [..]

Pompeo tells Coalition foreign ministers Daesh is still a threat in Iraq and Syria. [..]

Report says Daesh is targeting police in return to guerrilla warfare. [..]

At least 20 Daesh fighters arrested in eastern Anbar. [..]

 

Syria

Iran is designing a highway through Iraq to Syria. [..]

Trump tells Coalition foreign ministers Daesh will remain a threat in Syria, Afghanistan. [..]

IDP flow from Albu Kamal slows sharply; hungry Daesh families now surrendering in large numbers.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

United States: ​​ Pompeo hints Trump may​​ propose a Middle East “NATO-type alliance” to confront Iran. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

On Tuesday,​​ Foreign Policy​​ published an overview of the political dynamics arresting the effectiveness of the new Iraqi government. It wrote that​​ as someone who had been made Prime Minister as a compromise candidate,​​ PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi​​ needed to keep the support of both Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Islah (Reform) bloc and Hadi Al-Amiri’s Bina’ (Construction) bloc. This is a source of the government’s weakness.​​ It also noted that 4 ministerial positions were still open, which it attributed to Abd Ul-Mahdi’s failure to​​ break from the traditional apportionment system, by which parties see themselves as entitled to nominate their candidates for ministries.​​ [FP]

 

Reconstruction

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that there​​ are still about 1.8 million IDPs in Iraq, over a year after victory was declared over Daesh. ICRC President Peter Maurer said that Iraqi society had to work toward reconciliation in order for displaced Iraqis to be able to go back to their homes, in addition to providing​​ adequate housing and basic services in their home areas. [Baghdadia]​​ [Sumaria]​​ [ReliefWeb]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

A Kurdish source said on Wednesday that an agreement had been reached between Erbil and Baghdad​​ that​​ provides​​ for the return of the Peshmerga to the “disputed” regions. The sources said that this agreement was conditional on the Peshmerga being based in the cities only, and the formation of an Ops Room at​​ the K-1 military base in Kirkuk.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

However, the Turkmen Front and the Ministry of Peshmerga both said on Wednesday that there was no such agreement. The leader of the Turkmen Front, Arshad Al-Salihi, said on Twitter that the Baghdad government had no prior agreement to bring the Peshmerga back to Kirkuk without securing Turkmen and Arab approval for the move. The Ministry of Peshmerga in the KRG said that there was no formal agreement with Baghdad to return the Peshmerga to Kirkuk, and that its last meeting with the Iraqi Ministry of Defense had consisted only of forming exploratory committees to evaluate the security situation in Makhmur, Diyala, the Ninewa Plain, and the “outskirts” of Kirkuk, and judge whether there was a need to re-deploy the Peshmerga in these locations. [IraqPress]

The​​ Joint Operations Command also issued a statement denying that PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi had approved the return of the Peshmerga to the “disputed” areas. The statement said that there had been a meeting​​ in Erbil​​ between leaders of the Ministry of the Interior and a Peshmerga delegation​​ to​​ discuss the establishment of joint communications centers for security coordination. [Sumaria]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Coalition partners on Wednesday that Daesh was still present and active in Iraq. He was speaking at the State Department at a meeting of Foreign Ministers representing countries who​​ are part of the Coalition. He said progress had been made but Daesh remained a “serious threat” in Syria and Iraq.​​ [Baghdadia]

 

See also related stories under​​ Turkey and​​ Syria.

 

Sumaria​​ reported that a Gulf newspaper had written on Wednesday that Daesh was calling for attacks on security personnel in Iraq, saying it was refocusing on guerilla warfare. The Gulf paper also quoted a military expert as saying that the orchards and mountainous areas in Diyala, Salahuddin, and Kirkuk were still the most notable “strongholds” for Daesh in Iraq.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

BAGHDAD

Northwest​​ (Kadhimiya, etc.)

A security source said on Wednesday that 2 people had been arrested​​ in Hurriya neighborhood, Kadhimiya, for impersonating Iraqi Army​​ officers. [Sumaria]

 

West​​ (Mansour, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

A​​ woman was shot and killed by an unidentified gunman in the Al-Adel neighborhood of Mansour. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Falluja/Ramadi

A security source said on Wednesday that 3 separate groups of Daesh fighters had been arrested in Anbar, including 20 terrorists total in Falluja,​​ including​​ Qarma, and​​ in​​ Ramadi. The source said that the arrestees had admitted to committing crimes against civilians over a time period from 2007 to 2015. The source also claimed that these groups had been receiving orders from Daesh leaders in Syria.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

It is unclear whether the following two stories overlap with the report above.

Anbar Ops Command said on Wednesday that units under its command had arrested 2 persons wanted on terrorism charges in Ramadi and found a tunnel used by Daesh.​​ They also found 64 IEDs that had been left behind by Daesh in the Albu Daalj area, Falluja District, and 145 60 mm mortar rounds in the Kilo 7 area. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence said that military intelligence detachments from the 10th​​ Brigade had arrested a Daesh cell consisting of 6 members in Ramadi.​​ [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Coalition planes killed several Daesh terrorists on Wednesday in airstrikes on the Hawi Kan’ous area. The source said the terrorists were using anti-aircraft machine​​ guns against the planes. ​​ Joint Salahuddin and Ninewa Ops Commands units broke into the Hawi Kan’ous area on Wednesday. The source said that Mahmoud Al-Jammas, a war correspondent for​​ Beladi TV, was severely wounded by a Daesh sniper in the Hawi Kan’ous area. 4 security​​ personnel​​ including an officer were killed​​ in the fighting.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that Coalition planes killed 4 Daesh terrorists, including an Iraqi and a Syrian commander, in airstrikes on the Makhoul Mountains area.​​ 

 

Baiji

A security source said on Wednesday that 3 brothers from a village in Baiji had been kidnapped by Daesh in the Makhoul Mountains. [Sumaria]

 

The Security Media Center said on Wednesday that units under Salahuddin Ops Command​​ had conducted a search operation in Siniya, in coordination with Coalition aircraft, which bombed a Daesh camp and tunnel, killing 8 terrorists. Another 3 were killed by the Salahuddin Police.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Tikrit

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded tribal PMF soldiers, including a commander, with an IED near Al-Hassan village, in the Mtaibija area near the Diyala border. [ICDNFeb6-Telegram]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF soldiers and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on Monday in the Albu Ajeel area​​ near Tikrit city. [ICDNFeb6-Telegram]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Diyala Police Chief Faisal Kazim Al-Abadi said on Wednesday that 1 terrorist had been killed and 2 others arrested in a search and raid operation in the Buhriz area, and that small arms and ammunition in the terrorists’ possession had been seized.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

The “Falcons” intelligence cell said on Wednesday that in coordination with Coalition troops, it had killed the Daesh “training officer” for Kirkuk, “emir”​​ Ibrahim Khalil Hamid, aka Al-Makani Abu Al-Zubayr,​​ as well as 6 of his companions.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [PressIraq]​​ [Buratha]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Daesh said it targeted on Tuesday tribal PMF positions in Awwad Al-Muhawesh village, west of Riyadh, with 6 mortar shells. [ICDNFeb6-Telegram]

 

NINEWA

Mosul​​ city

Captain Ma’an Mohammed of the Ninewa Police said on Wednesday that 5 female Daesh members had been arrested in the Ras Al-Khor neighborhood of​​ Old Mosul.​​ [BasNews]​​ 

 

Mosul District

West (Hamidat)

Ninewa Police Command said​​ it​​ had carried out an operation resulting in the arrest of 6 Daesh members in​​ Al-Mulawtha, near Badoush.​​ [Forat]​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

No reports

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

The PMF media office said that on Tuesday, PMF units found anti-armor charges, explosives​​ belts, and detonators for explosives during a search operation in Hatra.​​ [PressIraq]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

The​​ Falcons​​ intelligence cell arrested a “gang” of 3 persons accused of being implicated in murder and armed robbery. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

SULEIMANIYA

The Suleimaniya EOD organization said on Wednesday that its team had destroyed 60 mortar launchers found in​​ the Nalparez​​ subdistrict​​ of​​ Penjwin District,​​ located on the Iran border,​​ in a controlled detonation.​​ [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Speaking at the Coalition meeting at the US State Department, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called for “preventing terrorists from exploiting the power vacuum in Syria” to threaten its neighbors or undermine Syrian territorial integrity.​​ [Qasioun]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

The General Command for the Army and Armed Forces of the Syrian government issued a resolution that those 38 years old and older would be exempt from the military draft. [EnabBaladi]

 

An oil company affiliated with the Syrian government​​ is​​ preparing​​ to install a pipeline to transfer oil from YPG-controlled areas to areas under Syrian government control in Deir Ez-Zor. This comes under the framework of an agreement reached last year between the 2 sides to swap oil extracted​​ from​​ the oilfields for refined diesel fuel. [Qasioun]

 

United Nations

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said in a report released on Wednesday that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) should include on its agenda at least 191 chemical attacks in Syria. The OPCW is expected to use its new mandate in February 2019 to identify the perpetrators of chemical attacksan​​ expansion of its previous mandate, which was limited to confirming whether or not chemical weapons had been used,​​ without identifying the perpetrator.​​ The SNHR said that 191 chemical attacks it had documented had not yet been investigated by the OPCW. [Qasioun] [SNHR]

 

Russia

The Israeli newspaper​​ Haaretz​​ wrote on Tuesday that 3 of​​ the​​ 4 Russian S-300 system surface-to-air missile launchers​​ delivered to Syria​​ are now​​ installed. [EnabBaladi]​​ [Qasioun]

 

The Russian Ministry of Education and Culture announced on Wednesday that it would open up an educational center for teaching Russian in Syria between 2019 and 2025. [EnabBaladi]

 

Iran

On Wednesday the Iranian​​ Fars​​ news agency said the Iranian Minister of Roads revealed that Iran is developing a highway that​​ will cross​​ Iraq​​ to​​ connect Iran and Syria. It​​ will be​​ about​​ 141 km (87 miles)​​ long and will cost $450 million US. [EnabBaladi]​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Middle East

Israeli Prime​​ Minister​​ Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Putin will meet on February 21,​​ for the first time since a Russian plane was shot down near Latakia. Netanyahu met with senior Russian officials in Jerusalem last week. Netanyahu said on Tuesday that the purpose of the meeting on the 21st​​ is to discuss Israeli efforts to prevent Iranian influence in Syria. [EnabBaladi]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Israel-Iran conflict complicates Russian diplomacy. The Russians want to be friendly with both countries. It​​ is in Syria to help Assad, not to help Iran’s agenda. Iran’s ulterior motives and Israel’s determination to prevent Iranian attacks on Israel from Syria are a big distraction from the mission.

 

On Wednesday, Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority supports the return of Syria to the Arab League. [EnabBaladi]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

President Trump spoke briefly at Wednesday’s meeting of Coalition partners at the US State Department, saying that the US would fight Daesh “for many years to come” despite troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan. Trump said that he expected the US and its partner forces would soon take​​ the last Daesh-held territory in Syria, but that even after that, Daesh fighters were expected to go underground and continue to pose a threat. [NYT]

 

Speaking at the State Department meeting of Coalition partners, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that the US withdrawal from Syria was “not the end of America’s fight” against terrorism. Pompeo said, “The drawdown will be well coordinated, and our policy priorities in Syria have remained unchanged.” Pompeo added, “We ask that our Coalition partners seriously and rapidly consider requests that will enable our efforts to continue… Those requests are likely to come very soon.” He did not elaborate on what the substance of those requests would be. [TaskAndPurpose] [NYT]

 

Northwest

No reports

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

Hama

On Wednesday, a young man was killed by unknown gunmen in Hama Governate. [EnabBaladi]

 

Homs

On Wednesday,​​ the media spokesman​​ for​​ the​​ Al-Rukban​​ refugee and IDP camp told​​ Enab Baladi​​ that UN humanitarian aid buses arrived on Tuesday night​​ at​​ “Area 55​​ of​​ the Al-Tanaf area, near Al-Rukban​​ camp. The camp has been under siege for the past year. The Syrian​​ government​​ agreed to allow 100 humanitarian aid trucks into​​ Al-Rukban under Russian surveillance. [EnabBaladi]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal​​ District

The​​ New York Times​​ wrote that​​ the remaining Daesh fighters were “now trapped in an area about the size of Central Park.” It quoted​​ Kurdish officials as saying that most people fleeing the Daesh-held area who reached the SDF to surrender were family members of the Daesh fighters, with “only a small number of locals originally from the area” coming at this point. Surrendering families of Daesh fighters said they were out of food and were boiling weeds​​ or eating animal feed​​ to survive. The​​ NYT​​ wrote that the SDF’s advance had stalled just outside of Al-Baghouz as the Coalition forces are negotiating surrender terms with Daesh. It quoted an SDF spokesman as saying that a request for safe passage was denied, but wrote that American officials said safe passage to Idlib was still a possibility.​​ [NYT]

 

Qasioun​​ wrote that “hundreds” of civilians,​​ including​​ families of Daesh members, were still fleeing the Al-Baghouz​​ area. It wrote that on Wednesday, about 100 people, who it said were mostly Iraqi women and children, were transferred from Al-Baghouz Foqani (Upper Baghouz) to the Al-Hawl IDP camp in Hasaka.​​ [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The obscure village of Al-Baghouz Foqani is having its moment of fame. It was identified in on-site CBS News coverage Wednesday as the last two square miles held by Daesh.

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it shot down an “Iraqi forces’” recon drone in Al-Baghouz village. [A3maq-Telegram]

In another version, Daesh said the drone belonged to PMFs. [ICDNFeb6-Telegram]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ In either version, it is another “victorious” report intended to distract attention from the fact that Daesh has already lost Al-Baghouz.

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

On Wednesday, the SOHR said that unknown people in Qudsaya, in Rif Damashq, destroyed an image of Bashar Al-Assad and wrote the slogan “The people want the regime to fall. Go out. Freedom forever” on the walls of the city. [SOHR]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

Daesh said it foiled an Al-Qaeda “sneak attempt” on Monday in the Za’aj area, in Qifa. It said it targeted Al-Qaeda fighters with light and medium weapons, forcing them to flee. It said several of them were wounded when an IED exploded on them while fleeing. [ICDNFeb6-Telegram]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

Following President Trump’s State of the Union address, in which he said that the US was “being treated very unfairly by NATO,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave an interview with​​ Fox Business​​ on Wednesday morning in which he said that the White House supported creating a new “NATO-type alliance” to counter Iran in the Middle East.​​ Pompeo said that he expected that a “big number of countries” would announce their intention to join such an alliance in the near future.​​ [Newsweek] [Sputnik] [State]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Daesh said it killed two Nigerian soldiers, stole weapons and ammunition, and set a military position on fire Tuesday in an attack on Kanari town, in Borno. [ICDNFeb6-Telegram]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

In his State of the Union address, President Trump described the peace talks with the Taliban as “constructive.” [Khaama]

 

Afghanistan​​ President Ashraf Ghani and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a phone call discussing the peace efforts in Afghanistan. A State Department spokesperson said that Pompeo emphasized the importance of the role of the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the importance of intra-Afghan dialogue. [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ What Ghani would really like is to be included in the negotiations, which so far have worked around the government.​​ 

 

Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, an​​ Afghan political leader, said that the intra-Afghan dialogue in Moscow had produced some points of agreement, including the withdrawal of foreign forces and the need to amend​​ the constitution of Afghanistan. However, he said disagreements existed regarding what these amendments would be and how they would be reached. [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ In other words, there was actually no substantive agreement.

 

The deputy chief of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar,​​ Mawlavai Hanafi, claimed that the US had agreed to withdraw half its forces from Afghanistan by April 2019. However, a spokesman for​​ the US Forces in Afghanistan, Colonel David Butler, said this was false and that there were no orders to withdraw. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it shot and killed a police officer in District 8, in Kabul city. [ICDNFeb6-Telegram]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

February 5, 2019

 

A rocky mountain

Description automatically generated

Qarachogh​​ Mountains (DD Feb 4)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Pentagon report warns that Daesh is regrouping in Iraq.​​ [..]

Gen. Votel tells Senators that military mission in Iraq has not changed. [..]

 

Syria

US, Turkey reported working on details of NE Syria “safe zone.” [..]

US military estimate:​​ Daesh has 15,000 fighters left in Syria. [..]

SDF, Coalition fend off Daesh counter-attack near Al-Baghouz. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen: ​​ Yemen NGO ​​ report finds humanitarian situation in Hodeida area dire. [..]

Nigeria: ​​ Boko Haram attacks kill 6 more people in NE Nigeria. [..]

Afghanistan:

Taliban peace-deal demands amount to an Islamic state.​​ [..]

Major kidnapping ring arrested in Kabul. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

NBC​​ reported that the Pentagon released a report Monday saying that Daesh is “regrouping” in Iraq faster than in Syria. A draft report released last week said that without sustained military involvement, it would take Daesh​​ only​​ 6 to 12 months to regain territory. [Baghdadia] [NBC]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This report won’t surprise Daesh Daily readers, who encounter reports of Daesh-caused casualties every day. Despite the declarations of victory by leaders in Iraq and the US, which serve an understandable political purpose, Daesh has never stopped fighting in Iraq and has never stopped killing people. Historically, wars have ended because one or both sides stopped fighting. No war has ever been won by speeches or press conferences.

 

On Tuesday a judge​​ connected to​​ counter-terrorism​​ cases​​ said that a large Daesh cell made up of 16 members was destroyed. The cell’s​​ assigned responsibility​​ was to restructure the “south state” of Daesh and attack areas in Baghdad, and it had already executed “many” attacks. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

A source with the Joint Operations Command said on Tuesday that Ninewa Ops Command thwarted an attempt by Daesh members to infiltrate the border into Iraq from Syria, and killed dozens of them.​​ Meanwhile,​​ Anbar Ops Command shot many Daesh​​ fighters,​​ further​​ inside Syria,​​ who seemed to be attempting to​​ enter​​ Iraq. [Ghad]​​ 

 

The National Security Council held its weekly meeting, in which it discussed assessing the movements of Daesh in Anbar Province, producing a working paper on the command-and-control structure in Kirkuk, and producing a unified paper on security reports from Ninewa and Diyala. [IraqPress]​​ [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

General Joseph Votel, the Commander for US CENTCOM, said that the US military’s mission in Iraq was still to defeat Daesh, and that it had not shifted to “watch[ing] Iran,” as​​ President​​ Trump put it in a​​ CBS​​ interview on Sunday. Votel said, “I think the government of Iraq understands the relationship, the view that we have on Iran and understands our concerns with Iran and the variety of destabilizing activities that they carry out around the region….​​ But having said that, our military mission on the ground remains … focused​​ on the defeat of ISIS and now preventing a resurgence of that particular organization.”​​ Votel was speaking to a Senate panel.​​ [ABC]​​ [NYT]

 

Also see related story under Syria.

 

BAGHDAD

Center​​ (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

The Ministry of the Interior said on Tuesday that​​ a gang of 6 people accused of illegally trading in antiquities was arrested in central Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

East​​ (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

A security source on Tuesday said that a man killed his son with a pistol in the​​ Nahrawan area, east of Sadr City, and was subsequently arrested. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

On Tuesday, the Directorate of Military intelligence announced that intelligence units arrested a Daesh cell​​ with​​ 5 members in the Jazeera Khaldiya area. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

Daesh published on Tuesday photos of murdering a PMF member near Al-Qa’im. [ICDNFeb5]

Daesh had previously said that it killed two PMF soldiers and wounded another on Sunday near Al-Qa’im city. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that PMF units found the body of a civilian who had been kidnapped by Daesh 2 days earlier near the Makhoul Mountains area.​​ 

 

Baiji

Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF soldiers and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on Sunday in the Al-Mazraa village in Baiji. [A3maq] [ICDNFeb5-Telegram]

 

Tikrit

The Security Media Center said that Salahuddin Ops Command found a​​ terrorist​​ hideout in​​ Mtaibija, near the Diyala border,​​ that had food and kitchen equipment. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Samarra

Daesh said it killed an Iraqi Army “spy” with an IED on Monday near the Jalam Samarra area. [A3maq]

 

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad)

Iraqi security sources said on Sunday that an Iranian​​ religious​​ pilgrim was killed and 8 others wounded when armed men shot at their bus near Balad. [Kurdistan24]​​ 

Daesh’s version​​ said it killed nine Shia pilgrims and wounded six others on Sunday in an ambush between Dhuluiya and Balad. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it shot and wounded a PMF soldier on Sunday in the Mazari’ area, in Yathrib. [A3maq-Telegram]

 

DIYALA

Central Diyala (Abu Saida)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a group of Daesh terrorists shot and killed a 9-year-old boy near his house in Mukhaisa village, south of Abu Saida, on Monday evening.​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that IFP and PMF units killed 2 Daesh terrorists, including a Saudi, and captured another on Saturday in a military operation near Al-Sadouniya village, Riyadh subdistrict.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that 2 IFP policemen were killed and 2 others severely wounded when their SUV was destroyed by an IED on the road between Tarqiya village,​​ in​​ Al-Zab subdistrict, and the Himrin Mountains.​​ 

 ​​​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 1 PMF soldier was killed and 2 others wounded when an IED exploded on them on the main road near Al-Bakr village, in Al-Zab subdistrict. The source said the PMFs defused 3 more IEDs on the same road.​​ 

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says there are many Daesh terrorists hiding in the Qarachogh​​ Mountains area. The source said Daesh deploys snipers on the tops of the mountains,​​ making it difficult for Iraqi forces to advance. Coalition planes and IFP artillery are targeting Daesh hideouts on​​ a​​ regular basis. The terrorists depend on a network of supporters from nearby areas to get food and other supplies.  ​​​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a tribal PMF soldier was killed on Sunday when PMF units stopped a Daesh attack on Qaraj village.​​ 

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that PMF units captured a Daesh terrorist in the Hawi Nimrud area. The source said the terrorist was meeting with a smuggler, secretly recruited by the PMFs, to deliver food items to Daesh terrorists hiding in the area.

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 2 PMFs went missing on Tuesday while in their pickup vehicle near Al-Umraniyah​​ village​​ [spelling approx.), southeast of Mosul.​​ 

 

Western Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says there are 150-200 Daesh terrorists hiding in the Abu Mariya hills. The source says that the vast majority of the terrorists are locals who had fled during the liberation battles in 2017. The terrorists conduct attacks on nearby areas on​​ a​​ regular basis.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that on Sunday, a group of Daesh terrorists in PMF uniforms kidnapped a civilian at a fake checkpoint on the road between​​ the​​ Abu Mariya and Tal Ramh villages.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Monday, PMF units found the body of a civilian who had been kidnapped by Daesh a week earlier at a fake checkpoint near Abu Mariya village. ​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a woman was severely wounded on Monday when a Daesh mortar shell hit her house in Abu Mariya.​​ 

​​ 

Daesh said it wounded Iraqi soldiers and damaged their SUV with an IED on Monday near the southern checkpoint in Ayadhiya, several miles northwest of Tal Afar. [A3maq] [ICDNFeb5-Telegram]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Baaj

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 2 PMF soldiers were killed on Tuesday in a Daesh attack west of Baaj. The source said the terrorists​​ attacked on​​ motorcycles.

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Karbala

The Ministry of the Interior said on Tuesday that it had formed a team to arrest the killers of Alaa Mashzoub, the novelist shot outside his home on Saturday. MoI spokesman Sa’ad Ma’an said no arrests had been​​ made​​ yet. [Sumaria]

 

The Iraqi Human Rights Commission in Basra said on Monday that a detainee who was being held by the “Falcons” intelligence cell​​ hanged​​ and killed himself while detained. [Sumaria]

 

Wasit

A security source in Wasit said on Tuesday that 2 people had been killed​​ in the​​ Numaniya​​ District, north of Kut, in a “tribal dispute.”

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

President​​ Erdogan said on Tuesday that if the “terrorists” were not removed from Manbij in the next few weeks, “Ankara’s patience will end.” Erdogan was speaking to the Turkish parliamentary bloc of his AK Party. He said that the “safe zone” in Syria should be under the control of Turkey, and added that Turkey respected the territorial integrity of Syria and supported the preparation of a new Syrian Constitution and the holding of free elections. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Translation: Erdogan wants to be given full control in northern Syria so he can do whatever he wants to the Kurds within the “safe zone,” which does not sound that safe if you’re Kurdish. ​​ However, he is still anti-Assad, thus the support for a new constitution and free elections. This puts him at odds with the Russians and Iranians not to mention Assad, whose​​ collective​​ priority is to keep Assad in power. Erdogan’s policy in Syria thus seems to have isolated Turkey. He is talking a big game, but on key issues he is at odds with either the US or with the Russian/Iran/Syria alliance.​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

The Saudi​​ Asharq Al-Awsat​​ wrote on Monday that the US and Turkey were finalizing the plan for the “safe zone” in northeast Syria, which would be from 28 to 32 km deep,​​ from​​ Jarabulus​​ to​​ Faysh Khabur, near the 3-way border between Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Turkey reportedly demanded that the “safe zone” be free of military bases and heavy weapons, and that about 7,000 YPG fighters leave the area.​​ 

In this context, Ahmad Jarba, the President of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, proposed to the US, Turkey, and Iraqi KDP leader Masoud Barzani that between 8,000 and 12,000 Arab “elite forces” and Peshmerga fighters, including Syrian Kurds, would deploy to the “safe zone,” and that it would possibly receive air support from the US Al-Tanaf base.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

Middle East

The Carnegie Endowment’s journal​​ Sada​​ published an article on Tuesday that said that resuming agricultural trade between Syria and its neighbors would increase food security across the region. [Sada]

 

Refugees and IDPs

The​​ Wall Street Journal​​ wrote on Monday about the difficulties facing survivors of the civil war who were left without their “family book,” a document used as a record of births, marriages, and deaths. The​​ WSJ​​ quoted a Beirut research firm as saying that the war would lead to “a lasting cohort of second-class citizens” whose access to employment and public services would be limited, due to lost “family books” or events such as births or marriages having occurred in areas outside of Syrian government control. [WSJ]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

General Joseph Votel, the Commander of US CENTCOM, told a senate hearing that after the US withdraws its troops from Syria, Daesh could reemerge. He also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Daesh still controlled about 20 square miles of territory in Syria. He said that there were only 15,000 Daesh fighters in Syria. [NYT] [Sumaria]​​ 

 

On Monday, the Iraqi PMF​​ Central Ops Directorate denied reports that PMF groups were carrying out any military operations inside Syria, saying that the decision to carry out military operations rested with the Commander-in-Chief. The Directorate said that any media reports regarding PMF groups pursuing Daesh inside Syrian territory were “confused” about the role of the PMF on the border. However, it did say that PMF groups were participating in artillery shelling of Daesh sites​​ in coordination with​​ the​​ Joint Ops Command. [Sumaria]

​​ 

On Tuesday, Britain’s Minister for Security, Ben Wallace, said that John Cantlie,​​ the​​ freelance photographer abducted by Daesh in Syria over 6 years ago, is “thought to be alive.” [NYT]

 

On Tuesday, the SOHR​​ reported that 5 Syrian Army members and 4 other individuals were killed in various incidents throughout Syria. [SOHR]

 

Northwest

Afrin

Tensions have developed recently in Jinderes, in southwest Afrin,​​ between fighters from Nour Al-Din Al-Zenki and fighters from Ahrar Al-Sharqiya. [SOHR]

 

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus/Ayn Al-Arab

Daesh said on Tuesday that it killed or wounded SDF fighters and damaged their vehicle with an IED on the road between Manbij and Jarabulus. [ICDNFeb5-Telegram]

 

An explosion near Al-Bab resulted in casualties, and its cause is still unknown. The past few days have witnessed a series of bombings that killed and wounded others. [SOHR]

 

“Local sources” said that the US sent 150 cargo trucks with armored vehicles, drills, and generators to the SDF. The trucks reportedly crossed over from Iraq on Monday evening, and arrived on Tuesday at warehouses in Khirbat Al-‘Ashiq and Sarrin, Ayn Al-Arab District, where the cargo was unloaded. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

In Hasaka, a​​ man​​ was killed as he attempted to plant an IED. [SOHR]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Sources said that in Raqqa, a young man was killed due to a dispute between​​ two​​ tribes over currency exchange. [SOHR]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

In Aleppo Governorate, a young Civil Defense volunteer was shot dead by an unknown person.​​ In Idlib, unidentified armed people assassinated a leader of the​​ pro-Turkey​​ National​​ Front for​​ Liberation. [SOHR]

 

Homs

The Iranian state-owned channel​​ Al-Alam​​ said that on Saturday, about 100 Lebanese fighters from the Al-Ja’afar tribe, which is based in the Beqaa​​ Valley, attacked the Syrian border village of Al-Farouqiya​​ in​​ western​​ Homs. The channel said that the attack targeted a Lebanese family from the Al-Ja’afar tribe living in the village, and stemmed from previous feuds. The attack prompted the villagers to fight back, forcing the attackers to withdraw. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal​​ District

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Tuesday that several SDF fighters were killed or wounded in a Daesh counterattack near Al-Baghouz. The source said Coalition planes launched heavy airstrikes on Daesh terrorists to prevent them from advancing to​​ previously​​ liberated areas.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Tuesday, Coalition planes targeted several Daesh positions in the Al-Baghouz area.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 4 civilians, including a woman, were killed and many others wounded on Tuesday, when Daesh shelled Al-Susah indiscriminately. The source said Daesh terrorists are using the people of Safana village as human shields while shelling nearby areas.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that 6 Daesh foreign terrorists, including an Uzbek commander, surrendered to SDF units near Safana village.

 

South​​ 

Daraa

A local news network reported that unidentified gunmen attacked a Syrian Army security checkpoint with an IED near Nimr​​ in​​ Daraa Governorate, on Tuesday morning. [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies issued its 2018 annual report, in which it wrote that Yemen was no longer “on the brink” of catastrophe but now far beyond the brink. It said that while the UN had plans to raise $4 billion for humanitarian aid, aid organizations were reaching their capacity limits, and the crisis could not be addressed by aid money alone, as it was fundamentally political in nature. It said that any final peace agreement would “almost certainly” require US, UK, and other international pressure on Saudi Arabia. It also said that even if peace were achieved, Yemen would “remain under constant threat from outside factors in the absence of regional de-escalation.” [SanaaCenter]

 

Daesh published a photo of one of its terrorists on Tuesday, claiming he was killed in the Bayda’​​ area. [ICDNFeb5]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Egyptian media sources said on Tuesday that 4 policemen were wounded when terrorists in a machine-gun-mounted SUV attacked a police barrier on the road​​ to​​ Luxor, in the​​ massive rural​​ New Valley​​ Governorate​​ in​​ southwest Egypt. [Mwatin]

Daesh said on Tuesday that a group of its terrorists attacked a police barrier​​ on the road​​ to​​ Luxor, in the New Valley​​ Governorate. [A3maq-Telegram]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

1 person was killed by a bomb explosion near a shopping center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.​​ Authorities said they believed the man killed was the person responsible for planting the bomb. The Albuquerque Police Chief said that there was no known connection with any terrorist act.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [USNews]

 

EUROPE

Russia

OPEC officials said that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil producers were backing a formal partnership between some OPEC members and Russia, which could potentially set a floor on global oil prices.​​ OPEC members and Russia are scheduled to debate the proposal on February 18 in a Vienna meeting. [WSJ]

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Residents of northeastern Nigeria said on Tuesday that Boko Haram fighters had killed 6 people in separate attacks. On Monday, they stormed Shuwa​​ and Kirchina villages,​​ in the​​ Madagali area​​ of​​ northern Adamawa State, near the border with Borno State, killing 1 person in Shuwa and 2 in Kirchina. In a separate attack earlier Monday, 3 goat herders were shot and killed near the village of Tubba, 8 km​​ (5 miles)​​ from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. [VanguardNGR]

 

Niger

The US turned over a communications and operations center, said to​​ cost​​ $16.5 million, to the Niger Army to help the country fight Boko Haram. [VanguardNGR]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The former chief of the political office of the Taliban in Qatar, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, outlined the Taliban’s demands for peace as part of the intra-Afghan dialogue held in Moscow. Stanikzai said that the Taliban wants to establish an Islamic system in Afghanistan but not to monopolize power;​​ that various Taliban leaders must be removed from blacklists so they could take part in peace negotiations;​​ and that the current Afghan Constitution is illegitimate, being based on western systems, and should be reworked into a system which is “acceptable to Afghans,” which he​​ said should be drafted and ratified by religious​​ scholars. He also requested that “propaganda” against the Taliban end, saying that the Taliban had never, contrary to this “propaganda,”​​ detonated bridges, poisoned schoolgirls, or targeted civilians with roadside IEDs. [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Reading these demands helps to explain why coming to an agreement with the Taliban is not to be assumed.

 

The Afghan Ministry of Defense said that a “large-scale” Taliban attack on security posts near Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, had been fought off. The MoD said that the fighting had left at least 22 Taliban fighters dead and 18 wounded, and caused an unspecified number of casualties among Afghan security personnel. [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ They know how many Taliban got killed but can’t provide a total for their own​​ soldiers?​​ That suggests the total is higher than they want to admit.

 

The National Directorate of Security said that a “kidnap kingpin” and 7 of his men had been arrested in Kabul city. The Directorate said that the group had been involved in kidnappings, murders, armed robberies, and extortions.​​ [Khaama]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed a pro-government militiaman, wounded two others, and damaged their SUV with a sticky IED in the Ghani Khel area, in Nangarhar. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it shot and killed a policeman and stole his weapons in Jalalabad. [A3maq] [ICDNFeb5-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh published on Tuesday a photo of one of its terrorists claiming he was killed in the Afghanistan-Pakistan​​ region. [ICDNFeb5]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

February 4, 2019

 

A large mountain in the background

Description automatically generated

Coalition Airstrike Targeted Daesh Position on Himrin Mountains (DD Feb 3)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Pace of progress in rebuilding becoming an issue to many​​ in Mosul. [..]

Trump anti-Iran rationale for keeping troops in Iraq sets off political firestorm.​​ [..]​​ 

US accuses Iran of rocketing Haditha base.​​ [..]

Sheikh from Anbar Tribal Council kidnapped. [..]

Daesh​​ reportedly​​ kills village mukhtar in eastern Falluja. [..]

Deadly border clashes kill 11 Iraqi service members in Rutba, Baaj. [..]

Noted Iraqi novelist gunned down in Karbala. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan says you can’t trust a “safe zone” to Coalition forces. [..]

 

Syria

US planes destroy Syria headquarters used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard near Albu Kamal, in possible retaliation for Anbar attack.​​ [..]

US, European​​ allies​​ press Middle East countries not to normalize relations with Syria. [..]

State Dept. statement thanks the SDF, emphasizes Daesh is still a major threat. [..]

State Dept. asks Coalition allies to repatriate, prosecute their own citizens held by SDF. [..]

SOHR flags large number of SDF soldiers, others, killed by Daesh in SDF-held areas. [..]

Daesh human shields strategy stalls SDF ground assault with 4 km2​​ to go. [..]

SOHR reports deteriorating security conditions in Daraa. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Egypt: ​​ 8 sentenced to death for attempted assassination of President Al-Sisi. [..]

Nigeria: ​​ 

Wall Street Journal flags​​ large​​ Daesh military buildup in Nigeria.​​ [..]

Amnesty International report of Boko Haram attack contradicted by Nigerian military. [..]

Philippines:​​ Two-hour gun battle with Abu Sayyaf kills at least 8 in Sulu. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

Reuters​​ published a report Monday morning saying that many in Mosul believe the slow progress in rebuilding the city is due to corruption. Abd Al-Sattar Al-Hibbu,​​ manager​​ of the​​ Mosul​​ municipal government, said that while little had been allocated to Mosul, the amount of money spent on removing rubble should​​ have​​ been enough to completely clear the city, but instead more than half of the debris remains. The​​ Governor of Ninewa denied the mismanagement and defended​​ the pace of the​​ rebuilding. [Reuters]

 

Foreign policy

United States

President Trump said in an interview with​​ CBS​​ on Sunday that he wanted to​​ keep US troops in Iraq because he wanted to be able to “watch Iran” from bases the US had built in Iraq. [CBS]​​ [NYT]​​ This statement set off a political firestorm in Iraq.

 

President Barham Salih expressed surprise at President Trump’s statements to​​ CBS​​ regarding the US forces’ mission in Iraq. He says he is waiting for an explanation from Washington regarding the mission and numbers of US forces in the country, adding that there is a binding agreement that governs US actions inside Iraq, and​​ the mission should be counterterrorism.​​ Salih also noted that the Iraqi Constitution forbids using Iraq as a platform from which to threaten neighboring countries.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [AP]​​ 

 

Former Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi expressed his rejection of President Trump’s statements to​​ CBS​​ regarding the mission of US forces in Iraq. He says such statements are harmful to IraqUS relations.​​ Al-Abadi wrote on Twitter, “We are not proxies in conflicts outside the interests of our nation.”​​ [Sumaria]​​ [AP]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is another example of why President’s anti-Iran policy is a major problem for Iraq. Whatever the arguments for the policy,​​ it​​ IS​​ militarily logical that a base along the transportation and supply routes between Iran and Syria, especially across Anbar (the Haditha base being the likeliest example),​​ could track what Iran is doing, and​​ Iran’s​​ maneuvering in Syria is certainly an issue. However, Iraqi political leaders​​ can’t take sides with the US against Iran without worsening political divisions in Iraq—even pro-American leaders like President Salih and former PM Al-Abadi.​​ 

 

In a major related development, the US accused Iran of attempting to target the Ayn Al-Asad base in Haditha with 3 rockets. The Saudi daily​​ Okaz​​ says that the US threatened to use all available means against any party targeting the base. [Sumaria]

 

Also see related stories below under Hit/Haditha and under Syria – Foreign policy – United States.

 

Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad, called on the US to withdraw its forces from Iraq, following the statements of President Trump that a base in Iraq is necessary to monitor Iran. He said Iraq’s security is up to the Iraqi Armed Forces, and that the decision to keep foreign forces in the country is up to the Iraqi government.​​ [Rudaw]

 

The Secretary-General of Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq (AAH), Qais Al-Khazali, says that Iraqi military units can expel US forces out of Iraq. He says that President Trump’s recent statements laid bare the US project in Iraq.​​ Al-Khazali​​ says that the CoR can make the “right” decision regarding the presence of these forces, and that the Army, Police, and PMF can expel these forces, no matter how numerous they are. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Following up on the comment above, this​​ statement reflects​​ part of the damage from US pronouncements​​ directed at​​ Iran: empowering the most anti-American/pro-Iran​​ elements to make divisive public statements.​​ Al-Khazali’s boast (the latest of many) can’t be backed up, of course, but he assumes he can run his mouth without incurring real consequences, so this kind of propaganda will likely continue and will intensify in response to American statements.

 

However,​​ Faiq Al-Sheikh Ali,​​ leader​​ of the​​ liberal​​ Tamadun​​ (Civilized)​​ CoR bloc, told Iraqis that President Trump’s statements were addressed to Iran and not Iraq, and so there is no reason why Iraqi officials should be so concerned about responding to them. [Rudaw]

 

Sumaria​​ quoted a Gulf newspaper as saying that Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi is going to visit Washington shortly, heading a large government delegation. The visit will discuss highly sensitive issues such as the US forces in Iraq, and the possibility of excluding Iraq from US sanctions on Iran. [Sumaria]

 

Kuwait

The​​ Kuwaiti daily​​ Al-Rai​​ says Iraq had paid Kuwait $300​​ million as part of​​ its reparations​​ for​​ losses​​ incurred in the​​ Saddam-era​​ occupation of Kuwait,​​ as imposed by the UN. Iraq will pay 0.5% of its oil revenues,​​ starting​​ from​​ 2018,​​ until the end of 2021,​​ at the rate of $300 million every 3 months. The UN imposed $4.6​​ billion in​​ reparations. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

A police source in Anbar says that Sheikh Omar Al-Alwani, a member of the Anbar​​ Tribal​​ Council, was kidnapped by unidentified persons. The Sheikh is known for his confrontation of terrorist groups and good relations with Shia parties. [BasNews]

 

Falluja

Daesh said it killed the mukhtar of Al-Annaz village​​ in eastern Falluja,​​ in his house on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

Ramadi

Daesh said on Sunday it shot down an Iraqi Army recon drone in the Kilo 60 area. [A3maq-Telegram]

Daesh published a photo of the drone. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Haditha

On Monday, a source within the Ninewa Police said that​​ Tribal PMF units seized missiles that were aimed towards Haditha. These were​​ separate from the missiles​​ that​​ had been​​ found aimed​​ towards Ayn Al-Asad airbase​​ on Saturday. A member of the Anbar Provincial Council said on Sunday that the missiles​​ that​​ had been found facing Ayn Al-Asad airbase​​ were positioned​​ in a location previously unreachable by Daesh. He​​ therefore​​ suggested​​ they were​​ part of the US-Iran conflict. [BasNews]

 

Al-Qa’im

Daesh said it killed two PMF soldiers, wounded another, and stole their weapons on Sunday in an ambush near Al-Qa’im city. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Rutba

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that three Border Guard​​ policemen, including a lieutenant colonel, were killed and others wounded in a Daesh attack near the Syrian border. The terrorists came from the Syrian side.​​ 

Daesh said it killed or wounded six Iraqi Army soldiers, including an officer, on Friday in an ambush in the Akashat area, by the Syria border south of Al-Qa’im. [A3maq]

 

Also see reports of other border attacks, under Baaj below

 

A security source says a​​ major​​ drug dealer was killed during an air​​ assault​​ by Iraqi units​​ in the Rutba desert. [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

The Security Media Center said on Sunday that Coalition airplanes had carried out strikes against Daesh targets in the Makhoul Mountains and Himrin areas of Salahuddin. [Nas]

 

See related stories below

 

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Coalition planes killed 8 Daesh terrorists, including a local commander, in airstrikes in the Makhoul Mountains area. The source said Daesh arrested one of its smugglers, accusing him of providing information to the Coalition.​​ 

 

The Shirqat Police said that they had found 3,000 mortar shells in an abandoned house in Al-Khadhraniya, north of Shirqat city, on Monday. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Coalition planes targeted several Daesh positions in the Himrin Mountains.​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Himrin Mountains lie on both sides of the Diyala-Salahuddin boundary, which is why reports from the mountains come sometimes from one province and sometimes from the other.

 

Samarra

The Security Media Center said on Monday that IFP units had found 8 IEDs in the Jazeera Samarra area.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said its snipers killed two Oil Facilities Protection policemen on Saturday in Yousef Al-Hailan village, south of Buhriz. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

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

Daesh said it blew up several shops that belong to Shia with 3 IEDs on Sunday in the​​ rural​​ Qulay area, west of Khanaqin. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said its snipers wounded a PMF soldier on Friday on the road between Saadiya and Khanaqin. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF soldiers and destroyed their vehicle on Friday near the Kabashi area in Jalawla, near the Iran border. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said its snipers wounded two PMF soldiers on Saturday in the Nafut Khana area, south of Khanaqin. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

Daesh said its snipers killed a PMF soldier on Sunday on the Imam Wais road, in Saadiya.​​ [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Dibis

Daesh said it killed or wounded Oil Facilities Protection policemen and damaged their vehicle with an IED on Thursday, south of Dibis. [ICDNFeb2]

 

Hawija (Riyadh)

Daesh said on Monday it targeted an IFP office in Al-Hamal village, west of Riyadh, with 3 81mm mortar shells. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Monday it blew up the house of a local police officer in Al-Mansiya village, west of Riyadh. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Southwest (Rashad)

Daesh said it damaged an IFP armored personnel carrier with an IED on Saturday near the 7 Nisan village, in Rashad subdistrict. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Coalition planes targeted several Daesh positions on Qarachogh Mountain.

 

Mosul​​ city

Daesh said it killed an Iraqi Army soldier and severely wounded another on Saturday when it targeted a checkpoint at the entrance of Al-Bakr neighborhood in east Mosul with a hand grenade. [A3maq-Telegram]

Daesh said it wounded two SWAT members and destroyed their SUV with a sticky IED on Sunday in Al-Nour neighborhood, in east Mosul. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said it wounded three Iraqi Army soldiers and destroyed their SUV with a sticky IED on Saturday in Al-Maliya neighborhood, in east Mosul across the river from central Mosul. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

Mosul District

South (Shura/Qayara)

Daesh published on Monday photos of murdering a civilian man in Al-Naddas village in Shura. Daesh claimed the victim was an “intelligence member.” [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

Daesh Daily​​ had reported earlier, from a​​​​ DaeshDaily​​ source, that a man and his wife were​​ murdered​​ on Saturday January 26 near their house by a group of Daesh terrorists in Al-Naddas village.​​ 

 

Qayara

Daesh said on Saturday it blew up the houses of three tribal PMF fighters in Mushairifa village. [ICDNFeb2]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that PMF units captured 2 men who were smuggling weapons and food items to Daesh terrorists in the Abu Mariya Hills area near Tal Afar city.​​ 

 

Sinjar

The media office of the PMF said that EOD units from the 29th​​ PMF Brigade found 2 IEDs in the Qayrawan area on Monday.​​ [PressIraq]

 

Southern Ninewa

Baaj

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that four PMF soldiers were killed, others wounded, and 3 vehicles destroyed in a Daesh attack near the Syrian border.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that four PMF soldiers were killed in clashes with Daesh near a hideout west of Baaj. The source said the PMFs killed 7 terrorists and confiscated $1,000,000 from the hideout. The source sent us a video of the confiscated money. ​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Karbala

Iraqi novelist Alaa​​ Mashzoub was killed in front of his house in Karbala Province. Preliminary reports said that he was shot with 13 bullets.​​ Mashzoub had been a critic of foreign interference and militias in Iraq, and made a Facebook post in January critical of Ayatollah Khomeini. Ali Al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, said that Mashzoub’s assassination was part of a pattern of assassinations targeting media personalities and civil activists. [Nas] [National]

 

Several writers and journalists expressed their shock​​ online​​ at Mashzoub’s killing. Intellectuals and artists in Karbala staged a sit-in​​ over​​ his death on Sunday. [DailyNation] [ArabLit]

 

The US Embassy described the assassination of Iraqi novelist Alaa​​ Mashzoub in Karbala as “a savage crime.” The Embassy offered its condolences on its Facebook page to friends and family of the deceased. The novelist was with shot and killed by unidentified armed men in the middle of Karbala on Saturday. [Sumaria]

 

Wasit

A source in Wasit says a man and his pregnant wife were killed while the man was “tampering” with a hand grenade at their house in Sheikh Saad, southern Wasit. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

SULEIMANIYA

The Asayish Directorate of the KRG said in a statement that Asayish units had arrested 3 terrorists in the past few days, including 2 Daesh “emirs.” The 3 were reportedly responsible for terrorist acts in Himrin, Hawija, and Mosul. They were arrested​​ in Darbandikhan,​​ Suleimaniya.​​ [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that any “safe zone” in Syria should be entrusted to Turkey. In an interview with the Turkish state-run channel​​ TRT,​​ he said that a “safe zone” could not be entrusted to “coalition forces.” [Bloomberg]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

On Monday, the Israeli military intelligence website​​ Debka​​ said that US planes destroyed a headquarters used by the IRGC’s Al-Quds Brigades in Syria, which it said was often visited by Qasim Soleimani. The source said that the headquarters​​ “near Albu Kamal”​​ was also used by Iraqi PMF groups and​​ the​​ Iraqi Hezbollah.​​ Debka​​ implied that this was a retaliatory strike for the attempted attack on Ayn Al-Asad air base​​ in Iraq. [ElDorar] [Debka]

 

The official state-run Syrian news agency​​ SANA​​ said on Sunday that a Coalition airstrike had hit a Syrian Army position near the frontlines with Daesh in Albu Kamal. Coalition spokesman Sean Ryan said, “Our partner forces were fired upon and exercised their inherent right to self-defense.”​​ [Reuters]

 

President Trump said on Sunday that he is still determined to withdraw troops from Syria, but that he is also capable of returning​​ them quickly if necessary. [ElDorar]

 

Middle East

The Saudi paper​​ Asharq Al-Awsat​​ said on Monday that the US and European states advised Arab states against normalizing relations with Syria. Sources say that Arab states seem to have decided to wait before normalizing relations with Damascus. Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, said that there were conditions that must be met before Syria can rejoin the Arab League. [ElDorar]

 

A source within the French Presidency said on Monday that Egypt, the “most powerful” Arab state supporting Syria, has shifted its position on Syria to be more in line with France and the US. [ElDorar]

 

Qatar officially announced that it is providing $2 million to the “White Helmets” group to support “relief and development” projects.​​ Syria Now​​ characterized the White Helmets as being affiliated with Al-Nusra. [SyriaNow]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The US State Department issued a statement on Monday thanking the SDF for their contributions to Coalition efforts. The statement also said that despite the liberation of territory in Iraq and Syria, Daesh “remains a significant terrorist threat,​​ and collective action is imperative to address this shared international security challenge.”​​ [Sumaria]​​ [State]

 

The State Department also issued a statement calling on other countries to repatriate and prosecute their citizens who traveled to Syria to fight with Daesh and are now being held by the SDF. This comes after the SDF had recently announced the capture of alleged Daesh fighters from Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. The SDF says it has​​ detained​​ over 900 Daesh fighters, in addition to over 4,000 family members of the fighters. [AP]

 

A security source in the Iraqi​​ Border​​ Guards​​ told​​ RT​​ on Monday that Iraqi PMF artillery has been “heavily” shelling Daesh in Syrian territory since the end of last week. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

On Sunday,​​ NBC​​ published a story​​ that​​ included​​ a handful of anecdotes on​​ Syrians who have converted to Christianity in Kobane,​​ in reaction to​​ their experience with​​ Daesh. [NBC]

 

Northwest

No reports

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

On Monday,​​ Hawar​​ said that a​​ man​​ had been killed as he attempted to plant an IED in Hasaka city. [Hawar]

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF commander, wounded several others, and destroyed their SUV with an IED on Sunday in Al-Sab’i village, near Shaddadi​​ in southern Hasaka. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said on Monday it killed or wounded seven SDF fighters and damaged their SUV with an IED near the Modern Medicine hospital on Al-Nour Street, in Raqqa city. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]

 

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

Kurdish media says that the Interior Committee for Tabaqa imposed a curfew of the city to avoid any riots that may arise out of differences between local parties. [Hawar]

 

Central and West​​ 

No reports

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

3 Daesh leaders, including the commander of Daesh’s military police, were also killed by the SDF after a gunfight in Ruwaished, Deir Ez-Zor District. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed an SDF fighter and wounded another in an ambush in Al-Zar village, in Busayrah subdistrict. [A3maq-Telegram]

 

Mayadin​​ District

Forat​​ wrote that unidentified armed men, most likely from Daesh, killed several SDF fighters at the Al-Tayyana water station on Sunday evening. [Qasioun]

The SOHR wrote that armed men executed 3 SDF fighters at the​​ Al-Tayyana​​ water station. It went on to note that 135 SDF fighters, 4 Coalition soldiers, and 49 civilians have been​​ killed by Daesh​​ in SDF-held areas recently. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed three fighters and stole their weapons in an attack on an SDF position in Al-Tayyana village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed two SDF fighters, including a commander, and damaged their SUV with machine guns in an ambush in Jama village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNFeb2]​​ 

 

The SDF and Asayish units are continuing their search campaign for Daesh sleeper cells, says the SOHR,​​ following the recent assassinations of SDF units and civilians in the area.​​ It wrote that a​​ Daesh cell was arrested in a house​​ in​​ Suwaidan by a​​ large​​ SDF force backed by​​ Coalition planes, which destroyed the house following the arrest. [SyriaHR]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SDF’s ground assault has halted in the face of Daesh’s use of civilians as human shields. The SDF is waiting for the remaining civilians to leave before advancing. The SOHR says that over 36,000 people​​ have​​ fled Daesh-held areas since December 2018, including an estimated 3,100 Daesh fighters, but recent displaced persons coming from the Daesh-held areas say there are still many civilians and foreign fighters remaining in Daesh-held areas. [AFP]

 

Fire from SDF positions killed 9 civilians (6 children and 3 women) who were​​ being smuggled from Daesh-held​​ areas​​ east​​ of the​​ Euphrates on Saturday. Smugglers​​ are reportedly​​ charging between​​ $700​​ and $10,000 to smuggle people who are​​ afraid​​ of​​ being​​ arrested by the SDF or the Coalition​​ out of​​ Daesh-held​​ areas. [SyriaHR]

 

The​​ SOHR says​​ that the​​ Coalition is transferring anti-armor missiles and heavy machine​​ guns to the​​ front​​ lines with Daesh,​​ despite the decline of Daesh’s​​ area of control to​​ approximately​​ 4 square​​ kilometers. Convoys carrying​​ the​​ weapons were noticed coming from​​ the​​ north of Iraq. 1,130​​ Coalition​​ supply​​ trucks​​ have​​ entered the area since the​​ US​​ withdrawal announcement by President Trump. [SyriaHR]

 

South​​ 

Daraa

Security and Army personnel in Daraa are on “full alert” following​​ a​​ recent security deterioration, the SOHR reported. It says that several Syrian Army soldiers and members of​​ militias​​ who “reconciled” with the government were recently assassinated,​​ including​​ an attack on​​ a​​ Syrian​​ Army checkpoint on Sunday. [SyriaHR]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

The Houthis demanded that government forces withdraw 15 km from their current positions as a condition for the​​ Houthis’​​ withdrawal from Hodeida and its port. [Hawar]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed 2 Houthi fighters and captured their weapons in an attack in the Al-Dhahra area, in Qifa. Daesh said its terrorists “returned safely” after the attack. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Monday it targeted a Houthi position in the Za’aj area in Qifa with one mortar shell. [ICDNFeb4-Telegram]​​ 

 

North Africa

Egypt

A military court in Egypt sentenced 8 people to death for attempting to assassinate President Abd Al-Fatah Sisi. The court will seek a religious opinion and allow the convicts to appeal before the High Military Appeals Court. [Rudaw]

 

Mohamed El-Baradei, former Vice President of Egypt, criticized the Parliamentary discussions to amend the clause of the Constitution regarding the term of the Presidency and extend it from 4 to 6 years. [Anadolu]

 

The Egyptian MoI says that 7 gunmen were killed by police in a firefight in Arish, northern Sinai. Quantities of weapons and explosives were also confiscated. [Anadolu]

 

Libya

3 children between 9 and 15 were injured by a grenade explosion after they found the grenade while playing near the Al-Sadriya Hospital, in the Al-Kuifiya​​ neighborhood in​​ Benghazi.​​ [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and wounded two Somali policemen in Tawfiq neighborhood, in Mogadishu city. [ICDNFeb3-A3maq]

 

Daesh published on Sunday a photo of one of its terrorists, claiming he was killed in Somalia. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

Nigeria

The​​ Wall Street Journal​​ wrote on Sunday that Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the Daesh-affiliated​​ offshoot of Boko Haram, represented the “next chapter” for Daesh as its territory in Syria shrinks. It wrote that ISWAP was more focused on attacking security forces and NGOs in northeastern Nigeria than Boko Haram itself.​​ The​​ WSJ​​ also​​ noted that some fighters from western Africa had traveled to the Middle East and had now returned to fight with ISWAP, and that theologians from Daesh had sent instructions regarding doctrine to ISWAP.​​ The Combating Terrorism Center estimates that ISWAP has 5,000 fighters. [WSJ]

 

Amnesty International wrote on Friday that at least 60 people had been killed in Boko Haram’s attack on Rann, Borno State, on January 28. It said that 11 bodies had been found inside the town and 49 outside, and that satellite images from January 28-30 showed evidence of mass burnings of “hundreds” of structures.​​ Amnesty called on authorities to investigate what it said was the withdrawal of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) from Rann before the attack.​​ [DailyPost] [Amnesty]

A Nigerian Army spokesman dismissed Amnesty’s report as “misleading” and said there was no evidence of such an attack. He said that Rann had been attacked on January 14, but not on January 28. [Punch]

The Nigerian CSO Save Humanity Advocacy Centre said that Amnesty’s claim was false and that no such attack had taken place. It accused Amnesty of being “hidden long-term collaborators” with Boko Haram. [VanguardNGR]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ For what it’s worth, we note that a Friday Washington Post story from Reuters carried the Amnesty International report, though noting briefly at the end that a Nigerian Army spokesman had denied it.​​ 

 

A spokesman for the military in northeastern Nigeria said that 4 Boko Haram fighters were killed by Nigerian troops in the border town of Malam​​ Fatori, Borno State, on Saturday. [AllAfrica] [Punch]

Daesh said it killed or wounded Nigerian soldiers on Saturday in an attack on a military position in Malam Fatori, in Borno state. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram]

 

Daesh said it destroyed 3 Nigerian Army tanks on Friday in an attack on a military position in Mile 4 village, in Borno. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed three Nigerian soldiers and destroyed a vehicle with an IED on the road between Marti and Dekoa, in Borno State. [A3maq]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

In his interview with​​ CBS, President Trump said that he would leave US intelligence personnel in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops.​​ [Khaama]

 

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that a partial withdrawal of foreign forces “would not be the end of the world” or the end of the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed an Afghan policeman on Saturday in District 11, in Kabul city. [A3maq-Telegram]

 

Philippines

At least eight people were killed and more than a dozen injured when soldiers clashed with Daesh-inspired militants in the southern Philippines province of Sulu. ​​ A heavy firefight started on Saturday morning (Feb 2)​​ in the city of Patikul in Sulu,​​ and lasted for nearly two hours between members of a scout ranger battalion and at least 150 members of the Abu Sayyaf group headed by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan Colonel Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said in a text message. ​​ The encounter in Patikul lasted nearly two hours, Col Besana said, with five soldiers and 15 militants also wounded. The deadly clash in Sulu comes nearly a week after Jan 27’s deadly blasts that left 22 people dead in a Catholic church.​​ 

Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said on Friday that two suicide bombers from Indonesia were behind last Sunday’s explosions in Sulu that also injured about a hundred people, with the Abu Sayyaf acting as a guide. CNN Philippines also quoted Mr. Ano as saying the Indonesian couple wanted to set an example among Filipino militants, adding there are still some foreign terrorists in the country.

The Philippine military this week launched an airstrike against a splinter group from the Abu Sayyaf that it believed led the attack. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said a Yemeni couple may have been behind the blast. In nearby Maguindanao province, military operations have intensified in a terrorist lair, and bomber planes were used to destroy militants’ bunkers. ​​ 

The bombings came days after voters endorsed a new autonomous region intended to end decades of violence in the impoverished Muslim-majority area. The Mindanao region, home to the provinces of Sulu and Maguindanao, has been under martial law since domestic and foreign fighters dressed in black outfits overran Marawi City in 2017 and clung on through five months of air strikes and street battles reminiscent of scenes in Syria and Iraq. [StraitsTimes]

Daesh said it killed five Philippine Army soldiers, wounded 18 others, and stole their weapons on Saturday in clashes in Patikul​​ city, Sulu Province. [ICDNFeb3-Telegram] [A3maq-Telegram] ​​ 

 

 

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