December 14, 2017
Victory Celebration in Mosul
TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
Silliman pledges continued US and Coalition support for Iraq. [..]
Daesh stages small but deadly attacks in Samarra, northern Diyala, Hatra. [..]
Military in Mosul stages a victory parade. [..]
IED kills 3 IFP members in northern Tal Afar disputed area. [..]
De Mistura urges Russia to press Assad for a deal with Syrian opposition on new constitution, elections. [..]
SOHR says 3,000 civilians died in Raqqa battles. [..]
US-backed militia & Coalition planes kill 20 Daesh near Al-Tanaf. [..]
Pentagon spokesman praises SDF progress in eastern Deir Ez-Zor. [..]
Daesh still attacking Syrian Army in Albu Kamal. [..]
Daesh threatens to kill Trump, attack DC and California, over Jerusalem decision. [..]
Somalia suicide bomber kills 13 policemen in Mogadishu. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub thanked the international Coalition, and all the friendly neighboring countries, for their heroic roles in supporting the Iraqi forces in the victory over Daesh. [Sumaria]
According to a Ministry of Defense statement on Thursday, Minister Arfan Mahmoud Al-Hayali met with the CoR Security and Defense Committee and presented an analysis of the major victories of the security forces over Daesh. [Forat]
Also on Thursday, the federal Ministry of Justice announced the execution of 38 convicted terrorists on charges of terrorism. [PUKMedia]
Sunday, the New York Times published an article on the methods Daesh uses to produce chemical weapons. Last spring, Iraqi troops fighting in Mosul found three “unfired rocket-propelled grenades with an unusual feature.” Apparently, they contained a heavy liquid, which later tests concluded was a chemical compound similar to sulfur mustard. According to reports by humanitarian de-miners and former military EODs, Daesh had “a system of armaments production that combined research and development, mass production, and organized distribution to amplify the militant organization’s endurance.” [Mada] [NYTimes]
Thursday, the National Security Council confirmed that the third international conference for countering Daesh’s propaganda and ideology, in Baghdad, agreed to support Iraq by establishing a International Excellence Center. The council stressed the need for more international support in city reconstruction, the treatment of Daesh’s psychological and social effects, and strengthening the components of civil peace and security. [Sumaria]
US Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Silliman said that the US and its partners in the Coalition will continue to support Iraq’s security, stability, and economic development in order to ensure that terrorist groups do not threaten the Iraqi people again. [BaghdadToday]
CoR Finance Committee member Masoud Haider said “the Iraqi budget deficit is at $12 billion. And Iraq is going to borrow $1.14 billion from the World Bank.” He added that “although the reconstruction of war-affected areas in Iraq requires $180 billion, only $400 million will be allocated in Iraq’s 2018 budget to the reconstruction of Nineveh, Salahuddin, and Anbar provinces.” [Rudaw]
DaeshDaily comment. $400 million is a minute percentage of the total reconstruction costs, but most of the needed money will come from outside donors, and reconstruction takes time to gain momentum anyway.
Thursday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi met with GE Power President Russell Stokes. They discussed the ways the company can contribute to rebuilding the energy sector’s infrastructure in Iraq. Stokes emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting the Iraqi national development plan. [Sumaria]
Thursday during a meeting held at the UN offices in Nairobi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the draft resolution submitted by Iraq to protect the environment from the effects of terrorist operations. [Sumaria]
At the civil youth conference held in Najaf on Thursday, Vice President Ayad Allawi said the remaining battle against Daesh will be long, and it will be in the form of sleeper cells. He also said “the civil youth in Najaf are the most capable of leading the country in the future.” [Sumaria]
An article by Austrian newspaper Der Standard argued that “Abadi’s government did not benefit politically from the victory over Daesh, as Abadi’s electoral list, in fact, looks very weak.” The report added that “Abadi is facing strong competition by former Prime Minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, whose anti-Sunni policies and the “embarrassing” withdrawal of the Iraqi Army from Mosul led to his exclusion from the ruling circle. Der Standard says the next up likely candidate is Badr Secretary General Hadi Al-Amiri, who has close ties to Iran, and he is likely to form a unified bloc to win the upcoming elections, which will impede all reconciliation attempts within Iraq. [IkhNews]
DaeshDaily comment. This analysis is too pessimistic, we think, and does not factor Al-Abadi’s relative popularity into the equation. It is a useful warning, however, that the May election has negative as well as positive possibilities. It is a fact that Al-Abadi does not have his own bloc and will have to create one in order to compete against parties and blocs that are already well established.
In a letter addressed to the Iraqi people Thursday, Badr Organization Secretary General Hadi Al-Amiri congratulated the people, the religious leadership, the families of martyrs, and all security forces. Al-Amiri ordered all of Badr’s brigades to cut their ties with the Badr political organization and remain within the PMF. He also noted that the arms in the possession of Badr units belong to the state. [Sumaria]
Thursday, Anbar CoR representative and PMF commander Faleh Al-Khazali said that “the PMF is essential to Iraqi unity in facing threats, and therefore, abandoning the PMF weakens Iraq.” [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. To our knowledge, no one in the leadership has proposed to just eliminate the PMF, which would of course put all its fighters into unemployment. It would have to be conceded that Iraq cannot continue to pay all those men, but it will likely absorb some of them into the regular Army or continue to pay them as PMFs who are part of the military forces. Al-Amiri’s formula (See above story) seems to split differences in the right place. Political parties with militias will split from their military arms to compete in the election (as he is promising for Badr); decisions about the PMFs will be made by the government; all the military equipment in possession of the PMFs belongs to the government.
Thursday, an “ethics assembly” called for forming an Arab anti-corruption alliance, in a proposal presented at the second session of the Conference of States for the Arab Convention against Corruption. The statement added that the Iraqi delegation proposed the formation of an Arab anti-corruption alliance under the title “the Arab Anti-Corruption Declaration.” [Rudaw]
Thursday, a PUK representative to the CoR, Khalaf Ahmed, said that it is unlikely that the federal government will officially negotiate with the KRG until the upcoming elections are over. Ahmed said in a press release that “the current crisis between Baghdad and Erbil is very complicated, and I do not think it will be solved that easily.” [Buratha]
Thursday, US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert urged the Iraqi government and the KRG to hold a dialogue in accordance with the constitution. She reiterated the US support for a direct, serious dialogue between the two governments. [BasNews]
Security-related incidents reported
North (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)
West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)
Thursday, as part of the operations to track sleeper cells and outlaws, the Military Intelligence Services announced the arrest of a terrorist in Abu Ghraib who had escaped from Falluja. [Ghad]
Thursday, the Military Intelligence Services announced that an ammunition depot was seized in the Qarma in subdistrict. It contained a 20-liter “Glycan,” 7 oxygen cylinder IEDs, 4 gas cylinder IEDs, and a fire extinguisher made into an IED, among other IED types. [Ghad]
Thursday, the Military Intelligence Services announced the capture of 2 Daesh guesthouses in Anbar. One of the guesthouses was located in west Thirthar north of the Euphrates and contained 30 containers of C4. The second guesthouse was in form of a 25-meter-long tunnel on a farm in Baghdadi. It contained 5 Katyusha rocket launch pads, 10 IEDs, and a number of mortar shells. [Baghdadia]
Thursday, the Jazeera and Badiya Operations forces killed 8 terrorists near Thirthar Lake; and seized weapon and ammunition depots, including IEDs and explosive substances, in the Mahboubiya village, according to the Military Intelligence Services. [Baghdadia]
Thursday, a security source reported that 13 terrorists were killed, and a number of guesthouses were destroyed, in a pre-emptive operation in Jazeerat Hit. [Baghdadia]
According to a Tribal PMF commander in Anbar, Qatari Al-Abidi, the Anbar desert makes up 51% of total Iraqi land, and it cannot all be captured in a period of two months. Wednesday, Al-Abidi confirmed that operations were ongoing. Mada reports that Daesh spies within security entities inform Daesh of the military operations timings in order for them to clear the area before the troops arrive. Head of the Anbar Security Committee, Na’eem Ka’oud, says security units do not know the full details about Daesh’s tunnels in the desert, including their length and how Daesh members manage to hide in them. He said he advises security units to look for detainees with information. [Mada]
Daesh says 2 of its suicide terrorists, an Iraqi and Syrian, attacked the Saraya Al-Salam headquarters in the Huwaish area, north of Samarra. Daesh says the terrorists killed “all the guards” before one terrorist blew himself up inside the building, destroying it and killing everyone inside. [ICDNDec14]
Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)
Thursday, Kurdish media sources reported that under the cover of Iraqi helicopters, the PMF has been shelling the villages of Dawouda and Zinana towns on the outskirts of Tuz Khurmatu for two days (about 13 Kurdish-majority villages). Huge reinforcements arrived on Wednesday from central and south of Iraq in preparation for these operations, the same sources added. [Arabi21]
Thursday, Shafaq News reported that the Turkmen PMFs blew up the house of a Kurdish civilian in Al-Jumhuri neighborhood in Tuz Khurmatu. Meanwhile, an informed security source said Iraqi troops backed by PMFs invaded a house of a Peshmerga fighter on Wednesday evening in Laylan town in Kirkuk, south of Kirkuk city. The fighter and his father, according to the source, were arrested and taken to an unknown destination. [Arabi21]
Muqdadiya/Abu Saida/Central Diyala
Thursday, a local source in Diyala reported that a farmer was wounded in a roadside IED explosion in southern Muqdadiya. [Sumaria]
Daesh says it killed a Shia person and wounded another in the Binkani area, east of Muqdadiya. [A3maq]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh killed a PMF commander and his driver in an ambush near the Udhaim Dam area. The source also says Daesh captured three policemen after establishing a fake checkpoint in a nearby area.
Thursday, official spokesman of the joint operations, Yahya Rasool, confirmed that a new terrorist group has emerged in northern Iraq. The group calls itself “Al-Rayat Al-Beed” which means the “white banners.” The group has been attacking Tuz Khurmatu with rockets and mortar shells. Rasool added that the group is from the highlands of Kurdistan. [Baghdadia]
According to CoR member and leader in the National Alliance, Jassem Mohammed Jaafar, the group originated in the Himrin Mountains and near Hawija, and all that is known about it is that is it is a takfiri group that targets security units, the Army, and civilians. Jaafar estimates that there are 500 members in the group who were joined by Daesh escapees. Jaafar accused the group of abducting 11 civilians on the road linking Tooz and Kirkuk two days ago. PMF commander Ali Al-Husseini said in a televised statement that PMF intelligence data indicates the existence of a terrorist groups of Daesh remnants, and the group is present on the borders between Diyala and Salahuddin. [BaghdadNews]
Southern Diyala (Balad Ruz, Mandali)
A local source in Diyala reported that an IED exploded on a roadside in Qara Lus in Mandali, a Fayli Kurd (Shia) town on the border with Iran, causing damage. [Sumaria]
Lahur Sheikh Janki, a PUK senior member and commander of the PUK’s Counter Terrorism Group, said on Thursday that the Peshmerga forces will return to Kirkuk either peacefully or by force. He added that the Kurds will not abandon Kirkuk and other disputed areas. The Kurds are ready to sacrifice their lives to retake these areas, he added. He also confirmed that “if Baghdad continues to violate the Kurdish constitutional rights in Iraq, the Peshmerga forces will fight the security forces back.” [Arabi21]
DaeshDaily comment. In other words, he says the Kurds have a constitutional right to occupy Iraqi territory outside of Kurdistan.
Thursday, a security source in Kirkuk said that a Rahimawa Police force found the body of a policeman who had been shot dead south of Kirkuk. [Sumaria]
A security source in Kirkuk reported that a security unit found the body of a policeman killed by gunshot wounds near the Ulwa village. The policeman had been missing for two days. [Sumaria]
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
Daesh says it detonated 2 IEDs on PMF vehicles in Al-Hawayej and Al-Mastoura villages, west of Hawija. [A3maq]
Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)
Thursday, a security source in Baghdad reported that unknown assailants targeted the house of an escaped Daesh member called “Saddam Hussein” in Daquq with a hand grenade, causing damage. The family of the Daesh member was present in the house but not harmed in the incident. [Ghad]
Thursday, Ninewa Police commander Wathiq Al-Hamadani, announced the launch of a military parade in east Mosul on the occasion of the victory over Daesh. The parade was attended by a number of local officials and military leaders. [Ghad]
According to a PMF statement on Thursday, the PMF’s EOD defused over 30 IEDs containing chlorine in the Adaya area, 30 miles southwest of Mosul city. The statement added that the EOD also defused at least 25 IEDs in the Sihaji area. [Mawazin]
A DaeshDaily source says 30 Daesh terrorists attacked PMF units south of Hatra, killing four PMF fighters.
Wednesday, IFP commander Saad Mohammed Al-Jubouri told the press that 3 IFP members were killed due to an IED explosion as an IFP convoy passed a small bridge in the Hinka village in Zummar on Tuesday evening. He noted that the IED had been planted there recently. [SotIraq]
Thursday, a source in the MoI revealed that 9 out of the 47 terrorists who had been sentenced to death in the Nasiriya Prison were returned to the prison under “mysterious circumstances.” The 47 were involved in the Speicher massacre. [Ghad]
Thursday, KDP advisor Aref Rushdi called on Gorran and other Kurdish parties to support the KRG and not allow the Kurdistan Region’s situation to be exploited. He also suggested holding early elections and form a new government. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. It would be less difficult for Gorran and other parties to support the KRG if the KDP had not forced Gorran’s ministers out of the government by force. It would also be less difficult If the KDP’s arrogance had not brought on the collapse of the KRG’s relationship with the Iraqi government.
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
Speaking on Swiss RTS channel Wednesday, the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, called on Russia to push the Syrian government to conclude a deal with the opposition to end the war in Syria. He said that failure to make peace quickly through United Nations mediation could lead to “a fragmentation of Syria”. De Mistura also said that Russian President Putin should “convince the Syrian government that there is no time to lose…. You can think you win territory militarily but you have to win the peace. And to win the peace, you have to have the courage to push the government to accept that there has to be a new constitution and new elections, through the United Nations.” [Dorar]
DaeshDaily comment. Mr. de Mistura’s vision is clear amidst the fog of war and ongoing mayhem and his analysis is perfect. Getting the appropriate people to heed his words is the problem. De Mistura has been trying for a long time, against enormous odds that would discourage almost anybody else, to overcome the crisis in Syria. He deserves a lot of credit from everyone who cares about the Syrian people. If he somehow manages to succeed, he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
Thursday, CNN reported that a team from Conflict Armament Research in Belgium analyzed nearly 40,000 weapons used by Daesh and concluded that 90% of those used by Daesh in 2014 originated from China, Russia, and Eastern Europe, and some of the Syrian opposition’s weapons ended up in Daesh hands during the battles. The researchers, accompanied by local Iraqi government and Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, studied Daesh remnants and seized equipment in liberated areas, including weapons, ammunition, and chemical substances used in IED manufacturing. [AAwsat] [CNN]
Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)
SOHR reports that 3,000 civilians were killed in the first and second battle for Raqqa, including 550 children. [Qasioun]
A DaeshDaily source says several SDF EOD members were killed or wounded while trying to defuse a booby-trapped house in the Raqqa area.
A DaeshDaily source says opposition groups captured 2 Iraqi Daesh members in Mare’ in Azaz. The source says one of the terrorists, who fled from Al-Qa’im, and the other, from Albu Kamal, were trying to cross the border to Turkey.
Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)
Tahrir Al-Sham thwarted a Syrian forces’ attack in northern Hama on Thursday while also dealing with clashes with Daesh in eastern Hama near Idlib Province. [Dorar]
The Syrian Islamic Council said on Thursday that the Syrian government is using Daesh as an excuse to carry out its objectives in eastern Hama and southern Aleppo, noting that the opposition factions in the region are being attacked simultaneously by the Syrian forces and by Daesh. [Dorar]
Thursday, the Coalition announced that Jaish Maghawir Al-Thawra, a Coalition-partnered militia, killed more than 20 Daesh terrorists near Al-Tanaf on Wednesday. [CentCom]
A DaeshDaily source says that Jaish Maghawir Al-Thawra, supported by Coalition planes, stopped a Daesh attack on Al-Tanaf, killing several terrorists and capturing others. The source says there are still other terrorists who hid in the town.
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
In a statement published on Twitter on Wednesday, Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said that “Daesh is weak but still a threat in the Mid-Euphrates River Valley,” adding that “the SDF cleared 6 km (four miles) of territory along the eastern bank of the Euphrates river over the past day.” [Qasioun]
Wednesday, 23 civilians were reported killed in Coalition airstrikes on the Daesh-held Al-Jurzi village in rural eastern Deir Ez-Zor. According to Agence France-Presse, Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said a detailed assessment of the allegation of civilian casualties would be made, but the Coalition strikes “only valid military targets”. [EnabBaladi] [Qasioun]
Daesh says its snipers killed three SDF fighters in two villages near Abu Hamam town. It also says it killed another SDF fighter with an IED south of Hawi Abu Hamam village. [A3maq] This is another version of the stories above under “Mayadin.”
A DaeshDaily source says a Daesh Egyptian commander surrendered to SDF units near Abu Hamam town. The source says the terrorists was a defected member of the Egyptian intelligence service.
Daesh says it conducted a suicide attack on government forces near Al-Abbas village, northwest of Albu Kamal. It also says it destroyed a Syrian Army BMP armored vehicle with a rocket near the village. [A3maq]
A DaeshDaily source says the suicide attack with a vehicle bomb targeted a Syrian Army checkpoint and killed at least four soldiers. The source also says government forces destroyed a second vehicle bomb after the first attack.
A DaeshDaily source says 2 Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commanders were killed by Daesh snipers when government forces broke into Salihiya town, north of Hajin.
Daesh says its snipers killed a Syrian soldier in Hay Al-Tadhamun, in south Damascus, on Wednesday. [A3maq]
A source says that 8 Daesh members were allowed to leave southern Damascus by the Syrian forces. This comes 3 days after the Syrian forces reportedly facilitated the departure of 11 Daesh members from the same region. [ZamanAlWasl]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
According to the Kuwaiti Rai newspaper, the criminal court in Kuwait ordered the continued detention of 6 foreign citizens, including 5 Syrians and 1 Iraqi, who are accused of funding Daesh and raising over $32 million for the group. [Forat]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Reuters reported that Daesh threatened to carry out more attacks on US soil. This time, Daesh said “The recognition of your dog ‘Trump’ (sic) Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will make us recognize explosives as the capital of your country.” Reuters quoted the same message, circulated on the Telegram app. The Daily Mail also published posters by Daesh threatening carry out attacks in the US. One poster threatens to execute Trump and Netanyahu with the text “We swear to break your necks and shed your blood in Al-Aqsa front yard and everywhere else, this is the promise of Allah and we will make it come true. Beware. The coming will be the most terrible and bitter.” Another poster threatens California. [Forat] [Reuters] [DailyMail]
Thursday, the German Police announced searches across several facilities and apartments in Berlin and arresting a number of people who returned from Syria to Germany. The police did not state whether they were accused of fighting alongside Daesh. [Watan]
Thursday, according to Somali officials, at least 13 police members were killed and 15 were wounded in a suicide attack inside a police training base in Mogadishu. [Sumaria]
Daesh says it shot and killed an Afghan intelligence member in Jalalabad. [A3maq]