An Update On ISIS Activities

December 14, 2017

 

Victory Celebration in Mosul​​ 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

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. [..]

 

Syria

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. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Daesh threatens to kill Trump, attack DC and California,​​ over Jerusalem decision. [..]

Somalia suicide bomber kills 13 policemen in Mogadishu. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

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]

 

Reconstruction

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.

 

Financial Tribune​​ outlined several countries’ expressed interests in investing in Iraq following the declaration of victory over Daesh. [BaghdadToday] [FinancialTribune]

 

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]

 

Election

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]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

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]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

According to a security source, one civilian was killed and​​ five​​ were wounded in an explosion in a street market in the Taji​​ District​​ in north Baghdad.​​ [AIN]​​ [BasNews]

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]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

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]​​ 

 

Ramadi

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]

 

Hit/Haditha

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]

 

Rutba

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]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Samarra

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]

 

DIYALA

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]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

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]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul

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]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hammam Al-Alil/Shura

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]​​ 

 

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says 30 Daesh terrorists attacked PMF units south of Hatra, killing four PMF fighters.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

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]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Dhi Qar

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]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

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

 

NATIONAL NEWS

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)

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.​​ 

 

Northwest

Azaz

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.)

Hama

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]

 

Homs

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]

 

Mayadin

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]

 

Albu Kamal

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.​​ 

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

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

 

Neighboring countries

Kuwait

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

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

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]

 

Germany

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]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

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]​​ 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Daesh says it shot and killed an Afghan intelligence member in Jalalabad. [A3maq]

December 13, 2017

 

Tooz

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

President Masoum, VPs Al-Maliki & Allawi announce major proposals. [..]

Pentagon reports threats from armed groups in Iraq. [..]

KDP leader in CoR threatens KRG withdrawal from Iraqi government. [..]

Rule of Law CoR member says KRG is stalling for time. [..]

Iraqi military​​ is​​ planning attack on “separatists” in Tuz Khurmatu. [..]

Mass grave victims discovered in Sinjar. [..]

 

Syria

France’s Foreign Minister rejects Iran’s schemes in Syria; says its troops should leave. [..]

Turkish troops, SDF clash near Syria-Turkey border. [..]

SOHR reports 23 civilians killed by Coalition airstrikes in Mayadin. [..]

Daesh takes three villages away from struggling Syrian forces in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

United States

Trump to announce new national security​​ strategy​​ Monday. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Wednesday, President Fuad Masoum and Vice Presidents Nouri Al-Maliki and​​ Ayad Allawi met in Baghdad to discuss the political and security developments in Iraq, the upcoming elections, the 2018 budget, and the situations​​ in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu. The meeting emphasized exerting maximum effort to resolve all outstanding issues between the federal government and the KRG so as to deepen national unity and enhance the gains of the democratic federal system. It also emphasized preserving the constitutional rights and freedoms of all citizens. In the meeting they also discussed the IDPs and the ways to provide them with services and return them to liberated areas.​​ The third​​ Vice President,​​ Osama Al-Nujaifi was not in attendance due to a health problem. [Buratha]

 

According to the presidential statement, the following decisions resulted from the meeting:

  • A call for an immediate dialogue between the federal government and the KRG, with sponsorship by the presidency and technical support by the United Nations, with the goal to normalize the relations in accordance with the constitution and the Federal Court’s decisions.

 

  • A call for a meeting of the​​ leaders of the​​ three​​ government branches and​​ representatives of the political blocs​​ as soon as possible to discuss issuing election laws and holding CoR and PC elections on constitutional schedule.

 

  • An urgent call for Kirkuk’s​​ political​​ components to look into ways to normalize the situation so as to preserve the rights of all citizens and​​ the​​ national interest. [IraqPress]

 

Reconstruction

At the world summit on climate change in Paris on Tuesday, December 12,​​ Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi emphasized that Iraq is moving towards reconstruction and will lend more attention to Iraq’s​​ environment, which was neglected for decades due to the wars. Al-Abadi said the world is indebted to Iraq for its sacrifices and its struggle to defeat terrorism. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi chaired the third session of the Higher Population Council, where he emphasized that Iraq is undergoing a new stage following the military victory over Daesh. A statement by Al-Abadi’s office said “we must give hope to citizens by making progress and delivering their priority needs, and not be satisfied with just numerical statistics; but work on sustainable human development and creating an environment suitable to the citizen.” During the meeting Al-Abadi said “the government’s priorities lie in returning IDPs to their homes and cities, and making them feel that their return is better than remaining in the camps.” [Mawazin]

 

Wednesday, the US Embassy in Baghdad stated that the Iraqi security forces’ success in expelling Daesh not only means achieving greater security for Iraq but also opens the door to more economic resources for the country.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Election

Wednesday, Chairman of the CoR Immigration and Displacement Committee, Raad Al-Dahlaki, said the United Nations’ emphasis on holding the Iraqi elections on schedule is “unfair” to the​​ displaced people​​ and Iraqis. Al-Dahlaki called on the federal government and the United Nations to prioritize​​ resolving the IDP crisis by returning them to their provinces and rebuilding their cities before setting a timeline for the elections. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is an understandable issue, and a delay would help some people, but the proposal is not helpful in general. Sometimes elections have to take place during unsettled times. Postponing them would cause larger problems and cities won’t be reconstructed in a few months. Iraq desperate needs a new election, and this one has already been postponed before. The answer on the IDPs is that (1) the election should be a spur for those who can return home to do so and for the government to facilitate the process by making at least some neighborhoods livable; and (2) election authorities should establish polling places in IDP camps.​​ 

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Wednesday, Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon revealed to the press that the US forces in Iraq have received threats​​ from​​ armed groups. He noted that the US​​ reserves the right to defend itself. Pahon added that the focus remains on​​ ensuring​​ Daesh’s defeat. Regarding Syria, Pahon said that Bashar Al-Assad’s regime is guilty of violations against the Syrian people, which is impeding​​ efforts to​​ find a solution to the conflict. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, PMF deputy commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis reported that the PMFs and security units control 60% (550 km) of the Iraqi-Syrian border;​​ the northern part is under the Peshmerga’s control, while the rest is under Iraqi Army and border control police. Al-Muhandis confirmed that “Daesh still carries​​ out terrorist activities in some areas, which requires an exceptional effort on the security, political, and social fronts in the areas where terrorist groups are present.”​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

The third international conference for countering Daesh’s propaganda and ideology was launched in Baghdad on Wednesday. The conference​​ is taking place​​ on Dec 13-14, with participation from over 120 experts and international consultants from 42 countries. The conference will include 10 discussion​​ panels​​ concerning data operations, how to counter Daesh’s activity in the information environment and cyberspace, and how to leverage the Iraqi victory to promote international peace and security. [Shafaaq]

 

In a televised speech on Wednesday, Asa’eb Ahl​​ Al-Haq Secretary General, Qais Al-Khazali announced the launch of a campaign aimed to eliminate the​​ militarization of society​​ phenomenon. Al-Khazali emphasized​​ the​​ need for​​ monopolization of​​ the use of​​ medium and heavy​​ weapons by​​ government​​ security entities. He noted that the PMF​​ groups​​ adhere to the orders of Prime Minister Al-Abadi. He added that “the PMF has been able to plant fear and terror in the souls of Daesh.” He also said that the “PMF has not made any demographic changes anywhere.”​​ [Sumaria]​​ Al-Khazali thanked the religious leadership and Iran “for their contributions to our victory over terrorism,” adding that “through our victory over terrorism we have foiled the American project and its intelligence institutions in the region.”​​ [Rudaw]

 

Fox News​​ published comments by Coalition commanders on Daesh’s defeat in Iraq last week.​​ Marine Colonel Seth Folsom, who oversaw the battle in Al-Qa’im, thought the​​ remaining​​ campaign against Daesh would go into the spring season and “take six months or more.” Folsom made a note regarding completing the campaign. In his words “if a country becomes a failed state, if it becomes a lawless region, you begin to set the​​ [same]​​ conditions for what happened in the years before 9/11.” He added “in those ungoverned spaces where we don’t know what is going on, that is where​​ those seeds of extremism begin to blossom.” Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said “ISIS is very adaptive,” adding “we are already seeing smaller cells and​​ pockets that take more of an insurgent guerrilla type approach as opposed to an Islamic army or conventional type force. So we have got to be prepared for that.” [Mada] [FoxNews]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

Head of the KDP​​ bloc​​ in the CoR, Arafat Karam, announced that “in case the Kurdish blocs’ notes regarding the 2018 budget law are not taken seriously, and 17% of the budget is not allocated to the KRG, we will follow several procedures.” He explained “first, we will file a complaint to the Federal Court, as our notes were in accordance with the Iraqi constitutions. If that is not enough, we will place the option to withdraw from the Iraqi political process before the political leadership in Kurdistan.” [Rudaw]

 

Wednesday, CoR State of Law representative, Kamal Al-Zaidi revealed that there are 20 “illegitimate” border crossings in the Kurdistan Region, which the central government has yet to take control of. Al-Zaidi said the “dialogue with the Kurdish leadership is a waste of time, as they are trying to stall in order to gain time to implement their agendas.” He added that “the majority of Kurdish leaders are trying to maintain the crisis and will not agree to a true dialogue, and they are constantly trying to seize the Kurdistan Region’s financial revenues.” [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Wednesday, the BOC announced that the EOD discovered 33 IEDs left behind by Daesh in the Al-Shurtan and Albu​​ Ubaid areas in west Baghdad, in addition to arresting a number of suspects. [Ghad]​​ 

 

ANBAR

A Hit tribal sheikh, Shaalan Al-Namrawi , reported that on Monday there were IED explosions in the Al-Hassaniya and Shiha areas in north Anbar’s Jazeera desert, and that on Tuesday, clashes took place between Daesh members and border guards. He added that there is information indicating that there are Daesh members present in the Upper Euphrates desert and in the Rutba Districts, where the rough terrain poses a challenge to security units clearing those areas. [BaghdadToday]​​ [AlHayat]

 

Falluja

Wednesday, Al-Karma PMF brigade commander in Anbar, Jumaa Fazaa, confirmed that​​ no​​ security forces, PMF factions,​​ or​​ tribes in Anbar will allow the return of Daesh members or their families. Fazaa said “all areas of Anbar areas have been liberated from the Daesh terrorist extremist group, and the current stage requires caution and protection of the security and stability of the districts and areas​​ from​​ any breach as well as preventing​​ the return of Daesh members and their families until the minds of the Daesh families are rehabilitated from contaminated ideology.” [Mawazin]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We understand the logic and motives behind this stance, but it’s too important to be announced by a PMF militia commander.

 

Ramadi

Wednesday, a security source in the Anbar Ops Command reported that 6 Daesh members were arrested during background security checks of IDPs in the Kilo 18 Camp in west Ramadi. [Etejah]​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

Wednesday, a source in the Anbar Police reported that unknown assailants attacked a civilian house in Al-Karabela, killing a family of 5, including​​ a​​ mother, father, and three children. It is not known why the family was targeted.​​ [Mawazin]​​ Al-Qa’im​​ District Mayor Rafe’ Al-Karbuli called on security forces to step up to their responsibility and protect the residents of Al-Qa’im and bring the criminals that killed the family to justice.​​ [Sumaria]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Tuesday, PMF​​ commander​​ Abu Ridha Al-Najjar stated that in the coming days joint operations by the​​ Army​​ and PMFs will be launched to clear the mountains overlooking the Turkmen villages in the Tooz​​ District. The statement added that the Turkmen villages are targeted​​ continually. On Monday, the villages were targeted with 8 mortar shells, killing one civilian and wounding​​ others. He added that the PMFs have begun shelling the “separatist” locations in the meantime. He added that​​ the group which calls itself “Al-Rayat Al-Baydaa” (the White Flags) consists​​ of separatists,​​ including​​ Ansar Al-Sunna, Al-Bayjak, and Ahrar Al-Sunna. [Mada]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Wednesday, according to a statement by the Diyala Security and Internal Affairs Department, two IEDs were found​​ on a farm in Sada village. [Ghad]

 

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

Wednesday, Mayor of Al-Khalis​​ District,​​ Ali Al-Khadran,​​ reported that “Daesh snipers deployed on the highlands of the Mubarak Al-Farhan village periphery on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin​​ are​​ paralyzing the movement of residents for the second week in a row and​​ are​​ preventing​​ residents​​ from reaching their farms.”​​ [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Dijla Ops Commander Mizhar Al-Azzawi announced that Iraqi Army Air (IAA) destroyed 2 Daesh guesthouses, two cars, a motorcycle, and 25 barrels filled with weapons, ammunition, and explosives in the Himrin Mountains. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh says a group of its terrorists blew up 3 factories “belonging to the PMFs” and destroyed a vehicle in the Mansouriyat Al-Jabal area. [ICDNDec13]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Wednesday,​​ unknown gunmen attacked a counterterrorism unit in Kirkuk city. The gunmen attacked first with RBG missiles and then clashes broke out with firearms.​​ [BasNews]

Wednesday,​​ Sumaria​​ reported that a mortar shell struck a CTS base in north Kirkuk. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Kirkuk Governor Rakan Sa’eed Al-Jubouri announced that terrorists bombed the Kirkuk-Tikrit electric line, which conducts electricity from Baghdad to Salahuddin, Kirkuk,​​ and​​ Mosul. This​​ is the reason behind the deteriorating service over the past days. He​​ explained​​ that that the KRG has lowered Kirkuk’s share from 200​​ megawatts to 100​​ megawatts. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Kirkuk Ops Commander, Ali Fadel Imran, announced that joint security units killed​​ 2​​ Daesh terrorists and arrested a third in a security operation on the road linking the Dibis​​ District​​ to​​ Hawija.​​ [Etejah]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Wednesday, Badr​​ CoR member​​ Faleh Al-Khazali revealed that there are about 1,700 families, including women and children,​​ who had​​ Daesh members killed in battles. According to Al-Khazali, the families come from 18 countries, both Arab and foreign, and are detained discreetly in Ninewa. Al-Khazali added that about 250 Daesh members of Arab and foreign backgrounds are detained in Iraqi prisons. He emphasized the “importance of keeping the terrorism and political files separate and not submitting​​ to any pressures by the​​ home​​ countries of the prisoners to transfer them to serve their sentences in their home countries,” as these​​ terrorists killed and harmed Iraqi citizens.​​ [Buratha]

 

Mosul

Daesh says it killed two Iraqi government “spies” in Hay Al-Intisar, in east Mosul, on Monday. Daesh also says it killed three people with a sticky IED under their vehicle on the Baghdad Road in west Mosul on Friday. [ICDNDec13]

 

Southern Ninewa

Qayara

Wednesday, a security source reported that two IDPs were shot by unknown assailants in the Al-Jadaa Camp in Qayara. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

Wednesday, security units arrested 5 women as they entered Tal Afar after​​ coming across​​ the Iraqi-Syrian border. [Etejah]​​ 

 

Wednesday, the Military Intelligence Services announced​​ the​​ seizure of​​ a large ammunition depot in the Hassan Koy area in Tal Afar​​ city. The depot contained 170 RBG7 rockets and armors, 20 rocket charges, and 120​​ Grad and Kornet​​ missile​​ heads. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Sinjar

Wednesday, a security source reported that security units located a mass grave containing the bodies of over 50 Sinjar residents.​​ [Buratha]

Wednesday, a local source in Ninewa reported that a security unit located a mass grave in Sinjar, which contained over 400 bodies of Yazidi civilians executed by Daesh. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Wednesday, a Yazidi shepherd was shot to death by unknown assailants in a vehicle who fired their guns toward a group of Yazidi shepherds​​ in the Tal Banat village in Sinjar. Others were wounded. [Baghdadia]​​ Wednesday, a security source in Ninewa reported that armed clashes broke out​​ between Yazidis and an​​ Arab tribe after​​ the​​ two shepherds were killed. The source added that the local authorities intervened to contain the clashes. [Sumaria]

 

Baaj

Daesh publishes photos of targeting PMF units in the Tal Safouk area with mortars. Daesh says several PMF fighters were killed or wounded in the shelling. [ICDNDec13]

 

Daesh says it detonated 5 IEDs on an Iraqi Army convoy near the Tal Al-Jayer area. [ICDNDec13]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Al-Qadisiya

The Intelligence and Counterterrorism Directorate in Diwaniya, the capital city of Qadisiya, announced the arrest of​​ 2​​ terrorists from Jbala, Babel. The two admitted to carrying out a crime that targeted the cattle yard in the province by detonating two rigged vehicles, killing and wounding dozens.​​ [Ghad]

 

Karbala

Wednesday,​​ Commander Ahmed Ali Zuwaini in the Police Command in Karbala announced the arrest of 99 suspects on criminal and terrorism charges. [Mawazin]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

Wednesday, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the new Italian Ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Antonio Pasquino, and the Italian Consul​​ for​​ the Kurdistan Region, Serena Muroni.​​ Ambassador Pasquino expressed hope that the bilateral relations between the KRG and Italy continue and develop further. He also expressed his respect for and admiration of the Peshmerga and the Kurdish people, who have persevered through tough conditions. [Rudaw]

 

Secretary General of the Peshmerga Ministry,​​ Gen. Jabbar Yawar,​​ says Daesh is reorganizing​​ its ranks to launch attacks differently. “All of the information we’ve received, either from Kurdistan security forces, the International Coalition, and even the Iraqi government indicates that Daesh members are seeking to join ranks and launch attacks in the form of small suicide groups” Yawar said, adding “we have to prepare for similar circumstances and take precautions.”​​ [BasNews]

 

KRG​​ Council of​​ Ministers​​ Secretary, Amanj Rahim, reiterated the government’s​​ desire​​ to pay the salaries of employees this month. Concerning 2018, Rahim said “if Baghdad does not send the salaries, the current revenues will not be enough to cover them, but it is​​ time​​ to implement major and serious​​ corrections​​ to the employee lists. If that is achieved, we will be able to save​​ the​​ 400 million IQD needed to cover the salaries.” [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We don’t know what corrections he has in mind, but the KRG has had its share of “ghost employees,” who receive ministry salaries but don’t actually come to work. That kind of corruption typically requires the collaboration of ministry officials.​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

In an interview with France 2 on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed his country’s rejection of any Iranian axis extending from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea. He called for the departure of Iranian fighters from Syria.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Wednesday, the United States voiced skepticism about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a major withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria. “We think the Russian declarations of Daesh defeat are premature,” a White House National Security Council spokeswoman said. She added “we have repeatedly seen in recent history that a premature declaration of victory was followed by a failure to consolidate military gains, stabilize the situation, and create the conditions that prevent terrorists from reemerging.” Marine Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, said the United States had not observed any significant withdrawal since Putin’s announcement.​​ [Dorar]

 

Wednesday,​​ Russian​​ MP Dmitry Belik said that the Russian navy group, currently stationed off the Syrian coast, would maintain its current force of over 10 combat ships and support vessels. “Russian ships are a sea-front, created for fighting international terrorism. We cannot exclude that Daesh terrorists would attempt a landing operation and, in such​​ a​​ situation, the Russian navy remains a powerful containment factor. This is why the ships will remain in the Mediterranean as part of a constant combat group,” Belik told reporters. [ZamanAlWasl]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We are scratching our heads trying to remember the last time Daesh attempted an amphibious landing in Syria.10 combat ships and support vessels should be enough to cover the possibilities.

 

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

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

Wednesday,​​ the​​ Asayesh in Afrin announced​​ the​​ seizure of​​ 18 thermal missiles​​ on the road leading to​​ the​​ Al-Shahba area in Afrin. According to the Asayesh statement, the missiles were placed in a​​ secret compartment​​ inside a Mercedes tank. Based on investigations with the driver, the vehicle was headed from Idlib to the Al-Shahba​​ area.​​ [PUKMedia]​​ [Hawar]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says opposition groups captured 3 Daesh Iraq commanders from Anbar in Mare’ city​​ in Azaz.

 

Ayn Al-Arab

Sources close to the SDF say clashes broke out between the Turkish Army and members of the SDF near Ayn Al-Arab​​ (Kobane)​​ on the Syrian-Turkish border. [Qasioun]

 

Wednesday, YPG units destroyed a Turkish military vehicle, killing 2 Turkish soldiers and wounding another, during clashes with the Turkish Army in Ashmeh village, west of Kobane in Ayn Al-Arab District. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama,​​ etc.)

Homs

Wednesday,​​ Qasioun​​ reported that Jaish Maghawir Al-Thawra foiled a Daesh attack on its positions​​ in the vicinity of the Al-Tanaf Base southeast of Homs, killing 13 Daesh members and capturing 25 others.​​ [Qasioun]​​ [Qasioun] [ZamanAlWasl]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Daesh issues a video of a group of its terrorists attacking government forces in the Deir Ez-Zor military airport. [ICDNDec13]

 

Daesh says it killed an SDF “spy” and captured another in the Ghariba area, northeast of Al-Suwar. [ICDNDec13]

 

Mayadin

Wednesday, SOHR reported that 23 civilians, including 8 children and 6 women, were killed in Coalition airstrikes on the Daesh-held Al-Jurzi village.​​ [Samaa]​​ [Al-arabiya]

 

Wednesday, the SDF captured the village of Abu Hardoub east of the Euphrates River and across the river from Subaikhan, following battles with Daesh. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh claims its snipers killed two SDF fighters in Suwaidan village. It also claims to have destroyed an SDF vehicle with heavy sniper guns near Abu Hamam village in Albu Kamal. [ICDNDec13]

 

Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army tank with a rocket in Al-Duwair village, southeast of Mayadin. It also says targeted government forces in the village with 27 mortars. [ICDNDec13]

 

Albu Kamal

Tuesday, Daesh recaptured Albu Kamal’s northwestern villages of Al-Salihiya, Al-Tuwaitha, and Hasrat, as well as Al-Hamdan Agricultural Airport, after launching a large attack on the Syrian forces’ positions. Pro-Daesh media reported that​​ many​​ Syrian​​ soldiers​​ were killed and wounded, and 3 others were captured during the clashes on the outskirts of Al-Salihiya village. [Qasioun]

Daesh publishes photos of battles with government forces near Albu Kamal. The photos show three Syrian soldiers captured by Daesh. [ICDNDec13]

Daesh says it captured a Syrian Army tank and a BMP armored vehicle near Hasrat and Al-Abbas villages. [ICDNDec13]

Daesh says it damaged a Syrian Army BMP armored vehicle with a rocket near Al-Salihiya, on Tuesday. [ICDNDec13]

Daesh says it killed three Syrian soldiers and destroyed their SUV with rocket near Al-Abbas village, northwest of Albu Kamal. It also says it killed or wounded Syrian soldiers after targeting their military position with a rocket in the same village. [ICDNDec13]

 

Wednesday, A3maq​​ claimed​​ that dozens of Syrian​​ soldiers​​ were killed in a surprise​​ attack by Daesh on the Syrian forces’ positions in northern Albu Kamal. [EnabBaladi]

 

Wednesday, SOHR reported that the Syrian forces targeted the towns of Al-Sha’afa, Al-Susah, Hajin, among others on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River with rockets and artillery shells, killing at least 3 civilians and wounding others. [SyriaHR]

Daesh says it captured Al-Kashma village, across the Euphrates from Abu Hamam. [A3maq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Nujaba’ , the Iraqi PMF group fighting in Syria, captured and then killed Khaled Al-Jubouri, aka Abu Hajer, a Daesh Iraqi commander from Qayara, after a failed Daesh attack in the Albu Kamal area.​​ 

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Wednesday, the United Nations called for urgent medical evacuation of 500 patients from​​ the besieged opposition-held enclave of eastern Ghouta.​​ [Anadolu]

 

According to Daesh’s A3maq agency,​​ Daesh captured the Tadhamun neighborhood in southern Damascus city. [Qasioun]

Wednesday, A3maq reported that Daesh launched an attack on the Syrian forces’ positions in Al-Tadhamun​​ neighborhood, capturing several buildings and killing and wounding a number of the Syrian forces during the ongoing clashes. [EnabBaladi]

Daesh says it killed three Syrian soldiers and wounded others in an attack on Hay Al-Tadhamun.​​ [ICDNDec13]

Daesh says it captured several Syrian Army military positions in the area. [A3maq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh withdrew from the area after 2 hours. The source says​​ the​​ Daesh attack was not faced by significant resistance. The source also says Daesh threatened people of the area that it would come back.​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya/Tunisia

The Tunisian National Guard’s Search and Inspection Team in Nabeul, Tunisia, captured a drone and a 24-year-old resident who had formerly been involved in a terrorist case. The suspect was planning to sell the drone. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

President Trump’s National Security Adviser,​​ Gen. H. R. McMaster,​​ said in a press conference that President Trump will announce his new national security strategy on Monday. McMaster criticized Turkey and Qatar as 2 countries that are “working to weaken US allies and threaten the international system” by supporting radical ideologies. [Rudaw]

 

France

Wednesday, the French MoI announced that French authorities have identified 150-200 money changers based in Lebanon and Turkey who are financing Daesh. [Sumaria]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh says it shot and killed a Somali Intelligence officer in a market in Afgooye city. [ICDNDec13]

 

Daesh says it killed a Somali Army soldier, wounded three others, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in Bosaso city.​​ 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Wednesday, Shirin Aqa Faqir, a spokesman for the Afghan Army in Nangarhar​​ province, said that at least 10 Daesh members were killed and 13 others wounded during an Afghan Army operation in Nangarhar on Tuesday. [Anadolu]

December 12, 2017

 

West Anbar​​ 

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Military source says Daesh pockets in desert have not been removed. [..]

Daesh cells in rural Abu Saida, Diyala causing serious concern. [..]

British PM tells KRG it needs to reform. [..]

 

Syria

Iraqi military denies report of border coordination deal with SDF. [..]

Guterres takes issue with maneuverings of Iran’s General Soleimani. [..]

White House reiterates US has no plans to withdraw militarily from Syria. [..]

Daesh counter-attacks take ground from Syrian Army in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

Tuesday, an unnamed security source said that Daesh is still present in remote areas of the western desert, and despite Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s declaration of victory over Daesh, only the cities and towns have been liberated. The source added that Daesh will begin using the “traditional fighting methods” it used against Iraqi forces before taking over Iraqi towns and cities. The source said the government is still failing to reinforce the intelligence apparatus because it is​​ enlisting and giving sensitive tasks to unqualified units. [IKH]

 

At a celebration in Najaf Province on Tuesday, commander of the PMF’s 11th​​ brigade, Ali Al-Hamadani revealed that the remaining Daesh pockets will be cleared in the upcoming days. Al-Hamadani credited the Shia religious leadership’s​​ fatwa​​ and the PMF for the Iraqi victory over Daesh.​​ [Mawazin]​​ 

 

Baghdadia​​ reported that according to Iraqi officials, the war on corruption will be​​ pursued in part​​ by opening​​ Iraq’s​​ real estate and officials’ offshore bank account cases, especially in Lebanon, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, UK, Greece, and Latin America, where investigations indicate that over 400 bank accounts were opened by Iraqi officials in past years.​​ 

According to​​ Baghdadia, a minister in the Iraqi government said that Iraq will regain stability if the government succeeds in “six battles” following the liberation from Daesh.​​ The most critical battle is reaching Daesh’s cells and pockets,​​ a​​ reference to the 2,000-3,000 Iraqi fighters who are not in any government database. The minister expects that in the next two years, there will be armed attacks, suicide attacks with rigged cars and suicide belts, and IED attacks and explosions, some with the goal to fuel sectarian strife.​​ 

The second battle, according to said minister, is returning the approximately 3 million IDPs to their homes, including 1 million whose cities are under PMF control. The other​​ four​​ battles are: reconstructing the destroyed cities; achieving a state monopoly on the use of arms, and stopping the militarization of Iraqi society; resolving the Kurdistan referendum’s aftermath, and the federal government’s imposed authority over border crossings and airports; as well as combating corruption. [Baghdadia]

 

Tuesday, Saraya Al-Salam official spokesman Safaa Al-Tamimi announced that the arms used by Saraya in the war on Daesh are state arms, and they will be returned to the state, based on orders from leader Muqtada Al-Sadr. [Sumaria]

 

International voices

Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron commended Iraqi Prime Minister​​ Haider Al-Abadi​​ in front​​ of​​ the heads of international delegations at the Climate Conference, calling​​ for​​ recognition of him​​ as a “world leader.” [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This was more than political flattery. The years of media cynicism about government in Iraq obscures something really significant. Al-Abadi’s leadership has been outstanding and​​ was​​ critical to Iraq’s success against Daesh.​​ 

 

Tuesday, the EU congratulated the Iraqi government for achieving victory over Daesh, reiterating the EU’s continued support to the Iraqi people and government in reforms and reconciliation in order to abolish extremism and terrorism. [Sumaria]

 

Tuesday, Foreign Ministry​​ spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub announced that Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari​​ is​​ heading​​ the Iraqi delegation participating​​ in the​​ meeting​​ of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul. This is​​ part of Ankara’s response to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s​​ capital. [Sumaria]

 

Reconstruction

In a meeting with Italy’s​​ Ambassador​​ to​​ Iraq on Tuesday, CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri emphasized that after defeating Daesh, Iraq is approaching a new phasereconstructing​​ areas​​ destroyed due to military operations and returning IDPs to their​​ home​​ areas based on specific plans and set timelines. He urged​​ ​​ continued international support to speed up these efforts and achieve​​ security and stability in liberated regions.​​ Al-Jubouri said​​ that the Iraqi people need the international community’s humanitarian support, noting that he values Italy’s support for Iraq and​​ its​​ role in the Coalition.​​ [Ghad]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

At an EU foreign ministers meeting​​ held​​ in Brussels on Monday, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said that the EU’s policy is to normalize the relations between Baghdad and Erbil. She said the EU is​​ “working to restore the relations and coordination between Baghdad and Erbil back to normal so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past,” adding that “the Iraqis have made great strides in defeating an extremist organization, and the policy of the European Union is to provide assistance to Iraq in the coming months so that it can overcome the sensitive stage it is going through.”​​ [BasNews]

 

Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Abdul​​ Amir Yarallah,​​ who commanded the Ninewa Liberation Campaign,​​ commended the PMF’s role in liberating Iraq, noting that the PMF​​ was​​ the first to fight Daesh when Mosul fell under their control, and that the PMF​​ has been​​ the first and essential supporter to the Iraqi forces throughout the past 3 years. He added that “after all the efforts and sacrifices made by the PMF, we simply absolutely cannot​​ say to​​ them “thank you, go back”,” adding that “the PMF​​ are​​ the fourth and important and essential force in defending Iraq.” Yarallah commended the​​ “historical​​ fatwa” of the religious leadership, “without whom we would not have reached this level, while some countries thought defeating Daesh would take 10 years.” [Qurtas]

 

Election

Monday, the Iraqi Forces Alliance emphasized the importance of fostering a suitable environment to hold the elections on time by returning​​ displaced people​​ to their cities. The alliance called for the withdrawal of “unofficial forces” from the cities and handing them over to local security forces. [Sumaria]

 

Dawa​​ party​​ leader​​ Nouri Al-Maliki warned of a plan sponsored by​​ takfiri​​ regimes​​ to alter the political map in Iraq and strike at the society’s unity and relative political stability. [Rudaw]

 

Tuesday, PUK member Razzaq Al-Haideri responded to Vice President Osama Al-Nujaifi’s statement saying the Sunni component in Iraq paid the price of the Shia​​ politicians’ alliances with the Kurds, adding that some Sunni figures and parties abandoned the “national project,” and that it was Al-Nujaifi who led this “campaign” in the previous administration. [BaghdadToday]

 

Tuesday, CoR member Joseph Slewa described corruption as being a “covert Daesh”​​ prevalent among state institutions and parties, and political leaders and their families, adding that it is more dangerous than Daesh.​​ [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We have to put in consideration that Mr. Slewa is an Erbil resident. This statement is part of the ongoing struggle between the central government and the KRG.​​ 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Northwest​​ (Kadhimiya, etc.)

The BOC reported that security units arrested a suspect on charges of fraud in the Hurriya area in the Kadhimiya​​ District.​​ [BOC Facebook Page]​​ 

 

East​​ (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

Tuesday evening, a police source reported that​​ six​​ people were wounded in an IED explosion near a café in the old Diyala Bridge area. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Southeast​​ (Mada’in, etc.)

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

The BOC reported that IEDs left behind by Daesh were seized and defused in the Al-Abed area in south Baghdad. [BOC Facebook Page]​​ 

 

Southwest​​ (Rasheed, etc.)

The BOC reported that IEDs left behind by Daesh were seized and defused in the Al-Shurtan area.​​ [BOC Facebook Page]​​ 

 

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Monday, Supreme Judicial Council spokesman, Abdulsattar Bairaqdar, announced that 4 terrorists were sentenced to death for carrying out terrorist operations in Baghdad, including a vehicle​​ bomb​​ in​​ ​​ a rigged vehicle in the Yarmouk neighborhood​​ in May 2015. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Tuesday,​​ as a headsup to citizens,​​ the BOC announced that it will​​ be​​ destroying​​ Daesh remnants in western Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:  ​​​​ 6(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 3

 

ANBAR

Falluja

Tuesday, the Baghdad Security and Intelligence Directorate announced discovery​​ of​​ a depot containing 13 gallons of explosive substances, 4 rocket launchers, and 25 explosive devices in the Saqlawiya area​​ in northeast Falluja.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Hit/Haditha

Daesh says it detonated IEDs on 2 police vehicles in different areas of Hit on Sunday, killing five policemen and wounding three. [ICDNDec12]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Tuesday, in an operation to hunt down 4 wanted terrorists hiding in a guesthouse​​ on a Tigris​​ River​​ island, the Military Intelligence Services and PMFs clashed with and killed 3 of them, while the fourth one detonated the suicide belt he was wearing on the eastern bank of Shirqat.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Tikrit

Tuesday, Diyala PC Security Council member Abdul​​ Khaleq Al-Azzawi announced that a joint security unit from the tribal PMF foiled an attempted Daesh infiltration​​ of​​ Albu Eissa village on the Diyala-Salahuddin border. Al-Azzawi added that some Daesh​​ members​​ were hunted down, while others escaped towards Mtaibija.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh said it detonated a parked car bomb on the Al-Atiba’ (Doctors) Street in Tikrit city on Saturday, killing six policemen and damaging their vehicle. [ICDNDec12]

The IWMC said on Saturday that the car bomb killed a civilian guard. [Mawazin]​​ 

 

Tuesday, the Military Intelligence Services announced the arrest of a terrorist at the Al-Aqwas checkpoint at Tikrit’s northern entrance while hunting down sleeper cells and Daesh remnants.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Samarra

Daesh says it destroyed a vehicle carrying “PMF members” with an IED in the Jalam Al-Daur area, northeast of Samarra. [ICDNDec12]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Tuesday,​​ a​​ Turkmen​​ CoR​​ representative, Jassem Mohammed Jaafar, revealed that 5 mortar shells were dropped on Tuz Khurmatu, one of which​​ struck​​ a high school. According to Jaafar, the mortar shells killed 2 people, wounded 20 others, and caused damage to civilian houses. Jaafar added that the Tuz Khurmatu residents were expected to organize a protest demanding​​ that​​ Prime Minister Al-Abadi send​​ troops​​ to secure the areas behind the mountain to prevent such incidents from recurring.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

A​​ version​​ of the story​​ from a​​ source in​​ Tuz​​ Khurmatu says the PMF declared a state of emergency in​​ the district​​ after being hit by 5 mortar shells fired at the PMF headquarters by​​ a​​ Kurdish volunteer​​ group. The shelling resulted in the death of one member of the PMF and the wounding of four others. [ROJ]

 

Tuesday, a security source reported that 3 tribal PMF​​ members​​ were abducted by an unknown group while leaving Tuz Khurmatu towards Daquq. Security units carried out searches,​​ freed​​ the abductees,​​ and arrested​​ the assailants. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Tuesday,​​ in receiving the​​ leader​​ of the Turkmen Front,​​ Arshad Al-Salehi, President Fuad Masoum​​ requested​​ additional efforts to bring security and stability to Tuz Khurmatu. The two discussed security and political issues in addition to normalizing the situation in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu,​​ as well as​​ the upcoming elections. [Rudaw]

 

DIYALA

Muqdadiya/Abu Saida/Central Diyala

Tuesday, Abu Saida Security Committee Chairman Awwad Al-Rabi’i announced that a woman was killed by Daesh gunshots in the farm​​ area​​ ​​ just outside​​ Makhisa village. Al-Rabi’i added that there are still Daesh assailants present in the farm​​ area​​ surrounding Makhisa.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Abu Saida​​ subdistrict manager Mohammed Al-Tamimi revealed that an armed cell in Abu Saida has been undertaking terrorist activity similar to Daesh’s methods to destabilize the district. He explained that the cell carries out various criminal activities, most notably threatening to kill several individuals, including himself, as well as firing mortar shells. He added that the cell​​ has​​ targeted 7 civilian houses with hand grenades, carried out 3 attempted assassinations, in addition to other activity​​ intended​​ to drive out a “certain category” of citizens. He added that some members of the cell are enlisted in a security entity​​ which backs them​​ with arms. He called for urgent intervention by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and Ministry of Interior Qassem Al-Aaraji.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

A​​ Kirkuk official in Altun Kupri, Kamal Kirkuki, revealed that as of Sunday, Iraqi forces and PMF militias have mobilized additional forces in several areas, and that they​​ have​​ set up 3 cameras to monitor the water tank in Altun Kupri’s town center, adding that the Peshmerga forces are ready to face all possibilities. [BasNews]

 

NINEWA

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

Tuesday, a security source reported that two policemen were wounded in an IED explosion that targeted an​​ Iraqi Federal Police (IFP)​​ vehicle in Al-Hinka village in Zummar.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Tuesday,​​ Commander​​ Ahmed Al-Abidi of the Ninewa Police Command announced​​ that​​ the IFP in Ninewa arrested the wives of 3 prominent Daesh leaders (Ahmed Hamdoun,​​ wali​​ of​​ Mosul; Finance Minister Khaled Kokjali, and “Abu Jahl,” head of​​ assassinations). The arrests took place at a police checkpoint in Al-Ayadhiya in Tal Afar, where the women tried to pass using forged documents. The terrorists were reportedly using forged identification documents.​​ [Etejah]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Wasit

Tuesday, head of the Wasit Police Command press, Salah Al-Rabi’i announced the arrest of a dangerous suspect who was planning to carry out terrorist acts in the province.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

In a phone call on Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated to the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani the UK’s respect for Iraqi unity, calling on the KRG to undergo political, economic, and security reforms.​​ [Sumaria]

By another account, British Prime Minister Theresa May called KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and reiterated the UK’s stance on the Kurdistan referendum and its support for Iraqi unity. May also welcomed Barzani’s respect of the Federal Court’s decision, emphasizing that the UK will continue seeking to protect the identity and the rights of the Kurdish people in accordance with the Iraqi constitution. [Rudaw]

 

Monday, KRG Representative to the UK,​​ Karwan Jamal Tahir,​​ criticized some new politicians and a number of Kurdish CoR members “who only speak up on KRG mistakes, but exercise silence when it​​ comes to the federal government’s inhumane and unconstitutional stances and conduct, thereby legitimizing the hostile steps taking​​ by​​ the Iraqi-majority government vis-à-vis the Kurdistan Region and its citizens.” Tahir attributed their imbalanced criticism to their lack of understanding of the depth of the Kurdish cause with Iraq, or their intent to marginalize the cause. [SotIraq]

 

Tuesday, 436 German Parliament members voted in favor of extending the German Army’s training of the Peshmerga forces in the Kurdistan Region and allocating 6.9 million euros for this purpose, while 226 voted against the extension, and 10 members abstained. [Rudaw]

 

Head of the​​ KRG office for​​ Kurdish Regions​​ Outside the KRG’s Borders, Nasreddin Sindi,​​ said on Tuesday that “the KRG is preparing to hold a dialogue with Baghdad on all outstanding issues between the two sides.” Sindi stressed the need to address the conditions of “areas outside of the administration of the Region” covered by article 140, saying that “addressing the conditions of these areas according to the constitution will contribute to stability and prosperity.”​​ [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

The agency responsible for the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing in the French Interior Ministry announced​​ it had​​ identified​​ 150200 secret agents working out of Turkey and Lebanon to finance Daesh. Turkish newspaper​​ Yurt​​ revealed earlier this December that Daesh is operating in Turkey under the​​ guise​​ of humanitarian relief organizations.​​ [SyriaNow]

 

According to Turkish newspaper​​ Yeni Safak,​​ the Turkish​​ attack on Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan is nearing, as the Russian forces retreat from Syria. [BasNews]

 

Turkish media reported from an informed source that​​ Turkey will hold a meeting​​ of its military​​ leaders​​ with​​ military leaders from NATO, US,​​ and Iraq. Attending the meeting will be Commander of European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, US Central Commander Joseph Votel, Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, and Iraqi Chief of Staff Othman Al-Ghanmi.​​ [BasNews]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

The​​ Iraqi​​ military denied yesterday’s report that Iraq had developed a​​ coordination​​ arrangement​​ with the SDF hours after the SDF announced​​ such​​ coordination within a joint center. Spokesman for Operations Commander​​ Yahya Rasul said that there is absolutely no agreement with the SDF to establish a center for​​ joint coordination between Iraqi forces and the SDF. [EnabBaladi]

 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres criticized the movements​​ of Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards,​​ Maj. Gen.​​ Qassem Soleimani,​​ who has been​​ traveling​​ freely between Iraq and Syria. Guterres says Soleimani has violated international law despite travel bans imposed by UN resolutions. Washington classified the Quds Force as a terrorist group in 2007 followed by the​​ EU​​ in 2011,​​ and these decisions​​ prohibits​​ its leaders from traveling. [EnabBaladi]

 

According to​​ Tasnim​​ News Agency,​​ 3 fighters from the Fatemiyoun brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were killed in clashes in Syria; one was buried in Mashhad and two others will be buried in Isfahan on Thursday. [Rudaw]

 

The Russian Defense Ministry announced the arrival of 200 Russian troops from​​ Syria​​ to the Russian Republic of Dagestan as part of Russia’s withdrawal from Syria. [Qasioun]

 

Russia’s​​ Fontanka News​​ reports there are about 3,000 Russian​​ fighters​​ contracted with the “Wagner” company​​ who have been​​ fighting alongside the Syrian and Russian forces in Syria since 2015. It is not clear​​ whether​​ the withdrawal of​​ Russian​​ troops will include the withdrawal of the​​ privately contracted Russian fighters. [EnabBaladi]

 

UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Syrian opposition delegation at the​​ 8th​​ Geneva talks to be “realistic,” considering that they no longer have international support and that the​​ results of the​​ Geneva talks​​ are​​ replaceable​​ by the Sochi conference.​​ [EnabBaladi] [Anadolu]

 

Tuesday, PMF​​ deputy commander​​ Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis confirmed that fighting​​ against​​ Daesh units is ongoing on​​ the​​ Iraq-Syria border. He reported that the Iraqi forces and joint forces will respond strongly in coordination​​ with​​ Damascus. According to Al-Muhandis, 60% of the border is under PMF control, and the remaining 40% is​​ controlled by​​ joint Iraqi forces. He added that Daesh has no military presence within Iraq, but it has military presence in Syria, and some posts near the border pose a threat to Iraq. [Youm7]

 

Monday, the White House announced that Washington does​​ not intend to withdraw its troops from Syria, despite Moscow’s decision to withdraw its troops from​​ Syria.​​ “The US will continue to make progress … and secure all that it can to defeat Daesh on all fronts and, of course, to protect Americans’ lives,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.​​ Sanders also stressed that the US forces​​ will​​ continue their operations against Daesh in order to prevent the revival of Daesh in Syria.​​ Pentagon​​ spokesman, Eric​​ Pahon, announced earlier Monday that the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to start withdrawing Russian troops from Syria will not affect the actions and priorities of Washington in Syria. [Qasioun]

 

In an interview with the Turkish​​ NTV​​ channel on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister​​ Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Russia’s decision to withdraw from Syria was “unrealistic,” explaining that “Russia already​​ has​​ two military bases in Syria, not to mention the deployment of its troops in many areas there.” [Dorar]

 

Monday, Tahrir Al-Sham released​​ Sami Al-Aridi,​​ the Jordanian​​ former​​ Al-Qaeda commander and​​ leader​​ of​​ the Nusra Front.​​ ​​ [Qasioun]

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Raqqa

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

According to private sources, the SDF has opened​​ “Self-Defense Centers”​​ for​​ a​​ compulsory​​ draft​​ in Tabaqa. The SDF​​ claims​​ that enrolling in these centers​​ is a duty of the people of the city. [EnabBaladi]

 

Northwest

Aleppo/Idlib

Ahrar Al-Sham, operating in rural northern Aleppo, executed 4 Daesh leaders after detaining them​​ as they entered​​ Raqqa. [EnabBaladi]

 

Afrin/Azaz

Tuesday,​​ Hawar News​​ reported that the Turkish​​ Army reinforced 20 trenches on the outskirts of​​ the​​ Bulbul area of the Rajo subdistrict in rural Afrin, while continuing to build watchtowers. [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Activists say that it is no coincidence that the Syrian forces​​ offensive operations in Hama coincided with Daesh’s offensives in Hama,​​ speculating that​​ the 2 parties may be working together. Daesh and the Syrian forces both began offensive operations in eastern Hama at the same time,​​ splitting​​ the anti-government Syrian opposition forces. Daesh as well as the Syrian forces have reached the​​ Idlib​​ border, ​​​​ the last province in northern Syria​​ remaining​​ in the hands of the Syrian opposition,​​ namely​​ Tahrir Al-Sham. [Arabi21]

 

Monday, Tahrir Al-Sham said it foiled a Syrian forces’ attempt to infiltrate Hama’s northeastern village of Al- Zaferiya, killing 9 members of the Syrian forces. ​​ [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Monday, Daesh’s​​ Mu’tah​​ news agency said that an Afghani commander in​​ the​​ Al-Fatemiyoun Brigade was killed, along with another Syrian forces commander, during the ongoing battles between the Syrian forces and Daesh in rural eastern Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army tank and an SUV carrying soldiers with 2 rockets near Al-Hashma village. [ICDNDec12]

 

Mayadin

Clashes continue between the SDF and Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor. The SDF managed to capture Suwaidan Jazeera east of the Euphrates River. [SyriaHR]

Tuesday,​​ Hawar​​ News​​ reported that the SDF captured Suwaidan town after 12​​ days of​​ fighting​​ with Daesh, killing 273 Daesh members and seizing 4 vehicles loaded with weapons, 4 military vehicles, 5 mortars, a car bomb,​​ and a motorcycle. [Hawar]

Monday, Daesh’s​​ A3maq​​ news agency reported that Daesh killed 7 SDF members with 2 IEDs and 5 others during the clashes near Suwaidan. [Qasioun]

 

Albu Kamal

Clashes continue between the Syrian forces and Daesh on the west bank of the Euphrates River. [SyriaHR]

 

Qasioun reports that Daesh regained control of several villages and part of the Hamdan Agricultural Airport from the Syrian forces in western rural Albu Kamal. [Qasioun]

 

Tuesday, Daesh’s​​ A3maq​​ news agency reported that Daesh captured Albu Kamal’s northwestern villages of Al-Tuwaitha, Al-Abbas,​​ and​​ Al-Majawda,​​ as well as the Al-Salihiya town, in an attempt to lift the siege on​​ its last enclave in the region. [EnabBaladi]

 

Monday, Daesh’s​​ A3maq​​ news agency reported that Daesh had launched a large-scale attack on the Syrian forces’ positions west of Albu Kamal near the Second Station (T2), targeting one of them with a​​ car bomb, killing and wounding a number of the Syrian forces. Meanwhile, pro-Syrian government sources said that more than 20 members of the Syrian forces were killed during clashes with Daesh near the Second​​ (pumping)​​ Station (T2). [Qasioun]

 

Daesh says it captured Al-Salihiya and Al-Wala’ towns in addition to 4 villages near Albu Kamal, killing 41 Syrian soldiers and Shia militiamen, and capturing 3 others. It says the attack is still ongoing. [ICDNDec12]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh executed a Syrian Army captain it captured in Al-Salihiya. The source says government forces surrounded the town from 4 sides and refused a Daesh offer to break the siege in exchange for releasing the captain.​​ 

 

Daesh says it shot down a Syrian Army recon drone in Al-Susah, near Albu Kamal. [ICDNDec12]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ All these stories add up to the difficulties encountered by the Syrian Army and its allies in trying to close Daesh out in Albu Kamal.​​ Syria and Russia rushed into Albu Kamal prematurely, for political reasons, to prevent the SDF from taking Albu Kamal first. Even with the help of Iran’s General Soleimani, Iranian militiamen, and Iraqi PMFs, however, they have struggled and have lost a lot of men. Having rushed into the situation for self-serving reasons, they now own it.​​ 

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

A​​ SANA​​ correspondent reported​​ that the Syrian forces inflicted heavy losses on the Nusra Front in southwestern rural Damascus. [SyriaNow]

 

An official source says 11 Daesh members left their main stronghold in southern Damascus and left the region,​​ with facilitation​​ by​​ the Syrian forces. The​​ source says the 11 Daesh members, carrying light weapons,​​ emerged from the stronghold,​​ and the Syrian forces accompanied them towards a checkpoint. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Monday,​​ Qasioun​​ reported that 15 members of the Syrian forces were killed and wounded during an attempt to advance to the outskirts of Mazra’at Bait Jinn town​​ southwest of Damascus.  [Qasioun]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

North Africa

Libya/Tunisia

Tunisian National Security units arrested a​​ takfiri​​ member in western Gabes​​ in​​ Tunisia.​​ [Tunisien]

 

At the forum on combating terrorism on the African continent held on Tuesday in​​ Oran, Algeria, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel warned that according to security reports, Daesh members leaving Syria and Iraq are already moving toward Libya and the African Sahel region. [Shafaaq]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

U.S./EUROPE

United States

Friday, US federal agents arrested an 18-year old man in Houston on terrorism charges. According to the investigation, Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya had previously planned to travel to Syria to fight alongside Daesh but failed. [AlHurra]

 

According to the​​ New York Times​​ and other US media outlets, the Bangladeshi immigrant who detonated an IED in an underground passageway near Times Square on Monday told investigators he wanted to carry out an attack in the name of Daesh. While the NYPD did not confirm this, New York Governor Cuomo said that the suspect appears to have been influenced by extremist groups. [AlArabiya]

 

Great Britain

Tuesday,​​ The Times​​ published an article​​ written​​ by Melanie Phillips titled “It’s right to use lethal force against jihadis” arguing that sometimes killing terrorists is the only way to protect innocent civilians. This came in the midst​​ of the controversy sparked by​​ Defence​​ Minister​​ Gavin Williamson’s statement “that Britons who have fought for Islamic State abroad were rightly being hunted down and killed to ensure they never returned to Britain from Libya, Iraq or Syria, the breeding grounds for plotting attacks in the UK.” Phillips quoted​​ Williamson saying “dead terrorists​​ can’t cause any harm to Britain.” [Times] [Sumaria]

 

Belgium

Brussels-based Patriarch Benyamin I Aboud of the Unity Church said that the problems​​ facing​​ Iraqi Christians have not ended despite the elimination of Daesh from Iraq. He criticized the CoR’s laws which “are no different​​ from​​ Daesh resolutions,​​ such as allowing the marriage of minors, warning of future implications. He added that there will be no true victory if the persecutions​​ of​​ Christians all over Iraq is not addressed. [Shafaaq]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Tuesday, Afghanistan Defense Ministry​​ spokesman,​​ General Dawlat Waziri,​​ told​​ Agence FrancePresse​​ that the Afghan forces are preparing to carry out a large-scale attack against Daesh foreign fighters in northern Afghanistan. [Xendan]

 

Daesh says it killed 5 Taliban fighters and wounded 13 others, including a commander, in clashes in two different areas in Nangarhar on Monday. [ICDNDec12]

December 11, 2017

 

Iraqi Forces in West Anbar (CJTFOIR)

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi declares victory over Daesh in nationwide address. [..]

Ambassador Silliman says US seeks to curtail Iranian influence in Iraq. [..]

Iraqi Army, SDF will coordinate on protection of Iraq-Syria border. [..]

Iraqi units, Peshmerga clash in Kirkuk village. [..]

Estimated 1,000 Daesh fighters still hiding​​ out in Hawija area. [..]

Turkish planes attack two PKK locations in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. [..]

 

Syria

Putin pays a surprise visit; announces most Russian troops will be withdrawn . . . but Pentagon says not to take that seriously. [..]

Syria delegation returns to Geneva talks after nine-day boycott. [..]

Russia, Syrian Army in intense efforts to recover villages in southern Aleppo, Idlib. [..]

 

Egypt

Putin visits Egypt; promises military support for anti-terrorism efforts. [..]

United States

Bangladeshi immigrant fails his Daesh mission to bomb NYC transportation hub. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh in an address to the nation aired on Iraqi state television Saturday evening, announcing the end of more than three years of​​ fighting​​ to regain control over nearly one-third of the country that had been under the terrorist group’s dominion. “Honorable Iraqis, your land has been completely liberated,” he said. “The liberation dream has become a reality. We achieved victory in difficult circumstances and with God’s help, the steadfastness of our people,​​ and the bravery of our heroic forces we prevailed.”[NYTimes]​​ [Reuters]

The Operations Command of the Jazeera and Upper Euphrates Operation announced Iraq’s complete liberation from Daesh on Saturday. [IraqPress]

 

Sunday, Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) Lt. Gen. Paul Funk congratulated the Iraqi government.​​ [InherentResolve]

 

Monday,​​ Sumaria​​ published an infographic summarizing the war on Daesh which started on June 9, 2014, when Daesh had occupied one third of Iraqi land, and was declared over by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi on December 9. According to the infographic, 1,000,000 combatants participated in the war; 36,000 died; and 4,000,000 million Iraqis were displaced. Iraq’s financial cost is estimated at 100 billion USD. 360,000 Daesh social media accounts were shut down.​​ 

Kuwait is set to host a donor conference on rebuilding Iraq on February 12-14, 2018.​​ [Sumaria]

 

The Coalition Media Center announced the formation of a joint center to coordinate Iraqi Army and SDF efforts to protect the border between Syria and Iraq adjacent to Deir Ez-Zor Governorate. [Sumaria]

 

A source in the MoI said that the number of Daesh detainees from Arab and foreign nationalities is over 400, including 51 from Saudi Arabia, who mostly entered from the Syrian border. A CoR member said that their legal status is non-negotiable because they are involved in crimes against Iraqis. [AlAlaraby]

 

Monday, Secretary General of the Islamic Movement in Iraq, PMF Commander, and CoR​​ Representative​​ Ahmed Al-Asadi said that ideological confrontation is inevitable, as Daesh is ideology-based, as was Al-Qaeda. [Qurtas]

 

Saturday, 16 Daesh members were killed in Iraqi airstrikes on the Iraqi-Syrian border, according to the Iraq War Media Cell. [Sumaria]

 

Post-Daesh transition

Iraq Interior Minister Qasim Al-Araji said that the task of his forces in the next phase in Iraq is to “prosecute and eliminate illegal gangs and to work to limit Daesh’s weapons.” Al-Araji did not explicitly specify which parties will be involved. His statement comes amid rising demands that the PMFs, who fought alongside the Iraqi government forces, should disarm after Daesh is eliminated. [Anadolu]

 

In a televised speech on Sunday, Muqtada Al Sadr put forth a number of demands​​ on​​ the government before transforming Saraya Al-Salam into a humanitarian, civil, or service organization. Among the demands is that the government continue to support the families of the martyrs in honor of their sacrifices. He also emphasized the importance of integrating some Saraya Al-Salam units into the Iraqi Army or other security forces, while the Saraya Al-Salam units in Samarra​​ (guarding Shia shrines) remain​​ until further notice. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, CoR Speaker Salim Al-Jubouri received an EU delegation headed by Ramon Blecua, the EU Ambassador to Iraq. They discussed the political and security developments in the country, in addition to the economy, and the ways to support Iraq. Al-Jubouri reiterated that the war on Daesh has ended and that Iraq is entering a new phase of rebuilding liberated cities and returning IDPs to their homes. The EU delegation reiterated the EU countries’ support​​ for​​ Iraq. [Qurtas]

 

Iraq-KRG issues

Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s Saturday speech announcing the end of the war on Daesh was met with a flood of criticism by KRG officials and prominent figures for not mentioning the Peshmerga forces. In his speech on Sunday, Al-Abadi congratulated the Peshmerga forces in addition to the rest of the armed Iraqi forces. [BasNews]

 

US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman said on Monday that the US is looking to curtail Iranian influence in Iraq and help the central government resolve its differences with the Kurdistan Region. On the topic of Iran, Silliman said “Iran simply does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors.” [BasNews]

 

Iraqi President Fuad Masoum and his Vice President Ayad Allawi called for a start to a comprehensive dialogue between the federal government and the KRG with a view of reaching agreements and procedures to achieve a solution to all outstanding problems. [Sumaria]

 

Monday, Iraqi Vice President Osama Al-Nujaifi called for “a frank and comprehensive dialogue between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region to discuss the problems, obstacles, and abuses that took place in the previous stage in order to reach final solutions under the constitution.” [BasNews]

 

Paris climate conference

Monday, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and an Iraqi government delegation went to Paris to attend the Paris Climate Meeting. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

Center​​ (Rusafa, Karkh, etc.)

Monday, the IFP intelligence arrested two Daesh members in Al-Rusafa in Baghdad, according to a statement by MoI spokesman Saad Ma’en. He added that after interrogations,​​ a guesthouse containing rifles and two IEDs was seized.​​ [IraqPress]

 

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Monday, the BOC announced that security units searched Albu Shallal and another area in north Baghdad, where they found an RBG7 projectile, ammunition, stun grenades, and 1 kg of TNT left behind by Daesh.​​ [PressIraq]​​ [BOC Facebook Page]​​ 

 

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

Monday, the BOC announced that security units found 18 mortar shells, a projectile, and explosive substances in a search in the Al-Fahaheel and Umm Al-Jeer areas​​ in south Baghdad. Several suspects were arrested on various charges. [PressIraq]​​ [BOC Facebook Page]​​ 

 

Southwest​​ (Rasheed, etc.)

Saturday, a civilian was killed in when a roadside IED exploded under his vehicle in​​ the​​ Al-Jihad neighborhood in southwest Baghdad, according to a police source. [Sumaria]

 

Total Baghdad incidents reported:  ​​​​ 4(Includes only incidents reported)

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 3

 

ANBAR

The MoD reported that a 1 km​​ stretch of​​ road was cleared, and 22 IEDs were defused in Anbar.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

Falluja

Monday, the BOC announced that security units searched the Halabsa area southwest of Falluja city, where they defused 7 IEDs and found a gallon of C4 and other ammunition. Several suspects were also arrested on various charges. [PressIraq]​​ [BOC Facebook Page]

 

Ramadi

Monday, Baghdadi​​ Tribal PMF Commander in Anbar, Qatari Al-Abidi,​​ announced that a joint force from the 7th​​ Army division and tribal PMFs carried out an operation in the north Baghdadi desert which led to the death of 7 Daesh members hiding in Al-Saridiya village. [Sumaria]

 

According to the MoD, three suspects were arrested on charges of terrorism in Albu Dhiab and Albu Hazim​​ in​​ Jazeerat Al-Khalidiya.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

According to the MoD, security units located 12 various types of IEDs​​ and​​ 4 gallons of C4 in Jaraishi.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

The MoD statement reported that 2 wanted terrorists were arrested by the Anbar Police in the Tameem area.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

The MoD statement reported that a rigged vehicle was located and destroyed on the international highway during a search in the western desert.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

Hit/Haditha

Monday, a security source in Anbar reported that security forces​​ have​​ cornered​​ Daesh units hiding in a tunnel in a desert near Hit, adding that those Daesh units killed a soldier who discovered their location.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

The MoD reported that a total of 148,125 families have​​ now​​ been able to return to Salahuddin following background security checks. The MoD provides a breakdown by district.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

Shirqat

Daesh said on Sunday it blew up 3 houses “belonging to the PMFs” in Kan’ous village. [A3maq]

However, a​​ DaeshDaily​​ source sent us photos of the dead bodies of 5 Daesh terrorists killed by local residents and PMF fighters in Kan’ous village.​​ 

 

Tikrit

Saturday, a civilian was killed and two were wounded in an IED explosion in central Tikrit, according to a security source. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said on Sunday its snipers killed a “PMF member” in Al-Hassan village, east of Tikrit. [ICDNDec10]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Saturday, a child was killed and 12 civilians wounded when armed​​ men​​ targeted Tuz Khurmatu neighborhoods with 7 mortar shells, according to the deputy head of Tuz Khurmatu Council,​​ Ali Al-Husseini. [Sumaria]

 

Between December 8 and December 10, the Coalition conducted an airstrike in Tooz. [CentCom]

 

DIYALA

Monday, Dijla Ops Commander Mizhar Al-Azzawi announced the arrest of 5 suspects on various charges, including terrorism, in various parts of Diyala.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Monday, a security source reported that​​ three​​ people were wounded by a mortar shell by an unknown source in the Al-Khwailis​​ town.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Monday, a security source reported that clashes broke out between​​ joint​​ Iraqi​​ and​​ PMF​​ units and​​ Peshmerga in Fakaka village in Qara Taqa in Kirkuk. According to the source, this is the first time that the Iraqi Army​​ has​​ entered the village since 2014. The Iraqi​​ units​​ arrested two terrorists in the village.​​ [Buratha]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

Kirkuk Operations Command announced on Saturday a large operation to hunt down Daesh members in western Kirkuk. [Buratha]

 

The MoD reported that based on orders from Salahuddin Ops Commander Juma’a​​ ​​ Anad Saadoun, an EOD unit carried out a search in Juma’at Al-Aliyan village in Al-Zab, which​​ located 3 IEDs.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

Kirkuk representative Shawan Al-Daoudi estimates there​​ are​​ 1,000 Daesh assailants at large in Kirkuk and its outskirts. Al-Daoudi added that “all of the Daesh members who did not surrender themselves to the Peshmerga are in those areas.” He also said that following the liberation of​​ Hawija, security units found 800-1,000 bodies of Daesh assailants, out of the 3,000 who were in the city originally, based on the estimates before the military operation. Burhan Muzhir Al-Assi, who participated with his tribal members in the liberation of Hawija, said that Daesh seized on the quick liberation campaign and the absence of scrutinizing processes to hide in houses. Al-Assi added that Hawija was​​ then​​ not cleared​​ from Daesh remnants, as​​ security forces became preoccupied with the deployment​​ against the Peshmerga​​ in Kirkuk. [Mada]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed two PMF fighters and wounded two others in clashes near Waridiya village, in Abbasi. [ICDNDec10]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

Spokesman for the Turkmen PMF northern axis Ali Al-Husseini said on Monday that an army has been deployed to the road linking Daquq District with Kirkuk and​​ the Tooz​​ District​​ in Salahuddin​​ after a series of​​ abductions​​ and assaults on trucks took place on this road. [Sumaria]

 

Saturday, a spokesman for the PMF Ali Al-Husseini said 5 suicide terrorists blew themselves up in an underground tunnel during a large-scale search operation in southwest Kirkuk Province. [Buratha]

 

NINEWA

Mosul

East Mosul

Monday, a source from the Ninewa Operations Command reported that residents who returned to their homes and markets in Old Mosul reported finding​​ industrial equipment, including sewing machines,​​ that​​ ​​ was​​ stolen by Daesh and hidden in Old Mosul. The IFP and the Ninewa Operations Command are​​ keeping a log of​​ the equipment found by the residents.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

West​​ Mosul

Monday, the MoD announced that the Ninewa Intelligence and Security Directorate discovered an ammunition depot in a Daesh house in the Sarjakhana neighborhood in central Mosul. The depot contained Kalashnikov rifles, laptops, and hand grenades.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Qayara/Hatra/Makhmur

Monday, General Saad Ahmed Al-Janabi of the Rapid Response Command reported that 53 Daesh assailants dropped their weapons in the​​ Hatra valley and surrendered themselves to the Iraqi Army and PMF which are clearing the Jazeera desert extending from Ninewa to west Anbar. Al-Janabi added that 25 of the surrendered Daesh members were locals and had joined the Daesh ranks as it took over Mosul in 2014, while the rest of them hold Arab and European nationalities. The local assailants were transferred to National Security for interrogation, whereas the foreign members were handed over to the CTS for transfer to Baghdad and coordinating with their respective embassies for deportation.​​ Al-Jubouri added that the joint security forces have cleared 85% of the Ninewa desert and dozens of Daesh assailants were killed and arrested. [BaghdadToday]

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Baaj

Monday, the IWMC announced​​ shooting down​​ two Daesh reconnaissance planes carrying explosives in the Tal Safouk crossing in west Mosul. According to the statement, two security​​ personnel​​ were wounded​​ in the operation.​​ [IraqPress]

 

Daesh publishes on Sunday photos of battles with PMFs near Tal Safouk village.​​ [ICDNDec10]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL/DAHUK

Monday, the KRG congratulated the Kurds, Iraqis, and armed forces on their victory against Daesh,​​ saying that the Peshmerga were the “top power”​​ in​​ abolishing​​ Daesh. The KRG emphasized that ending Daesh corresponds to “correcting the political process and removing the floor which led to its emergence, and not just the military operations.” A presidential KRG statement said that on their meeting on Monday, the KRG ministerial council, headed by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, and attended by Deputy Qubad Talabani, congratulated the Peshmerga forces, the Kurdish people, and the Iraqi people and its armed forces, on the victory over Daesh. The statement commended the Coalition’s role in achieving the victory. [Sumaria]

 

Monday,​​ the office of​​ Masrour Barzani, head of​​ the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC),​​ stated that Barzani met with the German Ambassador to Iraq, Cyrill Nunn.​​ Nunn emphasized the importance of resolving disputes between Baghdad and Erbil in accordance with the Constitution, noting that Germany will intensify its efforts​​ to​​ get the two sides to engage in a dialogue. Barzani emphasized that the “KRG does not want to repeat past mistakes in Iraq which led to​​ destabilization, growing terrorism, and creating problems for the region and international community,” adding that “the Iraqi government is evading​​ the​​ dialogue, and the situation​​ on the ground​​ indicates that authorities​​ in​​ Baghdad are still trying to resolve disputes​​ through​​ military means.”​​ [Sumaria]

 

Monday, the Turkish army announced killing 17 PKK members in an airstrike in Hakurk​​ in​​ northern Iraq