An Update On ISIS Activities

October 27, 2017

 

Displaced People from Al-Qa’im (Sumaria)

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Daesh Daily source reports Barzani stepping down on November 1. [..]

Al-Abadi orders halt to military movements in disputed areas. [..]

Debate continues on freeze vs. cancelation of KRG referendum. [..]

Human Rights Watch says executions by Iraqi troops not being investigated. [..]

Government & tribal forces move closer to Al-Qa’im. [..]

Syria

UN investigators confirm Syrian government to blame for chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun. [..]

Syrian Army, Russians still battling Daesh, Tahrir Al-Sham in Hama. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL​​ NEWS

 

A​​ Daesh Daily​​ source in Erbil has been told that Masoud Barzani plans to step down from his leadership position on November 1. It appears that the President position will be left vacant and government leadership consolidated under Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Masoud’s nephew. This story has yet to be confirmed, but two days ago we reported a​​ similar​​ story,​​ that he was planning to resign by the end of the month.

 

Developments in GOI-KRG clash

Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi ordered a​​ 24-hour​​ halt on military movements in disputed areas as well as at border crossings “immediately”​​ in order​​ to allow a joint technical team to distribute forces on the international border and in disputed areas​​ [Sumaria]

 

Friday, the Kurdish Parliament’s Security Council expressed hope that Al-Abadi’s decision to stop the Iraqi military activity in disputed areas would be​​ the​​ “beginning” of a dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil. The Security Council also reiterated that the KRG​​ does​​ not favor a confrontation with Baghdad.​​ However, the head of the Security Council, Nadhem Herki, said​​ that while​​ the Peshmerga forces do not want to confront the Iraqi​​ Army,​​ the confrontation has been imposed on them.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Friday, Coalition spokesman Ryan Dillon denied a ceasefire agreement was reached between Baghdad and Erbil, hours after the Coalition press office made such an announcement. [Sumaria]

 

Friday, the KRG said there are ongoing diplomatic efforts to set a date to begin the Iraqi-Kurdish dialogue, according to KRG Spokesman Kifah Mahmoud’s statement to Russian​​ Sputnik.​​ 

At an earlier time, Mahmoud had announced that the KRG would be ready to begin the talks with Baghdad as soon as​​ Prime Minister Abadi​​ returned from his visit to Turkey and Iran. [Sumaria]

 

Friday, the federal government reiterated its position calling for the cancellation of the referendum’s results, asking Erbil to respect the Federal Court’s decisions. Federal government spokesman Saad Al-Hadithi said the KRG’s proposal to freeze the referendum’s results gives legitimacy to the referendum and allows Erbil to return to it in the future.​​ Kurdistan​​ Islamic Group CoR representative, Zana Rostai, said the decision to cancel the referendum’s results is up to the Federal Court, and it is not within​​ Barzani’s authority. [IraqPress]

 

The federal government is determined to enforce the law and constitution in all districts, including the Iraqi Kurdistan region, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Thursday in response to the request of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to accept the Kurdish offer to “freeze the referendum. ” [Anadolu]​​ [Arabi21]

 

Friday,​​ the Kurdish leader who heads​​ the​​ new​​ Party for Democracy and Justice, Barham Salih, reiterated that the federal government should have the ultimate decision whether to freeze or cancel the referendum. Salih said the referendum was a mistake which the KRG insisted on​​ holding​​ in spite of federal government, regional, and international rejection. He added that the solution lies in respecting the rights of Arabs and Kurds in accordance with the constitution. Salih also said the KRG suffers from several problems,​​ including corruption and nepotism. [Buratha]

 

State Department and alleged Iranian influence

US State Department​​ spokeswoman Heather Nauert​​ expressed Washington’s continued​​ support for a stop to the fighting and concern about​​ the Iranian influence in the region,​​ which Washington describes as “destabilizing.”​​ [Rudaw]

 

The Iraq Foreign Ministry expressed surprise at​​ Nauert’s​​ statement​​ yesterday​​ describing the deputy chairman of the PMF, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, as a terrorist. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said “we confirm that the PMF is inseparable part of the Iraqi forces and are under the orders of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Prime​​ Minister​​ Haider Al-Abadi, and they have fought bravely alongside our forces. Al-Muhandis has made great sacrifices in the battle of Iraq​​ against terrorism. . . .​​ We call on the US State Department to review these statements as contrary to reality.”​​ [BasNews]

 

Friday, PMF spokesman, Ahmad Al-Asadi, said the PMF considers the US’ description of its Vice President Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis as a “terrorist” a direct threat against the PMF and that it will hold the US responsible if he is harmed. The PMF called on the Iraqi Foreign Ministry to respond to Washington, as Al-Muhandis has an official government title as the PMF CoR representative. [Sumaria]

 

Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi-Golpayegani,​​ head of the office of​​ Iran’s leader,​​ Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, confirmed that Khamenei’s instructions to​​ General Qasem Soleimani ended with Kirkuk’s liberation. The Iraqi government denies any Iranian role in the security forces’ redeployment​​ in disputed areas, including​​ Kirkuk, whereas the KRG claims that Iranian leaders, including Soleimani, have “engineered these plans.” [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ As we commented before on the KRG charges, the purpose of this tack by KRG leaders is to gain sympathy in Washington and elsewhere by making the KRG seem like a victim of Iranian aggression, which is a way of avoiding the admission that it is in fact a victim of its leaders’ foolish decisions.

 

Other news

Farhan Haq, Deputy General for the UN Secretary General said the 175,000 people have been displaced since mid-October due to the ongoing clashes. [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Not to seem insensitive, but we suspect some of those people are not really displaced but chose to leave for Kurdistan after the central government took control of their areas of residence. In short, the motive was in many cases political. People’s neighborhoods were not destroyed. It may be worth noting that the people shown on news programs as leaving were driving away in cars.

 

Thursday, Human Rights Watch reported that international observers discovered an execution location in West Mosul. The report comes​​ after allegations of​​ executions​​ of Daesh fighters​​ by government troops​​ in Old Mosul and the surrounding area. There are documented accounts​​ of Iraqi forces killing men fleeing Mosul in the final phase of the war against Daesh.​​ 

HRW says that despite repeated promises to investigate security forces’ violations, PM Haider Al-Abadi has not provided any evidence that the Iraqi authorities have detained any troops responsible for the torturing and killing of Iraqi civilians during the conflict. ​​ According to Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at HRW, “while PM Haider Al-Abadi celebrates victory in Mosul, he is ignoring the flooding evidence of his troops committing war crimes in the city he promised to liberate, and this victory will be short-lived if he does not take concrete steps to end the heinous violations by his forces.” The HRW had also published a report about abuse of Mosul civilians in July.​​ [Karemlash]​​ [HRW]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ There were reports of prisoner abuse and even executions by Iraqi troops, and they all need to be investigated properly. One problem with HRW reports in general has been the appearance of bias. They have also seemed less interested in Daesh crimes​​ and more focused on the people who fought Daesh.

 

Daesh-planted IEDs and mines in residential areas continue to be a problem that threatens the people who return to their liberated homes in northern and western Iraq. According to local police and government reports, at least 300 civilians have been killed this year by Daesh remnants in liberated areas. However, explosive devices are not the only danger; tribal differences pose a threat as well, especially between tribes that did and did not support Daesh before the area’s liberation, often resulting in murders, house demolitions, and confiscation of private property. [AlAraby]

 

The Coalition says it conducted airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq, 2 near Al-Qa’im and 2 near Rawa. [InherentResolve]​​ 

 

BAGHDAD​​ (no reports)

Security-related incidents reported

 

ANBAR

Anah

Rawa

Friday, the West Anbar Liberation Operations Command announced the liberation of 3 villages south of the Euphrates River. The villages are: Al-Awani, North Jabab, and Zella. The Iraqi forces killed 25 terrorists and destroyed 4 vehicles and 2 booby-trapped vehicles.​​ [Baghdadia] [Harbi]

 

Friday, the Al-Gharbiya PMF Commander Jamal Shihab Al-Mahlawi announced that his forces took control of the liberated areas of Jabab and Al-Hasa in west Rawa. [Sumaria]

Daesh says it destroyed an Iraqi forces’ Humvee and a bulldozer and damaged another Humvee with rockets in the Jabab area, about 20 miles east of Al-Qa’im. [A3maq] ​​ 

 

Friday, a security source reported that Daesh targeted a security personnel gathering in west Rawa with a booby-trapped car carrying children, killing 4 soldiers and wounding 7. The source did not reveal the number of children inside the car. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

Friday, a high ranking military source in the Jazeera Ops Command reported that units from the 8th​​ brigade killed 25 Daesh terrorists, following clashes in the T1​​ area. [Sumaria]​​ Friday, Iraqi Army 8th​​ brigade Commander, General Abdulhussein Sawadi, confirmed that the Iraqi Army and Al-Jughaifi​​ Tribal​​ PMFs​​ continue advancing towards Al-Qa’im. He added that Daesh has incurred losses in life and equipment. [Sumaria]

 

Friday, West Anbar Liberation Ops announced that the liberation operation forces seized the Al-Qa’im cement factory.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

In a statement, the joint forces announced the Iraqi Army and the PMF arrested​​ Ahmad Jabbar Khalaf, a​​ wanted Daesh leader,​​ near the Saad Air Base. [Forat]

 

According to the West Anbar Liberation Ops Commander, the 26th brigade units (Al-Abbas Combat Division) of the PMF liberated a 43 km length of the Al-Qa’imAkashat road and cleared a 301 km2​​ area. The Al-Abbas Combat Division destroyed 3 booby-trapped vehicles and 100 IEDs.​​ Iraqi forces​​ also seized the Daesh communications center, the Al-Qa’im stone supplier, and Al-Qa’im Rest Area 70. [Sumaria] ​​ [Harbi]  ​​​​ 

 

Friday, a security source in Anbar reported that security forces destroyed a booby-trapped vehicle in south Al-Qa’im, where there were violent clashes between Daesh and the PMFs. The vehicle was driven by a suicide bomber and was headed to the city center. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

PMF​​ Press​​ announced the liberation of the 70 Water Station from Daesh control in Al-Qa’im. [Mawazin]

 

Friday morning, the PMF, backed by the IAA and IAF, announced the launch of the second phase of the Al-Qa’im and Rawa Liberation Operations. [PUKMedia]​​ 

Daesh Daily comment.​​ We have noticed elsewhere that PMFs like to tout their accomplishments, which is why they issue their own news reports. It is sometimes hard to determine what actually happened from these reports, but sometimes less hard to determine that the story is not as important as it is made to seem. In this case, a PMF organization, which is not authorized to speak for the government, announces that the second phase of the liberation campaign has begun. We don’t know what that means and don’t see Friday’s events as an obvious point for moving from undefined Phase 1 to undefined Phase 2.​​ 

 

Rutba

Daesh says it conducted a suicide attack on PMF units near Akashat, on the Iraq-Syria border near Al-Qa’im. [A3maq]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Samarra

Friday, Samarra Operations Commander, Imad Al-Zuheiri stated that a suicide bomber named​​ Thabet Hamad Khalifa Al-Abbasi” was killed in the Al-Sumoum​​ village​​ area in northwest Samarra. [Sumaria]

 

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad,​​ Dujail)

Daesh says it destroyed an Iraqi Army fuel tanker truck with an IED near Ishaqi on Thursday. [A3maq]

 

DIYALA​​ (no reports)

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Friday, dozens of Altun Kupri residents protested in Kirkuk, calling on the federal​​ troops​​ to intervene to stop the Peshmerga’s shelling of the area, which has led dozens of families to flee. [Sumaria]

 

Friday, a security source in Kirkuk reported the discovery of 2 bodies belonging to a man and his wife who were​​ beheaded​​ in their home in the Al-Hurriya neighborhood in eastern Kirkuk. [Sumaria]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

The IWMC announced on Friday that the remains of 50 members of the Army and Police who had been executed were found in a mass grave in Hawija. [Ghad]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Friday, PUK spokesman Ghayath​​ Sorachi​​ said the clashes between the federal forces and the Peshmerga in the Nineveh Plain have temporarily stopped.​​ Sorachi​​ said the Coalition began negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad for a ceasefire and for a peaceful solution. [Forat]

 

Tal Afar

Friday, Ninewa CoR representative, Abdulrahman Al-Lowaizi, revealed the “real reasons why the Kurdish forces are ‘dying to’ defend north Zummar and Rabi’a.” Al-Lowaizi said that an oil pipeline was built in that area in coordination between the Barzani family and terrorist organizations, including the PKK, to smuggle Syrian oil. Al-Lowaizi says the Barzani family members dominate the Kurdistan Region’s governmental, financial, and security sectors. They also control decision-making by controlling commercial institutions, telecommunications, the Asayesh, Al-Zeravani military police, and the Peshmerga, which makes them a “caste” family. According to Al-Lowaizi several other families have followed their example and tried to take over provinces, including Ninewa. Al-Lowaizi cites European and German media outlets as reporting that the German weapons provided to the Peshmerga have reached the black market. [Sumaria]

 

The federal forces gave the Peshmerga “hours” to withdraw from its locations in Faysh Khabur. An unnamed security official told​​ Agence France Presse​​ that the shooting has mostly stopped, but​​ there are “bursts” every now and then. He explained that Syrian oil is being bought by PKK and YPG (People’s Protection Units) members in Faysh Khabur, as there are no nearby crossings to smuggle oil from Syria to Turkey. [Buratha]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

Friday evening (8:00 pm) the PMF reported that the Ansar Al-Marji’ya​​ brigade​​ outside Hatra​​ received over 100 families fleeing from Al-Qa’im and Rawa. The brigade facilitated their entrance to​​ nearby​​ villages and offered them medical and food assistance. [Harbi]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN

The Office of the Deputy Chairman of the Kurdistan Regional Parliament, Jafar Iminki said on Friday that the real reason for postponing the regular session of the fourth Parliament is due to his unstable health. The session which was supposed to be held on Saturday was postponed on Friday without specifying a date for the next meeting. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

United Nations investigators, on Thursday,​​ blamed the Khan Sheikhoun sarin gas massacre on the Syrian government. “The panel is confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Sheikhoun on April 4th 2017,” the report, seen by​​ reporters for Agence France Presse. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is the chemical attack that triggered the US retaliatory attack on the nearby Syrian air base.

 

Friday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Russia of trying to hide the use of sarin gas by the Syrian government, saying​​ “Russia has repeatedly attempted to disrupt efforts to get to the truth of the Khan Sheikhoun attack. . . .​​ Russia has consistently chosen to cover up for Assad. . . .​​ This behavior can only undermine the global consensus against the use of chemical weapons.” [Reuters]​​ [Dorar]

Britain’s​​ Permanent Representative to the UN,​​ Matthew Rycroft,​​ said Britain is holding intensive consultations with Washington and other capitals to seek a Security Council resolution in order to hold the Syrian government accountable for its use of chemical weapons​​ in this incident​​ 7 months ago. [Anadolu]

 

Russia’s mission to the United Nations said on Friday that​​ Russia will study the new report​​ carefully. The report addresses​​ the use of the chemical weapons​​ in Um Hawsh as well as​​ Khan Sheikhoun. [SyriaNow]

 

Sputnik quoted​​ Coalition​​ spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon as saying that the Coalition has discovered and destroyed chemical weapons in Daesh-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq. [SyriaNow] [Sputnik]

 

The Coalition says it conducted 6 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria, 5 in or near Deir Ez-Zor and 1 near Albu Kamal. [InherentResolve]​​ 

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Raqqa

Raqqa city

Thursday, a number of civilians were injured when the SDF opened fire on them to break up a demonstration, held by the locals of Al-Mashlab neighborhood in eastern Raqqa, demanding that they be allowed to return to their homes. [EnabBaladi]

A prominent commander in the SDF Council confirmed that the residents of Al-Mashlab neighborhood will be allowed to return to their homes once the process of dismantling the mines in their neighborhoods and within the city is completed. “The shooting that happened on Thursday the 26th of October in Al-Mashlab neighborhood will not happen again, and the shooters will be held accountable,” he added. [SyriaHR]

 

Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)

Afrin/Azaz/Al-Bab/ Manbij/Jarabulus

Hawar reports “the Turkish army, stationed in Samaan Castle, is now targeting the villages of Afrin District with mortar shells,” while the YPG is responding in kind to the sources of shelling. [ROJ]​​ [Hawar]

 

Thursday evening, according to military sources, Hawar news reported that the Turkish army attacked many areas in Afrin with heavy weapons, but the YPG responded to the attacks. [Hawar]

 

Hawar news reports 5 foreign Daesh leaders surrendered themselves, along with their families and weapons, to the YAT (SDF Anti-Terror Units). [Hawar]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Qasioun reports that the Syrian forces took over the Al-Jawla​​ area​​ in eastern rural Hama, crossing the Daesh-controlled areas without any clashes. [Qasioun]

 

Qasioun reports that​​ the Syrian forces have been targeting the villages of Sarha, Um Mayal, Al-Rahjan and Al-Janina, east of Hama, with heavy artillery shelling and rocket launchers, resulting in a large wave of displacement. [Qasioun]

Daesh attacked Tahrir Al-Sham in Sarha. ​​ 4 members of Tahrir Al-Sham and 8 Daesh fighters were killed. [SyriaHR]

 

Qasioun reports that​​ the Russian Air force launched several airstrikes on the villages and towns of Al-Hamra District, east of Hama. [Qasioun]

SOHR documented more than 310 Russian airstrikes in six days on more than 20 Tahrir Al-Sham-controlled villages in the northeastern rural areas of Hama. [SyriaHR]

 

Friday, Abu Malik Al-Shami, a security official in Tahrir Al-Sham, said that 24 Daesh members have recently surrendered themselves to Tahrir Al-Sham​​ in Hama, amid reports that some Daesh members are planning to defect from Daesh’s ranks. [Dorar]

 

Homs

Yarub Al-Dali, a media activist, reports that three civilians were killed and more than 11 others were injured, on Thursday evening, due to the Syrian forces’ targeting of Rastan city with mortar​​ shelling and heavy machine guns,​​ allegedly​​ violating​​ the truce agreement in northern Homs. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

SOHR reported clashes broke out between the Syrian forces and Daesh over the past few hours of the night in​​ the​​ Al-Mahta​​ area, and in the vicinities of Talbiseh and Um Sharshouh,​​ cities in the northern rural areas of Homs, killing an officer. There are​​ confirmed reports​​ of deaths suffered by​​ a number of members of the Syrian forces.​​ [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Qasioun reports that the Syrian forces declared their control over Hawijat Al-Saqar​​ on the Euphrates​​ and​​ the​​ Sina’a neighborhood in Deir Ez-Zor city, after battles with Daesh, adding that a number of Daesh members were killed and wounded.​​ 

 

Syrian forces captured the entire city of Maadan,​​ in eastern Raqqa​​ province​​ on the southern bank of the Euphrates just over the Deir Ez-Zor border. [Qasioun]​​ Syria has been working for some time to get control of this area, which, though in Raqqa, was not in the SDF area of responsibility.​​ 

 

Daesh says it attacked Syrian Army positions west of the T2 Station, killing or wounding “many” soldiers, destroying a rocket launcher, and damaging a tank and a 57mm cannon. [ICDNOct27]​​ 

Later on, Daesh says it destroyed a second tank with a rocket near the station. [A3maq]

Daesh issues videos of targeting a Syrian Army tank, cannon, and a heavy machine gun with rockets near the station. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Mayadin

Qasioun reports the SDF has come into a direct contact line with the Syrian forces near Al-Quriya town, east of Deir Ez-Zor, in an attempt by the two sides to control it, after the SDF captured Dhiban village.​​ [Qasioun]

 

A military source says the Syrian forces destroyed several booby traps in Mahkan town on the way to Albu Kamal. The source says there are violent clashes between the Syrian forces and Daesh in a number of neighborhoods in Mahkan, located south of Mayadin. [Jaml]

 

Albu Kamal

SOHR reported that the Syrian forces, under the cover of airstrikes, intensified their attacks on the Daesh-controlled areas in the western and southwestern rural areas of Albu Kamal, Daesh’s last stronghold in Syria. [SyriaHR]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Bahrain

Friday, 1 policeman was killed, and 8 people were wounded in a bomb explosion on the Khalifa Ibn Salman​​ Road in western Manama. A terrorist group targeted a bus with a locally-made bomb,​​ which they detonated at a distance. [Rudaw]​​ 

 

North Africa

Egypt

According to an Egyptian security source, the official Egyptian news agency reported that 12 gunmen were killed on Friday in clashes with Egyptian security forces on El-Wahat​​ Road in New Valley province.​​ [Anadolu]

 

Tunisia

Thursday, the National Guard’s Search and Inspection team in Sidi Bouzid dismantled a cell of 8​​ members, including 5​​ women,​​ all pledging allegiance to Daesh. [Tunisien]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

Kyrgyzstan

Daesh says one of its “soldiers” stabbed a police officer to death in Bishkek on Thursday. [A3maq] ​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is the first reported Daesh attack in Kyrgyzstan.​​ 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Video​​ 

Iraqi aircrafts destroy 2 Daesh camps near the Syrian border. [Twitter]​​ 

October 26, 2017

 

Iraqi Forces in Northwest Anbar

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

CENTCOM estimates the casualties from anti-Daesh war in Iraq, Syria. [..]

Tillerson, UN trying to stop clashes between Iraqi troops, Peshmerga. [..]

Iraqi Army, PMFs, tribes gang up on Daesh near Rawa, southern Al-Qa’im. [..]

Barzani reported hedging on yesterday’s report he’s stepping down. [..]

Peshmerga clash with Iraqi troops in northern Tal Afar, Makhmur. [..]

Public anger reported rising in Kurdistan against KDP, PUK. [..]

Syria

Tillerson says Assad regime “is coming to an end.” [..]

De Mistura will convene​​ eighth conference on future of Syria, Nov. 28. [..]

SDF captures another major oilfield in southeast Deir Ez-Zor. [..]

Other

House of Representatives bill targets Lebanon’s Hezbollah. [..]

US airstrikes killed​​ 60 Daesh members in Yemen. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL​​ NEWS

 

Anti-Daesh conflict

Iraq and Damascus announced simultaneous attacks on the last bastions of Daesh on the Syrian-Iraqi border, amid reports of coordination between the two countries​​ in​​ launching​​ the attacks. [Shafaaq]

 

Thursday the Coalition welcomed the announcement of the Iraqi Security Forces’ offensive to liberate Al-Qa’im. It estimated​​ there are 1,500 Daesh fighters in Al-Qa’im. It said​​ the Coalition is ready to support the government of Iraq as it recognizes “the importance of a unified Iraq in the long-term security and prosperity of the Iraqi people.” [InherentResolve]

 

The​​ Combined Joint Task Force’s​​ Monthly​​ Civilian Casualty Report​​ reported that, overall,​​ in the fight against Daesh, Iraqi forces lost 1,200-1,500 personnel and the SDF in Syria​​ has​​ lost 1,100 personnel.​​ 

The Coalition takes responsibility for “51 unintentional civilian deaths.” To date, the Combined Joint Task Force “assesses at least 786 civilians have been killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve.” Between September 2014 and September 2017 the Coalition conducted 27,566 strikes and during that time here were 194 credible reports of civilian casualties. [CentCom]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It deserves comment that the death toll for Iraqi troops (and the SDF) would have been far higher without the Coalition airstrikes.​​ 

 

KRG independence referendum and aftermath

Thursday, after a phone call with President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said​​ “the US stands ready to assist Baghdad and Erbil to chart a positive​​ course forward in support of a unified, federal, and democratic Iraq through peaceful, political means.” [Kurdistan24]​​ [Rudaw]

 

Thursday, the UN welcomed the KRG’s call for a ceasefire with the PMF and other Iraqi security forces and to engage in a dialogue. The UN expressed willingness to mediate between Baghdad and Erbil to resolve current issues through negotiation and talks. [BasNews]

 

Thursday, the KRG issued a statement regarding the battles between the Peshmerga and the PMF. The statement says the PMF’s VP Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis and Badr Organization Secretary General Hadi Al-Amiri supervised the battles. ​​ [Rudaw]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We detect a new line of propaganda. The narrative is that the KRG is under attack from Iran, working through pro-Iran PMF organizations in Iraq. Once again, the KRG leadership positions Kurdistan as the victim. Read the following three stories from Washington on how this tactic works. In fact, while some PMF units mishandled situations in Kirkuk and Ninewa, the restoration of federal authority in disputed areas occupied by the Peshmerga was carried out​​ mostly​​ by Army troops, including the CTS and IFP, and the PMF units​​ involved​​ were not directed from Iran, even if some prominent PMF leaders are pro-Iran.

 

US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert described Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, leader of Kata’eb Hezbollah in the PMF, as a terrorist. “He is a terrorist and that’s all we can say right now” she said. [Rudaw]

 

Wednesday evening, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan expressed concern about the clashes between the PMF and Peshmerga forces, calling for the Iranian forces to leave Iraq as soon as possible. ​​ Ryan said these clashes will have a negative effect on the achievements in the war against Daesh and should be stopped immediately. [BasNews]

 

Republican​​ Congressman​​ Ron DeSantis, from Florida,​​ called on President Trump’s administration to support the KRG, saying in a statement on twitter “the US should stand by the Kurds. Would be tragic if we allowed Kurds to be steamrolled by forces who have American blood on their hands.” DeSantis said​​ Reports from the field suggest that Iraqi military units and forces aligned with the Iranian government​​ .  ​​ ​​​​ . .​​ have deployed heavy weapons in anticipation of a major attack against the Peshmerga.”​​ [Rudaw] [OrlandoPolitics]

 

Thursday, KDP​​ leader Ali Awni revealed that “major pressures” are being exerted​​ on​​ Masoud Barzani to keep him in his position because of the current​​ fighting, while Barzani himself “does not want to stay” in his position illegally. [Sumaria]

 

Thursday,​​ Prime​​ Minister Haider Al-Abadi says he “will accept only the cancelling of the referendum and following the constitution,” dismissing a proposal by the Iraqi Kurdish region to freeze the referendum results pending negotiations with Baghdad. [ROJ]

 

Turkeyand Iran

Thursday, Turkey’s​​ Foreign​​ Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, described the Kurdish freeze offer as “a significant but insufficient step,” calling on the Kurdish leaders to cancel the results. [Anadolu]

 

Also on​​ Thursday, Turkey’s​​ Prime​​ Minister Binali Yildirim says the Iraqi Kurdish region’s offer to freeze the results of the referendum on independence won’t redress the “devastation” the vote has caused in Iraq, adding that Turkey will intensively cooperate with Iraq and Iran to combat terrorism and spread security in the region from now on. He also said that his government is working with Iraq to hand over the management of the border crossings between the two countries to the central government in Baghdad, pointing out that Turkey and Iraq discussed the possible opening of a border gate between them that would by bypass the Iraqi Kurdistan region. [Anadolu]

 

Iran’s​​ Mehr news agency reported that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani expressed his country’s readiness to participate in the process of rebuilding Iraq, pointing out that Iran considers Iraq’s security as an integral part of its security and the security of the region.​​ [Arabi21]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ And now we know why Iraq​​ has been suffering​​ since 1979.​​ 

 

Other news

Thursday, Reuters reported that crude oil flows from Iraq and Kurdistan are “no longer being blended as one grade,” according to a shipping source. The combined rate used to be 600,000 barrels per day prior to the Iraqi forces takeover of Kirkuk’s oilfields. [Sumaria] [Reuters]

 

The Coalition says it conducted 8 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq, in or near Al-Qa’im (6), Rawa (1), and Qayara (1). [InherentResolve]​​ 

 

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Thursday, a police source reported that 3 people were wounded in an IED explosion in​​ the​​ Al-Taji​​ River area. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh says its snipers killed two PMF fighters and wounded a commander in Meshahda on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

Daesh says it destroyed a PMF vehicle in the Meshahda area with an IED on Wednesday, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [DENOct26]​​ 

 

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

Thursday, the Baghdad Security and Intelligence Bureau announced the discovery of an ammunition​​ hideout in the Al-Rakoub area. The hideout contained 10 mortar shells, 2 locally-made rockets, 3 hand grenades, and other rocket and mortar shell ammunition. [Etejah]​​ 

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 2

 

ANBAR

Hit/Haditha

Thursday, schoolchildren in Baghdadi, near Haditha, raised their hands in the air to pray for​​ Iraqi​​ forces as they carry out their​​ operations in Rawa and Al-Qa’im. [Harbi]​​ 

 

According to the Baghdadi Tribal PMF Commander, Qatari Al-Abidi, 3,500 tribal fighters are participating in the West Anbar Operations, largely from the Albu Mahal, Al-Obeid, Albu Nimr, and Al-Karabla tribes, and the biggest group will be 1,500 fighters from Al-Jughaifi tribe. ​​ 

The​​ Haditha​​ District​​ Mayor, Abdulhakim Al-Jughaifi, says 12,000 out of the current 25,000 population of Rawa support Daesh. A military source explained that the Rawa liberation operation was left until the end because it does not pose a direct threat, as the Euphrates River is a natural barrier against booby-trapped vehicles targeting the joint forces.​​ [Mada]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We are not sure what “support” means in this context, but would be surprised if Daesh still has anywhere near that level of approval, in Rawa or anywhere else.​​ For example, see the first DaeshDaily local source story below, under” Anah.”

 

Anah

As reported here yesterday in a late-breaking development, early on Thursday morning Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced the launch of the Al-Qa’im liberation​​ campaign. He said, as he did before the Hawija operation, that “Daesh members’ options are to surrender or die.” [Ghad]

 

Thursday, a military source in Anbar reported that the Rawa and Al-Qa’im liberation operation has been launched from​​ four​​ directions (one of them is Ninewa towards Al-Qa’im), with backing from the IAF and the Coalition. The participating forces are the Iraqi Army, police, tribes, and the PMF. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

The IWMC reports that Iraqi forces captured the Rawa Junction and the Al-Jabab area from Daesh and controls the T1 facilities and residential complexes. [Shafaaq]

Thursday, a military source in Anbar reported that the Iraqi Army and tribes liberated the Jabab area in west Rawa and raised the Iraqi flag there after Daesh members fled the area towards Al-Qa’im. [Sumaria] [Harbi]​​ 

A security source announced the capture of the​​ Jabab and Al-Mashari’a​​ areas​​ 2​​ km from Rawa. [BaghdadToday]

While liberating Al-Hasa, 2 booby-trapped vehicles, 2 mortar shells, 41 oxygen IEDs were destroyed, and 91 IEDs were defused on the main road in western Anbar, according to a military source. [Sumaria]​​ 

Thursday, the Al-Gharbiya PMF Commander Jamal Shihab Al-Mahlawi announced that the Iraqi Army and tribes liberated the western Rawa intersection, and noted that they were headed towards Al-Qa’im. He added that Daesh resisted only by IEDs and a parked booby-trapped vehicle, which was destroyed from a distance. [Baghdadia] [Harbi]​​ 

 

Thursday, a military source in Anbar reported that the Iraqi Army and tribes liberated the former Jazeera Ops base west of Rawa, which Daesh took over in late 2014.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Thursday, a military source reported that Iraqi Army EOD​​ units had previously​​ removed the Daesh​​ land mines set to go off on Iraqi​​ forces between Anah and Rawa, allowing them​​ to move towards their targets. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

As of Thursday evening, Daesh in Rawa and Al-Qa’im had​​ suffered losses​​ of​​ life and equipment due to being directly targeted by liberation units backed by warplanes. Daesh members were forced to retreat due to intense fire, leaving behind their armed and booby-trapped vehicles, which the federal units seized. The EOD secured the roads in order for the security units to advance, and they began clearing the roads and villages in liberated areas of IEDs. [Harbi]​​ 

 

Thursday, according to Joint Ops Command​​ spokesman, Commander Yahya Rasul, there are 1,500 Daesh members in Al-Qa’im and Rawa based on intelligence data. He​​ said​​ that the intensive airstrikes that preceded the forces’ advancement killed dozens of Daesh members. He added that the Daesh members remaining are completely “devastated,” and still use the same old tactics such as booby-trapping to impede the Iraqi forces’ operations. Rasul​​ also said​​ there are large numbers of civilians in the battle areas and the Iraqi forces have “humanitarian plans” in place to protect them. ​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh called on people of Rawa, through loudspeakers, to defend their city, warning people that Iraqi forces would “rape women, kill young people, and destroy houses.” However, the source says most of the people of Rawa stayed in their houses, and only 15 civilians attended Daesh prayers in the main mosque.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh executed one of its local commanders in Rawa after he urged local fighters to preserve themselves and their families. The source says the commander had warned other fighters that Daesh leaders and foreign terrorists are fleeing, as they did in Hawija and other areas.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh arrested 40 civilians, mostly women and children, who were trying to escape Rawa, and took them to an unknown location.​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

Thursday, the IWMC announced the liberation of areas in Al-Qa’im​​ District, including the Agricultural Research Department, Umm Al-Waz village, Al-Husseiniyat, Al-Nadira, Al-Qaara, and the Saad​​ (H2)​​ Air Base. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Thursday, the Joint Security Forces liberated the Ma’amel and Al-Masharia​​ areas in west Al-Qa’im, according to a security source. [Baghdadia] [Harbi]​​ 

 

As of Thursday noon, the Jazeera and Badiya Ops units were advancing towards the K1 military base. [Harbi]​​ 

 

The PMF and security forces, backed by the IAA,​​ captured control of five​​ valleys in southern Al-Qa’im: Wadi Al-Nasr, Wadi Al-Halqum, Wadi Juhaish, Wadi Obeid, and Wadi Al-Aghar. [Harbi]​​ [IkhNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh called on former policemen in Al-Qa’im to renew their “repentance” but arrested 11 of them without giving any reason. The source also says Daesh closed several roads in the city with sand barriers.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says a Coalition drone killed a Chechen Daesh commander near Hay Al-Risala in Al-Qa’im.​​ 

 

Thursday morning,​​ Iraqi Army Aviation (IAA)​​ provided support to the Al-Abbas​​ Combat Division​​ participating in the West Anbar​​ operation. [Harbi] Harbi published photos of the IAA “Hawks” providing support to the Al-Abbas​​ group. [Harbi]

Thursday morning, the Al-Abbas EOD​​ units​​ defused dozens of IEDs and mines on main roads,​​ using modern vehicles and equipment. [Harbi]​​ They​​ carried out reconnoitering missions deep into Al-Qa’im and Rawa, and provided advancing units​​ with​​ intelligence​​ information. [Harbi]​​ 

As of Thursday noon, Al-Abbas liberated the 90 Phosphate Factory in Al-Qa’im and defused 1 booby-trapped vehicle. [Harbi]​​ 

As of Thursday, the Al-Abbas​​ Combat Division​​ have liberated over 100 km2​​ of land in the West Anbar Liberation Ops. [Harbi]​​ 

 

An Iraqi security source in Anbar Province confirmed that Thursday more than 22 Daesh members were killed in an IAA​​ airstrike in the Rummana​​ area north of Al-Qa’im. [Youm7]

On Thursday morning, the IAA attacked the Daesh units who tried to stand in the way of Iraqi Army and PMF units in south Al-Qa’im, causing injuries among Daesh members. ​​ [Harbi]​​ 

 

A military source says Daesh is forcing civilians in Al-Qa’im into its ranks to confront the Iraqi Army. [Anba]

 

The Norwegian Refugee Council estimates that over 10,000 people from Al-Qa’im and its periphery have fled to IDP camps near Ramadi, 350 km away. [Baghdadia]

 

Harbi published a map of the West Anbar Liberation Ops. [Harbi]

 

Rutba

Akashat

Thursday morning, the PMF and security forces​​ took control of​​ the road linking Al-Qa’im and Akashat. [Harbi]​​ 

 

Daesh says it conducted 2 suicide attacks on Iraqi Army convoys in the Akashat area. [ICDNOct26]​​ 

 

Anbar Desert

Thursday morning, Anbar Liberation Ops Commander Mahmoud Al-Fallahi announced the launch of the operation to clear the western Anbar desert. The operation is backed by the Coalition air force and the Iraqi Army. [Sumaria]

 

Anbar Provincial Council​​ member and spokesman​​ Eid Al-Karbuli says Daesh’s back locations in Al-Qa’im are desert areas stretching from Albu Kamal to Tadmur in Syria, and the desert extends to Rutba, where Daesh may hide. Iraqi officials warn Daesh may use rugged terrains close to urban areas to re-attack them in the future.​​ 

From Rawa, Daesh may hide in the Jazeera area, which is a vast desert between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. [Mada]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad,​​ Dujail)

Daesh says it destroyed an Iraqi forces’ Humvee with an IED near Dhuluiya in Balad District, killing or wounding the fighters inside. [DENOct26]

 

DIYALA

Thursday, the Diyala Police Command announced the arrest of 13 suspects on terrorist and criminal charges in various areas in Diyala. [Sumaria]

 

KIRKUK

Thursday,​​ a​​ leading​​ PUK​​ member​​ from Kirkuk,​​ Ala Talabani said that applying the law and protecting Kirkuk residents and their property is “an important factor” for re-stabilization.​​ She met with​​ the​​ Tigris Ops Commander​​ in Kirkuk, Fadel Imran, who said the Tigris Operation aims to protect civilian life in Kirkuk and to​​ encourage​​ co-existence among all groups. [Sumaria]

 

Kirkuk/Dibis

According to some sources, ROJ news reported, clashes resumed between the Peshmerga and the PMF in the vicinity of Burdah in Kirkuk, resulting in the deaths of nine people so far. [ROJ]

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Thursday, PMF Group 15 Commander, Ahmad Mahmoud Al-Warshan, called on the Yazidi residents who fled the Risala, Dughat, and Hatarah​​ villages in the Alqosh area north of Mosul to return to​​ their homes. Al-Warshan added that Arab fighters will be deployed in Mosul to protect the Yazidis and their property. [Karemlash]

 

Tal Afar

Hawar reports clashes broke out between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces, backed by the PMF, in Zummar and Rabi’a. [Hawar]

 

Thursday, the PMF and security forces seized the Al-Jazruniya village in Zummar “after expelling Masoud Barzani’s gangs,” according to a PMF Press​​ statement. [Ghad]​​ 

Thursday, the​​ PMF Press​​ said that Barzani’s “gangs” fired dozens of mortar shells on​​ locations in​​ Zummar. [PressIraq]

Al-Kulan special forces commander Mansour Barzani confirmed on Thursday that the Peshmerga destroyed 3 tanks, including an Abrams tank, belonging to the PMF and the Iraqi Army in Zummar and Rabi’a. [Rudaw]​​ [BasNews]

 

Badr Organization Secretary General, Hadi Al-Amiri​​ arrived in​​ Zummar.​​ [Karemlash]

 

Earlier on Wednesday, a security source reported that the federal forces took over the Rabi’a border crossing after the​​ YPG​​ units retreated towards Syria. [Karemlash]

 

Southern Ninewa

Makhmur

Thursday, a security source reported that the Peshmerga attacked federal forces with medium and heavy weapons in Makhmur. The source added that the Peshmerga attempted to take over Makhmur and clashes are still ongoing on the district’s outskirts. He also said hundreds of families fled the area due to the Peshmerga’s shelling. [Mawsleya]

ROJ news reports violent clashes broke out between the Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga forces, after the latter stormed part of the Makhmur District which had been recently taken over by the Iraqi forces. [ROJ] [Hawar] [ROJ]

 

KURDISTAN

Thursday, a security source reported that federal forces are about to seize the Faysh Khabur crossing, after seizing a big section of Makhmur and Zummar. There are currently major clashes between the federal forces and the Peshmerga taking place, which have led to the death of Wahid Bakuzi, an official in the​​ KDP​​ in Sinjar. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Thursday, the Peshmerga tried to stop the advance of Iraqi forces towards Faysh Khabur, leading to clashes with heavy weapons. The PMF announced that federal forces seized the Al-Mahmudiya village in Rabi’a from the Peshmerga and continued advancing toward Faysh Khabur. The statement added that the joint forces expelled the KDP Peshmerga from the village. ​​ [Mawsleya]

 

Thursday, the Kurdistan Security Council, announced the destruction of dozens of tanks and heavy equipment belonging to the Iraqi forces as they​​ allegedly​​ attacked the Peshmerga.​​ [Sumaria]

However, the Ministry of​​ Interior’s​​ Rapid Response spokesman, Abdulameer Al-Mahmadawi, denied Peshmerga claims about the destruction of dozens of federal forces tanks and military​​ vehicles, adding that the forces are advancing towards Faysh Khabur “easily.”​​ He added that there have been no battles “at the level of tanks and heavy equipment usage.” [Sumaria]

 

A​​ Daesh Daily​​ source in Erbil says that people are angry with the KRG and with the two long-standing ruling parties, KDP and PUK. People were angry first with the PUK after most of its Peshmerga left Kirkuk without a fight. But people also got angry with the KDP when it announced, 2 days after Iraqi forces captured Kirkuk, that it had a Coalition-sponsored agreement with the Iraqi government, signed just before the start of the Mosul liberation operations, to have the Peshmerga retreat to the pre-2014 lines. People and Peshmerga fighters, who were energized by the KDP media to fight, were angry because the KRG didn’t announce that agreement earlier. Kurdish media, especially the KDP’s, is being highly criticized because it completely misled people.​​ Deputy CoR Speaker, Gorran MP Aram Mohammed, accused Kurdish media of being “3-faced,” by reporting different versions of the same news stories, in Kurdish, Arabic, and English.​​ 

In addition, many people in Kurdistan are angry because they​​ are not​​ receiving​​ their government salaries, and now there seems to be no apparent solution. One argument from public employees is “If I am an Iraqi citizen then why doesn’t the [national] government pay me my salary?” ​​ There are reports that Baghdad is going to pay the salaries in Suleimaniya, i.e. PUK-Gorran​​ area, but that would only blow up the issue further.​​ As the argument goes, if Baghdad wants to keep the Kurds as citizens, then they must be treated like all other Iraqis. ​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Following his meeting with the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, in Geneva, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, on Thursday, that the “reign of the Assad family” in Syria is coming to an end, and “the only issue is how that can be brought about.”[EnabBaladi]

 

Thursday, the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, announced his intention to convene the eighth round of intraSyrian talks​​ in Geneva on the 28th​​ of November. He says they​​ will focus on two points: the constitution-making process and the requirement for international supervision of elections.​​ [Anadolu]

 

Russia’s​​ Permanent​​ Representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, said Russia’s use of the veto​​ two​​ days ago​​ in the Security Council​​ was not aimed at ending the work of the UN mission against the use of chemical weapons, adding “we are ready to continue the discussion.” [Anadolu]

 

The SDF media center revealed, in a statement, the outcome of the Turkish attacks on​​ northern Syria, during the period from the 16th​​ to the 25th​​ of October, confirming the killing of two Turkish soldiers during the clashes. [Hawar]

 

The Coalition says it conducted 7 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria, 6 in Deir Ez-Zor and 1 in Albu Kamal. [InherentResolve]​​ 

 

Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)

Hasaka

Sayamind Othman, Manager of Syria’s Suwaidiya​​ border crossing, said, on Thursday that one civilian was killed and five others were injured in​​ northern Syria, including members of the Asayesh, in an artillery shelling by the Iraqi forces near the Suwaidiya border crossing, located in Hasaka, due to the ongoing clashes taking place near Al-Waleed crossing border on the Iraqi side. [Qasioun]​​  [ROJ]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city

Hawar reports that after Daesh had captured Raqqa’s Finance Directorate, it turned it into the so-called “Islamic Court,” in which all the sentences,​​ including​​ amputation and​​ execution,​​ were carried out. The Directorate of Finance was initially headed by “Abu Ali Al-Sharei,” a resident of Al-Karama town​​ near​​ Raqqa, who was killed in​​ a​​ Russian airstrike in Raqqa,​​ and then​​ by Ismail Al-Masry,​​ who was killed in a Coalition airstrike on the same building. ​​ [Hawar]

 

Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)

Afrin/Azaz/Al-Bab/ Manbij/Jarabulus

In a statement to Enab Baladi on Thursday, Abu Uqba, a security​​ official in​​ a​​ Turkey-allied militia organization,​​ said that security personnel in Jarabulus arrested the Daesh leader​​ there,​​ Abdullah Khalaf Al-Ali,​​ on Wednesday. [EnabBaladi]

 

Aleppo/Idlib

Hussein Mortada,​​ a reporter​​ with the​​ Iranian​​ Al-Alam news channel​​ and​​ close to the Syrian government, claimed that taking over Abu Al-Dhuhur military airport, east of Idlib, is part of the​​ Astana agreement. Syrian anti-government opposition sources, along with Turkish reports, confirmed that the Turkish army has recently visited Abu Al-Dhuhur and Taftanaz military airports, in preparation for establishing a Turkish military base on both of them. [Qasioun]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Wednesday, Syrian forces, backed by the Al-Qalamoun Shield militia, took over the Shahatiyah​​ village, without any resistance from Daesh,​​ thus​​ coming​​ into​​ a direct contact line with Tahrir Al-Sham on the outskirts of the villages of Shahatiyah​​ and Jubb Abyad in the eastern rural areas of Hama, according to Syrian government media sources. [Qasioun]

 

Homs

In a statement posted on its official Twitter account Wednesday, Jaish Maghawir Al-Thawra, a US-backed Syrian opposition group, threatened to respond to any trespassing​​ over its territorial boundaries, after Syrian forces recently attempted to capture the vicinity of the Al-Tanaf border crossing, controlled by Jaish Maghawir Al-Thawra, but they have withdrawn due to US threats. [Qasioun]

 

in a statement released on Wednesday, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria said the US and some armed groups are obstructing the organizing of​​ safe passage for displaced Syrians in the Al-Ruqban​​ displacement​​ camp as well as the delivery of international humanitarian assistance to them. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

Syrian Army offensive

A SANA correspondent in Deir Ez-Zor said that during the past few hours, Syrian army units have entirely captured the Al-Sina’a neighborhood in Deir Ez-Zor city after violent clashes with Daesh, in which many Daesh members were killed​​ and Daesh fortified positions destroyed. [SyriaNow]

Daesh says it stopped a Syrian Army attack on Daesh positions in Hay Al-Sina’a in Deir Ez-Zor city on Thursday, killing or wounding several soldiers and destroying a BMP armored vehicle. [ICDNOct26]​​ 

 

Media sources close to the Syrian government announced on Thursday the Syrian forces’ control of Hawija Saqar​​ on the Euphrates​​ after fierce fighting with Daesh. [Qasioun]

 

Syrian government media announced that​​ Tha’er​​ Ismail, leader of the Hassan-Tiger militia, was killed in a battle against Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor on Wednesday. [EnabBaladi]

 

Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army T55 tank with a rocket west of the T2 Station. [DENOct26]

 

SDF offensive

The SDF captured Al-Biyada village in Deir Ez-Zor. [Hawar]

 

The SDF​​ captured​​ Daesh-controlled Rabida village and parts of Jadid Akaidat village​​ east of Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

In a statement to Qasioun, the official spokeswoman for the SDF’s Al-Jazeera Storm Campaign in Deir Ez-Zor, Lailawa Al-Abdullah, said the SDF has engaged in fierce battles with the Syrian forces near Al-Jufra village, east of Deir Ez-Zor. The SDF simultaneously foiled a Daesh attack on the Al-Jufra train station, killing​​ 11 Daesh members, destroying​​ some armored vehicles,​​ and seizing​​ others.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Mayadin

Daesh says it destroyed a Syrian Army bulldozer with a rocket near Al-Rahba Castle, southwest of Mayadin city. [A3maq]

 

Albu Kamal

Sources say Syrian forces launched a military operation against Daesh in Albu Kamal. [IkhNews]

 

Wednesday, the SDF advanced to 17​​ km​​ (10 miles)​​ from the Syrian-Iraqi border, after it took over the Tanak oil field, reportedly under an agreement with the tribal leaders in the region,​​ which led to Daesh’s withdrawal from​​ a​​ large area north of the Euphrates River.​​ [Qasioun]​​ Tanak is southeast of the Al-Omar oilfield captured earlier by SDF and is likewise a high-producing field.​​ 

Wednesday, Daesh withdrew, with all its light and heavy arms, from the​​ area​​ east of Deir Ez-Zor, towards Albu Kamal, reportedly following a secret agreement between the SDF and tribal leaders in the region. [Qasioun]

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Daesh says its snipers killed a Tahrir Al-Sham member in the Yarmouk Camp on Wednesday. [A3maq]

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

Lebanon

A sanctions package was approved yesterday in the US House of Representatives against people and governments that provide financial and military support to the Lebanese Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc responded, considering the sanctions “an attempt to subjugate Lebanon,” adding “the financial sanctions law is a blatant interference in internal affairs and violation of national sovereignty and an unacceptable targeting of the Lebanese people.” [Anadolu]

 

Yemen

Maj. Earl Brown, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command said​​ that​​ U.S. forces are supporting ongoing counter-terrorism operations in Yemen against​​ Daesh​​ and AQAP, in coordination with the government of Yemen,​​ to degrade the groups’ ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to hold territory seized from the legitimate government.​​ 

He said that a​​ new round of airstrikes in Yemen by American drones killed at least 9 Daesh​​ fighters​​ who​​ were riding in two vehicles in western Yemen, about halfway between the capital, Sana’a and the coastal city of Aden.

The U.S. military said so far this month, it has killed over 60​​ Daesh​​ fighters in Yemen.[FoxNews]

 

North Africa

Libya

Libyan National Army Spokesman, Brigadier General Ahmed Al-Mesmari confirmed the attack on the gate of the 152nd​​ brigade south of Ajdabiya city in eastern Libya. At 4​​ pm on Wednesday an armed group carried out a surprise attack at the battalion headquarters resulting in the death of two soldiers, the wounding of three others, and the seizure of an armed vehicle. Mesmari said the attackers fled southwest and that the attack bears the hallmarks of​​ a​​ Daesh attack. [AlArab]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

Nigeria

Daesh says it attacked Nigerian Army units in Saso town and captured 4 vehicles. [A3maq]

 

France

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb revealed that more than 240 people have returned to France from combat areas in Syria and Iraq since 2012. Collomb said France is fully addressing the issue of returnees, noting the agreement signed between France and Turkey to control the flow of migrants.​​ This​​ allows​​ France​​ to closely monitor those returning from battlefields in Syria and Iraq who could commit attacks in France. [Arabi21]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

Daesh publishes the 103rd​​ issue of its Naba​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh publishes reports about its military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and other countries. It also publishes an infographic about its attacks in Iraq during the last Hijri (lunar) year. It says it killed or wounded 23,580 “Shia, Peshmerga, and Sahwa,” including 12,595 killed only in the Ninewa-north Salahuddin​​ area. It also says​​ it​​ conducted 679 suicide attacks​​ and destroyed 4,025 vehicles. In this issue also, Daesh publishes a story of one of its (allegedly) killed terrorists, a Bengali software specialist who lived, studied, and married in Australia. Daesh repeated this week its calls for women to join its “jihad.” In an article, Daesh says its structure is as strong as the International Coalition, and much stronger than it was after Sahwa forces were formed in Iraq. It says it recruited many young people, and there are many jihadis joining it from all over the world. It says it sees the results of the battles differently. It says its enemies will fight each other after they think Daesh got weakened. It also says its enemies know that the fighting in the next step will be much harder than direct battles. [ICDNOct26]  ​​ ​​​​ 

 

 

October 25, 2017

 

Al-Qa’im District (CJTFOIR)

 

 

 

TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi launches northwest Anbar campaign. [..]

Soufan Center cites danger from Daesh returnees returning to home countries. [..]

Al-Abadi concludes eventful visits to Tehran, Ankara. [..]

Media spokesman says Masoud Barzani will step down at the end of October. [..]

Iraq leaders reject KRG offer to “freeze” referendum results. [..]

Daesh​​ kills​​ two mukhtars, 5 IFP​​ officers​​ in north, west​​ Mosul. [..]

Ninewa​​ Christian militia leader blasts Peshmerga​​ occupation of Christian areas. [..]

Daesh kills several PMF fighters near Hatra. [..]

Gorran “study” blames KRG’s major internal problems on Barzani. [..] ​​ 

Syria

Syrian leader demands Turks end “occupation” of Idlib immediately. [..]

Tahrir Al-Sham claims major victory over Daesh in rural Hama villages. [..]

SDF says Syrian Army, Daesh are both attacking its positions. [..]

Spain

Daesh threatens Lionel Messi. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL​​ NEWS

 

Late-breaking story.​​ Prime Minister Abadi announced Thursday morning the start of the Al-Qa’im and Rawa liberation operation. [Sumaria] [See earlier stories under Al-Qa’im below]

The US based think tank, the Soufan Center, says 33 countries have reported the return of citizens who left to fight with Daesh in Iraq and Syria. It is estimated that of the 850 people who left the UK to fight with Daesh, half have returned. The Soufan Center estimates that about 5,600 Daesh fighters have returned home to 33 countries. That number includes 400 of the 3,417 fighters who joined Daesh from Russia, 760 of the 3,244 from Saudi Arabia, 800 of the 2,926 from Tunisia, and 271 of the 1,910 from France. “Although there is disagreement over the threat that returning foreign fighters may present to their countries of residence or origin​​ . . .​​ it is inevitable that some will remain committed to violent ‘jihad.’” The Soufan Center warns that as Daesh shrinks in Iraq and Syria, Daesh leaders will increasingly look to overseas supporters to “keep the brand alive.” [BBC] [Forat]

 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, announced that the International Coalition is working to deprive Daesh of other sanctuaries outside of Iraq and Syria. “The focus of the Coalition remains on Iraq and Syria” he said, adding that the main goal is to cut off links between terrorist groups and prevent them from spreading to other regions. [Xendan]

Iraqi Prime Minister​​ Haider Al-Abadi pledged in an interview with the​​ Wall Street Journal​​ to disarm​​ any​​ Shia​​ militias​​ that refuse to​​ work​​ under his control, saying “the armed Shia​​ factions that refuse to come under Iraq’s control will be disarmed after defeating Daesh; we will not allow Iraq to become a battleground for the US and Iran.” He added, “we would like to work with you, but please do not bring your problems inside Iraq, you can sort them out anywhere else.”
Al-Abadi added that “the US Air Force will not be required after Daesh’s defeat in West Iraq along the Syrian border.” Al-Abadi said he believes “Iraq will become an important security and economic partner for its regional allies after the more than threeyearlong struggle to defeat Daesh.” [Rudaw]​​ [NNC]

 

Al-Abadi in Turkey

In a joint press conference with PM Haider Al-Abadi on Wednesday, Erdogan said that the tripartite efforts by Turkey, Iran, and Iraq against the Kurdistan referendum have yielded positive results. Erdogan added that Turkey is open to any cooperation with Iraq regarding the oil pipelines between the two countries and border crossings. [SotIraq]

During his meeting with Al-Abadi, Turkey’s​​ President Recep Erdogan expressed his county’s desire to expand Iraqi-Turkish relations and support the steps of the Iraqi government in the face of the repercussions of the Kurdistan referendum. Erdogan called for activating a strategic cooperation council between the two countries to expand Iraqi-Turkish relations. [ROJ]

Erdogan stressed Turkey’s readiness to cooperate with the Iraqi government against terrorist organizations that pose a danger to the security and safety of both countries. [Anadolu]

He added Turkey also stands by Iraqi unity and imposing federal authority. In his statement Erdogan said Turkey is willing to build a joint dam to solve water shortages. He also expressed concern over the presence of the PKK and other terrorist groups in Kurdistan. [Buratha]

Prior to the meeting between PM Al-Abadi and President Erdogan, Saudi​​ Asharq Al-Awsat​​ newspaper claimed on Wednesday that Ankara would ask PM Haider Al-Abadi to forbid the PMFs from entering Kirkuk, Sinjar, or Makhmur. ​​ [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday, Turkish PM Binali Yıldırım said Turkey has taken a number of precautions against the Kurdistan referendum at the request of the Iraqi government. [Buratha]

Yıldırım described the steps taken by Iraqi PM Haider Al-Abadi regarding the Kurdistan referendum as “brave.” Yıldırım called on the KRG to back away from the referendum, and he emphasized the importance of the federal government taking over Kirkuk. [Sumaria]

 

Al-Abadi in Iran

Wednesday, Al-Abadi arrived in Iran as part of his regional tour to rally support for Iraq’s reconstruction and to coordinate efforts to face down the Kurdistan independence referendum. [Anadolu]

 

The border crossing between eastern Kurdistan and Iran opened on Wednesday after it was closed by the Iranian government following the referendum. [ROJ]

 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported the​​ flight​​ of 60,000 people from Kirkuk Province and another 35,000 people from northern Salahuddin Province since clashes broke out between the federal forces and the Peshmerga. [Anadolu]

 

KRG independence referendum and aftermath

US State Department​​ spokesperson Heather Nauert welcomed the Kurdistan Region’s decision to stop armed clashes, saying in a statement on Twitter “we welcome​​ Kurdistan Regional Government statement declaring immediate ceasefire & halt to military ops. Calm & dialogue are steps forward.”​​ Nauert called for stopping the violence and engaging Erbil and Baghdad in a dialogue.​​ She added the US is already working to achieve dialogue and is watching the situation closely.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [BasNews]

 

In a​​ New York Times​​ article, Senator John McCain said the use of US-provided weapons against the Kurdish people is unacceptable. McCain expressed concern over the PMF attacks against the Kurds in Kirkuk. [BasNews] [NYTimes]

 

US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Iran has done a “very good job…of infiltrating and subverting Iraqi state institutions and functions, as well as creating these militias that lay outside the Iraqi government’s control.” He said facing Iran and its proxies in the region is one of President Trump’s priorities. [Rudaw]

 

Kifah​​ Mahmoud, media adviser to Masoud Barzani,​​ said Barzani’s term will end in late October. Mahmoud denied recent reports that Barzani had submitted his resignation, saying “there is no such thing as resignation and nothing official has been issued from the presidency or from the government.” [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ A “philosophical” question: How do you resign from a position you don’t legally hold?

 

National Alliance CoR member, Haider Al-Fawadi, called on the federal government to “close the door to dialogue” with Barzani until the referendum’s results are canceled, not frozen. This comes after the KRG announced on Wednesday the freezing of the referendum’s results. The KRG also called for an immediate ceasefire and an open dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

Wednesday in Baghdad, the State of Law Alliance confirmed that the federal government would reject the KRG initiative and called for the formation of a technocratic government in Kurdistan to supervise the elections. [Rudaw]

Wednesday, State of the Law CoR representative, Aliya Nassif, called on the federal government to not negotiate with “the rebels in northern Iraq” until they cancel the referendum’s results, while describing the events in Makhmur as the “most heinous form of betrayal.” She said the freezing of the referendum’s results is just a way to waste time and maintain the status quo. [Sumaria]

 

The Coalition says it 5 conducted airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq, 2 in or near Qayara, 2 in or near Baiji, and 1 in or near Al-Qa’im. [InherentResolve]

BAGHDAD

Security-related incidents reported

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Wednesday, a police source reported that​​ a Tribal PMF was killed and​​ two​​ were wounded in an armed attack in northern Baghdad. The source explained that unknown assailants opened fire on a tribal PMF unit on duty in the Al-Hora area. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh says it killed a policeman in his house in the Al-Salman area, near Tarmiya, on Tuesday. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Wednesday, security units arrested 2 Daesh members in Rashidiya in North Baghdad. One of them was a suicide bombers’ transporter in “Wilayat Baghdad.” According to the Baghdad Operations Command, these arrests were made after confessions by previously detained suspects. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

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

Wednesday, Ghad reported that a terrorist was arrested in the Dora area in southern Baghdad. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Wednesday, Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) announced on their official Facebook page that​​ its​​ security teams found an ammunition hideout in the Al-Rakoub area in southern Baghdad containing 4 locally-manufactured rockets and 13 hand grenades. The BOC also announced the arrest of a suspect on terrorism charges in Majid in Mahmudiya. [BOC Facebook Page]​​ 

 

West​​ (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Wednesday, the Military Intelligence​​ Service​​ announced the arrest of a terrorist in the Zuhur area of the Iskan neighborhood in west Baghdad. [Ghad]​​ 

 

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

Total IED incidents reported:  ​​​​ 0

 

ANBAR

The Military Intelligence​​ Service​​ announced on Wednesday that it seized​​ two​​ vehicles and arrested the drivers,​​ who were planning to smuggle goods to Daesh in the Anbar Desert. [Ghad]

 

Falluja

Wednesday, a source in the Falluja Police in Anbar reported that the explosions​​ heard​​ in southern Falluja resulted from the EOD’s controlled destruction of IEDs and mines left behind by Daesh. The security units continue to defuse Daesh remnants in civilian houses and other infrastructure in the southern section of Falluja. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Hit/Haditha

Daesh says it destroyed an Iraqi Army Humvee with an IED at the entrance of the Hit Camp, west of Hit city. [A3maq]

 

Anah

Daesh says it destroyed a Humvee carrying Iraqi soldiers with a rocket south of Anah. [A3maq]

 

Al-Qa’im

As reported under the National News, above, the northwest Anbar liberation campaign has just begun. There were several important news reports even before this announcement

 

The IWMC announced on Wednesday that Iraqi Air Force planes dropped hundreds of thousands of leaflets on Al-Qa’im and Rawa in anticipation of their liberation from Daesh. The leaflets contain advice to the residents and warnings to Daesh. The leaflets told the residents to stay away from enemy locations and for all Iraqis to surrender their weapons and head to any house in Al-Qa’im raising a white flag as soon as the liberation forces arrive. [Sumaria]​​ [ROJ]

 

Wednesday, the Mayor of Rutba District, Emad Al-Dulaimi, says that, according to civilian accounts from people who escaped Daesh, Daesh has mostly evacuated Rawa and Al-Qa’im in western Anbar. [Sputnik]​​ [Baghdadia]

 

The head of the Security Committee in the Anbar Provincial Council, Na’eem Al-Ka’oud, said Daesh’s numbers in its last strongholds in Rawa and Al-Qa’im have decreased due to their escaping to Syria and to the desert following airstrikes by the Coalition, Iraqi Air Force, and Iraqi Army​​ Aviation. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

The Prime Minister’s announcement Thursday morning may have surprised a few people. On Wednesday, a security source had reported that the “zero hour” would likely be announced on November 1st​​ to liberate Rawa and Al-Qa’im.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

Also on Wednesday, PMF​​ deputy chairman​​ Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis announced the finalization of the preparations to liberate Al-Qa’im. He said PMF forces were stationed 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Akashat. [Rudaw]

 

Al-Suqoor​​ Intelligence Cell​​ claimed credit​​ Tuesday​​ for​​ airstrikes targeting 8 Daesh sites in Al-Qa’im and Deir Ez-Zor in Syria, killing 25 Daesh terrorists. ​​ [SNG]

 

Wednesday, Iraqi Army Aviation destroyed 5 Daesh vehicles in Al-Qa’im, killing everyone in them, according to a security source. [Baghdadia]

 

Wednesday morning, Anbar Police Chief Hadi Razij Kassar announced the mobilization of 4 groups​​ from​​ the Anbar Emergency Police to​​ help​​ liberate and​​ to​​ take control of Rawa and Al-Qa’im in cooperation with the Iraqi Army and other security forces. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

Wednesday, a source from the Salahuddin Police reported the arrest of a terrorist and the seizure of his gun after he shot a civilian dead in the​​ Arba’in​​ neighborhood in Tikrit. According to the source, the terrorist also had a suicide belt,​​ which was defused​​ by​​ security​​ units.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

PMF​​ leader Jabbar Al-Mamouri announced there are 150-200 Daesh gunmen hiding in the Mtaibija area on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin. He​​ warned​​ of infiltration into the liberated areas of the​​ two​​ provinces. [Sumaria]

 

Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)

Deputy​​ Chairman​​ of the​​ Tooz​​ District Council,​​ Ali Al-Husseini,​​ announced on Wednesday the​​ departure​​ of 1,500 families​​ from Tuz Khurmatu​​ after the imposition of​​ federal control​​ in Kirkuk on October 16th. Al-Husseini said that the majority of people who fled were not people​​ from​​ Tuz Khurmatu, but were from parties that sought to make​​ demographic changes​​ to the area. [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ There is a lot of politics to this. Tuz Khurmatu is traditionally a Turkmen city, but also has a lot of Kurdish residents and recently has become Kurdish-led. The Tooz District of which it is part was previously within Kirkuk before Saddam changed boundaries and moved it into​​ Salahuddin. The Kurds want it back in Kirkuk, in the expectation that it will then become part of Kurdistan when Kurdistan acquires the Kirkuk District. The Kurds have encouraged Kurds to move there, with that goal in mind. The Turkmen perfectly understand this plan. This is why there are ethnic tensions in Tuz Khurmatu.

 

DIYALA

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

Wednesday, a local source in Diyala said that a “dangerous” wanted suspect on terrorism charges was killed in a trap set up by a Joint Security unit in the southern suburbs of Qara Tapa. According to the source, the security unit shot the suspect as he drove his vehicle and refused to stop.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Wednesday, Tigris Ops Commander Mizhar Al-Azzawi announced that a Joint Security Force arrested 5 suspects on charges of terrorism while carrying out searches in various areas of Diyala. He added that the EOD defused 2 IEDs on the outskirts of Jalawla. Al-Azzawi also said that the Joint Security Forces seized two ammunition and explosive material hideouts in the Hashimiyat and Al-Zor areas. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Daesh says it destroyed a car carrying Iraqi soldiers with an IED near Sadiya, killing or wounding the soldiers inside. Daesh says one of the wounded is an Iraqi Army lieutenant-colonel. [A3maq] [DENOct25]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

According to a security source in Kirkuk, 6 unidentified bodies were found in north and west Kirkuk. According to the source, the bodies were blindfolded, the hands were tied, and they had gunshot wounds. [Sumaria]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad, etc.)

An official in the PMF, Omid Kaka’i, said the Foj Al-Kaka’i group in the PMF will secure Daquq​​ District and be one of​​ the​​ formations in the Babelyoun Brigade of minority fighters​​ in the PMF. [Sumaria]

 

NINEWA

Wednesday, the Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced the return of 15,277 IDPs to their respective areas in Ninewa, and provided their basic needs while they were being transported. [Sumaria]

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif, etc.)

Wednesday, Babelyoun militia spokesman in Ninewa,​​ Colonel​​ Dhafer Louis, said the Peshmerga targeted Telisqof and the security forces in Ninewa with mortar shells, and confirmed that an operation has been launched to restore control of the town from the Peshmerga. Louis said the operation aims to regain control of Christian-majority areas, because these areas should be administered by Babelyoun and the federal forces. He said the Peshmerga “have nothing to do with Christian areas and should go back to KRG areas.” [Buratha]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ One would think from bombastic statements of recent days that Babelyoun is a big player in Ninewa. It is actually a small Christian militia that has been a minor player in the PMFs, working primarily though not always in Christian areas.​​ However, such statements do​​ reflect the expressed views​​ of other Christian leaders caught between Baghdad and Erbil​​ in the competition to control​​ the Nineveh Plain area. Most though not all tend to favor staying in Iraq.​​ ​​ This makes the Peshmerga occupation of minority areas an issue. Whatever the regrets about the aggressive federal moves in disputed areas, for many Christians this is a welcome development.

 

Mosul

North Mosul

Wednesday, Commander Hamza Azhar from the Ninewa Intelligence reported that unknown assailants killed two​​ mukhtars​​ in separate attacks in north Mosul within 24 hours. The assailants killed Ali Hassan, the mukhtar of Rashidiya in northwest Mosul, in his house Tuesday night, and Adel Salman, the mukhtar of Al-Arabi in north Mosul, also in an attack at his house. [BasNews]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Killing Mukhtars is the first step by Daesh, and the AQI before that, to cause chaos.​​ These local officials play an important security role because of their deep knowledge of their areas.​​ One of their jobs is to report strangers. ​​ ​​ ​​ 

 

West Mosul

Wednesday, an IFP source reported that 5 IFP members were killed in an attack by 7 Daesh members on an IFP checkpoint in the Al-Rifa’i neighborhood. The Daesh members, who had come out of a tunnel, fled the scene to an unknown location. [BasNews]​​ 

 

Wednesday, a security source in Ninewa reported that 3 civilians (a father and 2 children) from one family were killed by an IED left behind by Daesh while they were cleaning their house before returning to it, in the Al-Islah Al-Zera’i neighborhood in west Mosul. [Sumaria]​​ [Youm7]​​ [SotIraq]

 

Tal Afar

Wednesday, Ninewa Provincial Council member Bunyan Al-Jarba announced that Iraqi forces regained control of the Rabi’a border crossing with Syria after the PKK members​​ who had moved into the area​​ retreated into Syria. [Sumaria]​​ [Anadolu]

 

Wednesday, Captain Obeida Saleh Al-Sharif of the IAF reported that 12 helicopters arrived at the Zummar base northwest Mosul to support the armed forces. Al-Sharif added that if the Peshmerga attacks the Iraqi forces,​​ the IAF will consider the Peshmerga as an enemy target. [Baghdadia]​​ 

A​​ Turkish​​ source​​ also reported that​​ 12 helicopter gunships arrived at the base to support armed forces units in the disputed areas. [Anadolu]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says Daesh killed several PMF fighters in an attack near Hatra.​​ 

 

KURDISTAN

Tuesday, the PUK held a meeting, chaired by Secretary General Kosrat Rasul Ali, also the KRG Vice President, to discuss the events in Kirkuk. The PUK announced the formation of a committee of experts on the Kurdistan referendum and the responses it received. [SotIraq]

 

Wednesday, the Gorran Research Center published a new study saying that the KRG’s monopoly over the administration of Kurdistan affects all facets of the Kurdistan residents’ lives and is a source of economic, political, and social problems. The study says that Barzani instigated the problems in order to maintain his position. [Buratha]

 

Kurdistan parliament member Salar Mahmoud said on Wednesday that “the decision to extend parliamentary sessions has become an undesirable tradition in the Kurdistan Region,” pointing out that “the decision to extend the work of Parliament began with its first session in the 1990s.” [Sumaria]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Al-Muthanna

Al-Muthanna police arrested 2 people on charges of terrorism at a security check point. They are suspected to be members of Daesh’s “Wilaya Ninewa. [Mawazin]​​ [Baghdadia]

 

Dhi Qar

A security source says a police officer arrested a man on terrorism charges on Tuesday in Dhi Qar.​​ [Mawazin]

 

Wednesday, a unit in the​​ Maythem​​ Al-Tammar in Dhi Qar arrested a suspect on charges of​​ being a Daesh​​ member in Shirqat. [Baghdadia]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

During a speech at the “Economic Forum in the Aegean Region” on Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that the political vacuum in Syria and Iraq, accompanied by the presence of terrorist organizations, has blocked the future vision of the region in both the medium and long terms. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Wednesday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad called on Turkey to withdraw its “occupation” troops from Idlib province.​​ During a meeting​​ with​​ Ali Akbar Velayati,​​ Adviser​​ to​​ Iran’s Supreme Leader​​ Ayatollah​​ Ali​​ Khamenei, Mekdad described the Turkish forces in Idlib as an “occupying force” and said “Turkey must withdraw its troops from Idlib Province immediately and respect the agreement that was reached in the Astana negotiations.” [Arabi21]​​ [Dorar]

 

However, the chief spokesman for Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia does not care whether Ankara made a deal with Tahrir Al-Sham in the establishment of a tension reduction zone. He says Turkey is responsible for the security of the area. [Dorar]​​ Peskov said that Turkey coordinates actions in Syria with Russia, being a member state in the Astana agreements. “The Turkish side is responsible for ensuring security in the de-escalation zone.” [EnabBaladi]

 

Wednesday, 8 Al-Qaeda ideologues launched an initiative for reconciliation between Tahrir Al-Sham, Jaish Al-Ahrar and Qaedat Al-Jihad, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, in Syria, in which they called on all​​ parties to turn to “Muslim scholars and give them the authority to resolve the dilemmas and conflicts.” [EnabBaladi]

 

The Coalition says it conducted 2 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria, near Deir Ez-Zor. [InherentResolve]

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

 

Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)

Afrin/Azaz/Al-Bab/ Manbij/Jarabulus

Turkish Police Academy trained 5,631 Syrian policemen at five different schools in Turkey with the aim of providing safety and security in the liberated region where the Euphrates Shield Operation was held as well as Azaz District in northwestern Syria, a police source told Anadolu Agency Wednesday. [Dorar]

 

Aleppo/Idlib/Deir Hafer

SOHR reports that the Turkish Army targeted locations in the eastern and western rural areas of Ain al-Arab (Kobane), including the villages of Kosk and Ashmeh, with medium and heavy machine guns. [SyriaHR]

 

Central and West (Homs, Hama,​​ etc.)

Hama

Iba’a, the Tahrir Al-Sham-linked news agency, published an infographic, showing that Tahrir Al-Sham had recaptured more than 25 villages and hills from Daesh in the eastern rural areas of​​ Hama, killed more than 170 Daesh members, wounded more than 200, and captured 10 Daesh members. [Qasioun]

 

Wednesday morning, Russian aircraft reportedly launched airstrikes on several villages and towns in the eastern rural areas of Hama, including the towns of Al-Hawiya, Sarha Al-Shimaliya, Sarha Al-Janoubia, and Al-Janiniya. [Qasioun]

 

SOHR reports a child was killed and others were injured in intensified Syrian airstrikes on different locations in the northeastern rural areas of Hama. [SyriaHR]

 

Homs​​ (No reports)

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor

SDF offensive

In a statement released on Tuesday, the SDF accused the Syrian forces and Daesh of carrying out parallel attacks on its locations, northeast of Deir Ez-Zor. The SDF added “Daesh and the Syrian forces carried out parallel offensives at 17:30 (Damascus local time) on our positions in Jufra center and Jabila village respectively, but the SDF fighters foiled the offensives and eliminated 9 Daesh members.” [Qasioun]

Under the cover of the Syrian forces’ tank shells, Daesh launched several attacks on the SDF positions in the vicinity of the​​ Jufra station, 28 km (17 miles) northeast of Deir Ez-Zor. [Hawar]

 

Daesh says it destroyed an SDF car with an IED southeast of​​ SDF-held​​ Al-Sur. [A3maq]

 

Syrian Army offensive

Syria HR news reported that 24 civilians were killed by a missile fired from a military aircraft, believed to be Russian, in Al-Qasour neighborhood, in Deir Ez-Zor city. [SyriaHR]

 

Wednesday, the Syrian forces captured the Al-Sina’a (industrial) neighborhood in Deir Ez-Zor city, according to the Syrian Central Military Media. [EnabBaladi]

 

SOHR reports clashes continue between the Syrian forces and Daesh in the industrial district and in Hawija Saqar on the Euphrates. [SyriaHR]

Daesh says it killed 22 Syrian soldiers and destroyed a bulldozer in Hawija Saqar. [DENOct25]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Yesterday, Daesh gave the same​​ report​​ but said it was in Hay Al-Sina’a, in Deir Ez-Zor city, just across the river from Hawija Saqar. ​​ 

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Hamima said that “Russian experts from the International Mine Action Center continue mine clearance operation in liberated quarters of Deir Ez-Zor,” adding that “over the last 24 hours, the engineers screened 36 hectares of the city and its suburbs, 9 km of roads, 59 buildings for explosives. In total, 906 explosive devices have been defused.” [SyriaNow]

 

SOHR reports that clashes continued between the Syrian forces and Daesh in different locations in Deir Ez-Zor city, accompanied by Syrian forces’ continuous shelling on the city. [SyriaHR]

 

Wednesday, the Syrian forces captured the region south of the T2 second station, in the southern rural areas of Deir Ez-Zor, after battles with Daesh, according to Syrian Government media sources. A number of Daesh members were killed and wounded, according to the same sources. [Qasioun]

Daesh says it destroyed 3 Syrian Army machine gun mounted vehicles with rockets near the T2 Station. Daesh issues a video of one of the attacks. [A3maq]

 

Mayadin

Qasioun reports that a new contact line was created between the SDF and the Syrian forces on the outskirts of Shuhail town in the eastern rural areas of Deir Ez-Zor, after the SDF captured Shuhail, in addition to parts of Basira village and its vicinity, which makes the Euphrates River a dividing line between​​ the two​​ sides. [Qasioun]

 

SOHR learned that 10 members of the Syrian forces were killed and 8 others were injured, including at least two officers, in the explosion of a Daesh booby-trapped car on the outskirts of Mayadin. [SyriaHR]

Local sources report four Syrian Army soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in a land mine explosion near Mayadin. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Syrian Army and Russia were anxious to take Mayadin themselves and keep the SDF out. However, Daesh has a major presence and a big stake in Mayadin and seems to be fighting hard.

 

Albu Kamal

France’s Chief of​​ Staff​​ François Lecointre estimated that 7,000 Daesh fighters are on the Iraq-Syria border, which is due to see military operations soon. [Shafaaq]​​ [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Those Daesh fighters are not so much massing as retreating. They are now squeezed between the Iraqi forces moving into Al-Qa’im and the Syrian forces moving into Albu Kamal on the other side of the border.

 

South​​ 

Damascus/Rif Damashq​​ 

Daesh publishes photos of its attack on Aknaf Bait Al-Maqdis, an opposition group, in the Yarmouk Camp. [ICDNOct25]​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Middle East​​ 

Bahrain

Bahrain announced the names of 13 Yemenis​​ believed to be leaders and financiers of Daesh and Al-Qaeda. Bahrain has frozen their assets within Bahrain and​​ is​​ prohibiting Bahraini people from dealing with them. [Petra]

 

Yemen

A government source says 6 Daesh militants were killed by an unmanned drone, suspected to be American, in the Al-Bayda’ Governate in central Yemen. [SkyNews]

 

North Africa

Libya

Daesh attacked a Libyan National Army post south of Ajdabiya, killing ten soldiers. [SkyNews]

Spokesman for the Libyan National Army, Brigadier General Ahmed Al-Masmari, said 2 members of the Khalifa Khalafar militia (loyal to Daesh) were killed and 3 others were wounded south of Ajdabiya in an attack on a security post. [RaiMedia]

By another account, presumably the same incident,​​ Daesh units attacked Gate 60 where Brigade 152​​ was​​ stationed. The security gate was burned down and all of the Libyan troops there were killed.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

Daesh’s version says it attacked an LNA military barrier south of Ajdabiya, killing three soldiers, wounding another, destroying 3 vehicles, and capturing a machine gun mounted vehicle in addition to weapons and ammunition. [ICDNOct25] ​​ 

 

Tunisia

The National Guard arrested a man in Grombalia,​​ southeast of Tunis,​​ who confessed to adopting​​ the​​ takfir​​ ideology and uploading and downloading pictures and videos of terrorism and glorifying and inciting terrorism on social media. [Tunisien]

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

Spain

Daesh has threatened soccer player Lionel Messi in a new poster published by a media outlet affiliated with Daesh. The image reportedly shows Messi crying blood behind bars, and it has the phrases “You are fighting a state which does not know loss” and “just terrorism” in Arabic and English. [Rudaw]​​ 

 

Indonesia

An Indonesian Police spokesman said authorities arrested 9 men who were plotting a series of attacks on police positions and are suspected of having links to the Ansar Al-Dawla group,​​ which is loyal to Daesh. Anti-terrorism police are finding it​​ difficult to contain the recent increase in radicalization,​​ in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population. [Watan]