An Update On ISIS Activities

January 28, 2019

 

A red car parked in a parking lot

Description automatically generated

Tribal PMF Vehicle Destroyed by an IED in Tikrit (DD Jan 27)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Leader of the world’s Yazidis dies at 86. [..]

Ambassador Silliman honored on his last day in Iraq. [..]

Anti-American rhetoric continues in Baghdad. [..]

Daesh IED, other​​ attacks in Shirqat kill​​ at least​​ 8​​ police​​ personnel, wound at least 16.​​ [..]

Saudi report says Turkey has 20 military bases in northern Dahuk, Erbil. [..]

1 killed, at least 10 wounded as Kurdish protestors storm Turkish military camp in Dahuk.​​ [..]

 

Syria

Der Spiegel​​ report says Russian, Iranian troops clashed with each other in Hama. [..]

Large Shammar tribe working with US on major cross-border security role. [..]

Youth gang attacks Daesh families at Al-Hawl IDP camp; 1 killed. [..]

Daesh members becoming good customers for motorcycle dealers. [..]

Daesh mass grave with 11 Syrian soldiers found near Tabaqa. [..]

Human Rights Watch slams Tahrir Al-Sham torture, other abuses in Idlib. [..]

SDF advancing on Daesh’s last few square kilometers in Albu Kamal.​​ [..]

Daesh resistance reported collapsing​​ I Albu Kamal; 288 killed​​ in 3 days. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Khalilzad reports progress in his negotiations with Taliban.​​ [..]

 President Ghani urges Taliban to start talks with Afghan government. [..]

Philippines:Daesh attack on Catholic cathedral kills at least 20 in Mindanao.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

In Memoriam

Mir Tahseen Bek, the leader of the world’s Yazidis, passed away in a hospital in Hanover, Germany. He was 86. [Hawar]

 

Corruption

On Monday, the​​ Iraq Press Agency​​ reported that the Iraqi Public Prosecutor’s Office referred the Director of Residences of the Ministry of Interior for investigation​​ over​​ allegations of administrative and financial corruption and helping terrorists to infiltrate the border with Syria. [IraqPress]​​ 

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Baghdadia​​ reported on Monday that Jazeera Operations Command is mobilizing its forces by the Anbar border with Syria to prevent Daesh members from infiltrating Iraq. [Baghdadia]

 

A Coalition statement on Saturday said that between January 13 and 21, the Coalition and “partner forces” had destroyed over 1,400 IEDs in Iraq.​​ [InherentResolve]

 

On Monday,​​ Arab Network​​ published a story wherein a humanitarian who had worked with people who have escaped Daesh since 2014 shares their stories. She said they have experienced horrible abuses,​​ including rape, torture, and witnessing murder and infanticide. [Baghdadia] [Arab]

 

The Central Criminal Court​​ in Al-Rusafa​​ sentenced 2 Daesh operatives to life imprisonment. 1 of them confessed to being a member of Daesh’s “police.” [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

On Monday, the office of Prime​​ Minister​​ Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi expressed its appreciation for US Ambassador Douglas Silliman’s work in Iraq​​ on​​ the occasion of the end of his term. Abd Ul-Mahdi received Silliman, as well as Special Envoy James Jeffery and Deputy Assistant Secretary Andrew Peek, for the occasion. [Sumaria]

The White House had previously announced Silliman’s imminent departure in November 2018; he is to be replaced by current Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller. [Kurdistan24]

 

Also see stories under Kurdistan regarding anti-Turkish protests in Dahuk.

 

Anti-American campaign

The head of Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq (AAH), Qais Al-Khazali, says that he expects a vote by the CoR to expel US forces from Iraq in the next few months, saying that if such forces would not comply, they would be expelled by force. The​​ AP​​ quoted him as saying that there was no reason for their presence following Daesh’s defeat in the country. He says a small team of advisors and trainers may stay, if so decided by a special committee. [Rudaw]

 

Former CoR MP Mishan Al-Jubouri says that US drones bombed Iraqi PMF positions in more than 1 location in the country, including Nukhaib and Thirthar​​ in Anbar, causing casualties. He says that the Iraqi government is keeping silent about the attack, adding that the Prime Minister cancelled orders to the PMF to enter Syrian territory. [Arabi21]

 

Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, says the presence of US forces is necessary to help Iraqi forces, in the interests of the country, as long as the Daesh threat is still present. He praised the ongoing cooperation with Baghdad, and expressed his support to Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi. [Mada]

 

BAGHDAD

Northeast​​ (Adhamiya, etc.)

A security source said that a person wanted on terrorism charges was arrested on Monday in Adhamiya. [Sumaria]

 

Southwest​​ (Rasheed, etc.)

On Monday, Baghdad Ops Command announced that it arrested 3 people, 1 of whom was a terrorist, in Saidiya. [Ghad]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Qasim Musleh, Anbar Ops Commander for the PMF, says that his forces are ready to cross the Iraq-Syria border and clear the border areas of Daesh presence, and end Daesh’s attempts to use the border to cross into Iraq. [Qasioun]

 

Ramadi

A security source in Anbar says that 3 policemen were arrested for their involvement in the robbery of 100 tons of railway iron in the Kilo 5 area of Ramadi. The 3 were planning to sell the iron in local markets when they were arrested. [BasNews]

 

Daesh said it killed three intelligence​​ operatives, including two officers, and stole their vehicle on Friday in​​ an​​ ambush west of Ramadi city. [A3maq] [ICDNJan27]

 

Daesh said it captured​​ and​​ then murdered a National Security Service “spy” on Friday,​​ west of Ramadi city. [ICDNJan26]​​ On Monday,​​ Daesh published​​ photos of the murder. [ICDNJan28]

 

Hit/Haditha

The Haditha​​ District​​ Council says that Daesh​​ killed​​ 2 men from the​​ District​​ as​​ they were collecting mushrooms in the western desert. A third man was kidnapped. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it severely wounded an Iraqi Army Intelligence member with a sticky IED on Friday in his shop in Al-Mualimeen neighborhood, in Hit city. [ICDNJan26]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Security and medical sources say 2 policemen were killed and 8 wounded in an explosion that targeted a bus​​ transporting police to work​​ near Shirqat​​ on Sunday. When​​ on-duty​​ policemen​​ responded to the initial explosion and​​ headed to the location, another bomb went off, killing​​ 2​​ more​​ policemen​​ and wounding​​ another​​ 3. [Mada]

The Iraqi Media Center said on Sunday that 4 people were killed and 10 others wounded in 2 IED explosions, one at the Shirqat Intersection and one in Masihili village. The center said some of the victims were security​​ personnel. [KUNA]​​ 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed two policemen and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Masihili area, in Shirqat. [ICDNJan27]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 4 Salahuddin Police media correspondents were killed and 6 others wounded when an IED exploded on their civilian vehicle near the Hawi Kan’ous area. The source said when ambulances arrived, another IED exploded, killing 1 civilian and severely wounding others.​​ 

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed four policemen and destroyed their vehicle with an IED in the Sakaniya​​ village​​ area. [A3maq]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a civilian was killed and another severely wounded on Sunday when a Daesh leftover IED exploded near Al-Shabali village. The source said the desert around the village still has hundreds of IEDs.​​ 

 

Tikrit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a tribal PMF fighter was killed and 3 others wounded on Sunday when a roadside IED destroyed their pickup​​ truck​​ in Tikrit city.​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded IFP​​ personnel​​ and damaged their armored personnel carrier with an IED on Friday on the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk. [ICDNJan26]

 

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a group of Daesh terrorists kidnapped 3 PMF fighters at a fake checkpoint near Yathrib on Saturday afternoon. The source said the bodies of 2 of the fighters were found later, having been tortured and shot, in the desert near Samarra.​​ 

Daesh said it killed two PMF soldiers and wounded others on Sunday in an attack near the Mazari’ area, in Yathrib. [ICDNJan28]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a group of Daesh terrorists in pickup vehicles carrying PMF flags blew up the house of a Sunni tribal leader in Al-Saadoun village, in Buhriz​​ subdistrict, on Saturday. The source said the tribal leader is well-known​​ for​​ his support​​ of​​ the PMFs.​​ 

 

Daesh said its snipers killed a policeman on Saturday in Al-Nawa’eer village, in Buhriz subdistrict. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it wounded two policemen with an IED on Thursday in Abu Qarma village, in the Al-Waqf area. [A3maq]

 

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

The Security Media Center announced on Monday that Diyala Operations Command found a depot containing 3 IEDs and 4 mortar shells in Al-Khalis. [Ghad]​​ 

 

A security source in Diyala says that security personnel arrested a female Daesh member in​​ Al-Khalis. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it wounded five Asayish and IFP members on Saturday when it targeted a joint military position with sniper rifles in the Malik Shah area west of Khanaqin​​ city. [ICDNJan27]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk

A military source said on Monday that the 61st​​ Brigade, from the special forces, arrived in Kirkuk, replacing the Counter-Terrorism Service. [Sumaria]

 

In Kirkuk, a suspect who had been arrested on armed robbery charges escaped Rahim Awa police station​​ in Kirkuk city. Following this, the director of the police station, 3 other officers, and 19 policemen were arrested on orders of the​​ Inspector-General. [Mada]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The IG’s action could have been based on incompetence, but given the number of​​ Daesh members​​ who​​ have​​ escaped​​ through bribes, he is more likely to have suspected corruption.

 

Hawija (Riyadh)

Daesh published on Sunday a photo of the terrorist who conducted the Wednesday​​ vehicle bomb​​ suicide attack in Riyadh. [ICDNJan27]​​ On Wednesday​​ we reported​​ that a security forces member was killed when a suicide terrorist attacked a checkpoint near Riyadh’s​​ entrance with a vehicle bomb. [Rudaw]

 

Southwest (Daquq,​​ Taza)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Friday, IFP units raided a Daesh hideout in the Daquq area and freed the mukhtar of a Hawija village who had been kidnapped two months ago. The source said the IFP also captured 5 Daesh terrorists, including a Syrian commander, and confiscated weapons and ammunition.​​ 

This​​ added to​​ our story on​​ Friday​​ that​​ ​ IFP​​ units had killed 3 Daesh terrorists​​ and freed a captured mukhtar southwest of Daquq.​​ A Daesh field commander nicknamed “Abu Maria” was killed in the raid, and large quantities of weapons and explosives were​​ captured.​​ [IraqPress]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed captured​​ and​​ then killed a tribal PMF member and a National Security Service “spy” near Bashir village​​ in Taza. [A3maq] [ICDNJan27]

 

NINEWA

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that the temporary bridges that link Mosul to Badoush, Tal Afar to Sinjar, and Hammam Al-Alil to Mosul are out of service because of the heavy rains. The source said the bridges were not made properly.

 

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya, Tel Keif)

The PMF media office announced on Monday that PMF units had found 2 depots in Batnaya,​​ Tel Keif that contained various weapons, including “Hellfire” missiles.​​ [Buratha]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday, Ninewa Protection Units defused 23 Daesh leftover IEDs in the Hamdaniya area.​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday, the Ministry of Oil reopened the largest fuel station in the Majmou’a Thaqafiya area in east Mosul. The source said the station had been bombed by Coalition planes when it was used by Daesh as a​​ hisbah​​ (“Islamic Police”) office. ​​ 

​​ 

Daesh said it killed two Iraqi Army members on Friday when it set off an IED targeting their military position in Al-Falah neighborhood in east Mosul. [ICDNJan27]

 

The Security Media Center said on Sunday that the Ninewa Police Command arrested 6 Daesh operatives in west Mosul. [PressIraq]

The Ministry of the Interior (MoI)​​ then​​ announced on Monday​​ that intelligence units arrested a Daesh operative in west Mosul. [Sumaria]

 

Ninewa Ops Command continues to clear the old city of Mosul of war detritus such as rockets, equipment, and explosives. ​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a man and his wife were​​ murdered​​ on Saturday near their house by a group of Daesh terrorists in Al-Naddas village,​​ in Shura​​ subdistrict​​ near Ayn​​ Al-Jahash. The source said the terrorists killed the victims publicly, execution style, and then stole sheep before fleeing towards the desert. The terrorists were in​​ a​​ pickup​​ truck​​ carrying PMF flags.​​ 

The source said that later on, the body of one of the terrorists who participated in the attack was found on the road nearby. A resident told the source that the dead man was a nephew of the victims and that he was shot by the terrorists in a dispute just after they left the village.​​ 

The source said that on Monday, Iraqi Army units from the 20th​​ Division arrested 12 suspects in the village. ​​ 

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said a civilian and his daughter were shot and killed on Sunday in their house in Ghuzail village in Hammam Al-Alil, by a group of 4 Daesh terrorists, who fled the area after the attack. The source sent us photos of the victims.​​ ​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

The PMF media office announced that the 53rd​​ PMF Brigade,​​ demining​​ units, removed “many” IEDs across Tal Afar. [PressIraq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday, PMF units shot and killed 2 Daesh terrorists who were planting IEDs between Abu​​ Mariya village and​​ nearby​​ Tal Afar​​ city. ​​ 

 

​​ A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that PMF units found an explosives and ammunition cache in a house in Tal Afar city. The source said the abandoned house belonged to a local Daesh member.​​ 

 

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday, 44 Yazidi families returned from the Hassan Sham IDP camp to their houses in Hardan, a Yazidi​​ village​​ 19 miles east of Sinjar city.​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

The Saudi daily​​ Asharq Al-Awsat​​ says that Turkey has 20 military bases in Iraq, the largest of which is​​ an airfield in​​ Bamarni,​​ in the Amedi District of northern Dahuk. The bases are distributed throughout​​ northern​​ Erbil and Dahuk. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

DAHUK

Local residents and Kurdish officials said that protestors “stormed” a Turkish military camp in​​ Shiladzi,​​ northeastern​​ Dahuk,​​ on Saturday, and that 1 protestor was killed and at least 10 others were wounded when Turkish soldiers shot at them. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry criticized the Turkish soldiers for opening fire and said that it would summon the Turkish ambassador. Turkey said that the attack had been carried out by PKK members who had “disguised themselves among civilians” in order to foment discord between the Turkish soldiers and local residents. The KRG condemned​​ the attack on the camp, blaming it on “saboteurs,” and said it had sent forces to the area. [Reuters]​​ [Mada]

The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad on the issue of the Dahuk protests, asking him to inform his country to stop acting unilaterally. [Hawar]

Rudaw​​ wrote that the attack on the base had begun as protests against recent Turkish airstrikes that had killed several civilians in the area.​​ Al-Mada​​ wrote that 1 such recent airstrike had killed 4 civilians.​​ Rudaw​​ also​​ claimed​​ that 2 people had been killed and 15 injured in the​​ attack on the military base. [Rudaw]​​ [Mada]

 

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) wrote that the Asayish had forcibly shut down the independent channel​​ NRT’s Dahuk offices​​ on Sunday, detaining journalists and cameramen and confiscating broadcasting equipment. The CPJ said that the Asayish had held the detained journalists and cameramen for 5 hours and barred entry to​​ NRT’s offices. This followed​​ NRT’s coverage of the protest at the Turkish military base in Shiladzi​​ on Saturday, and the Saturday evening arrest of an​​ NRT​​ team that was reporting on injured protestors from outside the Dahuk Emergency Hospital. [CPJ] [NRT]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Daesh’s presence is about to come to an end in Syria, paving the way for other terrorist groups to emerge. He added that shortly Turkey will clear the east of the Euphrates from Daesh stragglers and the YPG. He says he’s coordinating with Russia regarding next steps. He also says that Kurdish forces allowed Daesh safe exit from Raqqa last week. [ElDorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Ah yes,​​ Erdogan​​ will be the savior of eastern Syria. It seems that​​ he​​ can’t say anything that isn’t self-serving, and the truth is always whatever he says it is, however implausible.​​ 

 

Also see above under Kurdistan

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, says that the next round of Astana talks between Russia, Turkey, and Iran will be held mid- February. Lavrov also noted the “reality” of the presence of terrorism in Idlib. [Hawar]

 

Russia/Iran

Der Spiegel​​ reported​​ that there had been​​ a “bloody encounter” between Russian and Iranian forces,​​ using heavy weapons,​​ on January 19. It says the clashes took​​ place in​​ the​​ Ghab area​​ of​​ Hama,​​ and​​ was over​​ the​​ division of​​ areas of influence. Tanks and mortars were​​ reportedly​​ used. [BasNews]

 

Foreign policy

United States

The Turkish daily​​ Yeni Safak​​ says that 600 US soldiers arrived at Kharab Ashiq and Sarrin airports, east of the Euphrates, to help secure US forces’ withdrawal from Syria. [ElDorar]

However, the SOHR says that there are​​ 700 US soldiers who entered Syria, and that their mission​​ is​​ not aimed at securing US withdrawal, as announced, but rather to arrest top Daesh leaders, including Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, if he is still alive. The fate and location of Daesh fighters held by the Americans is unknown. [SyriaHR]

 

The Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Al-Safadi, says his country’s forces will not take over the Al-Tanaf base after the withdrawal of US forces,​​ as​​ it is located outside Jordan. Al-Safadi says that Jordan will protect its borders but will not cross them, and is hoping to reach a tripartite agreement on the base position. [ElDorar]

 

Bloomberg​​ says that the recent withdrawal decision by President Trump would open the door to more violence in Syria, such as what is happening between Iran and Israel, which may lead to an open war. Additionally, as​​ Tahrir Al-Sham​​ now controls Idlib,​​ that is​​ a pretext for Syria and Russia to attack the area. It says​​ that​​ even Daesh made a slight​​ comeback​​ through its attacks on the US forces. [Hawar]​​ [Bloomberg]

 

Shallal Kado, a Kurdish politician from the anti-PYD National Kurdish Council, says that the US will not allow the PYD to hand over territories to the Syrian government. He says that the US withdrawal does not mean handing over areas of influence to Russians and Iranians. [ElDorar]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Russian refugee center says that 1,809​​ Syrian refuges returned to their home areas from Lebanon and Jordan. 1,113 returned from Lebanon, including 125 women and 213 children, and 696 from Jordan, including 209 women and 355 children. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

On Monday,​​ CNN​​ published an article about the female Kurdish fighters in the YPJ (the women’s counterpart to the YPG) and the YJA Star. The article says that many women join the YPJ or YJA Star as teens and do so with or without parental approval. The photographer says that many Kurdish women fighters say they are fighting “patriarchy” in addition to enemy combatants. [CNN]

 

Northwest

Afrin

A land​​ mine explosion targeting a tractor on the Jinderes​​ road in Afrin killed 2 people, according to Kurdish media sources. [Hawar] [SyriaHR]

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Hamidi Daham Al-Jerba, Sheikh of the Shammar tribe in Syria, returned to Hasaka following a visit to Iraq. Sources say the Sheikh discussed forming a Syrian tribal PMF to protect the Iraq-Syria border​​ in cooperation​​ with the Iraqi part of the tribe and its military commanders. The US​​ has​​ reportedly allowed Shammar tribesmen to deploy along the borders​​ since last August,​​ at which time it​​ raised their monthly payments from SL40,000 to SL75,000. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a woman was killed on Sunday when a group of young men set fire to 11 tents occupied by Daesh families in the Al-Hawl IDP camp. The source sent us a video of the fire.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh terrorists, who are hiding in the desert, are paying high prices to buy motorcycles in the Hasaka area.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This should be seen in the context of the rash of recent Daesh attacks conducted by motorcycle terrorists.

 

Daesh said it shot and killed an SDF member on Sunday in Um Hujaira village, in the Al-Hawl area. [ICDNJan28]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Monday it shot and killed three SDF members near Makhroum village, on Abyad​​ Road, southwest​​ of​​ Hasaka city. [A3maq] [ICDNJan28-Telegram]​​ 

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said on Saturday it shot and killed an SDF member near Al-Jazra intersection, in Raqqa city. [A3maq]

 

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

Kurdish internal security​​ revised down​​ the level of curfew from “total” to “partial” in Tabaqa; the curfew was imposed following tribal riots against the SDF. It says that this is not targeting any tribal group, but​​ only​​ “rioters and saboteurs.” [EnabBaladi]

 

The Russian news agency​​ Sputnik​​ says a mass grave was found, containing the bodies of 11 Syrian soldiers, in Jab Al-Ghoul, south of Tabaqa. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) is carrying out torture and other oppressive measures against opposing militias and citizen activists in their areas of control. HTS is in control of virtually all of Idlib. HRW noted the arrest of 11 peaceful activists from Idlib, saying that they were arbitrarily arrested and that 6 of them were tortured during their interrogation. [Rudaw] [HRW]

 

Hama

Syrian Army soldiers used heavy artillery to thwart terrorist attempts to breach the truce​​ zone north of Hama. It shelled positions of the Al-Izza Brigades, which tried to approach Syrian Army positions, killing several of them in the process. [SyriaNow]

 

The Syrian Army bombardment of​​ the Al-Zakah, Morek, and​​ Al-Arba’in villages,​​ north of Hama,​​ killed a child and wounded a woman. All these​​ villages​​ are within the​​ so-called​​ demilitarized”​​ areas. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

Latakia

Explosions were reported in Jableh, Latakia, resulting from the Russian air defenses intercepting flying objects (i.e., drones) targeting the Russian​​ Khmeimim​​ Airbase in the area.​​ [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said on Saturday it killed three SDF members and damaged their vehicle in​​ an​​ ambush on the road between Al-Suwar and Deir Ez-Zor. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed an SDF member on Thursday in Al-Jasmi village, Al-Suwar subdistrict. [ICDNJan26]​​ 

 

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said it killed an SDF member and wounded another on Friday when it targeted their military position in Al-Tayyana village, in Dhiban subdistrict, with an RPG rocket. [ICDNJan26]​​ 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed two SDF members when it targeted their truck with machine guns in Al-Hawayej village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNJan27]

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and killed an SDF “intelligence spy” in Al-Jardhi village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh has nothing going in Mayadin anymore, and even these stories are suspect, but its media warriors can never concede defeat, so the “victorious” Mayadin stories continue day by day, even as Daesh has apparently lost all of its territory in Mayadin and is even trying to recover it.

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

Combat

The SDF is still advancing against the last Daesh-held area, estimated at 6 square km. The SDF says Daesh is using hundreds of civilians as human shields to halt the advance. [EnabBaladi]

Local sources also say the SDF is advancing in Marashidah, the last Albu Kamal location held by Daesh. [Qasioun]

 

TV channel​​ France24​​ broadcast exclusive footage of fighting between the SDF and Daesh in Marashidah, also saying that that the remaining Daesh fighters chose to fight to the death, and are using women as suicide attackers. ​​ It showed a non-Syrian woman that fought fiercely before getting killed. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

The SDF says it thwarted 2 Daesh attacks with vehicle bombs on SDF forces in Al-Baghouz and Marashidah. [Hawar]

 

Sources told the SOHR that Daesh has almost collapsed and is no longer able to fight back, being highly dependent on mines and vehicle bombs. The SOHR reported heavy military transport movement to and from the front lines in eastern Deir Ez-Zor. It also noted the flight of 950 people, including 200 Daesh fighters, from the last areas held by Daesh. [SyriaHR]

 

Rudaw​​ reported that US military vehicles drove through Al-Baghouz on Saturday.​​ However, the SDF media center says Daesh attacked the SDF early Monday morning. An SDF commander told​​ Agence​​ France​​ Presse​​ on Monday that Daesh controls 4 square kilometers stretching from Al-Baghouz to the Iraq-Syria border. In the past 3 days, 20 SDF fighters​​ have been​​ killed. 288 Daesh fighters have​​ also​​ been killed in the past 3 days. [Rudaw]​​ [Rudaw]​​ 

 

SDF commanders said that Daesh suicide bombings around Al-Baghouz, including by women suicide bombers, were continuing in the wake of the SDF​​ capturing​​ the town. 1 commander said that 5 women blew themselves up in or around Al-Baghouz​​ on Saturday, killing 1 SDF fighter and wounding 3 others. The SOHR said that later on Saturday, 4 other suicide bombers killed 11 SDF fighters and​​ that​​ 19 Daesh fighters were killed by Coalition airstrikes. [AFP]​​ [Rudaw]

 

Kurdish media sources say that SDF units found Daesh depots of weapons and ammunition, as well as medicine, in Marashli village. [Hawar]​​ 

 

Airstrikes and casualties

The Coalition issued a statement on Saturday saying that it was “safeguard[ing]” civilians while Coalition “partner forces” (i.e., the SDF) were pursuing Daesh. The statement said that the Coalition “continue[d] to make the safety of civilians in the area a top priority.”​​ 

In the same statement, the Coalition also said that its airstrikes between January 13 and 21 in Syria had “removed” more than 200 Daesh fighters from the battlefield. [InherentResolve]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday, Coalition planes killed Yousef Saleh Al-Ali, aka “Abu Hamza,” and Abu Mohammed Al-Britani, and destroyed their pickup vehicle in an airstrike near Al-Baghouz. The source said that Al-Ali was a senior Daesh official in the Deir Ez-Zor area. ​​ 

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Sunday, Coalition planes killed Bashar Al-Mijbil, aka “Abu Dhar Al-Suri,” a senior Daesh​​ hisbah​​ official, and his driver and destroyed their vehicle in an airstrike near Al-Baghouz. The source said the terrorist had left Syria and joined AQI in 2009, then joined Al-Nusra in 2013, before joining Daesh in Raqqa a year later.​​ He​​ was responsible for issuing orders to kill hundreds of civilians in the Deir Ez-Zor area.​​ 

 

Qasioun​​ reported that a Coalition missile attack on Al-Baghouz killed 42 people, including 13 civilians. The casualties were said to include 7 Daesh fighters and 6 Iraqi nationals. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Always keep in mind that Qasioun reports are​​ anti-Coalition,​​ entirely focused on civilian casualties,​​ and typically exaggerated.​​ 

 

IDPs and civilians

Around 2,000 civilians, including women and children, arrived in SDF-held areas on Monday after fleeing Daesh-held areas.​​ The SDF says that it arrested several Daesh fighters attempting to blend in with civilian IDPs who left their homes in eastern Deir Ez-Zor.​​ [Qasioun]​​ [Hawar]

The YPG says it arrested 3 Daesh members on Sunday who attempted to flee into Turkey. [Rudaw]

 

Rudaw​​ reported on Monday that civilians fleeing from Al-Baghouz and Al-Susah are stopped and interrogated at a police checkpoint manned by SDF officers. The interrogators look civilians over for “clues” indicating that they belonged to Daesh, such as a calloused trigger finger, hesitation in responding to questions, or marks on the shoulder from carrying a cartridge pouch. [Rudaw]

 

South

No reports​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

The UN Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived in Sana’a, where he was received in the airport by top Foreign Ministry officials. His meetings will discuss the Stockholm agreement and the continuation of the ongoing truce. [Rudaw]

 

Daesh published on Sunday a photo of one of its terrorists,​​ saying he was killed in Al-Baidha. [ICDNJan27]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said on Sunday it killed an Egyptian Army​​ soldier​​ with an IED in the Muhajara area, in Rafah city. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it damaged an Egyptian Army bulldozer with an IED near Arish Airport. [ICDNJan27]

 

Libya

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said on Monday that refugees should not currently be returned to Libya, as the security and stability there were below acceptable levels. This came during a press conference with Fayez Al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord, who is on an official visit to Austria. Van der Bellen said that reports from the UNHCR and other international bodies indicated that the situation in Libyan refugee camps made it imperative that refugees not be returned there. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

The non-governmental data analysis organization Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) issued its 2018 annual report, in which it noted that state forces were more violent actors worldwide than non-state actors, and responsible for the most direct civilian deaths. It said that the most violent conflicts in 2018 were in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq, and that of these, the war in Afghanistan was the most lethal, while Syria was the place in which civilians had the highest risk of being killed. It also noted that “The Philippines is a war zone in disguise,” saying that​​ more civilians had been killed in the Philippines in 2018 than in Iraq, and that the Philippines had “similar levels of civilian fatalities” to Afghanistan. [ACLED] [ACLED]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh said on Sunday it shot and killed a policeman in Ba’ad Market, in Mogadishu. [A3maq]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh is relentless about killing policemen in Somalia. As elsewhere, their strategy is to weaken public confidence by killing security personnel, but one Daesh story after another in Somalia is about killing cops​​ in markets.​​ As we have mentioned before, this is all about extorsion.​​ ​​ 

 

Nigeria

Boko Haram fighters attacked 2 military bases in Borno State, in the towns of Pulka and Logomani. Military sources told the​​ AFP​​ on Sunday​​ that​​ 6 soldiers were injured in Logomani, but that both attacks were fought off. [DefensePost]

Daesh said it killed 30 Nigerian soldiers on Saturday in an attack on a military position in​​ Lomani​​ village, in Borno​​ State. [A3maq] [ICDNJan27]​​ However, responding​​ directly​​ to this claim, a Nigerian Army spokesman said that there had been an attack on Logomani village in Borno State, but that only 8 soldiers were injured, and that the attackers were driven off. [ChannelNewsAsia]

 

On Sunday, 4 farmers were killed in an attack attributed to Boko Haram in Molai village, 5 km​​ (3 miles)​​ from​​ Maiduguri, Borno State. [VanguardNGR]

 

The Borno State government said on Sunday that it would enlist “local hunters” and “vigilance groups” to help in its counter-terrorism operations. [VanguardNGR]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The US and the Taliban agreed in principle to a draft framework guaranteeing that Afghan territory would not be used by terrorist groups, which could lead to a deal in which the US withdraws fully from Afghanistan, according to Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative. He was speaking to the​​ New York Times​​ in Kabul. He described the discussions held with Taliban as fruitful, saying that Afghan land will stop being a base for terrorist groups. [Hawar] [NYT]

 

Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said on Monday that the progress on peace talks between the US and the Taliban was “encouraging.” However, he declined to comment on the potential withdrawal of half of the US’ 14,000 troops from Afghanistan, which President Trump had previously said that he wanted. [Anadolu]

 

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that any peace talks in Afghanistan should be accompanied by a cease-fire. He described the ongoing US-Taliban talks as fruitful. [Anadolu]

 

Current President Ashraf Ghani gave a televised speech on Monday in which he urged the Taliban to start direct negotiations with the Afghan government. [Khaama]

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ghani also said that over 45,000 Afghan troops or security personnel had been killed since he became president in 2014, compared to “less than 72” international casualties. [Khaama]

 

A magnetic bomb attached to a vehicle used by a demining NGO killed a university student in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, on Saturday, according to a government spokesman. [Pajhwok]

Daesh said on Sunday it damaged an Afghan Army mine detector vehicle with a sticky IED in the Shaheen​​ Bagh area, in Jalalabad. [ICDNJan27]

 

Daesh said it killed an Afghan Army member and wounded three others on Sunday when it targeted their vehicle with an IED in the Adel Khel area, in Nangarhar. [ICDNJan28]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed a guard and destroyed a Sufi shrine in the Ismael Khel area, in Khost​​ Province. [ICDNJan27]

 

On Monday,​​ Daesh published a photo of one of its terrorists, who it says​​ was killed in the Afghanistan-Pakistan area. [ICDNJan28]

On Monday,​​ Daesh​​ also​​ published a photo of one of its media members,​​ killed in the Afghanistan-Pakistan area. [ICDNJan28]

 

Pakistan/Tajikistan

The Russian Minister of Internal Affairs says that unidentified helicopters carried Daesh fighters from Pakistan to the Tajikistan border, posing a security threat to Russia. He says that special attention will be paid to this​​ problem. [SyriaNow]

 

Philippines

On Sunday, 2 suspected IEDs detonated inside a Roman Catholic cathedral in the Mindanao region, southern Philippines, killing at least 20 people and wounding at least 81. The casualties were reported to include 5 soldiers killed,​​ and​​ 14 soldiers and 2 police wounded. Daesh claimed responsibility for the bombing later on Sunday. [KTRK] [CNN]

Daesh said on Sunday it killed​​ 40​​ people, including​​ 7​​ security personnel, and wounded​​ 80​​ others when two of its suicide terrorists attacked a church in​​ Jolo city, in Mindanao. It said that one of the terrorists blew himself up near the church entrance, and the other in the church’s parking lot. [ICDNJan27] [A3maq]​​ 

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Yousef Al-Othaimeen, expressed his “deep indignation” at the attack later Sunday, and said that the OIC rejects all forms of violence, extremism, and terrorism. [AP]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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January 25, 2019

 

A group of people standing in front of a car

Description automatically generated

Bartella (AINA)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

IFP rescues a captured mukhtar in southwest Kirkuk, kills 3 Daesh members. [..]

Report challenges moves by Shabaks in Bartella to extend control at Christians’ expense. [..]

CoR member​​ says​​ PMFs are stealing oil in Ninewa.​​ [..]

Daesh Daily source reports PMFs killed 4 Daesh captives in Hammam Al-Alil. [..]

 

Syria

Putin, Erdogan reportedly exchange Syrian takeover of Idlib for Turkey-run “safe zone”​​ in NE​​ Syria.​​ [..]

Daesh mass grave found near Homs; most of 75​​ murdered​​ victims are children. [..]

150 Daesh fighters surrender in Al-Baghouz; SDF stops counterattack. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Sudan: ​​ Opposition party leader calls for government resignation amid continuing violent protests. [..]

Somalia: ​​ 3 police, 3 civilians killed after Friday prayers in Afgooye. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Taliban appoints leader for Qatar political office to facilitate negotiations with US. [..]

Philippines: ​​ Government troops seize military camp from Daesh affiliate in Mindanao. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

An intelligence source says that Iraqi military intelligence arrested a terrorist cell in Ninewa that was in contact with Iraqi Daesh fighters in Hajin, Syria. Their confessions confirmed the​​ internal violence​​ between Iraqi and Uzbek Daesh fighters in Hajin, as well as the​​ demands​​ by​​ Iraqi Daesh members​​ that​​ the Uzbeks​​ be expelled from​​ the group.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

The director of the office for rescuing kidnapped Yazidis in the Kurdistan Region said on Friday that his office, with the help of the KRG, had freed 14 Yazidis who were held in Daesh-held territory in Syria. Of the 14, 10 were children and 4 were women; all had been abducted by Daesh in August 2014.​​ [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq and Iran,​​ Andrew Peek;​​ US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman;​​ and Nouri Al-Maliki discussed the completion of the Iraqi​​ ministerial cabinet​​ and the presence of US military forces in Iraq on Friday. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

No report

ANBAR

Rutba

Sources in Anbar said on Friday that 5 shepherds had been killed by unknown planes flying over an area near​​ the​​ Al-Tanaf base​​ in Syria, just over the border from Rutba. [BasNews]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Thursday, the PMF Commission issued orders to PMF units in Baiji to withdraw to the Speicher Base near Tikrit and hand over security to local police units. The source said that a Badr Organization brigade withdrew, but there are some units that refused the order.​​ 

​​ 

However, the story got a different interpretation from the spokesman for Iraqi tribes​​ in​​ disputed​​ areas​​ of Kurdistan, who​​ said via Twitter on Friday that the PMF was planning to attack US forces in Iraq with Iranian support. He claimed that the PMF group Jund Al-Imam Brigades​​ was leading training​​ inside Speicher Base to train other PMF groups on how to target US forces with IEDs, car bombs, and suicide bombers, and that Iranian advisors were overseeing these training​​ sessions. [BasNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 4 PMF fighters, including a commander, were killed on Thursday in a Daesh attack near the Makhoul Mountains area. ​​ 

 

DIYALA

The Internal Affairs and Security Directorate in Diyala says that its units arrested 2 men wanted on terrorism charges​​ at an unspecified location​​ in Diyala. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya)

A​​ CoR​​ MP for Diyala said on Friday that Makhisa village​​ near Muqdadiya​​ has been continuously bombarded by mortar shells for “days” from a nearby village that is controlled by “militias,” which want to expand their control. [Sumaria]

 

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

Daesh said it damaged an IFP Humvee with an IED on Thursday in the Ali Awa village area west of Khanaqin city. [ICDNJan25]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

Dibis

Daesh said it blew up the farm of a tribal PMF commander on Wednesday in Kubaiba village, in Dibis. [ICDNJan25]

 

Southwest (Daquq)

The​​ IFP Command said that​​ IFP​​ units had killed 3 Daesh terrorists, wounded 2 others, and freed a captured mukhtar in an operation southwest of Daquq.​​ A Daesh field commander nicknamed “Abu Maria” was killed in the raid, and large quantities of weapons and explosives were​​ captured.​​ [IraqPress]

 

NINEWA

Ninewa Plain (Hamdaniya)

The Assyrian International News Agency reports expressions of concern by Assyrians in​​ Bartella about moves to effect demographic change​​ there at Assyrian expense. This had been a mostly Christian area, predominantly Orthodox, with a significant minority of Shabaks, divided between Shia and Sunni Muslims, with many non-minority Muslims also living in the​​ general area. AINA says only half the Christians who fled in 2014 have returned, while the number of Shabaks has actually increased.​​ A leading edge of the issue​​ is a major housing project, upscale by Iraqi standards, called “Sultan City,” planned for 182 residential units. Another part of the issue is the allegation that Assyrian property has been seized by others, an issue in other places also, most often against the Kurds. A Shabak MP, supported by 58 additional CoR members, has called for the distribution of “public lands” in Hamdaniya to Shabaks.​​ [AINA]

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

MP Ahmed Al-Jubouri tweeted on Friday that the PMF steals 100 tanks of petroleum daily from Ninewa and that Daesh robs the oil wells in Qayara. [BasNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that local police units found the bodies of 4 Daesh members in a sulfur field in the Hammam Al-Alil area on Thursday. The source said the terrorists had been captured,​​ and​​ then killed,​​ by PMF units.

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a PMF soldier was killed and another severely wounded on Thursday when their vehicle was destroyed by an IED on the road between Abu Mariya and Tal Afar city.​​ Abu Mariya, a mixed Sunni-Shia town, is 4 miles northeast of Tal Afar city.

 

Sinjar

Security sources said on Friday that an EOD detachment from the 33rd​​ Brigade removed 3 explosive devices in a clearing operation in the Adnaniya area. [IraqPress]

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

The Security Media Center says​​ that​​ the Iraqi Air Force​​ carried out 4 airstrikes​​ in southern Hatra, which killed 2 Daesh fighters and destroyed 4 hiding positions.​​ [Forat]​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

An American delegation headed by James Jeffery arrived in Turkey on Friday to discuss the US withdrawal from Syria. He is scheduled to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister​​ Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu​​ and Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalan. [Qasioun]

 

Also see below under Syria – National News

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Madhloum​​ Kobane, the SDF general commander, says​​ that​​ its main​​ political​​ condition to reach an agreement is to recognize the role of​​ the​​ SDF and preserve its integrity following​​ its​​ contributions​​ to liberating​​ large areas from Daesh control. He also says he expects to announce Daesh’s​​ final defeat within the next month. [Arabi21]

 

Russia/Turkey

President Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday in Moscow to discuss the situation in Syria. Putin said following the meeting that Turkey was trying to help fix the situation in Syria, but that more was required​​ from​​ both Turkey and Russia to “liquidate” terrorist groups. The Russian Foreign Ministry had earlier warned that Idlib was almost completely under​​ the​​ control of “Al-Nusra” (i.e.,​​ Tahrir Al-Sham). Erdogan said Turkey and Russia had no disagreements regarding implementing a “safe zone” in northern Syria, but that it was important that the US withdrawal did not give terrorists room to maneuver. [Haaretz]

 

However, the Qatari-owned​​ Al-Quds Al-Arabi​​ wrote that the​​ Russian-Turkish meeting was particularly important because it occurred as​​ Russia and Turkey were negotiating the terms of a deal by which the Syrian government would take control of Idlib, with Turkey’s blessing, in exchange for the Turkish establishment of a “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border. [AlQuds]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This would seem to be another clear indication of Erdogan’s real priorities in​​ Syria.​​ Remember that Turkey’s co-guarantor role in Idlib is intended to preclude attacks by the Syrian government on rebels in the province.​​ 

 

Iran

The US imposed sanctions on Thursday against the pro-government Zainebiyoun​​ (Shia Pakistani) militia​​ and Fatemiyoun​​ (Shia Afghan)​​ militias, both of which are​​ working under the leadership of​​ the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.​​ The Armenia-based​​ Flight Travel​​ Company​​ and​​ the Iranian​​ cargo​​ airline​​ Fars Air​​ Qeshm​​ were​​ also​​ sanctioned. [ElDorar]

 

Hismat Bisha,​​ chairman​​ of the Security Committee in the Iran Shura Council, accused Russia of siding with Israel to attack Iranian targets in Syria. He says the delay​​ in​​ the activation of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system is evidence. [Hawar]

 

Foreign policy

United States

The DoD says that the size of​​ the​​ US force will vary during the stage of its withdrawal from Syria, which has no deadline. Spokesman Sean Robertson says that the numbers might increase or decrease across the withdrawal time span. [Qasioun]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition said on Friday that it was investigating a self-reported “potential incident” involving civilian casualties on January 22. [InherentResolve]

 

The SOHR says that the SDF is holding a 16-year-old Lebanese girl, who is the daughter of a Lebanese Daesh fighter. Contact is being made with the government of Lebanon to repatriate the girl, as her father was killed in action. [SyriaHR]

 

Northwest

Afrin

Kurdish media say that Kurdish “guerillas” killed a Turkish soldier in an assault in Sarhad, near Afrin. [Hawar]​​ 

 

Manbij​​ 

The SOHR says that SDF EOD units defused several mines planted by pro-Turkey militias around Qerqizaq​​ Bridge near Manbij. The​​ strategic​​ bridge was partially damaged when pro-Turkey militias entered the city in 2014, but the SDF rebuilt​​ it​​ when​​ they​​ retook the city. [SyriaHR]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR reported several explosions in Raqqa, mainly caused by grenade attacks on SDF HQs in the city, causing some injuries. A car bomb explosion was also recorded on Wednesday, which did not cause casualties. [SyriaHR]

 

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

According to​​ Sputnik, the SDF deployed “thousands” of troops in an arrest campaign in Hunaida and Mansurah on Friday. It added that this followed fighting between the YPG and tribal groups.​​ [Qasioun]

 

Central and West​​ 

Homs

Syrian​​ Army soldiers​​ found a mass grave containing 75 bodies, mostly of children, in Amiriyah, southwest of Homs.​​ The victims were​​ murdered​​ by Daesh​​ in 2015. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Local sources said that a US air​​ drop operation​​ north of Deir Ez-Zor​​ two​​ days​​ ago​​ had targeted an Iraqi family whose head is a Daesh commander. He and several women from his family were arrested based on information provided by a Yazidi woman who had been freed from Daesh captivity. [ZamanAlWasl]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said on Friday it shot and killed an SDF member and stole his vehicle on Al-Khurafi​​ Road, northeast of Deir Ez-Zor. [A3maq] [ICDNJan25-Telegram]​​ 

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

On Friday​​ Hawar​​ reported that a group of 150 Daesh fighters, most of whom were “foreign,” surrendered to the SDF in Al-Baghouz. [Hawar]

 

The SOHR says that 34 Daesh fighters were killed, and 21 others captured by the SDF following its major counterattack on the SDF in Al-Baghouz. In the same actions, 16 fighters from the SDF were killed. The SOHR says that the total number of Daesh fighters killed since September 10, 2018, is now 1,213, compared to 653 SDF fighters killed. [SyriaHR]

 

Qasioun reported that​​ SDF fighters were killed or wounded in​​ one of the​​ Coalition airstrikes​​ on Al-Baghouz. 5 were reported killed and 7 wounded as Coalition planes were backing the SDF assault on Daesh in​​ Al-Baghouz. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This report is subject to our usual caveat about Qasioun’s airstrike stories.

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded “many” SDF fighters and damaged a bulldozer on Thursday when 2 of its suicide terrorists attacked 2 SDF “gatherings” near Al-Marsoumi building, “on the outskirts of” Al-Baghouz. Daesh also said it killed or wounded fifteen SDF fighters when it targeted four SDF “gatherings” with rockets. [ICDNJan25]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Notice again from the choice of words that Daesh is implicitly conceding its defeat in Al-Baghouz. Given its propaganda motive, the accuracy of the story itself also loses credibility.

 

The Turkish news agency​​ Anadolu​​ reported that the “YPG” (i.e., the SDF) promised Daesh fighters personal safety if they handed over gold bars they stole from banks in Mosul during 2014-2017. “Sources” say that Daesh fighters did not take the offer and will fight till the end. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh published on Friday a photo of one of its Chechen terrorists, claiming he was killed in Albu Kamal. [ICDNJan25]

 

Daesh published on Friday photos of targeting SDF “gatherings” with mortar and “RGS” shells. [ICDNJan25]

 

South​​ 

No report

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian stated on Friday that France would impose “strict sanctions” on Iran if no progress​​ is​​ made on ballistic missile negotiations. [Sumaria]

 

US General Stanley McChrystal said that Qasim Soleimani is “singularly dangerous” and that he regrets​​ not​​ killing​​ Soleimani when he had the opportunity in 2007. [BasNews] [FP]

 

North Africa

Sudan

Sadiq Al-Mahdi, head of the opposition National Umma Party, called for the government in Sudan to resign and for the formation of a transitional government, following the ongoing mass protests.​​ He said that the total tally of casualties in the protests is 50 killed. He demanded that the armed forces, as citizens, stop killing people. [Anadolu] [VoA]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Germany

German police evacuated 500 passengers from a train in Frankfurt following a bomb alert. It also blocked the tracks for a search. [Anadolu]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

A security officer said​​ that on Friday,​​ 3 soldiers and 3 civilians were shot dead by armed assailants at a market in Afgooye, about 30 km​​ (19 miles)​​ south of Mogadishu. The officer​​ said the killing took place after Friday prayers​​ when young men with pistols shot the 3 soldiers in the market. He said​​ 3​​ women who witnessed the incident were also killed by the young gunmen who fled the scene after the incident. [Xinhua]​​ 

Daesh said on Friday it shot and killed four policemen and stole their weapons in the market of Afgooye​​ city, in Lower Shebelle state. [A3maq] [ICDNJan25-Telegram]

 

Nigeria

Nigerian Army troops killed 4 Boko Haram terrorists in a clearance operation in the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, northeastern Nigeria. [VanguardNGR]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Mullah Abd Ul-Ghani Baradar​​ was​​ appointed head of the Taliban’s political office in​​ Doha,​​ Qatar. He​​ is expected to engage with Washington in​​ the​​ peace negotiations to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.​​ A Taliban statement said that the appointment was made to “properly handle the ongoing negotiations” with the US.​​ [Sumaria]​​ [Khaama]​​ [NYT] [AlJazeera]

 

The Nangarhar provincial government said that Qari Naqibullah, a “key member” of Daesh’s Khorasan affiliate (ISIS-K), had been killed in a drone strike in the Chaparhar​​ District of Nangarhar, eastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed a Taliban member on Thursday in Qaldara village, in the Chaparhar area. [ICDNJan25]

 

Philippines

The Philippines military said on Friday that government troops took over a camp​​ on the southern island of Mindanao​​ held by the Maute Group (aka Islamic State of Lanao, Daesh affiliate) following heavy fighting in Lanao del Sur. Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr. said that the​​ troops​​ seized control of the camp, located at the hinterlands of Sultan Dumalondong town, early Friday. The rebels​​ are led by Abu Dar, the current leader of the Maute Group. Brawner said the rebels escaped and security forces are currently pursuing them. The takeover of the camp came​​ prior to​​ the assault​​ by​​ government troops against the remnants of the Maute Group on Thursday. 3 soldiers wounded​​ by​​ the fighting are now in stable condition, Brawner said, claiming that 3 armed men were killed.​​ Sultan Dumalondong is located about 50 kilometers​​ (31 miles)​​ from Marawi City, where Daesh-inspired terrorists laid siege to the city for 5 months in 2017. [Inquirer]​​ 

Daesh said on Friday it killed more than thirty Philippines soldiers and wounded “tens” in battles with “different kinds of weapons” in Dumalondong village in Lanao del Sur. [ICDNJan25]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ And of course, we all know that pigs can fly.​​ 

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 166th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh published an infographic about its attacks during the last week in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, west Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, claiming it killed or wounded more than 231 people and destroyed 31 vehicles in 68 attacks. It also published an infographic about its attacks in “west Africa” during the last 4 months. It says​​ it​​ conducted 17 attacks, killing or wounding 280 people, wounding “tens,” capturing 3 towns, stealing 17 vehicles and a cannon, and destroying 3 tanks and 4 vehicles. Daesh also published a photo of an Egyptian Christian forensic expert it says it captured last Friday in North Sinai. Daesh claimed it killed an Egyptian Army officer and wounded 2 soldiers when a military unit came to rescue the expert. [ICDNJan25]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

January 24, 2019

 

A group of people standing in front of a building

Description automatically generated

Mosul (Mada Jan 24)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Univ. of Pennsylvania archeology team arrives in Mosul to start restoration project for cultural and religious sites.​​ [..]

Saudi leadership reinforces its declared support for Iraq. [..]

CoR party proposes legislation to remove US military from Iraq. [..]

 

Turkey

Hunger strike by imprisoned​​ woman​​ opposition leader reaches 77 days.​​ [..]

 

Syria

SOHR says security in areas controlled by Turkey-allied militias is deteriorating. [..]

Daesh territory in Syria down to almost nothing. [..]

Report says Iran’s General Soleimani planning for missile attacks on Israel from Syria. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Nigeria: ​​ Report reveals Boko Haram attacks in other parts of northern Nigeria. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ 40 Taliban fighters killed by Coalition airstrikes. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

A team of US archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania have arrived in Mosul to reconstruct museums and minority holy sites. The State Department awarded a $2 million grant for the project, which​​ is scheduled to​​ last 3 years. [Mada] [Penn]

 

Foreign policy

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman​​ (MBS)​​ expressed​​ his​​ “full support​​ for​​ Iraq and its security and welfare.” This came in a telephone conversation between the​​ Crown​​ Prince and​​ Iraqi​​ PM​​ Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi​​ on Thursday. [Sumaria]​​ [BasNews]

Abd Ul-Mahdi​​ also​​ received an official invitation from Saudi King Salman Bin Abd Al-Aziz to visit Riyadh. [Sumaria]

 

The Al-Islah (Reform) Coalition proposed a bill to CoR Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbusi that includes terminating 2 signed agreements with the US. The Al-Islah spokesman said that the bill would “stop” US and foreign military bases in Iraq and prevent foreign military bases from existing in Iraq, while also blocking foreign military trainers and advisers. All foreign military forces would have to leave Iraq within a year of adopting the new bill. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Northeast​​ (Adhamiya, etc.)

A security source reported on Thursday that unidentified armed men shot and killed a restaurant owner in​​ the​​ Ur​​ neighborhood in Shaab. [Sumaria]

 

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

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that the 17th​​ Infantry Division had found a cache of Daesh weapons and ammunition in the Al-Akhsaf area, south Baghdad. The cache included a SPG9 launcher, an RPG7 launcher, 120mm mortars, and various types of ammunition.​​ [MoD Website]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

Diyala Ops Commander General Abd Al-Mohsen Al-Abbasi said on Thursday that “joint forces,” operating with air support, had carried out a search operation in the Albu Khasiya​​ [spelling approx.]​​ and Qarma areas, and found and destroyed a Daesh cache.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Hit/Haditha

A security source said that a land mine explosion in Baghdadi on Thursday killed a man and his wife, and injured their child. [BasNews]

 

Daesh said it blew up the house of a PMF commander on Tuesday in Al-Aqba village, in Hit south of Mohammedi. [ICDNJan24]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that PMF units captured a Daesh commander after he was wounded in clashes near the Himrin Mountains area.

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said its snipers killed a policeman on Wednesday in Abu Qarma village, in Al-Waqf. [A3maq]

 

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

A security source said that several Daesh fighters had attacked a police station in a village bordering Al-Islah, Jalawla subdistrict, Khanaqin District. The source said that federal and local police fought off the attack.​​ [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

The Security Media Center issued a statement on the reported withdrawal of the Counter​​ Terrorism Service (CTS) from Kirkuk. The Center said that the CTS had been commissioned to perform its duties in Kirkuk for “more than a year,” a mission which the Center said was now complete. The statement confirmed that the CTS duties in Kirkuk would be taken over by units from the 61st​​ “Presidential” Brigade, as previously reported by some media. [IraqPress]

 

Hawija (Riyadh)

Daesh said it killed two policemen and wounded others in a suicide attack on Wednesday at the entrance​​ to​​ Riyadh. [A3maq]

This may allude to a​​ Wednesday​​ DaeshDaily​​ report​​ that 2 PMF soldiers were killed and 2 others wounded on Friday when Daesh terrorists on motorcycles attacked PMF military positions near Al-Saray village. ​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul District

West (Muhalabiya)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that 2 PMF soldiers were killed and a civilian driver and another PMF soldier wounded when a roadside IED targeted their vehicle in the Tal Abta area.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

The Security Media Center said on Thursday that units under Ninewa Ops Command had freed a child, 2 women, and a man who had been kidnapped by Daesh near the Iraq-Syria border in 2014.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

The PMF media office said that a joint PMF and Iraqi Army​​ unit​​ carried out a search operation in the Hatra desert, and that they found safehouses during the search. [Ghad]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Political developments

The Turkish MP Leyla Guven,​​ in jail since January 2018, has now been on a hunger strike for the last 77 days. Guven is facing a prison sentence of over 100 years for allegedly belonging to and leading an armed organization and disseminating terrorist propaganda. Guven is an MP for the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party and the co-chair of Democratic Society Congress, a organization which the Turkish government says is linked to the PKK. Sabiha Temizkan, Guven’s daughter, said that her mother’s health was “very poor” due to the hunger strike. The​​ BBC​​ reported that “thousands” of people attended a rally in support of Guven last weekend in Diyarbakir, and that 250 other political prisoners were now on sympathy hunger strikes. [BBC]

​​ 

Foreign policy

Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, says that Turkey has the right to fight terrorist groups inside Syria, according to an agreement between Turkey and Syria in 1998. The agreement also obligates Syria to fight such groups, he says. Çavuşoğlu says that if Syria declines to do so, then​​ Turkey will assume this mission.​​ [Qasioun]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition issued a statement saying that it had carried out an airstrike on a Daesh “command and control facility” in a mosque in “eastern Syria” on Thursday. The statement said that Daesh continued to violate the Law of Armed Conflict by using protected structures for military purposes.​​ [InherentResolve]​​ 

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

Kurdish media sources say that the Kurdish militia Afrin Liberation Forces killed 1 Turkish soldier and 3 pro-Turkey militia fighters in Shirawa and Azaz. [Hawar]

 

Manbij /Jarabulus

The SOHR reported 2 IED explosions in Qabasin, in Al-Bab, and Ghandoura, in Jarabulus, which are held by pro-Turkey militias. It says that the Ghandoura explosion left some civilians wounded. This comes amidst a deterioration of security in most areas held by pro-Turkey militias, the SOHR reported. [SyriaHR]

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

The SDF engaged the Albu Khamis tribe in a gun battle near Mansurah, northwest of Raqqa in Al-Thawrah District, following the killing of an Albu Khamis tribesman near an SDF checkpoint. After tribesmen burned SDF cars and buildings, large SDF military reinforcements arrived in the city. [Qasioun]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

The Syrian Army continued the bombardment of opposition areas in Hama and Idlib, causing civilian casualties. Syrian artillery bombed​​ the town of​​ Tal Mannas, Maarat Al-Numan​​ District, and 8 adjacent villages beginning early Thursday morning. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

An HTS security official told​​ Ibaa​​ that on Thursday a “dangerous” Daesh official had been killed. The Daesh official was reportedly injured as he and another Daesh fighter attempted to plant an IED near the home of an HTS fighter in Idlib, and the IED detonated prematurely. The other fighter was killed in the explosion; the Daesh official died after being transported to the hospital. [ElDorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said on Thursday it killed an SDF fighter, wounded four others, and damaged an SUV with an IED in Al-Hawayej village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [A3maq]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

Forat​​ says that the SDF captured Baghouz Foqani (Upper Baghouz), which it wrote was “the last area held by Daesh in Deir Ez-Zor,” with support from the Coalition. Intense air attacks by the Coalition on Wednesday forced Daesh forces to withdraw from the city. It says only 2 locations making up 2 square km are under Daesh control now. [ElDorar]

 

The Coalition is reportedly negotiating the surrender of the remaining Daesh fighters trapped in Al-Baghouz, which was captured yesterday by the SDF. Local sources say that the Coalition halted its aerial attacks on Al-Baghouz and allowed 7 trucks of humanitarian aid to enter the city. Hundreds​​ of Daesh fighters are said to still be​​ in​​ Al-Baghouz, although hundreds of others were reported to have surrendered to Coalition and SDF forces on Monday and Tuesday. [Anadolu]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It seems that the battle is not quite over for some Daesh fighters. At this point, there are not many places for them to escape to.

 

The SOHR says that SDF units are still clearing mines while advancing to eliminate what remains of Daesh fighters east of the Euphrates. Daesh is still holding a few farms and residential complexes, and is trying to open a route for escape or head towards the Iraq border. Most of the remaining Daesh fighters are non-Syrians, the SOHR says. [SyriaHR]

 

Daesh said on Thursday it attacked SDF positions “on the perimeter of” Al-Baghouz town with “different kinds of weapons.” [A3maq]​​ 

Daesh said on Thursday it killed seven SDF members in battles “on the perimeter of” Al-Baghouz town. Daesh said the battles are ongoing. [A3maq]

In another version, Daesh said it killed or wounded seven SDF members in a “wide-range” attack. [ICDNJan24]

 

South​​ 

Damascus​​ 

An explosion in​​ the​​ Al-Adawi​​ neighborhood of​​ Damascus on Thursday​​ caused​​ damage. It was caused by an IED placed in a car. News​​ reports​​ about the explosion and the party responsible​​ are​​ conflicting. [EnabBaladi]​​ 

The SOHR says that the explosion took place near the Russian Embassy​​ in​​ Damascus, and left 4 civilians slightly wounded.​​ This was the second explosion in 5 days. [SyriaHR]

 

Daraa

The Kuwaiti newspaper​​ Al-Jarida​​ reported that there had been a “top-secret” visit of General Qasim Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, to Daraa. The paper quoted a source as saying that Soleimani visited Al-Ghariya Al-Sharqiya (Eastern Ghariya) town in Daraa, only 2 days before firing a surface-to-surface missile on Israeli Army positions in the Golan Heights. It says that Soleimani believes the only way to stop Israeli attacks on Syria is firing 3 missiles against Israel for each 1 fired on Syria. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

US sources said that the Trump administration attempted to persuade European states to impose a ban on Iranian government airlines for espionage and​​ for​​ transferring fighters and weapons across borders. [BasNews]

 

Yemen

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed 2 Houthis and wounded 3 others when it damaged their machine gun mounted vehicle with an IED in the Al-Sha’ar area, in Ibb. [A3maq] [A3maq] [ICDNJan24-Telegram]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This the first time Daesh has claimed responsibility for an attack in Ibb Province. However, the only​​ report​​ we saw today from the Al-Sha’ar area was a vague announcement from government military sources about a Yemeni Army Special Forces operation that killed or wounded Houthi fighters.​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Somalia

A local police officer, Captain Mohamed Hussein, said 4 civilians were wounded on Wednesday after a VBIED in a pickup truck exploded outside​​ the​​ Premier​​ Bank​​ headquarters​​ at Taleh​​ Junction in​​ Mogadishu.​​ [GaroweOnline]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded four Christians​​ on Wednesday when a group of its terrorists conducted an attack in Bosaso city. [A3maq] [ICDNJan24]

 

Nigeria

On Thursday, a​​ Vanguard​​ reporter summarized under-reported Boko Haram attacks over the last week, writing that 26 civilians had been killed in Sokoto State, northwest Nigeria, and that Katsina State, north-central Nigeria, was “surrounded by armed robbers and kidnappers.” The reporter quoted the Governor of Katsina State as saying that kidnappings and armed robbery were ongoing​​ daily. [VanguardNGR]

 

Daesh said it killed seven Nigerian soldiers, wounded others, and stole an SUV and weapons and ammunition on Wednesday in an attack on a military position in Ajiri village, southern Borno State. [A3maq] [ICDNJan24]​​ This claim presumably was about a Boko Haram attack.

In a separate statement, Boko Haram claimed to have attacked Ajiri. [DefensePost]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Military sources said on Thursday that various coalition airstrikes throughout Afghanistan had killed a total of 40 Taliban fighters over the past 24 hours. [Khaama]

 

A coalition airstrike on Wednesday killed Mawlawi Madad, the Taliban “commander of IED operations” in the Helmand region, southern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

3 suicide bombers, including 2 Pakistanis, were arrested in Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

SOUTH AMERICA

Venezuela

International reactions to the events​​ in​​ Venezuela varied, as the US and its allies in Latin America supported​​ the claim of​​ Juan Guaido, the Speaker of Parliament,​​ who declared himself to be President. On the other side, Russia, China, and Turkey, among others, announced their support for current President Nicholas Maduro. The US said that “all options” were open if the Venezuelan President uses force against the opposition. [Arabi21]

 

António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General called on all parties in Venezuela to express restraint to avoid violence that may destroy the country. He demanded a transparent investigation of news of killings and arrests accompanying the unrest in the country.​​ [ZamanAlWasl]

 

 

*****

 

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January 23, 2019