January 28, 2019
Tribal PMF Vehicle Destroyed by an IED in Tikrit (DD Jan 27)
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. [..]
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. [..]
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
Mir Tahseen Bek, the leader of the world’s Yazidis, passed away in a hospital in Hanover, Germany. He was 86. [Hawar]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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-Sa’adoun 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]
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.
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]
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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]
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
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
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]
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]
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]
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]
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 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
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]
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]
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]
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
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 Mar’ashli 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]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
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]
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]
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
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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