An Update On ISIS Activities

January 24, 2019

 

A group of people standing in front of a building

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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]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

January 23, 2019

 

A pile of hay

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Daesh Tunnel Found Near Bashiqa (DD Jan 23)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Former Baghdad Mayor sentenced to 7 years for corruption, but he’s hanging out in DC. [..]

Abu Saida subdistrict manager reports serious deterioration of security conditions.​​ [..]

Daesh stages five deadly incidents against soldiers, IFP in Hawija. [..]

Building reconstruction projects start in Sinjar.​​ [..]

Daesh Daily source details continuing major Daesh presence in Hatra-Anbar desert area. [..]

 

Syria

US House approves legislation that would increase sanctions on Syrian regime. [..]

EU sanctions 5 businesses, 11 individuals for doing business with Assad regime. [..]

The SDF captures Al-Baghouz. ​​​​ Daesh now holds only two​​ Bukamal​​ villages.​​ [..]

27,000 civilians have escaped Daesh-controlled areas in past month. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

United States: ​​ FBI arrests three ISIS recruits in Michigan. [..]

Nigeria:​​ Boko Haram storms another town in NE Nigeria. [..]

Afghanistan:​​ US soldier killed in Afghanistan.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

The Kirkuk Governor’s office says that representatives of 6 provinces met in Salahuddin and agreed on reconstruction and improvement in​​ living conditions of their citizens. The representatives of Salahuddin, Anbar, Ninewa, Diyala, Kirkuk, and Baghdad agreed to coordinate on security issues and support international organizations working on reconstruction. [Sumaria]

 

Also see stories​​ under Sinjar.

 

Corruption

On Wednesday the Baghdad Criminal Court sentenced the former Mayor of Baghdad, Naeem Aboub, to 7 years imprisonment in absentia for​​ criminally​​ wasting 12 million dollars.​​ Among specific charges was that Aboub had issued sole-source contracts without cost estimates,​​ which suggests favoritism and possible kickbacks.​​ Aboub had been the​​ Mayor of Baghdad from 2013 to 2015, when he was dismissed from his position by Haider Al-Abadi due to suspicions about his character. Aboub has been in​​ 

Washington DC for “several months.” [BasNews]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The head of the UN team investigating Daesh’s crimes, Karim Assad Khan, says that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani told him that Daesh prisoners should be treated according to secular and Islamic law. He described the meeting as positive. The purpose of the meeting was to explain the team mission, which will have a special focus on crimes against women. [Sumaria]

 

Foreign policy

Iraqi MP Hassan Al-Kaabi said in a meeting with the Palestinian National Council on Wednesday that there would be no “normalization” of relations with Israel. [Anadolu]

 

BAGHDAD

No reports

 

ANBAR

Qasim Musleh, Anbar Ops Commander for the PMF, says that the PMF thwarted a Daesh infiltration attempt across the border. [Sumaria]

 

Falluja

The PMF media office says that the 2nd​​ PMF Brigade, in cooperation with the 14th​​ Army Division, found and destroyed a tunnel leading from the Shuhada area to Hayakel in Falluja​​ city. It says the tunnel was prepared for use by Daesh militants to attack the city. [Sumaria]

 

Ramadi

A security source in Anbar says intelligence units arrested a Daesh recruitment officer in Anbar on the expressway west of Ramadi. The arrestee previously fled to Turkey, and lived in Urfa, southeastern Turkey, since 2016. He topped the list of wanted persons​​ because of previous​​ attacks against Iraqi military and security targets. [BasNews]​​ [Ghad]​​ 

 

Al-Qa’im

The subdistrict manager of Al-Qa’im​​ subdistrict, Ahmad Jidyan, called on Wednesday for the local government to deport the families of Daesh members to “maintain the security of the western areas.” Jidyan noted that the border area of Al-Qa’im was an important security arena, and said that local residents were concerned about the presence of Daesh families and feared the return of Daesh fighters. He said that Daesh family members should be housed in camps or in new housing away from the Al-Qa’im city center.​​ [BasNews]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that Daesh terrorists in the Makhoul Mountains area are spreading rumors about a “surprise” for Iraqi and Coalition forces. The source said that Daesh sources claim that Daesh​​ has​​ manufactured chemical weapons and plan to “restart the resistance” against the Coalition.​​ 

 

DIYALA

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

The subdistrict manager for Abu Saida, Harith Al-Rubai’e, said on Wednesday that most of the villages south of Abu Saida are under the control of Daesh, and that security personnel are targeted in these areas on a daily basis. Al-Rubai’e​​ named the villages of Mukhaisa,​​ Abu Khanazir, Sheikhi, and Chalabi as still being “havens” for Daesh members. He also said that smuggling in the province was the main means of funding for the terrorist operations there.​​ [Sumaria]

Following​​ the​​ Al-Rubai’e​​ statement, local tribes told their tribal members to prepare for a confrontation with Daesh. The head of the council for Abbara subdistrict, Adnan Ghadhban Al-Tamimi, said that tribes from both Abbara and Abu Saida were ready for a confrontation, as they saw Daesh already infiltrating some villages and orchards. Al-Tamimi also said that Daesh had launched attacks against local families and security positions within the last few weeks. [Buratha]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that there are more than 500 Daesh terrorists hiding in the Himrin Mountains area, between northern Salahuddin and southern Kirkuk. The source says that PMF commanders accuse the Iraqi government of not allocating enough resources to clear the area. The source says that IFP and PMF units are surrounding the area, but there have been no real efforts to break into it. The source says that Daesh uses it as a base to conduct “hundreds” of attacks in villages in southwest Kirkuk and northern Salahuddin. Daesh is also depending on sleeper cells in these villages to conduct attacks. The source says PMF commanders warn that the government has withdrawn hundreds of soldiers from the area, making the situation even more vulnerable.​​ 

 

A source in the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said on Wednesday that orders were issued to withdraw the CTS from Kirkuk Province. The source said that CTS functions in Kirkuk would be performed by the “special team” of the Presidential Brigade. [Sumaria]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ With​​ so​​ many​​ security problems reported almost daily from many different parts of the country, the absence of news from the Counter Terrorism Service, Iraq’s most effective fighting force,​​ has been noticeable. Now they are withdrawing from Kirkuk too. So where are they working?

 

Hawija​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 2 PMF soldiers were killed and 2 others wounded on Friday when a group of Daesh terrorists on motorcycles attacked PMF military positions near Al-Saray village, in Riyadh subdistrict. ​​ 

 

A security source in Kirkuk says a car bomb explosion killed 1 IFP soldier and wounded 3 others at the entrance to the Riyadh subdistrict of Hawija. [Sumaria]​​ [Sumaria]

​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 1 PMF soldier was killed and 4 others wounded when a group of Daesh terrorists on motorcycles attacked PMF military positions near Al-Sadouniya village. ​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 3 IFP members were killed when on Sunday when an IED destroyed their vehicle between Al-Sadouniya and Bakara villages. The source said the IFP arrested 5 young men from Bakara village, located close to Hawija city,​​ after the attack.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that an IFP member was killed by a Daesh sniper on Tuesday near​​ Al-Tarqiya village​​ in Al-Zab subdistrict. The source said the IFP arrested several young men from the village after the attack.​​ 

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Bashiqa)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that Iraqi Army 16th division units arrested 4 Daesh terrorists in 3 tunnels near Al-Naurat village​​ (spelling approx.)​​ in Mosul’s Bashiqa subdistrict,​​ in the Nineveh Plain,​​ and confiscated light weapons, computers, and food supplies. The source said the terrorists admitted they were receiving help from residents of the area.

 

Mosul District

West (Hamidat/Muhalabiya)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 3 Iraqi Army soldiers were killed and another severely wounded on Saturday when a roadside IED destroyed their vehicle near Badoush. The source said there are still many Daesh terrorists hiding in the Badoush Hills area.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 2 PMF soldiers were killed on Friday in a Daesh attack on a checkpoint near Sahaji village, 9 miles​​ southwest of Mosul city

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

The Ninewa Provincial Council says that work to reconstruct all destroyed buildings in Sinjar has started. The reconstruction will be​​ overseen​​ by the Reconstruction Committee of the Council,​​ and conducted by​​ the Al-Saad and Al-Faw contracting companies. [BasNews]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that 250 electricity transformers, donated by Kuwait, arrived in Sinjar city. The source also said that 22 displaced families returned to Sinjar. ​​ 

 

Southern Ninewa

Hatra

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that while security forces are “virtually” in charge in the Hatra area, Daesh is still active and is able to conduct attacks and intimidate the population. The source says that Daesh​​ still​​ has many tunnels and hideouts in the area. Daesh killed​​ two​​ shepherds recently just to intimidate people. The source says Daesh is collecting extortion money from people, and many displaced people are refusing to return. The situation is even worse in southern Hatra, where Daesh is still in charge of several villages, and its presence extends to western Anbar.​​ 

The source also says that in the desert between southern Ninewa and western Anbar, there are 1,400-2,000 Daesh terrorists, many of​​ them​​ foreigners from Arab countries. The source also says that some Daesh terrorists from European countries who have fled from Syria came to this area. The source says the terrorists have what they need to remain in hiding, including different kinds of weapons, vehicles, mobile phones, etc. The source says that Daesh even continues its religious lectures for its terrorists in those areas.​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Babel

A security source said on Wednesday that a person wanted on terrorism charges was arrested at a checkpoint while attempting to enter Babel Province.​​ [Buratha]​​ 

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

DAHUK

The General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces said on Wednesday that airstrikes taking place between January 20 and 22 in Iraqi Kurdistan had killed 21 PKK fighters, who the statement claimed had been preparing to attack Turkish bases. It said that the airstrikes took place in the areas of​​ Avasin, Haftanin,​​ Metina, and Zab, near the Turkey border.​​ [Forat]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

On Wednesday, President Putin said he supported dialogue between the Syrian regime and the PYD. He said the US withdrawal from Syria would help bring stability to Russia-controlled areas. [BasNews]

 

United Nations

Syrian official TV reported that Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said that if the UN Security Council would not take measures against Israel’s attacks on the Damascus airport, Syria would have to retaliate by bombing the Tel Aviv airport. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ That may not be a good idea for Syria.

 

The Permanent Representative of Qatar to the UN told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that Qatar had allocated 50 million dollars for humanitarian aid in Syria. She said that the human suffering in Syria would only end with a political solution that meets the demands of all the Syrian people. [ElDorar]

 

Foreign policy

United States

On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2019, which would “drastically increase” sanctions against the Al-Assad regime and anyone who does business with it, its security services, or the Central Bank of Syria. The bill is named after a defected Syrian soldier who escaped with thousands of photographs of civilians who had been tortured and killed in regime prisons. The bill has yet to pass the Senate. [ElDorar] [WaPo] [Congress]

 

Europe

On Monday, the EU sanctioned 11 individuals and 5 businesses for business dealings with the Al-Assad regime. [WSJ]

 

In response to EU sanctions against Syria, the Syrian government cancelled multi-entry visa procedures for EU diplomats.​​ Top EU officials will now have to apply for a single-entry visa every time they visit Syria. [ElDorar]

 

Northwest

Afrin

Kurdish media sources say a car bomb​​ exploded in front of​​ the HQ of the pro-Turkey​​ Ahrar Al-Sham​​ militia​​ in​​ Afrin,​​ killing 3​​ of their fighters. [Hawar] [Hawar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This kind of incident in Afrin would normally be attributed to the YPG, but Tahrir Al-Sham and Daesh are also enemies of Ahrar Al-Sham, raising some uncertainty about the source.

 

Northeast​​ 

No reports

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

The SOHR says that Tahrir Al-Sham​​ killed​​ 4 of its members in Idlib on charges of spying for Daesh, as part of a “wave” of operations and counter-operations by the 2 groups against each other. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

The SOHR says that unidentified armed men assassinated an SDF fighter in Al-Busayrah town using a hand grenade. It believes that a Daesh cell is behind the operation. [SyriaHR]

Daesh said on Wednesday that its snipers killed an SDF fighter in Al-Busayrah. [A3maq]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SDF took control of Al-Baghouz town following fierce battles with Daesh on Tuesday. The SDF recently also captured Al-Susah, Mozan, and​​ Al-Safafiyah​​ with the support of the Coalition. Many civilians managed to escape battle areas through safe routes opened by the SDF. Daesh now only holds the Marashidah​​ and​​ Al-Shajla villages​​ east of the Euphrates,​​ both in Al-Susah subdistrict;​​ and some areas in the Deir Ez-Zor desert and Homs desert west of the Euphrates. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

Qasim Musleh, Anbar Ops Commander for the PMF in Iraq, says that PMF units on the Iraqi side of the border carried out “precise” artillery strikes on Al-Baghouz, killing 43 Daesh fighters and destroying several warehouses. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded several SDF fighters on Tuesday in clashes “on the outskirts of” Al-Baghouz town. [ICDNJan23-Telegram]​​ 

Daesh said it killed or wounded several SDF fighters on Tuesday when it set off a parked vehicle bomb near Al-Marsoumi building, “on the outskirts of” Al-Baghouz town. Daesh also said that another suicide terrorist blew himself up near the same building, killing or wounding more fighters. [ICDNJan23] [ICDNJan23] [A3maq]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Again, we see “victorious” stories​​ written to distract attention from a defeat. Notice, however, that the “clashes” are “on the outskirts” of Al-Baghouz, an implicit admission that Daesh has lost this town.

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded four SDF fighters on Tuesday when it targeted a “gathering” in Al-Marashidah town with a rocket. [ICDNJan23]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This “victorious” story accidentally implies that Daesh has already lost at least part of Marashidah, one of its last two villages. Otherwise, why would they be rocketing the town?

 

The​​ SOHR reported 1,500​​ people​​ leaving Daesh-held​​ areas towards SDF-held​​ areas,​​ including 200 Daesh​​ fighters. 90 trucks carried the civilians,​​ while 9 others carried weapons taken​​ by​​ the​​ SDF from Daesh during the battles. This​​ brings​​ the total number​​ of people​​ that​​ have​​ left​​ the​​ Daesh-held​​ areas​​ since​​ December 2018​​ to​​ 26,950,​​ of which​​ 4,900 (including 470 Daesh​​ fighters)​​ left​​ within the past 24 hours. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that 400 people, including women and children, escaped during the last 48 hours from Al-Baghouz, Albu Badran, and Al-Shajla to SDF controlled areas. The source said that Daesh snipers killed 11 civilians who tried to escape. The source said the civilians managed to escape because of the heavy Coalition bombing that forced Daesh terrorists to hide.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Wednesday that 600 families returned from Hajin camp to their houses in several areas in Deir Ez-Zor province. The source said the families expressed their thanks to the SDF who escorted them to their houses.

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

A source within the Yemeni government said that the head of the UN monitoring mission in Hodeida, General Patrick Cammeart, had resigned and would depart when a successor was appointed.​​ Reuters​​ reported on Wednesday that negotiators representing the Houthis and the Saudi-backed government in Yemen expected to achieve a prisoner-swap deal within the next​​ two​​ weeks. [Anadolu]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday its snipers wounded a Houthi fighter in the Za’aj area, in Qifa. [ICDNJan23]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said it stopped an Egyptian Army attack on Tuesday on the Al-Talalja area, south of Sheikh Zuweid. It said it killed or wounded several soldiers and damaged an M113 armored vehicle with “heavy sniper guns.” [A3maq] [ICDNJan23] [ICDNJan23]

 

Daesh said on Wednesday its snipers killed an Egyptian Army soldier at Al-Hammami security barrier, near Rafah port. [A3maq]

 

Tunisia

The Tunisian National Unit for the Investigation of Terrorist Crimes said​​ it​​ arrested a terrorist cell in the Kasserine Mountains, central-west Tunisia, which was planning to kidnap businessmen and hold them for ransom. It said some members of the cell had been implicated in a shooting of security personnel in November 2018. [Tunisien]

 

Morocco

On Wednesday, the Moroccan Interior Ministry said that Moroccan police dismantled a Daesh cell consisting of 13 individuals. [Forat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

UNITED STATES

Three Michigan residents were arrested Monday afternoon for conspiring to​​ support ISIS.​​ All three men, in their​​ 20s, are naturalized U.S. citizens who were born in Kenya and currently reside in Lansing, Michigan.

The FBI was alerted to their activities in 2016 by pro-ISIS and violence-supporting Facebook posts by one of the arrestees. The FBI assigned an undercover agent to the case in 2017, posing as an ISIS recruiter, who learned of the involvement of the man’s brother and brother-in-law.​​ Another undercover agent began communicating with the man in 2018.​​ The three were persuaded​​ (by the FBI posing as ISIS)​​ that they had been accepted by ISIS in Somalia,​​ and​​ they​​ were at the airport​​ in Grand Rapids, Michigan​​ and ready to leave​​ when arrested.​​ [Yahoo]​​ 

 

EUROPE

Switzerland

The US​​ Embassy in Switzerland released a security warning after reports of an explosion near the US​​ Embassy in Geneva. [Sumaria]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

A car bomb in Mogadishu wounded 4 civilians. The explosives were attached to a parked car. [Anadolu]

 

On Wednesday,​​ Daesh issued​​ a propaganda video about its terrorists in Somalia. The video shows Daesh “medical services” in a clinic in Puntland. In the video, Daesh also calls on its supporters, especially doctors, to go join it in Somalia. [ICDNJan23]​​ 

 

Nigeria

On Wednesday, Boko Haram fighters stormed the town of Geidam, Yobe State, northeast Nigeria. A resident said that many other residents were either barring themselves in their homes or had fled town. The resident added that “the military cannot say this is a surprise attack,” as everyone in town was aware that an attack might occur. [Punch]

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded “many” Nigerian Army soldiers, destroyed 2 tanks and 4 SUVs, and stole a tank, 5 SUVs, and weapons and ammunition. [ICDNJan23-Telegram] [A3maq-Telegram]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ How bad is the government’s security operation in northeast Nigeria? Boko Haram is now making major attacks on a seemingly daily basis.​​ 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Resolute Support mission said late Tuesday that a US service member had been killed in action by “anti-government armed militants.” In accordance with DoD policy, the identity of the service member has not yet been released. [Khaama]

 

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement that the “mastermind” of the attack on a base in Maidan Wardak on Monday had been killed. The statement said that the plotter, identified as “Neman,” was killed by an airstrike on Tuesday night in Maidan Shahr, the provincial capital of Maidan Wardak, along with 7 other fighters who were with him. [Khaama]

 

China’s ambassador to Pakistan said that​​ China now recognizes​​ the​​ Taliban as a “political force,” following its participation in the Afghanistan peace process. Taliban representatives recently met US​​ Special Representative​​ Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha. [Anadolu]

 

Daesh said it killed an Afghan government “spy” on Tuesday near Jalalabad city. [A3maq]

In another report on Wednesday, Daesh said it beheaded an Afghan intelligence “spy” in the Jalalabad area. [ICDNJan23]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

See story above under Somalia.

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

January 22, 2019

 

A group of people standing in front of a crowd

Description automatically generated

Yazidi Women Returned to Their Families in Sinjar (DD Jan 20)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

UAE commits $500 million to help Iraq reconstruction. [..]

Anbar PC member calls out politicians trying to turn Anbar citizens against US. [..]

IFP, tribal PMFs stop Daesh attack in southern Salahuddin, kill 4. [..]

Mosul CoR member says 6,000 Ninewa citizens are still missing.​​ [..]

Reconstruction work begins on Nabi Younis Mosque in Mosul. [..]

Turks bomb Mount Sinjar again, targeting YPG members.​​ [..]

Basra farmers want dumping of Iranian tomatoes to stop. [..]

KDP, Gorran cooperating on formation of new Kurdistan government. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan tells Trump​​ that​​ Turkey is ready to take over security in Manbij.​​ [..]

 

Syria

McGurk alleges Trump consulted only Erdogan in making Syria withdrawal decision.​​ [..]

Financial Times says US withdrawal prompted Arab states to resume diplomatic relations with Syria. [..]

Jordan follows UAE,​​ Bahrain, Saudi Arabia​​ in normalizing relations with Syria. [..]

Daesh car bomb attack against US & SDF soldiers in Hasaka causes reported casualties.​​ [..]

Huge mass grave found in southern Raqqa, with 600-800 people.​​ [..]

Daesh loses Al-Susah, then loses 61 fighters in counter-attack.​​ [..]

SDF captures Mozan; moving on Daesh in Al-Baghouz. [..]

SOHR raises alarm on civilian bombing casualties, children buried in rubble, in Al-Baghouz area.​​ [..]

3 more Yazidi women among 700 freed by SDF. [..]

Israeli airstrikes around Damascus caused many Iranian, Syrian casualties. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Taliban attack in central Afghanistan kills 36 soldiers, wounds 58.​​ [..]

Pakistan: ​​​​ Khalilzad, Votel discuss Afghan peace process with Pakistan leaders. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Council of Representatives

The Sa’irun party says​​ it wants​​ to remove an article from the budget law which allows​​ the government to​​ sell government companies.​​ It does not​​ want the government to sell these companies, or at least the profitable ones. The reasoning is that these companies belong to the people and it should stay that way.​​ [Mada]

 

Reconstruction

The Coalition says the UAE allocated $500 million to help with reconstructing Iraq. This came in a tweet also saying that the amount is​​ in addition to​​ $5.5 billion in private investments. [Rudaw]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Through a live video broadcast at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that while the US and its allies had defeated Daesh in Syria and Iraq, there was still work to do. [Anadolu] [CNN]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We would like to have a moratorium declared on politically self-serving declarations that Daesh has been defeated. ​​ Aside from the annoyance​​ caused to those of us who know better (a lot of people, actually), and the exaggeration involved, there is a risk that the frequent repetition of such statements will persuade people that the statements are true and provide the basis for further and unwise withdrawal of support.

 

Also see related story below under Iran.

 

The​​ New York Times​​ wrote that despite being reduced to around 1% of the territory it formerly had controlled, there remained the potential for a Daesh resurgence. The​​ NYT​​ noted that Daesh had previously rebuilt itself after the US troop withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. In 2018,​​ according to​​ one​​ dataset, Daesh carried out an estimated 1,200 attacks in Iraqafter​​ Prime Minister​​ Haider Al-Abadi’s declared​​ victory over Daesh.​​ 

The​​ NYT​​ summarized recent reports by the Pentagon, the UN, and CSIS that estimated Daesh still had between 20,000 and 30,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, and​​ cited​​ recent analyses by Hassan Hassan and Michael Knights saying that Daesh was transitioning back into a guerilla insurgency strategy. It​​ also​​ quoted Knights as saying that Daesh was focusing on killing mukhtars in Iraq because that helped undercut public trust in the government’s ability to protect them. Knights said, “They realized you don’t have to mount 6,000 attacks per month ….​​ You just have to kill the right 50 people each month.” [Sumaria] [NYT]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Regarding the mukhtars, this is exactly why we have given so much emphasis to the assassination of mukhtars.​​ One implied Daesh message to Iraqis: If your mukhtar is not safe, neither are you.​​ 

 

On Monday, the​​ Washington Post​​ published an interview with an Iraqi scientist who said he had helped Daesh make chemical weapons following the fall of Mosul. The scientist, Suleiman Al-Afari, had been a geologist with the Ministry of Industry and Minerals. He described his decision in pragmatic terms, saying, “They had become the government and we now worked for them … We wanted to work so we could get paid.” Al-Afari said that despite knowing little about chemical weapons, he spent 15 months organizing a supply chain for a Daesh program to create mustard gas. The article noted that in August 2015, Daesh used mustard gas against Peshmerga fighters south of Erbil; the gas was initially assumed to have been stolen from the Syrian government or the remains of Iraq’s chemical-weapons program. US and Coalition airstrikes subsequently targeted suspected Daesh chemical-weapons facilities and technicians, and Al-Afari was captured in 2016. He is currently a prisoner awaiting execution in Erbil. [Sumaria] [WaPo]

 

Foreign policy

On Saturday, the Coalition said that “Coalition and partner forces” had destroyed more than 730 IEDs throughout Iraq, and that airstrikes had destroyed 10 Daesh weapons caches and safehouses between January 7 to 13. [InherentResolve]

 

BAGHDAD

Baghdad Ops Command said on Tuesday that​​ it​​ had arrested 10 wanted persons in various areas of the capital, including 4 wanted on terrorism charges. The terrorism suspects were arrested in Mada’in, Ghazaliya, Shuala, and Abu Ghraib.​​ [Ghad]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The locations are noteworthy—all along the edges of the city, and two (Mada’in and Abu Ghraib) outside the city boundaries altogether. Daesh keeps going back to the same places. The good news is that the number of violent incidents elsewhere in Baghdad has dropped noticeably, and there are many days (like today) when there are only one or two incidents reported.

 

Southwest​​ (Rasheed, etc.)

A security source said a locally-made IED was defused by EODs in the Al-Sina’i neighborhood, in Abu Dsheer​​ in the​​ Rasheed​​ neighborhood. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Athal Obeid, an Anbar Provincial Council member, warned that certain political forces are trying to put​​ the “sons of​​ Anbar​​ at​​ war​​ with​​ the US forces, and​​ use​​ Anbar​​ as​​ an arena to settle accounts with the Americans. He says​​ that​​ the US presence is a sovereign issue of the​​ federal government,​​ asking​​ the population of​​ Anbar to keep away from such​​ destructive trends.​​ Peace and reconstruction, not war, is what Anbar needs right now, he says. [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The PC member is likely referring to the pro-Iran PMFs operating on the Anbar side of the Syria border and​​ trying​​ to expand their influence.​​ 

 

Several officers in Anbar have been issued orders of arrest, including an intelligence director, based on an Iraqi law which says that any state employee who tortures (or commands another to torture) a defendant, witness, or expert for information, confessions, or evidence shall be punished with imprisonment. Torture is defined as the use of “force or threat.” [Rudaw]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

Daesh said it killed or wounded several PMF members on Saturday when it set off​​ two​​ booby-trapped houses in Sdaira village. [ICDNJan21]

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Salahuddin Operations​​ Command units captured 4 persons who were smuggling food, mobile phone pre-paid cards, and clothes to Daesh terrorists in the Makhoul Mountains area.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Salahuddin SWAT units captured 4 Daesh terrorists who were hiding in a tunnel in the desert near Siniya. The source said the units also confiscated weapons, food supplies, and an electric generator from the tunnel.

 

Tikrit

The PMF media office said that units from the 88th​​ PMF Brigade had found a “medical room” used by Daesh near the Ajeel oil field. The statement said that the room contained medical supplies and chemical masks, which Daesh members had used while making IEDs.​​ [Buratha]​​ 

 

The Security Media Center says that security personnel under Salahuddin Ops Command destroyed 3 Daesh hideouts in the Tikrit desert. The hideouts contained large quantities of IEDs and​​ related materials, the statement says. [Rudaw]

 

Daesh said it damaged two PMF SUVs with two IEDs on Saturday near Al-Hassan village, in Tikrit​​ District. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it wounded three Oil Facilities Protection policemen and damaged their SUV with an IED near Allas oilfield. [ICDNJan19]

 

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that IFP and tribal PMF units stopped a Daesh attack on their military positions in Al-Jam’iya village, in Dhuluiya​​ subdistrict. The source said the units killed 4 Daesh terrorists, including​​ Saad Al-Dallah, a senior Daesh commander in the​​ Samarra​​ area.​​ 

The Security Media Center said on Tuesday​​ that​​ security personnel had killed a Daesh official called Saad Al-Dallah north of the Dhuluiya airport.​​ [PUKMedia]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

Daesh said it wounded an IFP member on Saturday when it targeted a military position in Al-Kubba village,​​ 12 miles northeast of Baquba, with light weapons. [ICDNJan20]​​ 

 

Daesh said it wounded Shia people and damaged their vehicle with an IED on Monday in the Kanaan subdistrict. [ICDNJan22]​​ 

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya/Abu Saida)

Daesh said it attacked two IFP members with light weapons on Monday in Sheikhi village, near Abu Saida, wounding one of them. [ICDNJan22]​​ 

In another version, Daesh said its snipers killed one IFP member and severely wounded another. [