An Update On ISIS Activities

January 11, 2019

 

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Car Bomb Explosion in Al-Qa’im (Jan 11)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Deadly car bomb in Al-Qa’im raises issue of police understaffing. [..]

Mukhtar of NW Mosul neighborhood killed by Daesh. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey delegation will visit Washington next month to discuss US Syria withdrawal, as Erdogan-Bolton clash reverberates.​​ [..]

 

Syria

Russia says the US handing over Syrian territory it holds to Assad will solve the problem. [..]

Pentagon begins US withdrawal; estimates 4-6 months to complete. [..]

Daesh members fleeing Syria en masse, taking a lot of money with them.​​ [..]

DaeshDaily source says Daesh fighters fleeing into the desert from Al-Susah.​​ [..]

SDF, Coalition​​ airstrikes​​ free 400 civilians from Daesh near Hajin. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Iran: ​​ France warns Iran to stop ballistic missile activities. [..]

Yemen: ​​ World Bank allocates $32 for Yemen emergency aid.​​ [..]

Afghanistan:​​ ​​ Taliban attack kills at least 6 security personnel in northern Afghanistan. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Corruption

Political sources said that “high-level mediations” are underway to resolve a “media war” between​​ Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq​​ (AAH)​​ and the Hikma (Wisdom) bloc headed by Ammar Al-Hakim. The problem started when a TV station owned by Hikma accused AAH of assassinating the owner of the Laymouna restaurant in Sadr City, saying that the assassin was arrested holding an AAH ID card. [BasNews]

 

Foreign policy

Turkey’s Ambassador to Iraq, Fatih Yildiz, considers​​ “double taxation” to be the main trade obstacle between Iraq and Turkey, saying his country aims to raise the​​ amount of​​ trade between the​​ 2​​ countries to $20​​ billion. He says​​ that​​ Iraqi​​ President Barham Salih promised to resolve this issue during his recent visit to Turkey. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

IFP command says it arrested a man on terrorism charges in Baghdad, following intelligence leads. The exact location of the arrest was not specified. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

ANBAR

Falluja

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its units operating in the 14th​​ Army Division found 2 ammunition and explosives caches, including 91 IEDs, in Albu Khanfar, Qarma subdistrict. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

A security source from the Anbar Provincial Police reported that a land mine in Raihana killed a woman and her son and injured others. [BasNews]

 

Al-Qa’im

A car bomb explosion in Al-Qa’im killed 2 persons and wounded 23, the Ministry of Health says. The explosion took place in the market area. 4 policemen were among the wounded. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

MPs from the Anbar Provincial Council stated that the explosive car bomb​​ in Al-Qa’im resulted in killing 4 people and injuring 20 others. Na’im Al-Ka’oud, the head of the Security Committee in the Anbar Provincial Council, said that there is a great shortage of security forces and that more policemen are needed to prevent more explosions. He noted that the Anbar police force has 10,000 fewer policemen currently than it had in 2014, before Daesh appeared. He also called for the “removal” of the families of Daesh and “especially the leaders,” as he claimed they were forming active cells and supporting Daesh. [Dijlah] [Rudaw]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Southern Salahuddin​​ (Balad,​​ Dujail)

Daesh said it killed a tribal PMF soldier and wounded seven other soldiers, including an officer, on Thursday when it attacked the houses of the commander and an officer in the Mazari’ area, near Yathrib. [ICDNJan11]​​ 

DIYALA

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

Daesh said that on Thursday, it set a factory and 5 vehicles that belonged to an Asayish member on fire near Hilwan​​ Bridge, in the Qulay area, Khanaqin​​ District. [ICDNJan11]

 

KIRKUK

No reports

 

NINEWA

Anti-explosives personnel in the 50th​​ Brigade under Ninewa Ops Command removed 55 booby traps, 120 mines and IEDs, and 120 “projectiles” from the Ninewa Ops Command area of operations.​​ [IraqPress]

 

Mosul​​ city

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that the mukhtar of​​ the​​ Haramat neighborhood, in​​ northwest Mosul, was killed when a group of Daesh terrorists in military uniforms attacked his​​ house. The source said the terrorists fled to the Al-Atshana Mountains area, in​​ nearby​​ Badoush subdistrict, after the murder.​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

The PMF media office said that PMF units had stopped a rocket attack targeting the Qayrawan area on Friday, and found 40 mortar rounds and “hundreds” of unexploded ordnance left behind by Daesh in the area.​​ [Sumaria]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Yazidi PMF units stopped a Daesh​​ unit​​ near the Syria border, killing 2 terrorists.

 

Daesh said on Friday it set off an IED at the house of a tribal PMF soldier in Albu Khashab village, in Sinjar northeast of Baaj, causing damages. [ICDNJan11]​​ 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

The Turkish MoD says its planes attacked PKK positions in Hakurk,​​ in northern Erbil, killing 5 fighters and destroying their positions. [Sumaria]​​ [Buratha]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday that it would send a delegation to Washington, D.C.,​​ early next month to continue discussions on the repercussions of the US withdrawal from Syria. [WSJ]

 

Meanwhile, Erdogan’s hostile reaction to John Bolton’s statement that the US withdrawal was conditional on the Turks not attacking the US-allied Kurds after the withdrawal continues to make headlines. The Turks have reportedly already massed a large number of troops along the border.​​ CNBC reported that Foreign Minister Cavusoglu is adamant that the Turks will not request permission from anyone to attack the YPG.​​ [CNBC]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

Russia

The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the US to hand over the areas it is evacuating to the Syrian government. Maria Zakharova, the Ministry’s spokeswoman, says the return of government control over these areas will eliminate any threats to Syria’s neighbors (i.e., Turkey). [EnabBaladi]

 

United States

A statement from the Coalition said​​ on Friday that the US​​ had​​ started a “deliberate” withdrawal of its forces from Syria.​​ The statement, from Coalition spokesman Sean Ryan,​​ said that the Coalition​​ would not specify timelines, locations, or troop movements for operational security​​ reasons. [Hawar]​​ [WaPo]

 

The Pentagon says that it​​ has​​ started to pull out “some” military equipment from Syria, without giving further details.​​ CNN​​ said earlier that CENTCOM had defined the ships and planes involved in the withdrawal process.​​ Defense Department officials said that initial withdrawals were limited to equipment, and that no troops had yet been withdrawn.​​ The DoD officials added that the number of US troops deployed in Syria might increase slightly to expedite the withdrawal process, and that the operation was expected to take 4 to 6 months to complete.​​ [Anadolu]​​ [WaPo]​​ [NYT] [WSJ]

 

The​​ New York Times​​ wrote that the US departure from Syria marked a “post-American era” for the Middle East. The​​ NYT​​ noted that Turkey, Iran, and Russia were​​ hashing out the end of the civil war without the US present. The paper went on to write that despite the Middle East being near the top of the US foreign policy agenda since the Cold War, some scholars and arguably both the Obama and Trump administrations now viewed the region as more trouble than it was worth. [NYT]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The SOHR reported on Friday that hundreds of mostly Iraqi Daesh members and their families​​ have​​ fled to Iran, Turkey, and Iraq within the past 40 days. The​​ SOHR​​ said that “large sums” of money have flowed between Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran​​ due to​​ Daesh members fleeing from Hajin. It also​​ reported that 15,000 Daesh fighters​​ and their families​​ in Syria​​ are headed to Iraq, including 12,000 women and children. [Dijlah]

 

Northwest

No reports

 

Northeast​​ 

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

Daesh said it killed an SDF member with a silenced gun Friday afternoon near Adnaniya Farm, northwest of Raqqa. [ICDNJan11]​​ 

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

The Turkish news agency​​ Anadolu​​ says that the Turkish Army deployed “commando” units and armored vehicles on the borders of Idlib, following “Al-Nusra” (i.e., HTS) taking control of the province. [Sumaria]

 

According to activists, an IED explosion injured 4 people and set 2 cars on fire near a building of the Ba’ath Party in Aleppo. [ElDorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it killed an SDF commander, wounded three other soldiers, and damaged their vehicle on Thursday when it set off a parked motorcycle bomb near Al-Busayrah​​ Bridge. [ICDNJan11]

 

Daesh said it wounded three SDF members on Thursday when it targeted an SDF office in the Al-Sabha area, in Al-Busayrah subdistrict, with a hand grenade. [ICDNJan11]

 

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said it killed an SDF member with machine guns on Thursday in Dernaj village. [ICDNJan11]​​ 

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that many Daesh terrorists have fled from Al-Susah town​​ near the Iraq border​​ toward the desert. The source said that most of the remaining terrorists are Iraqis. The source said that a Daesh speaker urged the terrorists in Friday prayers to fight to the death and not surrender.​​ 

 

The SDF says in a statement that it assaulted Daesh positions near Hajin and freed 400 civilians. It also says it killed 147 Daesh militants, destroyed 78 positions, 6 vehicles, car rigging workshop, two land mine sites, 3 mortars, and a drone workshop. It also cut off two main Daesh supply routes. Finally, it says that Coalition planes executed 63 airstrikes on Daesh positions. [PUKMedia]​​ 

 

The SOHR says that the SDF arrested 3 non-Syrian Daesh leaders (a Russian, an Afghani, and a Turk) in Deir Ez-Zor. The 3 were connected to the deadly attacks in Raqqa in the past few days. The SOHR also reported 720 Daesh escapees among the IDPs leaving Daesh-held areas, all of whom it says were arrested by the SDF. [SyriaHR]

 

South​​ 

Daraa/Quneitra

The “Popular Resistance” militia​​ said that its fighters had​​ attacked a Syrian Army checkpoint in​​ the small city of​​ Ghabagheb, north of Daraa, using RPG rockets.​​ It says​​ 2 Syrian soldiers were killed and 3 wounded in the attack. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

France called on Iran to stop all activities related to Iranian ballistic missiles immediately, saying Iran’s missile program is violating UN Security Council Resolution 2231. The French Foreign Ministry was responding to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who said that Iran was launching 2 satellites into space using Iranian-made missiles. The US also warned Iran against taking such an action. [BasNews]

 

The family of Michael White, the US Navy veteran imprisoned in Iran, said on Friday that White had traveled there with a valid visa to visit a female friend, and rejected any suggestion that White was engaged in espionage. [NYT]

 

Yemen

The UN announced that the World Bank allocated $32 million to provide life-saving emergency aid in Yemen. [Anadolu]

 

North Africa

Egypt

The Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa’​​ jihadi​​ and​​ fatwa​​ watch group says that Daesh and Al-Qaeda are targeting the UAE and Saudi Arabia through their media publications. Recent publications cited included accusations against both countries of “Zionism” and of enhancing relations with Israel and the US.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Al-Ahram​​ newspaper reported on Friday that Egyptian authorities deported a 24-year-old German man who attempted to join Daesh in Egypt. [IKH]

 

Daesh said it wounded Egyptian Army members and destroyed a Humvee and a bulldozer with 2 IEDs on Thursday near Al-Dhahir village, south of Sheikh Zuweid. It also said it damaged another Humvee with heavy machine guns in the same area. [ICNDJan11] [A3maq]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded Egyptian soldiers and destroyed their M113 armored vehicle with an IED on Thursday between Al-Mar’i and Al-Sidra security barriers, south of Arish. [ICDNJan11] [A3maq]

 

Libya

Hawar​​ reported that the Libyan Council of National Security and Defense and the Libyan Foreign Ministry was considering “several” measures against Turkey after seizing 2 shipments of arms and drugs coming from Turkey. [Hawar]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Chief of Army Staff,​​ General Tukur Buratai,​​ said on Friday that Nigerian Army troops had cleared the town of Baga, Borno State, and congratulated the troops who had taken part in the operation. [VanguardNGR]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) said that Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib met with the Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, on the first day of his trip to China. The ONSC said in a statement that Wang Yi emphasized the importance of an Afghan-led peace process, and said that peace would be impossible without direct talks between the government and the Taliban. [Khaama]

 

Elif Shah Tay,​​ Director of Fayzabad district in Jowzjan Province, northern Afghanistan, says that the Taliban killed 6 Afghan security personnel in an attack in the area. He says that a gunfight took place, and that Taliban fighters withdrew after reinforcement arrived. The Taliban claims it killed 8 security personnel in that attack. [Rudaw]

 

Military sources said that the Taliban intelligence chief for Faryab Province, northern Afghanistan, and a senior leader of Daesh’s Khorasan affiliate (ISIS-K), were killed in separate airstrikes on Thursday. [Khaama]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 164th​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine. In this issue, Daesh published an infographic about its attacks during the last week in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, west Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, claiming it conducted 71 attacks, killing or wounding more than 191 people, and destroying 27 vehicles. It also issued an infographic about its attacks during the last 3 months in Aleppo, Hasaka, Raqqa, and Deir Ez-Zor provinces, claiming it conducted 271 attacks, killing or wounding more than 910 people, and destroying 125 vehicles. [ICDNJan10]

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

January 10, 2019

 

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IED Explosion Near Sinjar (DD Jan 10)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraqi leaders worried US Syria withdrawal may mean Iraq troop cuts too. [..]

President Salih says Iraq wants best possible relations with all Arab countries. [..]

Washington Post article warns that​​ resentment against​​ Shia militias controlling Sunni areas may enable a Daesh resurgence. [..]

Saudi Arabia proposes major agricultural investment in southern and western Iraq.​​ [..]

Al-Hurra TV journalist murdered in east Baghdad. [..]

Daesh claims to kill 10 Border Guard police on Saudi border. [..]

 

Turkey

Foreign Minister says Turkey’s move into NE Syria does not depend on prior US withdrawal. [..]

 

Syria

Mixed messages from Washington on Syria withdrawal causing concern.​​ [..]

Germany warns Turkey against any attack on NE Syria. France reasserts support for SDF.​​ [..]

UN says 7,000 have fled Hajin, 2,000 remain trapped. [..]

The Telegraph adds up the Deir Ez-Zor casualties since December: 600 SDF killed, 1,000 Daesh. [..]

Kurdish militia kills 5 Turkish & allied soldiers in Afrin, Azaz. [..]

5 British soldiers reported killed in Al-Sha’afa (unofficial). [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Sudan: ​​ Russian mercenaries helping to quell anti-government demonstrations. [..]

Afghanistan:​​ Taliban commander, 20 fighters killed​​ by​​ northern Afghanistan airstrike. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

In a speech at the American University of Cairo,​​ US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the reluctance of the US to intervene enabled Daesh to arrive in Iraq. He said that the US had been absent in the Middle East since 2009, and that​​ President Trump helped to return the US to the area. Pompeo said that despite the planned withdrawal from Syria, the US would “not retreat until the terror fight is over.” He also cast Iran as the nemesis of the region, saying that “the nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security, achieve economic stability, or advance the dreams of their people if Iran’s revolutionary regime persists on its current course.”​​ [Sumaria] [Baghdadia] [WSJ]

 

Former US diplomats and officials criticized Pompeo’s speech as overly partisan for spending too much time criticizing the Obama administration’s policies, rather than laying out the current administration’s plans. [AlMonitor]

 

Pompeo also confirmed​​ in his Cairo speech​​ that there are ongoing​​ bilateral communications between Iraq and Israel. Pompeo asked,​​ rhetorically,​​ who could have expected that Israel would establish relations with Saudi Arabia and Iraq. [Rudaw]

 

See also stories below under Egypt

 

The​​ Wall Street Journal​​ says that Iraqi officials requested from Pompeo to keep US forces in Iraq. This came during​​ his​​ meetings held in Bagdad and Erbil on Wednesday. [Sumaria] [WSJ] The​​ Washington​​ Post​​ reported on Thursday that Iraqi leaders are worried that the Syria withdrawal might​​ also​​ mean a withdrawal of some of the 5,200 US troops currently stationed in Iraq. [WashPost]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The withdrawal of US troops from Syria will weaken Iraq’s security too.​​ 

 

Pompeo also stressed the importance of Iraqi independence in the fields of energy and self-sufficiency, two months before the end of the grace period given to Iraq to end its dependence on Iranian gas and energy. Sources say that Iraqi officials requested of Pompeo to once more extend the grace period. [BasNews]

 

President Barham Salih called on the Prince of Qatar,​​ Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani,​​ to build bilateral relations that can improve overall Arab and regional relations. The Iraqi President in arrived Qatar on Wednesday evening, and discussed regional developments and the coordination of​​ policy​​ positions with the Prince. Salih says Iraq is aiming to have the best possible relations with all Arab countries, without exception. [Anadolu]

 

Israeli media reported that the Israeli Minister of Finance would remove Iraq from a list of “enemy states” based on 3 Iraqi delegations’ visits to Tel Aviv. [Rudaw]

 

A video circulated among social media activists showed an Iraqi consul in Tehran promoting an Iranian medical center. The activists demanded that the Foreign Ministry take a firm stand against this diplomat,​​ for allegedly​​ harming the reputation of Iraq. [BasNews]

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced that it had summoned the head of the Iraqi Consulate in Mashhad, Iran, based on a video on social media showing the consulate promoting a “beauty center.” [Sumaria]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The​​ Washington Post​​ reported that Daesh may be rekindled by the increased political and military influence of Shia in Sunni areas of Iraq. It wrote that the Shia PMF militias now have “unprecedented military and political power in Iraq” and are effectively governing Sunni areas, stoking resentment by the Sunnis. The​​ Washington Post​​ wrote that Al-Qa’im was a “striking example of militia dominance,” saying that Kataeb Hezbollah now ran the area, controlled who entered and exited, and had set up its own “improvised border crossing.” [Shafaaq] [WashPost]

 

Daesh announced that it is starting a project that it calls the “Electronic Caliphate Shield” that would largely target the Shia. [BaghdadToday]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source says that there are still​​ thousands​​ of arrest warrants for Daesh and AQI members who have not been captured yet. The source said some of the warrants go back to 2007.

 

Reconstruction

Saudi Arabia proposed to invest in 10,000 hectares​​ (about 25,000 acres)​​ in Iraq, mostly in Anbar, to turn vacant land into farms, cattle ranches, and poultry breeding fields. The targeted area reaches all the way to the Muthanna provincial border in southern Iraq. The project is under discussion in a Joint Coordinating Council formed during the term of former Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.​​ [BasNews]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Much of the extensive land along the Saudi border is sparsely populated desert land.​​ Most of the people in these provinces live well away from this area.

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Prime​​ Minister​​ Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi said on Thursday that he was interested in stabilizing security in Kirkuk, where the PUK raised the KRG flag above its headquarters 2 days earlier. [Anadolu]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

Daesh said on Thursday it killed two Iraqi Army members with machine guns in an attack in the Al-Azri area, in Tarmiya. [ICDNJan10]

 

East​​ (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

Unidentified gunmen killed Samir Ali, a journalist working for the US-sponsored​​ Al-Hurra​​ TV channel. His body was found​​ on Al-Qanat​​ Street in east Baghdad with bullets in his head. Samir Ali is the first Iraqi journalists killed in 2019. [BasNews]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

The Directorate for Intelligence and Security announced on Thursday that its field units found a stockpile of IEDs in Saqlawiya. [Dijlah]

 

Rutba

Daesh said it killed at least 10 Border Guard policemen, destroyed 2 military vehicles, and set a border center on fire on Wednesday in an attack near the Saudi border. [ICDNJan10]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

On Thursday, the Salahuddin Emergency Brigade found a Daesh depot of explosives and 7 missiles in​​ Albu Ajeel​​ village. [Mawazin]

 

Samarra

The​​ District Manager (Mayor)​​ of Samarra District, Mahmoud Khalaf, called on the government to intervene to discover the fate of 850 detainees who have been missing since 2014. Khalaf says they disappeared in the aftermath of military operations against Daesh in Samarra in 2014. [BasNews]

 

DIYALA

Sadiq Al-Husseini, head of the Security Committee in the Diyala Provincial Council, said that security services in Diyala were planning a “war” against Daesh sleeper cells in Diyala, and said that 2019 would be the year that these cells were finally eliminated.​​ [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

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

On Thursday, a security source reported that Daesh attacked a factory in Khanaqin and​​ burned it.​​ [BaghdadToday]

 

Another security source also said on Thursday that Daesh failed​​ in an effort​​ to infiltrate​​ the​​ Lake Himrin​​ area​​ west of​​ Khanaqin. [BaghdadToday]

 

KIRKUK

Former​​ minister and CoR​​ MP Jassim Mohammed Ja’afar, a Turkmen,​​ claimed to have information indicating that “dozens” of Daesh terrorists had entered Kirkuk to carry out terrorist operations and destabilize the province.​​ [Etejah]

 

Hawija (Riyadh,​​ Al-Zab,​​ etc.)

On Thursday, the Ministry of Interior announced that Hawija police arrested a Daesh leader who had been the head of Daesh agricultural projects in Kirkuk. [Mawazin]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that IFP units found Daesh documents in a tunnel near Al-Zab. The source said the documents contain names of Daesh terrorists and their monthly salaries.

 

NINEWA

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Daesh kidnapped 2 PMF soldiers on the road between Tal Afar and Mosul.

 

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that 3 people from the same family were severely wounded when a Daesh leftover roadside IED exploded on their vehicle near Hardan village, 19 miles east of Sinjar city. The source said the IED had been marked by EOD units, but the vehicle driver didn’t see the warning sign.

DaeshDaily comment.​​ So it’s the driver’s fault that the military units did not deal with the IED on site or post a suitably conspicuous notice?

 

The media office of the PMF said that PMF units in Ninewa had found and removed 3 IEDs during a clearance operation in Qayrawan on Thursday. [Ghad]​​ [PressIraq]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

Nechirvan Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, expressed the readiness of the Kurdistan Region to coordinate and cooperate with the federal forces to confront any attempt of Daesh to return to Iraq. His statements came in a meeting with John Lorimer, Senior Defense Advisor to the Middle East for the UK, who was representing UK Prime Minister Theresa May. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, says the anticipated Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria is not dependent on the US withdrawal. He told the TV station​​ NTV​​ that he is not expecting the US to withdraw all weapons provided to by the US to Kurdish groups.​​ [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This statement that they are not depending on a US withdrawal may be technically true. What Turkey is really waiting for is the assurance that the US will not impede the attack on its Kurdish allies. This might come from a statement that reverses Bolton’s public position but is more likely to follow the actual withdrawal of US troops, leaving the Kurds to face NATO’s largest army (after the US) on their own.

 

Also see reports under Syria, National News below

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

The​​ Wall Street Journal​​ wrote on Thursday that the US was moving ahead with plans to withdraw all US troops from Syria, notwithstanding the possibility of a US-Turkey split. While John Bolton said earlier this week that the US wouldn’t leave without a promise from Turkey that it wouldn’t attack the US’ Syrian Kurdish partner forces (i.e., the SDF),​​ Pentagon officials said that they hadn’t received any new instructions and were proceeding with withdrawal plans. [WSJ]

 

On Tuesday,​​ Foreign Affairs​​ published an article saying that the US departure from Syria would result in a tripartite conflict, the reemergence of Daesh, and an extension of Iran’s power. The article forecast that the conflict would occur​​ among​​ Turkey, the SDF, and the Assad regime, and that Iran would very likely use routes across Syria to​​ expand​​ its missile depot in western Syria. [ElDorar] [FA]

 

Germany

Germany warned Turkey against any attack on northeast Syria, saying any military solution in any part of Syria will not be acceptable. [Hawar]

 

France

French Foreign Minister​​ Jean-Yves Le Drian says France will only withdraw from Syria when a political settlement is reached. He says that France’s support to the SDF will continue.​​ [Hawar]

 

United Nations

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, says 7,000 civilians have fled their homes in Hajin, mostly women and children. He says 2,000 more are still trapped in the city. He adds that the arrival of humanitarian support to the area is highly restricted.​​ [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ It’s not clear why they are trapped if Daesh has been defeated in Hajin, though actually getting out on the roads could be perilous for some. However, we suspect that a victory dependent on such much Coalition air and artillery strikes could have caused great damage to the city and made living conditions dangerous.

 

See also story below under Albu Kamal

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

On Thursday,​​ Shafaaq​​ reported that the​​ SDF​​ captured a 16-year-old American fighting with Daesh. ​​ [Shafaaq]

 

Northwest

Afrin/Azaz

The Kurdish militia​​ Afrin​​ Liberation​​ Forces says​​ that​​ it killed 5 Turkish soldiers and its allied militia​​ fighters​​ in an​​ operation​​ in Azaz and Afrin. [Hawar]

 

Manbij

Military Police arrested a 5-member SDF cell in Awn Al-Dadat village near Manbij. [Qasioun]​​ 

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Daesh said on Thursday it beheaded an SDF member in Tal Hormuz village,​​ near Tal Tamr,​​ west of Hasaka city. [ICDNJan10]​​ 

 

Raqqa

West Raqqa​​ (Tabaqa, etc.)

The SOHR says that an IED targeted an SDF vehicle in Tabaqa. A series of explosions were also reported in Raqqa, mainly aimed at SDF targets, leaving several killed and wounded. [SyriaHR]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

Abu Mohammed Al-Golani, head of Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) signed an agreement with​​ the​​ commanders of​​ the pro-Turkey​​ National​​ Front​​ opposition militias​​ in Idlib to end all military operations. The agreement also states that all areas west of Aleppo, Hama, and Idlib will be run by Tahrir Al-Sham. [Qasioun]

 

Hama

The SOHR reported that Tahrir Al-Sham fired 20 rockets at Syrian Army positions near Lataminah, north of Hama city. A drone also destroyed an opposition vehicle in the city. Tahrir Al-Sham is now in full control of the “ceasefire areas” provided by the Russian-Turkish sponsored truce. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

The British paper​​ Telegraph​​ reported that since December 2018, in Deir Ez-Zor, Daesh killed about 600 SDF fighters and the SDF killed about 1,000 Daesh fighters. [Qasioun]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it killed or wounded three SDF members and damaged their vehicle with an IED on Wednesday in Jazrat Al-Milaj, in Al-Kasrah subdistrict. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF member and wounded another in an attack on a security barrier on Wednesday in Al-Sabha village, in​​ Al-Busayrah subdistrict. [ICDNJan10]​​ 

Daesh said it killed an SDF “intelligence” member, wounded another, and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on Wednesday in Barsham village in​​ Al-Busayrah. [ICDNJan10]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The Syrian pro-government paper​​ Al-Watan​​ quoted a local source as saying 5 UK soldiers were killed by a Daesh rocket in Deir Ez-Zor. The soldiers were reportedly killed in Al-Sha’afa, and their bodies were taken to Shaddadi Hospital in southern Hasaka. [Qasioun]

 

SOHR reported​​ that​​ 600 civilians​​ fled​​ the​​ remaining Daesh-held​​ areas​​ in​​ eastern​​ Deir Ez-Zor, mostly women and children,​​ and were transferred to locations​​ near​​ Al-Omar oilfield by SDF forces. This​​ brings the​​ total escapees from Daesh-held​​ areas since December to 14,500. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Coalition planes killed the Daesh “Minister of Health” Moufaq Askar (aka Abu Abdul Qader Al-Tibbi) and other terrorists in an airstrike near Al-Susah.

 

Forat​​ says that bodies of Daesh fighters killed by the SDF were found in​​ the​​ Hawama and Shakhtiya neighborhoods in Hajin. [Qasioun]

 

Daesh said on Thursday it targeted SDF “gatherings” in Al-Sha’afa town with 50 mortar shells. [ICDNJan10]

Daesh published on Thursday photos of targeting the SDF in Al-Sha’afa town with mortars. [ICDNJan10]

Daesh said on Thursday it targeted SDF gatherings in Al-Sha’afa with 60 RPG rockets. [ICDNJan10]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh uses the term “gatherings”​​ to justify​​ its arbitrary shellings.

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded seven SDF members in an attack on Wednesday in Al-Sha’afa town. [ICDNJan10]

DaeshDaily comment:​​ Notice​​ in all four of the stories just above​​ that Daesh is shooting​​ into​​ Al-Sha’afa. Until a few days ago, it controlled A-Sha’afa.​​ So its “victorious” reports are intended to divert attention from the fact that it has lost Al-Sha’afa. As we often say, Daesh is always​​ victorious,​​ even when it’s not.

 

South​​ 

Suwayda

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that Daesh set​​ on fire​​ 14 houses belonging to Druze in Tal Al-Dhahab village, near Al-Safa Hills.

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Bijan Zangeneh, the Iranian Minister of Oil, says that the US sanctions against Iran are​​ illegitimate. This statement came in​​ a​​ press conference with Thamir Al-Ghadhban, the Iraqi Oil Minister. He says Iran is not ready to discuss the volume or destination of its oil exports. Al-Ghadhban says Iraq did not reach an agreement with Iran to develop joint oil fields, expecting a rise in oil prices following​​ their​​ recent decline. [Hawar]

 

North Africa

Egypt

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry that the US will continue fighting Daesh, despite its withdrawal from Syria. He says that while in Egypt, he discussed the status of human rights there, as well as the situations in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the Palestinian issue. [Anadolu]

 

Libya

On Thursday, Libyan news sources reported that the body of a founding Daesh leader, Abu Al-Mughira Al-Qahtani, was found in Libya, along with about 50 others, in a mass grave. [Madar]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh said on Thursday it shot and killed a Somali policeman at Bakaara intersection, in Mogadishu. [A3maq]

 

Nigeria

Boko Haram killed a senior Army officer and an Army soldier during the Nigerian Army’s ongoing Operation Lafiya Dole. 5 other soldiers sustained injuries. However, the Nigerian Army’s spokesman​​ said that the Army was making significant inroads against Boko Haram and had killed “several” Boko Haram terrorists in the operation. [VanguardNGR]

 

Daesh published on Thursday photos of its terrorists (i.e., Boko Haram) in Baga town. [ICDNJan10]

Military sources had previously said on Dec 27 that the base in Baga, as well as another military base in “Mile 3,” 5 km​​ (3 miles)​​ from Baga, had been overrun by Boko Haram fighters. The source said,​​ “The troops were overpowered and forced to withdraw … the terrorists carted away gun​​ trucks, ammunition and multiple rocket launchers from the base.” Troops from the two bases withdrew to another naval base at Fish Dam on the shores of Lake Chad, the military source said.​​ [DailyNation]​​ [DefensePost]

 

Sudan

The​​ British​​ Times​​ reported on Wednesday that sources in the Sudanese capitol reported that Russian-speaking mercenaries from Wagner Company were helping to put down anti-government demonstrations. [ElDorar] [Times]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Office of the National Security Council said that Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib arrived in Beijing to hold talks with Chinese officials regarding bilateral security cooperation and the Afghan peace process. [Khaama]

 

The Afghan Military in the North said that Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Basir, along with 20 of his fighters, had been killed in an airstrike in Balkh Province, northern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

The Afghan Military in the East said that​​ 3 members of Daesh’s Khurasan affiliate (ISIS-K) had been killed in drone airstrikes in Khogyani district, Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said on Thursday it blew up an Afghan Army oil tanker with a sticky IED on the road to the Jalalabad Military Airport. [A3maq]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

January 9, 2019

 

A picture containing sky, outdoor, ground, truck

Description automatically generated

Daesh Members Captured by the SDF Near Albu Kamal (Jan 6)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Terrorism expert warns of re-emerging Daesh insurgency in Iraq.​​ [..]

Abu Ul-Madhi demands that Kurds stop flying the KRG flag in Kirkuk. [..]

Pompeo drops in on Baghdad,​​ Erbil; pledges US partnership, reconstruction support.​​ [..]

Daesh kills 12 IFP, PMF soldiers in​​ 6​​ Hawija/Daquq​​ attacks. [..]

Mass grave south of Mosul holds 38 Daesh victims—all women.​​ [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan so angry with Bolton​​ over Kurdish issue​​ he won’t talk to him. [..]

 

Syria

Bolton tells Turks US is NOT planning to leave Al-Tanaf base.​​ [..]

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister optimistic about deal with Kurds.​​ [..]

British journal says Saudi, UAE, Egyptian, Israeli rapprochement with Assad is directed at Turkey. [..]

SDF and Coalition planes, artillery continue assault on Daesh near Iraq border. [..]

Iraqi airstrike kills Daesh commanders in the Albu Kamal area.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Iran: ​​ Iran acknowledges July arrest of US Navy veteran. [..]

Afghanistan:​​ 

Iran in talks with Taliban. Khalilzad conferring with other countries in region. [..]

Taliban murders journalist in western Afghanistan. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

A study by Michael Knights, published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, said that Daesh was re-embracing insurgent tactics in northern Iraq, and noted that Kirkuk saw more attacks in 2018 than any other province. Knights wrote that Daesh could still make a comeback in Diyala, southern Ninewa, and Kirkuk. He also noted that Daesh’s current areas of operations in Iraq were poor rural areas, and expected that Daesh would place more emphasis on extortion or “taxing” rural trade to make money. [BaghdadToday] [CTC]

DaeshDaily comment:​​ This is a right-on explanation by a well-established expert on Kirkuk and on Iraq generally. All policy prescriptions based on the false premise that Daesh has been defeated, Trump’s Syria withdrawal decision being a recent example, are dangerous.

 

Corruption

Sumaria​​ said that an unnamed​​ Gulf paper​​ reported that​​ armed tribal groups​​ were committing arbitrary arrests and violating personal freedoms,​​ including the way citizens dress. Such groups​​ were also alleged to be interfering​​ in reconstruction​​ efforts​​ and​​ government appointments. Such actions were reported in Mosul,​​ Qayara,​​ Baaj, Rabia, Shirqat,​​ Tikrit, Hit, Haditha,​​ Al-Qa’im, and Ramadi. ​​ [Sumaria]

 

Iraq-KRG Issues

Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi says that raising the Kurdish flag in Kirkuk is a constitutional violation, as Kirkuk is a disputed area and not identified by the constitution as being within the​​ Kurdistan Region. His office says he made several telephone calls with concerned politicians regarding the issue. [BasNews]

 

Foreign policy

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced stop in Iraq on Wednesday as part of his Middle East tour, intended to reassure US partners regarding Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. Pompeo visited Baghdad and Erbil, meeting with PM Abd Ul-Mahdi and President Barham Salih. [GMA]​​ [WSJ]​​ [WaPo]

 

In his meeting with President Barham Salih, Pompeo says that the US is ready to contribute in the reconstruction of Iraq, and​​ is keen to have special relations with Iraq in all fields. He​​ called​​ Iraq a strategic partner of the US. [Anadolu]​​ [WSJ]​​ [WaPo]

 

Also see story below under Kurdistan

 

Abd Ul-Mahdi met with John Lorimer, UK Senior Defense Advisor for the Middle East. Abd Ul-Mahdi said that Iraq needs to develop the capabilities of its armed forces, while Lorimer says his country is ready to meet​​ the​​ Iraqi armed forces’ needs.​​ Bilateral relations,​​ especially in the fields​​ of defense and counterterrorism,​​ were​​ also​​ discussed. [Sumaria]

 

The​​ Jordanian Ministry of Finance demanded​​ that​​ Iraq pay​​ what it​​ claimed​​ was​​ $1​​ billion in debt, while​​ the Iraqi​​ CoR​​ Finance​​ Committee demanded​​ that​​ Jordan​​ release​​ frozen Iraqi​​ assets. Media sources say there are many​​ outstanding​​ financial files between the​​ two​​ countries. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

Baghdad Ops Command said on Wednesday that 4 wanted persons, including 1 wanted on terrorism charges, had been arrested in​​ different​​ areas of Baghdad. [Ghad]​​ 

 

ANBAR

General​​ Yahya Rasul, spokesman of the Security Media Center, announced on Wednesday that Iraqi​​ military units​​ captured 4 terrorists in Albu Farraj and​​ Albu Dhiab in Ramadi, and​​ Al-Ankur in Hit.​​ Units under Anbar​​ Ops Command​​ defused 27 IEDs in​​ the​​ Humaira area​​ south of Ramadi, 62 in Albu Khalid​​ in southern Falluja,​​ and​​ 42 in Al-Jaffa in Anah. It found 12 82 mm shells in​​ the​​ Albu Salih area in Hit. East Anbar Ops Command destroyed 8 IEDs in Albu Taiha, 13 IEDs in Shiha, and 1 IED in Hayakel. [Dijlah]

 

SALAHUDDIN

Shirqat

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Monday that Daesh kidnapped 3 tribal PMF members near the Makhoul Mountains.​​ 

 

Baiji

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 3 PMF​​ soldiers​​ were killed on Sunday when their vehicle was destroyed by an IED on the road between Baiji and Haditha.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that on Monday, Daesh murdered 3 tribal PMF​​ soldiers​​ it had captured near Siniya 2 days earlier. The source said that Daesh had demanded that the PMF release a captured Daesh commander in exchange​​ for​​ releasing the fighters, but the PMF Commander for the area refused the deal.​​ 

Daesh had previously published​​ photos​​ on Tuesday of murdering the three tribal PMF fighters after capturing them. [ICDNJan8]

Daesh executed 3 kidnapped people from the Shammar tribe and released 5 people. Pro-Daesh accounts on social media on Wednesday shared pictures of the executions. The content indicated that the 8 individuals had been kidnapped from​​ the Siniya area. [Shafaaq]

 

Daesh said it killed a tribal PMF soldier with machine guns on Tuesday north of Baiji city. [ICDNJan9]

 

Tikrit

Daesh said it killed or wounded fifteen Iraqi forces members, including two officers, on Tuesday when it set off a parked car bomb near the northern entrance of Tikrit city. [A3maq]

The Security Media Center had previously said on Tuesday that the​​ Al-Aqwas checkpoint in Tikrit detected a car bomb trying to enter the city, which forced the attacker to detonate it prematurely, killing 2 persons and wounding 6 others. Earlier news reports said there were 3 killed and 10 wounded. [Sumaria]​​ [Sumaria]

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

Daesh said on Wednesday it damaged an IFP vehicle with an IED in the Qulay area, Khanaqin. [ICDNJan9]

 

KIRKUK

The Security Media Center said on Wednesday that​​ detachments under the General Directorate of Intelligence and Security arrested​​ a​​ Daesh​​ terrorist group in Kirkuk Province,​​ after conducting a search across various parts of the province. [Ghad]​​ [Buratha]​​ [Dijlah]

 

Hawija

Hawija​​ subdistrict

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that​​ 3​​ civilians were wounded on Tuesday when an IED damaged their vehicle near the checkpoint​​ at​​ Hawija’s​​ southern entrance. The source said that the men were traders delivering foodstuffs​​ to IFP units. The source said the IFP arrested 4 tribal PMF members from the checkpoint after accusing them of helping Daesh plant the IED.

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh terrorists on motorcycles blew up 4 electricity towers on Monday near Barima village, east of Hawija city.

 

Daesh said it killed two tribal PMF soldiers and wounded another on Monday when it set of an IED on their patrol near Kubaiba village,​​ in the​​ Hawija​​ area. [ICDNJan9]​​ 

 

Abbasi

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 2 men were killed on Friday when Daesh shot at their civilian vehicle near Al-Sada village, in Abbasi subdistrict. The source said the men were Daesh members who became informants for the PMFs after the liberation of Hawija.​​ 

 

Daesh said it damaged on Monday an IFP vehicle with an IED near Al-Mistah village, in Abbasi subdistrict​​ in western Hawija. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh said it targeted the Shia village of Maadan, in the Saadiya area, Hawija, on Monday with 7 82mm mortar shells. [ICDNJan9]

 

Al-Zab

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that a tribal PMF member was killed and two others wounded when a roadside IED exploded on their vehicle near Ranji village, in Al-Zab subdistrict. The source said EOD units defused 3 more IEDs in the same area.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that three PMF members were killed on Saturday in a Daesh ambush near​​ Al-Tarqiya village.​​ 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that PMFs ambushed and killed 8 Daesh terrorists, including foreigners, on Tuesday near​​ Al-Tarqiya village.

 

Riyadh

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that 3 IFP soldiers were killed on Sunday when Daesh attacked their military position near Al-Sadouniya village. The source said 2 Daesh terrorists were also killed in the​​ attack. The source said the terrorists set a military position on fire and stole a pickup vehicle and a heavy machine gun.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that Daesh kidnapped 2 tribal PMF members on Monday at a fake checkpoint between Riyadh and Rashad. The source said the terrorists demanded 120 million Iraqi dinars as a ransom.​​ 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad)

On Wednesday, an IED exploded in​​ Haftghar village, Daquq, killing 1 resident of the village​​ and wounding 2 other people.​​ [PUKMedia]​​ [SotIraq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said that an IFP soldier was killed and 2 others wounded on Friday when their vehicle was destroyed by a roadside IED near Rashad.​​ 

The same source said that 2 more IFP soldiers were killed and a captain wounded on Sunday when an IED exploded on them south of Rashad. ​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul District

South (Shura)

Security forces in Mosul found a mass grave containing 38 bodies, all women, in Shura subdistrict. The women were killed by Daesh during their control of the area. [BasNews]

 

Southern Ninewa

Baaj

Daesh said it damaged a PMF vehicle with machine guns in an ambush on Tuesday in Faidhiya village, southeast of Baaj. [A3maq] [ICDNJan9]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded tribal PMF soldiers and destroyed their vehicle with an IED near Hajco intersection, in the Baaj area. [ICDNJan9]

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Basra

Abu Turab Al-Timimi, a commander in the PMF, says that armed men fired at his house in Basra. He says that the attackers were in 2 armored Land Cruisers without license plates. [Sumaria]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Masoud Barzani in Erbil,​​ coming​​ from Baghdad. Political and regional developments were discussed. He later met Nechirvan Barzani, the Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister. [Anadolu]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to meet US National Security Advisor John Bolton in protest of his statements demanding that Turkey agree​​ not to attack​​ the US’ Syrian Kurdish allies, and even criticized him on national television. [NYT]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

John Bolton​​ also​​ told Turkish officials that the US is​​ not​​ contemplating withdrawing from Al-Tanaf base in​​ southeast Syria. [ElDorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Previous reporting, though not Bolton himself, had indicated the opposite.​​ Everything considered, Bolton’s diplomatic mission to Ankara did not get a diplomatic response, but this should not surprise anyone familiar with Erdogan’s bullying tactics.​​ Bolton’s offense is that he stood up to him.

 

Political developments

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad says his government “activated” contacts with the Kurds in Syria, saying he is optimistic about a possible agreement and a means to confront potential Turkish aggression toward Syria. [Hawar]

 

Several tribal sheikhs and academic figures from Syria’s opposition Salvation Government held meetings in Maarat Al-Numan in southern Idlib to reach a ceasefire and stop ongoing battles. An initial 15-day truce was proposed. [Qasioun]

 

Middle East

The British publication​​ Middle East Eye​​ reported on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia, Israel, the UAE, and Egypt “hatched a plan” to rehabilitate Al-Assad and undermine Turkey. The publication said that the plot was developed last month in secret attended by intelligence officials including Yossi Cohen, the head of Mossad. The officials all agreed that Turkey, not Iran, was the main adversary in the region. [ElDorar] [MEE]

 

Northwest

Afrin

On Wednesday,​​ Hawar​​ reported that at noon Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) targeted Nour Al-Din Al-Zenki positions in Deir Ballout, Diwan Fuqani, Diwan Tahtani, Qila, and Jalma villages near Jinderes in Afrin, injuring civilians. [Hawar]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The spread of the HTS Idlib campaign into Turkey-held Afrin has gone without much notice, but is a direct attack on Turkey’s occupation there, enforced mainly by Turkey-allied militias. The HTS has in a way made itself an ally, at least temporarily, of the YPG.

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said it set on fire a vehicle that belonged to an SDF “spy” on Tuesday in Al-Firdous neighborhood​​ in Raqqa city. [A3maq]

 

East Raqqa

Daesh said it set an SDF vehicle on​​ fire​​ Tuesday in Al-Haws village, in Al-Karama subdistrict. [A3maq]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

On Wednesday,​​ El-Dorar​​ reported that military observers said the Fifth Assault Corps militias, affiliated with the Russian military base Khmeimim, brought “massive” reinforcements to Mushairifa village in southeast Idlib. Observers reported that the reinforcements included 250 troops, 15 vehicles with 57 mm guns, 30 pickup trucks carrying various machine guns and anti-aircraft guns, 10 vehicles carrying 37 mm guns, and several vehicles carrying fuel tanks. They noted that the reinforcements arrived as Russian forces evacuated their positions in Hama. [ElDorar]

 

Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) regained control over the strategic Seretel​​ Hill west of Aleppo, after losing it for several hours to the Turkey-backed National Front militias. [ElDorar]

 

Syrian opposition sources say a bomb exploded inside a civilian car in Idlib, killing 1 person and wounding another. [Qasioun]

 

Hama

The Syrian Army says it thwarted an attempt by an unnamed opposition group that tried to approach the Army’s positions, coming from Lataminah town, north of Hama city. The Army said it used artillery to thwart the infiltration. [SyriaNow]

 

The SOHR says a Daesh land​​ mine killed 1 and wounded 5 in​​ Al-Saan,​​ northeast of Hama. [SyriaHR]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it wounded SDF members and destroyed their armored vehicle with an IED on Monday in Teeb Al-Fal village, in Al-Busayrah subdistrict. [ICNDJan9]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded five SDF members after attacking their vehicle with machine guns on Tuesday in Al-Shuhail. [ICDNJan9]

 

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said it killed or wounded three SDF soldiers in an ambush on Tuesday on the road between Al-Omar oilfield and Attal village in Deir Ez-Zor​​ District. [ICDNJan9]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SOHR​​ reported continued fighting in Al-Susah and Upper Al-Baghouz between Daesh and the SDF, with sporadic attacks by Coalition planes on Daesh positions. 15 missiles were also fired at Daesh positions from the Al-Omar oilfield base. [SyriaHR]

 

A DaeshDaily source said on Wednesday that an Iraqi airstrike​​ on the Albu Kamal area killed 10 Daesh commanders and many other terrorists.​​ 

 

Kurdish media sources say that the SDF captured large quantities of weapons from Daesh in Al-Sha’afa. [Hawar]

 

The SOHR says that most escapees from Daesh-held areas in eastern Deir Ez-Zor are carrying large amounts of money, mainly in US dollars. It says that amounts from $100,000 to $500,000 were carried by them, while some Iraqi escapees were carrying $300,000. [SyriaHR]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Aside from the probability that this story is exaggerated, it raises the question of whether some of these “escapees” are Daesh members trying to get out of town with Daesh money.

 

The​​ SDF​​ says it arrested 8 foreign Daesh fighters in Deir Ez-Zor,​​ who it says were​​ planning to attack civilians. The arrestees were from the US, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Germany.​​ Hawar published photos of the terrorists.​​ [Hawar]​​ [BasNews]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

Representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Bahram Qasimi, stated on his Telegram account that Iran had detained a US Navy​​ veteran, Michael White. He was arrested in July 2018 when he visited his fiancée. Iran says that the US knew of the arrest and denies any abusive treatment of White. [Rudaw] [BBC]

 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia says its security​​ personnel​​ engaged a terrorist group in Jash city in Qatif, eastern Saudi Arabia, killing 6 of them. 7 armed men were​​ holed up​​ in a house, which was​​ then​​ surrounded by security​​ personnel.​​ 5 security​​ personnel​​ were wounded in the encounter. [Anadolu]

 

Yemen

Daesh issued on Wednesday a photo of one of its terrorists,​​ who it says​​ was killed in Yemen. [ICDNJan9]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said on Wednesday it killed or wounded Egyptian Army soldiers and damaged their M113 armored vehicle with an IED between the Al-Ubaidat and Al-Mashwi security barriers, southwest of Sheikh Zuweid. [ICDNJan9]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Sudan

Medical sources in Sudan announced that 2 demonstrators in Omdurman had died due to gunshot wounds. Amnesty International reported that 37 people have been “shot dead” by government forces within the first 5 days of​​ the​​ protest. [Anadolu] [Aljazeera] [Amnesty]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Iran says it started talks with​​ the​​ Taliban last week​​ about Afghanistan. Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, says that the Taliban has a role to play in Afghanistan’s future, but not necessarily the dominant role. He also praised the positive role of Pakistan in the area. [Anadolu]

 

US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation,​​ Zalmay Khalilzad,​​ embarked on a new trip​​ to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to discuss an “intra-Afghan political settlement,” according to a statement from the State Department. The visits will last from January 8 to 21. [Khaama]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ How unusual it is that US and Iranian diplomats are working on the same side.

 

Various Afghan and international coalition operations throughout Afghanistan killed at least 30 members of the Taliban and Daesh’s Khurasan affiliate (ISIS-K) over the last 24 hours. [Khaama]

 

A journalist, Javid Noori, was reportedly singled out for murder by the Taliban in Farah Province, western Afghanistan. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned the killing. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it killed one Afghan Army member, wounded two others, and destroyed their SUV with an IED on Tuesday in the Khewa area, in Nangarhar. [ICDNJan9]

 

AUSTRALIA

The​​ Australian police say​​ that​​ 9 embassies​​ in Australia​​ received suspicious parcels. This​​ is​​ being investigated by the police.​​ The​​ UK, Swiss, German, and Indian embassies​​ are among the nine who​​ received such parcels. [Sumaria]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

January 8, 2019

 

A picture containing sky, outdoor, ground, grass

Description automatically generated

Explosion in Tikrit (DD Jan 8)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Al-Abadi warns of “mafias and armed groups” trying to take over​​ Iraq. [..]

Abd Ul-Madhi says Iraqi intelligence work now the best it has ever been. [..]

Karbala PC fires the Governor over corruption issues. [..]

Grave uncovered in Babel contains 10 bodies of people missing for 5 years. [..]

Human Rights Watch alleges that KRG security men tortured children. [..]

…The KRG rejects the accusations. [..]​​ 

 

Turkey

Erdogan continues attack on Bolton’s withdrawal policy clarification. [..]

 

Syria

Russian military police now patrolling near Manbij. [..]

Tahrir Al-Sham continues attack on pro-Turkey militia in Idlib, Hama. [..]

Iraqi F-16s kill 30 Daesh members in Al-Susah. [..]

Coalition reinforcements join final push on​​ Al-Sha’afa,​​ Al-Susah. [..]

Daesh launches deadly counter-attacks on SDF in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Iran: ​​ EU sanctions Iran for assassination attempts in Europe.​​ [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Taliban & US delegations to meet Wednesday in Qatar.​​ [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

New​​ government

Prime Minister Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi is nominating Faleh Al-Fayadh for Minister of Interior,​​ for CoR Speaker​​ Salim Al-Jubouri for Minister of Defense, and Rezgar Mohammed Ameen for Minister of Justice, as revealed in an official letter obtained by​​ Sumaria. [Sumaria]

 

Council of Representatives

The office of Haider Al-Abadi released a statement saying that Al-Abadi hosted a meeting between the members of Al-Abadi’s Victory Alliance and Al-Sadr’s Sa’irun bloc on Tuesday. In this meeting,​​ Al-Abadi warned that there are signs that “mafias and armed groups” may take control of the state.​​ the MPs discussed security, the economy, basic services, employment opportunities, and countering corruption. [Sumaria]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition issued a press release summarizing its achievements in 2018. It noted that since the Coalition’s establishment in 2014, it had reclaimed over 99% of Daesh’s previously-held territory, and that in 2018, that it had further reclaimed territory from Daesh and “severely degraded” Daesh’s capabilities.​​ It said that in 2019, the Coalition would build on the training already delivered to the Iraqi military, and the NATO mission in Iraq would lead “train the trainer” missions to teach further key skills to the ISF. [InherentResolve]

 

On Tuesday, PM Adel Abd Ul-Mahdi said intelligence work is now the best it’s ever been, and that Daesh settlements along the Syria-Iraq border are under heavy surveillance. [BaghdadToday]

 

Foreign policy

The office of the Presidency says that President Barham Salih will discuss the reconstruction of Iraq and confronting terrorism with Qatari leaders during his visit to Qatar on Thursday. Salih recently visited Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, and Turkey. [Sumaria]

 

BAGHDAD

East​​ (Sadr City, New Baghdad, etc.)

A security source reported that on Wednesday, Baghdad security forces seized 3 IEDs, 2 hand grenades, and rockets in New Baghdad. [BaghdadToday]

 

ANBAR

Falluja

The Security Media Center said on Tuesday that units under East Anbar Ops Command found 51 IEDs, a 20-liter glycerin container, and 30 “homemade” IEDs containing glycerin in the Al-Jolan neighborhood, Falluja. [Ghad]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

Daesh said it captured​​ and​​ then killed a PMF member on Sunday in the Al-Fatha area, north of Baiji. [ICDNJan8]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded Iraqi Army and PMF members when it set off a booby-trapped house on their convoy on Sunday west of Siniya. [ICDNJan8]

 

Daesh said it killed three PMF soldiers on Monday west of the Siniya area. [A3maq]

Daesh published on Tuesday photos of murdering the three tribal PMF members after capturing them. [ICDNJan8]

 

Tikrit

The Security Media Center says that the​​ Al-Aqwas checkpoint in Tikrit detected a car bomb trying to enter the city, which forced the attacker to detonate it prematurely, killing 2 persons and wounding 6 others. Earlier news reports said there were 3 killed and 10 wounded. [Sumaria]​​ [Sumaria]

An​​ Al-Etejah​​ correspondent reported Tuesday that a PMF group, in coordination with intelligence personnel from Salahuddin Ops Command, had arrested the “mastermind” behind the explosion at the Al-Aqwas checkpoint earlier that day.​​ [Etejah]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

On Tuesday, the 110th brigade of the PMF announced that it had, in coordination with Diyala Intelligence Command of the PMF, intelligence units in the 4th Brigade, and the Iraqi Army, launched an operation in Al-Tabaj and Tal Bardan in Jalawla, Khanaqin​​ District, to track Daesh cells. The operation resulted in arresting 3 Daesh members and dismantling 2 IEDs.​​ [Ghad]​​ [BaghdadToday]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Daesh said it killed four IFP soldiers and destroyed their Humvee with an IED on Sunday in Idris Khabbaz village, southwest of Dibis. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded IFP soldiers and destroyed their SUV with an IED on Sunday near Sarheed Al-Matar village, southwest of Kirkuk city, near Hawija’s​​ Riyadh​​ subdistrict. [ICDNJan8]​​

 

Hawija​​ 

Daesh said that PMF soldiers were killed or wounded on Monday when it set off an IED in Al-Ayoun village, in Al-Abbasi subdistrict. [A3maq]

In another version, Daesh said it wounded several tribal PMF soldiers with 2 IEDs on Monday near Al-Ayoun. [ICDNJan8]​​ 

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad)

Daesh said it set on fire the house of five tribal PMF members Monday evening near Al-Hamal village​​ in​​ Rashad​​ subdistrict. [ICDNJan8]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Mosul District

West (Hamidat/Muhalabiya)

Unnamed sources said that EOD detachments found and dismantled “dozens” of rockets and 7 IEDs in​​ (unnamed)​​ agricultural villages northwest of Mosul.​​ [IraqPress]​​ 

 

SOUTHERN IRAQ

Karbala

The Karbala Provincial Council unanimously voted to dismiss Governor Aqil Al-Turaihi,​​ from the​​ Dawa Party, from office. It says the reason is his failure to respond convincingly to questions provided by the Council​​ in an ongoing investigation of allegations of administrative and financial corruption. [BasNews]

 

Babel

Rashid Al-Azzawi,​​ a​​ CoR member for Babel,​​ says​​ that​​ authorities are investigating a mass grave found in Mahawil​​ District in Babel,​​ containing 10 bodies of persons​​ who​​ disappeared 5 years ago. [BasNews]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

ERBIL

Human Rights Watch (HRW)​​ says​​ that the​​ asayesh of Kurdistan beat up and tortured children with electrical shocks to force them to confess​​ to alleged ties to​​ Daesh. It interviewed 20 imprisoned children​​ at​​ an​​ Erbil prison​​ and 3 who had recently been released.​​ 16 of the 23 said that they were tortured, and another 4 said that they were threatened with torture.​​ HRW​​ says​​ that​​ 2 years ago​​ the​​ KRG promised to investigate,​​ but​​ has​​ not so far. [Sumaria]​​ [HRW]

Dindar Zebari, the KRG’s ​​ Coordinator for International Advocacy responded to the report on his Twitter account on Tuesday saying that “KRG security authorities in Erbil have not received any complaints of ill-treatment and torture from the ISIS child detainees,”

Zebari stressed that the KRG not tolerate any such mistreatment towards the detainees and that there has not been any so far.​​ 

“Ill treatment of children or juveniles on behalf of the security or police department is not tolerable or permissible.”

He said that when Daesh overran a vast area in Iraq, hundreds of displaced people and Syrian refugees fled to the Kurdistan Region and that it was hard to differentiate between the ordinary civilians and those who had secret ties with the Daesh.

He concluded​​ “For this reason, we had to take certain security measures in order to ensure the security of the people of Kurdistan Region, civilians, the IDPs, and the Syrian refugees as well, but some local and international organizations repeatedly accused the region of mistreating the detainees.” [BasNews]

 

SULEIMANIYA

The Security Media Center says that Military Intelligence units, in cooperation with Suleimaniya security, arrested a Daesh leader in Suleimaniya. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

Turkish President Recep​​ Tayyip Erdogan says that his army will start operations against terrorist groups in Syria very soon. He was speaking before his party’s parliamentary bloc. He says that John Bolton made a “serious mistake” in his statements regarding Syria, and that Turkey cannot make concessions regarding counter-terrorism. [Qasioun]​​ [WSJ]

 

Foreign policy

İbrahim Kalın, spokesman for the Turkish Presidency, says that Turkish officials discussed details of the US withdrawal from Syria with John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor. He says that the Turkish side stressed the importance of implementing the Manbij “road map” agreed upon earlier. He says that the US said that the withdrawal would take between 60 and 100 days.​​ [Anadolu]

 

Kalın also said that the US should hand over its bases and weapons provided to Kurdish fighters in Syria to local​​ fighters.​​ He added that Erdogan did not promise the US​​ to protect​​ Kurdish fighters in Syria, and that Turkey would not allow terrorist organizations to expand after the US withdrawal.​​ [ElDorar]​​ [AP]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Shahoz Hasan, co-chair of the PYD, told the​​ AP​​ that the Syrian Kurds “will be ready” to fight Turkish forces, and that it was clear that Turkey was planning to enter northeastern Syria. [Haaretz]

 

Foreign policy

United States

The British​​ Times​​ writes the Kurds are still an ally of the West and Daesh is still a force to be reckoned with in Syria. ​​ It says that Kurds were suddenly left unprotected following the US decision to withdraw from Syria, and that the gap left by the US will be most likely filled by Russia, Iran, and the Syrian government. [BasNews] [Times]

 

Egypt

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry says that Syria must take several measures​​ in order​​ to return to the Arab League, including starting a political process and abiding​​ by​​ UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which called for a ceasefire and a political solution to the civil war. [ElDorar]

 

Qatar

El​​ Dorar​​ reported on Tuesday that the Qatari diplomat Fahd Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah stated that Iran has a right to defend its legitimate interests in Syria. [ElDorar]

 

Northwest

Manbij​​ 

Russian​​ military police​​ were reported to be patrolling the surroundings of Manbij. A representative for the MPs said on Tuesday that Russia was there to ensure safety in the Manbij area and monitor the movements of “militant groups.”​​ [AP]

 

Hawar​​ reported on Tuesday that an IED explosion in Manbij injured 1 civilian. [Hawar]

 

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed or wounded four SDF fighters and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on Al-Jazeera road, east of Manbij. [ICDNJan8]

 

Northeast​​ 

Hasaka

Daesh said on Tuesday it shot and killed an SDF member at​​ the​​ Ammu security barrier southwest of Hasaka city. [A3maq]

 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR reported a motorcycle bomb explosion​​ on Nour​​ Street in Raqqa, the second explosion in the past 24 hours. [SyriaHR]

Daesh said on Tuesday it killed or wounded three SDF members and damaged their vehicle when it set off a parked motorcycle bomb on Al-Nour​​ Street. [A3maq]

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

The SOHR reported heavy fighting south of Idlib​​ city​​ between Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and the pro-Turkey National Front for Liberation militia. Tahrir Al-Sham captured 6 villages and is still advancing. [SyriaHR]

 

Hama

Syrian opposition sources say that Tahrir Al-Sham captured 15 National Front for Liberation fighters following intense fighting north of Hama. They also confirmed that HTS had made advances in Idlib. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Albu Kamal​​ District

On Tuesday, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said that Iraqi F-16 aircraft killed 30 Daesh members in Al-Susah in Syria last Tuesday. The official stated that the attack killed “suicide bombers and planners” and caused “great confusion and chaos in the ranks of Daesh.” [IKH]

 

The SOHR reported that more Coalition reinforcements had arrived​​ in​​ the frontline areas. It says that the SDF is planning to knock out Daesh for good in these areas by intensifying artillery and rocket bombardment, with the support of the Coalition. Daesh is defending the last 2 areas it holds, and tries counterattacking every now and then. [SyriaHR]

 

Local media says that Coalition planes attacked Daesh targets in Al-Sha’afa Tuesday morning, mainly targeting Daesh tunnels. [Qasioun]

 

The SOHR reported a wide-scale Daesh attack Sunday on SDF positions in Al-Sha’afa, Al-Susah,​​ the neighboring town of​​ Marashidah, and the desert,​​ taking advantage of a​​ sandstorm and inflicting heavy casualties,​​ and forcing​​ the​​ SDF to retreat in several locations before returning again in the next day. [SyriaHR]

 

Agence​​ France​​ Presse​​ reported​​ that Daesh launched an attack on the SDF on Tuesday,​​ resulting in killing 23 SDF fighters. 9 Daesh fighters were​​ also​​ killed in the operation. [Qasioun] [AFP]

 

The​​ SOHR says over 300 civilians​​ fled​​ Daesh-held​​ areas towards SDFheld areas, mainly women, children and elderly​​ people.​​ The total number​​ leaving​​ since December 2018 is now at 14,050,​​ including 12,000 that​​ fled following the US withdrawal announcement. [SyriaHR]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

The EU imposed new sanctions on Iranian intelligence and some of its officials on charges of arranging assassination attempts against​​ anti-Iran​​ opposition figures in the Netherlands, Denmark, and France. Penalties would include the freezing of assets. [Rudaw]

 

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded to the EU sanctions on Tuesday by accusing Europe of harboring terrorists. Zarif said on Twitter that the Netherlands, Denmark, and France harbor members of the MEK, who he said had killed 12,000 Iranians and incited Saddam’s crimes against the Iraqi Kurds. [Ghad]​​ 

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh issued on Tuesday a video of the results of Israeli airstrikes south of Sheikh Zuweid. [A3maq]

Daesh had previously said that Israeli planes conducted more than 20 airstrikes on Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid on Wednesday evening. [A3maq]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Nigeria

Daesh published on Tuesday photos of a​​ Boko Haram​​ attack on Nigerian Army units in Damasak​​ in Borno State. [ICDNJan8]

Daesh previously said it killed at least 15 Nigerian soldiers, wounded others, set on fire 3 tanks and 2 SUVs, and stole a vehicle on Saturday in an attack on a military position in Damasak. [ICDNJan6]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Taliban political leaders are scheduled to meet US officials in Qatar on Wednesday. A senior member of the Taliban said that the talks would last until Thursday. Other senior Taliban members said that this round of talks would be conducted with the US only. [Khaama]

 

Acting Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid and​​ Commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller visited Faryab Province, northern Afghanistan, on Monday, to​​ assess​​ the situation there. [Khaama]

 

An explosion in Khost Province, southeastern Afghanistan, at around noon on Tuesday,​​ killed at least 2 people and wounded 20 to 25 others. Local security officials said that the explosion came from a motorcycle carrying explosives. [Khaama]

 

 

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