An Update On ISIS Activities

January 9, 2019

 

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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

 

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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]

 

 

*****

 

READER COMMENTS WELCOME

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

 

January​​ 7, 2019

 

A picture containing indoor, window

Description automatically generated

Daesh IED Factory Found Near Hamdaniya (DD Jan 4)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Apparent visit of Iraqi delegation to Israel causes flap in Baghdad. [..]

AAH again threatens US troops in Iraq. [..]

US Special Forces Hawija airdrop operation kills 3 Daesh attacking electricity tower. [..]

DaeshDaily source confirms network of Daesh food smugglers in Hawija. [..]

First 200 families return home to Old Mosul from IDP camp. [..]

12 Dahuk villages evacuated due to Turkish bombing. [..]

 

Turkey

Erdogan praises Trump’s Syria withdrawal decision. [..]

 

Syria

. . . but Turkey slams Bolton’s statement that US​​ won’t allow​​ Turkish attacks on​​ the Kurds.​​ [..]

Trump says withdrawal will be “at a proper pace.”​​ [..]

Saudi Arabia will reopen its embassy in Damascus. [..]

Syrian opposition leader criticizes governments who would recognize Assad government. [..]

Staffan de Mistura’s challenging tenure as UN Syria envoy ends. [..]

Daesh suicide attack kills at least 5 in Raqqa. [..]

SDF advances in Al-Sha’afa, arrests “dozens” of Daesh fighters. [..]

SOHR says Daesh now controls only two towns in Albu Kamal. [..]

2 Americans among Daesh fighters captured by SDF. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Nigeria: ​​ Nigerian military fights back, kills over 100 Boko Haram fighters.​​ [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ Taliban attack in NW Afghanistan kills at least 21 soldiers, police.​​ [..]

 

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition issued a statement celebrating Iraqi Army Day, commemorating the​​ formation of the Iraqi Army on January 6, 1921. General Austin Renforth, Joint Ops Commander, said that the Iraqi Army had trained and fought diligently to liberate their country, and that the Coalition was honored to be a part of the celebration. [InherentResolve]

 

Foreign policy

The Foreign Relations Committee of the CoR says that the recent Israeli announcement that an Iraqi delegation visited Israel is a “game” aimed at creating​​ a​​ commotion in Iraq, and says that the Intelligence and National Security Organizations are responsible for handling such issues. The Vice Speaker of the CoR, Hassan Al-Kaabi, demanded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs start investigations regarding the alleged visit. [Sumaria]

 

However,​​ In a tweet, Edy Cohen, an academic at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, published the names of several Iraqis who he claims were part of the delegation. He says the persons​​ who​​ visited Israel are Ahmed​​ Al-Jubouri,​​ Ahmed Al-Jarba,​​ and Abdulrahim Al-Shammari from Ninewa,​​ Abdulrahman Al-Louaisi, a former Ninewa​​ MP,​​ Khalid Al-Mafraji of Kirkuk province, and Aliya​​ Nassif, a Shiite from Baghdad. “We extend the hands of peace to them,” he said. [Rudaw] [Anadolu]

 

AAH says that it will attack US forces​​ if​​ the government fails to take action regarding these forces’ presence in Iraq. AAH​​ says​​ it is keeping them under scrutiny. This came following the publication of photos showing US military personnel walking around the famous Mutanabi​​ Street in Baghdad. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Don’t you wish that we could somehow call their bluff after one of these insulting​​ and self-promoting​​ statements?

 

BAGHDAD

The Security Media Center reported on Monday that dispatches of the Intelligence and Security Directorate of Baghdad captured 1 person wanted for terrorism. The center also reported that the detachments, in coordination with the “crime-fighting office of Al-Mansour,” liberated a kidnapped person in the center of Baghdad, arrested the kidnapper, and captured several wanted persons under various legal provisions in different areas of Baghdad. [Sumaria]​​ 

 

West​​ (Mansour, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

The Security Media Center says that Military Intelligence field units arrested a man wanted on terrorism charges at the Al-Suqour checkpoint, west Baghdad. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

Al-Qa’im

Daesh said it killed 3 members of​​ the pro-Iran​​ Saraya Al-Khurasani​​ militia​​ and destroyed their vehicle​​ on Sunday​​ with an IED,​​ on the road between Akashat and Al-Qa’im. [ICDNJan7]

 

Daesh said it shot and killed a tribal PMF commander on Saturday in Al-Masharie’ village, in Al-Qa’im subdistrict. [ICDNJan7-Telegram]​​ 

 

SALAHUDDIN

No reports

 

DIYALA

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

Daesh published on Saturday photos of an attack on an IFP office in​​ Ali Sabahi village,​​ west of Khanaqin. [ICDNJan5]​​ 

 

Southern Diyala (Mandali)

The Security Media​​ Center says units under Diyala Operations Command found and​​ destroyed a Daesh hideout​​ that was under construction in the Humairat village area in Mandali, as well as​​ weapons in villages nearby. [Sumaria]

 

Daesh said on Saturday it killed or wounded Iraqi soldiers and destroyed their Humvee with an IED in the Al-Nida area​​ of Mandali. [ICDNJan5]

 

KIRKUK

Kirkuk/Dibis

Nouri Hama Ali, a Peshmerga officer,​​ says a large American force moved​​ into the K1 camp in Kirkuk. He says that the US presence in Kirkuk will have positive consequences on the pending issues​​ between Baghdad and Erbil, especially the presence of Iraqi forces in the province. [Rudaw]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment. We know of no basis for the man’s optimism that the presence of American soldiers means that Iraqi troops will withdraw from Kirkuk.

 

Daesh said it killed two Oil Facilities Protection policemen with machine guns on Friday in Idris Khabbaz village, southwest of Dibis. [ICDNJan5]​​ 

 

Daesh said on Sunday it blew up the house of a tribal PMF member in Sarheed Al-Matar village, southwest of Kirkuk city, near Hawija’s​​ Riyadh​​ subdistrict. [ICDNJan6]​​ 

 

Hawija​​ 

US Special Forces units carried out an airdrop​​ operation on Sunday, killing 3 Daesh members in Hawija who had been targeting an electricity tower. [SotIraq]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that IFP units captured a man who was smuggling food items to Daesh​​ near Al-Sadouniya village. The source said the man identified 22 more smugglers in the Hawija area.

 

Daesh said it blew up wells and electricity generators that “belonged to IFP and tribal PMF members” on Thursday in Madina​​ village,​​ near​​ Hawija​​ city. [ICNDJan5]​​ 

 

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

 

Daesh said on Sunday it blew up the house of a tribal PMF commander in Al-Hawayej​​ village, west of Abbasi. [ICDNJan6]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad)

Daesh said it targeted on Friday a tribal PMF “gathering” in Kurdi Al-Nasr village,​​ in Rashad subdistrict, with 5 60mm mortar shells. [ICDNJan5]​​ 

 

NINEWA

Nineveh Plain (Hamdaniya)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Ninewa Protection Units found an abandoned Daesh explosives factory near Hamdaniya and confiscated IEDs and other explosives. The source sent us photos of the factory.

 

Mosul​​ city

The Ninewa Governor, Nawfal Al-Akoub, says 200 families returned from the Salamiyah​​ IDP camp to their homes in old Mosul. He said that​​ this was​​ the first group of many to come. All families passed​​ a​​ security check. [BasNews]

 

The​​ Ninewa police say​​ that they​​ arrested 3​​ female​​ Daesh operatives in old​​ Mosul, including one of an​​ unspecified​​ Arab nationality. [BasNews]

 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence reported on Monday that the 20th​​ Military Intelligence dispatch and the 43rd​​ Infantry Brigade captured 3 Daesh security personnel in east Mosul. [Sumaria] [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

Mosul District

South (Hammam Al-Alil/Shura/Qayara)

The Directorate of Military Intelligence says that its units operating under the 20th​​ Army Division arrested 3 Daesh operatives in Hammam Al-Alil. [Sumaria]

 

West (Hamidat/Muhalabiya)

Daesh published on Saturday photos of murdering three men in the Badoush area after accusing them of being “spies.” [ICDNJan5]​​ A​​​​ DaeshDaily​​ source had previously said on Thursday that 3 members of the same family were killed when a group of Daesh terrorists in military uniforms attacked a house in Al-Jabala village, between Tal Afar​​ city​​ and Badoush.​​

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Yazidi PMFs captured 2 “dangerous” Daesh terrorists who had fled from eastern Hasaka to Sinjar.

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

DAHUK

The Dinarta subdistrict​​ manager​​ in the Akre​​ District of Dahuk says that continued Turkish airstrikes on the district​​ has​​ caused the evacuation of 12 villages. He added that the situation of these villagers is very difficult, due to both the extremely cold weather and the continued Turkish bombing on the pretext of targeting PKK bases in the area. [BasNews]​​ 

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Trump was making “the right call” in deciding to withdraw from Syria. In a​​ New York Times​​ op-ed, Erdogan wrote that the withdrawal had to be planned carefully and “performed in cooperation with the right partners,” by which he went on to clarify that he​​ meant Turkey. Erdogan went on to claim that Turkish troops and the pro-Turkey Free Syrian Army had gone “door-to-door” to root out Daesh fighters in Al-Bab. He then proposed to create a “stabilization force” with fighters from “all parts of Syrian society” in order to “bring law and order” to Syria. [Anadolu] [NYT]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ As far as we know, it was the SDF who had gone door-to-door to root out Daesh fighters in much larger parts of Syria than Al-Bab.​​ 

 

Also see below under Syria – Foreign Policy – United States

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Foreign policy

United States

US National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Sunday that US withdrawal from Syria was conditional on Turkey​​ committing​​ to​​ not​​ target​​ America’s​​ Kurdish allies. Bolton said that the US withdrawal would be conducted in such a way that guaranteed that Daesh was​​ first​​ defeated;​​ that “the defense of Israel and our other friends in the region is absolutely assured;​​ and​​ that the US would​​ take care of those who have fought with us against ISIS.” [Reuters] [WSJ]

 

Bolton’s comments prompted a backlash from Turkish officials who saw it as walking back terms that Trump and Erdogan had agreed upon during their phone call on December 14, 2018. Bolton arrived in Turkey on Monday. [WSJ]

 

El Dorar​​ and the Turkish​​ Yeni Safak​​ also​​ noted that the​​ Wall Street Journal​​ had​​ reported​​ that National Security Advisor John Bolton​​ was coming to Turkey with​​ a color-coded map,​​ to​​ negotiate a “power-sharing plan” in northeastern​​ Syria. The​​ WSJ​​ quoted a US official as describing the map as “Sykes-Picot on acid.”​​ This plan is supposed to​​ include safe areas for the Kurdish fighters that the US seeks to protect. [ElDorar]​​ [YeniSafak] [WSJ]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Sykes-Picot was the secret Anglo-French agreement to divide Ottoman territories after WWI, which created many of the modern Middle Eastern borders. To many Arabs and Turks, it remains a symbol of Western conspiracy and imperialism; hence, what was a throwaway line in a​​ WSJ​​ story has much greater significance to the Arab and Turkish public.

 

Trump confirmed on Monday in a tweet that the US withdrawal from Syria would be done “at a proper pace,” which observers said was an effort to dispel fears of a rapid withdrawal. [BasNews] [WaPo]

 

Saudi Arabia

The​​ Telegraph​​ says that Saudi Arabia will​​ reopen its embassy in Damascus near the beginning of 2019, or at the latest by mid-2019. The paper says that Saudi Arabia, Al-Assad’s strongest opponent, seems ready to give him legitimacy. The visit of the President of Sudan to Damascus, followed by the reopening of the embassies of the UAE and Bahrain, are all steps towards that end. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We won’t be the only ones to suggest that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia may have his own purpose—to buy some friendship that will shore up his​​ own​​ reduced credibility.​​ The moves by​​ Bahrain and the UAE give him some cover, but​​ they​​ are​​ known​​ Saudi​​ collaborators.

 

Political developments

Syrian opposition leader​​ Nasir​​ Al-Hariri called on Monday for the Arab League to reconsider any plans to re-admit Syria, and for Arab countries to reconsider their decisions to resume relations with the Al-Assad government. [ElDorar]

 

United Nations

Geir O. Pedersen, the new UN Special Envoy to Syria, started his term of office. The tenure of outgoing Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura has now ended.​​ [Hawar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We say to Mr. de Mistura: Thank you for trying to solve so many seemingly overwhelming ​​ problems in Syria in the face of overwhelming odds; thank you for tolerating so many fools and scoundrels in the cause of peace and justice; thank you for hanging in there on the many occasions when you would have been justified in giving up; and thank you for reminding us of what the United Nations at its best truly symbolizes.

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

Local media sources say that the SDF is discussing the issue of Daesh prisoners captured by the SDF with the Syrian government. The sources say that the government is ready to receive all Syrian and non-Syrian Daesh prisoners from the SDF. The SDF is holding 2,622 Daesh fighters and relatives as prisoners; among them are 584 women and 1,248 children. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This has been a big problem for the SDF, made worse by the refusal of host countries to accept responsibility for Daesh criminals from their own countries; but became a serious threat once​​ President​​ Trump declared that the US would make a quick exit from Syria, raising the possibility that​​ the SDF could be abandoned and unable to prevent​​ these prisoners​​ from​​ escaping​​ and returning​​ to the front.​​ 

 

The​​ PYD-led​​ autonomous administration in northeast Syria handed over 5 Daesh prisoners, 11 women, and 30 children, all of Kazakhstan nationality, to their country, media sources say. [Hawar]​​ BasNews]

 

Northwest

Manbij​​ 

Daesh said it killed an SDF member with a silenced gun Monday afternoon in Al-Hosari village, near Manbij. [ICDNJan7-Telegram]​​ 

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

The SOHR reported that a Daesh suicide attacker wearing an explosives​​ belt detonated himself in Raqqa city near a YPG checkpoint, killing at least 5 people – 1 Kurdish fighter and 4 civilians – and injuring 8 others. [Ghad]​​ 

Daesh said it killed or wounded 17 SDF members when one of its suicide terrorists attacked them with a machine gun,​​ then blew himself up Monday noon at a “recruitment center” near​​ Al-Rashid​​ High​​ School in Raqqa city.​​ [EnabBaladi]​​ [ICDNJan7]

 

East Raqqa (Karama, etc.)

Daesh said it killed two SDF members with silenced guns on Sunday in Jadid Khabur village, in Al-Karama subdistrict east of Raqqa city. [ICDNJan7-Telegram]​​ 

 

Central and West​​ 

No reports

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said it killed an “apostate” with machine guns on Friday in Suwaidan village, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNJan6]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF member and wounded another on Saturday when it attacked their vehicle near Al-Nahiya circle, in Dhiban. [ICDNJan6]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed two SDF members, wounded two others, and damaged their vehicle on Saturday when it targeted them with machine guns on the road to Al-Omar oilfield in the Dhiban area. [ICDNJan6]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed two SDF members, wounded another, and damaged their vehicle when it set off a parked motorcycle bomb on the road between Dhiban and Al-Shuhail. [ICDNJan6]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

A missile fired by Daesh on Deir Ez-Zor province killed 1 YPG fighter and injured another YPG fighter, and 2 British special forces soldiers. [Yahoo]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that​​ dozens​​ of Daesh terrorists surrendered to SDF units​​ on the outskirts of Al-Sha’afa town. The source said the SDF​​ has now​​ captured large parts of the town,​​ but there are still many Daesh terrorists who refuse to surrender.​​ 

 

Daesh initiated a sudden counter attack on SDF positions in Al-Sha’afa, making use of bad weather conditions, and causing several casualties. Sources say that the SDF thwarted the attack on the area, which had been totally captured by the SDF over the few days prior. The Coalition fired surface-to-surface missiles from Al-Omar oilfield on Daesh positions. [ElDorar] [SyriaHR]

Daesh issued on Monday photos of battles with the SDF near Al-Sha’afa. [A3maq]

 

The SOHR says that Daesh is collapsing in eastern Deir Ez-Zor, now holding only 2 areas (Al-Susah and Al-Baghouz, near the Iraq border), except for scattered cells in the desert between Deir Ez-Zor and Homs. Daesh initiated a failed counter-attack on Al-Sha’afa but failed to achieve results. [SyriaHR]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Sunday that Daesh captured 10 young men in Al-Susah after accusing them of supporting the government and raising its flags in the town.​​ 

 

The SDF said on Monday that it captured 5 foreign Daesh fighters, including 2 Americans, 2 Pakistanis, and an Irish national. The SDF said that the 5 were preparing to carry out an attack on civilians fleeing Daesh-held areas.​​ [BasNews]​​ [AFP]​​ [NYT]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded SDF members on Saturday after “luring” them to a land​​ mine field on 24 Street in Al-Sha’afa. [ICDNJan6]

Daesh said on Sunday its snipers killed two SDF fighters “on the outskirts of” Al-Sha’afa town. [A3maq]

Daesh said it killed or wounded SDF members on Saturday after targeting 2 SDF gatherings in Kashma town with 2 rockets. [ICDNJan6]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Daesh​​ issues reports, some from their creative writing department,​​ with​​ terms like “luring” and “outskirts​​ of” when it loses areas. Its reports also become more about snipers, mortars, and rockets, and of course land mine fields.​​ 

 

The Coalition said that it had carried out multiple airstrikes against Daesh media cells in the “Middle Euphrates River Valley” over the week of December 23 to 29. The Coalition’s statement said that Daesh’s media and communications capabilities had been degraded by “approximately 45 percent” since September 2018. [InherentResolve]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Coalition is attacking our sources! (Not necessarily our most reliable sources)

 

Local sources in Deir Ez-Zor say that new Coalition reinforcements arrived at the front to fight Daesh, coming from Shaddadi​​ in​​ southern​​ Hasaka. [Qasioun]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Caution: This is a Qasioun story based on “local sources.”

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Yemen

On Monday, Daesh published a photo of one of its terrorists,​​ saying he was killed in Al-Baidha. [ICDNJan7]

 

North Africa

Egypt

Daesh said on Monday it wounded Egyptian soldiers and damaged their armored personnel carrier with an IED near Abu Dhira’ security barrier, south of Rafah. [ICDNJan7]

 

Daesh said on Monday it killed or wounded Egyptian soldiers and destroyed their M113 armored vehicle with an IED on the road between Najd and Al-Sidra security barriers, south of Sheikh Zuweid. [ICDNJan7]

 

Libya

Libyan authorities arrested a wanted former leader of the Ansar Al-Sharia Islamist militia, Amad Al-Ghariyani, aka “Al-Zubeir,” in Zawiya, western coastal Libya. [Libya24]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh said it shot and severely wounded a Somali intelligence member on Friday in Beledweyne city,​​ in Hiiraan​​ Province. [A3maq]

 

Nigeria

The Nigerian Army said on Monday that they had killed “over 100” Boko Haram fighters as part of the clearance operation “Lafiya Dole” in Yobe State and Borno State, northeastern Nigeria. The Army’s​​ statement noted that the Nigerian Air Force Task Force had provided close air support, and that the battle had now “shifted” to the outskirts of Lake Chad and border areas. [DailyPost] [VanguardNGR]

On Sunday, the Nigerian Air Force had said that its Air Task​​ Force had conducted attacks on Boko Haram gun trucks as part of Operation Lafiya Dole, saying it had destroyed at least 3 trucks. [VanguardNGR]

A statement later on Monday​​ said that Nigerian troops had killed an additional Boko Haram fighter and arrested 2 others in the Damboa Local Government area, Borno State, as part of Operation Lafiya Dole. [VanguardNGR]

 

On Monday evening, gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram fighters stormed the village of Auno, 10 km​​ (6 miles)​​ from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. A resident said that there were soldiers in the village to fight them off, and that the fighting was ongoing as of Monday night. [DailyPost]

 

Military sources said on Friday that at least 2 Nigerian Army soldiers had been killed in an ambush by Boko Haram fighters near the village of Banki, on the border with Cameroon. 7 civilians were injured in the attack. [VanguardNGR]

 

Daesh 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, in Borno State. [ICDNJan6]

 

Daesh said it wounded five Nigerian soldiers and destroyed their SUV with an IED on Saturday on the road between Marte and Karino towns, in Borno State. [ICDNJan6]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed five Nigerian soldiers with an IED on Friday on the road between Monguno city, Borno State,​​ and Mirari​​ town. [ICDNJan6]​​ 

 

Gabon

The government of Gabon announced that it had thwarted an attempted​​ military coup, and arrested the conspirators, who had managed earlier to capture the radio station. [Anadolu] [BBC]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The Afghan Military in the East said on Sunday that the Taliban and Daesh’s Khorasan affiliate (aka ISIS-K) had been fighting​​ each other​​ in the Korengal Valley, Pech Dara district, Kunar Province, eastern Afghanistan. The Afghan Military’s statement said that at least 2 ISIS-K fighters had been killed, and 1 other injured, as well as 1 Taliban fighter injured. [Khaama]

In Daesh’s version, it said it captured 3 villages on Thursday in an attack with “different kinds of weapons” on Taliban military positions in the Korengal area in, Manogai in Kunar. Daesh said it also killed or wounded Taliban fighters and captured weapons and ammunition. [ICDNJan5]​​ 

In another version, Daesh said it killed 2 Taliban fighters in the attack. [A3maq]

 

A Taliban attack on a military base in Qadis​​ District, Badghis Province,​​ in​​ northwestern Afghanistan, killed at least 14 security personnel, including 2 policemen and 12 soldiers. A separate attack in Ab Karami​​ District, also in Badghis, killed at least 7 policemen and wounded 9 more. [AlJazeera]

 

Mohammed Rada’i, spokesman for the Afghan​​ Military​​ in the​​ North, says that a US drone killed 14 Taliban​​ fighters and 4 civilians in an attack in Faryab​​ Province, northern Afghanistan. [Anadolu]​​ 

However, a different statement from the Afghan Military in the North said only that 14 Taliban fighters had been killed in the airstrike, with no mention of civilians.​​ [Khaama]

 

The Afghan Military in the North also said on Monday that a “high-ranking” leader of the Taliban’s “Red Unit,” Mawlavi Habib, had been killed in operations in Faryab Province. [Khaama]

 

A roadside IED exploded in Paktika Province, eastern Afghanistan, killing 6 civilians and wounding 6 others. No party claimed responsibility so far. [Rudaw]

 

Daesh said on Sunday it killed an Afghan government intelligence member in Jalalabad. [ICDNJan6]

 

Daesh said it killed a Taliban member on Sunday in the Kaka Bazar area, in Khogyani. [ICDNJan7]

 

 

*****

 

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January 4, 2019

 

A person standing on a dirt road in front of a car

Description automatically generated

PMF Vehicle Destroyed in Tal Afar

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

Iraq will hold 2019 oil production level as part of OPEC supply reduction.​​ [..]

President Salih extends his personal diplomacy tour to Qatar. [..]

Move to set up alternative​​ governing​​ council in Sinjar​​ sparks controversy. [..]

 

Turkey

Bolton, Jeffery, Dunford in Turkey to discuss implications of US withdrawal. [..]

Pompeo promises to protect Syrian Kurds from Turkey; Turkey objects.​​ [..]

 

Syria

PYD spokesman says it is seeking an agreement with Syrian government.​​ [..]

GOP Senators propose bill to sanction Syria & its allies for human rights abuses. [..]

Coalition conducted 469 airstrikes in Syria within 2 weeks. [..]

Tahrir Al-Sham captures village in Turkish-held Afrin District.​​ [..]

Reports of Egypt, Gulf States troops going to Manbij are officially denied. [..]

Daesh area of control in Deir Ez-Zor now down to 3 towns & 3 villages. [..]​​ 

SDF rescues 7 captured Yazidi women in Albu Kamal. [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Yemen: ​​ US airstrike kills perpetrator of attack on USS Cole in 2000.​​ [..]​​ 

Egypt: ​​​​ Al-Sisi concedes Israel has permission to bomb Daesh in Sinai. [..]

Tunisia:​​ ​​ Ennahda party endorses national reconciliation in Syria. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ 52 Daesh, Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Anti-Daesh campaign

General​​ Yahya Rasul, speaking for Joint Ops Command, told Iran’s​​ Fars​​ news agency that the US troops withdrawn from Syria will be stationed in Erbil, but would not be redeployed to federal government territories inside Iraq. [Qasioun]

 

Bas News​​ reported that a senior Kurdish source said Friday that US troops withdrew from Syria and headed towards the Kurdish region of Iraq.​​ Bas News​​ stated that the​​ German Press Agency​​ quoted the Deir Ez-Zor civil council relaying a similar story. [BasNews]

 

The Coalition said that between December 16 and December 29, 2018, it conducted 9 airstrikes in Iraq. [InherentResolve]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Coalition changed strike report formats; strike reports are now biweekly and do not include specific locations.​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Iraq says it is committed to OPEC’s agreement to reduce oil production, and will keep its production level at 4,513 million barrels per day during 2019. OPEC countries and Russia agreed to cut oil supplies by 1.2 million barrels per day during 2019. [BasNews]

 

The​​ daily​​ Al-Arab​​ says Iraq’s President, Barham Salih, is intending to visit Qatar following his recent visit to Turkey. ​​ Saleh has visited 7 regional countries, in addition to Italy, so far. The pro-monarchy Saudi daily​​ Okaz​​ reported earlier that Qatar proposed that Iraq join a coalition with Syria and Iran, but Iraq rejected the offer. [BasNews]

 

The Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali Al-Hakim said on Wednesday that a decision to prevent citizens with Syrian or Iranian stamps on their passports from traveling to Jordan, the Gulf states, and European states was valid. He said that the decision was made by the other states, not Iraq. [ElDorar]

 

BAGHDAD

North​​ (Tarmiya, Taji, etc.)​​ 

The Security Media Center says that National Security units arrested a Daesh officer who was moving in disguise in “north Baghdad,” without specifying the exact location. [Sumaria]

 

ANBAR

No reports

 

SALAHUDDIN

Baiji

Daesh said it damaged a PMF vehicle with an IED on Thursday near Al-Fatha. [A3maq]

 

DIYALA

Baquba/Southeast Diyala

The Security Committee of the Diyala Provincial Council reported on Friday that intelligence operations tracked​​ down​​ a series​​ of Daesh sleeper cells​​ in​​ Buhriz,​​ south​​ of​​ Baquba. [BaghdadToday]

 

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya)

On Friday, a “local source” reported that a Daesh member was killed in the village of Makhisa, near Muqdadiya. [Mawazin]​​ 

 

Northern Diyala (Khalis​​ north)

A member of the Diyala Provincial Council said on Friday that the presence of Daesh has decreased in​​ the​​ Zoor​​ agricultural basin, northeast Diyala. [BaghdadToday]

 

Daesh said it wounded an Iraqi Army soldier and damaged a Humvee with an IED on Thursday in the Hibhib area. [ICDNJan4]​​ 

 

KIRKUK

No reports

 

NINEWA

Western​​ Ninewa

Tal Afar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that 3 members of the same family were killed when a group of Daesh terrorists in military uniforms attacked a house in Al-Jabala village, between Tal Afar​​ city​​ and Badoush.​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that two PMF fighters were killed when their vehicle was destroyed by an IED near Tal Afar’s northern entrance.

 

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Thursday that the YPG formed a new local government in Sinjar and excluded Arabs from the new council. The source also said that the YPG announced that Arabs are not allowed to enter Sinjar without the YPG’s approval.​​ 

On Thursday, the Chairman of the Ninewa Provincial Council, Saido Chato, denounced attempts to form a parallel local council in Sinjar as being carried out by “illegal parties” and said that such a council would receive no official support or recognition from any official department of Ninewa Province. [SotAlIraq]

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

No reports

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

Turkish media reported a large explosion in a residential complex in Ankara, leaving open the possibility that it was caused by a suicide attack. 5 people, including 2 policemen, were wounded, according to​​ the​​ initial tally. The explosion was caused by the natural gas network, which​​ is suspected​​ of being​​ sabotaged. [BasNews]

 

A PKK group attacked Turkish border guards patrolling the Turkey-Iran border in the eastern province of Iğdır with shoulder-held rockets, grenades, and automatic rifles, killing 1 soldier and wounding 2 others. [Sumaria]

 

The Turkish Chief of Staff said that a Turkish soldier had been killed in an “accidental incident” in “northern Iraq” (Iraqi Kurdistan) during an operation against the PKK. [Arabi21]

 

The​​ Wall Street Journal​​ wrote on Friday that Turkey was asking the US for “substantial” military support for Turkish forces to fight Daesh in Syria, including airstrikes, transport, and logistical support, according to senior US officials. The officials said that the requests were extensive enough that if the US fully obliged, it might be more involved in Syria rather than less. The​​ WSJ​​ wrote that 1 official said that the US was unlikely to provide all the support that the Turks required, particularly air support. [WSJ]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The more important question would be why the US would encourage Turkey to join the anti-Daesh fight in Syria, when Daesh is already close to final defeat thanks largely to soldiers the Erdogan government has disdained. Erdogan has no apparent interests in Syria except to pursue his own campaign against the Kurds. US military support to do what, exactly?

 

Foreign policy

US National Security Advisor John Bolton says he will be visiting Turkey, alongside Special Envoy to Syria James Jeffery and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, to discuss US forces’ withdrawal from Syria. Fighting Daesh and protecting the Kurds will be among the topics of discussion. [Qasioun]​​ [Kurdistan24]

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US is willing to guarantee that “the Turks won’t slaughter the Kurds” after the US withdrawal from Syria. He says that this is a part of the US mission in Syria. ​​ [ZamanAlWasl] [Kurdistan24]

 

However, Turkey rejected Pompeo’s statements regarding protecting Kurds in Syria from being killed by the Turks. A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry says that Turkey rejects the “form and content” of the US statement. The statement added that Turkey was committed to “combating terrorism,” which included fighting both Daesh and the PKK, and that the fight against the PKK should not be taken as a fight against any specific ethnic or religious group in Syria. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ Notwithstanding that virtually all of the PKK members and all the Syrians alleged to be PKK members are Kurdish.

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

A member of the PYD executive committee, Badran Jia Kurd, said on Friday that it was trying to reach an agreement with Damascus, mediated by Russia, regardless of the US plan to withdraw troops from Syria. Kurd said that the PYD had made an offer to Damascus in a recent meeting in Russia, and was waiting for Russia’s response. [BasNews]

 

The​​ Jerusalem Post​​ anticipated​​ a bloody confrontation between the Turkish and Syrian armies following the US withdrawal. It says that the US is willing to hand over the areas it controls to Turkey, while the Syrian government, backed by Russia, also wants to take over​​ those areas. [ElDorar]

 

The SOHR says that the religious group “Shura Council of Scholars in Al-Sham” issued a statement, claiming to represent Muslim clerics in Syria, describing​​ Tahrir al-Sham as an “outlaw saboteur group.” It called for unity between all other militias in the ongoing fight against Tahrir Al-Sham.​​ The group had described in 2016​​ the​​ SDF an “infidel” movement and should be fought.​​ [SyriaHR]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment. ​​ This is a pro-Turkey​​ Salafist​​ group​​ that was established in 2015.​​ ​​ 

 

Foreign policy

United States

Republican US Senators proposed a bill on Friday that would impose sanctions on Syria and its allies for human rights abuses. Those​​ who would be​​ sanctioned​​ by​​ the bill include the Central Bank of Syria. [Anadolu]

 

The US Department of Defense says that the mission in Syria is not over yet, as Daesh is still there. A DoD official told the US-funded​​ Al-Hurra​​ TV channel that there is a change in the US position, but there is still a lot to do. [ElDorar]

 

Anti-Daesh campaign

The Coalition said that between December 16 and December 29, 2018, it conducted 469 airstrikes in Syria. It also reported that over the same time period, there were 222 strikes from “other actors that crossed the Euphrates River Valley.”​​ [InherentResolve]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ If “other actors” means Iraq, then the role of the Iraqi Air Force has been much greater than reported.​​ The Coalition changed strike report formats; strike reports are now biweekly and do not include specific locations.​​ 

 

Northwest

Afrin

Media sources say that Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) has captured the village of Qila, in Jinderes subdistrict in​​ southwestern​​ Afrin, following battles with pro-Turkey militias. The fighting started among these groups in Idlib and Darat Azza, northwestern Aleppo, and has reached Afrin, which Turkey seized​​ earlier​​ from the YPG. [Hawar]

 

Manbij​​ 

The SOHR wrote that both Egyptian military sources and SDF sources denied recent reports about a potential Egyptian-Gulf military presence in the eastern Euphrates and Manbij in particular, saying there were no steps being taken toward establishing such a presence. [SyriaHR]

 

The Turkish daily​​ Yeni​​ Şafak claimed that the PKK has a military​​ headquarters​​ in Al-Haya village, east of Manbij. It says that PKK leaders meet​​ there​​ daily, with PKK leaders coming from their main command in Qandil mountain, “northern Iraq” (Iraqi Kurdistan)​​ to attend. [ElDorar]

 

Daesh said on Friday it killed four SDF members and destroyed their SUV with an IED in Jab Al-Qadir village, near Manbij​​ and the Euphrates.​​ [A3maq-Telegram]

However, local sources said an SDF​​ vehicle​​ was destroyed in the village but no casualties were reported.​​ 

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh said on Friday it killed or wounded three SDF members in an attack with machine guns on the Iyadat Shamela security barrier in Raqqa city.​​ [ICDNJan4-Telegram]​​ ​​ 

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib/Aleppo

 

See story above under Afrin

 

Homs

A story circulated on social media, without confirmation or further details, that Major General Sharaf​​ Hassan Al-Hamawi of the Syrian​​ Army had been killed in Palmyra, Homs. [ElDorar]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

SOHR reported​​ 2​​ separate attacks by Daesh militants—in Al-Busayrah​​ subdistrict, Deir Ez-Zor​​ District,​​ and Dhiban​​ subdistrict, Mayadin​​ District, just north of Hajin in Albu Kamal. The attacks​​ targeted​​ an​​ SDF checkpoint and a local money exchange office, leaving​​ 1​​ civilian dead.​​ The​​ SOHR says​​ that​​ Daesh has​​ dozens​​ of sleeper cells in SDFheld areas​​ carrying out​​ assassinations​​ and guerilla attacks,​​ and that such attacks have​​ claimed the lives of 128 civilians since last August. [SyriaHR]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

Daesh said it killed two SDF members and wounded another on Wednesday in ambush in Al-Takihi​​ village, in Al-Busayrah subdistrict. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Mayadin​​ District

Daesh said it captured and killed an SDF member on Wednesday in Al-Sabha village. [A3maq]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

The SOHR says that Daesh is collapsing in Deir Ez-Zor due to the SDF pressure and internal conflicts among its leaders, to the extent​​ that it is now​​ incapable of keeping civilians from escaping to SDF-held areas. It says that Daesh’s areas of control are now confined to Al-Sha’afa, Al-Baghouz, Al-Susah, and 3 other villages. [SyriaHR]

 

A military source in eastern​​ Deir Ez-Zor says SDF units​​ have​​ freed 7,000 civilians, mostly women and children, from Daesh captivity and moved them to safe locations. [Hawar]

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that SDF units freed seven Yazidi women near Al-Kashma village. The source said the SDF handed over the women and their children to the KRG in Erbil.  

 

Khida Saratov, a member of the team working on retuning Russian nationals from war zones in the​​ Middle​​ East, says​​ that​​ a Russian woman and​​ one of​​ her children​​ were killed in a​​ Coalition airstrike on​​ Al-Shaafa village. The women​​ was from Chechnya and a mother of 5. A Kurdish family is taking care of her children. [Qasioun]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

The Deputy Commander of the Iranian Navy, Rear-Admiral Touraj Hassani, says Iran will be sending a fleet on a tour to the western​​ Atlantic, i.e., near US waters, in March. He says the ships will include the​​ Sahand, a newly-built destroyer and​​ a​​ helicopter carrier. [Hawar]

 

Yemen

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi, who was believed to have been responsible for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, was reportedly killed in a US airstrike on Tuesday. CENTCOM spokesman Bill Urban confirmed that the strike had occurred, and said that US forces were still assessing whether Al-Badawi had been killed. [Independent]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The US military has long memories, especially of those who kill US servicemen.

 

North Africa

Egypt

Egypt’s President Abd Al-Fatah Al-Sisi says that the Egyptian and Israeli armed forces are cooperating to confront terrorism in the Sinai. He told​​ CBS​​ that over 1,000 Daesh fighters are situated in the Sinai, and that Egypt allows the Israeli Air Force to attack them. [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This explains our earlier report from Daesh about Israeli airstrikes in north Sinai.

Daesh sources said that 6 or more Israeli airplanes conducted more than 20 airstrikes on Thursday, targeting different areas around Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid.​​ 

 

The Qatari-owned​​ Al-Araby Al-Jadeed​​ wrote that the Egyptian Presidency forbade official comment on Al-Sisi’s​​ CBS​​ interview, and​​ requested through the Egyptian Embassy in Washington that it not be broadcast, due to the politically sensitive nature of admitting to military cooperation with Israel. [AlAraby]

 

Libya

The Demining Room for the Central Military Region, including Sirte, said that it had removed and dismantled a 200-kg missile over the past few days, which had remained in a residential district since 2016. It said that about 1.5 tons of war detritus had been removed over the past month, and that about 75% of the explosives and mines had been removed from Sirte. A spokesman for the Sirte Protection Force added that war detritus remained a real hazard for civilians in Sirte. [Libya24]

 

Tunisia

Tunisia’s​​ Ennahda Party says that national reconciliation is a must in Syria. This unexpected position came in a press statement by the executive office of the party. The statement also says that such a reconciliation will end the Syrian people’s agonies and restore Syria’s position in Arab and international organizations. [ElDorar]

 

The Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 3 persons suspected of being members of the “Tawhid and Jihad Battalion,” which is the same terrorist cell whose members were killed in a shootout early Thursday morning in Sidi Bouzid Governorate. [Tunisien]

 

Algeria

The​​ Director of​​ the​​ Ops​​ Center in​​ the​​ Algerian MoI,​​ Hassan Qasimi,​​ says​​ that​​ Algeria deported a group of​​ so-called “Free Syrian​​ Army​​ fighters who fought in Aleppo,​​ after​​ they​​ tried​​ to enter the country as immigrants. [Sumaria]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh published on Friday a photo of a policeman it murdered in Bakaara market in Mogadishu city. [ICDNJan4]​​ Daesh had previously said on Thursday it shot and killed a policeman in Bakaara market, in Mogadishu. [A3maq]​​ 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Afghan military sources said that 52 fighters belonging to the Taliban and​​ to​​ Daesh’s Khorasan branch (ISIS-K) were killed in various military operations around Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said that four women and children were killed on Wednesday in an “American bombing” in the Ibrahim Khel, in Khogyani District, Nangarhar. [A3maq]​​ 

Daesh said it stopped an “Afghan and American forces” attack on the area. [A3maq]

 

DAESH MEDIA

 

On Thursday, Daesh published the 163rd​​ issue of its​​ Naba’​​ magazine, which includes​​ an infographic about its attacks in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, west Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It​​ ​​ claims​​ to have​​ conducted 72 attacks, killing or wounding more than 302 people, and destroying 38 vehicles. Daesh also published instructions to its followers about digital media and how to save or delete their information. Daesh told its followers to avoid using mobile phones. [ICDNJan3]

 

*****

 

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