An Update On ISIS Activities

January 14, 2019

 

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SDF Units in Al-Sha’afa (SDF Media Jan 14)

 

 

 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS

 

Iraq

World Bank says reconstruction money will boost Iraq economy in 2019. [..]

Iraq says 80% of Daesh land mines have now been cleared with US help.​​ [..]

King of Jordan visits Baghdad to meet the President.​​ [..]

Iran announces Rouhani will visit Baghdad in March. [..]

France’s Foreign Minister arrives in Baghdad to discuss economic, security ties. [..]

Daesh kills another mukhtar, in Falluja. [..]

Two Yazidi families freed from 4-year Daesh captivity in Sinjar. [..]

 

Turkey

Turkey deploys 80,000 soldiers on Syrian border for mass attack,​​ [..]

. . .​​ but Trump threatens economic retaliation,​​ [..]

. . .​​ leading to​​ Monday’s Trump-Erdogan telephone talk.​​ [..]

 

Syria

Israeli airstrikes hit Iranian warehouses at Damascus airport. [..]

Qatar decides against reopening embassy in Damascus. [..]

SDF takes the rest of Al-Sha’afa.​​ [..]

SDF, Coalition​​ now battling Daesh in Al-Susah.​​ [..]

 

Other​​ countries

Egypt: ​​ Cairo monitoring group​​ details expansion of Daesh social media presence. [..]

Great Britain:​​ ​​ Daesh operatives threaten the Duchess of Cambridge. [..]

Afghanistan: ​​​​ 

More Afghan immigrants in Iran returning home in wake of US sanctions. [..]

Kabul car bomb explosion kills 4, injures 90. [..]

10 Daesh-affiliated terrorists killed, 16 captured in NE Afghanistan. [..]

 

REPORTS FROM IRAQ

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Reconstruction

A World Bank report​​ predicts that​​ the Iraq economy​​ will​​ achieve a 6.2% growth rate in 2019, which would be the highest in the Arab world. Although it was only 1.9% in 2018, there are high expectations for the​​ coming reconstruction projects,​​ for both Iraq and neighboring countries. [Sumaria]

 

As reported by Sumaria, Iraqi security officials speaking to a Gulf newspaper said on Monday that about 80% of the war detritus left behind by Daesh had been destroyed. They credited US technical assistance with helping to locate buried IEDs and mines, although they added that the “crazy” arrangement of mines and IEDs in Ninewa had delayed clearance operations in Mosul. They said that operations to clear explosives were ongoing on an “almost daily” basis in Anbar, Mosul, Salahuddin, and Baghdad.​​ [Sumaria]​​ 

 

Foreign policy

Baghdad is witnessing a flurry of diplomatic activity, as it received Abdullah II, the King of Jordan,​​ Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister, and Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, all a few days after the visit of Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State.​​ [Sumaria]

 

The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, arrived in Baghdad on Monday and was received by President Barham Salih. Enhancing the political, economic, and security ties between Amman and Baghdad are the topics of discussions with the King. [Sumaria]

 

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, says that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be visiting Iraq on March 11 to discuss the development of mutual relations. He says that after the successful end of Iraq’s elections, the time is ripe for such a visit. [Rudaw]

 

France’s Foreign Minister,​​ Jean-Yves Le Drian,​​ visited Baghdad on Monday to discuss bilateral relations in the economic and security fields.​​ [Sumaria]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This may look less important than visits by King Abdullah and President Rouhani, but in the context of Trump’s announced Syria withdrawal, France’s efforts to assert some leadership in Syria and Iraq could be extremely important.​​ 

 

Pro-Western former MP Mithal Al-Alusi wrote an open letter to President Barham Salih urging Salih to open official channels with Israel and sign an official ceasefire with it. Iraq has officially been at war with Israel since the Israeli state’s foundation. [AlQuds]

 

BAGHDAD

Southeast​​ (Mada’in, etc.)

The Directorate of Military Intelligence said on Monday that its units had arrested a terrorist in Mada’in who was planting IEDs targeting both security personnel and civilians. [Ghad]​​ 

 

West​​ (Mansour, Abu Ghraib, etc.)

Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF soldiers and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on Thursday in the Al-Annaz area, Abu Ghraib​​ District. [ICDNJan12]

 

ANBAR

The Security Committee of the Anbar Provincial Council says that​​ the​​ increased​​ number of​​ security breaches in the province are due to weakened intelligence and the need to transfer security powers to the MoI​​ in order to​​ send the army to the desert and border areas. It also says that intelligence units lack adequate supplies. Furthermore, it rejected the return of families of Daesh members without the​​ consent of the security authorities,​​ or​​ without​​ subjecting all members of “Daesh families” to a security check. [BasNews]

 

Falluja

Daesh said it captured and then murdered the mukhtar of Al-Masalma village, in the Nuaimiya area, and set his vehicle on fire, on Sunday. [ICDNJan14]

 

The Directorate of Military Intelligence said on Monday that its units had found a cache of explosive devices in the village of Albu Hamoud,​​ in​​ Qarma subdistrict. It said the cache included 50 bombs of various types, 29 detonators, 14 120mm mortar rounds, and various other explosives​​ packages and bomb-making materials. [Ghad]​​ 

 

Hit

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that Hit Police units killed 2 Daesh terrorists, including a suicide bomber. The source said the police had obtained information about a suicide bomber and his “transporter,” and managed to chase and kill the 2 terrorists.​​ 

 

Anah​​ (including Rawa)

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that Iraqi Army units killed 5 Daesh terrorists who were hiding in a tunnel in the desert west of Rawa.

 

Al-Qa’im

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that the Mayor of Al-Qa’im demanded that security units expel Daesh families after the car bomb explosion in the city.​​ 

The Ministry of Health had previously said on Friday that a car bomb explosion in Al-Qa’im killed 2 persons and wounded 23. The explosion took place in the market area. 4 policemen were among the wounded. [Baghdadia]​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The Mayor (short name for a District Manager in Iraq)​​ is taking an irresponsible position. Most Daesh family members have themselves committed no crimes.​​ How about​​ investigating​​ who committed the crime​​ instead of​​ rounding​​ up​​ and expelling​​ the usual suspects​​ in the hope that the perpetrator is one of them.

 

Rutba

A security source reported that on Monday​​ an​​ Iraqi aircraft killed 4 Daesh fighters when it struck a vehicle entering Rutba that was carrying weapons, explosives​​ belts, ammunition, and food for Daesh. [SNG]

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that Iraqi aircrafts​​ killed 3 Daesh terrorists who sneaked in from Syria​​ to​​ the Rutba desert. ​​ 

DaeshDaily comment.​​ As Daesh fighters in Deir Ez-Zor try to escape the SDF and the Coalition, there will be more of them trying to sneak into Iraq.

 

SALAHUDDIN

Tikrit

A source within the Salahuddin security apparatus reported that Daesh launched an attack on the Al-Aqwas checkpoint north of Tikrit on Sunday, killing 5 security officers. [Mawazin]

 

On Sunday, Salahuddin security forces found 2 corpses of young men with gunshot wounds near Tikrit University. They had previously been kidnapped by Daesh. [Mawazin]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded tribal PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on Saturday north of Al-Alam city. [ICDNJan14]

 

Daesh said on Sunday that it killed an Oil Facilities Protection policeman and wounded another with an IED near Allas oilfield. [A3maq]

 

The Security Media Center said on Monday that units from Salahuddin Ops Command had carried out a search operation around the Tal Qusaiba area east of Tikrit, finding 4 terrorist “dens,” which contained 9 IEDs, as well as clothing, food and cooking equipment, and oil tanks. [Baghdadia]​​ 

 

DIYALA

Central Diyala (Muqdadiya)

Daesh said it targeted the Shia village of Sarhiya, in Muqdadiya​​ District, with 3 mortar shells on Friday. [ICDNJan12]​​ 

 

Daesh said it damaged an IFP vehicle with light weapons on Friday in the Dour Al-Dhubbat area, in Muqdadiya city. [ICNDJan13]

 

Northern Diyala (Khanaqin)

On Monday evening, Daesh launched an attack on Iraqi government police in the village of Mohammed Shirk,​​ Khanaqin​​ District. [BasNews]​​ 

 

Daesh said it severely wounded two Shia with a handgun on Friday in the Tuola Farush neighborhood of Khanaqin city. [ICDNJan12]​​ 

 

Daesh said it set the house of two IFP members on​​ fire​​ Saturday north of Khanaqin. [ICDNJan12]

 

KIRKUK

Dibis

The PMF media office said on Monday that the 16th​​ PMF Brigade had fought off a Daesh attack in Dibis​​ District. It said that “several” Daesh fighters and 1 PMF fighter were killed.​​ [Ghad]​​ [PressIraq]

A security source confirmed that 1 PMF fighter had been killed. [SotIraq]

 

Daesh said it killed a tribal PMF soldier with light weapons on Sunday in Al-Tanak neighborhood, in Dibis. [ICDNJan14]

 

Hawija​​ 

Abbasi

Daesh said it killed an Asayish member with an IED on Saturday in Al-Hawayej village,​​ in Abbasi subdistrict​​ west of Hawija city. [A3maq]

 

Daesh published on Saturday photos of targeting the Shia village of Maadan, in​​ the​​ Saadiya​​ area in Abbasi​​ subdistrict, with mortars. [ICDNJan12]

 

Daesh said it killed or wounded PMF soldiers when it set off an IED on their vehicle on Sunday in Al-Sabti village, in Abbasi subdistrict. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Riyadh

Daesh said on Saturday it killed an IFP member with an IED near Al-Salmani village, in Riyadh subdistrict. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed an IFP member when it targeted a minesweeper with an IED on Saturday near Khirbat Aziz village, in Riyadh subdistrict. [ICDNJan13]

 

Daesh said it blew up the houses of four PMF and IFP members on Saturday in Dhahiriya village, west of Riyadh. [ICDNJan14]

 

Southwest (Daquq, Rashad)

Daesh said it killed or wounded tribal PMF members and destroyed their vehicle with an IED on Friday in Tob Zawa village, in Daquq​​ District. [ICDNJan12]

 

Daesh published on Saturday photos of targeting an IFP position in Al-Sous village, in Rashad subdistrict, with mortars. [ICDNJan12]

 

NINEWA

Makhmur

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Friday that Ninewa SWAT units, supported by Coalition soldiers, captured 4 Daesh terrorists who were hiding in a tunnel​​ in​​ the Gwer area. ​​ 

 

Mosul​​ city

On Monday​​ Sawa​​ reported that Mosul city authorities began​​ the​​ demolition of​​ a building that had been used by Daesh​​ for the​​ execution of​​ alleged​​ gay men. [Sawa]

 

Mosul District

West (Hamidat/Muhalabiya)

Daesh said it killed an Iraqi Army EOD expert with an IED on Saturday after “luring” an Iraqi Army unit to an ambush near Sheikh Yunus village, southwest of Mosul city. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Western​​ Ninewa

Sinjar

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that 2 Yazidi PMF fighters were killed in a Daesh attack near Hardan village. The source said that the PMFs killed 2 Daesh terrorists.

 

KURDISTAN​​ NEWS

DAHUK

The Office of Kidnapped Affairs in Dahuk announced on Sunday that 2​​ Yazidi​​ families had been freed from 2 compounds in Sinjar and​​ brought to​​ Dahuk. Both families were kidnapped by Daesh over 4 years ago. [Forat]

 

SULEIMANIYA

The​​ Asayish​​ Directorate announced that​​ Asayish​​ units​​ in west Suleimaniya had arrested an important armed Daesh fugitive. [Forat]​​ [PressIraq]

 

REPORTS FROM TURKEY​​ 

 

Military & security developments

The Turkish daily​​ Yeni Şafak​​ says preparations are underway for the Turkish military operation east of the Euphrates, saying that 80,000 Turkish soldiers are ready to proceed. It says this is twice the number that occupied Cyprus in 1974, which was 40,000 soldiers at the time. It says that the Ops Command will be located in Şanlıurfa (aka Urfa, southeastern Turkey), and that 10 locations will be attacked at the same time. [Qasioun]

 

Foreign policy

President Trump tweeted on Sunday night that the US would​​ devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds.” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Riyadh that he “assume[d]” Trump was referring to possible sanctions if Turkey attacked Syrian Kurdish positions, but that Pompeo did not know for sure.​​ 

Trump also asked Kurdish fighters not to “provoke” Turkey. He added that a 20-mile “safe zone” for the Kurds could be established, without providing further details. Finally, Trump said that the war on Daesh is ongoing, and that remaining Daesh fighters could be hit by airstrikes.​​ [Qasioun]​​ [WaPo]​​ [BBC]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ This is a threat that can’t be​​ easily​​ dismissed​​ in Ankara.​​ Much of​​ Turkey’s economy is dependent on western tourism. If Americans stop coming that would have an impact, but if European countries followed suit​​ there would be a lot of vacant hotel rooms in Istanbul and elsewhere.​​ 

 

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Turkish Foreign Minister, says Turkey informed the US that it is not afraid of any threats to destroy the Turkish economy, adding that the US cannot attain its objectives that way. He also said, “Strategic partners do not communicate through social media,” referring to President Trump’s tweet.​​ [Qasioun]​​ 

 

Following​​ Çavuşoğlu’s remarks,​​ Turkish President Erdogan and Trump had a phone call on Monday in which they “discussed the idea of creating a security zone cleared of terrorism in the north of the country​​ [Syria],” according to a statement by the office of the Turkish Presidency. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that Trump “expressed the desire to work together to address Turkey’s security concerns in northeast Syria while stressing the importance to the United States that Turkey does not mistreat the Kurds and other Syrian Democratic Forces with whom we have fought.”​​ [ElDorar]​​ [AFP]

 

REPORTS FROM SYRIA

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Political developments

Elham Ahmed, the Co-Chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (political wing of the SDF), says that discussions with the Syrian government have not reached any successful conclusions so far. She says that the Syrian government is still sticking to its old ways of thinking and wants​​ to take over all territories on the pretext of Syrian unity. She says that the SDF​​ has​​ never promoted​​ secession from Syria. [EnabBaladi]

 

A high-ranking Syrian Kurdish source reported that a delegation from the PYD flew to Damascus to discuss the fate of the area east of the Euphrates with the Syrian government. [BasNews]

 

The​​ National Coalition​​ for Syrian Revolutionary and​​ Opposition​​ Forces​​ (aka Syrian National Coalition (SNC))​​ says​​ that​​ Tahrir Al-Sham​​ (HTS)​​ had attempted to extend its control over the entire region of Idlib,​​ and that HTS​​ is a terrorist group,​​ and should be eradicated from all places in Idlib and elsewhere in Syria. It says this is the national consensus of​​ the​​ Syrian people. [Qasioun]

Abu Mohammed Al-Jolani, the head of Tahrir Al-Sham, says that he​​ supports​​ a Turkish operation to liberate the east of the Euphrates from the “PKK,” saying that many of these areas belong to Sunni Arabs. He described his group as part of the Syrian revolution. [Qasioun] [Anadolu]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ We should thank the gentleman for clarifying​​ his organization’s motives.​​ ​​ Tahrir Al-Sham is an Islamist extremist organization that is not really on our side and is fighting in Syria because of sectarian motives.

 

Foreign policy

United States

 

See above under Turkey,​​ Foreign policy

 

A video shot by​​ the​​ SOHR showed more US equipment being transferred from their positions​​ in Syria​​ towards Iraq. Sources told the SOHR that the process will continue​​ in the coming days and weeks. [SyriaHR]

 

France

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister, says that President Al-Assad could run in any coming elections in Syria within the framework of a peaceful settlement. He was talking in a press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al-Safadi. He says that France is committed to a peaceful settlement in Syria according to UN Security Council Resolution 2254, and it is up​​ to​​ the Syrian people to decide in the end.​​ [ElDorar]

DaeshDaily comment.​​ The estimable Foreign Minister has produced the perfectly deft distinction. The bottom line is not forcing Assad to give up his position but to hold an internationally supervised election by which the people can elect their own leader. Letting Assad run takes the risk that he might win but would set up the more likely outcome that he would be defeated. So Assad is not likely to favor the French formula either but we would be more likely to edge the process forward by taking that position than by insisting that his withdrawal is a condition for moving forward.

 

Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted on Sunday that the Israeli Air Force had carried out strikes on Iranian weapons warehouses at the Damascus airport “in the last 36 hours.” Israeli officials have previously generally refused to comment on specific airstrikes in Syria. [NYT]

 

Qatar

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani says that his country does not see​​ the​​ necessity of re-opening its embassy in Damascus at this time. He​​ also​​ says that the conditions that forced the suspension of Syria’s membership in the Arab League still exist. [Qasioun]

 

Northwest

Manbij /Al-Bab/Jarabulus

Daesh said on Saturday it killed three SDF members, including a commander, wounded two others, and destroyed their SUV with an IED near​​ a​​ park on the road between Manbij and Aleppo. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Northeast​​ 

Raqqa

Raqqa city​​ & district

Daesh issued on Saturday a video of murdering an SDF member near Adnaniya Farm, northwest of Raqqa. [A3maq]

Daesh had previously said that it killed an SDF member with a silenced gun Friday afternoon near Adnaniya Farm. [ICDNJan11]​​ 

 

Daesh said it killed an SDF “prisons official” with a silenced gun Saturday evening in Raqqa city. [ICDNJan13]

 

Eastern Raqqa

Daesh said it set on fire the vehicle of an Arab tribal leader who was also an SDF official on Sunday in front of his house in Jadida​​ Khabur village, in Al-Karama subdistrict. [A3maq]​​ 

 

Central and West​​ 

Idlib

 

See story above under Syria, National News

 

Hama

Tahrir Al-Sham pledged not to pursue Ahrar Al-Sham fighters in its area of control following an agreement reached with tribal sheiks in north Hama. It circulated an order to all of its units to that​​ end. [Qasioun]

 

East (Deir Ez-Zor)

Forat​​ reported that SDF units had arrested a Daesh member of Canadian nationality in Deir Ez-Zor. [Qasioun]

 

Deir Ez-Zor​​ District

The network​​ Deir Ez-Zor 24​​ claims that Coalition planes attacked a Syrian Army position in Albu Lail town, east​​ of​​ Deir Ez-Zor, leaving several soldiers killed or wounded. [ElDorar]

 

Daesh said it wounded two SDF members on Thursday when it targeted their vehicle with a hand grenade in Al-Hasan village​​ north of Deir Ez-Zor. [A3maq]

 

Daesh published on Saturday a photo of an SDF member it murdered in the Al-Sabha area, in Al-Busayrah subdistrict. [ICDNJan12]

 

Mayadin​​ District

Four Daesh “victorious” reports from Dhiban​​ follow. There are no corresponding SDF or independent reports, so we have no way to verify​​ these stories.

Daesh said it killed an SDF member and wounded another with machine guns on Friday in Dhiban town. [ICDNJan12]

Daesh published on Saturday photos of murdering an SDF member it captured in the Dernaj area, in Dhiban subdistrict. [ICDNJan12]

In another report, Daesh said it captured then beheaded two SDF members on Sunday in Dhiban town. [ICDNJan14]

Daesh said it killed an SDF member and wounded another on Sunday when it targeted their building in Al-Tayyana village, in Dhiban subdistrict, with machine guns. [ICDNJan13]

Daesh said it captured then beheaded an SDF member on Saturday in Dhiban town. [ICDNJan14]

 

Albu Kamal​​ District

Local sources say​​ that​​ SDF units captured​​ the whole town of​​ Al-Shaafa, the secondlargest Daesh stronghold in eastern​​ Deir Ez-Zor after Hajin. It also captured​​ the​​ neighboring​​ village of​​ Albu Badran after 14 days​​ of continued fighting and bombardment. The sources say all civilian resources of the town are destroyed, and​​ all of its population​​ fled to IDP camps. [ElDorar]​​ 

 

A​​ DaeshDaily​​ source said on Saturday that SDF units, supported by Coalition planes, killed 17 Daesh terrorists, including a commander, near Al-Sha’afa. The source said that 4 SDF fighters were wounded.​​ 

Daesh published on Saturday photos of Coalition aircraft over Albu Badran village. The photos also show Daesh “air defense” units. [ICDNJan12]

 

A local political activist said that the SDF​​ captured the​​ Albu Badran area on Sunday night. He said that 13 Daesh fighters had been killed and the “entire area” cleared of terrorists.​​ [PUKMedia]​​ 

Daesh issued on Saturday a video of targeting an SDF “gathering” in Al-Sha’afa town with a rocket. [A3maq]

 

Fighting between Daesh and SDF is continuing in​​ Al-Susah​​ and its surroundings,​​ backed by​​ Coalition​​ planes and artillery, the SOHR reports. It also says that Daesh members​​ numbers are decreasing significantly,​​ following​​ a​​ mass​​ flight​​ from​​ Daesh-held​​ areas.​​ The​​ SOHR recorded the exit of 25,000 persons from Daeshheld,​​ areas including 16,600 since President Trump’s withdrawal announcement. 1,500 Daesh fighters also deserted,​​ either fleeing to other areas or surrendering to​​ the​​ SDF.​​ [SyriaHR]​​ [SyriaHR]

 

Fighting between the SDF and Daesh is continuing in the remaining areas held by Daesh east of the Euphrates, the SOHR says. It says that Coalition airstrikes took place on Monday. It also reported a Coalition convoy entering the front-lines area. [SyriaHR]

Daesh issued on Saturday a video of murdering two SDF members it had captured in Al-Susah. [A3maq]

 

South​​ 

No reports

 

OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS

 

Neighboring countries

Iran

The​​ New York Times​​ says that Pentagon officials are worried that John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor, might cause a war with Iran at a point when President Trump’s influence in the Middle East is declining. It says that the US National Security Council asked the Pentagon last year to prepare options to attack Iran, following pro-Iranian militias’ rocket attack on the​​ grounds of the​​ US​​ Embassy in Baghdad​​ last September.​​ Then​​ Secretary of Defense Mattis thought at the time that the attack was insignificant. [Arabi21] [NYT]

 

An Iranian military cargo plane coming from Bishkek,​​ in Kyrgyzstan, crashed near Tehran. 15 persons on board were killed;​​ 1 survived.​​ [ZamanAlWasl] [NYT]

 

A land mine explosion on Sunday evening in Kermanshah Province, near the Iraq-Iran border, killed 2 Iranian soldiers. [Sumaria]

 

Yemen

On Monday, Daesh published a photo of one of its terrorists,​​ who it says​​ was killed in Yemen. [ICDNJan14]

 

Daesh said it wounded an Al-Qaeda member and damaged an SUV with an IED on Sunday in the Dhi Kalib Al-Asfal area, in Qifa. [ICDNJan14]

 

North Africa

Egypt

The Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa’​​ takfiri​​ and​​ fatwa​​ monitoring group said in their most recent report that Daesh was moving back online as a response to their​​ its battlefield losses. They said that Daesh was classifying social networking sites based on their targeted use, using Facebook to recruit young people for “lone wolf” attacks, while Twitter was used to disseminate news and propaganda, Telegram was for spreading the more ideological writings of​​ jihadi​​ emirs,” and YouTube was used for propaganda videos claiming battlefield successes.​​ [AhlMisr]

 

Daesh said its snipers killed an Egyptian soldier on Sunday at Abu Shanar security barrier, in Rafah. [ICDNJan14]

However, Daesh’s​​ A3maq​​ reported that the soldier was wounded. [A3maq]

 

Daesh said on Monday it destroyed an Egyptian Army water tanker truck and wounded its driver with an IED near Al-Ahrash military camp, in Rafah. [A3maq]

 

Libya

Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of the Libyan Government of National Accord, says his country is boycotting the Arab economic summit in Beirut​​ at the​​ end of this week, following “negative gestures” by the Lebanese government. He says​​ that​​ the host government did not provide the right environment for holding such​​ events. Some Shia groups in Lebanon accuse​​ Libya of​​ kidnapping​​ Shia religious and political leader​​ Musa Al-Sadr back in the​​ 70s. [Arabi21]

 

Libyan Army General Khalifa Haftar launched an operation to “clear” the southern towns of Libya of Chadian and Sudanese gangs and Daesh-affiliated groups. [Bayan]

 

Libyan authorities said that the approximately 50 Daesh bodies found in a mass grave had been exhumed, examined, and prepared for re-burial. This follows last Thursday’s announcement of the mass grave’s discovery.​​ [Wasat]

 

REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

 

EUROPE

Great Britain

The​​ Daily Mail​​ says that​​ Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, received threatening messages on the Telegram app. Daesh operatives threatened to poison her food. Her son George was subject to threats also. British intelligence is taking the threats seriously.​​ [Sumaria]

 

AFRICA

Somalia

Daesh said on Saturday it shot and killed a Somali police officer and wounded his associate at Bakaara market, in Mogadishu city. [A3maq]

 

Nigeria

The​​ Guardian​​ told the stories of​​ Zahra​​ and​​ Amina,​​ 2 Nigerian girls who were wives of Boko Haram fighters and escaped the group.​​ Zahra​​ escaped and handed herself over to Army units after being sent by the group​​ on a suicide mission.​​ Amina​​ escaped with her children following the death of her husband in​​ one of​​ the group’s battles. Economic and social conditions may force girls to work with such terrorist groups, as in the case of these 2 girls, where the availability of food in Boko Haram was a main motive for them to join. [Sumaria] [Guardian]

 

A security source reported that fighters from “Islamic State West Africa” (i.e., Boko Haram) stormed Rann town,​​ in​​ northeast Nigeria, on Monday evening. [SkyNews] [Reuters]

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

The​​ Daily Telegraph​​ says that Afghan immigrants to Iran are returning home in search of better economic opportunities. The main reason is the sanctions imposed by the US on the Iranian economy. About 355,000 Afghans returned home in 2017; in 2018, about 780,000 undocumented Afghans returned, according to the International Organization for Migration. [Sumaria] [Telegraph]

 

A car bomb explosion on Monday in Kabul killed 4 and injured 90.​​ An MoI spokesman said that the injured included at least 33 children and 12 women.​​ [Anadolu]​​ [Khaama]

 

The Afghan MoD said​​ on Sunday​​ that at least 10 fighters from Daesh’s Khorasan affiliate (ISIS-K) were killed​​ and 16 foreign fighters belonging to the group arrested in an operation in Jund district, Badghis Province, northeastern Afghanistan. [Khaama]

 

Daesh said it killed an Afghan Special Forces officer on Sunday in Neighborhood 8, in Kabul city. [ICDNJan14]

 

*****

 

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January 11, 2019

 

A picture containing ground, outdoor, building, table

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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

 

A picture containing outdoor, sky, grass, tree

Description automatically generated

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]

 

 

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January 9, 2019