September 26, 2017
Iraqi Forces Near Hawija
TODAY’S MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
“Official” turnout for KRG referendum was 72%. [..]
Denunciations, threats over Kurdish independence referendum continue. [..]
Erdogan power plays continue over Kurdish independence move. [..]
Daesh attempts counter-attacks in east and north Raqqa city. [..]
Major Russian airstrike campaign brings heavy casualties in Idlib. [..]
Civilian casualties rising from Syrian Army clashes in eastern Hama. [..]
Two rescued Yazidi teen-agers describe Daesh captivity. [..]
SDF captures subdistrict capital northeast of Deir Ez-Zor. [..]
Russians still blaming US for death of General Asapov. [..]
REPORTS FROM IRAQ
The Independent High Referendum and Electoral Commission spokesman, in Kurdistan, reported a 72.16% participation rate in the referendum. There were 3,305,925 voters in total. [Buratha]
DaeshDaily comment. The basis for these numbers should be explained. Does it include only the three Kurdish provinces or also people in Kirkuk and in other places who were able to cast ballots? (The second alternative would likely produce a lower percentage.) On Monday, international media reported (and we repeated) that official Kurdish estimates showed 76% had voted. So what changed the calculation?
The Kurdish referendum went relatively smoothly, with no security incidents. There were rumors of protests surrounding the referendum in Kirkuk, which discouraged some voters from going to polling centers in the early hours of the voting period.
The number of voters increased in the middle of the day throughout the areas included. A Kurdish official in Ninewa confirmed that a faction affiliated with the PMFs forbade some Kurds from going to the polling centers in the Nineveh Plain area. [SotIraq]
Abadi announced he does not recognize the referendum in Kurdistan or its results, as the referendum took place with no international recognition or legal control. In his visit to the Joint Operations Command headquarters on Monday evening, Abadi said, “our forces continue to fight on the battlefield and were not distracted by any secondary matters such as the referendum. Abadi reiterated that the Federal Supreme Court will handle conflicts resulting from the referendum. [IraqPress]
The Council of Ministers (cabinet) says Baghdad will not negotiate with Erbil over the results of the referendum. It also says all the border openings in Kurdistan should be under the control of the federal government. [Sumaria]
One complication showed up in Israel, where two anonymous Israeli officials said Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu forbade his government’s officials from commenting on the Kurdish referendum, after Turkey expressed annoyance with Israel for announcing its support of the referendum on September 13 according to Reuters.
An Israeli Knesset member wrote a tweet on Monday in support of the referendum. Kurdish officials distanced themselves from the “harmful and unwanted” Israeli statement as it reaffirms accusations by referendum opponents associating Kurdistan with Israel.
Turkey’s President Erdogan said Netanyahu’s attitude with respect to Kurds hurts Turkey’s relationship with Israel. [SotIraq]
DaeshDaily comment. A little explanation might help explain the dynamic. Opinion in Arab countries toward Israel has always been negative and has often been hostile. A lot of anti-Jewish propaganda goes with that. The Kurds have, to their credit, avoided getting on this Arab bandwagon, and Israel sees the possibility of having a Middle East country that is actually friendly with them. It’s a positive notion, whatever one thinks of the referendum or Netanyahu.
Iraqi VP Nouri Al-Maliki says the repercussions of the Kurdish referendum will be disastrous for Iraq and the region. According to a statement by Al-Maliki’s office, Al-Maliki reiterated his call for boycotting Kurdistan, politically and economically. [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. It is worth mentioning that Al-Maliki’s harsh attitude toward the Kurds during his tenure as Prime Minister is one of the reasons why the KRG-Iraq problem is as bad as it is.
An anonymous source reported that Iraqi President Masoum did not participate in the Kurdish referendum. Masoum had pointed out the necessity of dealing with the referendum through “exceptional steps.” [Sumaria]
Nevertheless, members of the CoR’s National Alliance, a Shia coalition, say they are gathering signatures to impeach President Masoum because he broke his presidential oath to preserve Iraq’s unity. [Anadolu]
A source in the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern over the Kurdish referendum, saying that it exacerbates the conflicts among the Iraqi people at a time when the focus should be on achieving stability and unity for Iraq and defeating terrorism. [Sumaria]
In the aftermath of the referendum in Kurdistan, the Iraq government–with international support–has taken precautions to avoid a definitive Kurdish move to separate from Iraq. Iraqi and Turkish forces have reportedly put military measures in place in case of an emergency on the border. Erdogan has stated that Turkey will take the necessary steps in order to prevent a Kurdish separation and hopes to reach a solution via dialogue. Iraqi parliamentary member, Iskandar Wotout believes Iranian military units will join the Turkish and Iraqi forces so as to send a clear message to Barzani not to act unilaterally. [Waradana]
The COR’s Security and Defense Committee met with the Army Chief of Staff to support implementation of its orders with regards to the Kurdish referendum. The parliament voted to approve the Committee’s recommendations, resulting in provisions stating that (1) the Kurdish referendum is unconstitutional; (2) the Commander-in-Chief is charged with maintaining Iraqi unity and deploying Iraqi forces to parts of Iraq currently controlled by the KRG since 2003; (3) the government must accelerate the safe return of displaced persons; (4) legal action will be taken against referendum participants, in particular Iraq government employees; (5) all international border crossings into Kurdistan must be controlled by Iraq; and (6) foreign oil companies are prohibited from operating in disputed areas. [Forat]
DaeshDaily comment. As an interesting sidelight to the last point, the KRG-contracted oil company best known for agreeing to work in disputed areas had a top executive who is now the US Secretary of State.
The Official Iraqi Television reported Abadi saying the Iraqi government gave the KRG a grace period of 3 days in order to surrender control of airports, or it will face an air embargo in response to the referendum. [Arabi21]
Prime Minister Abadi says in his weekly press conference that the federal budget should be controlled by the central government according to the constitution. He says the revenues of the KRG are raised without monitoring and go to personal accounts outside the country. Abadi also says Baghdad will preserve the unity of Iraq and will impose its constitutional authority. [Sumaria] [Sumaria]
DaeshDaily comment. The Prime Minister may have a point about the lack of transparency in KRG finances, but he is hardly the first person to expose corruption in Kurdistan. There have been many reformers in the Kurdistan itself in recent years who have dared to complain about corruption in Kurdistan, one leading example being the recently deceased Nawshirwan Mustafa, founder of the anti-corruption Gorran party.
The spokeswoman of the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert, released a statement following the Kurdish independence referendum on Monday saying the step will increase instability and hardships for the region and its people. The US historic relationship with the Kurdistan Region’s people will not change in light of the non-binding referendum, the statement added. “The unilateral referendum will greatly complicate the Kurdistan Regional Government’s relationship with both the Government of Iraq and neighboring states,” the statement read.
The United States called on all sides to engage constructively in dialogue to improve the future of all Iraqis, expressing opposition to “violence and unilateral moves by any party to alter boundaries.”
“The United States supports a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq and will continue to seek opportunities to assist Iraqis to fulfill their aspirations within the framework of the constitution,” the statement added. [NRT]
In a press conference on Tuesday, Ms. Nauert said the referendum is unilateral and the US doesn’t support it. She also said she didn’t think any Coalition country would support the referendum. [Sumaria]
In a Daesh-related development, the president of Chechnya in Russia posted a video showing a Chechen man imprisoned in Iraq for joining Daesh. The prisoner says, “I am in Iraq, and if you are thinking about joining Daesh’s ranks, it is better for you to abandon that idea. It is not a success; there is no Islamic state. It is a terrorist organization designed to bring together many Muslims in one place and destroy them.” [Baghdadia]
The Coalition says it conducted 10 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq, in or near Hawija (3), Baiji (2), Qayara (1), Sinjar (1), Al-Qa’im (1), and Rawa (2). [InherentResolve]
Security-related incidents reported
West (Ghazaliya, Abu Ghraib, etc.)
A Security source says one civilian was killed and four others wounded when an IED exploded near shops in the Abu Ghraib district. [Baghdadia]
An Anbar Police commander says his units surrounded and killed 20 Daesh terrorists who sneaked into the Al-Tash area. A Tribal PMF commander says security units are in full control of the area. [Sumaria] [Sumaria]
The IWMC says the situation in Ramadi is under control. [Sumaria]
The Mayor of Ramadi District says 18 people were killed in the clashes. [Sumaria]
A leader in the Baghdadi Tribal PMFs announced that security forces killed a suicide terrorist who was hiding in a tunnel in the center of Anah. [Sumaria]
A leader in the Baghdadi Tribal PMFs says Iraqi forces killed Abu Anas, known as “Wali Daesh,” in Rawa. [Sumaria]
The IWMC announced that 6 Daesh terrorists were killed and a vehicle bomb and a workshop for building vehicle bombs were destroyed in Iraqi Air Force (IAF) airstrikes in Rawa. [Ghad] [Buratha]
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh distributed 30,000 Iraqi dinars, around $25, to each of its supporters in Ubaid village, near Rawa.
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh is selling all wheat and barley reserves it had confiscated earlier from farmers in Al-Qa’im, in addition to over 100 vehicles it had stolen from Iraqi government warehouses in 2014 to pay salaries for its terrorists who had not been paid for the last 4 months. The source also says Daesh called on the people of Al-Qa’im to pledge allegiance and join its terrorists to defend the city against Iraqi forces.
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh arrested in Al-Qa’im a former Iraqi Army colonel after accusing him of urging people to oppose Daesh.
An Anbar security source said Daesh has initiated widespread arrests in Al-Qa’im. An anonymous source said Daesh found the words “Your state will soon end” on one of the walls in Al-Qa’im, which prompted the arrest campaign. [Ghad]
DaeshDaily comment. One concern in such situations is that Daesh is determined to make an example out of some people in order to intimidate all the others. If they can’t find the actual sources of the graffiti to punish, any innocent persons will do.
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh kidnapped four soldiers, who left their military unit heading for their houses on a vacation, on the international road near Rutba. The source says the soldiers were in a civilian vehicle with a driver.
A DaeshDaily source says 150 Daesh terrorists in Al-Qa’im are preparing to attack Iraqi forces in Rutba in order to divert the attention of Iraqi forces advancing toward Rawa.
Daesh says it attacked PMF positions near Al-Makhazen Bridge, killing four fighters, wounding three others, and destroying 3 military positions. It also says it targeted the Al-Asmeda area with 50 mortars and 2 Grad rockets. [ICDNSep26]
A security official in Salahuddin said 16 Daesh terrorists were killed and 4 wounded when Iraqi forces stopped an attempt by Daesh to recapture the strategic bridge between Tikrit and Tuz Khurmatu. [Sumaria] [Mawazin]
Eastern Salahuddin (Al-Daur, Tooz)
A DaeshDaily source says local police killed a Daesh suicide terrorist who was trying to attack the Al-Daur Police Station with an explosives vest.
A member of the Diyala Provincial Council said three Daesh hideouts on the Diyala border were destroyed. [Sumaria]
Northern Diyala (Kifri, Khanaqin, Khalis north)
A member of the Diyala Provincial Council announced the formation of a tribal armed force in three liberated villages in Udhaim subdistrict in a move to prevent any security breaches, in coordination with security and government leaders. More than 100 Tribal PMF fighters are armed with rifles and deployed at security posts around the villages.
Hundreds of displaced families have returned to the Albu Bakr, Albu Awad, and Bu Khayal villages in the past few days. [Sumaria]
Daesh says it shot and killed an Iraqi soldier in the Aswad area in Al-Khalis on Monday. [A3maq]
The Kirkuk police lifted the curfew on Kirkuk Province early Tuesday morning and re-opened its routes to the rest of the provinces, per a statement by Kirkuk Police commander, Khattab Omar Aref. The security situation is back to normal in Kirkuk. [Sumaria]
A DaeshDaily source says a civilian was killed and three others wounded when armed men shot at the Turkmen Front’s office in Kirkuk. The source says an IED planted near the office also exploded.
Hawija (Riyadh, Al-Zab, etc.)
The secretary general of the Badr Organization, Hadi Al-Amiri, says he met with PMF leaders and security forces to discuss the second phase of the liberation of Hawija. [Buratha]
A senior Peshmerga commander said the Peshmerga will be fighting in the second phase of the Hawija liberation operations that will begin next week. [Baghdadia]
A military source in Kirkuk says many Daesh members and their families are surrendering themselves to the Peshmerga forces near Hawija. [Ghad]
A DaeshDaily source says more than 25 Daesh members, including 3 commanders, surrendered with their families to the Peshmerga southwest of Kirkuk.
A military source says the Daesh “governor” of Hawija secretly escaped the province as the real government’s military forces were liberating the Al-Zab area. [Ghad]
The Ninewa Police Department announced the arrests of 17 Daesh collaborators in Rashidiya, in far northwest Mosul. Their belongings will be confiscated and their families will be held, in accordance with a policy of the Ninewa Operations Command. [Etejah]
A DaeshDaily source says Tribal PMFs looted 4 generators and an ambulance from the military hospital in Hay Al-Nafut.
Tuesday, activists on social media circulated pictures showing some voters rigging the elections, saying such actions are an added argument against the referendum. According to the activists, some people took selfies and bragged about voting more than once. [PressIraq]
Monday evening, Iraqi activists on social media published a videotape showing the falsification of votes in the Kurdish region. The video shows an employee at the polling station with a large number of ballots, checking the “yes” box on each ballot. Monday, more than 5 million Kurds turned out at polling stations in northern Iraq. [Qasioun]
Feyli Kurds participated widely in the Kurdish referendum, voting with a yes, an official in the Peshtigo Organization optimistically reported. [SotIraq]
DaeshDaily comment. The Feyli Kurds are distinctive because they are Shia, and most live near the Iran border well south of the KRG. This unique perspective produces divided loyalties (ethnic vs. religious), the above report notwithstanding.
REPORTS FROM TURKEY
The Turkish Foreign Minister announced the Turkish government will assess all requests made by the Iraqi central government following the Iraqi Kurdish referendum, including a joint military operation with Iraq. Monday, the Iraq Ministry of Defense announced joint military exercises with the Turkish military on the border adjacent to the Kurdish region, which observers are calling a warning message to the Kurds. [Qasioun]
Turkish President, Erdogan, says all the options are open, including economic sanctions, closing the border and the airspace, up to military options, regarding the KRG independence referendum. [Anadolu]
The Turkish President, Erdogan, threatened to shut down the oil pipelines of the Kurdish region north of Iraq which exports through Turkey, as a response to the KRG’s referendum. He said he will announce more measures throughout the week. [ROJ]
DaeshDaily comment. This is confusing. Iraq’s oil pipeline goes through part of Turkey to Turkey’s port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean. The Kurds have used the same pipeline, though more recently, with Turkey’s collaboration, have set up other, separate pipelines. However, the pipelines for all Iraqi oil going through Kurdistan have been owned by Iraq (and used by the KRG) and oil has heretofore been piped primarily through Turkey.
The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs says Turkey informed the KDP representative in Ankara, who is now in Erbil, not to return. He says Barzani’s situation with Baghdad is weak now. He says Barzani could have been in a much more powerful position if he had canceled the referendum. [Anadolu]
Turkish military exercises near the Khabur Border Crossing with Iraq continued for the 9th day. [Anadolu]
REPORTS FROM SYRIA
Daesh’s laws and actions imposed on the people it controlled are fading as life slowly returns to normal and Syrian laws are being practiced once again in areas under the Syrian Army’s control. The Furat Post said the currency issued by Daesh in 2015 has disappeared from areas under Daesh control. Local currency is being used again, and the USD is at a low exchange rate of 475 Syrian Liras. In Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa, Daesh forced the people to use Daesh currency and prohibited the circulation of Syrian currency. [ZamanAlWasl] [Sumaria]
The YPG joint president says the YPG will stand by the people of southern Kurdistan in the event of an attack due to the referendum. The YPG joint president says the referendum is a natural right for all, and he supports the people’s right to vote. [Hawar]
DaeshDaily comment. This statement makes the blundering mistake of echoing the PKK line and giving Erdogan more ammunition. The PYD and YPG have insisted that they are an autonomous entity, which is a major reason why the US has justified working with them.
The Coalition says it conducted 30 airstrikes on Daesh targets in Syria, in or near Raqqa (26), Deir Ez-Zor (2), Shaddadi (1), and Albu Kamal (1). [InherentResolve]
Northeast (Hasaka, Raqqa)
The SOHR says eleven people, including six Iraqi refugees and three women, were killed by airstrikes on Markada city on September 24. It says the number of fatalities might increase because there are people who were severely wounded. [SyriaHR]
The living condition in Markada, southern Hasaka, prior to the current battles was deteriorating as humanitarian aid has been cut off from Markada for a long time. There is a shortage of food, and a spike in prices due to the roads connecting Markada and Hasaka being blocked. Similarly, the health and education sectors were deteriorating and faced severe shortages in supplies. The residents also suffered from the hot climate, power shortages, potable water shortages, and telecommunication shortages. The situation enabled Daesh to recruit children, luring them in with a monthly salary to support their families. [ZamanAlWasl]
The Najibir Military Academy in Qamishli launched a new training course for female YPG fighters. There are 30 new fighters, both Kurdish and Arabic, and 3 international fighters, from New Zealand, Spain, and Norway. The course runs for 2 months. The trainees get intellectual and military lessons and martial arts, as well as training on how to use weapons. [Hawar]
YPG counter terrorism units killed a number of terrorists and seized large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and mines in rural western Raqqa. [Hawar]
SDF special forces liberated 25 civilians from the Al-Nahdha neighborhood. [Hawar]
Daesh issues a video of clashes in Hay Al-Nahdha. [A3maq]
In clashes between the SDF and Daesh, at least 23 Daesh terrorists were killed, and a vehicle bomb destroyed. [Hawar]
Daesh launched an attack against the SDF in the center of the city in an attempt to disrupt the SDF’s progress. The SDF responded, defeating the attack and causing Daesh heavy human losses. The SDF also managed to seize 3 vehicle bombs. [Hawar]
Daesh says it launched a major attack on SDF units in Hay Al-Mashlab and Hay Al-Sina’a in eastern Raqqa and Raqqa Al-Samara village east of the city, killing 120 fighters and wounding others.
Daesh also says it captured several military positions in an attack on Hay Al-Kahraba’ in north Raqqa. [ICDNSep26]
Daesh says it destroyed an SDF Humvee with a rocket in Hay Al-Kahraba’ on Monday. [A3maq]
Daesh says its snipers killed five SDF fighters and wounded three in Hay Al-Kahraba’ and Hay Al-Amin. [A3maq]
DaeshDaily comment. Daesh lost Al-Mashlab and Al-Sina’a long ago. Even if there is some truth to this “victorious” story, it won’t affect the overall direction of events, in which Daesh is being closed out.
Daesh says around forty people were buried under the rubble after an “American” airstrike on Hay Al-Badou. [A3maq]
During the SDF’s advance in the Hanah neighborhood, just west of Hay Mansour, the SDF took control of a warehouse containing large quantities of weapons, ammunition, rockets, and mobile phones used to detonate booby-traps. [Hawar]
Monday, an SDF commander said the SDF could expel Daesh from Raqqa city in less than a month. [Qasioun]
Northwest (Aleppo, Idlib)
More than 350 families, or 900 people, have reached the refugee camps in the Afrin region. The pro-PYD Hawar repeated its oft-stated opinion that there has been a growing failure of aid and international organizations to provide the camps with the necessities they need to serve the displaced people, especially as winter is coming. [Hawar]
Russian planes targeted on Saturday Failaq Al-Sham (Sham Legion), an alliance of non-Al-Qaeda Islamist opposition groups, near Tal Mardikh village east of Idlib, killing at least 68 fighters in the largest attack of its kind. [SyriaHR]
At least 42 people, including twelve children and seven women, were killed during the last 24 hours in Russian airstrikes on several areas in Idlib province. [SyriaHR]
A spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense said reports of Russian air strikes against residential areas in Idlib are false and the reports of “eyewitnesses” are baseless. He said the Russian Air Force bombed 10 terrorist targets in Idlib province but there was much reconnaissance and gathering of information before those attacks, and the targets destroyed were far from residential. Russian warplanes have launched 100 air raids in Idlib province, allegedly killing more than 30 civilians and wounding dozens more. The focus of most of the raids was Jisr Al-Shughur city, west of Idlib. [Qasioun]
The Russian Ministry of Defense published a video on its website and Twitter showing Russian forces shelling locations affiliated with Nusra in Idlib city. The Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman said the Russian forces targeted 10 Nusra locations in the Idlib province, and the locations are non-residential and consist of underground Nusra storage units and shelters. [SyriaNow]
A senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said Moscow has information indicating the massacre in Khan Sheikhan city, in April, which brought on a US rocket attack on the base, was the result of opposition group bombs containing poison sarin gas. However, an earlier report by a UN Commission confirmed that the massacre was caused by Syrian military aircraft dropping bombs containing sarin gas. At that time, the Russian Ministry of Defense said the massacre resulted from the targeting of an opposition laboratory for manufacturing chemical weapons. [Qasioun]
Monday, 26 armed factions of the Syrian opposition announced their integration under joint command. The 26 groups will be integrated into 3 blocs—Sultan Marad, Al-Safwa, and Jaish Al-Watani. [Qasioun]
Local sources say dozens of civilians were killed in the Syrian Army’s bombing of a civilian convoy on the Athariya-Khanazir crossing into areas under opposition control in Idlib. [Qasioun]
Central and West (Homs, Hama, etc.)
Monday, ten members of the Syrian Army and its supporting militias were killed, east of Hama, even as the Army made progress against Daesh in the region. [Qasioun]
The Al-Dorar Al-Shamiya network reported the number of civilian victims killed by the Syrian Army in Aqairbat is more than 100. There are reportedly tens of thousands of civilians trapped between the Syrian Army and the Syrian opposition in areas east of Idlib. The Syrian Army recently took control of Aqairbat after battles with Daesh. [Dorar] [EnabBaladi]
A correspondent reported the number of victims of the Wadi Odhaib massacre has reached over 100.The massacre was allegedly committed by the Syrian Air Force against civilians trapped in Aqairbat. The warplanes targeted the Wadi Odhaib area as tens of thousands of civilians were trapped between the Syrian Army-controlled area and the opposition controlled areas east of Idlib. [Dorar]
Many trusted sources say tens of displaced people from the Aqairbat area were killed or wounded while trying to escape from Wadi Al-Odhaib toward opposition group areas northeast of Hama. The sources say government forces and snipers shelled and shot at the displaced people and their vehicles. The SOHR says Tahrir Al-Sham and other groups are capturing Daesh members who trying to flee with the displaced people. It says 5,800 residents have been displaced from the Aqairbat area so far after an agreement between Daesh and government forces had been reached. It says some Daesh members, who didn’t approve the agreement, are trying to hinder the movement by attacking government forces in the area. The SOHR also says government forces arrested 25 civilians, 14 from the same family, who were trying to cross to Tahrir Al-Sham areas. [SyriaHR]
Back in western Hama, several Nusra attacks on Syrian military checkpoints were foiled. Nusra had tried to take control over Ma’an, Suran, Atshan, and Al-Telasia, while the Syrian Army managed to seize new areas in eastern Hama. [SyriaNow]
SOHR reported the death of a child in a Syrian government airstrike around Lataminah village, 24 miles north of Hama city, in a series of raids which targeted several other villages where clashes between the Syrian forces and other factions, including Tahrir Al-Sham, are taking place. [SyriaHR]
Heavy battles continued between government forces in the Shomariya-Sha’er-Jubb Al-Jarrah triangle. The SOHR says government forces, accompanied by heavy airstrikes and rocket shelling, advanced in the area and captured 7 villages, and moving closer to the border with eastern Hama province. It says the forces might be able to end Daesh presence in the area in the coming few days. [SyriaHR] [SyriaNow]
Daesh says it damaged 2 Syrian Army tanks with shells east of Jubb Al-Jarrah. [A3maq]
The Syrian Army advanced 5 km (3 miles) on the road from the Hamima village in southern Homs near the Deir Ez-Zor border, killing and injuring Daesh fighters. [SyriaNow] Government forces captured several military positions in the area. The forces are trying to advance toward areas southeast of Deir Ez-Zor. [SyriaHR]
Daesh says it killed fourteen Syrian soldiers and Shia militiamen and destroyed 3 vehicles in a suicide attack east of the Hamima area. [A3maq]
East (Deir Ez-Zor)
Two Yazidi girls, Shaima’ Dakhil and Samaya Maran Ahmad Iziditan, were subjected to psychological and physical torture and were traded from Sinjar to Tal Afar, to Raqqa, and then to Deir Ez-Zor within a four-year span. During this time, Daesh terrorists used them as slaves before they were finally liberated by the SDF in Deir Ez-Zor. Shaima’ is 13 years old and was kidnapped in the Sinjar District. Samaya is 14 and was kidnapped in the Kojo Shank Aliya village where Daesh killed all of the men and kidnapped all of the women and children. Samaya says Daesh terrorists tortured and killed her sister in front of her. The girls were forced to convert to Islam, marry Daesh terrorists, and act as servants. [Hawar]
The SDF took control of the Al-Sur town, near the Khabur River, northeast of Deir Ez-Zor city. Unidentified warplanes launched a number of airstrikes on the town prior to the SDF seizing it. [Qasioun]
SDF fighters arrived at the western entrance of Al-Sur, where fierce clashes erupted with Daesh. The SDF destroyed a vehicle bomb that Daesh tried to use to prevent the SDF’s advance. [Hawar]
Daesh says it conducted a suicide attack on SDF units near the Al-Sur Silos. [A3maq]
With SDF militias advancing in the Al-Sur area of Deir Ez-Zor, backed by the Coalition, the number of IDPs is increasing under harsh humanitarian conditions.
An activist from Markada in southern Hasaka said its residents decided to escape air raids after what happened in Raqqa and Deir Ez-Zor camps on the Euphrates River banks. The activist noted the residents of Markada are heading towards Mayadin, as SDF closed the roads to Hasaka as well as the Qana and Al-Hawl camps. [ZamanAlWasl]
The SDF alleges that Russia’s bombing of SDF positions yesterday was to slow the SDF’s progress. [Hawar] The SDF commander in chief in Deir Ez-Zor says Russia’s targeting of SDF sites aims to block the SDF’s progress toward the Euphrates River. The Commander in Chief said that, after the Russians bombed their sites, the SDF responded in kind, using their legitimate right to defend themselves. [Hawar]
Russian forces have established a bridge on the Euphrates River in the eastern suburbs of Deir Ez-Zor. Russian media sources broadcast a video showing Russian Army vehicles crossing the Euphrates. [Qasioun]
The SDF captured Al-Kibar town, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, after heavy fighting with Daesh. There was fierce fighting between the SDF and Daesh in an attempt to advance toward the area of Al-Harmushiya Al-Kasrah, west of Deir Ez-Zor, which is the last of Daesh’s strongholds in the region. [Qasioun] [SyriaHR]
A Hawar story alleges that a double airstrike by the Russian Air Force led to a number of civilian casualties, including children, who were killed as they were attempting to escape from occupied zones, trying to get to SDF-controlled areas. Civilians who have escaped to SDF controlled locations say Russian and Syrian planes continue to bomb civilians in their homes in Deir Ez-Zor city and in the northern villages of Deir Ez-Zor, rather than Daesh sites, on the pretext that they are preemptive strikes. On top of this, the Syrian Army’s allied factions carry out rocket attacks on civilians as they flee to areas liberated by the SDF. [Hawar]
The Furat Post reported the arrest of one of its correspondents by intelligence units affiliated with the SDF militias after reaching the Al-Shaddadi area south of Hasaka from the Deir Ez-Zor Rif in the recent displacement wave. The correspondent was detained in an unknown location on the accounts of “media activism.”
Local sources reported the military intelligence of the SDF has cut off cellular phone networks in the Al-Arisha and Al-Shaddadi areas despite the fact that the Al-Arisha tower is fully functioning. Internet brokers are reported to be secretly cooperating with the SDF. [ZamanAlWasl]
Syrian Army campaign
The Russian news agency FAN published a video showing the “National Defense” militias affiliated with the Syrian government dealing with the residents of the villages and towns it recently entered with backing from Russian forces. The video shows a very demeaning arrest of an elderly man in his house in the Sabha village on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. A Daesh member is shown to be arrested in the operation. The video is speculated to have been staged. [ZamanAlWasl]
SOHR documented the death of 6 civilians as a result of airstrikes targeting Marat village on the east of the Euphrates River. [SyriaHR]
A member of the Syrian Army executed five civilians after their arrest. Social networking pages are circulating pictures and videos of the executions. The executed civilians were arrested by a member of the Syrian Army as revenge for the attack on his village, Al-Qardaha. The Syrian Army member posted the pictures of the execution on social networking sites. Hawar could not confirm the authenticity of the images. [Hawar] [Qasioun]
The Syrian Foreign Minister announced Daesh received information about the whereabouts of Russian Maj. Gen. Valery Asapov, in Deir Ez-Zor city, and targeted him specifically. He added, the US is moving Daesh terrorists with helicopters out of Deir Ez-Zor and the US believes terrorism is an important tool to carry out America’s interests. [Qasioun]
DaeshDaily comment. This is from Syria’s Foreign Minister. After all the US has done to get Daesh out of Syria, this shows the level of Syrian gratitude.
The US responded to Russian accusations of being behind the killing of Gen. Asapov. Russian media agency, Sputnik, quoted the State Department saying the US does not support Daesh and did not condone the killing of the Russian commander. The goal of the US and the Coalition is to defeat Daesh, and the US continues to avoid collision with Russia in Syria. The State Department says these comments made by Russian officials are false and do not help the cause. [Dorar]
Russian newspapers are nevertheless reporting that the death of Maj. Gen. Valery Asapov was the result of treason. There has been no official comment from the Russian Ministry of Defense. [Qasioun]
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh paraded in Al-Mayadin with several SDF prisoners.
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh appointed a Tunisian terrorist as its military commander of Mayadin after the former commander was killed in a Coalition airstrike on the town of Buqris. The source says the previous commander was a defected Syrian Army captain who joined Daesh in 2014.
Daesh says four people were killed and two others wounded in Russian airstrikes on Mayadin. [A3maq]
Daesh issues a video of the results of Russian airstrikes on Mayadin. The video shows casualties. [A3maq]
A DaeshDaily source says Daesh called on the people of Albu Kamal to pledge allegiance in mosques in the city. The source says only few people went to the mosques, mostly children.
Field sources confirmed the assassination of 4 units of Jaish Al-Ababil, an opposition faction, near Zimrin town in western Daraa. The 4 units, including a commander, were killed in a car blast by two explosive devices. [ZamanAlWasl] [ZamanAlWasl]
OTHER MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA REPORTS
Daesh publishes photos of its “security units” operations in the Sinai area. The operations include establishing checkpoints and arresting then executing people, including an old man, after accusing them of “ridda” (apostasy.) [ICDNSep26]
Daesh says it damaged an Egyptian Army armored vehicle with an IED on the road between Abu Tawila village and Sheikh Zuweid, killing a soldier inside. [A3maq]
Daesh says it damaged an Egyptian Army water tanker truck with an IED near Abu Tawila village, east of Sheikh Zuweid. [A3maq]
REPORTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Wednesday, the website Deutsche Welle published that a German court began trying Abu Wala’ Iraqi and 3 other Daesh members for recruiting Daesh fighters from Germany to fight in Iraq and Syria. They are expected to be sentenced to 10 years in prison. The trials may go on through February 2018. It was confessions of other Daesh returnees that led to the arrest of Abu Wala’ Iraqi, who joined Daesh’s ranks in Damascus, then fled to Turkey before returning to Germany to spread Daesh ideology in mosques in Germany. [Baghdadia]
Daesh issues a video attacking Shia religious ceremonies for Ashura. [ICDNSep26]
Daesh audio newsletter for today [Bayan]