Counter Daesh Insight Bulletin 29 Jan – 4 Feb 2018

Propaganda Overview

Attacks in Niger and Afghanistan were claimed in the week of 29 January. The weekly news-sheet, Al Naba, featured an editorial referring to Secretary Tillerson’s recent statement on US goals in Syria. There were a number of unofficial posters and other media circulated on Telegram, calling followers to ‘migrate’ or carry out attacks in the West.

Photos of children in military training

A photo-set with the title, ‘Activities of the cubs’ training camp’ was released on 1 February under the Daesh brand of ‘Damascus Province’. The pictures show children who appear to be between the ages of 8 and 12 doing physical exercises, loading and firing guns and being awarded certificates. The narrative claims the training is taking place in the area of Yarmouk camp, to the south of Damascus.

Video addresses Daesh defections

A 17 minute video, ‘And You Cannot Harm Him at All’, was distributed on Telegram on 1 February under the brand of Daesh’s ‘Khayr Province’, (Deir al-Zour). A narrator and featured fighters acknowledge the defection of fighters, but downplay it, saying it is normal for those who are ‘weak and disloyal’ to fall away. The claim the defectors have been replaced by ‘braver and stronger men’. Battle footage is shown, followed by the murder of three members of the Sha’itat tribe, who are accused of having links to the Syrian Regime. Some Daesh followers on Telegram responded by sharing pictures of alleged defectors, aiming to expose and shame them.

Focus on Idlib

Daesh have claimed a number of battle gains in Idlib in recent weeks, against other armed groups and against the Regime, and have started to issue propaganda under the brand of ‘Idlib Province’. On 4 February, they put out a 1 minute a video on Amaq showing Daesh fighters, allegedly in Idlib, handing out flour to local people. One of the beneficiaries is shown thanking and embracing one of the fighters. On 3 February, images were released of fighters listening to a preacher, which was again said to be in Idlib.

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