American Warplanes Shift Tactics to Target Last ISIS Pockets in Eastern Syria

“There really has been no gain of territory, significant gain of territory since the departure of many of those fighters,” Colonel Dillon said. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were the mainstay in routing the Islamic State from Raqqa and chasing insurgents fleeing south along the Euphrates River Valley to the Iraqi border. Without them, the remaining, less capable Syrian Arab militia have struggled to contain the few hundred fighters left in two main areas: Hajin, along the Euphrates River north of Abu Kamal; and Dashisha, east of Deir al-Zour, along…

Egypt’s former anti-graft chief sentenced to 5 years in jail

Author:  Associated Press Tue, 2018-04-24 (All day) ID:  1524565666094395600 CAIRO: A defense lawyer says an Egyptian military court has convicted the country’s former anti-graft chief of insulting the armed forces and sentenced him to five years in prison.Hesham Genena was arrested in February following incendiary comments he made in a television interview in which he claimed that the former chief-of-staff Sami Annan was in possession of documents incriminating the country’s “leadership.”Annan was arrested in January shortly after he announced his intention to challenge President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in March presidential…

Syrian troops target Daesh tunnels, trenches in Damascus

DAMASCUS, Syria: Syrian state TV is reporting that government forces have launched a new operation targeting underground tunnels used by Daesh in the capital, Damascus.The TV says the aim of the operation is to destroy dug-out trenches and tunnels in the Hajjar Al-Aswad neighborhood and the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk that is also mostly controlled by Daesh.A group of journalists taken on Tuesday to the adjacent neighborhood of Qadam witnessed intense shelling and airstrikes on Daesh positions in the camp and Hajjar Al-Aswad.The area in southern Damascus is…

In Iraq, ex-sports stars seek to shake up politics

Author:  AFP Tue, 2018-04-24 04:58 ID:  1524548173793499500 BAGHDAD: In the sweltering heat of Mexico ‘86, Ahmed Radhi and Basil Gorgis pulled on the same jerseys to represent Iraq’s football team in its sole World Cup Finals.But now, a third of a century later, they’re just two of several former stars taking part in a very different contest — as parliamentary candidates in next month’s election.While the World Cup adventure ended in dismal failure, with Iraq crashing out after losing all three of its group games, the ex-players’ appeal could be…

Daesh threatens Iraq polling stations ahead of parliamentary vote

Author:  Tue, 2018-04-24 02:30 BAGHDAD: Daesh has threatened to attack Iraqi polling stations and voters during parliamentary elections next month. In a message posted to the Telegram messaging app on Sunday, Daesh spokesman Abu Hassan Al-MuHajjir called on Sunni Iraqis to boycott the May 12 polls, the first since Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi declared victory over Daesh in December. Extremist groups in Iraq have targeted every election since the 2003 US-led invasion that deposed Saddam Hussein and paved the way for Shiites to dominate every government since. Under a…

Russia, China to stop bid to ‘sabotage’ Iran deal: Lavrov

BEIJING: China and Russia will block any attempts to “sabotage” the Iran nuclear agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday, as US President Donald Trump mulls whether to scrap the deal. Trump has set a May 12 deadline to “fix” the 2015 accord, which curbs Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief and was the fruit of intense diplomacy involving the US, European powers, Russia and China. “There are attempts to interfere with the international order upon which the United Nations depends,” Lavrov said after talks with his…

Jordan ‘discriminatory’ stance on women criticized by rights group

AMMAN: The global advocacy group Human Rights Watch has criticized Jordan for what it claims is a discriminatory policy toward women over the issue of nationality. In a report released on Tuesday, the organization said Jordan violated both international law and its own constitution, which guarantees all Jordanians equality before the law. In spite of progress made by other countries across the Middle East and North Africa to allow women to pass their nationality on to their children, Jordan has no plans to amend its nationality law.  Algeria, Egypt, Morocco,…

UAE to rebuild Iraq’s iconic Mosul mosque destroyed in Daesh fight

BAGHDAD: Daesh has threatened to attack Iraqi polling stations and voters during parliamentary elections next month. In a message posted to the Telegram messaging app on Sunday, Daesh spokesman Abu Hassan Al-MuHajjir called on Sunni Iraqis to boycott the May 12 polls, the first since Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi declared victory over Daesh in December. Extremist groups in Iraq have targeted every election since the 2003 US-led invasion that deposed Saddam Hussein and paved the way for Shiites to dominate every government since. Under a system of checks and…

Global donors to seek more than $6 billion for Syrian aid

Author:  REUTERS Mon, 2018-04-23 21:14 ID:  1524508211718819700 BRUSSELS: Governments will seek more than $6 billion in aid for Syria at a two-day donor conference from Tuesday, which the European Union hopes will also offer Russia, Turkey and Iran a chance to renew peace efforts. As the conflict enters its eighth devastating year, Brussels has invited some 85 governments and non-governmental agencies to raise funds for humanitarian aid, limited reconstruction and de-mining of shattered cities. “Funding the aid response is critical,” said Robert Beer at aid agency CARE International. “But funding…

G7 foreign ministers unite in condemning Russian behavior

BAGHDAD: Daesh has threatened to attack Iraqi polling stations and voters during parliamentary elections next month. In a message posted to the Telegram messaging app on Sunday, Daesh spokesman Abu Hassan Al-MuHajjir called on Sunni Iraqis to boycott the May 12 polls, the first since Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi declared victory over Daesh in December. Extremist groups in Iraq have targeted every election since the 2003 US-led invasion that deposed Saddam Hussein and paved the way for Shiites to dominate every government since. Under a system of checks and…