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Don’t turn Daesh fight into battle against all Muslims: German minister

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. (AFP)

MUNICH: German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen warned on Friday against turning the fight against Daesh into a battle against all Muslims.

“We should take care not to turn this fight into a front against Islam and Muslims in general,” von der Leyen said, according to the text of her speech, in a thinly veiled warning to the US.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would issue a new executive order to replace his controversial directive suspending travel to the US by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries. He has said the directive was aimed at protecting the country from terrorist attacks.

Daesh militants, meanwhile, are developing a network of passageways and tunnels in the narrow alleys of west Mosul that will enable them to hide and fight among the civilian population when Iraqi forces launch an attack that is expected any day now.

Residents said the fighters have been opening passages in the walls between houses to allow them to move from block to block undetected, disappear after hit-and-run operations and track government troop movements.

Separately, a terrorist group has executed 41 fighters from Al-Qaeda’s former Syria affiliate and allied factions in infighting between the extremists in Syria’s Idlib province, a monitor said Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Jund Al-Aqsa group had executed the 41 fighters in the town of Khan Sheikhun on Monday but the deaths were only confirmed on Friday amid fierce fighting between the radical factions.