Amid Raqqa, Mosul fights, US prepares for Daesh endgame effort

An Iraqi boy carries heavy belongings through rubble as he flees fighting between Iraqi special forces and Daesh militants, in western Mosul, Iraq. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Updated 19 May 2017
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Amid Raqqa, Mosul fights, US prepares for Daesh endgame effort

WASHINGTON: The United States is looking ahead toward a decisive battleground in its bid to destroy the Daesh group.
It is preparing for this next step even as US-backed local forces attempt to finish the fight for the extremists’ two main strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
The Pentagon is eyeing a roughly 100-mile stretch of IS-controlled territory straddling the Iraq-Syria border that could represent the start of an endgame for defeating an extremist group that had gobbled up large swaths of territory.
Much fighting remains in Mosul in northern Iraq and in the extremists’ self-declared capital of Raqqa, Syria. The follow-on battle lines are being drawn along a corridor that follows the Euphrates River valley from Syria’s eastern oil region to the Iraqi city of Al-Qaim.


Israeli policeman jailed 9 months over killing of Palestinian

Updated 25 April 2018
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Israeli policeman jailed 9 months over killing of Palestinian

JERUSALEM: An Israeli court on Wednesday sentenced a police officer to nine months in jail over the fatal shooting of a Palestinian teenager in 2014, an incident documented by video footage.
The sentence was handed down after policeman Ben Deri, 24, was found guilty of negligent homicide and also ordered to pay 50,000 shekels ($14,000) to the family of Nadeem Nuwarah, who was 17.
Nuwarah was killed on May 15, 2014 during a day of clashes in Beitunia, south of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters marking the anniversary of what the Arabs term the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” of the 1948 creation of Israel.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled their homes during the war surrounding the creation of Israel.
Footage recorded by US broadcaster CNN captured a group of five or six border police officers in the area, one of whom could be seen firing at the time when the youth was hit.
The sentencing comes as Palestinians and Israelis prepare for another commemoration of the “Nakba” on May 15.