Iraqi PMU forces, not Syrian regime, liberated Bukamal, says top monitor

Iraqi members of the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization units) are pictured in the city of al-Qaim, in Iraq's western Anbar province near the Syrian border as they fight against remnant pockets of Daesh group jihadists on November 3, 2017. (AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE)
Updated 10 November 2017
0

Iraqi PMU forces, not Syrian regime, liberated Bukamal, says top monitor

JEDDAH: Daesh has been expelled from the Syrian town of Bukamal, the last significant town the terror group still held in its disintegrating “caliphate,” a top monitor told Arab News on Thursday.
Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi, widely known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), not the Syrian regime forces, had taken over the city.
The terrorists’ latest rout left them with only the dregs of a self-styled “state” that once spanned huge territory in Iraq and Syria, with surviving Daesh militants melting away into desert hideouts.
Anti-Daesh forces stormed into the town just across the border from Iraq on Wednesday and while fighting was initially reported as fierce, the outcome of one of Daesh’s last major battles was never in doubt.
Abdul Rahman termed the liberation of the city “the final scene of a movie on the destruction of Daesh in Syria.” The movie is coming to an end now, he added.
He said Daesh fighters do not have any arms now because they have lost many battles recently.
Asked about the future of US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Abdul Rahman said that 38 percent of the Syrian territory is with the Assad regime or the PMU, 32 percent with the SDF or the US, and the remaining is under Daesh.
The observatory head said the country will ultimately be united although it is currently divided between Russian-backed and US-supported forces.
He said the future of Syria lies with Moscow and Washington.
Asked how long he thinks the war will continue, Abdul Rahman said: “Only Allah knows.”
The Syrian regime’s army earier said their armed forces units, in cooperation with allied and auxiliary forces, liberated the town in Deir Ezzor province.
Abdel Rahman said that “Daesh withdrew to desert areas in eastern Deir Ezzor” province, where they are likely to encounter US-backed Kurdish-led fighters.
A senior Iraqi Army commander told AFP that his forces shot dead four Daesh members who had tried to cross into Iraq, where the group holds the small town of Rawa, near the border.
In a separate development, UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland told Reuters that the 400,000 civilians besieged in the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta face “complete catastrophe” because aid deliveries are blocked and hundreds of people need urgent medical evacuation.


Walk or die: Algeria abandons 13,000 migrants in the Sahara

Updated 25 June 2018
0

Walk or die: Algeria abandons 13,000 migrants in the Sahara

  • The expelled migrants can be seen coming over the horizon by the hundreds, appearing at first as specks in the distance under temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius
  • Algeria's mass expulsions have picked up since October 2017, as the European Union renewed pressure on North African countries to head off migrants going north to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea or the barrier fences with Spain

ASSAMAKA, Niger: Algeria has abandoned more than 13,000 migrants in the Sahara Desert over the past 14 months, expelling them without food or water and forcing them to walk for hours or even days.
They include pregnant women and children. The Associated Press interviewed over two dozen survivors of the deportations in Niger.
Nearly all said they saw fellow migrants collapse during the walk, where temperatures reach up to 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit). They never saw the missing migrants again.
The lucky make it within a few hours to the nearest village across borders in Niger and, more recently, Mali. But many wander for days.
Algeria denies mistreating the migrants.
But their accounts are confirmed by multiple videos collected by the AP showing hundreds of people stumbling into empty desert.