Daesh militants retake nearly half of Syria border town

Syrian pro-government forces patrol in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on November 4, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 10 November 2017
0

Daesh militants retake nearly half of Syria border town

BEIRUT: Daesh militants have retaken nearly half of Albu Kamal in eastern Syria in a counter-attack on what had been the last significant town under their full control, a monitor said Friday.
“IS started counter-attacking on Thursday night and retook more than 40 percent of the town of Albu Kamal,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.
Syrian regime forces and allied fighters had recaptured the town, which lies on the border with Iraq in the eastern Deir Ezzor province, from the jihadists on Thursday.
Albu Kamal lies at the heart of what used to be the sprawling “caliphate” the group declared in 2014 over swathes of Iraq and Syria.
“The jihadists went back in and retook several neighborhoods in the north, northeast and northwest,” Abdel Rahman said. “IS is trying to defend its last bastion.”
The jihadist organization has in the space of a few weeks seen its caliphate shrink to a small rump and lost major cities such as Mosul, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor.
Albu Kamal was the last town of note it controlled and losing it would cap the group’s reversion to an underground guerrilla organization with no urban base.
According to Syria state TV, the regime and auxiliary forces had retaken full control of it by Thursday.


EgyptAir denies reports of ‘lowering volume’ of on-flight Islamic prayer

Updated 19 min 58 sec ago
0

EgyptAir denies reports of ‘lowering volume’ of on-flight Islamic prayer

CAIRO: EgyptAir has denied claims that it has decided to stop playing its pre-flight Islamic travel prayer, as had been reported by local newspapers.
Some news reports claimed that the Egyptian national carrier had muted the Islamic prayer that follows its pre-flight safety information.
The airliner has been at times criticized by some for ‘forcing’ the prayer on passengers by playing it out loud.
Sources quoted from the company said that it has not banned the onboard prayer but has rather “lowered the volume” at which it plays.
It said the move aims to ensure the comfort of its passengers, and what is consistent with the safety of its aircrafts.