Daesh leader’s arrest prevented attacks in Lebanon: Interior minister

Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk talks during a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon, January 19, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 20 January 2018
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Daesh leader’s arrest prevented attacks in Lebanon: Interior minister

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s interior minister said Internal Security Forces (ISF) in June 2017 arrested Abu Jaafar Al-Iraqi, a Daesh leader, preventing terrorist attacks during the Christmas holidays.

Nohad Machnouk visited the ISF directorate on Friday and was accompanied by Gen. Emad Othman, the directorate’s director-general, to congratulate its leadership on the “extraordinary efforts in carrying out that exceptional security operation.”

The minister held a press conference, during which a documentary about the operation and its implications was featured.

Al-Iraqi, who was living secretly in Lebanon, “was forced to work” for the ISF “for five months without Daesh’s leadership knowing of his arrest,” said Machnouk.

“A volunteer source was contacted to call him on a daily basis, and rented a highly monitored house for him in the mountains,” he added.

“The result was the disclosure of all terrorist attacks that were to be carried out during the past five months.”

Al-Iraqi said Daesh could not carry out any attacks in Lebanon due to the state’s military and security measures.

Machnouk said: “The security operation was named Safe Lebanon to assure the Lebanese people as well as Arabs that Lebanon’s security was managed in a highly professional manner.”


US-led coalition destroys Syrian mosque used as Daesh command center

Smoke billows after bombings in the Deir Ezzor province, near Hajin, eastern Syria, on December 15, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 30 min 29 sec ago
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US-led coalition destroys Syrian mosque used as Daesh command center

  • Daesh lost nearly all the territory it once held in Syria last year in separate offensives by the US-backed SDF on the one hand, and the Russian-backed Syrian army on the other

WASHINGTON: The US-led coalition in Syria destroyed on Saturday a mosque in the town of Hajjin which had been used as a Daesh command and control center, the US military said.
Hajjin is the last big town that the Daesh holds in its remaining enclave east of the Euphrates River. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, spearheaded by the Kurdish militia, have battled to eliminate the militants there for several months.
The US coalition said that 16 heavily armed Daesh fighters were using the mosque as a base to attack. “This strike killed these terrorists who presented an imminent threat, and eliminated another deadly Daesh operational capability from the battlefield,” the US military said in a statement.
Lilwa Al-Abdallah, spokeswoman for the offensive in eastern Deir Ezzor province, said on Friday that the coalition would soon re-take Hajjin.
Daesh lost nearly all the territory it once held in Syria last year in separate offensives by the US-backed SDF on the one hand, and the Russian-backed Syrian army on the other.