US tells anti-Daesh coalition to ‘keep eyes on prize’

It’s pressing those partners to refocus, overcome rivalries and concentrate on the task at hand: the eradication from Iraq and Syria of Daesh. (AFP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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US tells anti-Daesh coalition to ‘keep eyes on prize’

KUWAIT CITY: The Trump administration is increasingly concerned the 74-strong coalition it cobbled together to destroy Daesh is losing sight of the prime objective.
It’s pressing those partners to refocus, overcome rivalries and concentrate on the task at hand: the eradication from Iraq and Syria of Daesh.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to sound that alarm at a coalition gathering in Kuwait on Tuesday. His visit comes with the fight at a critical moment and the mission shifting from offensive military operations to stabilization.
Distractions are adding up, such as Turkey’s fighting with US-backed Kurdish rebels in Syria and renewed spillover from Syria’s civil war. Meanwhile, hostilities between noncoalition actors Iran, its proxies in Syria, and Israel risk creating a new conflict in an already crowded battlespace.


Morocco navy fires on migrant boat, one dead: local officials

Updated 56 min 25 sec ago
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Morocco navy fires on migrant boat, one dead: local officials

  • The patrol was “forced” to open fire on a speedboat driven by a Spaniard who “refused to obey” orders
  • Four migrants were wounded, including a Moroccan woman who died of her injuries in hospital

RABAT: Morocco’s navy on Tuesday fired on a boat carrying migrants which refused to respond to its orders, leaving a Moroccan woman dead and three other people wounded, local officials said.
The patrol was “forced” to open fire on a speedboat driven by a Spaniard who “refused to obey” orders in waters off the Moroccan locality of M’diq-Fnideq, the authorities said in a statement.
Four migrants were wounded, including a Moroccan woman who died of her injuries in hospital, a local official told AFP.
Those on board the powerboat were lying down and could not be seen, the official said.
The Spanish driver was unharmed and later arrested, according to the same source, adding an investigation had been opened.
Morocco — a key route for sub-Saharan Africans trying to reach Europe via Spain — said this month it has foiled 54,000 bids so far in 2018 by illegal migrants to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
The figures included 7,100 Moroccans for the period until the end of August, according to figures released last week by the Moroccan government spokesman.
Since early 2018, Spain has recorded more than 38,000 arrivals by sea and land, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Since the beginning of September, social media networks in Morocco have been inundated with videos showing young people from the North African country heading to Spain aboard inflatable boats.