Iraq carries out air strikes on Daesh in Syria

Updated 19 April 2018
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Iraq carries out air strikes on Daesh in Syria

  • Iraqi F-16 warplanes crossed into Syria to carry out the strikes after coordination with the Syrian regime.
  • Iraq currently has good relations with Iran and Russia, while also enjoying strong support from the US-led coalition.

Baghdad: Iraq on Thursday carried out air strikes on Daesh positions in Syria a week after Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said his country would defend itself from militant threats across the border.
Iraqi F-16 warplanes crossed into Syria to carry out the strikes after coordination with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's government, an Iraqi military spokesman said.
"Carrying out air strikes on Daesh gangs in Syrian territories is because of the dangers posed by said gangs to Iraqi territories and is proof of the improved capabilities of our armed forces," the Iraqi military said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Abadi had said Iraq would "take all necessary measures if they threaten the security of Iraq", referring to the militants who just three years ago overran a third of Iraq.
The prime minister declared final victory over the ultra hardline group in December but it still poses a threat from pockets along the border with Syria and has continued to carry out ambushes, assassinations and bombings across Iraq.
Iraq currently has good relations with Iran and Russia, Assad's main backers in the seven-year Syrian civil war, while also enjoying strong support from the US-led coalition.

 

 

 


Egypt says plane hijacker extradited from Cyprus

Updated 19 August 2018
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Egypt says plane hijacker extradited from Cyprus

  • Police said Seif Eddin Mustafa, escorted by Egyptian authorities, boarded an EgyptAir flight to Cairo on Saturday evening
  • Seif Eddin Mustafa hijacked the EgyptAir flight in March 2016 using a fake suicide belt and diverted it to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus

NICOSIA, Cyprus: An Egyptian man who hijacked a domestic EgyptAir flight in 2016 and ordered it to land in Cyprus to allegedly protest Egypt’s military-backed government has been extradited to his homeland after giving up a drawn-out legal fight, authorities said Sunday.
Police said Seif Eddin Mustafa, escorted by Egyptian authorities, boarded an EgyptAir flight to Cairo on Saturday evening.
Cyprus Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou told The Associated Press that Mustafa’s extradition went ahead after he dropped a three-year court battle to avoid extradition.
Doros Polycarpou, with the migrant support group KISA that assisted Mustafa, told the AP that the 62-year-old decided of his own accord to return to Egypt and face prosecution there, despite fears that he may be tortured.
Polycarpou said Mustafa told his legal team he was willing “to take the risk” of suffering maltreatment at the hands of Egyptian authorities because he could “no longer take” his holding conditions in Cyprus’ prison complex.
He said Mustafa had complained that he was being held in “isolation” and put under “psychological strain” because authorities kept him away from the prison’s general population.
Mustafa’s change-of-heart stands in stark contrast to his vociferous fight against extradition to Egypt on the grounds that he could face torture or an unfair trial there.
Last year, the European Court of Human Rights blocked Cyprus from extraditing Mustafa until it could rule on whether doing so would violate its prohibition about returning individuals to countries where they may face torture or inhuman treatment.
Mustafa hijacked the EgyptAir flight in March 2016 using a fake suicide belt and diverted it to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. A six-hour standoff with Cypriot authorities on the tarmac of Cyprus’ Larnaca airport ended peacefully after all 72 passengers and crew were released and Mustafa was arrested.
Mustafa told a Cypriot court that he meant no harm to anyone. He said he was trying to expose what he called the “fascist regime” of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and to help secure the release of 63 female dissidents being held in Egyptian prisons.
But prosecutors said Mustafa admitted in a written statement to police that he only carried out the hijacking in order to reunite with his Cypriot family.