Daesh attacks kill 17 pro-regime fighters in south Syria

Syrian regime soldiers gather in the town of Kafr Batna, Syria, in this file photo. 17 pro-regime combatants were killed, including nine Iranians, in surprise attacks by Daesh in southern Syria. (AP)
Updated 08 June 2018
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Daesh attacks kill 17 pro-regime fighters in south Syria

  • At least 17 pro-regime fighters including six soldiers were killed by Daesh militants in surprise attacks in southern Syria.
  • Nine extremists also lost their lives in the assaults in the desert of the southern province of Sweida.

BEIRUT: Daesh militants on Thursday killed at least 17 pro-regime fighters including six soldiers in surprise attacks in southern Syria, a monitor said.
Nine extremists also lost their lives in the assaults in the desert of the southern province of Sweida, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
They were the first attacks of their kind in the area, where no Daesh presence had been noted in more than a year, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The 17 pro-regime combattants killed also included nine Iranians and fighters belonging to pro-Iran Shiite militias, as well as two unidentified fighters, he said.
Daesh has ramped up its attacks against pro-regime forces since its fighters last month left their last stronghold near Damascus under an evacuation deal with the regime.
The new toll brings to 179 the number of pro-regime troops killed in more than two weeks in extremist attacks across the country since May 22. At least 89 militants were killed during that same period.
Daesh in 2014 proclaimed a cross-border “caliphate” in Syria and neighboring Iraq, but has since lost most of that territory to separate offensives by Russia-backed regime troops and a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance.
The extremists now control no more than three percent of Syria, the Observatory says, mostly in the eastern desert near the border with Iraq.
Earlier this week, Daesh assaults in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor killed 45 pro-regime fighters.
More than 350,000 people have been killed since Syria’s conflict started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.


Terror funding has ‘new face,’ warns Saudi Arabia's attorney general

Updated 20 February 2019
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Terror funding has ‘new face,’ warns Saudi Arabia's attorney general

  • Financial crimes a rising threat to global economy, MENA forum told

JEDDAH: The changing dynamics of terror financing and money laundering posed a growing problem for countries and organizations seeking to halt their spread, a regional conference in Cairo was warned.

Saudi Arabia's Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mua’jab told the first Middle East and North Africa conference on countering terrorism that new forms of transnational terror funding and money laundering demanded greater cooperation between states and organizations.

The conference, organized by the Egyptian Public Prosecution Office, aims to bolster international unity in the face of the escalating threat of terrorist financing and money laundering operations.

“Saudi Arabia has spared no effort in combating these two crimes,” Al-Mua’jab said.

He said money laundering and terror financing are at the “forefront of global criminal phenomena,” and often complemented each other.

“One of the most important steps the world has taken through its international and regional systems is to engage in initiatives and agreements to combat terrorism financing and money laundering as the artery of the criminal body that strikes the global economy,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia is a key partner in the international coalition against the so-called Daesh terrorist organization and leads, together with the US and Italy, the Counter Daesh Finance Group. It has also implemented laws and procedures aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing,” he said.

Al-Mua’jab said the September 2018 report of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Saudi Arabia had praised the Kingdom’s commitment to the recommendations of the group.

“Saudi Arabia has spared no effort in combating these two crimes,” he said. “It was one of the first countries in the world to be affected by terrorist acts. Its experience of combating the crimes has been exemplary.”

He said measures taken by the Kingdom included the 2017 “Law of Combating Crime and its Financing,” regulation of charities and the establishment of a standing committee to investigate money laundering.

The Kingdom’s Public Prosecution Office recently released a manual outlining steps to counter money laundering, including measures for seizure and confiscation, tracking of funds and details of international cooperation. 

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has also issued a guidebook for Saudi banks to combat money laundering. 

A recent Saudi Cabinet meeting outlined strategic objectives for reducing the risks of the two crimes, he said.