Daesh demands release of Iraq women prisoners in hostage video

The video was published on extremist online forums on Saturday. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Daesh demands release of Iraq women prisoners in hostage video

  • Daesh released hostage video demanding release of all Sunni women prisoners in Iraqi jails
  • The video was published on extremist online forums on Saturday

BAGHDAD: The Daesh group has released a hostage video demanding the release of all Sunni women prisoners from Iraqi jails.
The group says it is giving the government a deadline of three days before it executes the six men in the video, who identify themselves as Iraqi policemen and militiamen.
The video was published on extremist online forums on Saturday, one week after the Daesh group announced it had kidnapped 17 policemen and members of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, which are predominantly Shiite militia groups that fight for the government.
Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi has come under pressure in recent weeks for the reemergence of Daesh hostage-taking in Iraq, after the government declared victory over the militant group last year.


Buses arrive to ferry Syria rebels out of zone near Golan

Updated 20 July 2018
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Buses arrive to ferry Syria rebels out of zone near Golan

  • The transfers come under a surrender deal agreed this week between Russia and Syrian rebels in Quneitra province
  • Rebels will hand over territory they control in Quneitra and the neighboring buffer zone with the Israeli-occupied Golan

BEIRUT: Buses were gathering on Friday in a southwestern sliver of Syria near the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights to transfer rebel fighters and civilians to opposition territory further north, a monitor said.
The transfers come under a surrender deal agreed this week between Russia and Syrian rebels in Quneitra province that will see the sensitive zone fall back under state control.
Rebels will hand over territory they control in Quneitra and the neighboring buffer zone with the Israeli-occupied Golan, a war monitor and a rebel source told AFP.
The deal included safe passage to northern Syria for any hard-liners who refuse to live under government control, and buses began entering the area Friday to carry out the transfers, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“The buses reached government-controlled territory in Quneitra on Thursday, and today they began crossing into opposition areas for the evacuation,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
He said it remained unclear how many fighters and civilians would ultimately be evacuated, but that the buses would likely be picking up people from multiple locations in Quneitra and the adjacent buffer.
A rebel source told AFP that the evacuations were expected to begin around mid-morning on Friday.
Quneitra is a thin, crescent-shaped province wedged between the buffer to the west and the Syrian province of Daraa to its east.
One month ago, Syria’s regime launched an operation to retake rebel areas in Daraa and Quneitra, using military force and surrender deals brokered by its Russian ally.
Fighting forced several hundred thousand people to flee, and as many as 140,000 remain displaced in Quneitra, according to the United Nations.
The UN’s humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) warned they are inaccessible to aid organizations based around an hour away in Damascus because of a lack of approvals.
Both Israel and Jordan, which shares a border with Syria, have kept their borders closed to the displaced.
Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan from Syria in 1967 and later annexed it, in a move never recognized internationally.