Coalition says it killed Daesh members targeting Saudi Arabia, West

The US-led coalition fighting Daesh said it has killed high-value leaders from the group who were planning attacks targeting Saudi Arabia, the United States and Sweden. (File photo / AFP)
Updated 24 July 2018
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Coalition says it killed Daesh members targeting Saudi Arabia, West

BAGHDAD: The US-led coalition fighting Daesh said on Tuesday it has killed high-value leaders from the group who were planning attacks targeting Saudi Arabia, the United States and Sweden.
On April 24, a coalition air strike killed Syrian-based Daesh member Munawwar Al-Mutayari in Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition said in a statement. He had been planning attacks on Saudi Arabia.
Soufiane Makouh, a Belgian foreign fighter who traveled to Syria to plan attacks against the United States and its interests, was killed by an air strike on June 2.
The coalition said that on June 12 an air strike killed Simak, identified as a Daesh intelligence officer linked to a cell plotting attacks in Sweden.
Reuters could not independently verify these planned attacks.
“With its conventional forces under heavy pressure in Syria, Daesh is desperately seeking to remain relevant through operations that threaten all the nations of the world,” Brig. Gen. Brian Eifler, director of Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement.
Daesh, which once declared that it would create a caliphate, has suffered heavy losses in the Middle East but is still seen as a security threat.
Months after Iraq declared victory over Daesh, its fighters are making a comeback with a scatter-gun campaign of kidnap and killing.
Numerous attempts to track down and kill Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi have failed, and his fighters are still active in Arab states.
In Syria, Daesh still holds some territory but has suffered militarily. In Egypt, it is concentrated in the sparsely populated northern Sinai desert. It holds no territory but conducts hit-and-run attacks.
Daesh has tried to rebuild in Libya through mobile units in the desert and sleeper cells in northern cities.


Battle for change far from over for women in new Sudan

Amani Osmane, who spent 40 days behind bars after a frigid seven hours of questioning, speaks during an interview with AFP in Khartoum. (AFP)
Updated 47 sec ago
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Battle for change far from over for women in new Sudan

  • A general will head the ruling body during the first 21 months of a transition, followed by a civilian for the remaining 18 months, according to the framework agreement

KHARTOUM: She may have spent 40 days in jail for demonstrating against President Omar Al-Bashir who has since been toppled but activist Amani Osmane says the battle for women’s rights in Sudan is far from over.
Women have been at the forefront of the revolt which led to Bashir’s overthrow by the military on April 11 after three decades of iron-fisted rule.
Osmane, who is also a lawyer, was detained on the evening of Jan. 12 and escorted to “the fridge,” a grim room where interrogations are paired with extreme cold.
“There are no windows, nothing, just air conditioning at full blast and the lights on 24/7,” she told AFP.
The fridge is part of a detention center run by the all-powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in a building on the Blue Nile that runs through Khartoum.
Several dozens of activists and political opponents of Bashir’s regime have passed through what NISS agents cynically refer to as “the hotel.”
Osmane, who spent 40 days behind bars after a frigid seven hours of questioning, said she was arrested “contrary to all laws ... because I stand up for women in a country where they have no rights.”
Another activist, Salwa Mohamed, 21, took part each day in protests at a camp outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum that became the epicenter of the anti-Bashir revolt.
Her aim was “to have the voice of women heard” in a Muslim country where she “cannot go out alone, study abroad or dress the way I want.”
Student Alaa Salah emerged as a singing symbol of the protest movement after a picture of her in a white robe leading chanting crowds from atop a car went viral on social media.
Portraits of Salah — dubbed “Kandaka,” or Nubian queen, online — have sprouted on murals across Khartoum, paying tribute to the prominent role played by women in the revolt.
Unrest which has gripped Sudan since bread riots in December that led to the anti-Bashir uprising left scores dead.

SPEEDREAD

Women have been at the forefront of the revolt which led to Bashir’s overthrow by the military on April 11 after three decades of iron-fisted rule.

Doctors linked to the protest movement say that 246 people have been killed since the nationwide uprising erupted, including 127 people on June 3 when armed men raided the protest camp in Khartoum.
On Wednesday, protesters and the generals who took over from the former president finally inked an agreement that aims to install a civilian administration, a key demand of demonstrators since Bashir’s fall three months ago.
The accord stipulates that a new transitional ruling body be established, which will be comprised of six civilians and five military representatives.
A general will head the ruling body during the first 21 months of a transition, followed by a civilian for the remaining 18 months, according to the framework agreement.
“We will no longer wait for our rights, we will fight to obtain them,” said Osmane, stressing that women wanted 40 percent of seats in Parliament.
According to Amira Altijani, a professor of English at the all-female Ahfad University in Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, “This movement is an opportunity for women to have their voice heard.”
For Osmane, Bashir “hijacked” Sharia laws for three decades to oppress women.
“But a new Sudan is rising, with a civilian government that will allow equality,” she said.