Egypt says security forces kill 9 ‘terrorists’ in Nile raid

The dawn raid in central Egypt targeted men who were planning attacks on vital installations. (Reuters)
Updated 16 October 2018
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Egypt says security forces kill 9 ‘terrorists’ in Nile raid

  • The statement did not mention if there were any survivors or if any wounded were taken prisoner

CAIRO: Egypt says its security forces have killed nine “terrorists” in a raid on a cave hideout along the Nile River.

The Interior Ministry says Monday’s dawn raid in central Egypt targeted men who were planning attacks on vital installations, resulting in a shootout that led to their deaths.

The statement did not mention if there were any survivors or if any wounded were taken prisoner, or if security forces suffered any casualties. It said assault rifles, improvised explosive devices, ammunition and supplies were seized. Egypt has been battling an insurgency based in the Sinai Peninsula that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. It launched an operation against militants in February, but raids outside the Sinai have been rare.


US has ‘no plan’ as Syria pullout proceeds: ex-envoy

Updated 21 January 2019
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US has ‘no plan’ as Syria pullout proceeds: ex-envoy

  • Former envoy Brett McGurk says the absence of a plan is increasing the risk to US forces
  • Trump announced the US withdrawal because, he said, Daesh had been defeated

WASHINGTON: The United States has no plan for Syria as it proceeds with President Donald Trump’s order to pull American troops out of the country, a top official who quit in protest at the policy said on Sunday.
Brett McGurk, who was America’s envoy to the US-led global coalition against the Daesh group, said “there’s no plan for what’s coming next” and this is increasing the risk to US forces.
He spoke in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” after a suicide bomber on Wednesday killed four Americans and 15 others in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. It was the deadliest attack to hit US troops since they deployed to Syria in 2014 to assist local forces against the Daesh group.
The bombing came after Trump’s announcement last month that he was ordering a full withdrawal of the 2,000 US troops from Syria, shocking allies and leading to the resignations of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as well as McGurk.
Senior US officials have since given contradictory statements about US intentions, but the Pentagon said it had begun the withdrawal, although how long it would take remained uncertain.
“The president has made that clear — we are leaving. And that means our force should be really with one mission: to get out and get out safely,” McGurk told “Face the Nation.”
But he added: “Right now we do not have a plan. It increases a vulnerability of our force... It is increasing the risk to our people on the ground in Syria and will open up space for Daesh,” another acronym for IS.
Most importantly, said McGurk, the US cannot expect “a partner” such as NATO-ally Turkey to take the place of the United States.
“That is not realistic. And if our forces are under order to withdraw, as at the same time they are trying to find some formula for another coalition partner to come in, that is not workable. That is not a viable plan.”
Trump announced the US withdrawal because, he said, IS had been defeated — something McGurk and other experts dispute.
McGurk has previously warned that the US pullout would shore up Syria’s President Bashar Assad and lessen America’s leverage with Russia and Iran.