US-backed forces: Daesh security leader seized in Syria

(File/Reuters)The Kurdish-led forces have spearheaded the US-backed fight against Daesh in Syria. (File/Reuters)
Updated 01 December 2018
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US-backed forces: Daesh security leader seized in Syria

  • Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, disputed the claim
  • The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, is seeking to expel Daesh from a pocket of land in the Deir Ezzor

BEIRUT: US-backed forces said Friday they had captured a leader of Daesh in eastern Syria where the Kurdish-led fighters have been battling the extremists.
A statement by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) identified the suspect as Osama Oweid Saleh and described him as “one of the most dangerous terrorists of the Daesh group.”
But Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, disputed the claim.
Abdel Rahman said Saleh was merely “a former local security official” in the eastern Deir Ezzor province.
In its statement the SDF said that Saleh “was a security official for the terrorists in Deir Ezzor and took an active part in planning and implementing more than 40 terrorist operations” for the extremist group.
It also said that he was “a security official” in other parts of Syria for Daesh, including in the former extremist bastion of Raqqa.
Saleh, it said, was ambushed by SDF fighters and captured on November 22 in the Deir Ezzor countryside.
Abdel Rahman told AFP that Saleh “could be a member of an Daesh sleeper cell.”
The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, is seeking to expel Daesh from a pocket of land in the Deir Ezzor province near the Iraq border.
The Kurdish-led forces have spearheaded the US-backed fight against Daesh in Syria.
On Monday the Observatory reported that the SDF suffered record fatalities in an assault by Daesh as holdout extremists kept up a fierce defense of their last Syrian redoubt.
It said a total of more than 200 people have been killed since around 500 Daesh fighters burst out of the fog shrouding the area in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq to launch their deadly assault last Friday.
Ninety-two of the dead were SDF fighters while at least 61 extremists and 51 civilians, mostly their relatives, also died in the violence, it said.


NZ’s foreign minister arrives in Turkey for Muslim summit

Updated 43 min 9 sec ago
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NZ’s foreign minister arrives in Turkey for Muslim summit

  • The meeting comes days after the deadly terrorist attack at two mosques in New Zealand
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also speak at the summit

ISTANBUL: New Zealand’s deputy prime minister is attending an emergency session of an umbrella organization of Muslim nations in Turkey after a gunman killed 50 people in two mosques in the South Pacific nation.
Winston Peters was in Istanbul on Friday for the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s executive committee meeting.
Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant was arrested and charged with murder. Tarrant livestreamed the attack and released a manifesto describing his white supremacist views and how he planned the shootings.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will also speak at the summit, has sparked outrage abroad by screening at campaign rallies excerpts of the Tarrant’s video to denounce Islamophobia. New Zealand has been trying to prevent the use of the video and Peters is expected to take up the issue.