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.


Egypt opens museum to honor Naguib Mahfouz

Foreign visitor reads the biography of the late Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz after the official opening of the museum in Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2019. Picture taken July 14, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 15 min 50 sec ago
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Egypt opens museum to honor Naguib Mahfouz

  • The two-storey building in Cairo’s Gamaliya district is near to where the author was born and the area was the inspiration for many of his stories and characters

CAIRO: A museum commemorating the life and works of Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz has opened in Cairo, nearly 13 years after the Nobel laureate’s death.
The Naguib Mahfouz Museum and Creativity Centre houses the belongings and personal library of Mahfouz, who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature — the only Arab to do so.
The center, in a redeveloped building dating back to 1774, had been planned for years but had been delayed by financial and other issues.
“I hope this museum becomes a center of cultural radiation and a tourist attraction,” Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem said at the opening ceremony.
The two-storey building in Cairo’s Gamaliya district is near to where the author was born and the area was the inspiration for many of his stories and characters.

“I hope this museum becomes a center of cultural radiation and a tourist attraction.”

                                       Inas Abdel Dayem, Egypt’s culture minister

As well as displaying some of his personal belongings and handwritten texts, the museum includes a hall containing all his works, in modern and old editions, as well as seminar rooms, an audiovisual library and a library housing research and studies on Mahfouz’s works. His Nobel medal, however, is not on display and remains with his family.
Mahfouz’s daughter Umm Kulthum, who attended the opening, said she was happy that the dream of building the museum had been realized “after years of waiting.”