Bomb kills 8 in Syrian town held by Turkey-backed forces

The bomb exploded in Afrin, a Syrian town with areas held by Turkish troops. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Bomb kills 8 in Syrian town held by Turkey-backed forces

  • The explosion on Sunday in Afrin is the latest in a series of attacks in areas held by Turkish troops and their Syrian allies
  • Turkey has vowed to expand the offensive to root out Syrian Kurdish fighters, who joined with the US-led coalition to drive out Daesh

BEIRUT: Syrian activists say a bomb blast in a northern town held by Turkish-backed opposition forces has killed at least eight people.
The explosion on Sunday in Afrin is the latest in a series of attacks in areas held by Turkish troops and their Syrian allies, who have seized a swath of territory along the border from Daesh militants and Kurdish fighters.
Turkey has vowed to expand the offensive to root out Syrian Kurdish fighters, who joined with the US-led coalition to drive out Daesh. Turkey views the Kurdish fighters as an extension of the insurgency within its borders.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the market explosion on Sunday killed eight people. The activist-run Shaam news agency says a blast in Afrin on Thursday killed three.


Security tops agenda as Iraqi PM visits Egypt in first foreign trip

Updated 23 March 2019
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Security tops agenda as Iraqi PM visits Egypt in first foreign trip

  • After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Abdul Mahdi highlighted “the importance of drying up the sources of terrorism”
  • The visit to Egypt is Abdul Mahdi’s first trip abroad since taking office in October

CAIRO: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sought Egypt’s support for efforts to tackle extremist militants in the region during a visit to Cairo on Saturday, his first trip abroad since taking office in October.
After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Abdul Mahdi highlighted “the importance of drying up the sources of terrorism” and said “cooperation between Egypt and Iraq will be essential for this matter,” according to an official statement.
His comments came as US-backed forces said they had captured Daesh’s last shred of territory in eastern Syria at Baghouz, ending its territorial rule over a self-proclaimed caliphate straddling Syria and Iraq after years of fighting.
Though the defeat ends the group’s grip over the extremist quasi-state that it declared in 2014, it remains a threat.
Some Daesh fighters still hold out in Syria’s remote central desert and in Iraqi cities they have slipped into the shadows, staging sudden shootings or kidnappings and awaiting a chance to rise again.
The United States thinks the group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, is in Iraq.
Defeating militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and restoring security after years of unrest has been a key promise of El-Sisi, the general-turned-president who came to power a year after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Mursi in 2013.
Egypt has fought an insurgency waged by a Daesh affiliate in North Sinai since 2013. Hundreds of members of the security forces have been killed.