Iraq sentenced 616 foreigners for Daesh links in 2018

Around 20,000 people suspected of links to Daesh have been arrested since 2014. (AFP)
Updated 31 December 2018
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Iraq sentenced 616 foreigners for Daesh links in 2018

  • Iraq declared “victory” over Daesh at the end of 2017 after a three-year war
  • Around 20,000 people suspected of links to Daesh have been arrested since 2014

BAGHDAD: Iraq sentenced more than 600 foreigners including many women and dozens of minors in 2018 for belonging to the Daesh group, the judiciary said on Monday.
Iraq declared “victory” over Daesh at the end of 2017 after a three-year war against the militant, who once controlled nearly a third of the country as well as swathes of neighboring Syria.
Around 20,000 people suspected of links to Daesh have been arrested since 2014.
Judicial spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said Monday that “616 men and women accused of belonging to Daesh have been put on trial” in 2018 and sentenced under Iraq’s anti-terrorism law.
They comprised 466 women, 42 men and 108 minors, he said.
Bayraqdar did not, however specify the punishments.
Under Iraq’s anti-terrorism law courts can issue verdicts, including death sentences, against anyone found guilty of belonging to the militant group, including non-combatants.
In April, judicial sources said that more than 300 suspects linked to Daesh had received death sentences and more than 300 others were sentenced to life, which in Iraq is equivalent to 20 years.
Most of the women sentenced for Daesh links were from Turkey and republics of the former Soviet Union.
Three French citizens — two women and a man — have been sentenced to life imprisonment while a German woman, a Belgian man and a Russian man have been sentenced to death.
Many women had traveled to Iraq with their children to join their husbands who fought in the ranks of Daesh.
Some are still waiting to be repatriated to their home countries.
On Sunday, 30 Russian children whose mothers are in prison in Iraq for links to Daesh were flown from Baghdad to Moscow as part of a repatriation program championed by Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.


Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

Updated 21 May 2019
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Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

  • Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Lebanon insists that the area lies within its economic zone and refuses to give up a single part of it

BEIRUT: Lebanon has hinted that progress is being made in efforts to resolve its maritime border dispute with Israel following the return of a US mediator from talks with Israeli officials.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield returned to Lebanon following talks in Israel where he outlined Lebanese demands regarding the disputed area and the mechanism to reach a settlement.

The US mediator has signaled a new push to resolve the dispute after meetings with both Lebanese and Israeli officials.

Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon hopes to begin offshore oil and gas production in the offshore Block 9 as it grapples with an economic crisis.

A source close to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who met with Satterfield on Monday after his return to Lebanon, told Arab News that “there is progress in the efforts, but the discussion is not yet over.” He did not provide further details.

Sources close to the Lebanese presidency confirmed that Lebanon is counting on the US to help solve the demarcation dispute and would like to accelerate the process to allow exploration for oil and gas to begin in the disputed area.

Companies that will handle the exploration require stability in the area before they start working, the sources said.

Previous efforts by Satterfield to end the dispute failed in 2012 and again last year after Lebanon rejected a proposal by US diplomat Frederick Hoff that offered 65 percent of the disputed area to Lebanon and 35 percent to Israel. Lebanon insisted that the area lies within its economic zone and refused to give up a single part of it.

Satterfield has acknowledged Lebanon’s ownership of around 500 sq km of the disputed 850 sq km area.

Lebanon renewed its commitment to a mechanism for setting the negotiations in motion, including the formation of a tripartite committee with representatives of Lebanon, Israel and the UN, in addition to the participation of the US mediator. Beirut also repeated its refusal to negotiate directly with Israel.

Two months ago, Lebanon launched a marine environmental survey in blocks 4 and 9 in Lebanese waters to allow a consortium of French, Italian and Russian companies to begin oil and gas exploration in the area.