Shanahan: We have destroyed Daesh’s capabilities, it is no longer able to detain civilians

United States Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan talks to the media at a meeting of ministers of Defense during the International Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (AP)
Updated 15 February 2019
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Shanahan: We have destroyed Daesh’s capabilities, it is no longer able to detain civilians

LONDON: Daesh's capabilities have been destroyed and it is no longer able to detain civilians, Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Michael Shanahan said Friday at the Munich Security Conference. 

Shanahan also said that the global coalition to defeat Daesh has “eliminated the group's hold over 99 percent of the territory it once claimed as part of its so-called caliphate." "We have ensured ISIS no longer holds the innocent people of Syria or Iraq in its murderous iron fist." 

Daesh has been defeated but has not disappeared and may take on a new form, the Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Michael Shanahan added.  

Shanahan said he envisioned a "bigger and stronger" coalition to fight Daesh globally. "We will continue to support our local partners' ability to stand up to the remnants of ISIS."

US President Donald Trump's announcement in December that he was withdrawing all 2,000 US troops from Syria surprised and rattled allies. US officials have crisscrossed the Middle East in recent weeks to reassure them that Washington remains committed to the region.

 

 


Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

Updated 17 min 48 sec ago
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Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

  • Israel reduced the fishing limit to 10 nautical miles
  • The countries agreed to 20 nautical miles in the Oslo accords of 1990s

JERUSALEM: Israel reduced the offshore fishing limits it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza from Thursday after Palestinians floated balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border, officials said.
The cut came just two days after Israel restored the limits to those set in April ahead of an Israeli general election.
“A decision was taken this Wednesday evening to reduce the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles until further notice,” said COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations.
“The decision was taken after the launch of incendiary balloons from Gaza toward Israel,” it added.
Palestinians in Gaza have frequently floated balloons fitted with firebombs over the border to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.
Israel banned fishing completely when two days of deadly violence erupted earlier this month, but lifted the ban with a restriction of up to 12 nautical miles following a truce.
The 15-nautical-mile limit that had been restored on Tuesday was the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in the enclave and has blockaded it for more than a decade.
But human rights activists note that it still falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Israeli authorities have not said whether the 15-mile limit was one of the understandings reached as part of the May 6 cease-fire in Gaza but Israel media reported on Monday that it was.
The additional nautical miles are important to Gaza fishermen as they bring more valuable, deeper water species within reach.
Four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were killed in this month’s exchanges across the border.