Harry and Meghan meet horses that heal in Morocco

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Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duke & Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports in Rabat on February 25, 2019. (AFP)
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Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duke & Duchess of Sussex, meet with an artisan during a visit to the Kasbah of the Udayas near the Moroccan capital Rabat on February 25, 2019. (AFP)
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Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duke & Duchess of Sussex, visit the Kasbah of the Udayas near the Moroccan capital Rabat on February 25, 2019. (AFP)
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Children wait for the arrival of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at the Andalusian Gardens in Rabat, Morocco, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. (AP)
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Britain's Prince Harry, centre shake hands with the Crown Prince of Morocco, Moulay Hassan, as Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, stands at right, after leaving the residence of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, on the third day of their tour of Morocco, in Rabat, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. (AP)
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Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duke & Duchess of Sussex, meet with an artisan during a visit to the Kasbah of the Udayas near the Moroccan capital Rabat, on February 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 25 February 2019
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Harry and Meghan meet horses that heal in Morocco

  • Harry and Meghan dress down to meet children on Morocco trip
  • The royal couple held hands and joked as they posed for photos with youngsters at the projects in Rabat and sampled some of the food

RABAT: Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan on Monday visited a stables in Morocco where horses provide a source of therapy for disabled youths, before sampling local cuisine at a project for underprivileged children.
The royal couple, on their last official foreign tour before becoming parents, petted the horses and strolled hand in hand through the equestrian club in Sale in the outskirts of Rabat.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, met workers and disabled young people grooming horses to hear how spending time with the animals helps them to face their challenges.
Meghan chatted with several children and young adults including Zakaria, a 20-year-old with mobility issues who become an IT instructor with help from equine therapy.
The American former actress also spoke to Driss, a 24-year-old with speech difficulties, and Ikram, a 19-year-old with Down syndrome.
The couple, who married last year, appeared relaxed as they stroked horses poking their heads out of the stable doors in the morning sunshine.
A joking Harry asked if anyone had any carrots to feed to them and confided that he missed his own horses.


A heavily pregnant Meghan, wearing her hair in a pony tail, swapped her flowing beige dress of the previous evening for casual black jeans, a Breton striped shirt, green jacket and ankle boots.
Harry also dressed down with grey jeans, a light blue shirt and a black padded jacket for the visit to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports.
At a later event the couple sampled Moroccan cuisine — which Meghan declared “delicious” — and heard how cooking is being used to help disadvantaged children.
They met renowned Moroccan chef Moha and tasted harira — a traditional Moroccan soup — as well as tajines, salads and couscous among other dishes.
The children also made Moroccan pancakes using a recipe from a cookbook launched by Meghan last year in her first solo charity project in support of families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London.
They joked with a group of orphans visibly daunted by their presence in the gardens of the Villa des Ambassadors hotel in Rabat.
Meghan later changed into a black pleated dress and white jacket while Harry wore a grey suit to visit the Kasbah of the Udayas, a fortress at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river.
They met artisans in the Andalusian Gardens and received gifts including a pendant, a wooden jewelry box and a leather pouf.
The couple were due to meet King Mohammed VI on Monday afternoon during what is the first British royal visit to Morocco since Prince Charles and Camilla visited the kingdom in 2011.
The focus of the three-day trip is on initiatives promoting girls’ education, women’s empowerment and the inclusion of people with disabilities.
On Sunday the couple traveled to the foothills of the High Atlas mountains to visit a project that provides free accommodation for girls to give them access to education.
Meghan received a henna tattoo during a traditional ceremony for pregnant women in the North African country.
The royals watched students playing a football match and spoke to teachers before returning to the capital to attend a reception at which they met several female entrepreneurs.
 


Renewed US-led airstrikes pound Daesh holdouts

Updated 23 March 2019
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Renewed US-led airstrikes pound Daesh holdouts

  • According to SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel, hundreds of Daesh fighters, including some women, still remain on the outskirts of the encampment
SOUSA, SYRIA: US-led warplanes bombed the north bank of the Euphrates River in eastern Syria on Friday to flush out holdout militants from the last sliver of their crumbling “caliphate.”
Friday’s bombardment ended two days of relative calm on the front line in the remote village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had paused its advance while it combed a makeshift militant encampment, which it overran on Tuesday.
An SDF official said warplanes of the US-led coalition resumed strikes on suspected militant positions before dawn on Friday.
Top SDF commander Jia Furat said his forces were engaging with the Daesh fighters on several fronts while the coalition warplanes provided air support.
The coalition said the “operation to complete the liberation of Baghouz is ongoing.”
“It remains a hard fight, and Daesh is showing that they intend to keep fighting for as long as possible,” it said. The SDF launched what it called its “final assault” against the rebels’ last redoubt in the village of Baghouz on Feb. 9.
Finally on Tuesday, they cornered diehard fighters into a few acres of farmland along the Euphrates River, after forcing them out of their rag-tag encampment of tents and battered vehicles.
The six-month-old operation to wipe out the last vestige of Daesh’s once-sprawling proto-state is close to reaching its inevitable outcome, but the SDF has said a declaration of victory will be made only after they have completed flushing out the last tunnels and hideouts.
According to SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel, hundreds of Daesh fighters, including some women, still remain on the outskirts of the encampment. They are hiding along the bank of the Euphrates River as well as at the base of a hill overlooking Baghouz, he told AFP.
“In around one or two days, we will conclude military operations if there are no surprise developments,” he said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Daesh holdouts were hiding in underground tunnels and caves in Baghouz.
SDF official Jiaker Amed said several militants want to surrender but are being prevented from doing so by other fighters.
“We are trying our best to wrap up the operation without fighting, but some of them are refusing to surrender,” he said.
More than 66,000 people, mostly civilians, have quit the last Daesh redoubt since Jan. 9, according to the SDF.
They comprise 5,000 militants and 24,000 of their relatives as well as 37,000 other civilians.
The thousands who have streamed out have been housed in cramped camps and prisons run by Kurdish forces further north.
On Wednesday night, around 2,000 women and children from Baghouz arrived at the largest camp, Al-Hol, which is struggling to cope with the influx of tens of thousands of people, many in poor health.
Since December, at least 138 people, mostly children, have died en route to Al-Hol or shortly after arrival, according to the International Rescue Committee.
Daesh declared a “caliphate” in June 2014 after seizing a vast swathe of territory larger than Britain straddling Iraq and Syria.
The loss of the Baghouz enclave would signal the demise of the “caliphate” in Syria, after its defeat in Iraq in 2017.
But Daesh has already begun its transformation into a guerilla organization, and still carries out deadly hit-and-run attacks from desert or mountain hideouts.
In a video released on Daesh’s social media channels on Thursday, militants vowed to continue to carry out attacks.
“To those who think our caliphate has ended, we say not only has it not ended, but it is here to stay,” said one fighter.
He urged Daesh supporters to conduct attacks in the West against the enemies of the “caliphate.”
The war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it erupted following the repression of anti-regime protests in 2011.