US-backed Syrian force resumes ground assault on Daesh

Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), visit a cemetary during the funeral of a fellow fighter, killed in an offensive by the Islamic State (IS) group against an SDF position, in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishly in northeastern Syria, on November 11, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 11 November 2018

US-backed Syrian force resumes ground assault on Daesh

  • The Kurdish-led SDF said its operations in the Deir Ezzor area had restarted
  • Turkey views Kurdish influence in northern Syria as a national security threat

AMMAN: The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said on Sunday it had resumed a ground assault against Daesh in its last foothold near the Iraqi border, following the suspension of the offensive last month after Turkish shelling of northern Syria.
The Kurdish-led SDF said its operations in the Deir Ezzor area had restarted as the result of “intensive contacts between our forces’ leadership and the international coalition and active diplomatic efforts aimed at defusing the crisis on the (Turkish-Syrian) border.”
In a statement, the SDF said it was committed to continuing operations “to eliminate (Daesh).”
The US-led coalition kept up air strikes in the Deir Ezzor area despite the pause in SDF operations.
Turkey views Kurdish influence in northern Syria as a national security threat. The SDF is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara views as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey.


Algeria president to return ‘within days’ from German hospital

Updated 35 min 9 sec ago

Algeria president to return ‘within days’ from German hospital

  • The presidency said Tebboune had left the hospital and was having a ‘period of convalescence’ as recommended by his medical team
  • Tebboune, who is 75 and a heavy smoker, was admitted to hospital in Germany on October 28 to undergo ‘in-depth medical examinations’

ALGIERS: Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is to return home within days after a month of hospitalization in Germany with coronavirus, his office said Monday.
“The president of the republic assures the Algerian people about his health, that he is on the way to recovery and will be returning home in the coming days,” it said in a statement.
The presidency said Tebboune had left the hospital and was having a “period of convalescence” as recommended by his medical team. It gave no other details.
Tebboune, who is 75 and a heavy smoker, was admitted to hospital in Germany on October 28 to undergo “in-depth medical examinations,” according to the presidency.
He was transferred from a facility in the Algerian capital days after going into self-isolation following reports of novel coronavirus cases among his aides.
A day before he was transferred abroad, the presidency said Tebboune’s “state of health does not raise any concern” but a week later it announced he had contracted Covid-19.
While he was still in hospital in Germany, his office also said the president had finished his treatment and was undergoing “post-protocol medical tests.”
But updates on his medical condition have been irregular and his lengthy absence fueled speculation and fears of a political vacuum.
Monday’s statement was the first released by his office since mid-November.