Daesh holdouts in Syria battle ‘gone by tonight:’ Trump

US President Donald Trump speaks after touring the Lima Army Tank Plant at Joint Systems Manufacturing in Lima, Ohio, March 20, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 20 March 2019

Daesh holdouts in Syria battle ‘gone by tonight:’ Trump

  • He showed off maps that illustrate the dramatic shrinking of territory held by the militant group

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the Daesh’s last bastion in Syria will be “gone” by the end of the day.
He showed off maps that illustrate the dramatic shrinking of territory held by the militant group in the period from his election in 2016 and now.
In one map shown by Trump to reporters in Washington and then again at a rally to factory workers in Lima, Ohio, Daesh territory marked in red extends over large areas. A second map, he said, shows the militant organization about to be wiped out.
“There is no red. In fact, there’s actually a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight,” he said.
Fighting continued in Baghouz, Syria, on Wednesday, but the Daesh militants are down to a tiny scrap of land, where they are surrounded and under heavy fire from a US-led coalition of Kurds, Syrians and others.


Israel ends ban on Palestinian farm exports, resolving trade spat

Updated 52 min 11 sec ago

Israel ends ban on Palestinian farm exports, resolving trade spat

  • The Palestinian Authority in September significantly reduced calf imports from Israel
  • Israel on February 2 cut Palestinian exports to the Jewish state

JERUSALEM: Israel has ended its ban on Palestinian agricultural exports after the Palestinian Authority lifted its curb on calf imports from Israeli livestock farmers, the defense ministry said Thursday, seemingly resolving a months-long trade dispute.
The Palestinian Authority had in September significantly reduced the number of calves imported from Israel, saying at the time it wanted to decrease dependence on Israeli producers.
After dialogue failed, Israel on February 2 cut Palestinian exports to the Jewish state.
The Palestinians retaliated by banning imports of Israeli produce, soft drinks and mineral water.

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Israel then extended its ban on Palestinian exports to the Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan, the only route through which Palestinian goods in the West Bank can reach foreign markets.
The trade war had threatened to escalate as tensions in the West Bank surged after US President Donald Trump unveiled a controversial peace plan.
But on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Bennett announced he had removed all of the restrictions imposed on Palestinian exports, “after the ban on the Israeli farmers was removed,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Palestinian agriculture ministry announced the immediate import of “livestock, including calves” as well as “all products and commercial goods from all countries of the world without obstacles.”
“This came after a series of direct and indirect discussions through international parties, which resulted in Israel retracting its illegal measures,” the ministry said in a statement late Wednesday.