Three French Daesh members sentenced to death in Iraq

Iraqi soldiers stand guard near the Iraqi city of Qaim at the Iraqi-Syrian border. (File/AFP)
Updated 27 May 2019
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Three French Daesh members sentenced to death in Iraq

  • Iraq has taken custody of thousands of extremists repatriated in recent months from neighbouring Syria, where they were caught by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Those sentenced on Sunday were among 12 French citizens who were caught in Syria and transferred to Iraqi custody in February

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court on Sunday sentenced three French citizens to death after they were found guilty of joining Daesh, a court official said.
Captured in Syria by a US-backed force fighting the extremists, Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou are the first French Daesh members to receive death sentences in Iraq, where they were transferred for trial. They have 30 days to appeal. 

Iraq has taken custody of thousands of extremists repatriated in recent months from neighbouring Syria, where they were caught by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces during the battle to destroy Daesh's "caliphate".
Iraqi courts have placed on trial hundreds of foreigners, condemning many to life in prison and others to death, although no foreign Daesh members have yet been executed.
Those sentenced on Sunday were among 12 French citizens who were caught in Syria and transferred to Iraqi custody in February.
Rights groups including Human Rights Watch have criticised Iraq's anti-terror trials, which they say often rely on circumstantial evidence or confessions obtained under torture.
Analysts have also warned that prisons in Iraq have in the past acted as "academies" for future extremists, including Daesh supremo Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

 


Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

Updated 55 min 38 sec ago

Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

  • Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities

JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia prepared to celebrate its National Day with entertainment events, firework displays and cultural events, Iran staged a military parade in Tehran on Sunday with tanks, missiles and armored vehicles.

President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian military leaders saluted as ranks of soldiers marched past them in tight unison, followed by an array of military hardware.

Among the weapons on display in the parade, held to mark the anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, was an upgraded warhead for the Khorramshahr ballistic missile, said to have a range of 2,000km, and the Kaman 12 drone with a range of 1,000km. Speedboats and warships were shown in video footage on state TV.

Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities in the east of the Kingdom. After the attack the Pentagon ordered US troops to reinforce Saudi air and missile defenses.

In a speech at Monday’s parade, Rouhani denounced the US presence. “Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region,” he said.

“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race.

“Their presence has always brought pain and misery ... the farther they keep themselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be.”

The US aims to avoid war with Iran and the additional troops are for “deterrence and defense,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

“If that deterrence should continue to fail, I am also confident that President Trump would continue to take the actions that are necessary,” he said.