Austria to repatriate Daesh supporter’s children from Syria

A child walks in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the former Syrian capital of the Daesh group. (AFP)
Updated 27 August 2019

Austria to repatriate Daesh supporter’s children from Syria

  • The children are now in the crammed Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria
  • Another dozen children of alleged jihadist fighters have been repatriated from Iraq to Germany since March.

VIENNA: Austria is preparing to repatriate from Syria two young orphans of a female Daesh group supporter in the first such move for Vienna, a government spokesman said Monday.
The decision to hand over the boys aged one and three to their grandmother in Vienna was made after positive DNA results and a court granting her custody, according to foreign ministry spokesman Peter Guschelbauer.
“We have decided to bring back the two orphans, and preparations have started... It is the first repatriation of children from this region,” he told AFP, adding that the process could take several weeks.
The children are now in the crammed Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria. Their Austrian mother, who went to join Daesh in 2014 when she was 15 years old, is believed to have died.
Guschelbauer said at least three other children could be repatriated later.
Last week, Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria handed over to Germany four children from Daesh families, all of them under 10 years old.
Another dozen children of alleged jihadist fighters have been repatriated from Iraq to Germany since March.
France and Belgium have also brought a handful of orphans home, while the United States last year repatriated a woman with her four children.
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kosovo have repatriated dozens of women and children.
Daesh overran large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014 and proclaimed a “caliphate” there, but the jihadist group has since been ousted from those territories.


Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

HIGHLIGHT

Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 

 

Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.