Dozens attend funeral of Daesh-slain priest in northeast Syria

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People attend the funeral of Father Joseph Hanna Ibrahim and his father at the Saint Joseph Church in the Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in the northeastern Hasakah province on November 12, 2019. (AFP)
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A priest leads prayers during the funeral of Father Joseph Hanna Ibrahim and his father at the Saint Joseph Church in the Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in the northeastern Hasakah province on November 12, 2019. (AFP)
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A priest leads prayers during the funeral of Father Joseph Hanna Ibrahim and his father at the Saint Joseph Church in the Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in the northeastern Hasakah province on November 12, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 November 2019

Dozens attend funeral of Daesh-slain priest in northeast Syria

  • Men, women dressed in black and children gathered to celebrate the lives of Joseph Hanna Ibrahim and his father in Qamishli
  • Ibrahim and his father were slain on Monday on the road to Deir Ezzor

QAMISHLI: Dozens of mourners filled a church Tuesday for the funeral of an Armenian Catholic priest and his father killed by the Daesh group in northeastern Syria.
Men, women dressed in black and children gathered to celebrate the lives of Joseph Hanna Ibrahim and his father in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli.
Clerics led prayers in Armenian and Aramaic before congregation members lined up to say their farewells by coffins decorated with flowers and lit candles.
Ibrahim and his father were slain on Monday on the road to the eastern province of Deir Ezzor where they were to inspect a church being restored, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Their killing came the same day as a triple bombing in a market and near a school in Qamishli killed six civilians, the Britain-based war monitor said.
The France-based association L’Oeuvre d’Orient said Ibrahim had worked on “reconstruction projects” as well as to support displaced people in eastern Syria.
Around a million Christians live in Syria, including in Qamishli where Kurdish forces and others loyal to the Syrian regime both ensure security.
Kurdish fighters led the US-backed battle against Daesh in Syria, expelling the Sunni extremists from the last scrap of their self-proclaimed “caliphate” in March.
But the militants have continued to claim deadly attacks in northeastern and eastern Syria.
Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
In the latest phase of the conflict, a Turkish-led cross-border operation in northeast Syria against Kurdish fighters expelled hundreds of thousands from their homes last month.
But a fragile Turkish-Russian cease-fire deal has more or less halted that offensive and seen Kurdish forces withdraw from areas along the Turkish border, except Qamishli.


Oman’s ruler back home after medical checkup in Belgium

Updated 13 December 2019

Oman’s ruler back home after medical checkup in Belgium

  • Sultan Qaboos has ruled Oman since he succeeded his father in 1970
  • The sultan has no known successor for his throne in Oman

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Oman’s 79-year-old ruler has returned to his sultanate after traveling to Belgium for a medical checkup, the sultanate’s state-run news agency reported Friday.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said left “for some medical checks that will take a limited period, God willing,” the Oman News Agency reported a week earlier, citing a royal court statement. A similar royal statement announced his return, without elaborating.

Bin Said has taken medical trips abroad in the past. The sultan has ruled Oman since he succeeded his father in 1970. He has no known successor for his throne in Oman, a country on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula that’s home to some 4.6 million people.