Syria Kurdish-led force launches new anti-Daesh campaign

A Syrian Democratic Forces stands fighter next to the SDF’s unfurled flag while on watch duty in the in the desert hamlet of Baghouz near the Iraqi border on March 24, 2019, a day after Daesh was declared defeated. (AFP)
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Updated 05 June 2020

Syria Kurdish-led force launches new anti-Daesh campaign

  • Operations will focus on the vast east Syria desert near the border with Iraq

BEIRUT: US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria announced Friday a fresh campaign to hunt down remnants of the Daesh group near the Iraqi border following a recent uptick in attacks.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led paramilitary alliance that has spearheaded the ground fight against Daesh in Syria since 2015, said that the new campaign is being carried out in coordination with the Iraqi army and the US-led coalition.
“This campaign will target ISIS’s hideouts and hotbeds,” it said, using a different acronym for the militant group.
It said operations will focus on the vast east Syria desert near the border with Iraq where Daesh has conducted a spate of attacks in recent months.
Since the loss of its last territory in Syria in March 2019, Daesh attacks have been restricted to the vast desert that stretches from the heavily populated Orontes valley in the west all the way to Iraqi border.
It regularly targets SDF forces and has vowed to seek revenge for the defeat of its so-called “caliphate”.
The SDF, with backing from its coalition allies, launched a campaign to hunt down sleeper cells after it forced Daesh militants out of their last Syrian redoubt in the desert hamlet of Baghouz in March 2019.
A raid in October by US special forces killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant group which once controlled large swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.
Last month, the United Nations accused the Daesh group and others in Syria of exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to step up violence on civilians, describing the situation as a “ticking time-bomb”.
Across the border in Iraq, Daesh has exploited a coronavirus lockdown, coalition troop withdrawals and simmering political disputes to ramp up attacks.
Iraq declared Daesh defeated in late 2017 but sleeper cells have survived in remote northern and western areas, where security gaps mean the group wages occasional attacks.
They have spiked since early April as militants plant explosives, shoot up police patrols and launch mortar and rocket fire at villages.


Kuwait shuts down dozens of shops for violating coronavirus precautionary

Updated 46 min 56 sec ago

Kuwait shuts down dozens of shops for violating coronavirus precautionary

  • About 1,142 warnings were issued during inspections of 1,197 shops
  • A total of 206 fines were issued for violations at shops where people failed to wear face masks and safety gloves

DUBAI: Kuwait’s Municipality has shut down 46 shops during the Eid Al-Adha holiday for violating the precautionary health instructions released by authorities, state news agency KUNA reported.
About 1,142 warnings were issued during inspections of 1,197 shops, the municipality said in a statement.
A total of 206 fines were issued for violations at shops where people failed to wear face masks and safety gloves to prevent the spread of coronavirus, it added.
Inspection visits also found 73 illegal livestock outlets and imposed 42 fines against illegal street vendors. Seven unlicensed butchers were also referred to authorities.