Eastern Libyan forces say they killed Daesh leader

Eastern Libyan forces say they killed Daesh leader
Eastern Libyan forces said on Wednesday they killed the leader of Daesh in North Africa during a raid in the southern desert city of Sebha earlier this month. (File/AFP)
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Updated 23 September 2020

Eastern Libyan forces say they killed Daesh leader

Eastern Libyan forces say they killed Daesh leader
  • Masmari said Abu Moaz Al-Iraqi had entered Libya in 2014 and became the group’s leader in 2015
  • LNA spokesman Ahmed Al-Masmari said Abu Moaz Al-Iraqi was among nine militants killed during the raid

BENGHAZI: Eastern Libyan forces said on Wednesday they killed the leader of Daesh in North Africa during a raid in the southern desert city of Sebha earlier this month.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed Al-Masmari said Abu Moaz Al-Iraqi was among nine militants killed during the raid but was only identified afterwards.
Daesh in Libya was formed by Al-Qaeda militants who took advantage of the chaos after the 2011 uprising against Muammar Qaddafi to seize territory and launch attacks.
The group took control of the central coastal city of Sirte in early 2015 and established a presence in the vast southern desert as well as active affiliates or cells in major cities.
However, it was driven from Sirte in late 2016 and its influence since then has been limited to occasional attacks including one on National Oil Corporation’s headquarters in 2018 and another at the Foreign Ministry in 2019, both in Tripoli.
Masmari said Abu Moaz Al-Iraqi, also known as Abu Abdullah Al-Iraqi, had entered Libya in 2014 and became the group’s leader in 2015 when his predecessor was killed.
Daesh’s global threat has reduced in recent years after its self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria was militarily defeated and much of its leadership killed. However, it remains capable of inspiring attacks around the world, security experts say.
The LNA controls eastern and much of southern Libya and has for years been in conflict with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.


Lebanon patriarch tells feuding president and PM-designate to reconcile

Lebanon patriarch tells feuding president and PM-designate to reconcile
Updated 38 min 54 sec ago

Lebanon patriarch tells feuding president and PM-designate to reconcile

Lebanon patriarch tells feuding president and PM-designate to reconcile
  • The country’s fractious politicians have been unable to agree on a new administration since the last one quit
  • Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said at his Sunday sermon that the situation in Lebanon was now “tragic”

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s top Christian cleric has urged President Michel Aoun to set up a reconciliation meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri to form a cabinet and end the country’s political deadlock.
The country’s fractious politicians have been unable to agree on a new administration since the last one quit in the aftermath of the Aug. 4 Beirut port explosion, leaving Lebanon rudderless as it sinks deeper into economic crisis.
Tensions between Aoun and Hariri, who publicly traded blame in December after failing to agree a cabinet, came to a head last week when a leaked video showed Aoun apparently calling Hariri a liar.
Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said at his Sunday sermon that the situation in Lebanon was now “tragic” and there was no excuse to further delay forming a government.
“We wish that his excellency the president take the initiative and invite the prime minister-designate to a meeting.”
Veteran Sunni politician Hariri was named premier for a fourth time in October, promising to form a cabinet of specialists to enact reforms necessary to unlock foreign aid, but political wrangling has delayed the process since.
The leaked video that circulated on social media last week showed Aoun talking to caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab about Hariri.
“There is no government formation, he (Hariri) is saying he gave me a paper, he is lying,” Aoun is heard saying.
Sources in the president’s office said the dialogue had been taken out of context and was not complete.
After the video circulated, Hariri tweeted biblical verses referring to wisdom not residing in bodies that were amenable to sin.
The souring of the relationship between Aoun and Hariri comes as the country continues to struggle with an acute financial crisis that has seen the currency sink by about 80%.
Lebanon’s health care system is also buckling under the pressure of a severe spike in COVID-19 infections. Medical supplies have dwindled as dollars have grown scarce.