Daesh loses final strongholds

Within the same day, Daesh (IS) has lost its final strongholds in Syria and Iraq. 

Early on Friday, the Syrian Army said it had recaptured Deir al-Zour and hours later Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said al-Qa’im right across the border had been liberated by government forces.

Iraqi forces said they have retaken the last border post-Daesh held between Iraq and Syria.

Soon after, the United States said it carried out its first airstrikes against so-called Islamic State militants in Somalia.

On Oct 17, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces captured the de facto capital of Daesh, Raqqa, in an offensive that started in early June.

Daesh was eradicated from the major stronghold of Mosul in Iraq in July after a nearly year-long offensive that started in October of last year by Kurdish Peshmerga, Iraqi military, and Shia militias.

Many observers have marked Friday as the day Daesh lost its ambitions of being a so-called territorial Islamic State, but the ideology remains prevalent and powerful.

This can be seen by “lone wolf” attacks carried out in western countries such as the recent truck ramming in the city of New York, with the key suspect claiming fealty to Daesh.

Daesh has crafted or inspired 143 terror incidents in 29 countries outside Iraq and Syria, killing over 2,043 individuals.

Daesh is also active in Somalia, Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan and Yemen with aspiring or approved branches in the Philippines, Egypt, Mali, Tunisia, the Caucasus, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

It is not clear yet whether Iraq and Syria-based fighters will be able to escape to one of the other areas in Africa or Asia, but over 50,000 fighters in the two countries have been killed since it took swathes of territory in 2014, according to US Special Operations Command.


More details to follow. Image 1 of Daesh (IS) fighters in Syria from Strategic Culture Foundation. 


Eli

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Daesh executed 741 during Mosul battle

Daesh (IS) killed at least 741 civilians while Iraqi and allied forces were fighting to take the militant stronghold of Mosul, according to the United Nations. 

So-called Islamic State murdered the 741 individuals in “execution-style” killings, said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

The UN mission in Iraq released a report on the liberation of Mosul that also said: “at least 2,521 civilians were killed during the military operation, mostly as a result of ISIL attacks.”

Some 1,673 civilians were also wounded during the offensive.

“The execution-style killing of civilians, the suffering inflicted on families, and the wanton destruction of property can never be tolerated in any armed conflict, and those responsible must answer for their heinous crimes,” said the UN human rights head, Mr. Al Hussein.

Mr. Al Hussein called for alleged violations carried out by Iraqi forces to be investigated by the UN.

The report says another 461 civilians died in United States-led coalition airstrikes and Iraqi military actions during the most intensive phase of the offensive that started on Feb  19 of this year.


More details to follow. Image 1 of a newly captured but devastated Mosul from the Washington Post. 


Eli