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. 


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ACLU requests to represent US citizen detained in Syria, reportedly fought with ISIS

The American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) has requested to represent a US citizen detained in Syria, who reportedly fought alongside the Islamic State. The citizen, whose identity is being withheld from the public, is being held without formal charges or access to an attorney.

Government attorneys filed a response to the ACLU, after they (ACLU) petitioned the US District Court in Washington DC, to challenge the man’s detention and seek legal counsel for him.

The man was captured by US-backed Kurdish forces in September, according to Steven Dalbey, director of the Defense Department’s Office of Detainee Policy. His captors turned him over to US special forces, on 12/September, who identified him as an enemy combatant and is currently detained in Iraq.


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Blast kills three in Kabul

A suicide bomber has detonated explosives inside Kabul’s diplomatic area close to the Ministry of Defense killing three in the Afghan capital.

At least three people were killed and 14 others wounded in the blast at the 14th St of Wazir Akbar Khan area, the Public Health Ministry’s spokesman Ismail Kawoosi told Al Jazeera news agency.

The explosion occurred outside the defense ministry building, but they were not the target and neither was the Australian embassy despite initial reports.


More details to follow. Image 1 via CNN


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