THU 21 - 2 - 2019
 
Date: Feb 14, 2018
Source: The Daily Star
Idlib Daesh-free after surrender: Observatory, rebel spokesman
Agence France Presse
BEIRUT/KUWAIT CITY: Daesh (ISIS) has been ousted from northwestern Syria’s Idlib province after a final group of the militants surrendered to hard-line rebels Tuesday, both a spokesman and an activist group said. Separately, French President Emmanuel Macron Tuesday said that “France will strike” if chemical weapons are used against civilians in the Syrian conflict but that he had not yet seen any evidence that this was the case.

In Idlib, meanwhile, some 400 people including Daesh fighters, relatives and wounded, gave themselves up to an alliance of rebel groups Tuesday, said a spokesman for the Jaish al-Nasr faction that took part in the operation.

“We hit them with artillery in the town of Al-Khowein until they agreed to surrender,” Abu al-Majd al-Homsi said. Homsi said the fighters would be interrogated to find out whether they had planted sleeper cells in the area, and would be put on trial in “special courts.”

Daesh once held swaths of northern and central Syria including parts of Hama, Homs and Aleppo provinces and much of Raqqa, including its provincial capital.

After a string of major defeats last year, hundreds of Daesh fighters fled to a pocket of territory at the intersection of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

They have now been fully ousted from all three, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group.

Syrian government troops pushed them out of Hama and into Idlib province last week, Observatory head Rami Abdel-Rahman said.

“Around 250 militants with their families, or 400 people in total, were besieged in Al-Khowein,” Abdel-Rahman said.

“Now, Idlib, Hama and Aleppo are completely clear of [Daesh].”

Daesh militants are still present in smaller numbers in the provinces of Homs, Deir al-Zor, Hassakeh, as well as around Damascus and in Syria’s south.

The Islamist and rebel fighters are now facing a ferocious government assault aimed at retaking key territory there.

Meanwhile, at the Elysee Palace Macron told reporters that he set a red line on chemical weapons and that Paris will attack Syrian regime targets if the line is crossed.

“We will strike the place where these launches are made or where they are organized,” he said.

“But today our services have not established proof that proscribed chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations,” he added. 


 
Readers Comments (0)
Add your comment

Enter the security code below*

 Can't read this? Try Another.
 
Related News
Airstrikes hit Daesh pocket as Syrian fighters press the attack
Assad adviser rejects idea of granting Syrian Kurds autonomy
Russia's Putin, Israel's Netanyahu to discuss Syria in Moscow
Factbox: Europeans who joined Islamic State
Pressure builds to get civilians out of last IS-held enclave
Related Articles
How U.S. stays in and leaves Syria simultaneously
Trump says Isis has been defeated, but he is ignoring the bigger and much more worrying picture
Measuring victory over Islamic State
The Middle East Doesn’t Admire America Anymore
A Deadly Welcome Awaits Syria’s Returning Refugees
Copyright 2019 . All rights reserved