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Islamic State eliminated in 'apocalyptic wasteland'

Islamic State eliminated in 'apocalyptic wasteland'

World
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say they have "totally eliminated" Islamic State in Syria.The SDF made the announcement as it declared the battle against the insurgents in the final IS stronghold of Baghouz in the east of the country was over. Image: Syrian Democratic Forces have now raised their flag in Baghouz, eastern Syria It has been battling the last IS remnants in the border town near Iraq for weeks as the jihadists have been using civilians as human shields.The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have now claimed "all territory in Syria is now clear of IS fighters". Image: IS has now lost control of its final territory in Baghouz SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted: ...
Islamic State group: Civilians evacuated from last Syria enclave

Islamic State group: Civilians evacuated from last Syria enclave

World
Civilians have been evacuated from the last village in Syria still held by the Islamic State (IS) group.A convoy on Wednesday carried hundreds of men, women and children from Baghuz, near the Iraqi border.The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance have said they are waiting for their removal before launching an offensive against militants "entrenched inside".Those removed are being screened then taken to camps, the SDF say. An estimated 300 IS fighters are thought to be holed up inside a tiny pocket of land.How close is the capture?There have been conflicting reports on how close the SDF is to ridding the enclave of IS.The US-led coalition fighting IS has said the "most hardened" fighters remain within Baghuz.The SDF h...
Trump sees total rout of Islamic State group as imminent

Trump sees total rout of Islamic State group as imminent

World
US President Donald Trump has said territory held by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq could be "100%" liberated as early as next week."It should be announced, probably some time next week, that we will have 100% of the caliphate," he told a gathering of coalition partners.However, he also cautioned that he wanted to "wait for the official word".Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged the US would continue to fight IS, despite withdrawing troops from Syria. Trump rewrites US Syria policy After the caliphate: Has IS been defeated? Mr Trump shocked coalition allies in December when he declared that the group had been defeated, amid reports he wanted to pull out US soldiers within 30 days.But he later slowed the withdrawal af...
UK carries out cyber-attack on Islamic State

UK carries out cyber-attack on Islamic State

Technology
The UK has conducted a "major offensive cyber-campaign" against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ has revealed.The operation hindered the group's ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed their propaganda, former MI5 agent Jeremy Fleming said. It is the first time the UK has systematically degraded an adversary's online efforts in a military campaign.Mr Fleming made the remarks in his first public speech as GCHQ director."The outcomes of these operations are wide ranging," he told the Cyber UK conference in Manchester."In 2017 there were times when Daesh found it almost impossible to spread their hate online, to use their normal channels to spread their rhetoric, or trust their publications."Mr Fleming said the cyber-operations had disrupted the grou...
Mosul's morgue men endured worst of Islamic State butchery

Mosul's morgue men endured worst of Islamic State butchery

World
The young man ended up on the morgue's examining table in two parts. He had been seized for selling cigarettes, a crime usually punished by flogging by the Islamic State group extremists who had occupied Mosul. But while he was being whipped, he shouted a curse insulting religion. On the spot, they cut off his head for blasphemy. Sameh al-Azzawi, the 35-year-old medical assistant examining him, was sick of seeing Mosul's youth butchered for the slightest reason. The man was a newlywed. His family was waiting outside; it was one of the occasional times when the fanatics allowed the return of someone killed by the group. So al-Azzawi violated the rules: He picked out some thick thread and quickly sewed the man's head back on, then zipped him up in the body bag. He could sew a head back on a...