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TERROR WARS
Germany redeploys anti-IS surveillance jets to Jordan
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Oct 4, 2017


Ex-Qaeda group denies leader injured in Russia strike
Beirut (AFP) Oct 4, 2017 - Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate denied a claim from Moscow on Wednesday that its top leader had been seriously injured in a Russian air strike last month.

"Hayat Tahrir al-Sham denies what was circulated in the media about the injury of Sheikh Abu Mohamed al-Jolani and confirms that the sheikh is in good health and is carrying out fully all the duties entrusted to him," the group said in a statement posted on Telegram.

The statement came hours after Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Jolani had "received multiple serious shrapnel wounds, lost an arm and is in a critical condition".

Germany on Wednesday moved four Tornado jets flying surveillance missions against the Islamic State group to Jordan after withdrawing them from Turkey amid a bilateral dispute, the defence ministry said.

Berlin decided in June to pull out the contingent after Ankara repeatedly denied German lawmakers the right to visit about 250 German troops then stationed at Turkey's Incirlik NATO base near Syria.

As part of the move to Jordan, Germany reduced the Tornado fleet that takes high-resolution images of potential IS targets from six aircrafts to four, citing the jihadist group's reduced strength.

"In a few days the surveillance jets will resume their missions for the coalition partners in the fight against the Islamic State," a German defence official said.

Long tense German-Turkish ties plunged to a new low after last year's failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the subsequent crackdown on alleged plotters and state enemies.

Turkey had previously denied German lawmakers the base visits because of anger over Germany's parliament labelling the Ottomans' World War I-era massacre of Armenians a "genocide" in June 2016.

Germany joined more than 20 other countries in doing so.

Armenians say that 1.5 million of their people were killed by Ottoman forces from 1915 in the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkey vehemently rejects any use of the word genocide, saying that up to 500,000 Armenians died when they rose up and sided with invading Russian troops in World War I.

TERROR WARS
Fleeing offensives, where are the IS jihadists going?
Beirut (AFP) Oct 3, 2017
The Islamic State group is under attack across the remaining parts of its self-proclaimed caliphate, but what happens to its thousands of fighters as their group loses grip on territory? Facing multiple offensives, the jihadist group has lost the Libyan city of Sirte, Iraq's Mosul and Ramadi, and is now on the verge of being ousted from its former Syrian stronghold Raqa. At its peak IS c ... read more

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