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IRAQ WARS
Iraq holds 1,300 IS women, children: security official
by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Sept 11, 2017


Iraq condemns to death Russian jihadist captured in Mosul
Baghdad (AFP) Sept 12, 2017 - An Iraqi court said on Tuesday it had sentenced to death a Russian captured in Mosul after finding him guilty of fighting for the Islamic State jihadist group.

The Central Criminal Court said that the man, whom it did not name, had admitted to carrying out attacks against the security forces since 2015.

He belonged to IS's Zarqawi Brigade, named after Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, who led Iraq's main jihadist organisation until his death in a US air strike in 2006, the court's spokesman, judge Abdel Settar Bayraqdar, said.

Iraqi forces detained hundreds of suspected jihadists during the nine-month operation to recapture the country's second city, which culminated in July. Many more were killed.

They included foreign fighters from a string of Arab and other countries, including Russia, which has faced insurgencies by Chechens and other Muslim groups in the North Caucasus.

Iraq has in its custody more than 1,300 women and children from Islamic State group families who surrendered to Kurdish peshmerga forces, an official said Monday.

"The peshmerga handed over 1,333 women and children from jihadist families from the Islamic State group," said the senior official in the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC).

Iraqi forces in late August ousted IS from the jihadists' one-time stronghold of Tal Afar, near Iraqi Kurdistan, after facing fierce resistance in the town of Al-Ayadieh.

The women and children "surrendered to Kurdish forces" deployed north of Al-Ayadieh, said the official, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We settled them in a camp for the displaced near Mosul," 70 kilometres (43 miles) east of Tal Afar, he said, adding the women and children were of "14 different nationalities".

During the battle for Tal Afar, images circulated on social media showing armed men in peshmerga uniforms among jihadists who were standing in line or sitting on the ground.

Witnesses said dozens of jihadists surrendered to the peshmerga after helping their families flee east and to Mosul. They had sought to blend in with other displaced people fleeing Tal Afar.

Peshmerga commanders have declined to comment on the reports.

However, in a statement published on the website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) party of Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani, one said "many jihadists are trying to sneak out among the displaced".

IRAQ WARS
Slow recovery for Iraq's Mosul after IS ouster
Mosul, Iraq (AFP) Sept 9, 2017
Two months since Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul from Islamic State group fighters, Mohammed Seddiq's bullet-riddled car is still off the road and his fruit and vegetable shop has yet to reopen. Much of Iraq's second city lies in ruins and many businesses are still at a standstill, even those that produced the famous muslin cotton fabric for which Mosul was renowned before the jihadists seized ... read more

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