Five alleged members of the militant group Islamic State were referred to the Criminal Court by the prosecution on Friday, state-owned media reported. Arrested members, was planning a trip to Libya to train themselves before to come back in Egypt to carry out terrorists attacks. In a recent development, the leader (emir) of the Islamic State’s branch in Egypt warned Muslims to stay away from Christian gatherings, as well as military, security, and governmental facilities, which are “legitimate targets for the organisation”. Although the declaration of the state of emergency and the Egyptian government’s pledge to end militancy, the activities of the Islamic State have started to turn its sights on targets outside its base in Sinai to reach Cairo and the Delta.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia and Turkey on Thursday examined details of a new document on ‘reduced-conflict districts in Syria’. Delegations from Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Astana on Thursday to study the document. Iranian delegation led by Hossein Jaberi Ansari met delegations from Russia and Turkey in Astana to exchange views on the latest developments in Syria. During the four-hour meeting, the participants examined details of the new document focusing on “reduced-conflict districts in Syria’. These delegations will also study the plan for the last public meeting in Astana. According to the declared timetable, the public meeting on Syrian developments is to be held this afternoon. According to the released information, these four districts have been identified as Idlib, North of Homs, Eastern Ghouta and south of Syria. The fourth Astana talks on Syria hosting Iran, Russia and Turkey kicked off in Astana on Wednesday.
Islamic State could be imposing its rules over North Sinai Provicne, according to Reuters. Indeed, Interviews with residents of North Sinai and reviews of Islamic State videos suggest the group’s local affiliate, known as Sinai Province, is seeking to impose its hardline interpretation of Islam on the local populace for the first time. According to Sinai Province videos reviewed by Reuters, the group has created a morality police force, known as a Hisba, to enforce strict rules against such behaviour as smoking, men shaving their beards or women exposing their faces. And, even if the Cairo policy toward islamic groups is cleared, the eradication of these groups, we can still deplored terrorist attacks, and peoples killed or injured by IS in North Sinai Province. According to the report, IS try to keep an influence on the area, in despite of controlling a geographic area.
Iraqi Shiite paramilitary units captured the northern province of Hatra, cutting off several desert tracks used by Islamic State to move between Iraq and Syria, the military. The operations in Hatra are carried out by Popular Mobilisation, a coalition of mostly Iranian-trained militias of Shi’ite volunteers formed in 2014 after Islamic State, a hardline Sunni group, overran a third of Iraq. The militias on Wednesday dislodged Islamic State from the ancient ruins of Hatra, which suffered great destruction under the militants’ three-year rule, a military spokesman said. Hatra, a city that flourished in the first century AD, lies 125 km (80 miles) south of Mosul, where the militants have been fighting off a U.S.-backed offensive since October. Hatra is also located west of Hawija, a region north of Baghdad still under Islamic State control. Popular Mobilisation, which operates with the approval of Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government, said the Hatra campaign aims at cutting off Islamic State’s routes between Hawija, Mosul and eastern Syria.
Addressing a gathering of the Iranian people, government officials, and ambassadors from Islamic countries, held in Tehran on Tuesday, President Rouhani pointed to the 12th presidential election and the 5th City and Village Councils elections slated for next month and said the country’s “great nation” is resolved to create “a new epic” in the polls. He made the remarks in a meeting attended by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on the occasion of Eid al-Mab’ath, the anniversary of the day Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was chosen as God’s messenger. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is proud that all high-ranking officials have reached their legitimate power directly or indirectly by the people’s votes”, the president said. He further described “Islamic democracy” as one of the holy gifts given to Muslims on the day of Mab’ath. The presidential vote and the City and Village Councils elections are slated to be held in Iran on May 19. President Rouhani is running for a second term in office. The Interior Ministry released his name on the final list of candidates, who were approved by the Guardian Council (GC) to run in the presidential election.
Insecurity in North Sinai, even if Cairo’s government has declared the state of emergency after Palm’s attacks, threats continue. An Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber attacked a tribal checkpoint in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday, killing four members of a powerful local tribe and wounding others, Egyptian security officials said. This new attack against local tribes follows recent clashes which took place in the area last week, with conflict opposing Bedouin tribes and IS.
The number of displaced Iraqi families from Nineveh sheltered at refugee camps across Mosul has surpassed 55.000, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Minister Jassem al-Jaff said Wednesday that 55.190 families (291.042 refugees) are currently sheltered at refugee camps across Mosul, where a U.S.-backed security campaign has approached a seventh month to eliminate Islamic State militants from the city. According to the minister, 120.000 refugees have so far returned to their homes in eastern and southern Nineveh. Last week, the ministry said refugees from Nineveh, Kirkuk’s town of Hawija and Salahuddin’s town of Shirqat reached 526.281 since operations were launched to clear Nineveh from IS militants in October 2016. Those include 467.210 refugees from Nineveh, 41.774 from Hawija, Kirkuk, and 17.297 from Shirqat, Salahuddin, according to the statement. “We could be facing a humanitarian catastrophe, perhaps the worst in the entire conflict”, United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande told Reuters in a telephone interview on Tuesday, commenting on the situation in Mosul.
Ministry of Defense’s Falcon Intelligence Cell revealed, on Monday, that the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is still alive and staying in Syria, while warned of the “political terrorism” after the liberation of Mosul. Head of the Falcon Intelligence Cell said in a press statement that the criminal al-Baghdadi is still alive and moving freely on the Syrian borders to Iraq. He also warned of the Islamic State danger on the country, calling it the phase of political terrorism after the liberation of Mosul, while pointed out that the terrorist group is planning to extend its strategy to some politicians, who are taking advantage of the invasion of the Northern provinces.
U.S.-backed forces fighting Islamic State in Syria launched a new phase of their offensive on Thursday, a statement said, but they have not yet begun to attack the militant group’s stronghold of Raqqa city in an apparent delay in the operation. But the fourth phase of the campaign aims to clear Islamic State pockets from the countryside north of the city, the SDF statement said. It did not say when the assault on Raqqa itself would begin. “We aim to liberate dozens of villages in the Wadi Jallab area and the northern countryside and clear the last obstacles in front of us to pave the way for the operation to liberate Raqqa city”, it added.
The Iraqi Prime Minister Hider al-Abadi said in his weekly press conference that the referendum cannot be held in Kirkuk, as the Islamic State terrorist group still occupy areas in the province and as thousands of civilians from the province are displaced. Al-Abadi called for dialogue and cooperation in order to resolve the disputed area issue. Adding that “Baghdad stands on an equal distance from all components of Kirkuk as part and parcel of the country”. Earlier this month, the provincial council of Kirkuk voted for a referendum on the province’s secession from Iraq and joining Kurdistan Region, the vote came after the council decided to raise Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk and its governmental buildings. Joint delegation from the two leading Kurdish parties of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party had visited the capital Baghdad to discuss holding a referendum as well for addressing the disputed areas issue.