Erbil: Nine Yazidis were rescued from Islamic State (ISIS) militants in the militants’ stronghold of Syria’s Raqqa, an official said on Sunday. The head of the Rescue Center for Yazidi Women in Duhok, Hussein Qaedi, told the Yazidis were rescued from the militants in Raqqa on Saturday evening. “Four of them are girls and women and the five others are children”, the Kurdish official added. The Yazidis were rescued by the center, he continued. They were settled in a safe area and they will be transferred to Duhok. According to the official, 2,959 Yazidis have been rescued from IS militants while nearly 3,000 others are still held by the group. Another eight Yazidis, including three children, were rescued from ISIS captivity in March.
Extensive excavations by Islamic State militants under Mosul’s ancient Mosque of Jonah show they took care to preserve artifacts for loot, a local archaeologist said on Thursday, in sharp contrast to their public desecration of antiquities.The militants seized the mosque when they stormed through northern Iraq three years ago but experts surveying the damage after it was recaptured in January by a U.S.-backed Iraqi campaign found a network of tunnels dug by the militants, leading down to a 7th century BC Assyrian palace.The careful way the tunnels were dug show the militants wanted to keep the treasures intact, said archaeologist Musab Mohammed Jassim: The digging “was carried out according to a plan and knowledge of the palace”, he said.
Scores of civilians fled western Mosul on Thursday while Iraqi forces fought Islamic State militants in the group’s stronghold uring bad weather in the early hours. Civilians from Maamoun district fleeing the fighting gathered at a petrol station at Hammam al-Alil junction. Men were separated and taken for a security screening while women and children sat together waiting to board buses which would take them to Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul. The residents will be housed in two camps, Hammam al-Alil camp and Jada camp set up by the Iraq government to serve as temporary shelter.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will receive a phone call from United States President Donald Trump on Thursday evening as per a request from the latter. This would be the first phone call Trump makes with Abadi since he assumed U.S. presidency on January 20th. Alsumaria News quoted “an informed political source” a saying that the call will tackle political and security developments in Iraq and the Middle East, but did not mention specifics, like the muslism ban. Trump has set the war against Islamic State militants as a top priority for his administration and during a precedent call on 18th january Trump pledged support for Iraq and invited the Iraqi premier to visit the United States.