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Islamic State group

US starts Iraq drawdown after declaration of victory over IS


American troops have started to draw down from Iraq following Baghdad’s declaration of victory over the Islamic State group last year, according to Western contractors at a U.S.-led coalition base in Iraq. In Baghdad, an Iraqi government spokesman on Monday confirmed to The Associated Press that the drawdown has begun, though he stressed it was still in its early stages and doesn’t mark the beginning of a complete pullout of U.S. forces. Dozens of American soldiers have been transported from Iraq to Afghanistan on daily flights over the past week, along with weapons and equipment, the contractors said.

Three French jihadists detained in Iraq face death penalty


Captured in July after the fall of Mosul, the three women are awaiting trial. On Sunday, a German jihadist was sentenced to death in Iraq. Three French women are being held in Iraq for joining the Islamic State group. They are currently awaiting trial, in a country where they risk the death penalty. The first, aged 28 from the Lille region, left in the Syrian-Iraqi zone in 2015 with her husband, who was reportedly killed. The second woman, Melina, 27, from Seine-et-Marne left France in 2015. “We do not know what exactly he is accused of, what are his conditions of detention and if he has the means to defend himself”, said his lawyer Martin Pradel. “We expect from France, if Melina was to be sentenced to death, the same intensity of mobilization that it has deployed or deploys for other French sentenced to death, including Serge Atlaoui”, said his lawyers William Bourdon and Vincent Brengarth. The French authorities have made intensive diplomatic efforts to prevent the execution of Serge Atlaoui, who was sentenced to death in Indonesia where he is accused of drug trafficking.

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