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Iraqi lawmakers criticise Trump visit as blow to Iraqi sovereignty

Iraqi political and militia leaders condemned US President Donald Trump’s surprise visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, and lawmakers said a meeting between Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was canceled due to a disagreement over venue. Sabah al Saadi, the leader of the Islah parliamentary bloc, called for an emergency session of parliament “to discuss this blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his…

Terror charge dropped against man on trial over Paris attacks

PARIS: Prosecutors sought a four-year jail term on Tuesday for a man who hired out his apartment to two Islamic State militants after the 2015 Paris attacks, but they said there was insufficient evidence to convict him on terror charges. Jawad Bendaoud, who was nicknamed the "Daesh (Islamic State) landlord" in the French media, has been on trial since January 24 accused of harbouring the ringleader of the team of gunmen who killed 130 people in the French capital in November 2015. Bendaoud, a drug dealer, rented out…

Iran says three Revolutionary Guards dead, 16 Daesh suspects arrested

TEHRAN: Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards force said three of its soldiers were killed and 16 Daesh militants arrested in clashes Saturday in the south of the country. Its Sepahnews website, citing General Mohammad Pakpour — the head of the Guards' land forces — said, "16 members of the terrorist group were arrested and several of them killed", as well as three Guards in the clashes in Fars province. "The terrorists wanted to carry out attacks on border towns and in the centre of the country," he said. Sepahnews…

Defeated militarily in 2017, IS remains a global threat

PARIS: The year 2017 saw significant destruction to the Islamic State (IS), which lost almost all of its self-proclaimed "Caliphate" in Iraq and Syria, but experts warn the group is adapting and continues to be a threat. Within hours of the start of the year, an Uzbek who described himself as a "Caliphate Soldier" opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul in Turkey, murdering 39 New Year's Eve revellers. Through directly arming jihadists or by luring them with online propaganda, IS has committed or inspired dozens of…