Le­banon army raids Syr­ian camps af­ter blasts

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

IEDs which are par­tic­u­larly nasty to try to clear,” said Pen­tagon spokesman Cap­tain Jeff Davis.

Carter added it was im­por­tant the Iraqi gov­ern­ment in­ves­ti­gates al­leged hu­man rights abuses car­ried out by security forces against some civil­ians as they tried to flee the city.

The US-led anti-ISIS coali­tion’s fo­cus now shifts north, where the ul­ti­mate goal is to re­cap­ture Mo­sul, the ex­trem­ists’ main Iraq strong­hold.

The coali­tion is help­ing Iraqi troops move north from Baiji to­wards the town of Qay­yarah, which lies around 35 miles (60 kilo­me­ters) south of Mo­sul on the banks of the Ti­gris river.

Abadi had al­ready de­clared vic­tory in Fal­lu­jah on June 17 af­ter ISIS de­fenses col­lapsed, with Iraqi forces fac­ing only limited re­sis­tance in sub­se­quent clear­ing op­er­a­tions.

The fight­ing to get into Fal­lu­jah was ini­tially fierce, par­tic­u­larly on the south­ern side, and Iraqi forces were sup­ported by more than 100 US-led coali­tion air strikes.

“To some ex­tent once (Iraqi troops) got through the hard candy shell and into the chewy cen­ter, things went much more quickly,” Davis said.

“It was re­ally a heavy fight along the front­line but once they pen­e­trated in it seemed to go very quickly.” Davis said the re­cap­ture of Fal­lu­jah would “sig­nif­i­cantly” help the security sit­u­a­tion in Bagh­dad, where ISIS fight­ers thought to have come from Fal­lu­jah have car­ried out a string of bomb at­tacks in re­cent weeks.

“The loss of Fal­lu­jah will fur­ther deny ISIS ac­cess to a prov­ince that is crit­i­cally im­por­tant to its over­all goals,” he said.—Agen­cies BEIRUT—Le­banese troops raided makeshift refugee camps near a pre­dom­i­nantly Chris­tian vil­lage on the bor­der with Syria on Tues­day a day af­ter two waves of suicide at­tacks.

“We are wor­ried that there are more ter­ror­ists, so the Le­banese army is search­ing the area,” said Bashir Matar, mayor of Al-Qaa, which lies in a hilly bor­der area shaken by vi­o­lence since the civil war erupted in Syria in 2011.

Eight suicide bombs rocked the Chris­tian Le­banese bor­der town on Mon­day, killing five peo­ple and in­jur­ing more.

The wave of at­tacks came as the lat­est in re­cent vi­o­lent spillovers from the five-year old Syr­ian civil war rag­ing on the other side of the bor­der.

Al­though no of­fi­cial claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity has been taken, Le­banese security forces be­lieve it was the work of IS.

Backup and ex­tra security was pro­vided by the army overnight, in an ef­fort to pre­vent any more at­tacks on the town.

The bomb­ings oc­curred in two waves, one oc­cur­ring 18 hours af­ter the other. The first killing five and wound­ing 19, while the other wound­ing dozens.—Agen­cies

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