ISIS lose sym­bolic city in Syria

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Pope Fran­cis has canon­ised Ar­gentina’s “gau­cho pri­est”, be­stow­ing saint­hood on the pon­cho-wear­ing pas­tor who rode his mule Malacara to the far-flung Ar­gen­tine pe­riph­eries to min­is­ter to the poor. Born in 1849 in the prov­ince of Cor­doba, Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero was one of the most fa­mous Catholics in the Ar­gentina of Fran­cis’ youth. He died in 1914 af­ter liv­ing for years with le­prosy, which he was said to have con­tracted from one of his faith­ful. Fran­cis, the first Ar­gen­tine pope, moved Brochero closer to saint­hood soon af­ter be­ing elected pon­tiff. Brochero was be­at­i­fied in 2013, af­ter Pope Bene­dict XVI signed off on a mir­a­cle at­trib­uted to his in­ter­ces­sion. Fran­cis cleared him for saint­hood ear­lier this year and yes­ter­day canon­ised Brochero along with six oth­ers in one of the fi­nal big Masses of his Holy Year of Mercy. At the time of Brochero’s be­at­i­fi­ca­tion, Fran­cis wrote a let­ter to Ar­gentina’s bish­ops prais­ing Brochero for hav­ing had the “smell of his sheep”. That’s a phrase Fran­cis has fre­quently used to de­scribe his ideal pas­tor – one who ac­com­pa­nies his flock, walk­ing with them through life’s ups and downs. “He never stayed in the par­ish of­fice. He got on his mule and went out to find peo­ple like a pri­est of the street – to the point of get­ting le­prosy,” Fran­cis wrote. Among the par­al­lels shared by the two Ar­gen­tines is Brochero’s spir­i­tu­al­ity, which is deeply rooted in the Je­suit spir­i­tual ex­er­cises that are so dear to Fran­cis. Po­lice have res­cued a chicken wait­ing to cross a busy road. Mo­torists in Dundee in Scot­land took to Twit­ter to ex­press their con­cerns af­ter see­ing the an­i­mal wait­ing for its chance to dart across a busy road, ac­cord­ing to The Courier news­pa­per. It is usu­ally the mak­ing for a joke but this time it is not known why the chicken was try­ing to cross the road. One Twit­ter user said: “Weird start to my day when there’s a chicken next to me wait­ing to cross the road in Dundee.(sic).” Turk­ish-backed Syr­ian op­po­si­tion forces have cap­tured the sym­bol­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant town of Dabiq from ISIS, the fac­tions said yes­ter­day. A com­man­der of the Syr­ian op­po­si­tion Hamza Bri­gade said ISIS fight­ers put up “min­i­mal” re­sis­tance to de­fend the north­ern Syr­ian town be­fore with­draw­ing in the di­rec­tion of the much larger ISIS-held town of Al Bab to the south. Saif Abu Bakr said about 2,000 op­po­si­tion fight­ers pushed into Dabiq with tank and ar­tillery sup­port from the Turk­ish army. The com­man­der said the ex­trem­ists left the town heav­ily mined. Both Turk­ish and in­ter­na­tional coali­tion war­planes con­ducted airstrikes on Dabiq and nearby Ar­shak, the Turk­ish state-run Anadolu news agency re­ported. An­other de­scribed the scenes as “the fun­ni­est” they had ever seen. Scot­land po­lice con­firmed the res­cue and have since is­sued a state­ment, which read: “Of­fi­cers were in East Mar­ket­gait at 8.30am af­ter re­ports of a chicken try­ing to cross the road and giv­ing pass­ing mo­torists cause for con­cern. “The bird was traced safe and well and has been brought to our po­lice sta­tion. “The Scot­tish So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals (SSPCA) has been con­tacted and will be at­tend­ing to take care of the chicken un­til the owner is traced.” ISIS took con­trol of the town, which had a pre­war pop­u­la­tion of about 3,000 peo­ple, in Au­gust 2014. The group’s pro­pa­ganda had boasted of the fight for the north­ern Syr­ian town, cit­ing Is­lamic lore that it would be the scene of a ma­jor bat­tle be­tween cru­saders and army of the Mus­lim caliphate that would herald Dooms­day. The group’s English lan­guage mag­a­zine, Dabiq, is named af­ter the town, and in 2014 they said they had buried the Amer­i­can cap­tive Peter Ab­dul-Rah­man Kas­sig there. The Turk­ish mil­i­tary in­ter­vened in the Syr­ian war in Au­gust this year un­der or­ders from Ankara to clear the bor­der area from ISIS and from Syr­ian Kur­dish forces linked Turkey’s own out­lawed Kur­dish in­sur­gency. The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment de­scribes both groups as ter­ror­ists.

HON­OUR: Pope Fran­cis ar­riv­ing yes­ter­day

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