‘Brotherhood is aiming for chaos’
Iraqi forces fought their way into two villages near Mosul yesterday as the offensive to retake the extremistheld city entered its second week. Iraqi special forces began shelling ISIS positions before dawn near Bartella, a historically Christian town to the east of Mosul that they had retaken last week. Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, called for an investigation into last week’s purported airstrike in northern Iraq that struck the women’s section of a Shia mosque in the town of Daquq. The strike happened amid a large ISIS assault on the nearby city of Kirkuk that was meant to distract the Iraqi forces and their allies from the massive operation around Mosul, the country’s second largest city. Human Rights Watch said Daquq’s residents believe Friday’s attack was an airstrike because of the extent of the destruction and because planes could be heard flying overhead. It said at least 13 people were reported killed. Egypt’s interior minister warned in comments published yesterday that the country faced “unprecedented challenges” that required a “decisive” response by security forces, accusing the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood of scheming to incite chaos. The minister’s comments came in an Interior Ministry statement published in state-owned newspapers. Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar, who is in charge of the police, said the Brotherhood was seeking through “conspiratorial schemes to incite chaos and confusion with the aim of creating scepticism over the ability of the state and its institutions to satisfy popular expectations”.