BAGHOUZ: Kurdish-led forces pronounced the death of the Islamic State group’s nearly five-year-old “caliphate” Saturday after flushing out diehard militants from their very last bastion in eastern Syria.
Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces raised their yellow flag in Baghouz, the remote riverside village where diehard militants of a variety of nationalities made a desperate, dramatic last stand.
The SDF’s victory capped a six-month operation in which it took heavy casualties and will go down as a symbolic date in a war that changed the face of the region and spurred a spate of global terror attacks.
“Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100 percent territorial defeat of ISIS,” spokesman Mustefa Bali said in a statement, using another acronym for IS.
In Al-Omar, an oil field used as the main SDF staging base for the final phase of the assault, fighters in their best fatigues laid down their weapons and broke into song and dance.
The state proclaimed in mid-2014 by fugitive IS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi started collapsing in 2017 when parallel offensives in Iraq and Syria wrested back its main hubs Mosul and Raqa.
The nearly five years of fighting against the most brutal militant group in modern history left thousand-year-old cities in ruins and populations homeless.
Saudi Arabia to host G20 summit in 2020
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will be hosting the G20 summit next year, state news agency SPA said Wednesday.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host the 15th annual G20 Leaders’ Summit on Nov. 21 and 22, 2020 in the capital city, Riyadh,” it said.
It said next year’s summit will be the first to be hosted by an Arab country.
The summit’s agenda will include financial, economic and social issues including energy, the environment, climate, the digital economy, trade, agriculture, healthcare, education and labor.
The G20 consists of Germany, the U.S., Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, France, South Africa, South Korea, India, the U.K., Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the European Union.
Pakistan, KSA tied in religious historic bonds
ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser said here today Pakistan & Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were tied in strong religious, cultural and historic bonds.
“Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Pakistan are like two bodies and one soul. Our sorrow, happiness, and destination are the same. Both the countries are the symbol of peace, brotherhood, progress, and prosperity”, he said.
He expressed these views while talking to Imam-e- Kaaba Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani who called on him at Parliament house said a news release.
The speaker said every Muslim in Pakistan has great respect and affection to the custodian of the Al Harmain Al Shareefen.
The Speaker said the Muslim world was facing multiple challenges at present and Muslim countries have to create unity among their ranks and shun differences to overcome these challenges.
While appreciating the role of KSA to unite the Muslim Ummah, he said unity and close cooperation between Muslim countries was the need of the hour.
He said following the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) was the only solution of all socio-economic issues being faced by the world.
He added that Islam teaches peace and brotherhood and abhor all kinds and manifestation of terrorism and extremism. He said KSA and Pakistan could defeat the forces of extremism and terrorism by enhancing cooperation and collaboration at all forums.
He mentioned that the recent visit of the Crown Prince of KSA has strengthened the bilateral relations between both the nations.
The Speaker eulogized the efforts of Imam-e-Kaaba in spreading peace and great values of Islam all across the world. He also applauded the positive role of KSA in international affairs. He said KSA role in the world to resolve the conflict was exemplary.
Stressing the need for enhancing bilateral Parliamentary relations between both the nations, the Speaker said that Parliament of Pakistan was committed to strengthen the relationship between Pakistan and KSA.
Imam-e- Kaaba Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al-Juhani has said that success in this world and hereafter would be possible by following the teachings of Islam. He mentioned that deviation from the golden principles of Islam and differences in the ranks of Muslim Ummah were causes of the increasing terrorism, extremism and other challenges being faced by the Ummah. He said Pakistan always ranked high in the eyes of the government of KSA.
Imam-e-Kaaba also led the Zuhr prayer at Speaker House and prayed for the peace and progress of Ummah. The Minister for Foreign Affair Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony
Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Minister for Health Amir Kiyani, Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed, Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, and Parliamentarians were also present on the occasion.
6 Pakistanis died in fire in Al Ain, UAE: FO
ISLAMABAD: Fire broke out in the home of a Pakistani family residing in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) causing death of six Pakistanis, including four members of the same family while one Pakistani named Mohammad Raheem, aged 50, has sustained minor injuries.
The deceased included Muhammad Farouq, Omer Farouq, Khurram Farouq, Khayal Afzal, Eid Nawaz Khan, Ali Haider, a foreign office statement Monday said.
According to initial reports, the fire started in a small room, where several flammable items were stored, including a generator, gas pipes, air conditioners and wood.
Embassy of Pakistan in Abu Dhabi has been in constant contact with the survivors and relatives of the deceased, both in the UAE and Pakistan.
Officials also visited the accident site to extend necessary facilitation including for issuance of death certificates and emergency travel documents.
The mission is also in touch with Pakistan International Airlines officials for early repatriation of the human remains to Pakistan.