KUWAIT CITY, Sept 22, (Agencies): Fifteen Kuwaitis are believed to have joined forces with DAESH or the so-called Islamic State terrorist organization which remains besieged in Idlib amid reports the ‘Battle for Idlib’ has been postponed after the international parties to the ‘conflict’ feared heavy casualties, reports Al-Jaridah daily quoting sources.
The daily said, it is believed the Kuwaitis had left Kuwait in 2014 and 2015 and joined the terrorist organization.
The sources added, the Kuwaiti authorities will follow the movements of these citizens immediately after they leave Syria, arrest them and bring them back to the country to serve the sentences.
The same sources said all of them have been sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in absentia for doing hostile action, joining a banned organization and training in the use of firearms.
Sources added dozens of Kuwaitis have left the country, and there is information some of them have died while fighting alongside the terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq.
However, the Kuwaiti security authorities have issued arrest warrants against them in the absence of official documents confirming their deaths. On the other hand, sources have revealed the cases of undisclosed ‘confiscated cash’ by passengers while leaving the Kuwaiti ports decreased this year until September 2018 to 800,000 dinars, compared to last year, which was 3 million dinars.
This was done after security coordination between the ports and the General Administration of Customs. The sources pointed 30 people from whom cash was confiscated were referred to the Public Prosecution on charges of violating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Law. Russia and Turkey have agreed on borders of a demilitarised zone in northern Syria, Russia’s top diplomat said Friday, part of a deal that could check an assault on the last rebel enclave in Idlib.
“Just yesterday or the day before, the militaries of Russia and Turkey agreed the concrete frontiers of the demilitarised zone,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak.
Moscow says the demilitarised zone would help stop attacks from Idlib on Syrian army positions and Russia’s military bases in the region. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed the establishment of the 15 to 20 kms (9.3-12 miles) buffer zone on Monday after talks that lasted more than four hours. Security in the zone, which includes parts of Idlib and neighbouring provinces including the city of Aleppo, will be overseen by Turkish contingents and Russian military police.
The agreement will prevent military action against the city of Idlib, Russia’s defence minister said. “It’s an intermediate step … but a necessary step,” Lavrov said of the zone. “By mid-October, all (fighters of the Al-Nusra Front) must leave this demilitarised zone, and all heavy military equipment must be pulled out of there,” he said.
Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, helping the Syrian government establish control over most of the country’s territory after intervening in the multifront conflict in 2015. Turkey, however, backs opposistion fighters seeking to oust the Syrian leader. It has said a large-scale offensive against the rebels could trigger a mass exodus towards its border.
Turkey has asked France to help “consolidate” the agreement within the UN Security Council, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the daily Le Monde in its edition to appear on Saturday. Le Drian said that international pressure and warnings of a looming humanitarian crisis in Idlib had proven effective in checking an all-out assault by the Syrian regime.
The Russian-Turkish accord could be validated by a resolution or declaration by the Security Council, which includes France among its permanent members, a French diplomatic source said, adding that talks in that direction were now underway in New York. Israel’s coordination with Russia on its attacks in Syria remains unchanged despite the deadly downing of a Russian plane, and the Jewish state retains its right to decide on military actions, an Israeli official said Friday.
Syrian air defences mistakenly shot down the military plane following an Israeli raid on Monday night, killing 15 Russians and fuelling speculation Moscow would seek to curb Israeli actions in Syria. Israel, which carries out regular strikes against pro-government forces in war-torn Syria, has a de-confliction agreement with key regime backer Russia to avoid clashes between their respective air forces. An Israeli military official, speaking to journalists on condition of anonymity, said Friday that the deal remained in place.