A fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attends the funeral of one of their commanders, killed a day earlier in the town of Hajin during battles against the Islamic State (IS) group, in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishly in northeastern Syria, on October 29, 2018.   The Islamic State group ousted a US-backed coalition of Kurdish and Arab forces from its holdout in eastern Syria on October 28, killing dozens of fighters, a monitoring group said. / AFP / Delil SOULEIMAN
A fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attends the funeral of one of their commanders, killed a day earlier in the town of Hajin during battles against ISIS. AFP

ISIS attack kills 12 US-backed fighters in east Syria



ISIS killed 12 US-backed fighters in a surprise attack Sunday from the militants' holdout in eastern Syria on the Iraqi border.

Twelve fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were killed and 20 wounded in a suicide car bombing and subsequent clashes in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

An SDF spokesman, however, denied any members of his Kurdish-led alliance had been killed.

"There are counter-attacks every day and the clashes are ongoing, but the talk of martyrs among our ranks is not true," Mustefa Bali said.

According to Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman, Sunday's attack "started with a car bomb driven by a suicide attacker against an SDF position between Hajin and Al-Bahra."

The attack allowed ISIS to advance towards Al Bahra from its holdout around Hajin, and push back the first lines of defence of the SDF, which is backed by the US-led coalition, the Observatory said.

The offensive comes one day after US-led coalition airstrikes on ISIS positions in eastern Syria killed at least 14 civilians.

"Fourteen civilians, including five children under the age of 18, were killed in the coalition air raids on the villages of Hajin, Sousa and Al-Shaafa" in eastern Deir Ezzor province, the Observatory said.

At least 9 ISIS militants were killed in the raids, Mr Abdel Rahman said.

The coalition was not immediately available for comment.

The SDF, with the support of coalition air strikes, in September launched an offensive to wrest the Deir Ezzor pocket including Hajin from ISIS, making slow advances.

But the alliance suffered a major setback as they retreated last week from the entire pocket after ISIS suicide bombings and low visibility due to sand storms.

Last Wednesday, the SDF suspended its fight against the jihadists after Turkish forces fired on the group's positions in northern Syria.

The coalition estimates that 2,000 ISIS fighters remain in the Hajin pocket.

A total of more than 360,000 people have been killed since Syria's multi-front war erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests

UJDA CHAMAN

Produced: Panorama Studios International

Directed: Abhishek Pathak

Cast: Sunny Singh, Maanvi Gagroo, Grusha Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla

Rating: 3.5 /5 stars

Like a Fading Shadow

Antonio Muñoz Molina

Translated from the Spanish by Camilo A. Ramirez

Tuskar Rock Press (pp. 310)

Match info

Bournemouth 1 (King 45+1')
Arsenal 2 (Lerma 30' og, Aubameyang 67')

Man of the Match: Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal)

COMPANY PROFILE

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MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Six tips to secure your smart home

Most smart home devices are controlled via the owner's smartphone. Therefore, if you are using public wi-fi on your phone, always use a VPN (virtual private network) that offers strong security features and anonymises your internet connection.

Keep your smart home devices’ software up-to-date. Device makers often send regular updates - follow them without fail as they could provide protection from a new security risk.

Use two-factor authentication so that in addition to a password, your identity is authenticated by a second sign-in step like a code sent to your mobile number.

Set up a separate guest network for acquaintances and visitors to ensure the privacy of your IoT devices’ network.

Change the default privacy and security settings of your IoT devices to take extra steps to secure yourself and your home.

Always give your router a unique name, replacing the one generated by the manufacturer, to ensure a hacker cannot ascertain its make or model number.

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford