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Iraqi court sentences Azerbaijani woman to 15 years in jail over Daesh links

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows a view of the Central Criminal Court of Iraq in the capital Baghdad.

An Iraqi court has sentenced an Azerbaijani woman to 15 years in prison for her affiliation to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq, in a statement released on Thursday, announced that the Central Criminal Court had issued the verdict against the woman, whose identity was not immediately available.

The statement added that the female Azerbaijani national had illegally traveled with her child and friend to Iraq through Turkey and Syria, and then settled in a house given for free in the northwestern city of Tal Afar, located 63 kilometers west of Mosul – the former de facto capital of Daesh in Iraq.

The unnamed woman worked in a hospital in Tal Afar as a qualified midwife and a nurse, and apparently received a salary of seventy thousand Iraqi dinars ($58.8) per month. The sentence against her was passed in accordance with Article IV of Iraq’s Anti-Terrorism Law.

Back in April, 2018, the same court had sentenced three Azerbaijani women and a female Kyrgyz citizen to death over membership in Daesh.

The court also handed life sentences to two Russian nationals and one woman from France.

According to a report published by Iraq’s Arabic-language al-Mashriq newspaper, more than 1,500 women and children from the families of Daesh militants are currently being held in the Arab country, and the Baghdad government is coordinating with their respective countries to decide their fate.

Iraq declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017. On July 10 that year, former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul.

In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and voluntary Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.

Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.

The second-in-command of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah, said in a statement on July 20 that Iraqi military forces had launched the second phase of a major operation to hunt down Daesh remnants north of Baghdad and areas nearby.

The statement noted that the offensive aims to “to beef up security and stability in areas north of Baghdad and surrounding areas in the provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar.”

It said that units from the Baghdad Operations Command, command operations from Diyala, Samarra and Anbar, the Federal Police Command, rapid response teams, voluntary Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters and the special forces regiment of the Operations Department of the Chief of Staff of the Army as well as the Special Task Force of the Directorate of Military Intelligence were participating in the offensive.

Iraq's army and the voluntary forces began the first phase of the Will of Victory Operation early on July 7, the military said in a statement, adding that the operation would last several days and was aimed at securing the province of Anbar and the central and northern regions of Salahuddin and Nineveh.

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