How to do it: Hold your arm out, finger extended. Close your eyes and try to touch your nose with your finger. Then do it again with the other hand. You should be able to do this smoothly and accurately. Next, lie down and run the heel of one foot up and down the shin of the opposite extended leg.
What it means: These are two components of basic neurological testing, which evaluates coordination and fine motor movement indicative of the health of the cerebellum, the part of the brain that governs motor movement, coordination, balance, and muscle tone. Failure to do the nose and heel tests accurately can be one sign of a neurodegenerative disease such as multiple sclerosis or a brain tumor or lesion.
What to do if you fail: Try these tests several times before you conclude something's wrong, as many factors -- such as having had a glass of wine -- can affect it. If you regularly fail to get your finger anywhere near your nose, alert your doctor.
This is why the Talibunnies can't have nice things
Sure they can...briefly.
At least one person was killed and four others were wounded in an explosion in Farah province located in western part of Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the incident took place in Bala Bolok district in Mullah Khaliq’s residence.
According to a statement by MoD, the militants were busy making an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) when the explosives went off prematurely.
No further details were given regarding the incident and it is yet not clear if the Taliban commander was among those killed or wounded.
The Taliban insurgents frequently use Improvised Explosive Device as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces but in majority of such attacks the Afghan civilians are targeted.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released its latest civilian casualties report in mid-April this year, stating at least 600 civilians were killed and 1,343 others were wounded in the first quarter of 2016.
According to the UN mission, it documented 1,943 civilian casualties (600 deaths and 1,343 injured) in the period between 1 January and 31 March 2016, adding that these figures mark an overall increase in civilian casualties of two per cent compared to the same period in 2015 with a 13 per cent decrease in deaths but an 11 per cent increase in injuries.
UNAMA further added that consistent with 2015 trends, ground engagements caused the highest number of total civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), complex and suicide attacks, as well as targeted killings.
Long battles and heavy casualties suffered by both the security forces and insurgents, have led to a situation where military operations in the province have stalled, say Baghlan officials.
"The Government has suffered heavy losses to its security personnel and equipment in the war in Baghlan. The enemy has also suffered high casualties in the battles. Now, we do not have the ability [to move forward] and to strengthen our outposts," said Noor Habib Gulbahari, Baghlan police chief.
He accepted that the security forces only control the highways and main roads in Baghlan.
"The Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shahabuddin areas in Baghlan are now under the control of the enemy and that situation will continue until we start our military operations to retake them. We have only control over main roads, and that's it," he added.
The situation has alarmed the residents of Baghlan.
"Our demand is that they [the security forces] should be fully operational. They should not let Baghlan to face the fate of Kunduz. The security forces should be well prepared," said Baghlan resident Daud.
Another resident of Bghlan, Samiullah, said the National Unity Government officials "are just thinking about their own benefits. There is no security in our province. We are concerned about this."
This comes after Baghlan residents expected a large-scale military operation in the province to eliminate terrorists and ensure its security. That crackdown is yet to materialize. Video report at the link
[PAJHWOK] A Taliban capo has been killed and 13 others gunnies captured during security forces operation in central Pashtun-infested Logar and southern Zabul provinces, an official and a statement said on Tuesday.
Governor Mohammad Halim Fidai told news hounds Taliban Commander Hamidullah known as Shaer was killed, two maimed and four others locked away Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! in security forces operation in Aspid locality on the outskirts of Pul-e-Alam, the picturesque provincial capital.
He said 39,000 Pak Rupees, five hand grenades, two guns, one remote control bomb and explosives were recovered by security forces during the offensive. Security forces and civilians suffered no casualties, he added.
Gul Ahmad the resident of locality said security forces came to their area in the morning. They stormed a house and arrest some individuals.
Separately, security forces held a group of nine gunnies in Qalat, the capital city of southern Zabul province, a statement from National Directorate of Security ...the Afghan national intel agency... (NDS) said.
The detained individuals were involved in terrorist activities in the province, the statement said.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/13/2016 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Taliban
ISTANBUL: A Turkish court has jailed seven suspects pending trial on terrorism charges over last month’s triple suicide bombing at Istanbul’s main airport, bringing the number in custody to 37, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The attack at Ataturk Airport killed 45 people and wounded hundreds, the deadliest in a series of bombings this year in Turkey.
The seven suspects were detained on charges of “membership of an armed terrorist group” and being accomplices to murder, Anadolu said. The private Dogan news agency said all seven were foreign nationals.
Media reports have said at least 11 of those detained were Russian.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended his plan to give Syrian refugees Turkish citizenship, arguing there was ample space in the country after a backlash against the suggestion, in comments published Monday.
Erdogan said on July 2 that Syrians could eventually be granted Turkish citizenship “if they want it,” in remarks which were met with anger from opposition politicians and social media users.
More than 2.7 million Syrian refugees now live in Turkey, where they have guest status, according to the Turkish government.
In his first comments on the issue since announcing the plan, the president said if Syrians had dual citizenship it did not mean they had to return to Syria once the conflict was over.
“Is it a must for dual citizens, for people with citizenship, to return to their countries of birth?” he told Turkish reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Warsaw, quoted by the Hurriyet daily.
“When Turks went to Germany in 1963, no one asked whether they would or would not return to Turkey,” he said, referring to the Turkish so-called Gastarbeiter who helped Germany’s economic recovery after World War II.
He added: “There is no need to worry, this country has 79 million people living on 780,000 sq. km of land. “Germany is half our size and has 85 million people,” he added, lightly overstating the German population. “We are a country that can easily overcome (challenges).”
The president even suggested that empty homes built by the state housing agency could be used to house Syrians. “Most of these Syrians work illegally.
“What we’re saying is there needs to be a solution. Among these people, there are doctors, engineers, lawyers, health workers, teachers, all of these people can benefit our country: they can be given citizenship,” Erdogan added.
[NYDAILYNEWS] For a woman accused of supporting the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... , Hinda Osman Dhirane began her trial with an unusual admission: she is an ardent Al-Shabaab supporter.
Dhirane's attorney, federal public defender Paula Deutsch, began her opening statement Monday reading parts of a poem Dhirane had written as an ode to Al-Shabaab fighters.
"We make no bones about the fact she was a supporter of Al-Shabaab," an Al Qaeda affiliate centered in Somalia that grabbed credit for the 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya that killed 67 people, among other attacks, Deutsch said.
"But it's talk. It doesn't prove that she necessarily provided substantial assistance to Al-Shabaab."
Prosecutors, though, say Dhirane, 46, of Kent, Wash., and Muna Osman Jama, 36, of Reston, Va., did more than just talk about supporting Al-Shabaab.
The two were charged in 2014 with funneling small amounts of money -- less than $5,000 -- to Al-Shabaab fundraisers. Even small amounts of money in U.S. dollars can provide significant buying power in Somalia for weapons and the like, prosecutors said.
Prosecutor Danya Atiyeh said in her opening statement that the women sought to hide the payments in remittances that members of the Somali diaspora regularly send back to their homeland.
The remittances, she said, "make an ideal cover for disguising money," Atiyeh said. She quoted Jama from an online conversation in 2012; "If you work with the women and pretend that you are supporting your family, can the infidels and the animals who work with them find out what is in your heart?"
Posted by: Fred ||
07/13/2016 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Shabaab
[ABCNEWS.GO] The U.S. Capitol and its office buildings were briefly locked down Tuesday, the second time in a week amid nervousness over recent shootings.
District of Columbia police spokeswoman Alice Kim said officers were alerted to a man with a gun near Fort McNair in Southwest Washington, about a mile and a half south of the Capitol, shortly after 4 p.m. Officers then stopped a person at the intersection of 1st and D Streets, Northwest, which is two blocks from the Capitol and outside the Labor Department, Kim said.
No shots were fired, she said.
The Capitol lockdown began at 4:20 p.m. and the all clear was given over a loudspeaker at 4:45 p.m. Police had sent an email to congressional staff advising them to close and lock doors and stay away from external doors and windows.
Both the House and Senate were in session, with House members voting. In the Senate, politicians were delivering speeches from the floor.
KHAR: Two suspected militants were killed on Monday when a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) they were planting on Dherakai-Pashat road in Salarazai tehsil of the Bajaur tribal region went off.
Officials of the Bajaur administration said two bodies mutilated beyond recognition were found at the scene of the incident.
They claimed that the deceased were involved in several cases of planting the IEDs on Dherakai-Pashat road to target security forces and pro-government tribal elders associated with peace committees.
The bomb, they said, went off, killing the suspects on the spot.
The political administration and security personnel cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. However, there was no report of any arrest.
KARACHI: A college student selling a mobile phone was killed while a suspected robber posing as a buyer was wounded late on Sunday night when trigger-happy policemen in plain clothes fired at them in the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society, officials said on Monday.
The policemen, however, fled the area in a police mobile van shortly after the episode that drew the attention of the top officials who ordered an impartial probe into the incident and sought recommendations for legal action against the policemen.
The policemen involved in the shooting and the police mobile van remained untraceable, officials told Dawn.
According to the Ferozabad police, 21-year-old Abrar-ul-Hasan, a resident of Keamari, had advertised his mobile phone for sale on a website (OLX). He was later contacted by a man, Dil Nawaz, over phone and they agreed to meet in Saddar on Sunday night for the deal.
The police said Dil Nawaz posing as a buyer remained seated in his car near Lucky Star when Abrar approached him. He examined the mobile phone and kept it with him. As the seller demanded Rs15,000, the suspect drove the car in an attempt to flee. But the young man managed to get into the car. When they reached the SMCHS, the policemen travelling in a mobile van saw them fighting with each other inside the car. “The policemen might have assumed it as a kidnapping or robbery bid and opened fire on them,” said Gulshan-i-Iqbal superintendent of police Dr Fahad Ahmed, who is also holding the charge of Jamshed Town SP.
Both the seller and the imposter sustained gunshot wounds, the officer said. The police mobile van did not belong to the area police station, he added. It is not known that why the policemen involved in the incident disappeared afterwards. Some witnesses said the mobile van belonged to the Crimes Investigation Agency (CIA) while others said it belonged to the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of police, according to the police officer.
SP Ahmed said the wounded men were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where Abrar was pronounced dead.
Initial probe indicated that the wounded man, Dil Nawaz, had allegedly been involved in cheating people. The number plate of the white Honda City car that he was travelling in was “fake”, he said.
The officer told Dawn that the police obtained CCTV footage from the area and it showed that “the mobile, which resembles the police mobile” was chasing the car from Lucky Star in Saddar.
The police spokesperson said that IG police A.D. Khowaja took notice of the media reports that the policemen in civilian dress and travelling in a mobile van gunned down the youth. The police chief directed the Karachi-East Zone DIG to carry out fair, impartial and transparent investigation into the incident and submit a detailed report to him with recommendations for legal action against the policemen.
Ferozabad SHO Kansan Dean, meanwhile, said they had invited the victim’s father to lodge an FIR so that formal investigation could be initiated to trace the culprits.
Four CTD policemen booked
On Monday night, the police said the SMCHS incident had been ‘resolved’ as it had been proved during the investigation that four personnel of the Counter-Terrorism Department were involved in it, according to the CTD head, Raja Umer Khattab.
He said he held an inquiry into the incident during which three policemen surrendered before him and narrated the event while the fourth one, who had actually fired the shots, was taken into custody from his home.
The held policemen were identified as Saeed, Rashid, Nadeem and Kaleem — all constables.
KARACHI: A pesh imam at Masjid Siddiq Akber succumbed to his injuries after being shot at by two gunmen in his residence on Monday.
Two unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen shot the pesh imam, Habibur Rehman, at his residence in Masjid Siddiq Akber in Karachi's Gulistan-i-Jauhar area near Safoora Chowrangi, Superintedent Police Gulshan-i-Iqbal Fahad Ahmed said.
Habibur Rehman, in his mid-thirties, did not appear to be the victim of a sectarian killing, the SP said, adding that the body had been shifted to Memon Hospital.
KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Tuesday accused the Sindh Rangers of “abducting” a senior party member from Gulburg area of the metropolis without “any provision of warrant”.
In a statement, MQM claimed that Izhar Uddin Ahmed Khan, 55, was reportedly arrested when he went visit Sindh lawmaker Abdul Haseeb.
“Izhar was abducted by Rangers’ personnel who then moved him in an unmarked vehicle,” said MQM leader Wasay Jalil.
The party statement said “we fear for the safety of Izhar Ahmed who was abducted Rangers’ personnel this afternoon. We are concerned because that no warrant was provided and his current whereabouts remain unknown.”
The MQM called upon the lawful authorities to ensure the safety of Izhar Khan.
The party lawmakers claimed that their calls to Rangers’ headquarters in Karachi to inquire about the whereabouts of Izhar Khan remained unanswered.
Izhar Khan is a member of Central Coordination Committee and is based in the party’s London head office.
He was visiting Karachi to see his extended family members and has been nominated for the post of District Mayor, Karachi West.
“Izhar Khan holds British nationality as well and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British High Commission in Islamabad have been informed about his disappearance,” the party said.
(IraqiNEws.com) Mosul- A security source in Mosul informed on Monday that a dozen families from Mosul, escaping the wrath of ISIS left their homes and arrived at those areas which are controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
Sharing details about the escape the source seeking anonymity said, “Families from areas in Mosul, which are still under ISIS control, continue to risk their lives and escape the grip of the terror outfit in search of better and safer places. And adding to this number, today around 50 families recently reached safer areas controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga forces as they risked their lives and fled Mosul from the areas that are still under ISIS control.”
“On their arrival, they went through the regular security checks and drills,” the source added.
It may be mentioned here that since the beginning of operations to liberate areas south of Mosul, people are continuously escaping the IS-ruled areas and are seeking refuge at areas under Peshmerga forces’ control.
(IraqiNews.com) Mosul- A source informed on Tuesday that four doctors in Nineveh were executed by ISIS members on early Monday morning.
“The doctors, who were executed by the ISIS, have apparently refused to go to the battlefront and treat injured ISIS members. The bodies were later handed over to the forensic department in Mosul,” the source added.
[AlArabiya] A Dutch woman has surrendered to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters near the ISIS-held city of Mosul in northern Iraq, saying she had been trying to escape the “hell” she was living in “all the time.”
Laura Angela Hansen told Kurdistan 24 television that her father helped her escape with her two children - four-year-old Iman and Abdullah, one. She gave no details.
Born in 1995 in the Netherlands, she said her husband, who is Dutch of Palestinian origin, had told her he was taking her on a “vacation” when they entered ISIS-held areas in Syria. She lived for several months in Raqqa, de facto capital of the “Caliphate,” before they moved to Mosul.
“I didn’t want to come to Syria ... without me knowing. He pushed me,” she said.
(IraqiNews.com) Baghdad- Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi informed on Tuesday that in its quest to reclaim Mosul, the last bastion of ISIS, the Iraqi forces were successful in liberating a village from ISIS control.
“The Iraqi forces on Tuesday were successful in liberating a village from ISIS control and it also successfully linked up along the Tigris river with army units who are marching forward,” Obeidi informed.
(IraqiNews.com) Mardin- In a statement issued by People’s Defense Forces (HPG), an armed wing of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), it was mentioned that the organization has killed 40 Turkish soldiers in a raid on July 9 (Saturday) last.
The HPG press statement issued on Monday it was stated, “PKK guerrillas on Saturday, July 9, attacked a military station in Cewzat at Mardin- a southeastern Turkish province- and killed 40 Turkish soldiers.”
“The PKK soldiers, prior to engaging in a gun battle with the Turkish soldiers, also detonated a car bomb. Later, Turkish helicopters shifted the injured to nearby hospitals for medical attention,” added the statement.
It may be mentioned here that over a hundred soldiers- from both sides- have died since July 2015 after a two-year ceasefire ended between PKK and Turkey. The clashes have however left a number of civilians homeless.
[Iraq Sun] At least 12 people were killed in yet another attack in Baghdad as a suicide boom-mobile blew apart a Shiite-dominated district on Tuesday. No claims have been made for the attack so far but the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... (ISIS) murderous Moslem group has been suspected of carrying out the triple bombings.
Al-Rashidiya district faced a gruesome scene during the morning hour rush when a pickup truck, filled with explosives, blew apart in the middle of the vegetable and fruit market, killing 12 and leaving 37 others injured.
Simultaneously, another bomb went off in a town of Mahmoudiya, killing three people and wounding ten others.
After the attack in Mahmoudiya, which is 20 miles south of Baghdad, a third bomb went off in Dora, where a commercial area was targeted. Around nine people were maimed there while two were killed in the Capital’s southern neighbourhood.
The attacks were launched a day after Interior Ministry front man, Brig. Gen. Saad Maan announced plans related to the major military parade over the weekend in which Iraqi forces were to be deployed across the streets. More than half of central Baghdad’s Green zone area faced heavy traffic due to almost 75 percent of the streets being closed to prepare for the parade.
The parade was said to celebrate the victories achieved by Iraqi Forces against the ISIS in numerous areas like Fallujah and Qayara airbase.
However, a person who gets all wrapped up in himself makes a mighty small package... the attacks on Tuesday have dampened the mood in the city and Iraqi forces have been put on high alert for suspected activities.
The triple bombings are the latest in a series of terror strikes that the city had faced this year. The worst attack that tore apart the capital last week was claimed by the Islamic State and left over 300 people dead.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/13/2016 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
the capture of fallujah by iraqi govt was suppose to reduce terror attacks in Baghdad by complicating the logistics for ISIS
however, ISIS has, to some extent, adapted
Posted by: lord garth ||
07/13/2016 0:05 Comments ||
[Dhaka Tribune] A Singapore court yesterday convicted four Bangladeshi workers for financing terrorism and sentenced them to jail terms varying between two and five years.
The four convicted Bangladeshi are Rahman Mizanur, 31; Miah Rubel, 26; Md Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar, 31; and Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader, 29, the Straits Times reported.
Rahman was sentenced to 60 months in jail. Sohel was given 24 months while Miah and Jabath each got 30 months.
Earlier, they were charged with providing or collecting money to fund terrorist acts in Bangladesh.
Prosecutors said the men ‐ who pleaded guilty on May 31 ‐ had contributed part of their salary to buy food, arms and weapons like knives and pistols to launch attacks in Bangladesh. The amounts ranged from 60 Singapore dollars ($42) to 1,360 Singapore dollars ($1,000).
They were part of a group detained in April under the country's Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial in cases where public safety is threatened.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in Singapore has said the group's suspected leader, Rahman Mizanur, possessed guides on making weapons and bombs, as well as radical material from the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group and al-Qaeda that he used to recruit the others.
Rahman, 31, pleaded guilty and was convicted of two charges of financing terrorism by inviting group members to contribute funds and handling the money to facilitate plans.
In sentencing Rahman to five years in jail, District Judge Kessler Soh emphasised that a deterrent sentence and "much stiffer punishment is warranted."
"He was the criminal mastermind. He was the one who started this whole outfit," the judge said.
Rahman was shackled as he arrived in court and looked down when the sentence was passed, surrounded by heavy police guard.
He had earlier addressed the court in English, putting forth a lengthy plea for mitigation. "I wanted to learn my religion. [My friends] showed me the wrong way, the wrong activities," Rahman said. "This is my very big mistake sir. I am very remorseful."
Media reports also said that two other men named Zzaman Daulat, 34, and Mamun Leakot Ali, 29, have denied the charges and are claiming retrial. Their trial dates have not been set.
Those other Bangladeshi men who were detained in April have not been charged and will be dealt with separately, officials have said.
In January, Singapore said it had tossed in the slammer Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! and deported 26 Bangladeshi construction workers for forming a religious study group that spread the ideologies of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
Their goal was to set up an Islamic state in Bangladesh and bring it under the self-declared caliphate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
However when contacted, the Bangladesh Embassy in Singapore said it was not officially notified about the trial by the Singapore government, but learned about it from media reports.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/13/2016 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
No doubt they and the rest of the group detained in April will be expelled and blacklisted after serving their sentences. And also no doubt every name in their cell phones and other devices will be examined as well. Singapore is not kind to foreigners who break the rules.
[Emirates27] Rebel fighters launched a major assault on government-held districts of Syria's long-divided Aleppo on Monday, after the regime severed their only remaining supply route into the battleground city.
Once Syria's economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by the war that began with anti-government protests in 2011 and which has since killed more than 280,000 people.
Rebels launched the offensive at dawn to reopen the Castello Road, their last lifeline into the northern city, an AFP correspondent said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 19 regime forces were killed Monday when rebels blew up a tunnel in the Old City.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said: "The opposition has not advanced because of the heavy aerial bombardment the regime is carrying out on the areas where fighting is underway."
Air raids on the rebel-held parts of Aleppo killed 13 civilians Monday, the Observatory said, most of them in the Bab al-Maqam neighbourhood near the front line.
An AFP journalist saw rescue workers help a stocky, shirtless man out of the rubble in Bab al-Maqam, his face and thick beard caked in dust.
The unidentified man entered a field hospital and embraced the limp bodies of two young boys. "He was martyred. He's gone," he said crying over the body of one them.
Several rounds of UN-brokered talks to end the conflict have failed, but the UN's special envoy Staffan de Mistura said Monday that a "crucial moment" had been reached in efforts to secure a political settlement.
But despite the diplomatic flurry, fighting has intensified in Aleppo, divided between government forces in the west and rebels in the east since mid-2012.
A third option springs to mind: Run like a little girl
[ARANews] AMUDE – Senior official of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Dr. Nasir Haji Mansour on Tuesday told ARA News that ISIS is fighting very hard in Manbij city “which is slowing down the operation” that started on 31 May. Moreover, ISIS has started to kill civilians that are trying to flee the city, he said.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on 31 May launched an operation to take the 98-km border pocket of Manbij from militants of the Islamic State (ISIS). So far, the battle has taken a very heavy toll on the SDF-forces.
“If the SDF capture Manbij, all of Aleppo’s countryside would be under threat, because it’s a strategic stronghold for ISIS,” SDF official Mansour told ARA News. “It’s a strategic battle and different from Tel Abyad and Shaddadi [where ISIS just withdrew],” he said.
“If the operation is successful, the connection between ISIS, Turkey and Aleppo’s countryside will be cut off,” he said.
Over the last few days, ISIS militants have been trying to break the SDF siege on the city from four sides, but failed. Nevertheless, SDF advances on the city itself go slow due to booby traps, IEDS and the use of civilians as human shields. “This became big obstacles, the SDF cannot use heavy weapons to save civilians, and the coalition has minimised its airstrikes over Manbij,” he said.
Moreover, ISIS is using tunnels and civilian houses as bases. “Sometimes they use a house, fight against us, then wear civilian clothes and go back to another house. The coalition cannot hit them because they think those are civilians,” the SDF official said in an interview with ARA News on Tuesday.
In the meantime, the US-led coalition said in a statement on Tuesday evening that its fighter jets launched 14 strikes on ISIS strongholds in Manbij, hitting nine separate ISIS tactical units and destroying 17 fighting positions for the group, besides bombing a logistics hub and an artillery piece.
Furthermore, the Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman said that ISIS killed at least 70 civilians when they were trying to flee. “One family tried to escape Manbij city, and they got captured and killed. Others were killed in their cars, when they tried to flee.”
The official refuted recent reports about the SDF snipers targeting civilians.
Although some people claim that the Arab population is against the Kurdish-led SDF, the situation in Manbij –where civilians are trying to reach SDF-lines even risking their lives– show that the civilians are not supporting ISIS.
“This is a proof that all civilians [in Manbij] are against ISIS. They protested against ISIS in Manbij, and they are trying to escape,” he said.
Unlike previous campaigns, this is the first time the SDF completely besieged a city. “ISIS terrorists were getting reinforcements and weapons, that’s why we completely surrounded the city,” he added.
However, the SDF official says ISIS has only one of two solutions in Manbij: “Either they will surrender and give up, or fight against us until they die,” he said. So far, it seems that ISIS has chosen for the last option.
Someday, son, all this will be yours...
And make sure the US wears a condom.
[ARA News] ERBIL – In an unprecedented step, the US has signed an agreement with the Kurdish government in northern Iraq to give military and financial support to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
Before the arrival of ISIS in August 2014, the Kurdish Peshmerga troops were forced to rely on old military equipment, and were prevented from buying military equipment from outside Iraq.
Now, the Peshmerga forces are one of the main partners for the US-led coalition, and receive weapons and ammunition from several coalition members, including the United States.
On Tuesday, Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani received a United States military delegation headed by Ms. Elissa Slotkin, the acting assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
This meeting was followed by a telephone conversation between President Barzani and Mr. Ashton Carter, the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
“President Barzani and Ms. Slotkin discussed the liberation of Mosul and the status of the preparations and readiness from the U.S., Iraqi and Kurdistan Region perspectives,” the Kurdistan Region Presidency said in a statement.
“President Barzani focused on the importance and urgency of the liberation of Mosul and used the opportunity to reiterated his position of the extreme importance of planning for post-liberation Mosul,” the statement added.
Reportedly, Slotkin suggested that the Peshmerga forces will play an essential role in the fight in Mosul in the future.
In March, two Kurdish Peshmerga brigades received full equipment from the United States Army for the first time, in order to prepare them for the battle of Mosul–main bastion for the Islamic State radical group in Iraq. The equipment included helmets, body armor vests, anti-chemical protection equipment, medical equipment and M16 rifles.
Moreover, in April, the United States provided $415 million to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces after their salaries were cut due to the economic crisis, and the refusal of Baghdad to pay salaries of the Peshmergas.
Kurdish officials see the agreement as recognition of the sacrifices of Peshmerga forces in the war on ISIS.
Speaking to ARA News, official spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Safeen Dizayee said: “It’s a recognition, appreciation and value of Peshmergas’ sacrifices, and a contribution to stability and defence of liberty, democracy and humanity.”
On Monday, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the US State Department said that the United States “recognize the service, the sacrifice, the courage, the bravery, the skill on the battlefield that the Peshmerga have demonstrated every single day.”
“And we’re mindful of the toll that this fight has taken up in the north and the significant role that the Kurdish Regional Government has played in terms of trying to deal with it as well. That’s why, when you see [US-led coalition envoy] Brett McGurk traveling to the region, he never fails to stop in Erbil and have discussions with KRG representatives,” he said.
“Due to the current financial crisis and troubled relations between KRG and the central Iraqi government it has become impossible for KRG to fund its war against ISIS,” Ceng Sagnic, a researcher with the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies told ARA News.
“The military memorandum between KRG and the US was initiated as a legal framework for the US to be able to fund Peshmerga forces without intervening in the KRG-Baghdad relations by forcing the central Iraqi government to deposit the full amount of Kurds’ share from funds allocated for this country,” she added.
--Ms. Elissa Slotkin, the acting assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.--
Two years ago her nomination was blocked by McCain who called her absolutely unqualified. It looks like she made it anyway.
[ARA News] ALEPPO – At least 32 militant fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS) were killed and dozens more wounded in renewed clashes with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the northern countryside of Aleppo, military sources reported on Tuesday.
The Kurdish-led SDF troops clashed with ISIS militants in the Hazawna district and al-Sharia roundabout in Manbij city of northern Aleppo, where the SDF pushed ISIS back into the city centre.
“Daesh militants were trying to recapture the Hazawna district from our forces, but we were able to repel the attack after killing and wounding dozens of terrorists,” a spokesman for the SDF told ARA News, using another abbreviation for ISIS.
“After the group’s withdrawal from the clashes area, we have collected corpses of 32 militants, and dozens more were wounded,” the official said, adding that scores of the injured ISIS fighters were taken as hostages by the SDF.
The SDF spokesman in Manbij also told ARA News that since the start of the Manbij operation on 31 May, ISIS has used more than 150 car bombs in attacks on the US-backed SDF troops, beside planting dozens of landmines in the vicinity of the city in a bid to impede the SDF advance.
On Monday, the SDF troops clashed with ISIS fighters in the Sabaa Bahrat neighbourhood of Manbij city, north of Aleppo. ISIS has reportedly retreated from the neighbourhood after suffering heavy losses in manpower and equipment.
The ISIS security chief Safi Yahya Rajab was also killed in Monday’s clashes.
“Our forces advanced into the Hazawna neighbourhood of Manbij and attacked a major security centre for the terror group. Yahiya was among those killed in the Hazawna operation,” an SDF official told ARA News.
“After the clashes, we seized control of the Sabaa Bahrat and Hazawna districts, and we collected more than 25 dead bodies of ISIS militants, including that of Yahiya, who was known as the security chief of ISIS in Manbij,” the official said.
[Asharq al-Aswat] Kurdistan Freedom Falcons’ military wing, standing in opposition of Iranian Kurdistan regime, recently announced that its fighters had led an offensive against a convoy including Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers and other regime officials. The convoy was reportedly heading towards Kermanshah and Elam ‐two cities bordering Iraq.
The offensive resulted in the death of two IRGC officers and the injury of four others among which was Hashmatullah Flaan Bisha, MP at the Iranian parliament.
One of the Falcons’ military commanders, in a phone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, said that the attack was followed a meeting convened at the Zafar base which falls under Quds Force directory in the Kermanshah district.
Quds Force is a subdivision operating under IRGC commandership, and is usually missioned beyond Iranian territory.
The meeting was attended by Hashmatullah Flaan Bisha along with a number of IRGC security and military officials assigned to recruit ISIS and other terror group newcomers and then transfer them to Iraq.
The commander revealed that the meeting lasted for two whole hours and during which it was decided to carry on training and arming ISIS prospects on Iranian land, and to deploy larger numbers to Iraq.
The commander further disclosed on the late Iranian MP, attachés and officials were headed to see off a group ISIS recruits ready for dispatch right after the meeting was concluded, which was the same time the offensive was launched.
The convoy was headed to the Ryzav area, which is located midway between Kermanshah and Elam.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/13/2016 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
Why is Iran training ISIS folks to go into Iraq?
ISIS is supported by Iran because the existence and terrible behavior of ISIS gives legitimacy to Iran's interventions in Iraq and in Syria.
It also weakens and tends to discredit the Sunni population of Iraq, some of which is under ISIS control and some of which is occupied in fighting against ISIS, and hence unable to oppose Irani influence in the country, as it might otherwise do.
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