Tuesday (4.25.17)

  • Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish militants in Iraq's Sinjar region and in northeastern Syria on Tuesday, killing at least 18 fighters and officials in a widening campaign against groups affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The air strikes in Syria targeted the YPG - a key component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are backed by the United States and have been closing in on the Islamic State bastion of Raqqa.
  • The Pakistani Taliban on Tuesday said they detonated a roadside bomb targeting members of the Shi'ite minority that killed at least 10 people travelling in a minibus, and wounded several more, in a remote northwestern region. Terrorists planted the explosive device in the Kurram Agency in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan.
  • A military court in Somalia has executed four men it said were al Shabaab terrorists who were behind a 2016 attack that killed 80 people, a military officer said on Tuesday. The four men were executed in Baidoa, which lies about 150 miles northwest of Mogadishu.
  • The Taliban claimed credit for a suicide attack yesterday outside of a US base in eastern Afghanistan that has hosted CIA operatives who are hunting al-Qaeda and other jihadists in the region. A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives at the main gate for Camp Chapman, a base in Khost province that used to be known as Forward Operating Base Chapman. A US military spokesman confirmed that the assault took place and it appears casualties are among Afghan forces guarding the perimeter. No US military or civilian personnel are reported to have been killed, and the number of Afghan casualties has not been disclosed.
  • Three Yemeni civilians were killed when a drone attacked four suspected al Qaeda terrorists traveling in a vehicle in the southern part of the country, residents and a local official said on Monday. Residents said the attack in al-Saeed area of Shabwa province on Sunday afternoon was by a United States drone, part of a campaign by President Donald Trump's administration against Yemen's al Qaeda branch.
  • Philippine security forces killed about 36 ISIS-linked terrorists in a three-day air and ground assault on a southern island, and captured the rebels' base, an army general said on Monday.
  • Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has called on Syrian Sunni jihadists to wage guerrilla war against enemies ranging from Syrian President Bashar al Assad and his Iranian-backed allies to Western powers. In an audio recording posted online on Sunday, Zawahri called for the rebels to be patient, saying they should be prepared for a long battle with the Western-led coalition in Iraq and Syria and Iranian-backed Shi'ites fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar al Assad's government.
  • A Filipino soldier kidnapped last week in the southern Philippines by Abu Sayyaf terrorists was found beheaded, the military said on Sunday. Sergeant Anni Siraji was probably abducted and executed because of his involvement in peace initiatives in Sulu.
  • On Sunday, al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, has claimed a massive improvised explosive device (IED) attack on Somali soldiers near Galgala in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland. The blast left at least eight soldiers dead and many others wounded. Shabaab claimed credit for the ambush on its Radio al Andalus website.
  • A Palestinian stabbed and slightly wounded four people along Tel Aviv's beachfront on Sunday and was arrested, police said, describing the attack as terrorism-related. A wave of street attacks by Palestinians in Israel and the occupied West Bank since October 2015 has previously killed 37 Israelis, two American tourists and a British student. At least 242 Palestinians have died during the period of sporadic violence.
  • Three policemen were killed on Sunday in a suicide attack south of Mosul, the northern Iraqi city where ISIS is fighting off a U.S.-backed offensive, security sources said. A group of about 10 assailants, including four suicide bombers, had tried to infiltrate a Federal Police helicopter base in Al-Areej. Three policemen and three of the assailants were killed in the attack. Police gave chase but the assailants managed to escape.
  • A local ISIS leader was killed on Saturday during a dawn raid by the Lebanese army in which troops arrested 10 suspected terrorists who had entered a northeastern border town from Syria, the army said. No soldiers were reported wounded or killed in the operation in Arsal.
  • More than 200 Afghan soldiers were killed or wounded on Friday when Taliban gunmen disguised in Afghan army uniform talked their way past checkpoints and attacked a military base, officials said. Following this attack on a military base, the deadliest in the past 16 years, Afghanistan's defense minister and army chief of staff resigned.
  • Russia's Federal Security Service said on Friday that a gunman had burst into one of its regional offices in the far east of the country and opened fire, killing one of its employees and a visitor. Russia's Federal Security Service said on Friday that a gunman had burst into one of its regional offices in the far east of the country and opened fire, killing one of its employees and a visitor. The Site Intelligence Group, a U.S.-based monitoring service, said that ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack through the terrorist group's Amaq news agency.

Wednesday (4.26.17)

  • Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq on Wednesday and killed six militants, the military said, in a second day of cross-border raids. A military statement said the air strikes targeted the Zap region, the Turkish name for a river which flows across the Turkish-Iraqi border and is known as Zab in Iraq. The air strikes hit "two hiding places and one shelter, and killed six separatist terrorist organisation militants who were understood to be preparing an attack," the statement said.
  • Four people have been arrested in the west-of-Paris suburb of Trappes as part of a counter-terrorism operation, a judicial source said on Wednesday, but noted that investigators did not think there was an imminent risk of an attack.
  • A group called the Imam Shamil Battalion has claimed responsibility for a metro bombing in the Russian city of St. Petersburg that killed 16 people and said the bomber was acting on orders from al Qaeda, according to the SITE monitoring group. The claim by the little-known group was originally published by the Mauritanian news agency ANI, which is often used by West and North African jihadist groups to release statements. The statement, posted by SITE on Tuesday, said the bomber, Akbarzhon Jalilov, had acted on instructions from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in the April 3 attack on the metro in Russia's second biggest city.
  • The United States on Tuesday expressed "deep concern" over Turkish air strikes against Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq and said they were not authorized by the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS. The raids in Iraq's Sinjar region and northeast Syria killed at least 20 in a campaign against groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
  • The head of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan said on Monday he was "not refuting" reports that Russia was providing support, including weapons, to the Taliban. General John Nicholson was speaking in Kabul during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Russia has previously denied providing any material or financial aid to the insurgent group, but has said it maintains ties with Taliban officials in order to push for peace negotiations. A senior U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters that intelligence showed that Russia was providing monetary and weapons support to the Taliban, specifically weapons such as machine guns.
  • Three fighters loyal to ISIS have been killed by wild boars as they planned to ambush Iraqi tribesmen opposed to the group, according to a local anti-ISIS leader. At least eight ISIS fighters had reportedly taken cover among dense reeds in Iraq's al-Rashad region, about 55 miles southwest of Kirkuk, in preparation for a surprise attack on local anti-ISIS tribesman when a herd of wild boars attacked the jihadists on Sunday, killing three.

Thursday (4.27.17)

  • Somalia's al Shabaab gunmen shot and killed a senior national intelligence officer in front of his own house in the capital Mogadishu on Thursday. The security officer, who was involved in conducting security operations against the group, was sitting in front of his house without his body guards when armed terrorists shot him to death and then escaped.
  • Israel struck an arms supply hub operated by the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah near Damascus airport on Thursday, Syrian rebel and regional intelligence sources said, targeting weapons sent from Iran via commercial and military cargo planes.
  • A suspected U.S. drone strike killed several Pakistani Taliban militants in North Waziristan close to the Afghanistan border, one militant commander and intelligence sources said on Thursday, in a rare strike on Pakistani soil. If confirmed, the air strike, which happened on Wednesday, would only be the second drone attack inside the nuclear-armed nation since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.
  • French authorities launched a counter-terrorism investigation after two police officers were shot and wounded on Thursday by an assailant on the French overseas territory of La Reunion. Police on the Indian Ocean island said the gunman, described as a "dangerous individual", was arrested and the French interior minister said weapons and ingredients for making Molotov cocktails were later found at his apartment.
  • Iraqi paramilitary units captured the northern province of Hatra on Thursday, cutting off several desert tracks used by ISIS to move between Iraq and Syria, the military. The operations in Hatra are carried out by Popular Mobilisation, a coalition of mostly Iranian-trained militias of Shi'ite volunteers formed in 2014. The militias on Wednesday dislodged ISIS from the ancient ruins of Hatra, which suffered great destruction under the terrorists’ three-year rule. ISIS is now surrounded in the northwestern part of Mosul, including the Old City and its landmark Grand al-Nuri Mosque from where their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared in mid-2014 a caliphate also spanning parts of Syria.
  • President Donald Trump has given the military the authority to reset a confusing system of troop limits in Iraq and Syria that critics said allowed the White House to micro-manage battlefield decisions and ultimately obscured the real number of U.S. forces. The Pentagon, which confirmed the move on Wednesday, said no change has yet been made to U.S. troop limits. It also stressed the U.S. strategy in Iraq and Syria still was focused on backing local forces to fight ISIS - a tactic that has averted the need for a major U.S. ground force.
  • ISIS has developed an improvised explosive device (IED) that can be launched from rifles or dropped from an aerial drone, an arms monitoring group said on Wednesday. Conflict Armament Research (CAR) said the Sunni terrorist group was "promoting the development of 'own-brand' weapons" to provide its insurgents with otherwise unavailable armaments. CAR, which identifies and tracks arms and ammunition in war zones, reported in December that IS had been making weapons on a scale and sophistication matching national military forces and that it had standardized production across its territory.

Friday (4.28.17) 

  • The Taliban says its annual spring offensive will be a mix of conventional, guerrilla and suicide attacks on Afghan and foreign forces, underlining the challenges facing the U.S. administration as it weighs its options in Afghanistan. Dubbed Operation Mansouri, after former leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour who was killed last year in a U.S. drone strike, the spring offensive announcement on Friday comes a week after one of the most devastating attacks on Afghan forces since the Taliban was driven from power more than 15 years ago.
  • Denmark's public prosecutor's office said on Friday it had charged six men with allowing themselves to be recruited by ISIS and fighting for the terrorist group in Syria. The six men, who are currently held on remand, were either Danish citizens or foreigners resident in Denmark, the prosecutor said.
  • The US military on Thursday today that two American service members were killed a third wounded during a raid against the Islamic State in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province. The operation was conducted Wednesday night in coordination with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. A spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Captain William Salvin said the deaths occurred in the same valley where the United States had dropped a massive bomb on a complex of fortified tunnel being used by ISIS.
  • The United States on Thursday blacklisted a Saudi man who it said was the Syria-based deputy leader of ISIS’ affiliate in Saudi Arabia. Mubarak Mohammed A Alotaibi, a 31-year-old Saudi citizen, was named a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist," the State Department said. The action freezes any assets he might have in the United States, and Americans are not allowed to deal with him.
  • British police said on Thursday they had arrested a man on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack after stopping him while he was carrying knives near Britain's parliament. Police said the man was in his late twenties, and was detained on a major street between parliament and the residence of Prime Minister Theresa May, on suspicion of committing or instigating acts of terrorism and possession of an offensive weapon.
  • With the prospect looming of a Middle East peace initiative by a new U.S. administration more sympathetic to Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to turn the screw on the terrorist group, Hamas, that has kept Gaza out of his control for a decade. Abbas's Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday told Israel it would no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, a move that could lead to a complete power shutdown in the territory, whose 2 million people already endure blackouts for much of the day.
  • Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (“Assembly for the Liberation of the Levant”) and the Islamic State have released competing propaganda claims from the Yarmouk camp in the southern part of Damascus this week. The two sides have battled each other for control of the camp, which was once home to more than 100,000 Syrians and Palestinian refugees, for more than two years, but the fighting continue.
  • The Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM), al Qaeda’s branch in West Africa, released several photos earlier on Wednesday from last week’s deadly assault on a Malian base near Timbuktu. The assault reportedly left four Malian soldiers dead and many more wounded. JNIM reported its soldiers overran Malian special forces and took control of the base before French troops arrived. The French military said it sent a “detachment of mountain commandos” to help Malian forces drive the jihadists back. JNIM said the group withdrew after French airstrikes began. Before it withdrew, however, JNIM reportedly took several military vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and destroyed other equipment.