Thursday, March 23, 2017

U.S. Escalates Military Operations Against The Islamic State In Syria

US special forces, pictured in May 2016, are working with the SDF and Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP

FOX News: US military conducts air assault in Syria against ISIS, a first

For the first time since the start of the war against the Islamic State terror group, the U.S. military deployed American-trained Syrian forces via helicopter outside Raqqa -- a tactic known as an "air assault," a military spokesman said.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Arab forces landed on American military helicopters with Apache gunships flying overhead.

The indigenous forces were accompanied by U.S. special operations "advisors," the spokesman added.

“It takes a special breed of warrior to pull off an airborne operation or air assault behind enemy lines,” said Col. Joe Scrocca “There is nothing easy about this – it takes audacity and courage. And the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) has that in spades.”

"This is pretty major," said the spokesman discussing the operation with reporters on a conference call.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Escalating Military Operations Against The Islamic State In Syria

US combat airlift marks deepening involvement in Syria -- AP
U.S. Airlifts Hundreds of Militia Fighters in Attack to Cut Off Raqqa, Syria -- NYT
US joins first air assault 'behind enemy lines' against ISIS in Syria -- CNN
U.S.-Backed Forces Airdrop Behind Enemy Lines In Syria For First Time -- RFE
U.S. helicopters go behind enemy lines in Raqqa fight -- UPI
US forces ferry Syrian-Kurdish fighters behind IS lines -- AP
US Military and Syrian Democratic Forces Conduct First Air-Assault Operation Against Islamic State -- Newsline
With U.S. advisers and firepower, Syrian forces aim to sever the Islamic State's last escape route from Raqqa -- Military Times
US Combat Airlift Marks Deepening Involvement in Syria -- US News and World Report

Sinai Fighting Has Killed 12 Egyptian Soldiers And 15 ISIS Fighters

Egyptian Army soldiers patrol in an armored vehicle backed by a helicopter gunship during a sweep through villages in Sheikh Zuweyid, North Sinai (Photo: Reuters)

Reuters: A dozen Egyptian security personnel killed in Sinai fighting

Ten members of Egypt's military were killed when their vehicles were hit by two improvised bombs during an operation against suspected militants in the Sinai peninsula, the military said on Thursday.

Three officers and seven soldiers were killed, the military said in a statement, adding that its forces killed 15 people and arrested seven others during the raid which it said targeted "highly dangerous terrorists" in the central Sinai area.

Two policemen, an officer and a conscript, were later killed in fighting near a police station in Arish, the capital of North Sinai province the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Fighting In Sinai

Egypt says fighting in central Sinai leaves 10 soldiers dead -- AP
10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai roadside bombings -- AFP
Roadside bombings kill 10 Egypt soldiers during Sinai raid -- BBC
Egyptian soldiers killed by roadside bombs in central Sinai: military -- DW
Ten Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai -- UPI
Roadside bombs kill 10 Egyptian soldiers -- Al Jazeera
Three army officers, seven soldiers killed in militant hideout raid in Central Sinai -- Ahram Online

Islamic Extremism Growing In Canada?

The controversial imam is Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr who was the invited guest of a Saint-Michel mosque. (YouTube)

CBC: Imam calling for Jews to be killed in sermon at Montreal mosque draws police complaint

Larger Muslim community wants apology from mosque and wonders why controversial imam was invited to preach

A Montreal mosque is facing a police complaint and rebukes from the larger Muslim community after a video of an imam delivering a sermon in which he asks for Jews to be killed surfaced online.

The sermon took place at the Dar Al-Arqam Mosque in the city's Saint-Michel neighbourhood on Dec. 23, 2016.

The video was posted to the mosque's YouTube channel three days later. The imam in the video is Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr — he was reportedly an invited guest of the mosque.

In the video, the imam says in Arabic, "O Muslim, O servant of Allah, O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

Part of the phrase references an Islamic hadith, which interprets the words and actions by the Prophet Muhammad.

CBC independently verified the speech and its translation.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I live in Montreal .... my Muslim friends tell me this is just the tip of the iceberg, especially among the children of Muslim immigrants who have been born here.

London Terror Attack -- News Updates March 23, 2017

Daily Mail: British-born jihadist who killed three and injured 29 is middle-aged 'father-of-three English teacher' Khalid Masood who had long criminal record and was once probed by MI5 over violent extremism

* Police reveal a middle-aged extremist from the West Midlands carried out yesterday's terror attack
* Scotland Yard say he had a long list of convictions to his name but had not been convicted of terror offences
* Theresa May said he was known to the security services but was 'not part of the current intelligence picture'
* Probe into the British citizen's links to violent jihadism was 'historical' and he was deemed 'peripheral'
* ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the killer was a 'soldier of the Islamic State'
* Armed police stormed a flat above a takeaway in Birmingham last night and arrested three people
* Five others have been detained in raids on six properties thought to be linked to the terrorist
* The Hyundai Tucson 4x4 he used to kill and injure was rented from a hire car firm in Birmingham

The British-born jihadi who killed three and injured 29 in Westminster yesterday was a middle-aged career criminal called Khalid Masood.

The 52-year-old 'lone-wolf' attacker, who was living in the Birmingham area, has a series of convictions for assault and other crimes but police insist there was no intelligence suggesting he was about to unleash a terror attack.

Kent-born Masood has never been convicted of terror offences, although Theresa May revealed this morning that he had been on MI5's radar a number of years ago.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Emotions are definitely very high .... 'Who is the real monster?' Internet turns on trolls who criticised 'indifferent' Muslim woman seen walking through terror attack (Daily Mail).

London Terror Attack -- News Updates March 23, 2017

London attack - Latest updates -- BBC
London attack: Eight people arrested in overnight raids after terrorist targeted Westminster, Houses of Parliament -- ABC Online
UK police: Eight arrests over Westminster attack -- Al Jazeera
Terrorist on the rampage: Chilling footage shows London terror attacker’s car speeding along the pavement of Westminster Bridge as one terrified woman PLUNGES into the River Thames -- Daily Mail
London attacker born in Britain, previously investigated -- AP
London attack: British-born attacker 'known to MI5' -- BBC
PM May: London attack suspect was British-born, known to UK's MI5 intelligence service -- DW
London attacker was UK-born and known to spy agency -- Al Jazeera
Theresa May says it is wrong to describe London attack as 'Islamic terrorism' -- The Independent
Islamic State group says through its Aamaq news agency that the London attacker was a 'soldier of the Islamic State' -- AP
Islamic State claims responsibility for Westminster attack -- UPI
ISIS claims its ‘soldier’ carried out UK Parliament attack -- RT
Isis claims responsibility for London attack that killed at least three victims -- The Independent
Shaken but defiant, Parliament resumes work after attack -- AP
Westminster terrorist only managed to slip into Parliament as the gates were opened to allow the Met Police chief to leave the grounds -- Daily Mail
Revealed: Terrorist was shot dead by minister's protection officer - raising fresh fears over security in Parliament -- daily Mail
London attack: World leaders show solidarity -- BBC
London attack: American Kurt Cochran, from Utah, killed -- BBC
Back on Westminster Bridge: As soon as police cordons are lifted, defiant locals rush to show #LondonIsOpen -- Daily Mail
Bridge of death: A mother crushed on the school run, terrified children mown down, and a panic-stricken pedestrian who would rather jump than die – three minutes of carnage on Westminster Bridge -- Daily Mail
London attack: Eyewitnesses describe terror and confusion as terrorist knifeman launched Westminster rampage -- ABC Online
Revealed: Romanian tourist who plunged into the Thames and avoided Westminster Bridge terrorist before being miraculously plucked to safety by a passing CRUISE SHIP -- Daily Mail
London attack: How a lone knifeman brought terror to Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament -- ABC Online

World News Briefs -- March 23, 2017

Reuters: UK parliament attacker British-born, had been investigated over extremism concerns

The attacker who killed three people near parliament before being shot dead was British-born and was once investigated by MI5 intelligence officers over concerns about violent extremism, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued by its Amaq news agency, but it gave no name or details and it was not clear whether the attacker was directly connected to the jihadist group.

Police arrested eight people at six locations in London and Birmingham in the investigation into Wednesday's lone-wolf attack that May said was inspired by a warped Islamist ideology.

Read more ....


US tells allies to do more amid new offensive against IS.

US combat airlift marks deepening involvement in Syria.

Syrian troops besiege Islamic State stronghold.

UN's troubled Syria peace talks restart in Geneva.

UN: 400,000 Iraqis 'trapped in Mosul's Old City'. 400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City: UN.

Two years on, Yemen stuck in 'quagmire'.

Turkey urging U.S., Britain to lift flight electronics ban: foreign ministry.


Taliban overtakes Sangin district in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Afghan Taliban capture crucial city of Sangin.

Afghanistan wants more US help in fight against Taliban, ISIS.

Pakistan hosts Afghan Taliban leaders to talk peace talks.

North Korea accuses Japan of espionage.

FBI prepares charges against North Korea over Bangladesh heist.

Report: Kim Jong Nam assassination cripples North Korea businesses.

North Korea hunger: Two in five undernourished, says UN.

South Korea raises sunken Sewol disaster ferry.

Shinzo Abe and wife accused of giving cash to ultra-nationalist school.

UN condemns Sri Lanka over war probe.


Egyptian soldiers killed by roadside bombs in central Sinai: military. Roadside bombings kill 10 Egypt soldiers during Sinai raid. Ten Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai fighting: army.

Uganda at 'breaking point' as South Sudan refugees pour in.

French national kidnapped in Chad, say military and security sources.

Protesters call for Zimbabwe Election Commission to be disbanded.

South Africa police warn of taxi rape gang in Johannesburg.

At 93 years old, Zimbabwe's Mugabe remains a jet-setter.

Anglophone versus Francophone tension continues in Cameroon.


Belgian police intercept car and thwart 'attempted terrorist attack'. Man held for 'driving at crowd' in Antwerp, Belgium. Belgian police stop attempted car-ramming attack in Antwerp.

Russia's foreign minister says ready to discuss reducing nuclear arms.

Ukraine calls depot explosion an act of sabotage.

Former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov shot dead in Ukrainian capital.

Ukraine bars Russia entry from Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

Soros-funded charities targeted by Trump-inspired crackdown in East Europe.

Poland's World War II museum opens amid controversy.


Vote looming, Trump struggles to win Obamacare repeal. Republican Rep. Brooks: 30-40 Republican 'no' votes on health bill.

Lawmaker says U.S. foreign surveillance 'unmasked' Trump associates.

Exclusive: U.S. embassies ordered to identify population groups for tougher visa screening.

Venezuelans protest about medicine shortages.

Motorists line up for scarce petrol in oil-rich Venezuela.

Venezuela shocked as children arrested for soldiers' killings.

Chile sentences 33 over Pinochet-era disappearances.

US immigrants make sub-zero trek for slim chance at asylum in Canada.

Imam calling for Jews to be killed in sermon at Montreal mosque draws police complaint.


Trump steadily ramps up military action against ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Saudi officials say Yemen's Qaeda arm losing ability to carry out attacks abroad.

London terrorist attack: Vehicle, knife incident shows threat of low-tech terror.


Laptop ban creates turbulence for airline profits.

Americans are dying with an average of $62K of debt.

Google advertising row spreads to US brands.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 23, 2017

Retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to serve as defense secretary in Washington, U.S. January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX2YO9Z

Military Times: Mattis: Expect U.S. troops in Iraq even after ISIS falls

WASHINGTON — U.S. troops will remain in Iraq years after the main fight against Islamic State group militants is over, the Defense Department’s top leaders warned Wednesday.

Under questioning from the Senate, Defense Secretary James Mattis said he supports the idea of keeping a residual American military force in Iraq after the current battle for Mosul is complete. The city is seen as ISIS’ last significant stronghold in the country.

“I believe it’s in our national interest that we keep Iraqi security forces in a position to keep our mutual enemies on their back foot,” Mattis said.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 23, 2017

US-led coalition vows to crush 'Islamic State' -- DW

US to focus on 'elimination' of ISIL by military force -- Al Jazeera

US Secretary of Defense Mattis urges Congress vote to fight ISIS -- Politico

U.S. military says no orders yet to create safe areas for refugees -- Reuters

Tillerson Asks Allies in Islamic State Battle to Boost Efforts -- Bloomberg

Russia's foreign minister says ready to discuss reducing nuclear arms -- Reuters

Japan commissions new $1bn Izumo-class helicopter carrier amid tensions with China -- RT

China says hopes new Japanese carrier doesn't mark return to militarism -- Reuters

China Issues Warning to US Bomber Flying in East China Sea -- FOX News

Why China Is Slashing the Size of Its Army -- Dave Majumdar, Natinoal Interest

Breaking down China’s electronic warfare tactics -- C4ISRNet

Malaysia stresses military spending amid South China Sea dispute -- UPI

Growing Conflict in Asia Sparks Military Expansion in Japan -- Newsweek

U.S. deploys supersonic bombers to Korean peninsula -- UPI

Air Force bomber trains with Japanese and Korean fighters as tensions rise with North Korea -- Air Force Times

NATO to reschedule meeting to accommodate Tillerson -- The Hill

Mattis: Big US defense spending boost needed now to fix readiness woes -- Defense News

Navy Warship Stops in Myanmar for First Time Since WWII -- and Stripes

Boeing, US Army make multibillion, multiyear AH-64E deal official -- Defense News

U.S. Air Force buys additional Boeing QF-16 targets -- UPI

Top Pentagon official takes aim at F-35 cost, supply chain -- Defense News

Are the F-15 Eagle's days numbered? Top generals say maybe -- Air Force Times

Lockheed still weighing light attack plane offering, but T-50 is likely out -- Defense News

Army May Have to Buy More JLTVs to Replace Humvees -- DoD Buzz

U.S. Army emphasizing mobility for next combat vehicle -- UPI

Pentagon to Accelerate Rail Gun Hypervelocity Projectile - Fires From Army Howitzer -- Scout

Top NSA Official Says Telephone Surveillance Should Have Been Disclosed -- Reuters

Hurry up and extend: The $10,000 bonus to stay in the Army one more year is dropping to $5,000 -- Army Times

The US Army just bought 10,000 rugged Windows 10 tablets -- Verge

Expeditionary cyber forces fighting drones on the front lines -- Fifth Domain Cyber

NSA: Nation State Cyber Attack Included Virtual ‘Hand-to-Hand Combat’ -- Washington Free Beacon

Officials: Man Arrested After Going AWOL 45 Years Ago --

Assange: 'Only 1 percent' of the CIA material has been published -- DW

Why No Nation Wants to Go to War Against America's Military in a Fair Fight -- Robert Farley, National Interest

Green Berets who liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban tell their stories in new documentary -- Army Times

A War Between China And Japan Would Be Sheer Chaos

James Holmes, National Interest: Why a War Between China and Japan Would Be Sheer Chaos

A fight over seemingly minor stakes, then, could mushroom into a major conflagration arraying China against the US-Japan alliance. How much passion would an East China Sea imbroglio rouse among the combatants? China and Japan would be all in. Disputes involving sovereignty -- particularly territory and resources -- tend to drive the perceived value of the political object through the roof. Tokyo and Beijing, moreover, are acutely conscious that the post-1895 status quo is in play. In Clausewitzian parlance, goals of such value merit open-ended efforts of potentially vast magnitude.

American fervor is the key unknown. The United States could be conflicted about its part in a protracted endeavor. It could confront a mismatch between compelling yet seemingly abstract interests, and popular apathy toward these interests. Freedom to use the global commons is indubitably a vital U.S. interest. So is standing beside friends in peril. Everyman would doubtless agree if you put these questions to him. But how many rank-and-file citizens truly grok the system's importance to their daily lives? Few, one suspects.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Saying it would be "sheer chaos" is an understatement if there ever was one.

China Warns Australia That Siding With The U.S. May Lead To A 'New Cold War'

The Guardian: Chinese premier warns Australia 'taking sides' could lead to new cold war

Li Keqiang says Beijing pursues foreign policy of peace and seeks ‘development paths suited to our traditions’.

The Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, has warned China does not want to see a new cold war, emphasising that throughout his country’s history, peace has “always been the most precious thing”.

With increasing tensions in the South China Sea a significant backdrop to his visit to Australia, Li told parliamentarians in Canberra on Thursday that China did not want to see countries “taking sides, as happened during the cold war”.

Li used a lunchtime address to say Beijing pursued an independent foreign policy of peace, and pursued “national development paths suited to our traditions”.

Read more ....

Update #1: Stay out of China’s quarrels with US, Li Keqiang warns Australia (The Australian)
Update #2: Australia Shouldn't Pick Between U.S. and China, Premier Li Says (Bloomberg)

WNU Editor: The Chinese premier comes with a big stick .... namely .... Australia does $150 billion in trade with China.

U.S. Vice Chief Of Naval Operations: 'Navy Needs As Much As $150B Extra to ‘Jump-Start’ Path To 355 Ships'

The future John F. Kennedy CVN 79 under construction at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding. Photo by John Whalen/Huntington Ingalls

USNI News: Moran: Navy Needs As Much As $150B Extra to ‘Jump-Start’ Path to 355 Ships; Would Buy Mostly DDGs, SSNs, Carriers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy needs potentially as much as $150 billion over current budget plans to “jump-start” shipbuilding and get on a trajectory for a 355-ship fleet, the vice chief of naval operations said on Wednesday.

The money would add about 30 ships to the fleet beyond current plans, Adm. Bill Moran said.

The exact size of the future fleet doesn’t matter right now, but rather the Navy just needs to start boosting its investment in shipbuilding quickly – which means buying many more Virginia-class attack submarines, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ford-class aircraft carriers in the next few years, he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Cough .... cough .... cough. An extra $150 billion to just "jump-start" the building of a 355 ship Navy?!?!?!? This extra money would only add 30 ships .... which means it would cost $5 billion per ship.

China Warned US Bomber During 'Routine' East China Sea Flyover

Reuters: China says U.S. should respect China's air defense zone

China said on Thursday the United States should respect its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), after CNN reported China had warned a U.S. bomber it was illegally flying inside China's self-declared zone in the East China Sea.

China declared the zone, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities, in the East China Sea in 2013, which the United States and Japan have refused to recognize.

CNN, citing the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said the B-1 bomber was flying near South Korea on Sunday, and that its pilots responded to Chinese air traffic controllers saying they were carrying out routine operations in international airspace, and that the aircraft did not deviate from its flight path.

Read more ....

More News On China Warning The US To Respect Its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)

China threatens American B-1 bomber flying off South Korea: Stand off as Beijing claims US aircraft violated its 'defense zone' -- Daily Mail
Chinese officials warned US bomber during 'routine' East China Sea flyover -- CNN
China issues warning to US bomber flying in East China Sea -- FOX News
Chinese officials warned US bomber aircraft in East China Sea -- ANI
Beijing Officials 'Warned' US Bomber During Flyover -- NDTV
Chinese military warns US bomber flying over East China Sea -- International Business Times
China asks US to respect air defense ID zone after report of B-1 flyover -- RT
Beijing Warns US Over B-1 Bomber Flying Over East China Sea -- Sputnik

Thousands Evacuated After Massive Explosion At Ukraine Military Base Outside of Kharkiv

Ukraine says a third of the military base is still on fire. Reuters

International Business Times: Russian military accused of causing huge explosion at arms depot in Ukraine

20,000 evacuated as Ukraine's defence minister says Russian military or loyal separatist rebels responsible for blast.

Russia is suspected of having caused a massive explosion at an ammunition warehouse in Balakleya, eastern Ukraine, according to Ukraine's Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak.

Around 20,000 people were evacuated from the city of Balakleya after a series of explosions at an ammunition warehouse at around 3am local time (1am GMT) on 23 March. No one was injured in the explosion.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This was a massive explosion. My aunt lives in Kharliv, and she told my mother this morning that from where she is living (about 20km away) she could see the glow in the distance last night. I know this region quite well. There are a lot of Russian-Ukrainians living in this region, and they have no love to the central government in Kiev. The Ukrainian government is blaming Russia for this blast .... but I am willing to wager that if it was sabotage, it came from someone (or someones) who are local.

More News On A Massive Explosion At A Ukraine Military Base Outside of Kharkiv

Ukraine: Arms depot explodes in act of 'sabotage' -- DW
Ukraine munitions blasts prompt mass evacuations -- BBC
20,000 evacuated after fire at military arsenal in Ukraine -- AP
Ukraine sees Russian hand behind army warehouse blasts -- TRT
Thousands Evacuated As Ukraine Blames Munitions Depot Fire On Sabotage -- RFE
Large munitions depot up in flames in Ukraine, nearly 20,000 evacuated (VIDEO) -- RT
Depot Fire in Ukraine's Kharkiv Caused by Sabotage - Military Prosecutor -- Sputnik
7-km security zone set up around ammunition depot on fire in Ukraine -- TASS

Former Russian MP Denis Voronenkov Assassinated In Kiev

BBC: Russian ex-MP Voronenkov shot dead at Kiev hotel

A former Russian MP who fled to Ukraine last year has been shot dead outside a hotel in the capital, Kiev.

Denis Voronenkov and his bodyguard were attacked as they left the Premier Palace hotel in the centre of the city, reports say.

The bodyguard fired back at the attacker and both were wounded, according to local media.

Mr Voronenkov was a controversial figure, who left Russia amid accusations of fraud.

Witnesses say they heard seven shots fired outside the hotel. The attack was most likely a contract killing, Kiev police chief Andriy Kryshchenko told 112 Ukrayina TV.

President Petro Poroshenko went further, accusing Russia of "state terrorism". He also linked the shooting to the series of explosions at a munitions dump near Kharkiv, in Ukraine's north-east, describing it as the "signature style of Russian special services"

Read more ....

WNU Editor: They caught the killer, so some answers are probably going to be answered .... Suspected killer of former State Duma MP now in hospital 'under police protection' (TASS). Russian ex-MP Voronenkov was a member of the Communist Party in parliament, and he made a lot of enemies. Calling opponents like Russian President Putin a Nazi, and exposing corruption among the elite made him a target. If I was to make a guess on who had paid the contract to have him killed .... I would say it was one of Putin's cronies who feared that this ex-MP's revelations would embarrass him (or worse). The Daily Beast interviewed him last month .... Russian Whistleblowers Turn on Putin—But Can They Be Trusted? (Anna Nemtsova, Daily Beast).

More News On Former Russian MP Denis Voronenkov Assassinated In Kiev

Former Russian lawmaker shot dead in Ukraine -- AP
Exiled former Russian lawmaker shot dead in Kiev: police -- Reuters
Former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov shot dead in Ukrainian capital -- DW
Denis Voronenkov: former Russian MP who fled to Ukraine shot dead in Kiev -- The Guardian
Ex-Russian Lawmaker Who Turned on Putin Shot Dead in Kiev -- Bloomberg
Ukraine Decries “Act of State Terror” As Ex-Russian MP Shot Dead -- Newsweek
Former Russian lawmaker shot dead in central Kiev (GRAPHIC VIDEO) -- RT
Police Chief Says Russian Ex-Lawmaker Killed in Central Kiev Shooting in Ukraine -- Sputnik
Poroshenko Links Voronenkov's Murder to Arms Depot Blasts Near Kharkiv -- Sputnik
Putin Briefed on Ex-Lawmaker's Death in Kiev - Kremlin -- Sputnik

Taliban Have Captured The Key Afghan District Of Sangin

Reuters: Afghan Taliban signal growing strength with capture of key southern district

Taliban fighters have captured the key district of Sangin in the southern Afghan province of Helmand after security forces pulled out, leaving the district center to the insurgents, officials said on Thursday.

Helmand, which accounts for the bulk of Afghanistan's billion dollar opium crop, is already largely in the hands of the Taliban but the capture of Sangin, where U.S. and British forces suffered heavy casualties, underlines their growing strength in the south.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said Taliban fighters had captured police headquarters and a military base overnight, as well as quantities of military equipment after they were abandoned by retreating government forces.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is no mistaking about it .... this is a huge victory for the Taliban.

More News On The Taliban Capturing The Key Afghan District Of Sangin

Emboldened Taliban capture key southern district -- AFP
Taliban forces seize strategic district in embattled Helmand province -- Washington Post
Strategic District in Southern Afghanistan, Sangin, Falls to Taliban -- NYT
Taliban Seizes Afghan District as Fighting Threatens Government Control -- WSJ
Taliban overtakes Sangin district in Helmand province, Afghanistan -- UPI
Afghan Taliban capture city of Sangin -- BBC
Helmand’s Sangin district has reportedly fallen to Taliban -- Khaama Press
Taliban Seizes Control of Sangin District in Afghan Southern Helmand Province -- Sputnik

Tweet For Today

Why A War Between China and America Would Be a Total Disaster

Robert Farley, National Interest: Why History Proves a War Between China and America Would Be a Total Disaster

In November 1950, China and the United States went to war. Thirty-six thousand Americans died, along with upwards of a quarter million Chinese, and half a million or more Koreans. If the United States was deeply surprised to find itself at war with the People’s Republic of China, a country that hadn’t even existed the year before, it was even more surprised to find itself losing that war. The opening Chinese offensive, launched from deep within North Korea, took U.S. forces by complete operational surprise. The U.S.-led United Nations offensive into North Korea was thrown back, with the U.S. Army handed its worst defeat since the American Civil War.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Comments from Chinese military officials like this one do not help .... China military official: War with US under Donald Trump 'becoming practical reality' (The Independent).

Picture Of The Day

The MiG-35 will join the ranks of the Russian Aerospace Forces in 2018. © SPUTNIK/ RAMIL SITDIKOV

Is The U.S. Military Big Enough?

Deadly convoy: Dozens of U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons demonstrate an 'Elephant Walk' as they taxi down a runway during an exercise at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, to practise for a wartime mission. This picture is among a gallery of images chosen to showcase a year in the life of the U.S. Air force in 2012

K.K. Rebecca Lai, Troy Griggs, max Fisher and Audrey Carlsen, New York Times: Is America’s Military Big Enough?

President Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which he said would be “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”

Past administrations have increased military spending, but typically to fulfill a specific mission. Jimmy Carter expanded operations in the Persian Gulf. Ronald Reagan pursued an arms race with the Soviet Union, and George W. Bush waged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Trump has not articulated a new mission that would require a military spending increase. This has left analysts wondering what goals he has in mind. Erin M. Simpson, a national security consultant, called Mr. Trump’s plans “a budget in search of a strategy.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This debate should have been done years ago when President Obama was first elected. I guess with Trump being the President .... it is now fashionable for the New York Times to push for this debate.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Experts Worry About A Chernobyl-Scale Chemical Disaster In Eastern Ukraine

FOX News: Chernobyl-scale chemical disaster looms in Eastern Ukraine war, experts warn

This isn’t a cold war; it’s a hot war. And experts caution that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine could soon get a whole lot hotter if fighting damages huge industrial storage units of chlorine gas and there is a deadly release of the toxic gas.

“If one of those uncontrolled sites containing chemicals were to detonate, tens of thousands of people could be poisoned. It is a potential disaster on the scale of Chernobyl,” Robert Amsterdam, Russian political expert and lawyer at international law firm Amsterdam & Partners, told Fox News.

The risk is hardly hypothetical. Late last month a stray artillery shell hit the Donetsk Filter Station’s chlorine gas depot, which holds 15,000 pounds of chlorine gas. While the containers -- by sheer luck – were not damaged, the incident raised serious red flags.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am more worried about this .... Ukraine on the brink of a nuclear disaster (GroundReport).