Tuesday, June 27, 2017

World News Briefs -- June 27, 2017 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Ransomware virus hits computer servers across the globe

A ransomware attack hit computers across the world on Tuesday, taking out servers at Russia's biggest oil company, disrupting operations at Ukrainian banks, and shutting down computers at multinational shipping and advertising firms.

Cyber security experts said those behind the attack appeared to have exploited the same type of hacking tool used in the WannaCry ransomware attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers in May before a British researcher created a kill-switch.

"It's like WannaCry all over again," said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer with Helsinki-based cyber security firm F-Secure.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraq army: ISIL will fall in Mosul 'in a few days'.

Syria's Assad visits Russian airbase.

UN envoy optimistic over Syria talks in July.

U.S. says it saw preparations for possible Syria chemical attack.

US warns Syria over 'potential' plan for chemical attack. Syria: Assad preparing chemical weapons attack, US claims.

Syria denies US allegations of coming chemical attack.

US airstrike on Syrian 'IS' prison kills dozens of civilians, claim activist groups. Syria war: Air strike on IS prison in Mayadin 'kills dozens'. 57 dead in US-led strikes on IS Syria prison: monitor.

US wants to steer clear of Syrian civil war: Mattis.

Saudi demolition of historic Shiite homes stokes violence.

Saudi Arabia says no negotiations over Qatar demands.

Qatari foreign minister to meet Tillerson in Washington.

Yemen cholera outbreak shows signs of slowing: UN.

Israel strikes Hamas bases in Gaza after rocket: officials. Israel bombs Gaza after rocket fire.

At least 13 killed in violence in southeast Turkey.

ASIA

U.S. worries Russia could step up North Korea support to fill China void.

US lists China among worst human trafficking offenders.

China 'asks India to withdraw troops' from Nathu La pass. China protests alleged Indian border incursion.

At least 10 injured in clashes in India-held Kashmir on Eid.

Hostages in Philippines siege forced to fight, loot, become sex slaves: army. Militants used water route to beat Philippine offensive: army.

Mongolia: Battulga to face Enkhbold in first presidential runoff.

North Korea a top priority for Sino-US ties, says new US ambassador to China.

South Korean President Moon to embark on 'emotional' four-day visit to U.S..

U.S. to name China one of worst countries for human trafficking.

Indonesia is blowing illegal fishing boats out of the water.

Pirates rob Thai oil tanker of 1.5 million litres of diesel in Malaysian waters.

AFRICA

Egyptian warplanes hit arms convoy from Libya: army.

Bomb blast kills eight on Kenya-Somalia border.

Libya, Sudan, Somalia hard hit as US top court partially lifts Trump's travel ban.

IS loses ground in Sinai, searches for other foothold in Egypt.

Explosion heard from ship off the coast of Somalia, official says.

Niger migrants: 52 die during desert crossing.

Somali refugees regret returning home from Kenya.

South Africa government blamed as millions live in shacks.

'Soros wanted to topple E.Guinea leader,' UK mercenary tells Paris court.

EUROPE

Scotland's Sturgeon postpones second independence vote until after Brexit.

Italy's Berlusconi dusts himself down in final bid for power.

Germany and France to lead post-Brexit EU in further integration.

Cyprus talks are best, but not last, chance to end dispute: U.N..

Ukrainian military intelligence officer killed by car bomb in Kiev.

Russia denies Sergey Kislyak is leaving US even as plans are made for send-off.

French parliament opens in test for Macron's many novice lawmakers.

Dutch government partially liable in 300 Srebrenica deaths. Court: Dutch partially liable for Srebrenica deaths.

With a year to go, Russia’s World Cup faces challenges.

AMERICAS

Facing defections, Senate GOP leaders delay health care vote.

House votes overwhelmingly to back NATO mutual defense pact.

House bill threatens Russia with nuclear treaty suspension.

US President Donald Trump, PM Narendra Modi praise India-US relations.

Judge suspends all Iraqi deportations in US for 2 week.

Canada's Trudeau say US timber duties will cost 'thousands' of jobs.

Brazil's President Michel Temer charged with corruption. Corruption charge increases pressure on Brazil’s president.

Brazil’s President says corruption charge is ‘fiction’.

British Columbia's NDP introduces motion to topple provincial government.

Reporter's body found in Mexico, marking seventh journalist murder this year.

Colombia takes big step to peace as rebels lay down guns. Colombia's FARC disarmament confirmed by United Nations.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Taliban promotes 4 previously unidentified training camps in Afghanistan.

AQIS emphasizes allegiance to Ayman al Zawahiri, Taliban in new ‘code of conduct’.

Pakistan rejects U.S. sanctions against Kashmir militant.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall St. falters as Senate delays health vote.

Fed's Yellen expects no new financial crisis in 'our lifetimes'.

Facebook hits two billion user mark.

New cyberattack causes mass disruption globally.

EU slaps Google with record fine. Google fined record €2.4bn by EU over search engine results.

Google will stop scanning content of personal emails.

World food security risks growing, Chatham House says.

No Progress Form China On North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump (3rdL) holds a bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping (2ndR) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Ralph Jennings, Forbes: China And The U.S. Are Cooling Their Cooperation To Curb North Korea

Give the world’s two superpowers credit for effort but don’t expect a whole lot more. Since the presidents of China and the United States met for their first time in April, they’ve spoken the language of cooperation to hobble North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs spearheaded by the enigmatic leader Kim Jong-un. To appease China, which doesn't want the Kim regime to collapse and leave a power vacuum on its border, a senior U.S. admiral had said the United States wants to bring North Korea not to its “knees,” just its “senses.” China reportedly planned to cut the flow of petroleum to North Korea in a sanction-like gesture likely to win favor with Washington.

But Trump shows signs of wanting more out of his cooperation with China, especially now as everyone’s asking whether 22-year-old American student Otto Warmbier was intentionally hurt in North Korea before his release -- and death a week later. North Korea had detained him for a year on suspicion of stealing a propaganda poster. “(Trump) commented personally…that he continues to be very troubled by what happened to Otto Warmbier and would like to see China do more,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a briefing Friday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Both countries are not on the same page when it comes to North Korea. North Korea may be a top priority for the U.S. .... New U.S. ambassador to China says North Korea a top priority (Reuters) .... but China's priority is the removal of THAAD .... China asked U.S. officials to remove THAAD from South Korea (UPI). My prediction .... When Trump and Xi met at Mar-a-Lago in April, China asked for and got a 100 day grace period over North Korea .... Report: Chinese President Xi Asked For A '100-Day Grace Period' On North Korea (May 22, 2017). We are now coming up on that 100 days .... and nothing has changed. My prediction .... we saw a glimpse of where the U.S. is going on China today .... U.S. Brands China as Among Worst Human Trafficking Offenders (US News and World Report/Reuters). But it is going to be on this issue that will raise the "hackles" in China .... Trump growing frustrated with China, weighs trade steps: officials (Reuters).

Update: The U.S. is also eyeing on what Russia may do when it comes to North Korea .... U.S. worries Russia could step up North Korea support to fill China void (Reuters).

NATO's Top Military Officer: Russia's Military Threat Is Growing On All Fronts

General Petr Pavel

Politico: NATO’s senior military officer: Russia threat growing on all fronts

General Petr Pavel said Russia’s increasing military presence was clear, even if its intentions were not.

NATO’s senior military officer said the alliance was confronting efforts by Russia to increase its military capabilities on virtually every level and allies were on guard to prevent any repeat of the Kremlin’s military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Speaking at a POLITICO Brussels Playbook breakfast Monday, General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said that while Russia’s intentions were not necessarily clear, its growing military prowess was undeniable.

“We in uniform, we define the threat based on two major elements. One is the capability, the other is the intent,” Pavel told POLITICO’s Ryan Heath. “When it comes to capability there is no doubt that Russia is developing their capabilities both in conventional and nuclear components. When it comes to exercises, their ability to deploy troops for long distance and to use them effectively quite far away from their own territory, there are no doubts.”

Read more ....

Update: 'Growing Russian Threat' Used as a Way to Keep NATO in Shape (Sputnik).

WNU Editor: His (General Pavel)focus is on what is happening in the Baltic region .... NATO says more Russian buzzing of Baltic airspace a risk for deadly mistakes (DW).

Poll: Image Of The United States Has Collapsed Under Trump



Reuters: Image of the United States has plunged under Trump, survey shows

The image of the United States has deteriorated sharply across the globe under President Donald Trump and an overwhelming majority of people in other countries have no confidence in his ability to lead, a survey from the Pew Research Center showed.

Five months into Trump's presidency, the survey spanning 37 nations showed U.S. favorability ratings in the rest of the world slumping to 49 percent from 64 percent at the end of Barack Obama's eight years in the White House.

But the falls were far steeper in some of America's closest allies, including U.S. neighbors Mexico and Canada, and European partners like Germany and Spain.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The PEW Research poll is here .... U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump’s Leadership (PEW Research Global). What's my take on this poll .... when President Reagan was in the White House, his poll numbers were also in the toilet in Western Europe. That did not change anything .... and fortunately IMHO.

More News On The Latest PEW Poll On The Image Of The United States In The Eyes Of The World

People the world over have lost confidence in America to 'do the right thing' since Trump took office – except in Russia and Israel -- Daily Mail
Trump causes 'major' shift in global view of US: Pew -- BBC
Poll: US favorability in world falls under Trump -- The Hill
Poll: Little Global Confidence in President Trump on Foreign Affairs -- NBC/AP
The White House’s international credibility collapses in Trump era -- MSNBC
Study: U.S. image plummets under Trump, but hey, Russia likes us -- USA Today
Global view of US worsens under Trump, Pew says -- CNN
Three-quarters of world has little or no confidence in Trump, Pew study finds -- The Guardian
Most of the World Has Little Confidence in Donald Trump, Poll Finds -- TIME
United States' global image suffering under Donald Trump's presidency: survey -- DW

Chief Of The Ukrainian Military Intelligence's Special Forces Assassinated In Kiev



RFE: Colonel In Ukrainian Military Intelligence Killed In Kyiv Car Bombing

A colonel in Ukraine’s armed forces has been killed in a car bombing in Kyiv that authorities are investigating as a "terrorist attack."

A Defense Ministry statement on the June 27 explosion identified the victim of the blast as Colonel Maksim Shapoval.

Police said law enforcement officers received a message at 8:16 a.m. in Kyiv saying a Mercedes had exploded at a crossroads in the Solomyansky district, killing a man inside the car and wounding a passerby.

CCTV pictures that captured the moment the car bomb exploded show a flash of fire followed by a large plume of smoke rising up from a tree-lined street in the capital. Several cars nearby stopped, but none appeared affected by the blast, which left the car Shapoval was in mangled and charred.

"The national police, rescuers, as well as explosives and forensic experts are working at the scene," the Defense Ministry said. "The event has been qualified as a terrorist act."

It gave no further details.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He just came back from fighting Russian-Ukrainian rebels in eastern Ukraine .... and while he was there a string of assassinations of separatist leaders in Ukraine’s east have occurred. I could be wrong, but this smells like blow-back to me.

More News On Chief Of The Ukrainian Military Intelligence's Special Forces Assassinated In Kiev

Kiev car bomb kills colonel in Ukrainian military intelligence -- Reuters
Ukrainian military intelligence officer killed by car bomb in Kiev -- The Guardian
Ukraine intelligence head killed in Kyiv bomb attack -- DW
Car bomb kills senior Ukrainian intelligence officer in Kiev -- ABC News/AP
Kiev car bomb kills colonel in Ukrainian military intelligence in first major attack in a year -- ABC News Online
Assassinated: Moment Ukrainian military intelligence colonel was killed in Kiev car bomb in Kiev -- Daily Mail
Ukraine intelligence officer killed by car bomb in Kiev -- BBC
Kiev car explosion kills Ukraine's senior military spy -- Al Jazeera
Colonel for Ukraine's Military Intelligence Killed in Kiev Blast - MoD -- Sputnik

Massive Global Cyberattack Demanding Ramsonware Is Currently Causing Chaos Among Major Government And Corporate Computer Networks

A message demanding money is seen on a monitor of a payment terminal at a branch of Ukraine's state-owned bank Oschadbank after Ukrainian institutions were hit by a wave of cyber attacks earlier in the day, in Kiev, Ukraine, June 27, 2017. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Washington Post: Massive cyberattack hits Europe with widespread ransom demands

MOSCOW — A new wave of powerful cyberattacks hit Europe on Tuesday in a possible reprise of a widespread ransomware assault in May that affected 150 countries, as Ukraine reported ransom demands targeting the government and key infrastructure, and the Danish Maersk conglomerate said many of its systems were down.

Reports of attacks spread quickly on Tuesday afternoon. The Russian oil giant Rosneft and a subsidiary, Bashneft, were also hit, as was the British advertising and marketing multinational WPP. Norway’s National Security Authority said an “international company” there was affected, and Martijn Pols, a spokesman for the Port of Rotterdam, said one shipping company, APM Terminals, was targeted.

The virus even hit systems monitoring radiation at the site of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where computers running Windows were temporarily knocked offline. By late Tuesday morning, reports of cyberattacks had spread as far as India and the United States.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This started in Ukraine, and is now spreading globally .... The cyber attack that knocked out Ukraine this morning is now going global (Quartz). I follow these things closely, and today's attack is big.

Update: Ukraine has been crippled by this attack .... Ukraine cyber attack: Chaos as national bank, state power provider and airport hit by hackers (The Independent).

More News On Today's Massive Global Cyberattack Demanding Ramsonware

Global ransomware attack causes chaos -- BBC
Ransomware virus hits computer servers across Europe -- Reuters
'Unprecedented' Cyberattack Spreads Across Ukraine, Russia, and Europe -- The Epoch Times
Another Massive Ransomware Outbreak Is Going Global Fast -- Forbes
New ransomware outbreak reported all over world -- The Hill
New cyberattack causes mass disruption in Europe -- AP
NSA-linked tools help power second global ransomware outbreak -- Politico
Russian, Ukrainian Companies Attacked by Petya Ransomware - Group-IB -- Sputnik
A new ransomware attack is infecting airlines, banks, and utilities across Europe -- The Verge
A Scary New Ransomware Outbreak Uses WannaCry's Old Tricks -- WIRED
What is Petya? Ransomware suspected to behind huge worldwide cyberattack -- International Business Times

China - India Border Dispute Intensifying On The Frontier Between Sikkim State And Tibet

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Reuters: China accuses Indian border guards of crossing into its territory

China has accused Indian border guards of crossing into its territory from the state of Sikkim on India's northeastern border with Tibet, the Chinese foreign and defence ministries have said, complicating an already difficult relationship.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman with China's foreign ministry, said Indian guards "obstructed normal activities" by Chinese forces on the border and called on India to withdraw immediately, according to a ministry statement late on Monday.

He urged India to respect China's territorial integrity and the border treaties signed by the two countries, and said China had already suspended official pilgrimages at the Nathu La Pass, which lies on the frontier between Sikkim state and Tibet.

A spokesman for the Indian Army declined to comment but said the army would issue a statement on Tuesday. India's defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more ....

More News On The Growing China - India Border Dispute On The Frontier Between Sikkim State And Tibet

China urges India to withdraw border guards crossing the boundary -- Xinhuanet
China protests alleged Indian border incursion -- AFP
China 'asks India to withdraw troops' from Nathu La pass -- BBC
Face-off between Chinese, Indian troops in Sikkim after PLA 'transgression' -- Times of India
Chinese Troops Transgress Sikkim Border, Destroy Bunkers: Report -- NDTV
India Stops China’s Road Construction, Braces for Lengthy Face-off -- Sputnik

Syrian Observers: U.S. Led-Coalition Airstrike Kills Scores of Prisoners At An ISIS Prison In Eastern Syria

A US-led coalition air strike in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, hit a prison - killing 42 inmates and 15 terrorist guards, according to observation groups

CBS: Activists: U.S.-led coalition strike kills dozens of ISIS prisoners

BEIRUT -- An independent group that monitors the war in Syria said Tuesday that a likely U.S.-led coalition airstrike on an ISIS-run jail in the country's east had killed at least 57 people, many of them believed to be civilian prisoners held by the terrorist group.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which relies on a network of activists inside Syria for its information and generally proves accurate, "warplanes, most likely belonging to the U.S. coaltion," destroyed an ISIS compound in Deir Ezzor province early Tuesday morning.

The U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, which has been accused repeatedly this year of causing civilian casualties as it targets the terror group's rapidly shrinking territory in both Syria and Iraq, acknowledged an operation in the al-Mayadeen suburb of Deir Ezzor city on Tuesday, but said in a statement quoted by the Reuters news agency that it had been "meticulously planned" to reduce the risk of civilian casualties.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That A U.S. Led-Coalition Airstrike Killed Scores of Prisoners At An ISIS Prison In Eastern Syria

US-led coalition bombs an ISIS prison in Syria killing 42 'civilian' prisoners and 15 jihadists, activists say -- Daily Mail
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says dozens killed in U.S.-led airstrike on ISIS prison -- CBC/Reuters
US-led strikes on Islamic State-held prison 'kills 57 people' including civilians -- The Telegraph
57 killed in US-led air strikes on ISIS prison in eastern Syria -- Zee News/AFP
War in Syria: US Coalition Strikes ISIS Jail and Kills Dozens of Prisoners -- Newsweek
Airstrike on ISIS-run jail in eastern Syria kills 42, activists say -- FOX News

Islamic State Fighters Are Given 'Passports' To Paradise

Photo: Copies of the passports were discovered by Syrian Defence Forces in newly liberated neighbourhoods of Raqqa

Daily Mail: ISIS fighters are given 'passports to paradise' in a desperate bid to convince them they will be rewarded with virgins in the afterlife

* Copies of the passports were discovered by Syrian Defence Forces in Raqqa
* ISIS handed out documents reading 'passports to heaven' to motivate fighters
* Fighters believe they will be rewarded with paradise if they die protecting ISIS
* Front of passport says 'No God but Allah, Muhammed is the Messenger of God'

ISIS militants have been issuing 'passports to heaven' to encourage members to carry out suicide attacks and keep control of its self-declared capital, Raqqa.

Copies of the passports were discovered by Syrian Defence Forces in newly liberated neighbourhoods of the northern Syrian city, and photos of the documents were posted to social media.

Brainwashed extremists believe that they will be rewarded with virgins in paradise if they die protecting the Islamic State.

Read more ....

Update: PASSPORTS TO HELL ISIS fanatics given twisted ‘passports to paradise’ to brainwash them into believing they’ll be rewarded with harem of virgins if they die for terror group (The SUN)

WNU Editor: I find it interesting that these passports are in both Arabic and English. It makes you wonder on how many ISIS fighters can speak English.

Secret Video Shows ISIS Slowly Losing Control Of It's 'Capital' Raqqa



CNN: Raqqa: Secret video shows ISIS losing chokehold on its 'capital'

(CNN)At first, the video shows a seemingly normal urban life -- men and women shopping in the streets, with steady traffic passing by them.

A closer look shows this is a city under threat -- tarpaulins along streets hide the movements of fighters from surveillance drones and sandbags outside buildings might offer some protection from a blast from the sky or the ground.

For this is not any normal city -- this is Raqqa, the heart of ISIS's attempt to build its own state or caliphate. And it is crumbling.

Just the fact that activists filmed the secret footage now obtained exclusively by CNN is perhaps the most telling sign that the self-proclaimed capital of a reign of terror is coming to an end.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is going to take time .... but it looks like the end game for the Islamic State in Raqaa is in sight.

Islamic State Has Perfected Using Drones Rigged With Explosives To Attack Advancing Forces In Raqqa



France 24: Exclusive: IS group's armoured drones attack from the skies in battle for Raqqa

The Islamic State (IS) group is using drones rigged with munitions in the battle for the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, a FRANCE 24 team inside the jihadist group’s highly dangerous self-proclaimed capital discovers.

While entering Raqqa from the eastern side, past dusty, desolate neighbourhoods, a nearby explosion briefly rocks the armored vehicle carrying a FRANCE 24 team and fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters battling the IS group in the heart of its de facto capital is facing a new, technologically advanced threat from the skies.

“A drone has targeted our vehicle. The bomb fell 50 metres away,” a female Kurdish fighter in the vehicle explains.

Read more ....

Update: ISIS Using Drones Rigged With Munitions To Attack Advancing Forces In Raqqa (Newsweek)

WNU Editor: I cannot help but feel that one day this know-how will be used in a terror attack against a soft target in the West (i.e. a concert, a sporting event, a political rally, etc.).

Battle For The Syrian City Of Raqqa -- News Updates June 27, 2017



Washington Post: Mattis: After Raqqa, the Syrian battlefield will only get more complicated

MUNICH, Germany — As the fight against the Islamic State moves beyond its de facto capital in Raqqa, the Pentagon is readying itself for an increasingly complex battlefield in northern Syria, where U.S.-backed forces, pro-Syrian government troops and Russian jets will likely all be fighting near one another.

Speaking to reporters on his way to Germany on Monday to meet with European allies, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke broadly about the U.S. military’s future operations against the Islamic State in the Euphrates River Valley, adding that it will take “more precision” to stave off any incidents between the disparate forces operating there.

“You have to play this thing very carefully,” Mattis said. “The closer we get, the more complex it gets.”

Mattis also acknowledged that the U.S. would continue to supply Kurdish forces in the north with weapons despite objections by U.S. ally Turkey. “When they don’t need them anymore we’ll replace them with what they do need,” he said.

Read more ....

Battle For The Syrian City Of Raqqa -- News Updates June 27, 2017

US wants to steer clear of Syrian civil war: Mattis -- AFP
U.S. eyes arms for YPG fighters in Syria even after Raqqa's fall -- Reuters
Mattis says US may provide more weapons to YPG even after Raqqa's fall -- NRT
Inside Raqqa, ISIS militants' fast-shrinking terror capital -- CBS
US-backed SDF forces advance in Raqqa -- Al Jazeera
SDF make inroads into Raqqa -- Euronews
US-backed forces seize new district from IS in Raqqa -- AP
‘Significant resistance’ from IS in Raqqa as SDF advances -- Kurdistan 24
A quarter of Raqqa has been seized from ISIS -- Al Arabiya/AFP
ISIS Using Drones Rigged With Munitions To Attack Advancing Forces In Raqqa -- Newsweek
ISIS fighters are given 'passports to paradise' in a desperate bid to convince them they will be rewarded with virgins in the afterlife -- Daily Mail
ISIS wives escaping Raqqa regret joining group 'that deviated from Islam' -- Al-Arabiya

Islamic State Will Regroup After It Has Lost Its Urban Strongholds

Members of the Iraqi Army are photographed with an Islamic State flag, claimed after fighting with Islamic State militants in western Mosul, Iraq, June 26, 2017.

VOA: Islamic State Tries to Regroup as Mosul Losses Mount

WASHINGTON — With U.S.-backed Iraqi forces close to ending the Islamic State group's grip on Mosul, security forces in neighboring Iraqi provinces are increasingly concerned about extremists moving into their areas.

Kirkuk, Diyala and Salahuddin provinces have recently witnessed a surge in IS activities, and local security forces fear possible terror attacks by IS militants fleeing Mosul.

“IS terrorists have raised their black flags in many villages and plains across the provincial borders,” said Lieutenant Colonel Faruq Ahmed, head of the security department in Tuz Khurmatu, 200 kilometers from Mosul. “Some of those areas have not had many IS fighters since 2014.”

Read more ....

Update #1: After Mosul is liberated, where will ISIL go? (Faisal Al Yafai, The National).
Update #2: What happens after the Islamic State is defeated in Iraq and Syria? (Washington Post editorial)

WNU Editor: The war against the Islamic State is going to take a long time to run its course .... the loss of Mosul, Raqqa, and other cities is definitely not going to be the end of this group.

Update #3: Even If ISIS Goes Down Soon, It Probably Won’t Stay Down Long (Brian Stewart, The Federalist)

Drone Footage Shows The Destruction Of Mosul



WTOL/CNN: Drone video shows war's toll on once-thriving Mosul


MOSUL, IRAQ (CNN) - New drone video from Iraq shows desperate civilians fleeing completely devastated areas of Mosul, the site of biblical Nineveh.

The footage shows the old city in the western part of Mosul, once Iraq’s second-largest city. Shown is the massive destruction as a result of the ongoing battle against ISIS.

Mosul was once the terror group's stronghold in Iraq. In 2014, ISIS leveled the tomb of the biblical prophet Jonah. A coalition spokesman says only a few hundred ISIS fighters are left in the city.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Nothing but rubble.

Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates June 27, 2017



SKY News: Iraqi troops 'just days' from capturing Mosul Old City

Vicious fighting has left both sides exhausted and trapped civilians in crossfire, but the end could be near for IS.

The fighting is so close now it is within throwing distance.

Iraqi soldiers hiding in the walled back yard of a house in Mosul's Old City take a few steps and chuck their grenades across the street.

At the gate machine gunners fire at Islamic State positions.

Helicopter gun ships attack from the air, only withdrawing when another volley of artillery shells and missiles crash into buildings.

The two sides are not even 30 metres apart.

They are deep in Mosul's Old City. And this is quite simply apocalyptic stuff.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video is a must see. It shows how close the fighting now is in Mosul.

Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates June 27, 2017

Iraqi forces set sight on Old City riverside, PM sees Mosul victory soon -- Reuters
ISIS Fights its Last Battle in Mosul -- Asharq Al-awsat
Iraqi forces battling for last ‘one percent’ of Old Mosul -- RUDAW
Battle to liberate Mosul from IS ‘nearly over’ -- Channel 4 News
Iraqi army says IS days in Mosul are numbered -- Channel 4 News
IS counterattacks in retaken parts of Mosul stall Iraq push -- ABC News/AP
Mosul: Wave of Isis suicide bomb attacks fail to stop Iraqi army's final assault onto the Old City -- The Independent
Heavy sacrifice made in battle to clear Mosul from Daesh -- TRT World
Smell of Death Hovers over Mosul's Old City -- Asharq Al-awsat
Mosul families stuck in last ISIS pocket as Iraqi forces continue battle -- Al-Arabiya

World News Briefs -- June 27, 2017



Reuters: Iraqi forces set sight on Old City riverside, PM sees Mosul victory soon

Iraqi forces on Tuesday pushed towards the river side of Mosul's Old City, their key target in the eight-month campaign to capture Islamic State's de-facto capital, and Iraq's prime minister predicted victory very soon.

Iraqi forces, battling up to 350 militants dug in among civilians in the Old City, said federal police had dislodged IS insurgents from the Ziwani mosque and were only a few days away from ousting militants completely from the Old City.

"The victory announcement will come in a very short time," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on his website on Monday evening.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraq army: ISIL will fall in Mosul 'in a few days'.

US warns Syria over 'potential' plan for chemical attack. Syria: Assad preparing chemical weapons attack, US claims.

Syria denies US allegations of coming chemical attack.

US airstrike on Syrian 'IS' prison kills dozens of civilians, claim activist groups. Syria war: Air strike on IS prison in Mayadin 'kills dozens'. 57 dead in US-led strikes on IS Syria prison: monitor.

US wants to steer clear of Syrian civil war: Mattis.

Saudi demolition of historic Shiite homes stokes violence.

Qatari foreign minister to meet Tillerson in Washington.

Yemen cholera outbreak shows signs of slowing: UN.

Israel strikes Hamas bases in Gaza after rocket: officials. Israel bombs Gaza after rocket fire.

ASIA

China 'asks India to withdraw troops' from Nathu La pass. China protests alleged Indian border incursion.

At least 10 injured in clashes in India-held Kashmir on Eid.

Hostages in Philippines siege forced to fight, loot, become sex slaves: army. Militants used water route to beat Philippine offensive: army.

Mongolia: Battulga to face Enkhbold in first presidential runoff.

North Korea a top priority for Sino-US ties, says new US ambassador to China.

South Korean President Moon to embark on 'emotional' four-day visit to U.S..

U.S. to name China one of worst countries for human trafficking.

Indonesia is blowing illegal fishing boats out of the water.

Pirates rob Thai oil tanker of 1.5 million litres of diesel in Malaysian waters.

AFRICA

Libya, Sudan, Somalia hard hit as US top court partially lifts Trump's travel ban.

IS loses ground in Sinai, searches for other foothold in Egypt.

Explosion heard from ship off the coast of Somalia, official says.

Niger migrants: 52 die during desert crossing.

Somali refugees regret returning home from Kenya.

South Africa government blamed as millions live in shacks.

'Soros wanted to topple E.Guinea leader,' UK mercenary tells Paris court.

EUROPE

Germany and France to lead post-Brexit EU in further integration.

Cyprus talks are best, but not last, chance to end dispute: U.N..

Ukrainian military intelligence officer killed by car bomb in Kiev.

Russia denies Sergey Kislyak is leaving US even as plans are made for send-off.

French parliament opens in test for Macron's many novice lawmakers.

Dutch government partially liable in 300 Srebrenica deaths. Court: Dutch partially liable for Srebrenica deaths.

With a year to go, Russia’s World Cup faces challenges.

AMERICAS

House bill threatens Russia with nuclear treaty suspension.

US President Donald Trump, PM Narendra Modi praise India-US relations.

Judge suspends all Iraqi deportations in US for 2 week.

Brazil's President Michel Temer charged with corruption. Corruption charge increases pressure on Brazil’s president.

British Columbia's NDP introduces motion to topple provincial government.

Reporter's body found in Mexico, marking seventh journalist murder this year.

Colombia's FARC disarmament confirmed by United Nations.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Taliban promotes 4 previously unidentified training camps in Afghanistan.

AQIS emphasizes allegiance to Ayman al Zawahiri, Taliban in new ‘code of conduct’.

Pakistan rejects U.S. sanctions against Kashmir militant.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

EU slaps Google with record fine. Google fined record €2.4bn by EU over search engine results.

Google will stop scanning content of personal emails.

World food security risks growing, Chatham House says.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 27, 2017

An F-15E Strike Eagle disconnects from a KC-10 Extender after receiving fuel over Iraq, Dec. 25, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)

Military.com: General: US Pilots Made the Call to Shoot Down Syrian Aircraft

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- A U.S. Air Force general confirmed American pilots made the call to shoot down Syrian aircraft on three separate missions this month and defended their actions as self-defense.

On June 18, an F/A-18E Super Hornet conducted the U.S. military's first air-to-air kill involving a manned aircraft in nearly two decades when it downed a hostile Su-22 Fitter south of Taqbah.

Meanwhile, on June 8 and again on June 20, F-15E Strike Eagles shot down Iranian-made Shaheed drones over At Tanf as the unmanned aerial vehicles approached or dropped munitions near U.S.-backed forces on the ground.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- June 27, 2017

US Senator calls strikes on Syrian forces 'unlawful' -- Military Times

Grieving Iraqis call on US to investigate massacre of 1,600 military cadets -- FOX News

US Corker to block future arms sales to Gulf nations -- Politico

US Defense policy bill would require Trump's Afghanistan, Syria strategies -- The Hill

Resistance growing to German government's surveillance measures -- DW

Russia's Yury Dolgoruky Submarine Successfully Test-Fires Bulava ICBM -- Sputnik

Russia to float out first modernized nuclear submarine in August -- TASS

Russia launches serial production of upgraded rockets for anti-submarine warfare system -- TASS

Russia has destroyed 99% of its chemical weapons – supervising general -- RT

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Departs for Exercises and Possible Port Call in Hong Kong -- The Diplomat

North Korean, Russian, Chinese Missile Tech Advances Raise Threat to US -- Sputnik

South Korea Voices Support for US Antimissile System -- New York Times

Foreign minister says Seoul has no plan to reverse THAAD deployment -- Yonhap News

S. Korea-U.S. alliance stands at 'critical juncture' amid threats from N.K. -- Yonhap News Agency

North Korea can now target Japan with a nuclear missile -- Nikkei Asian Review

U.S., Japan to reinforce deployment of guided missile destroyers -- UPI

Japan Seeks to Deploy 4 Additional Aegis Destroyers to Counter N. Korea's Ballistic Missile Threat -- KBS WORLD

F-35B Touches Down at Okinawa for the First Time -- Sputnik

US Army joins Israeli investigation into Apache rotor crack -- Defense news

Trump admin unveils cyber pact with Israel -- The Hill

The U.S. Air Force's Stealth F-22 Raptor Will Fly Until 2060 -- National Interest

Strategic Missile Systems receives 'doomsday plane' contract -- UPI

Bomb Maker Wants to Arm F-35s With New No-Look Missiles -- Sputnik

Raytheon pushes GBU-49 as quick fix to give F-35 ability to hit moving targets -- Defense News

The U.S. Air Force Wants to Buy More Reliable Bunker Buster Bomb -- The Drive

Raytheon successfully fires high-energy laser from helicopter -- UPI

Tough Navy Path to USS Ford Deployment-2022 -- Scout Warrior

Fitzgerald crew ignored warning signs, report says -- Navy Times

More sailors needed now: The Navy prepares to meet Trump's goal of 355 ships -- Navy Times

What charges might US Navy sailor Peter Mims face? -- Navy Times

SpaceX launches 10 satellites from US Air Force base -- AP

Lockheed Martin nears completion of GPS III satellite -- UPI

Army taps Raytheon for language translation software -- UPI

Thornberry Compromises: $631B For Defense -- Breaking Dwefense

America’s Military: Overcommitted and Underfunded -- Kori Schake, Defense One

Defense Firms Rapidly Evolving to Address New Challenges -- Daniel Gouré, RCD

American Black Hawks Will Replace Russian Helicopters For Afghan Air Force

US Army / 1st Lt. Veronica Aguila

Washington Times: After Obama’s bad deal, American Black Hawks will replace Russian helicopters for Afghan air force

The Donald Trump Pentagon, in so many words, is saying that the Obama administration’s decision to waive punitive sanctions and buy combat helicopters from Russia was a bad deal.

The Pentagon’s first congressionally required report on Afghanistan under President Trump says the Russian Mi-17 chopper has proved a failure in the long war and will be phased out in favor of American-made UH-60 Black Hawks.

The Obama administration came to realize the failure in its last weeks in office and stopped the deal.

Read more ....

WNU editor: A bad procurement decision. not the first .... nor will it be the last. But in all fairness to the Obama administration, the Pentagon originally loved the helicopter .... Russian Mi-17 Helicopter ‘Game Changer’ for Afghan Forces: US General (Sputnik).