[ToloNews] Herat ...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns... health officials said Thursday that unknown men set fire to a clinic in Oba district on Wednesday.
Tamana, head of Herat’s public health department, said that parts of the building were destroyed.
[KhaamaPress] A car bomb explosion claimed the life of 6 Afghan soldiers in northern Balkh province on Thursday, Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
According to a press statement published by the Ministry of Defense Affairs, a motor bomb exploded near a military base at 04:30 on Thursday morning, which has killed 6 Afghan soldiers and have wounded another three of them.
No individual or group has so far claimed the responsibility of his attack.
In another incident two days back, at least 15 Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban ambush on a security check-point in Dawlatabad district of Balkh.
This comes as Taliban leaders are at the eve of a political settlement agreement with the United States, currently negotiating the ‘ceasefire’ and ‘intra-Afghan’ talks.
[ToloNews] Spokesman for the provincial governor, Ahmad Monir Farhad, said that last night a clash occurred between Taliban and security forces.
At least 10 army soldiers were killed in a “Taliban attack” on Wednesday night in Balkh province, a source told TOLOnews.
The attack targeted the Bangala base, which is in Balkh district, and seven soldiers were also wounded in the attack, the source said.
According to the source an army tank was also destroyed in the attack.
Army officials in the north have so far not provided information, but a spokesman for the provincial governor, Ahmad Monir Farhad, said that last night a clash occurred between Taliban and security forces but he did not give any numbers about casualties.
The Taliban has not commented yet.
This comes two days after seven army members were killed and three other NDS employees were wounded in a Taliban attack on an army base in Dawlat Abad district of Balkh province.
[KhaamaPress] Afghan security forces have rescued a businessman who was abducted by a kidnapping gang early this week, Afghan National Security Directorate said in a statement.
According to a joint press release published by the Afghanistan National Security Directorate and Ministry of Interior Affairs, Afghan security officials have managed to rescue Haji Nasir Ahmad, a local trader who was abducted by a group of kidnappers on Saturday.
The kidnappers had asked Haji Nasir Ahmad’s family for a payment of 3 million dollars against his release, the statement said.
The NDS special forces and the police forces conducted a joint operation in district 4 of Kabul city on Thursday as result in addition to rescuing kidnapped Haji Nasir Ahmad, they detained a gang’s head with another 6 members were detained, NDS said.
In the recent years, amid the political uncertainties, robberies and kidnapping crimes have also increased.
[KhaamaPress] Taliban has released 27 abducted members of peace marches group who were kidnapped while traveling to western parts of Afghanistan. "They smell, complain constantly about the food, weather, clothes, what have you. They're a pain in the ass and more trouble than they're worth. YOU take em back!"
Bismillah Watan Dost, a spokesman for the People’s Peace Movement (PPM), said the 27 members abducted while traveling to Farah on Tuesday were held by the Taliban for 45 hours and released without harm.
The People’s Peace Movement (PPM) disappeared after entering Farah province two days ago while they were on march demanding a ceasefire.
The people peace movement had started a march from western Herat province two weeks ago. They were traveling in six cars, when they were stopped by Taliban militants on a main road in Farah province on Tuesday.
According to officials at PPM, it has been four times the Taliban has kidnapped their members.
The People’s Peace Movement (PPM) started its marches in early 2018 from Helmand province and have traveled to almost all parts of the country.
Interestingly, members of this group ave walked several provinces with bear feet demanding for peace initiatives from all involved parties mainly the Taliban.
This comes as the U.S government is mediating Afghanistan’s peace process which started last year in February.
Zalmay Khalizad, US peace envoy is currently said to be in Qatar, waiting for the Taliban peace delegation to return back to Doha, following consultations on peace agreement terms with their leadership.
[AlAhram] Libya's internationally recognized government has formally requested from Turkey "air, ground and sea" military support to fend off an offensive of eastern forces to take the capital Tripoli, a Tripoli official said on Thursday.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier his country will send troops to Libya at the request of Tripoli as soon as next month.
[AlAhram] The possible military mission in Libya would further stretch Ankara's armed forces less than three months after it launched an incursion into northeastern Syria against Kurdish forces.
Turkey will send troops to Libya at the request of Tripoli as soon as next month, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, putting the north African country's conflict at the centre of wider regional frictions.
Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has been fending off a months-long offensive by General Khalifa Haftar's forces in eastern Libya, which have been supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Last month, Ankara signed two separate accords with the GNA, led by Fayez al-Serraj, one on security and military cooperation and another on maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean.
"Since there is an invitation (from Libya) right now, we will accept it," Erdogan told members of his AK Party in a speech. "We will put the bill on sending troops to Libya on the agenda as soon as parliament opens."
The legislation would pass around Jan. 8-9, he said, opening the door to deployment.
However, it was unclear what specific invitation Erdogan was referring to, as the interior minister in the Tripoli-based government, Fathi Bashagha, suggested in comments to reporters in Tunis that no such official request had yet been made.
"If the situation escalates and then we have the right to defend Tripoli and its residents... we will submit an official request to the Turkish government to support us militarily so we expel the ghost of mercenary forces," Bashagha said on Thursday.
For weeks Ankara has flagged the possibility of a military mission in Libya, which would further stretch its armed forces less than three months after it launched an incursion into northeastern Syria against the Kurds.
Turkey has already sent military supplies to the GNA despite a United Nations arms embargo, according to a U.N. report seen by Reuters last month.
The Tripoli government and Haftar's forces were not immediately available for reaction to Erdogan's comments.
Erdogan visited Tunisia on Wednesday to discuss cooperation for a possible ceasefire in neighbouring Libya. On Thursday, he said Turkey and Tunisia had agreed to support the GNA.
TENSION WITH RUSSIA
Moscow has voiced concerns over a possible Turkish military deployment to Libya in support of the GNA. Erdogan has said Turkey will not stay silent over mercenaries from the Kremlin-linked Wagner group supporting Haftar.
"Russia is there with 2,000 Wagner (fighters)," Erdogan said on Thursday, also referring to some 5,000 fighters from Sudan in Libya. "Is the official government inviting them? No."
"They are all helping a war baron (Haftar), whereas we are accepting an invitation from the legitimate government of the country. That is our difference," he added.
Haftar's eastern-based Libyan National Army has been trying since April to take Tripoli from the GNA, which was set up in 2016 following a U.N.-brokered deal.
Turkish and Russian officials held talks in Moscow this week to seek a compromise on the issues of both Libya and Syria. Russia's Vedomosti said on Thursday the discussions had lasted much longer than the expected three days.
In Syria, Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while Turkey has backed rebels seeking his ouster during the more than eight-year civil war. The latest talks follow reports that Russian-backed attacks were forcing tens of thousands more Syrians to flee towards Turkey.
Turkey has also been ramping up efforts to strike deals with nations around the Mediterranean, where Ankara has been at loggerheads with Greece over resources off the coast of the divided island of Cyprus.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
12/27/2019 00:42 ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
[DW] Turkey poised to send troops to Libya, ratcheting up tensions in E. Mediterranean
Turkey is preparing to send troops and advanced weapons to the embattled UN-backed Libyan government. The military muscle flexing puts it at odds with Russia and several Arab states backing Libya's rival government.
Turkey will send troops to Libya at the request of the UN-backed government in Tripoli as soon as next month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, in a move likely to deepen an international proxy struggle in the north African country ravaged by civil war.
Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has been struggling to repel a months-long offensive by General Khalifa Haftar's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which has been supported by Egypt, Jordan, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and France.
Last month, Turkey and the Tripoli-based GNA leader Fayez al-Serraj signed a defense cooperation deal and a separate one on maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is locked in a dispute with regional rivals Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel over access to waters rich in natural gas.
The defense deal, which came into effect on Thursday, allows Turkey to send military training personnel and equipment to GNA forces, but the deployment of troops needs parliamentary approval.
"Now that there is an invitation [from Libya] we'll accept it," Erdogan told members of his ruling party on Thursday. "We'll put a resolution authorizing a military deployment on the agenda as soon as parliament reopens," he said, adding it would pass on January 8 or 9.
"We will give all forms of support to the Tripoli government which is fighting against a putschist general backed by various Arab and European countries," Erdogan said.
While no official request from Tripoli has been made yet, GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha on Thursday suggested his government would extend an invitation for the troop deployment.
Haftar has "provided foreign forces with military bases in Libya," GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha told journalists in Tunisia on Thursday.
"If this position continues we have the right to defend Tripoli and we will officially ask the Turkish government for its military support."
Posted by: 3dc ||
12/27/2019 00:36 ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
Islamic militants on motorcycles killed 14 security force members who were escorting election officials in the West African nation of Niger, the first large attack there since 71 soldiers were killed in a massive ambush earlier this month, authorities said Thursday.
The attack took place Wednesday night near Sanam, which is about 125 miles from the capital of Niamey, according to a government statement. Officials from the national electoral commission were in the area to conduct a census before next year's vote.
The victims were seven military police officers and seven national guard members, the statement said.
Niger has long been vulnerable to Islamic attacks because it shares a border with Nigeria, where Boko Haram insurgents have been carrying out attacks for a decade.
But now Niger is increasingly threatened by militants from the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara group, which carried out a 2017 attack that left four U.S. service members dead in Niger. Those same militants who are active along the Niger-Mali border also claimed the unprecedented massacre at the army camp earlier this month that left 71 dead.
[AlAhram] A boat carrying migrants capsized in a lake in eastern Turkey on Thursday, killing seven people on board, officials said. At least 64 migrants were rescued.
The boat sank in Lake Van as it approached the town of Adilcevaz in Bitlis province, the provincial governor's office said in a statement. It was carrying migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Five of the migrants were found dead in the lake while two others died in a hospital, the statement said.
Turkey is a main crossing point for migrants trying to reach Europe.
It was not immediately clear why the migrants were traveling on a boat and not by road. The lake is close to Iran but lies within Turkey's borders.
The statement said the rescued migrants were taken to the hospital and shelters around Bitlis.
Gendarmerie forces, emergency teams and divers were pressing ahead with search-and-rescue operations, the statement said, adding that authorities had launched a formal investigation into the incident.
[AnNahar] Iraq's president said Thursday he was "ready to resign" rather than put forward the candidate of a pro-Iranian coalition for the post of prime minister, deepening the country's political crisis.
Barham Saleh's announcement came as anti-government protesters blocked roads and bridges in Baghdad and the country's south after torching several buildings overnight.
The protesters want a technocratic premier who has had no involvement in the political system set up after the US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
"The government is hostage to corrupt parties and sectarian divisions", said one activist, Sattar Jabbar, 25, in the southern city of Nasiriyah.
Smoke and flames from burning tires in Nasiriyah, Basra and Diwaniyah blocked major roads and bridges across the Euphrates River all night, AFP correspondents said, before some of these roadblocks were lifted in the morning.
In Nasiriyah, demonstrators set the provincial government building ablaze overnight for a second time since the protests began, and protesters also torched the new headquarters of a pro-Iran militia in Diwaniyah.
Iraq has been rocked by protests since October 1.
After dwindling, the street campaign has gained new vigor in recent days to rally against widespread corruption and a political system seen as beholden to neighboring Iran.
Government offices and schools remain closed across almost all of Iraq's south.
[Rudaw] The Finnish government has announced that crisis management troops will be redeployed from Iraq to the Kurdistan Region as part of continued efforts being made to restructure Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
The OIR is the US-led military offensive against the Islamic State (ISIS) which was established in June 2014, operating both in Iraq and Syria. Finland has been part of the OIR since August 2015.
The Finnish Crisis Management Force in Iraq (SKJI) began operations in the the country in early 2018 as part of international efforts to fight ISIS, according to the Finnish Army.
80 troops are set to be re-deployed to Erbil, although the Finnish government has not specified from which Iraqi base they are being transferred.
The troops will be re-deployed to the KRG to join Finnish troops operating in Erbil as part of the Kurdistan Training Coordination Center (KTCC), according to the statement.
"Finnish action enabled the coalition to operate at a secure base and improved the performance of Iraqi security forces in the fight against Daesh," the Monday statement read, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Finland already has 100 specialist military personnel in the Kurdistan Region, training Peshmerga in its fight against ISIS, as part of the KTCC along with Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Hungary.
"The Finnish security team's duties in Iraq will cease as a result of the change," according to the Finnish Army's statement.
As of Spring 2018, the Finns had trained about 750 Iraqi Armed Forces soldiers from two different infantry brigades.
"The purpose of the training provided was to support anti-Daesh operations and the establishment of a sustainable Iraqi security structure," the statement added.
Diplomatic and military delegations from the Kurdistan Region previously have been welcomed in Helsinki, especially during the battle against ISIS.
Helsinki does not have a diplomatic mission in the Kurdistan Region.
[Rudaw] Iraqi security forces said late Thursday that at least one civilian was killed and two others were injured by suspected Islamic State (ISIS) members. The shooting occurred on the Kirkuk-Tikrit highway in northern Iraq.
“A civilian was martyred and two others injured in a live shooting as they were driving a Mercedes vehicles on al-Alm-Kirkuk way,” the Iraqi Security Media Cell said in a statement. Al-Alm is a city located in Saladin province.
Saeed Ali Husseini, head of public relations for the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Northern Front, told Rudaw that his organization, known to Iraqis as the Hashd al-Shaabi, suspects ISIS members to be behind the attack.
“A number of armed people set an ambush on Tikrit-Kirkuk road...at 7pm Thursday evening, opening live fire on a passing vehicle which led to the death of four civilians,” he said, reporting a higher death toll than the Iraqi Security Media Cell’s official statement indicated.
“The armed people are suspected to be affiliated to Daesh. The incident area is a distant place, located in Saladin province. Security forces have arrived there,” added Husseini.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
12/27/2019 00:02 ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
[Al Masdar] The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will be pushing towards the strategic city of Saraqib in northeastern Idlib, a new report from the aforementioned governorate read on Thursday.
According to the report, the Syrian Arab Army’s 25th Special Mission Forces Division and its allies will not only attempt to capture Ma’arat Al-Nu’man, but also, Saraqib near the Aleppo Governorate’s administrative border.
Posted by: 3dc ||
12/27/2019 00:51 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[France24] Syrian government forces surrounded a Turkish observation post in Idlib province Monday after overrunning nearby areas in a push to take the last opposition bastion, a war monitor said.
The Idlib region in northwest Syria has seen an uptick in violence in recent days as regime forces supported by Russian airstrikes have launched a fresh assault to capture one of the largest urban centres in the area.
On Monday, regime forces surrounded one of 12 Turkish observation posts in the region, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"Regime forces have surrounded the Turkish observation post in Al-Surman after capturing several towns and villages, including Jarjanaz and Al-Surman" in the southeast of the province, said the head of the Britain-based monitor, Rami Abdel Rahman.
Posted by: 3dc ||
12/27/2019 00:43 ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
[AlAhram] Russian military police have taken control of a base near the Syrian city of Raqqa that was controlled by US forces until a few days ago, the TASS news agency reported on Thursday.
Russian forces entered the nearby city of Raqqa, the former de facto capital of the Islamic State group caliphate, earlier this month as Moscow rushed to fill a vacuum created by US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops from northern Syria.
The base, a former school in the village of Tal Samin, is in a strategic area at a crossroads that links the city of Raqqa with central Syria and its northern regions, the state news agency said.
It cited Arman Mambetov, a Russian military policeman, as saying that he and colleagues would begin patrolling the surrounding area from Thursday.
The Russian Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV channel showed two Russian military policemen running up the Russian flag at the base and a column of Russian military police vehicles entering.
[Jpost] American and Russian troops brawled in Tell Tamer in northeast Syria on Wednesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Russian forces were present in the area at the same time as US troops and when the two parties met it devolved into a fist fight, "due to their presence in the same area," according to SOHR.
The American troops were in the area with an interpreter to get to know the opinions of local residents. According to SOHR, all the people described the US forces as traitors.
Tell Tamer was one of the cities that US troops withdrew from after a decision by President Donald Trump ...the Nailer of NAFTA... . Syrian troops entered the town after the Syrian government reached an agreement with the Kurdish-led forces controlling the region to deploy into the area to counter an attack by The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire... . Residents of the Christian community in Tell Tamer are threatened by Ottoman Turkish-backed Syrian militias who caused many Christians to flee towns near the Ottoman Turkish border after the US withdrawal.
Course they're calling us traitors. They want to shame us into coming back.
Posted by: Charles ||
12/27/2019 8:31 Comments ||
American troops were in the area with an interpreter to get to know the opinions of local residents
Seriously, you can't play selfless saviour as well as stone cold business shark in the same damn place. Let them live or die on their own, and move on. We've been through similar things with Baloch rebels.
It's an unfortunate situation, but they won't understand that you had your orders. They are a militia, while you are run by disconnected policy from Washington, by people who don't give a shit about bonds formed on the field. Of course they'll call you traitors.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.