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alessandro Conte @en

U.S. Airstrikes Hit ISIL Targets in Libya

Defence/Middle East - Africa di

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2016 — U.S. Africa Command officials today announced results of precision airstrikes conducted Aug. 16, against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant targets in Sirte, Libya.

Africom is conducting the strikes at the request of, and in coordination with, the Libyan Government of National Accord, officials said.

The following targets were struck by U.S. forces:

— Seven enemy fighting positions.

— Four vehicle-borne bombs.

— One pickup truck with a mounted recoilless rifle.

— Twelve enemy fighting positions.

— One command-and-control vehicle.

These airstrikes bring the total number to 57, in support of Operation Odyssey Lightning, which began Aug. 1.

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Officials said the U.S. stands with the international community in supporting the GNA as it strives to restore stability and security to Libya. These actions and those taken previously will help deny ISIL a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and its allies, officials said.

 

Source: DoD Defense Media Activity

Bashar Al Assad flies to Moscow

Middle East - Africa di

For the first time since the outbreak of the crisis, Syrian President Bashar Assad has left the capital for a corporate trip to Moscow.

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An Unexpected Journey, the Kremlin said in a press release, but suggests a renewed confidence in his government by the Syrian president.

In Moscow Bashar Al Assad met with Vladimir Putin, with whom he discussed the results of the current joint military actions and future initiatives to reach a political solution to the internal conflict in Syria. This his first international public from the beginning of the conflict in 2011 following the Arab Spring of Damascus shows how the changed situation on the ground thanks to Russian, so as not to cause fear a temporary removal from the capital.

The same destination of this presidential trip is emblematic, a kind of recognition of the importance of the Russian intervention as stated on the same Bashar Al Assad, “the terrorism that is spreading through the region now would make even greater losses without it. ”

Iran is also a great supporter of the Assad regime but the choice of Russia as the first visit of the Syrian leader can be interpreted as a sign of the need for the government to Assad to secure recognition of reward legitimacy by a major international player with a seat on the UN Security Council. Many international reactions to the meeting in Moscow was a sign of how Russian intervention is considerable in this quadrant.

Shortly after the visit, Putin has received phone calls from Turkey and Saudi Arabia leaders. Prime Minister turkish Ahmet Davutoglu said that after this meeting could start a political negotiation with Assad while Putin himself has informed the Saudi king Salman on the results of the meeting. Instead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov received a phone call from US Secretary of State John Kerry after the visit.

A further consequence of the talks in Moscow is the convening on 22 October a series of talks on the Syrian crisis between the top diplomats of Russia, the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Vienna although a great skepticism emerges as to finding a agreement for a transition plan in Syria. There are many factors that complicate the search for a political solution of the conflict, not least that of the deep Syrian divisions.

The question of how will Syria after the transition from the leadership of al-Assad will be crucial to the multilateral talks in Vienna. Many of the rebels have refused to accept a deal that allows the government to Assad to continue its work of government in any form. The United States and Turkey, among others, are not happy at the prospect that al-Assad will have a say in any political negotiations.

 

Alessandro Conte

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