Speaking to reporters Thursday at the Pentagon, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis says he has signed orders to deploy additional American troops to Afghanistan beyond the 11,000 currently serving in the war-torn country. These additional troops will mostly advise and ‘enable the Afghan forces to fight more effectively’ against the Taliban and more than a dozen terror groups in Afghanistan. News of the new deployment orders comes a day after the Pentagon announced that approximately 11,000 U.S. troops are currently serving in Afghanistan, not 8,400 troops, as the Defense Department had previously reported. Officials have suggested that Secretary Mattis is looking to deploy about 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to fulfill the commander’s needs on the ground.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu strongly condemned in a statement North Korea’s sixth nuclear test Sunday, calling it “irresponsible” and a “provocative act” as the tension continues to rise on the Korean peninsula. He then added that this Korean action was “in total disregard of international law as well as regional peace and security”. North Korea claimed it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Last week the North fired a missile over Japan and into the Pacific. After the missile launch, Trump tweeted that the time for talks was over.
After the announcement of the Turkish authorities about the detainment of two Germans citizens believed members of the FETO movement and accused of the failed coup of last year, the German chancellor Angela Merkel has responded that Germany could re-examine its policies following the latest Turkish action. The latest arrests bring to 12 the total number of Germans in Turkish custody that Berlin considers political prisoners. Today the Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said “When we arrest [a coup plotter] Germany starts to get upset. But what are we supposed to do?”, justifying their actions about the two citizens with Turkish origins. The relations between the two NATO allies have deteriorated sharply since Berlin started criticizing Ankara over the crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup.
Saudi Arabia’s mission to the United Nations highlighted the Kingdom’s condemnation for the attacks on Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority. Saudi Arabia as the leader of the islamic Ummah has caled for a resolution to condemn the human rights violations committed against the muslim minority. Saudi Arabia ha stressed the security council to adress this issue on its agenda. Also has expressed its concern to secretary general, which resulted in a condemnation from United Nation. More than 2,600 houses have been burned down in Rohingya-majority areas of Myanmar’s northwest in the last week. About 58,600 Rohingya have fled the violence into Bangladesh from Myanmar, according to UN refugee agency UNHCR, as aid workers there struggle to cope.
Suicide bombers have killed seven and wounded another 12 when they attacked a power plant in Samarra, north of the capital Baghdad on Saturday, officials say. An Iraqi security official said that there were three attackers, while a statement from the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity said there were four. The attackers, armed with grenades also died during clashes with the security forces. The attack happened at 2:00 a.m. local time. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but ISIS has carried out similar attacks in the past. Most Iraqi Shiite Muslims marked the first day of Eid al-Adha on Saturday, a day after the country’s Sunni Muslims. Baghdad was the worst affected governorate with 45 deaths and 135 injuries followed by Ninewa Governorate where Mosul and Tal Afar are located with 36 killed and 18 injured. The remaining casualty figures reported by the UN came from other areas of Iraq which were not named in the press release. Additionally, the numbers do not include figures from the Anbar province, where fighting still continues.
Warplanes from the United States-led coalition killed 22 Islamic State militants in western Anbar on Saturday, a senior paramilitary leader was quoted saying. Qatari al-Obaidi, a commander at the tribal forces in Anbar, told Alsumaria News that coalition fighter jets killed 22 members of the extremist group who were in a convoy heading to the town of Annah (210 west of Ramadi) coming from Qaim. He said seven vehicles driven by the militants were destroyed in the raid. The Iraqi government declared victory over Islamic State in Mosul, the group’s former capital in Iraq, in July, and said it was going to proceed towards other group holdouts, including Anbar. Government troops are currently preparing to expel the group from Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk. Late July, Iraqi army warplanes reportedly dropped millions of messages on western Anbar telling locals that liberation offensives for the province were nearing, and advising them to stay away from militants’ deployments.
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces described plans to boost the country’s air defense capabilities as the number one priority, saying the significant progress in that sphere has turned Iran’s airspace into one of the safest in the turbulent Middle East region. Building up air defense capabilities has been the main priority for the Iranian Armed Forces since a couple of years ago, given the fact that aerial and missile offensives still seem a probability, though pretty low, in case of any military action against Iran, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said on Saturday. Iran has carried out extensive work on the research into and production of advanced air defense systems to counter the threats, the top commander told reporters on the sidelines of a military exhibition in Tehran. Last week, Iran’s Air Defense unveiled four homegrown systems for civil and military applications. The four systems, dubbed Sama, Samee’, Baseer, and Samet-1, are used for detecting aerial targets, controlling air traffic, and transferring data.
Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami highlighted Iran’s growing power in the Middle East and said the balance of power in the region has changed in favor of the Islamic Republic.The commander further pointed to the return of the body of an Iranian military adviser who was recently decapitated by the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group in Syria, saying that it indicated Iran’s power over hegemonic states and their mercenaries in the region. Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement on Thursday received the body of Martyr Hojaji from Daesh based on a ceasefire deal between the two sides. The transfer of Lebanon’s captured soldiers and two martyrs, as well as the body of Martyr Hojaji, took place after the buses carrying Daesh militants and their families arrived in the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs Province. In recent years, the Middle East region has been plagued with Takfiri terrorist groups like Daesh that are believed to have been created and supported by the West and some regional Arab countries.
Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for committing to his partnership with Houthi militias in managing the government in Sanaa as per the terms of their alliance. Saleh recall the importance to empower military and security institutions. The General People’s Congress has tried to reassure its supporters and the capital’s residents and called on them not to allow the situation to deteriorate towards more violence. Futhermore, The party said that the last week clashes between Houthis and Saleh loyalist are dangerous and recall the importance of maintaining unity. Houthi militias and Saleh loyalist stay in Sanaa as each party is willing to confront the other in a state of caution. Saleh loyalists have taken measures to fortify themselves in south of the capital, meanwhile Houthi militias stationed their members in offensive posts north of the capital as they are on high security alert across Sanaa.