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No positive response from Pakistan to terrorism

in MIDLE EAST by

During the “Progress on Peace and Stability in Afghanistan” at the US Institute of Peace, Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar says the response from the Pakistan to terrorism has been mixed. He said that the consensus on how to fight the terrorists has broken slightly. Atmar added that there are nations in the region that draw a distinction between good and bad terrorists. Furthermore, the region actors all agreed to have state-to-state relations for counter terrorism, but there are some stat who look at state to non-state actors relations for counter-terrorism, like some that say they work with the Taliban against Daesh or against the ISIS. According to Atmar, this is unethical and self-defeating in terms of policy. Atmar said Afghanistan faces threat from a nexus of violent extremism, transnational criminalized networks and state sponsorship of terrorists, but it’s not just the Taliban and the Haqqani network that they are fighting. There is an increase of foreign fighters associated with at least three categories of terrorist networks. The global terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda, Daehs and ISIS-K. The regional terrorists such as IMU from Central Asia and China, and Pakistani terrorists such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Killed 9 ISIS militants near Kirkuk

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The pro-government paramilitary troops announced that nine Islamic State militants, including a suicide attacker, have been killed in an operation in the west of Kirkuk. In a statement, the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said: “An ambush was set, depending on information from the intelligence, leaving nine IS members killed in Wadi al-Rahma, north of al-Zab town in Hawija. One of them was a suicide attacker.” No further details were provided.

Afghanistan: 8 IS militants in Kabul

in DEFENCE/MIDLE EAST by

The national intelligence agency has arrested eight Islamic State operatives in the capital, Kabul. The arrests follow an assault by five heavily armed Islamic State suicide bombers on the Afghan military academy in Kabul that killed 11 soldiers. The suspects were recruiting Afghan youth and planning terror attacks in Kabul, the agency said. They were accumulating funds for subversive activities. Afghan security forces have since improved security around the capital and made raids against IS militant. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, acting on findings of a probe into the assault, fired seven army officers, including two generals, for ‘professional negligence”. The situation in Kabul is criticized and Ghani’s government is accused of failing to protect the city and Afghanistan.

US starts Iraq drawdown after declaration of victory over IS

in AMERICAS/DEFENCE by

American troops have started to draw down from Iraq following Baghdad’s declaration of victory over the Islamic State group last year, according to Western contractors at a U.S.-led coalition base in Iraq. In Baghdad, an Iraqi government spokesman on Monday confirmed to The Associated Press that the drawdown has begun, though he stressed it was still in its early stages and doesn’t mark the beginning of a complete pullout of U.S. forces. Dozens of American soldiers have been transported from Iraq to Afghanistan on daily flights over the past week, along with weapons and equipment, the contractors said.

Iraqi troops prepare to invade IS members hiding in village, south of Mosul

in DEFENCE/MIDLE EAST by

Speaking to BasNews website, Col. Falah Aref, an officer from the Joint Operations Command, announced that Iraqi troops are preparing to invade Hawija village, a village in south of Mosul between Qayyarah and Hammam al-Alil towns, into which tens of Islamic State militants infiltrated. “Joint troops of army and police as well as Rapid Response forces are getting ready to invade Hawija village, which has wide areas of forests, helping militants to hide there”, he added. Col. Aref said that the invasion will be backed by Iraqi fighter jets, after evacuating the residents through safe passageways, adding that “The presence of IS members in the village endangers security of the south of Mosul”. In July, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared victory over IS militants who had held the second largest Iraqi city since 2014. More than 25,000 Islamic State militants were killed throughout the campaign. Last month, Abadi announced full recapture of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members.

Russian lawmakers blast Pentagon’s latest statement on Syria as ‘lies and lack of principles’

in ASIA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Senior Russian MPs have described an allegation by the Pentagon that Moscow and Damascus showed insufficient commitment to defeating IS terrorists as snobbery and lies, designed to cover up US failure to depose the lawful Syrian government. “The statement is nothing new, the same typical snobbery. Even with total resistance from the US special services, those who know how much Russia and the Syrian military forces have done, how many lives were lost, simply cannot say that Russia has done nothing,” Senator Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the Upper House Committee for Defense and Security, told RBC in response to remarks by Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon. “Nothing is sacred to these people. Now leading news agencies around the world that are being managed by them will tell us that they are the greatest. And we will disprove this”, Klintsevich added. “I think that, in the nearest future, the Americans will face a great disappointment. They have installed so many time bombs for themselves”.

Iraqi troops arrest last Islamic State Wali in Mosul city

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

MOSUL – On Wednesday, police officer Eyad Ramzy from Nineveh announced to al-Sabah, a semi-official newspaper, that the Iraqi security troops arrested the last Islamic State governor with his two brothers in Mosul city: “Saleb al-Eslahi and his two brothers, Ahmed and Suleiman, were nabbed at a village in Mosul with fake IDs in their possession”, as he said. The trio was referred to the authorities concerned for interrogation. Ramzy also added that the forces found huge amounts of explosive materials and weapons belonging to IS militants buried under the ground at Ayn al-Jahesh village in Mosul. “The explosive materials were estimated at 90 tons”, as he said. On Tuesday, a curfew was imposed in four districts in Mosul city in search of criminals. Despite the declaration of the victory over the Islamic State in Mosul, the group’s former bastion in Iraq, observers assume that the IS militants constitute a security threat even if they have been defeated at their main havens across Iraqi provinces. Police forces launched a manhunt for criminals, who are wanted on terror charges and also the Iraqi Air Forces are taking part in the security campaign.

45 IS militants killed, 13 villages liberated in western Anbar: Commander

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

In a statement by the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, Commander of Upper Euphrates and Jazeera Combing Operations, said that Iraqi troops succeeded in liberating thirteen villages North of Euphrates river. He also declared that more than 100 IED were blown up, at least forty-five Islamic State militants were killed in three days. Gen. Yarallah also indicated “blowing up six booby-trapped vehicles and killed three suicide attackers”, as he said. Earlier on the day the Russian Sputnik Agency quoted Na’eem al-Kaoud, head of Anbar Provincial Council’s Security Committee, as saying that forces managed to free the civilians besieged by IS militants to be used as human shields in Rawa and that Security forces have opened safe passageways to allow civilian families to flee through Euphrates River. Operations were launched, late October, to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns. Both have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”. On Friday, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced liberation of Qaim in record time and Iraqi army also recaptured Ebeidi and Krabla regions in western Anbar. On Saturday, Iraqi joint forces launched a wide-scale offensive to liberate al-Rummana and Rawa regions. Advance toward Rawa is still ongoing.

Army soldiers wounded in bomb blasts in western Anbar

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

A military source, who preferred anonymity, declared that on Friday bombs planned by IS, remnants of the battles against Islamic State, exploded injuring several soldiers in al-Rayhana, East of Annah town. The source did not provide details about the number of the wounded, who were taken to hospital for treatment. Iraqi Security troops still continue to liberate the regions in Western Anbar from the landmines planted during the war against the militant group. Iraqi army announced the total liberation of the”town of Annah and neighboring Rayhana area in September. Troops also recaptured Akashat region, between Rutba town, on borders with Jordan, and Qaim, on borders with Syria. Late October, Operations were launched to recapture Qaim and Rawa towns, which have been held by the extremist group since 2014. On Friday” Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi proclaimed the liberation of Qaim in record time while operations in Rawa are expected to be launched soon. Since the proclamation of the “Islamic Caliphate” in 2014 violence in the country has increased considerably. During October one-hundred and fourteen Iraqi civilians were killed, while 244 others were wounded as result of terrorism, violence and armed conflicts according to a monthly release by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi: ‘complete defeat’ of IS as Hawija is liberated

in ASIA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday announced the full liberation of Hawija from the Islamic State (IS), adding he expects the “complete defeat” of the group this year. During a televised broadcast on Iraqi state television, Prime Minister Abadi said the extremist group had suffered another setback in Hawija and would be completely defeated in Iraq this year. “As I have promised to you all, this year will see the end of IS in Iraq”, the Iraqi PM said. “Members of IS are currently gripped with fear everywhere”. Abadi’s statement comes one week after he declared the recapture of the city, west of Kirkuk, after a two-week campaign against the militant group. An Iraqi army commander in Hawija said security forces had begun clearing liberated areas of booby-traps and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by IS.

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