Category: War on Daesh


syria-blasts

Isis has claimed a series of bomb attacks across regime strongholds in Syria, with at least 120 people killed according to local monitoring groups.

A busy bus station and a hospital were among the targets in a rare series of mass-casualty blasts targeting civilians in coastal areas.

The attacks included at least five suicide bombings and two car bombs, and hit the Mediterranean cities of Tartous and Jableh firmly within territory loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

State media confirmed the attacks had taken place, and the Isis-linked Amaq news agency said the militant group was responsible for carrying out the bombings.

Attacks of this size are rare in parts of the country which are under regime control.

State media has confirmed the attacks but gave a lower death toll of 78.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said they were the first assaults of their kind on the coastal cities.

Source: Syria: Isis attacks kill more than 120 people in Assad’s coastal heartlands | Middle East | News | The Independent

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A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in Northern Iraq Tuesday by direct fire from ISIS forces that penetrated several miles across Kurdish lines. A statement from Arizona Governor Doug Ducey identified the slain service member as Charlie Keating.

“Our state and nation are in mourning today over the loss of a U.S. serviceman –- and one of America’s finest. Navy SEAL Charlie Keating, a graduate of Arcadia High School in Phoenix, was killed this morning in an ISIS attack” in Iraq, said Ducey’s statement, which ordered all state flags in Arizona to be lowered to half staff on Wednesday and the day of his interment.

“Our thoughts, prayers and eternal gratitude are with Charlie Keating, his family, his fellow SEALs, and all of the brave Americans who’ve answered the call to serve.”

ABC News Phoenix affiliate KNXV reports that according to family members Keating graduated from Arcadia High School in 2004 and is the grandson of the late Arizona businessman Charles Keating and a cousin of Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr.

Keating was a champion long-distance runner at Arcadia High School and then attended Indiana University before becoming a Navy SEAL based out of Coronado, California, according to KNXV.

The announcement of the third U.S. death in combat against ISIS was made by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who was in Stuttgart, Germany, to attend the change-of-command ceremony at U.S. European Command.

“I’m getting reports a U.S. service member has been killed in Iraq,” Carter said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with that service member’s family.”

Carter highlighted the combat risks the roughly 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq still face even though they are officially in a training, advise and assist mission. “It shows you it’s a serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq,” he said.

A U.S. defense official confirmed to ABC News that around 9:30 a.m. local time ISIS forces penetrated the Kurdish Peshmerga front lines near Irbil.

“This morning a U.S. servicemember advising and assisting Peshmerga forces was killed by enemy fire north of Mosul,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

“The casualty occurred during an ISIL attack on a Peshmerga position approximately three to five kilometers behind the forward line of troops.”

A defense official told ABC News that ISIS used truck bombs to break through Peshmerga lines located about 17 miles north of the ISIS-held city of Mosul. The serviceman was killed by ISIS “direct fire” after ISIS forces pushed to his position. There were no other U.S. casualties in the incident.

In line with his advise-and-assist duties with Kurdish forces, the service member was located away from the front lines.

The official said the ISIS attack was repelled by 23 airstrikes carried out by F-15, F-16, A-10 jets and drones that had been called in to support the coalition and Kurdish forces.

It is unclear how many Peshmerga casualties resulted from the incident.

This is the third U.S. combat-hostile fire death in Iraq since U.S. forces returned in June 2014. There have been 13 non-hostile deaths in Iraq and in the region associated with the anti-ISIS mission.

Source: US Navy SEAL Killed in Combat by ISIS Forces in Northern Iraq – ABC News

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that an American soldier was killed in a battle with ISIS forces that took place between Mosul and Irbil, capital of the Kurdish autonomous area of Iraq. He was killed when US forces, including F-15 warplanes and drones, came to the aid of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who were under attack by the terrorist organization.The incident marked the third time that an American soldier was killed in battle with ISIS since the US launched its war against the terrorist organization about two years ago.

Source: US soldier killed during operation against ISIS near Irbil, Pentagon says

 

The Ministry of Defence said in a statement: “The MoD neither confirms nor denies claims about Special Forces activity.”

British Special Forces in Libya have been ambushed by Islamic State (Isis) suicide bombers in an attack that may also have killed Italian troops. An Israeli news agency report suggests that Daesh (Isis) extremists attacked a convoy travelling from the northwestern city of Misrata towards the IS stronghold of Sirte – the birthplace of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The attack on 27 April, targeted the convoy carrying Special Boat Service (SBS) operatives and Italian troops. The suicide mission was said to resemble similar terrorist attacks by Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula operations against Egyptian forces.

Earlier in April reports suggested that the SBS and Special Air Service (SAS) were preparing to launch a two-pronged attack on IS strongholds in Mosul in Iraq and Sirte in Libya. Several hundred troops were said to be planning to join French, Italian and US Special Forces to mount the huge offensive within weeks, sources say.

A joint force consisting of officers from the UK, France, Italy, Germany and the US are said to be planning the invasion of Libya. Earlier in April, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond travelled to Libya to meet the leaders of the new Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) where he pledged British support.

Despite losing ground in Iraq and Syria, IS has been gaining ground in Libya but lost the key town of Derna on 21 April. Now, on the verge of an invasion by foreign troops, IS in Libya, have seemingly begun a fightback.

“Vehicles packed with explosives drew up alongside the convoy transporting the Italian and British troops and blew themselves up,” reported the Debka news website. “Other ISIS fighters shelled the convoy with mortars and strafed it with heavy machine gun fire. The Western force was only able to escape after Italian and French warplanes and attack helicopters intervened.”

Sources: War on Isis: British Special Forces ambushed by Islamic State suicide bombers in Libya

http://www.debka.com/article/25391/Italian-British-force-ambushed-by-IS-in-Libya-

[Despite Drone Deaths being reported as early as 2011:

(http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/jul/05/afghanistan-raf-drone-civilian-deaths).  PKC.]

The RAF ‘Claims’ its “rigorous” targeting means it has caused no civilian casualties since the air campaign began in 2014.

Such ‘statistics’ fly in the face of the anti-drone lobby, which sees Reapers as robot death machines with no human control.

Flight Lieutenant Tim said: “The disappointment is the British misconception — it makes you feel like they just don’t get it.

“That anti-drone killing machine myth is out there, and it’s going to be very hard to break down.”

AT her secret Middle East base, RAF Warrant Officer Tina is taking the fight to IS – flying killer drones to attack the terror group who she likens to Nazis.

The Sun was granted exclusive access to the base, dubbed The Rock, where daily sorties are launched over Iraq and Syria.

Tina — whose full identity, like those of her colleagues, is protected for security reasons — says: “I compare these guys to the Nazis, the way they came along and treated people and tried to enforce their beliefs on people. They’ve got to be stopped.

The crew, officially named the Launch and Recovery Element, are responsible for the Reaper drones’ take-off and landing.

Once drones are airborne, control is switched via satellite link to either Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas or RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, from where they are flown by a pilot who has trained on air force jets or helicopters, while a navigator operates the sensors.

The two-man flight crews are backed by an intelligence officer who monitors the feeds.

Last year Reapers flown from the dust-bowl airbase wiped out British jihadis Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin, and provided additional “eyes in the sky” for the fatal US strike on executioner Mohammed Emwazi, AKA Jihadi John.

The Reaper team have all conducted operational missions over Iraq and Syria, where they are turning the tide against IS.

RAF Reapers have now spotted IS commanders fleeing the Iraqi city of Mosul ahead of a mass offensive, a top commander revealed.

Vital intelligence gathered by the fleet confirms that senior leaders are sneaking west to the terror state’s Syrian capital, Raqqa.

A senior RAF commander told The Sun: “We’re seeing clear evidence of senior Daesh leadership leaving Mosul.

“They know what’s coming.”

The UK has ten Reapers which are primarily used for providing an unblinking gaze on the ground — but if needed, air crews can unleash a terrifying arsenal.

Each Reaper can carry up to four Hellfire missiles and two Paveway II 500lb bombs.

Source: Meet Tina… the RAF Reaper drone pilot flying missions from secret base to take down ISIS

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