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Showing posts from July 13, 2016


Nick Turse
July 11 2016, 4:03 p.m.

FROM EAST TO WEST across Africa, 1,700 Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other military personnel are carrying out 78 distinct “mission sets” in more than 20 nations, according to documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act.

“The SOCAFRICA operational environment is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous,” says Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, using the acronym of the secretive organization he presides over, Special Operations Command Africa. “It’s a wickedly complex environment tailor-made for the type of nuanced and professional cooperation SOF [special operations forces] is able to provide.”

Equally complex is figuring out just what America’s most elite troops on the continent are actually doing, and who they are targeting.

In documents from a closed-door presentation delivered by Bolduc late last year and a recent, little-noticed question and answer with a military publication, the SOCAFRICA commander offered new clues about …

240 unity fighters dead in battle for IS Libya bastion: medic

The two-month battle for the Islamic State group's Libyan stronghold of Sirte has killed more than 240 unity government fighters and wounded over 1,400, a medic said Tuesday.

Forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord began an operation in May to recapture the coastal city which the IS jihadists overran in June last year.

By retaking Sirte, the hometown of late dictator Moamer Kadhafi, the GNA forces would deal a major blow to IS which has faced a series of setbacks in Iraq and Syria.
+1 Fighters from the pro-government forces loyal to Libya's Government of National Unity (GNA) are seen around a tank on July 2, 2016 as they take position to hit Islamic State (IS) group targets in Sirte ©Mahmud Turkia (AFP/File)

The command centre of the unity forces for the military operations against IS is in Misrata, 200 kilometres (120 miles) east of Tripoli.

"The toll of martyrs after two months of fighting is 241 dead and more than 1,400 wounded," the medical source …

U.S. sending 560 more troops to Iraq as Mosul push intensifies

BAGHDAD — The United States will send 560 more troops to Iraq to transform a freshly retaken air base into a staging hub for the long-awaited battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday. The new American forces should arrive in the coming weeks.

Most of the engineers, logistics personnel, security and communications forces will concentrate on building up Qayara air base, about 40 kilometers south of Mosul. They will assist Iraqi forces planning to encircle and eventually retake the biggest city anywhere that has fallen under ISIS' control.

The extremist group captured Mosul in the summer of 2014. It has used the city as a main headquarters since.

Syrian Rebels Have Launched an Assault on a Vital Aleppo Supply Route

The regime has cut off the only road to eastern parts of the city controlled by antigovernment forces

Civilians were reportedly killed in both government-controlled and rebel-held quarters of Aleppo on Monday after antigovernment forces launched an assault in the divided north Syrian city.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that rebels attempted to regain control of the Castello Road, the only supply route into the eastern part of the city they control, which had been severed by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Shelling by rebel forces — which comprise Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front and other groups — killed nine civilians, according to figures from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group based in the U.K, cited by AFP. The group estimated that 13 civilians were killed in airstrikes by the regime focused on the Bab al-Maqam neighborhood.

Aleppo, the largest city in Syria and one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, has been divided si…