Sudan receives invitation to join U.S.-Egypt military exercises

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 19, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Sudan has received an invitation to take part in a joint U.S.-Egyptian military training exercise this October in Egypt, a first for the country in almost thirty years according to the Sudanese Defense Ministry.

General Emad al-Din Adawi announced the invitation to join the Bright Star exercises that will take place in Egypt after he met this week with a U.S. State Department official according to the Ministry. Read the rest of this entry »

US approves $1.25 billion HIMARS sale to Romania

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 19, 2017

imgThe US State Department has cleared a $1.25 billion High Mobility Artillery Rocket System sale to Romania, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement Friday.

The department notified Congress Thursday and the deal is now pending congressional approval. Read the rest of this entry »

UN Libya envoy in Cairo for meetings with Egypt leadership

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 19, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Newly-installed United Nations Libya envoy Ghassan Salame was in Cairo on Monday for the latest round of high-level discussions with the Egyptian leadership on resolving the Libyan crisis.

Mr Salame, a former Lebanese political sciences professor based in Paris, joins a long line of previous successors hoping to stem the country’s political gridlock, which has been exacerbated by the country’s patchwork of unruly militias. Read the rest of this entry »

EU steps up assistance to Mali and the CAR

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 19, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

With the crises in Mali and the Central African Republic worsening, the EU has released fresh humanitarian funding of €9 million to respond to the most pressing needs.

This brings the EU’s overall humanitarian support to West and Central Africa in 2017 to nearly €254 million since the beginning of the year. The lifesaving aid helps the most vulnerable people in the region who have been affected by forced displacement due to conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

US airstrikes kill 7 al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 19, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The US military says it has killed seven al-Shabaab fighters in a series of airstrikes in Somalia as the Trump administration steps up efforts against the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa. Read the rest of this entry »

US Defense Secretary to visit Turkey, Jordan, Ukraine

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 19, 2017

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday will begin a five-day trip to Jordan, Turkey and the Ukraine, Pentagon officials announced Friday.

The trip is intended “to reaffirm the enduring US commitment to strategic partnerships,” the officials said.

Mattis will begin his engagements Monday in Jordan by meeting with King Abdullah II and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt Gen Mahmoud Freihat. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq: Popular Mobilization to field 20.000 fighters for Tal Afar battle

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 19, 2017

Iraq: The pro-government Popular Mobilization Forces will field 20.000 fighters for the anticipated offensive to retake the town of Tal Afar, Islamic State’s last bastion i Nineveh province, a spokesperson said.

PMF spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi said Friday that 20.000 fighters will take part in the imminent battle, saying that the recapture of the enclave “will not take more than weeks”. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq cities can take up to 25 years of work to clear explosives

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 19, 2017

The wires protruding from the small, misshapen stuffed animal revealed the deadly booby-trap tucked inside.

For the people of Mosul, the sophisticated bomb was a reminder of how difficult it will be to return to homes littered with hidden explosives by Daesh militants and dotted with the remnants of undetonated bombs dropped by the US-led coalition that still could blow up.

Washington at least is trying to ease a bit of the massive clean-up burden. Read the rest of this entry »

US to discuss new strategy for South-Asian issues

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Posted in category Eurasia, Eurasia News, South East Asia

United States President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence on Friday will discuss South-Asia strategy with their national security team.

The meeting will be held to develop a new strategy to deal with Afghanistan, which is logger-heads with the United States from past 16 years.

Currently, around 8400 U.S. soldiers are deployed in Afghanistan. Read the rest of this entry »

US-led coalition raids kill 17 Daesh terrorists in Tal Afar

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 16, 2017

U.S.-led coalition warplanes and Iraqi forces pounded Daesh positions in the northwestern city of Tal Afar on Tuesday, killing at least 17 terrorists, according to an Iraqi military officer.

Lieutenant Colonel Shams al-Din al-Anbari said the attacks targeted Daesh arms depots and training sites in the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Saudi, Iraq to re-open border crossing

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Saudi Arabia and Iraq plan to open the Arar border crossing for trade for the first time since 1990, when it was closed after the countries cut ties following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, Saudi local media reported on Tuesday.

Saudi and Iraqi officials toured the site on Monday and spoke with Iraqi religious pilgrims, who for the past 27 years had access to the crossing only once annually during the hajj season. Read the rest of this entry »

40k Iraqi troops prepare to retake Tal Afar

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Some 40,000 Iraqi troops are preparing for military operations to retake the Iraqi town of Tal Afar from Daesh.

Iraqi authorities have announced that the town, located 80 kilometres west of Mosul, will be the next target in the war against Daesh following the recapture of Mosul.

Tal Afar, which had a population of 200,000, has seen intense aerial bombardment to clear Read the rest of this entry »

US, Egypt to hold joint military exercise for first time since Arab Spring

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgThe United States military will take part in a biennial joint military exercise with Egypt called Bright Star 2017 — marking the first time the U.S. has participated in the joint exercise since the toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, CNN reported on Aug. 15.

The joint exercise dates back to the early 1980s, following the signing of the Camp David Accords during President Jimmy Carter’s administration. Bright Star was carried out every other year since — until 2012, when the exercise was canceled due to instability in Egypt after Mubarak’s ouster. Read the rest of this entry »

Tunisian security forces kill senior islamist in ambush

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

img21Tunisian armed forces killed two Islamist militants including a senior commander in a mountain raid near the western border with Algeria late on Tuesday, security sources said.

“Two terrorists were killed and weapons were seized during an ambush that National Guard units set up against a terrorist group,” in Kasserine region, National Guard spokesman Col. Major Khelifa Chibani told state news agency TAP. Read the rest of this entry »

Mali appeals at UN for aid in setting up joint Sahel force

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Hit by several attacks on UN camps, Mali on Tuesday called on the international community to provide military material and financial aid from a new joint force being set up by five countries of the Sahel region.

Speaking before the UN Security Council, Mali’s ambassador to the United Nations, Issa Konfourou, said Monday’s attacks in Mali, which left nine dead, and an attack in Burkina Faso on Sunday, in which 18 people were killed, underscored the urgency of setting up the force. Read the rest of this entry »

Boko Haram bombers kill 20 at camp in northeast Nigeria

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

A local official in Nigeria’s northeastern village of Mandarari says 20 people have been killed in an attack by suspected Boko Haram extremists at a camp near a market.

Village chief Lawan Kalli said Tuesday at least three suicide bombers entered the market around 5 p.m. posing as buyers, then went to the nearby camp for people displaced by Nigeria’s conflict and simultaneously detonated their explosives. Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt affirms will to contribute on solving Gulf crisis

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 10, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed Thursday his country’s willingness to find a solution for the ongoing Gulf crisis through dialogue.

Shoukry made his remarks while meeting with Retired General Anthony Zinni, Envoy of US Secretary of State for Gulf crisis, and Timothy Lenderking, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Gulf Affairs, Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

UN envoy to Libya starts diplomatic tour of country

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 10, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The UN envoy to Libya visited the eastern city of Benghazi on Thursday to meet with civil society groups and others, as he continues his tour of Libyan cities on both sides of the conflict alongside shuttle diplomacy.

Ghassan Salame, the new head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, “landed at Banina airport for a long day of interactions Read the rest of this entry »

US reiterates commitment to solve conflict in Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 10, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The United States embassy in Libya issued a statement on Thursday saying it remains fully committed to working with all Libyans to help advance stabilization and resolve the conflict in Libya.

The embassy added on its website that it is engaging a wide range of Libyan political and security figures in order to help achieve stability in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Lebanon army to dislodge Daesh from area near Syrian border

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 10, 2017

imgLebanon’s US-backed military is gearing up for a long-awaited assault to dislodge hundreds of Daesh militants from a remote corner near Syrian border, seeking to end a years-long threat posed to neighbouring towns and villages by the extremists.

The campaign will involve cooperation with the militant group Hezbollah and the Syrian army on the other side of the border – although Lebanese authorities insist they are not coordinating with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government. Read the rest of this entry »

Turkey restricts cross-border movement with Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 10, 2017

imgTurkey is limiting cross-border movement at Bab Al-Hawa (Cilvegözü) crossing with Syria after the area was taken by a terrorist group, Customs Minister Bülent Tüfenkci said Wednesday.

Tüfenkci told reporters that the restrictions were imposed after Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants took control of the area. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq army to secure post-Daesh Mosul until police ready

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Iraqi army will remain responsible for security in the northern city of Mosul until local police forces restore their pre-Daesh capabilities, a military spokesman said Monday.

“There are no plans to withdraw military units from newly recaptured Mosul; it’s still too early for that,” Brigadier-General Yehia Rasul, a spokesman for the army’s joint operations command Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq: Security troops destroy Islamic State rest houses in Diyala

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 10, 2017

Two Islamic State rest houses were destroyed in Hamreen Mountains area, Diyala government, local police source announced on Thursday.

“A joint force of Diyala police and al-Hashd al-Ashaeri (Tribal Mobilization Forces) carried out an operation in Al Safra village in Hamreen Mountains,” the Diyala Police Command said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt police kills 3 jihadists behind anti-Copt attacks

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 10, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Egypt’s interior ministry said on Thursday its forces had killed three jihadists suspected of involvement in deadly attacks against the country’s Coptic Christian minority.

An officer also died in a shootout in the southern province of Qena on Tuesday, security officials said. Read the rest of this entry »

Algerian military kills six armed militants

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgAlgerian troops killed six armed militants on Monday west of Algiers, where security forces last week broke up a Daesh cell, the defence ministry said.

Five Kalashnikov rifles and ammunition were also recovered during Monday’s operation, which was still under way, near the town of Gouraya in Tipaza province, the ministry said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Germany delivers 2nd submarine to Egypt

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgThe Egyptian Navy received its second Type 209/1400 submarine, the S42, in a ceremony on Tuesday in Kiel City, Germany.

Commander of the Egyptian Navy Ahmed Khalid Hassan raised during the ceremony the Egyptian flag on the submarine, manufactured by the German company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq, French leaders discuss fight against terrorism

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the bilateral ties and the combat against terrorism on Monday.

During a phone conversation, initiated by Macron, the French leader reiterated support for the Iraqi government in its efforts to restore security and stability and rebuild the state Read the rest of this entry »

Senior IS leader killed by airstrike in Kirkuk

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A senior Islamic State (IS) leader and five other elements were killed as an air raid targeted a rest house, south of Kirkuk governorate, Alsumaria News reported on Tuesday.

A local source told Alsumaria News that an air raid targeted a rest house belonging to the IS on the outskirts of al-Riyad town, killing Abu Wahab al-Iraqi, an IS emir who is known as al-Aawar (the one-eyed emir), and five other elements. Read the rest of this entry »

UN warns of more evacuations amid fighting in Iraq

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The UN’s humanitarian aid coordinator for Iraq on Tuesday warned of major evacuations due to three possible additional military operations against Daesh-held areas of the country.

The deputy special representative of the United Nations’ Assistance Mission for Iraq, Lise Grande, told reporters in Geneva that, after Mosul, the UN expected more operations in Tal Afar, Hawija and Anbar provinces. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. makes base near Tal Afar to back anticipated invasion

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 9, 2017

img21A U.S. military base has been established near Iraq’s northwestern Tal Afar city, according to an Iraqi military source.

“The establishment of the base came upon talks held between U.S. and Iraqi forces Friday in Mosul’s Zammar district,” Lt. Col. Mahdi al-Khafaji said. Read the rest of this entry »

UN backs Italy bid to close migrant route from Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The UN’s new envoy to Libya on Tuesday endorsed Italy’s drive to stem the flow of migrants leaving the north African state for Europe, despite misgivings among human rights groups.

Rights campaigners fear Italy’s focus on strengthening the Libyan coastguard to ensure boatloads of migrants are intercepted before reaching international waters could place thousands of people with a right to asylum at serious risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Tunisian security forces kill two suspected jihadists

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Tunisian security forces have killed two suspected jihadists during an operation in a mountainous area near the Algerian border, the national guard said on Wednesday.

A third suspect was critically wounded in the operation launched on Tuesday evening on Mount Birinou in the Kasserine region, national guard spokesperson Khalifa Chibani said. Read the rest of this entry »

13 IS killed by Iraqi airstrikes in western Anbar

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 3, 2017

imgThirteen Islamic State militants were killed in an airstrike in western Anbar on Wednesday.

“Army jets shelled IS members gathering in Rawa and Qaim towns, western Anbar, killing 13 members, most of whom are foreigners,” the source said.

“IS transferred its main headquarters on main roads in the two towns to residential areas in the wake of army airstrikes,” the source said. Read the rest of this entry »

UK supports Iraq in progress to liberate its land from IS

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 3, 2017

Britain’s Chief of the Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach affirmed Thursday on his country’s support for Iraq to liberate the remaining cities from the grip of terrorist groups.

Peach met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and conveyed to him congratulations of Britain on the liberation of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State (IS), Iraqi’s cabinet said in a Read the rest of this entry »

Pence: Western Balkans future lay with the West

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, August 3, 2017
Posted in category Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgUS Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday that the future of the Western Balkans lay “in the West,” on the last leg of a tour aimed at reassuring Eastern European allies worried by Russia.

After visiting Baltic state Estonia and the Caucasus nation of Georgia, Pence arrived on Tuesday in NATO’s newest member Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea.

Pence’s tour is a show of support for allies in the region rattled by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its backing of a bloody separatist rebellion in Ukraine. Read the rest of this entry »