Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
March 01, 2015, 09:35:39 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
85094 Posts in 2266 Topics by 1068 Members
Latest Member: cdenny
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Recent Posts
Pages: 1 ... 6 7 [8] 9 10

 71 
 on: February 25, 2015, 06:32:33 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Cause Célèbre, Scorned by Troops

By DAVE PHILIPPSFEB. 24, 2015
Photo
In a photograph provided by Todd Fitzgerald, a specialist, the platoon is seen on patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan, near the site where the shooting took place.

Nearly two dozen soldiers from an Army platoon were on patrol in a dangerous valley in southern Afghanistan when a motorcycle sped toward them, ignoring commands to stop.

As he tells it, First Lt. Clint Lorance, the platoon leader, ordered his men to fire just seconds before the motorcycle bore down on them that July day in 2012. But the Afghans were unarmed, and two died. The next year, Lieutenant Lorance was found guilty at a court-martial of second-degree murder, one of the few times an American soldier has been convicted of a crime for actions in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. He is serving a 19-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

But the case is far from over. Mr. Lorance, who was dismissed from the Army, has become a cause célèbre for conservative commentators, including Sean Hannity of Fox News, who say the Obama administration punished a soldier for trying to defend his troops. Three Republican House members — Duncan Hunter of California, Matt Salmon of Arizona and Ryan Zinke of Montana — have asked the secretary of the Army to review the case. And more than 124,000 people have signed a petition to the White House demanding a pardon.
Photo
Clint Lorance, an Army platoon leader who was found guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting deaths of two Afghan civilians in 2012, in a photograph provided by his mother, Anna Lorance.

“The warfighter doesn’t always have the benefit of time, given lives are always at risk in a war zone,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter, sent in January, saying the case “deserves a high level of attention and scrutiny.”

That chorus of supporters, however, is notable for what it lacks: members of the platoon itself.

Though many members of the platoon have never publicly expressed their views of the case, nine came forward to testify against Mr. Lorance at his trial, and in interviews several have contradicted Mr. Lorance’s account of a split-second decision to protect his troops. The picture those soldiers paint is of a young lieutenant who, during just three days in command, ordered soldiers to fire repeatedly on unarmed Afghans, tried to falsify reports in order to cover up his actions and so alienated and outraged his troops that they refused to follow orders and turned him in.

“War is hard, there is collateral damage. I get that — I’ve got my own stories,” Staff Sgt. Daniel Williams said in an interview. But Sergeant Williams, who was on his third tour in Afghanistan and was a squad leader in the platoon, added, “That’s not what this was; this was straight murder.”

Mr. Lorance’s lawyers have cast doubt on the platoon members’ accounts, noting that the nine soldiers who testified against him were granted immunity. The lawyers also point to newly uncovered evidence suggesting that the men on the motorcycle may have had ties to enemy bomb makers — a detail that was not revealed to the defense before the trial.

“If the entire evidence had been turned over, this case would be decided differently,” said John Maher, Mr. Lorance’s lawyer. He is appealing the conviction and asking the Army to grant clemency.

Mr. Lorance is barred by the Army from speaking to reporters. But he denied any wrongdoing in an August 2014 letter to the general presiding over his court-martial, saying, “My sole purpose during my tenure as a platoon leader was to bring my men home safely.”
Continue reading the main story

The events of that day continue to haunt many members of the platoon. Some, stalked by anger and regret, say they have trouble sleeping. One cried while talking about how the episode tore apart the platoon. One recently checked into a clinic for post-traumatic stress disorder, saying the calls to free Mr. Lorance had revived disturbing memories.

In 2012, the platoon — part of the Fourth Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment — was based in an outpost overlooking a mud-brick village amid fields of grapes in Kandahar Province.

The region is a Taliban stronghold, and four months into the deployment, four men in the unit were severely wounded, including the original lieutenant. Lieutenant Lorance, a 28-year-old with no combat experience, was sent as a replacement.

Mr. Lorance enlisted in the Army in 2002, became a military police officer and did tours in South Korea as a traffic officer and in Iraq guarding detainees before being commissioned as a lieutenant in 2010.

Anna Lorance, his mother, said he was a thoughtful and generous child growing up in rural Texas. After joining the Army at 18, he sent $250 a month to his grandmother.

“He has always put everything he has into helping and protecting people,” she said.

Soldiers who served with him before Afghanistan described him as a top performer.

He “always expected the right thing to be done and the mission to be complete,” Joshua Campbell, who served with Mr. Lorance in Iraq, said in an email.

But soldiers in Afghanistan said Lieutenant Lorance had arrived at their outpost seemingly set on harsh tactics to subdue local insurgents.

“He looks like the all-American sweetheart when you meet him,” Sergeant Williams said in an interview. “But he was just so aggressive. One of the first things he said to us was, we are going to go in Gestapo-style with night raids, pull people out of houses, make them afraid of us.”

The afternoon he arrived, Lieutenant Lorance ordered one of the team’s sharpshooters to fire into the village from the outpost, with the shots hitting inches from civilians, according to trial records. In one case, he ordered the sharpshooter to toy with a man by firing near his head and both shoulders to box him in.

Lieutenant Lorance then ordered the sharpshooter to aim near children and women in a grape field next to the outpost. The sharpshooter, Specialist Matthew Rush, refused.

“I said, ‘You know, they’re kids,’ ” Specialist Rush testified at the court-martial.

Lieutenant Lorance told the soldiers the next morning that the Army’s rules of engagement, governing when they could use deadly force, had changed and that they were now allowed to fire on any motorcycle they saw. Soldiers testified that they were shocked but did not argue.

At the trial, Army prosecutors showed that the rules had not changed — a fact they suggested Lieutenant Lorance would have known.

(Mr. Fitzgerald at his home in Tennessee. He was an Army specialist standing near Lieutenant Lorance when orders were given to fire on a motorcycle. The former lieutenant is serving a 19-year prison term in the deaths of two Afghan civilians. Credit Joe Buglewicz for The New York Times)

A few minutes into that morning patrol, while walking through a field of grapes, a private named James Skelton spotted a motorcycle in the distance carrying three men and called it out to Lieutenant Lorance.  News media reports based on interviews with Mr. Lorance’s family and lawyers have described the motorcycle “speeding toward the platoon,” giving the lieutenant only seconds to act. But soldiers testified that the bike was about 200 yards away and could not have reached the platoon’s position in the grape fields.

Without asking for more information, Lieutenant Lorance, standing in a low spot where he could not see the motorcycle, told the soldiers to “engage,” soldiers testified.

“Nobody fired initially,” Todd Fitzgerald, a specialist in the platoon who was standing near the lieutenant, said in an interview. “There was no reason to. Then Lorance said, ‘Why isn’t anyone firing yet?’ ”

Private Skelton fired two shots that missed.

The men on the motorcycle stopped, got off and looked around, soldiers testified, trying to figure out what had happened. Lieutenant Lorance radioed a nearby truck that had a machine gun with an order to fire. Sergeant Williams, who watched through a high-powered camera at the outpost, saw two bursts from the gun truck take down the motorcycle driver, then, after a pause, a man with a wispy white beard. A third man fled into the village.

“I got on the radio and was, like, what the hell just happened?” Sergeant Williams said in an interview. “There was no threat from those guys whatsoever.”

Lieutenant Lorance then told the machine-gunner to fire at the motorcycle, but a boy had come to retrieve it, so the gunner refused.

“I wasn’t going to shoot a 12-year-old boy,” the gunner, Private David Shilo, testified.

Soldiers searching the dead men found only a pair of scissors, an identification card, some pens and three cucumbers.

Women and children came out of the village, screaming and crying, soldiers said. Mr. Fitzgerald said in an interview that the lieutenant turned to him and said, “If anyone tries to touch the bodies, shoot them.” Then, as the villagers confronted the platoon members, Mr. Fitzgerald said, Lieutenant Lorance swore at them and said, “Shut up or I’ll kill you, too.”

In the letter seeking clemency, Mr. Lorance acknowledged making “some statements that framed me as someone I am not,” but said those statements were just “an attempt to establish common ground with the battle-hardened troopers of the new platoon.”

Mr. Lorance’s lawyer said his decision was reasonable because there were enemy fighters in the area.

In the village, the lieutenant radioed a false report to commanders that the villagers had carried away the bodies before they could be identified, soldiers said. That day, members of the platoon reported the falsification to the company commander.  In the court-marital, members of the platoon who testified gave a consistent account of Lieutenant Lorance’s actions before and after the killings.

Mr. Lorance did not testify, saying only during the sentencing phase, “I take full responsibility for my actions and the actions of my men.”

Don Snyder, an author in Maine who has interviewed Mr. Lorance in prison and started the petition drive to pardon him, said Mr. Lorance was trying to appear tough for his men and got caught up in his own act.

“It’s a tragedy like something out of Shakespeare,” he said. “He became the bully and the monster he was trying to protect everyone from.”

A spokesman for Mr. Hunter, who was a Marine officer who served three tours in Iraq, said the congressman did not dispute the platoon members’ accounts but believed that, given the confusing nature of combat, Mr. Lorance should be given leniency.

“It might be true Lorance wasn’t the Army’s best soldier,” the spokesman, Joe Kasper, said. But the sentence, he said, “under the circumstances is excessive.”

Members of Mr. Lorance’s former platoon say his actions ripped apart their tight-knit group.

“It tainted our entire service,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. He choked up when he thought of the effect on men from the platoon.

“We gave a lot, sacrificed a lot. To see it destroyed, that was bad enough,” he said. “Every time a new story calling him a hero happens, I don’t sleep. I lay down in my bed and close my eyes and lay there all night until the sun comes up.”

 72 
 on: February 25, 2015, 06:13:45 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog


http://personalliberty.com/tyranny-americas-moral-decline/

 73 
 on: February 25, 2015, 03:04:41 PM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by Crafty_Dog
 

Marco Rubio began his race for the Republican presidential nomination with a bang by snagging Jim Merrill, Mitt Romney's top campaign aide in both of his presidential bids. Though the cat's out of the bag, Rubio's not expected to formally announce until April.

In joining the first-term senator from Florida, Merrill declared, "What Mitt [Romney] said is right. It's time for the next generation of Republican leadership." Merrill called Rubio the "most exciting candidate in the field." He continued, "I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think he could win. He knows ... [how to] engage voters, do town halls, run personal door-to-door campaigns. I've never seen a more talented guy."

Rubio, the son of naturalized Cuban immigrants, would be the first Latino Republican candidate. That in itself should warm the cockles of establishment-type GOP hearts. And make no mistake -- Republicans must improve with minorities.

Bright, articulate and energetic, Rubio served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives, eventually being elected speaker in 2006. In 2009, he ran against Charlie Crist in the Florida senatorial primary. Beginning as an underdog, Rubio climbed the polls quickly and won the primary. Crist then ran as an independent, but Rubio beat him again in a three-way race.

In his first term as a U.S. senator, Rubio has authored, introduced or co-sponsored more bills than many of his senior colleagues, and he's established himself as a substantial cultural and fiscal conservative.

Rubio's major obstacle in his quest for the nomination may be fellow Floridian Jeb Bush, the man rallying GOP elites. With the establishment behind the former Sunshine State governor and with his own family's connections, Bush has many wealthy donors already committed to him.

By comparison, Rubio has so far won the backing of George Seay, a Texas financier who supported Gov. Rick Perry in 2012, and Norman Braman, a car dealer billionaire and philanthropist. He was well received at a gathering of donors the Koch brothers put together and will likely win yet more support. But he's still David to Bush's Goliath.
His pitch is that he's the right messenger (an eloquent, young, Cuban-American who can appeal to a diverse array of voters) with the right message (an optimistic plan for American exceptionalism, born of his personal story) for the 21st century.

Rubio espouses conservative cultural and fiscal conservative values -- he's pro-life, pro-religious freedom and pro-Second Amendment. He opposes same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana use. He wants to limit the growth of federal spending via a balanced budget amendment and to restore George W. Bush's tax cuts. He favors helping small business through tax cuts, including capital gains, and promoting research and development in science and technology, including bringing the moribund space program back to life.

In his senatorial race, Rubio was the Tea Party candidate, and he probably can still expect substantial Tea Party support, even with several candidates competing for that backing.

Some pundits compare Rubio to Barack Obama's running against a party favorite. Virtually no one knew Obama, so running against Hillary Clinton was risible. She was so far ahead in the polls that his candidacy seemed quixotic. But despite Hillary's seeming popularity, many Democrats didn't want a Clinton dynasty. Obama knew it, and he was able to out-charisma Hillary for the nomination.

In most respects, there's no similarity between Rubio and Obama, but the comparison stands up on one point. Like Obama, Rubio is young and has a popular message, so with a few dozen stump speeches the polls could begin to swing. And average Republicans are leery of a Bush dynasty. Then again, this analogy discounts the several other candidates who have their own sizable followings -- something Obama did not face.

Rubio presents himself and his family as being winners because of American exceptionalism -- a word conservatives ache to hear again from their president. Unlike the current Oval Office occupant, Rubio exudes patriotism. His parents came from Cuba, escaping poverty and seeking opportunity, and they found it in America. We need a leader who can show us that this great nation will revive economically, will destroy ISIL and will begin to reverse its cultural decline. Maybe Rubio can do it.

 74 
 on: February 25, 2015, 10:34:56 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
"A question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one assembly." --John Adams, Thoughts On Government, 1776

 75 
 on: February 25, 2015, 10:26:56 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
https://consortiumnews.com/2012/06/06/bush-blocked-iran-nuke-deal/

 76 
 on: February 25, 2015, 10:18:33 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Summary

On Feb. 21, Turkish military forces entered Syria to withdraw guards who had been posted at the tomb of Suleyman Shah, which Turkey considers to be its sovereign territory. The operation is Turkey’s first incursion into Syria since the civil war began, but it is not the beginning of an overt military intervention. In fact, it is the opposite. The mission was limited in scope, was temporary and did not involve combat. Instead, the operation was explicitly designed to eliminate a liability and keep Turkey from getting drawn into the broader Syrian conflict.
Analysis

Turkey has long considered the tomb of Suleyman Shah to be its sovereign territory, even though it is located within the borders of Syria, a little under 30 kilometers (around 20 miles) south of the Turkish border in the Euphrates River Valley. An honor guard of around 40 Turkish troops monitored and protected the site, but as battle lines moved closer to the site, protecting the tomb became riskier. This security threat became even more acute when the Islamic State kicked off an offensive in the region that took territory from the Syrian Kurds and led to the siege of Kobani.

This offensive put Islamic State fighters in proximity to the tomb and threatened to draw Turkey into direct combat in Syria if the tomb and the soldiers stationed there came under attack. But Turkey and the Islamic State have maintained a quiet balance in the ongoing conflict. The militant group refrained from attacking the site, just as it has largely avoided any concerted effort to attack positions within Turkey. For its part, Turkey has stayed on its side of the border, most notably near Kobani, where it faced domestic and international pressure to become more involved. In essence, both sides have maintained an uneasy standoff.

Turkey did not lend direct military aid to Kobani, but it did allow various Kurdish forces from the region to pass through its territory. Coupled with the air power of the U.S.-led coalition (which Turkey has so far resisted supporting in any direct way such as by providing air basing with closer proximity), the Kurdish forces have not only broken the siege on the city itself, they have retaken much of the territory they originally lost in the area.

The recent Kurdish operational advances allowed for Turkey to open a relatively safe corridor to the tomb of Suleyman Shah while precluding serious combat through large swaths of Islamic State-held territory. This explains the timing of this weekend's mission to extract the Turkish guards, who had been stuck there beyond their planned rotation, and to relocate the remains of Suleyman Shah to a position near the Turkish border that is much easier to defend. The tomb, along with its honor guard, was a potential liability and essentially a hostage of its geography. Had the tomb been raided or the honor guard been captured or massacred, Turkish policymakers would have faced serious domestic blowback.

Turkey could have reinforced the site or pre-emptively attacked Islamic State positions long ago in an effort to further secure the tomb. Instead, it chose the least confrontational path, mitigating the ongoing risk that threatened to pull it into the Syrian conflict in a more overt way. While withdrawing from a weak position that the Islamic State could have overrun gives Turkey a freer hand to take military action to its south, the nature of this move indicates Turkey will continue its policy of staying out of the Syrian conflict.

 77 
 on: February 25, 2015, 10:08:05 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
The Intersection of Three Crises
Geopolitical Weekly
February 24, 2015 | 08:57 GMT
By Reva Bhalla

Within the past two weeks, a temporary deal to keep Greece in the eurozone was reached in Brussels, a cease-fire roadmap was agreed to in Minsk and Iranian negotiators advanced a potential nuclear deal in Geneva. Squadrons of diplomats have forestalled one geopolitical crisis after another. Yet it would be premature, even reckless, to assume that the fault lines defining these issues are effectively stable. Understanding how these crises are inextricably linked is the first step toward assessing when and where the next flare-up is likely to occur.

Germany and the Eurozone Crisis

Germany has once again become the victim of its own power. As Europe's largest creditor, it has considerable political leverage over debtor nations such as Greece, whose entire livelihood now depends on whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel is willing to sign another bailout check. Lest we forget, Germany is exporting the equivalent of about half its GDP, and most of those exports are consumed within Europe. Thus, the institutions Germany relies on to protect its export markets are the very institutions Berlin must battle to protect Germany's national wealth.

Many have characterized the recent Brussels deal as a victory for Berlin over Athens as eurozone finance ministers, including the Portuguese, Spanish and French, stood behind Germany in refusing Greece the right to circumvent its debt obligations. But Merkel is also not about to gamble an unlimited amount of German taxpayer funds on flimsy Greek pledges to cut costs and impose structural reforms on a population that, for now, still views the ruling Syriza party as its savior from austerity. Within four months, Greece and Germany will be at loggerheads again, and Greece will likely still lack the austerity credentials that Berlin needs to convince its own Euroskeptics that it has the institutional heft and credibility to impose Germanic thriftiness on the rest of Europe. The more time Germany buys, the more inflexible the German and Greek negotiating positions become, and the more seriously traders, businessmen and politicians alike will have to take the threat of a so-called Grexit, the first in a chain of events that could shatter the eurozone.

The Role of the Crisis in Ukraine

In order to steer Germany through an escalating eurozone crisis, Merkel needs to calm her eastern front. It is no wonder, then, that she committed herself to multiple sleepless nights and an incessant travel schedule to put another Minsk agreement with Russia on paper. The deal was flawed from the start because it avoided recognizing the ongoing attempts by Russian-backed separatists to smooth out the demarcation line by bringing the pocket of Debaltseve under their zone of control. After several more days of scuffling, the Germans (again leveraging their creditor status — this time, against Ukraine) quietly pushed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to accept the battlefield reality and move along with the cease-fire agreement. But even if Germany on one side and Russia on the other were able to bring about a relative calm in eastern Ukraine, it would do little in the end to de-escalate the standoff between the United States and Russia.

The Connection Between Ukraine and Iran

Contrary to popular opinion in the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not driven by crazed territorial ambitions. He is looking at the map, just as his predecessors have for centuries, and grappling with the task of securing the Russian underbelly from a borderland state coming under the wing of a much more formidable military power in the West. As the United States has reminded Moscow repeatedly over the past several days, the White House retains the option to send lethal aid to Ukraine. With heavier equipment comes trainers, and with trainers come boots on the ground.

From his perspective, Putin can already see the United States stretching beyond NATO bounds to recruit and shore up allies along the Russian periphery. Even as short-term truces are struck in eastern Ukraine, there is nothing precluding a much deeper U.S. probe in the region. That is the assumption that will drive Russian actions in the coming months as Putin reviews his military options, which include establishing a land bridge to Crimea (a move that would still, in effect, leave Russia's border with Ukraine exposed), a more ambitious push westward to anchor at the Dnieper River and probing actions in the Baltic states to test NATO's credibility.

The United States does not have the luxury of precluding any one of these possibilities, so it must prepare accordingly. But focusing on the Eurasian theater entails first tying up loose ends in the Middle East, starting with Iran. And so we come to Geneva, where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met again Feb. 22 to work out the remaining points of a nuclear deal before March 31, the date by which U.S. President Barack Obama is supposed to demonstrate enough progress in negotiations to hold Congress back from imposing additional sanctions on Iran. If the United States is to realistically game out scenarios in which U.S. military forces confront Russia in Europe, it needs to be able to rapidly redeploy forces that have spent the past dozen years putting out fires ignited by sprouting jihadist emirates and preparing for a potential conflict in the Persian Gulf. To lighten its load in the Middle East, the United States will look to regional powers with vested and often competing interests to shoulder more of the burden.

A U.S.-Iranian understanding goes well beyond agreeing on how much uranium Iran is allowed to enrich and stockpile and how much sanctions relief Iran gets for limiting its nuclear program. It will draw the regional contours of an Iranian sphere of influence and allow room for Washington and Tehran to cooperate in areas where their interests align. We can already see this in effect in Iraq and Syria, where the threat of the Islamic State has compelled the United States and Iran to coordinate efforts to contain jihadist ambitions. Though the United States will understandably be more cautious in its public statements while it tries to limit Israeli anxiety, U.S. officials have allegedly made positive remarks about Hezbollah's role in fighting terrorism when speaking privately with their Lebanese interlocutors in recent meetings. This may seem like a minor detail on the surface, but Iran sees a rapprochement with the United States as an opportunity to seek recognition for Hezbollah as a legitimate political actor.

A U.S.-Iranian rapprochement will not be complete by March, June or any other deadline Washington sets for this year. Framework agreements on the nuclear issue and sanctions relief will necessarily be implemented in phases to effectively extend the negotiations into 2016, when Congress could allow the core sanctions act against Iran to expire after several months of testing Iranian compliance and after Iran gets past its parliamentary elections. Arrestors could arise along the way, such as the death of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but they will not deter the White House from setting a course toward normalizing relations with Iran. The United States, regardless of which party is controlling the White House, will rank the threat of a growing Eurasian conflict well ahead of de-escalating the conflict with Iran. Even as a nuclear agreement establishes the foundation for a U.S.-Iranian understanding, Washington will rely on regional powers like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to eat away at the edges of Iran's sphere of influence, encouraging the natural rivalries in the region to mold a relative balance of power over time.

Circling Back

Germany needs a deal with Russia to be able to manage an existential crisis for the eurozone; Russia needs a deal with the United States to limit U.S. encroachment on its sphere of influence; and the United States needs a deal with Iran to refocus its attention on Russia. No conflict is divorced from the other, though each may be of a different scale. Germany and Russia can find ways to settle their differences, as can Iran and the United States. But a prolonged eurozone crisis cannot be avoided, nor can a deep Russian mistrust of U.S. intentions for its periphery.

Both issues bring the United States back to Eurasia. A distracted Germany will compel the United States to go beyond NATO boundaries to encircle Russia. Rest assured, Russia — even under severe economic stress — will find the means to respond.
Send us your thoughts on this report.


 78 
 on: February 25, 2015, 10:03:47 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/25/us-yemen-security-special-forces-idUSKBN0LT0B120150225?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Mideast%20Brief&utm_campaign=2014_The%20Middle%20East%20Daily_2.25.15

 79 
 on: February 25, 2015, 10:02:12 AM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Kurdish forces cut off a supply route from Iraq on Wednesday as part of an offensive against Islamic State militants in northeastern Syria. The Kurdish forces, supported by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, are challenging Islamic State militants in Syria’s Hassakeh province, seizing more than 100 villages from the fighters and threatening to divide territory they control in Iraq and Syria. Amidst the Kurdish advances, Islamic State militants abducted dozens of Assyrian Christians from villages in the province. The Syriac National Council of Syria said 150 people were kidnapped, though estimates range, and some sources reported both civilians and fighters were seized. The violence forced hundreds of residents to flee to Hassakeh province’s two main cities. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch released a report Tuesday saying Syrian government forces had dropped barrel bombs on at least 1,000 sites in Aleppo and 450 sites in and around Daraa in the past year, despite a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning their use.

Iraq

The Pentagon reported about $17.9 million worth of weapons, ammunition, and military supplies arrived in Iraq this week. The shipment came after the U.S. Central Command announced last week details of an operation to retake Mosul to be launched with U.S.-trained Iraqi and Kurdish forces, which could begin in April or May. Meanwhile, a series of explosions in and around the Iraqi capital Baghdad Tuesday killed 37 people, with the worst attack twin bombings in the southeastern Jisr Diyala district.

 80 
 on: February 25, 2015, 09:58:42 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ppulatie
Wow.........I am impressed with the New Home Sales Recovery




Pages: 1 ... 6 7 [8] 9 10
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!