US, coalition forces launch strikes targeting Iran-backed militias after deadly rocket attack, official says | Fox News

The U.S. military launched multiple strikes using Coalition warplanes targeting multiple bases used by Iranian-backed Shia militias believed to be behind the rocket attack on Camp Taji yesterday that killed two Americans and one British soldier, a senior U.S. military source told Fox News.

The U.S. military launched multiple strikes using coalition warplanes targeting multiple bases used by Iranian-backed Shia militias believed to be behind the rocket attack on Camp Taji, Iraq, the day before that killed two Americans and one British soldier, a senior U.S. military source told Fox News.

The launch began after 1 a.m. Baghdad time.

Source: US, coalition forces launch strikes targeting Iran-backed militias after deadly rocket attack, official says | Fox News

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Iraq base attack: Strikes ‘kill 25’ Iran-backed fighters after troops killed

A British soldier and two Americans serving in Iraq were killed by the rockets fired from a lorry.

Source: Iraq base attack: Strikes ‘kill 25’ Iran-backed fighters after troops killed

2 US service members killed in Iraq during mission against ISIS | Fox News

Two U.S. service members were killed by “enemy forces” Sunday while advising and accompanying Iraqi Security Forces during a mission to eliminate an ISIS terrorist stronghold in a mountainous area of north-central Iraq, the U.S. military said in a statement to Fox News.

ARMY SUSPENDS TRAVEL FOR SOLDIERS, FAMILIES TO AND FROM SOUTH KOREA AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Source: 2 US service members killed in Iraq during mission against ISIS | Fox News

Islamists hurl stones and shoes at Women’s Day marchers in Pakistan – Reuters

Women and men joined the event in Islamabad, one of several rallies across the country, for what is known in Pakistan as the Aurat March, using the Urdu word for women.

Hundreds of men and women from the Red Mosque brigade, consisting of several local militant groups, and a Taliban allied religious party staged a rival rally just across from the women’s march venue, District Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said.ers

Police official Mazhar Niazi said the officers blocked the Islamists as they tried to break through a cordon to attack the marchers.

A Reuters witness and Niazi said the Islamists threw stones, bricks, sticks and shoes at the marchers. Niazi said no one was injured.

He said a criminal case would be registered against the Islamists for violating the law and attempting to attack the women’s march.

Source: Islamists hurl stones and shoes at Women’s Day marchers in Pakistan – Reuters

Explosion near US Embassy in Tunis prompts emergency response | Fox News

A suspected suicide bomber has reportedly blown himself up after detonating a bomb near the U.S. embassy in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, according to local media.

The U.S. Embassy in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, said Friday that emergency crews are responding to an explosion near its building in the city.

Unconfirmed local media reports said a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up after detonating a bomb. An individual riding a bike detonated the device near the police patrol opposite the embassy, reports said. Local reports said five police officers were wounded.

Crowds were seen in pictures on social media gathering outside the embassy. The flag of the United States could be seen fluttering in the background.

The private Radio Mosaique said that five police officers were wounded in the explosion Friday. That report could not be immediately confirmed.

Islamic extremists have targeted Tunisia in recent years, killing scores of people.

Source: Explosion near US Embassy in Tunis prompts emergency response | Fox News

Yemen airstrike: death of al Qaeda leader Qassim al-Rimi announced by White House – CNNPolitics

(CNN)The White House announced Thursday evening that Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in an airstrike in Yemen.

CNN reported last week that the US conducted a strike targeting Rimi, who led the terror group’s franchise based in Yemen that has repeatedly expressed interest in conducting attacks targeting the United States, a US official said. The Pentagon did not comment when asked at the time about the report.
The US government had offered a $10 million reward for information on Rimi.
The news comes following several other successful US military efforts to remove high profile Middle Eastern leaders. President Donald Trump ordered a US airstrike in January that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, and in October, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died in a nighttime raid conducted by US forces on his compound in northern Syria.
While not on the same level as Baghdadi and Soleimani, the death of the leader of AQAP is still a significant moment. Rimi had been a US target since early in Trump’s tenure. Rimi was a target of a January 2017 raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen that led to the first US military combat death under the President, a senior US military official told CNN at the time.
Rimi taunted Trump and condemned the operation in an 11-minute recording days after the raid, saying that “the new fool of the White House received a painful slap across his face.”

Source: Yemen airstrike: death of al Qaeda leader Qassim al-Rimi announced by White House – CNNPolitics

Israel-Palestinian violence escalates in Jerusalem as military search for ‘terror attack’ suspect | Fox News

Israel’s military says it is on the hunt for the Palestinian “terrorist” who rammed his car into a dozen soldiers in Jerusalem on Thursday, triggering a new spike of violence in the region.

Source: Israel-Palestinian violence escalates in Jerusalem as military search for ‘terror attack’ suspect | Fox News

U.S.-backed Afghan forces unable to reach site of U.S. surveillance plane that crashed in Taliban territory

Afghan officials said bad weather and heavily mined roads have prevented ground forces from reaching the site more than 24 hours after the crash was first reported.

Source: U.S.-backed Afghan forces unable to reach site of U.S. surveillance plane that crashed in Taliban territory

Afghanistan Plane Crash: Conflicting Reports From U.S. And Taliban : NPR

A plane crashed Monday in Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province, and within hours, a swarm of conflicting reports had coalesced around the wreckage.

According to a U.S. official, the plane was a small American fixed-wing aircraft with two people on board, both of whom died in the crash. The official told NPR that the plane went down because of mechanical problems.

But that’s not the only account of the incident.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, told NPR that insurgents with the group shot down the plane and that it had CIA officials on board. Earlier Monday, Mujahid referred to the plane on Twitter as an “enemy intelligence aircraft” and said the bodies of the intelligence officials were still lying near the crash site in the Sado Khelo region of Ghazni.

The militant group frequently exaggerates battlefield actions, and the claims could not be confirmed.

Source: Afghanistan Plane Crash: Conflicting Reports From U.S. And Taliban : NPR

US embassy attack: Rockets strike embassy in Baghdad – CNNPolitics

(CNN)Three rockets struck the US Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday, a US official told CNN.

The official said one person was injured in the attack, but that the injury was minor and the individual had since returned to duty.
A State Department spokesperson said Sunday evening that they “are aware of reports of rockets landing in the International Zone,” but did not address the US embassy itself. The State Department did not respond to a query as to whether any embassy employees were injured.
“We call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities,” the spokesperson said.
The State Department did not directly blame Tehran for the rocket strikes in the Iraqi capital, but the spokesperson’s statement made reference to Iranian threats in the region and past attacks by Iranian-backed militias on US interests. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

“The security situation remains tense and Iranian-backed armed groups remain a threat. So, we remain vigilant,” the spokesperson said. Since September there have been more than 14 attacks by Iran and Iranian-supported militias on US personnel in Iraq, according to the State Department.The spokesperson said the State Department would not comment further on the security situation in Baghdad.

Source: US embassy attack: Rockets strike embassy in Baghdad – CNNPolitics

Barr says DOJ was consulted before Soleimani strike as Trump blasts ‘Fake News Media’ and ‘Democrat Partners’ | Fox News

Barr says DOJ was consulted before Soleimani strike as Trump blasts media and their ‘Democrat partners’
Attorney General William Barr on Monday said President Trump had consulted the Department of Justice before ordering an airstrike that killed Iran’s top military general earlier this month.

Source: Barr says DOJ was consulted before Soleimani strike as Trump blasts ‘Fake News Media’ and ‘Democrat Partners’ | Fox News

Thousands of Iranian protesters hit streets condemning leaders over downed plane – CNN

(CNN)Apologies from Iranian leaders over the downing of an airliner last week have done little to quell mass anti-government protests spreading across the country.

Thousands of demonstrators hit the streets this weekend condemning Iranian authorities for shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane and killing all 176 people on board.
The airliner disaster came hours after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US troops. That was retaliation for a drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.
Amid rising tensions in the region, eight Katyusha rockets hit Iraq’s Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad, on Sunday, wounding four Iraqi air force officers, the Iraqi military said in a statement. No American or coalition forces were at the base when the rockets struck, a US military official told CNN.
In Iran, demonstrators are calling for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down and for those responsible for downing the plane to be prosecuted.

Source: Thousands of Iranian protesters hit streets condemning leaders over downed plane – CNN

Sec. Mike Pompeo speaks as US braces for more conflict with Iran – 1/7/2020 – YouTube

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks in a press conference, a day after the Pentagon said that a U.S. general’s letter informing Iraq’s Defense Ministry that U.S.-led coalition troops would leave Iraq “was a mistake,” and American Defense officials insisted that the troops would remain there. Last week on President Trump’s order, U.S. forces launched an airstrike that killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.

Iran vows revenge after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian General in Iraq – YouTube

 

The U.S. is sending thousands of additional troops to the Middle East after Iran vowed “harsh retaliation” for the death of a top Iranian general. Qassem Soleimani’s convoy was hit early Fridany morning in a drone strike ordered by President Trump. U.S. officials had been tracking Soleimani as he traveled in the region. CBS News’ national security correspondent David Martin reports from the Pentagon.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Is Rushed Off Stage Amid Rocket Attack | NBC News – YouTube

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was rushed off stage after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into its southern territory. Netanyahu was speaking at a campaign event in the city of Ashkelon. The Israeli military said its air defense system intercepted the rocket and there were no reports of casualties. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews

American student freed from prison in Iran after three years

An American graduate student was released from prison in Iran after nearly three years as part of a prisoner exchange this weekend.

Xiyue Wang, a Ph.D. student of history at Princeton University, was released and flown from Tehran to Switzerland, where he was met by U.S. Special Representative Brian Hook. Wang, a Chinese national and naturalized American citizen, was in Iran studying the Qajar dynasty when he was arrested in August 2016. Wang, 38, was accused of attempting to smuggle documents and was convicted on two counts of espionage in April 2017.

Jason Poblete, Wang’s lawyer, bemoaned the political nature of his client’s imprisonment. “Hua & Shaofan are a remarkable young family on a new journey,” he said on Twitter. “Innocent, unjustly detained & for political reasons, suffered for over three years in Evin. This could’ve been avoided. Stakeholders on all sides should help secure the release of others and keep open a pathway.”View image on Twitter

Source: American student freed from prison in Iran after three years

American student freed from Iranian prison after three years

An American graduate student was released from prison in Iran after nearly three years as part of a prisoner exchange this weekend.

Source: American student freed from Iranian prison after three years

U.S. may deploy 14,000 more troops to Middle East – MarketWatch

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering a significant expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East, including dozens more ships, other military hardware and as many as 14,000 additional troops to counter Iran, U.S. officials said.

The deployment could double the number of U.S. military personnel who have been sent to the region since the start of a troop buildup in May. President Donald Trump is expected to make a decision on the new deployments as soon as this month, those officials said.

Trump, facing an election next year, has long sought to exit foreign entanglements and avoid new conflicts. But on Iran — and partly at the behest of Israel — he is convinced of the need to counter the threat his aides say Tehran poses, the officials said. He also could approve a smaller U.S. deployment, the officials said.

Source: U.S. may deploy 14,000 more troops to Middle East – MarketWatch