Results tagged “United States”
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President Obama authorized the sending of an additional 1,500 US troops to Iraq, raising the number of US troops in country to almost 3,000. American trainers will be deployed across Iraq. He also plans to ask Congress for $5 billion for military operations against the Islamic State. Taliban commander Irek Hamidullin, the first Afghan detainee brought to the US for trial, pled not guilty to terrorism charges and will remain in custody until his trial in April. The FBI is conducting a counterintelligence investigation of veteran US diplomat and Pakistan expert Robin Raphael, who has been placed on administrative leave and had her security clearances withdrawn; no charges have been filed.
The US military conducted airstrikes in Syria's Idlib province near the Turkish border against the so-called Khorasan group, an al Qaeda cell within the Al Nusrah Front that "was plotting to attack in Europe or the homeland." The five targets of the strikes included an Al Nusrah headquarters and an Ahrar al Sham compound. President Obama reportedly has written to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, noting shared interests in the fight against the Islamic State, and touching on the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.
Fawzi al Odah, 37, a Kuwaiti man held at Guantanamo for nearly 13 years on suspicion of links to al Qaeda leaders, was released to Kuwait. Following the Republican Party's taking control of the Senate as well as the House in yesterday's election, President Obama said he will work with Congress to develop a new authorization for the use of force in the fight against the Islamic State. He said that the US' focus in Syria is "not to solve the entire Syria situation, but rather to isolate the areas" in which the Islamic State can operate. ISAF commander Lieut. Gen. Joseph Anderson warned that the current casualty rate of the Afghan National Security Forces is unsustainable.
Representatives of the US, Britain, and France have asked the United Nations to add Ansar al Sharia in Libya to the global terrorist sanctions list. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said no further troop reductions in Europe are on the horizon. Irek Hamidullin, a Taliban commander who was captured in Afghanistan in 2009 after attacking US troops, appeared in federal court in Virginia to face terrorism charges.
Prosecutors revealed that Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, of suburban Chicago, had tried to take his 17-year-old sister and his 16-year-old brother with him to join the Islamic State in the Middle East. The head of US forces in Europe said more rotational troops are needed to address security challenges in Eastern Europe. The US is establishing a new task force to assist Iraqi military forces prepare for a major spring offensive against the Islamic State. Gen. Odierno, the US Army chief of staff, said the effort to defeat the Islamic State will take three to four years.
The State Department warned to US citizens in the Middle East to be vigilant, following an online jihadist threat against American and international schools. In its latest report on the Afghan war, the Pentagon said violence in Afghanistan fell by 30 percent between April and August, but warned that insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan and Afghan reliance on coalition air support present challenges.