The Taliban killed more than 20 soldiers during a nighttime raid on an Afghan military base. Security in Farah has deteriorated over the past several years and Afghan officials now say the provincial capital is again threatened by the Taliban.
The funerals further highlight Iran’s support of Bahraini Shia militias.
The new branding further highlights Saraya al Ashtar’s role within the Iranian-led “Axis of Resistance” in the Middle East.
US forces killed four Shabaab terrorists in a strike in southern Somalia. The strike is the second since Feb. 19.
On January 19, the Pentagon released its new National Defense Strategy, which prioritizes “inter-state strategic competition” from China and Russia over “terrorism.” In many ways, the strategy makes sense. However, the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda has not been eliminated. The jihadists are fighting around the globe, everywhere from West Africa to Southeast Asia.
The deadly IED blast comes just a week after major French raids on JNIM positions and leaders near the borders with Algeria.
US forces have conducted four strikes in Somalia in 2018, all of which targeted Shabaab.
On select measures of the Iran threat, the 2018 document is remarkably consistent with themes from past assessments. Yet, in this latest assessment, additional attention is paid to the country’s evolving cyber aptitudes and to its turbulent domestic politics.