Yet again, the Taliban has another propaganda video that shows its fighters occupying a military base and several security outposts in broad daylight without fear of being targeted by Afghan or Coalition air or ground power.
According to a new report by the State Department, the Afghan Taliban and its Haqqani Network are still “operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.” Pakistan has assisted the US in counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda. However, by refusing to move against the Taliban, including the Haqqanis, Pakistan is harboring al Qaeda’s most important allies in the region.
The State Department has released its Country Reports on Terrorism 2017. As in past reports, State says that “Iran has allowed AQ [al Qaeda] facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran since at least 2009, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.”
Lars Hauch conducted an online interview with a fighter who migrated from Iran to Syria and joined Harakat Muhajirin Ahl Sunnat Iran, an Iranian battalion in Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). HTS is a large Sunni jihadist group that is opposed to the Assad regime and its Iranian-backed allies.
Earlier this month, Al Qaeda eulogized Jalaluddin Haqqani, a legendary jihadist who was one of Osama bin Laden’s earliest and most important allies. Other al Qaeda-linked groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, and individuals have honored Haqqani as well.
The Afghan military was either unable or unwilling to secure the crash site and recover the bodies of its soldiers at least 10 hours after the helicopter went down.
Iran’s willingness to resort to tactical SRBM launches against regional targets warrants a larger discussion about the country’s missile power and escalation dynamics. It also requires an accurate assessment of what occurred on the ground against Iranian Kurds in Iraq and in the media space on this issue since September 8.
US Africa Command targeted a Shabaab fighting position outside of Mogadishu after the al Qaeda branch attacked US and Somali forces operating in the area.