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Joint anti-terrorism task force in Philippines ended too soon, Mattis says | Stripes

The United States should not have ended a special-operations task force in the southern Philippines three years ago in light of the weekslong jihadi siege of a city there, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday. “In 2014, we canceled the named operation that we had down there, out of perhaps a premature view that we were gaining success,” Mattis ... Read More »

CENTCOM confirms Islamic State’s ‘Grand Mufti’ killed in airstrike | FDD’s Long War Journal

US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed today that the Islamic State’s Turki al-Bin’ali was killed in a May 31 airstrike in Mayadin, Syria. Mayadin, which is in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, has become a hub for the so-called caliphate’s senior personnel. The US has targeted several high-profile figures in or near the city this year. Earlier this month, ... Read More »

US adds 3 Islamic State group leaders to terrorism blacklist | MilitaryTimes

The Trump administration on Thursday added three senior members of the Islamic State group to a terrorism blacklist, including the group’s leader and chief recruiter in India and a recruiter for attackers who carried out two deadly assaults in Europe. The State Department and Treasury said the trio have committed or pose a significant risk of committing terrorist attacks that ... Read More »

Iraqi troops move into Mosul’s Old City, last ISIS stronghold | MilitaryTimes

U.S.-backed Iraqi troops pushed into the last Islamic State stronghold in Mosul on Sunday, an Iraqi commander said, formally launching the final major battle of an eight-month campaign to drive the militants from Iraq’s second largest city. The IS group captured Mosul when it swept across northern and central Iraq in the summer of 2014. Iraq launched a massive operation ... Read More »

IS militants killing, enslaving civilians: Philippines | Times of India

Islamist militants holding parts of a Philippine city are killing civilians who try to flee while using others as orderlies and cooks, authorities said Tuesday after the gunmen boasted of executions. There are up to 1,000 people still trapped in the parts of Marawi city that the militants control, the government said, three weeks after fighting erupted with gunmen going ... Read More »

Russia Claims It Has Killed ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi | Military.com

Russia claimed Friday it killed the leader of the Islamic State group in an airstrike targeting a meeting of IS leaders just outside the group’s de facto capital in Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in late May along with other senior group commanders. There had been previous reports of al-Baghdadi ... Read More »

Afghan official: ISIS moves to seize Osama bin Laden’s hideout | MilitaryTimes

Islamic State fighters captured some territory around Tora Bora, the former stronghold of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, officials said Wednesday. The push and capture of the giant cave complex that once housed the late al-Qaida chief would be a major scoop for the Islamic State group in its increasingly deadly rivalry with the Afghan Taliban. The ... Read More »

Drone strike kills Haqqani network commander in Hangu | DAWN

A drone strike has killed a commander of the deadly Haqqani network in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district, security sources said Tuesday. Haqqani network leader Abubakar and his partner were killed when a drone fired two missiles at his house in Speen Tal area of Hangu on Monday night. The drone strike “completely destroyed” the suspected militant’s house, security sources said. ... Read More »

U.S. air strike hits al Shabaab; Somalia says base destroyed | Reuters

The United States carried out an air strike on al Shabaab militants in Somalia on Sunday, and Somalia said its special forces had joined in the attack to destroy one of the group’s main training and command posts. The Pentagon estimated that the strike, in response to attacks in Somalia by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, killed eight militants. The strike ... Read More »

U.S. combat veterans in Africa turn skills to protecting rhinos, fighting PTSD | ArmyTimes

A group of combat veterans has formed a non-profit organization that helps combat both poaching and post traumatic stress, according to The Guardian. Ryan Tate, 32, a former U.S. Marine, founded the organization called Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife, or  Vetpaw. They are trying to protect rhinos and other game in the bush around their base in South Africa. ... Read More »