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Sahel crisis: Burkina Faso to arm civilians against militants | BBC

Struggling to get a grip on the growing wave of Islamist militant attacks, authorities in Burkina Faso are planning to give weapons to civilians in the region. At least 60 people were killed in four attacks in the region, with another 20 killed in an attack in early February. It will be signed into law to arm civilians in an ... Read More »

Iraqi officials say Baghdad wants to minimize reliance on U.S. | Star Tribune

The Iraqi military has been ordered to not participate in any joint operations with the U.S. against the Islamic State. Mistrust and suspicion have abounded since Iranian General Soleimani and an Iraqi general were killed by an airstrike. An informal request has also been made for all U.S. troops to be withdrawn from the country. The military announced the resume ... Read More »

U.S. ASEAN counterterrorism cooperation in the headlines with regional conference | The Diplomat

The U.S. has continued to ramp up their efforts in Southeast Asia as terrorism continues to grow in the region. A regional counterterrorism expert meeting has recently taken place that highlighted the effort shown and what needs to be improved on. Washington’s endeavors in the area include more training, new equipment and technology being implemented, and designing new programs designed ... Read More »

US counterterrorism operation in Yemen eliminates deputy al-Qaida leader Qasim al-Rimi | Fox 10 Phoenix

In a statement on Thursday released by the White House, it was announced that a founder and the leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Qasim al-Rimi, was killed in the counterterrorism operation conducted by the U.S. Joining al-Qaida in the 1990s, Al-Rimi worked in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden. He was also the deputy to al-Qaida leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. ... Read More »

Iran sentences alleged CIA spy to death | DW

Iran has found Amir Rahimpour guilty of being a CIA spy and selling information to the U.S. He is accused of discovering information on Iran’s nuclear program, and then receiving a “big payout” for giving it to the CIA. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili has commented that the death sentence will be carried out soon, and that two other alleged spies ... Read More »

VA deputy secretary fired after ‘loss of confidence’ | Military Times

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has fired VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne less than five months after being accepted into the position. Wilkie has cited that Byrne lost his confidence in the ability to perform his job but has given no other reasoning to the abrupt firing. This follows a string of recent departures in leadership from the department such as ... Read More »

Trump tweets muddle mystery of reported killing of top al Qaeda leader in Yemen | Washington Examiner

Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, sent out a tweet stating “All but confirmed that #AQAP leader Qassim al-Rimi was killed in a U.S. drone strike. AQAP, although reduced in vitality in recent years, remains dangerous + has est. itself as a rival to Houthi and ISIS militants in the country.” President Trump then retweeted this, leading to users ... Read More »

Trump praises US military buildup but vows overseas troop cuts in State of the Union address | Defense News

On Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech, President Trump praised the matchless U.S. military and vowed to use it to pursue terrorists worldwide, as well as vowed to end America’s wars in the Middle East. While on several occasions there were rounds of applause from GOP and silence from Democrats, one of the few points of agreement were on ... Read More »

Czech republic plans to send 60 troops to France-led Barkhane mission in the Sahel | The Defense Post

60 troops from the Czech Republic will join the France-led Operation Barkhane counter-terrorism mission operating in the Sahel region. Once approved by parliament the Czech forces will be able to operate in Mali, Niger and Chad. The goal of this deployment is to build Task Force Takuba and assist their Malian partner armed forces. The operation is set to begin in ... Read More »

Petraeus says Iran ‘will not risk a major war’ with Israel | Washington Examiner

Gen. David Petraeus has commented on his belief that Iran will not start a war or major conflict with Israel. The former head of U.S. Central Command, Petraeus made these statements during his speech at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. Iran’s associate, Hezbollah, would also not want to take the risk for fear of meeting on ... Read More »