Archive for September 2015
General Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command leading the war on ISIS, told Congress today that only “four or five” of the first 54 U.S.trained moderate Syrian fighters remain in the fight against ISIS. Christine Wormuth, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that there are currently between 100 and 120 fighters in a program that was slated to have trained 5,400 fighters in its first 12 months. Austin told the panel that goal was not going to be met and that options are being explored about how to retool the program which was intended to train moderate Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. So far, $42 million has been spent to develop the $500 million program which began training in April.
Members of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have reportedly managed to wrest complete control of a town in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Asir region.On Tuesday, the Yemeni forces seized control of al-Rabu’ah, forcing Saudi troops to pull out of the area, Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported.The development came a day after fighters from the Houthi Ansarullah movement, backed by allied army units, carried out rocket attacks on several military bases in Asir region, leaving four Saudi soldiers dead.
Russia has launched its largest military drill of the year, involving 7,000 items of military equipment and some 95,000 infantry, navy and air force units.”Today the strategic command-and-staff exercise Center–2015 has been started. This is a final stage of the operational and combat training of the Russian Armed Forces in 2015 and joint combat training activities of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization#,” the Russian Defense Ministry announced in a statement on Monday.Center–2015 is being carried out over 20 sites across Russia’s central military district #marked in light green in the map below), which spans from the Volga River to the Ural mountains and Siberia in the east and reaches to the country’s far northern regions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will continue to supply the Syrian government with military assistance.Putin made the remarks at a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, on Tuesday.He dismissed allegations that Russia’s support for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has resulted in a flow of refugees, saying that without Moscow’s support for the Syrian government the number of Syrian refugees heading to Europe would have even become bigger.
Israeli forces have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) for a third straight day, blocking all roads leading to the holy site.On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian worshipers inside the mosque, firing stun grenades and tear gas at them.At least 20 Palestinians were injured and several others were arrested during the raid, according to a Palestinian eyewitness.The Israeli troops also attacked al-Qibla Mosque in al-Quds, burned its gate and broke its windows. Palestinians were, however, quick to extinguish the fire.
Saudi Arabia’s relentless bombardment of Yemen has claimed multiple lives as the United Arab Emirates confirms the death of a second soldier in less than two days in clashes with Yemeni forces.Yemen’s al-Masirah TV said Tuesday that Saudi fighter jets pounded residential buildings in Dhoran Anas district in the central Dhamar Province, killing 15 and injuring a dozen more.Separately, at least five civilians were killed and 10 others were wounded in an attack targeting Sharas district in the northern Hajjah Province.
Refugees stuck on the Hungarian-Serbian border have declared a sit-down hunger strike, demanding to be allowed to proceed further into the EU, according to Twitter reports. Social media reports say refugees stuck on the border are holding banners, saying “No food no water until open border.”