Tag Archives: Commander

Former Afghanistan commander warns of plans to cut troops

Former Afghanistan commander warns of plans to cut troopsWASHINGTON (AP) — The former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Sunday that withdrawing up to half the 14,000 American troops serving there would reduce the incentive for the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal after more than 17 years of war.



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Scott Stearney, Top U.S. Naval Commander In Middle East, Found Dead In Bahrain

Scott Stearney, Top U.S. Naval Commander In Middle East, Found Dead In BahrainVice-admiral Scott Stearney, the head of U.S. Navy operations in the Middle



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Israeli fire kills seven during Gaza raid targeting Hamas commander: Hamas

Israeli fire kills seven during Gaza raid targeting Hamas commander: HamasIsraeli forces killed seven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday in an undercover raid targeting a Hamas commander and air strikes that provided cover for the troops to escape back into Israel by car, Hamas said. The Israeli incursion and air attacks drew rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled enclave, with sirens sounding in Israeli communities along the border. The violence prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short a visit to Paris, where he had been gathering with world leaders for a World War One commemoration.



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Israeli forces 'kill Hamas commander during operation in Gaza'

Israeli forces 'kill Hamas commander during operation in Gaza'Israeli commandos and Hamas fighters engaged in a deadly gun battle inside Gaza late on Sunday, straining hopes that the two sides were close to reaching a ceasefire agreement. One Israeli officer and seven Palestinians were killed in the fighting near Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip. The initial gun fight was followed by heavy Israeli air strikes and a volley of Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza. Hamas, the Islamist militant group which controls Gaza, said the shooting broke out when an Israeli “undercover force” infiltrated the strip and assassinated Nour Baraka, a 37-year-old senior Hamas commander.        The Israeli raiding party entered Gaza in a civilian vehicle and was attacked by Palestinian fighters after carrying out the killing, Hamas said. Israeli aircraft began launching strikes to cover the commandos’ retreat out of Gaza, according to Hamas.  The Israeli military did not give details of the operation but denied  that the commandos were in Gaza to kill or kidnap a Hamas commander. Israeli media reported it was more likely a botched intelligence gathering operation.   Israel launched heavy air strikes after the shooting began Credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo “During an Israeli Defence Forces special forces operational activity in the Gaza Strip, an exchange of fire evolved. At this incident an IDF officer was killed and an additional officer was moderately wounded,” the military said in a statement.  Residents of southern Gaza reported heavy Israeli airstrikes at around 9pm on Sunday. The Israeli military said at least 17 rockets were fired from Gaza in the hours that followed. By Monday morning the situation appeared quiet.  The spasm of serious violence was surprising because Israel and Hamas appeared to be nearing an agreement, in which Israel would ease its decade-long blockade of Gaza in return for Hamas keeping the situation quiet. In recent weeks, Gaza’s dire electricity shortages have eased after Israel allowed Qatar to begin paying for power plant fuel. Israel also allowed Qatar to deliver a suitcase with $ 15 million (£11.6 million) in cash to help pay salaries to civil servants inside Gaza.    Just hours before the fighting broke out, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, defended the Qatari deal and said it had been endorsed by the Israeli cabinet as a way of easing Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and lowering the chances of conflict.   “I am doing everything I can to avoid an unnecessary war,” he said.  The fighting appeared to take the Israeli government by surprise and led Mr Netanyahu to cut short a trip to France, where he had been marking the centenary of the end of the First World War alongside fellow world leaders.  Both Israel and Hamas have said they do not want another war and the UN will be hoping that the fighting on Sunday night will not derail what appeared to be promising steps toward a longterm ceasefire.   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attend a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris  Credit: AFP Israel cancelled school for children living near the Gaza border on Monday and shut down the train line between Ashkelon and Sderot as a precaution. Some of the Palestinian rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system.  Tal Russo, a retired Israeli general, said Israeli forces were likely carrying out an intelligence-gathering operation inside Gaza and were caught, rather than trying to assassinate Hamas leaders.  “Activities that most civilians aren’t aware of happen all the time, every night and in every region. This action – an operation that was apparently exposed – wasn’t an assassination attempt. We have other ways of assassinating people and we know how to do it much more elegantly,” he said, according to the Times of Israel. The Israeli officer killed was identified by the military only as Lieutenant Colonel M, in line with Israel’s practice of not naming its special forces troops.  "I am shocked and saddened at the loss of Lt Col M, the IDF officer killed last night, and praying with all citizens of Israel for the swift recovery of the injured soldier," said Reuven Rivlin, the Israeli president. The Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza said seven Palestinians had been killed. One of them was Nour Baraka, a commander in the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.  Several of the dead were also Hamas fighters, according to Palestinian media. It was not clear if any civilians had been killed.    Hamas rarely inflicts casualties on Israeli forces and by Monday morning the group was hailing the gun battle as a victory for its side. “Qassam fighters stopped the Israeli aggression east of Khan Younes in a legendary and heroic way,” a spokesman said.  



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Afghanistan delays vote in Kandahar after killing of commander

Afghanistan delays vote in Kandahar after killing of commanderGeneral Abdul Razeq, the Kandahar police commander, was killed outside the provincial governor’s office on Thursday, when a bodyguard opened fire on a group of officials as they left a meeting with General Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Miller was not injured but the regional intelligence agency commander was killed and the provincial governor severely wounded, decimating the leadership of one of the country’s most strategically important provinces. Although nominally a provincial police chief, Razeq was one of the most powerful political figures in Afghanistan and a formidable opponent of the Taliban, with unchallenged authority across the volatile south of the country.



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U.S. Marines Name First-Ever Female Infantry Platoon Commander

U.S. Marines Name First-Ever Female Infantry Platoon CommanderFirst Lt. Marina A. Hierl is one of four platoon commanders in Echo Company, a group of 175 Marines and Navy sailors.



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Taliban 'talking and fighting,' says U.S. commander in Afghanistan

Taliban 'talking and fighting,' says U.S. commander in AfghanistanBy Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan played down a spate of recent Taliban attacks on Wednesday, saying violence levels were still lower than average as some insurgents talked peace – a situation he described as “talking and fighting.” “You see mid-level, senior-level Taliban leaders engaging with Afghans,” said Army General John Nicholson, adding that a lot of the diplomatic activity was taking place “off the stage.” Nicholson’s remarks came the same day that gunmen armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers attempted to penetrate the heavily fortified headquarters of the Afghan interior ministry, battling security forces for more than two hours in the latest attack on the capital Kabul. The attack was a reminder of the challenges facing U.S.-backed Afghan forces even after 16 years of war, including in the capital Kabul.



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Pro-Assad forces shell Turkish positions in Syria: pro-Assad commander

Pro-Assad forces shell Turkish positions in Syria: pro-Assad commanderPro-Syrian government forces shelled Turkish positions in northern Syria on Wednesday in response to a Turkish air strike that killed five of their fighters, a pro-government commander said. The Shi’ite militia fighters used artillery to target the Turkish positions in the town of Marea, north of Aleppo, the commander told Reuters. Pro-government forces have sided with the YPG against Turkey in Afrin.



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Paul Bauer killed: Off duty Chicago Police Commander gunned down helping colleagues to make arrest

Paul Bauer killed: Off duty Chicago Police Commander gunned down helping colleagues to make arrestCommander Paul Bauer was killed while trying to help other members of a tactical team in “apprehending a suspicious person”, The Chicago Police Department confirmed said. A spokesman called a it a “senseless murder”, adding that person of interest was in custody. “It’s a difficult day for us”, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters.



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North Korea has stepped up executions, says top US commander 

North Korea has stepped up executions, says top US commander North Korea has stepped up its executions, the top commander of US troops on the Korean Peninsula said on Monday, amid increasing strain on the its military from international economic sanctions. “We’re seeing some increase in executions, mostly against political officers who are in military units, for corruption,” General Vincent K Brooks, the top US commander in South Korea told the Wall Street Journal. He added that the actions “are really about trying to clamp down on as much as possible on something that might be deteriorating and keeping it from deteriorating too quickly.” In recent months the South Korean press has reported the possible execution of Park In-young, the official in charge of Pyongyang’s nuclear test facilities, and former military chief, General Hwang Pyong-so, who was accused of allegedly taking bribes. General Brooks also noted a recent shift in the pattern of defections from the North. “We’re seeing defections happening in areas where we don’t generally see them, for example crossing the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone on the border),” he said. Meanwhile, North Korea has been cutting back on its winter military drills as harsh sanctions over its nuclear and weapons programme begin to bite, say analysts. The military exercises, which usually run from December to March, got started late and aren’t as extensive as before, the Journal reported. The United Nations has placed major restrictions on imports of oil and refined petroleum products to North Korea, which may have led to a reduction in military activities to save fuel. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting the State Academy of Sciences at an undisclosed location Credit:  AFP “Where this will have an effect in on ground-force readiness,” Joseph Bermudez, a military analyst for 38 North, a website run by Johns Hopkins University’s US-Korea Institute, told the paper. “Military units have to train to maintain their proficiency.” North Korean workers overseas, previously a big source of foreign currency for the regime, are also now being sent home from their host countries after strict new sanctions imposed by the UN in August, following Pyongyang’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. On Tuesday it emerged that Angola was the latest country to terminate all of its contracts with North Korean construction company, Mansudae, and had asked its employees to leave.  



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