Tag Archives: soldiers

India mourns dead soldiers amid calls for revenge

India mourns dead soldiers amid calls for revengeThousands of mourners across India attended funerals on Saturday for some of the 41 soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir as a round-the-clock curfew remained in force in part of the restive region. The paramilitary troops were killed on Thursday as explosives packed in a van ripped through a convoy transporting 2,500 soldiers in the disputed Himalayan region, the deadliest attack in a 30-year-old armed conflict. TV stations showed coffins wrapped in Indian flags being carried by thousands of people across their hometowns, after the bodies were flown to New Delhi late Friday for a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.



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Venezuela's Rank-and-File Soldiers Have Been Deserting in Droves

Venezuela's Rank-and-File Soldiers Have Been Deserting in DrovesSigned by the guard’s commander, Major General Jesus Lopez Vargas, the Dec. 21 order removes them from rolls. All are non-commissioned officers or enlisted men and women and represented about 6 percent of the guard. The second, dated Nov. 13, is signed by Luis Santiago Rodriguez Gonzalez, director of the country’s immigration service.



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At least 8 Somali soldiers killed in attack on army base

At least 8 Somali soldiers killed in attack on army baseAt least eight Somali soldiers were killed when the Al-Shabaab jihadist group overran their military camp on the outskirts of the town of Kismayo early Saturday, military officials and local elders said. According to the sources, heavily-armed Shabaab militants launched a dawn raid on the military camp, followed by a heavy exchange of gunfire which lasted hours. “The terrorists attacked Bulogagdud military base using heavy weaponry and explosives.



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Gabon soldiers arrested after announcing coup 'to restore democracy' as president languishes

Gabon soldiers arrested after announcing coup 'to restore democracy' as president languishesA group of soldiers sought to take power in Gabon on Monday while the country's ailing president was abroad, but the government declared the bid had failed and the rebels had been arrested. Soldiers burst into state radio offices at dawn and called on the public to "rise up" after Ali Bongo, the president, suffered a stroke last year while out of the country. Shots were heard around state broadcasting headquarters in Libreville, capital of the oil-rich West African nation, at about the same time as the message was read at 6:30am. But within a few hours, government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told AFP: "Calm has returned, the situation is under control." Of the five who entered the radio station, "four have been arrested and one is on the run," according to Mr Mapangou. Security forces have been deployed in the capital and will remain there over the coming days in order to maintain order, he said. The elite Republican Guard was deployed around the building and armoured vehicles blocked access to the area, an AFP correspondent saw. Mr Mapangou added that the gunfire earlier was to control a crowd. Gabon has been plunged into uncertainty as Ali Bongo has remained abroad since having a stroke in October Credit: ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images The dramatic developments came as Mr Bongo is living at a private residence in the Moroccan capital Rabat after suffering a stroke. He made a televised speech on New Year's Eve but has not been in the country since October. A message was read on state radio by a person who identified himself as Lieutenant Ondo Obiang Kelly, the deputy commander of the Republican Guard and head of a previously unknown group, the Patriotic Youth Movement of the Gabonese Defence and Security Forces. He announced a "national restoration council" would be formed "to guarantee a democratic transition for the Gabonese people". The movement "calls on all young people from forces for the defence and security and Gabonese young people to join us," the officer said. Three soldiers wearing the green beret of the Republican Guard, two of them carrying assault rifles, were visible on a video of the speech circulating on social media and authenticated by AFP. "We cannot abandon our homeland," the officer said. "The eagerly awaited day has arrived when the army has decided to put itself on the side of the people in order to save Gabon from chaos. "If you are eating, stop; if you are having a drink, stop; if you are sleeping, wake up. Wake up your neighbours… rise up as one and take control of the street," he said.



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Two British soldiers seriously injured in Isil missile attack in Syria

Two British soldiers seriously injured in Isil missile attack in SyriaTwo British special forces soldiers have been seriously injured in a missile attack by Isil fighters in Syria. The two soldiers were injured in a missile attack by ISIS fighters near Deir Ezzor, in the east of the country, British special forces have been operating in the area alongside US special forces to combat the militant group.  The Telegraph understands the incident occurred on Friday morning, and that the soldiers were airlifted from the scene by US forces for medical treatment. Rudaw news, a Kurdish outlet, reported that the soldiers were at a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) base in the area when the attack took place. It was also reported that an SDF fighter was killed in the missile attack. An SDF official, said: "Due to a smart missile attack by ISIS, a fighter of the YPG was killed and another wounded, in addition to two British soldiers." A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "We do not comment on special forces operations". The attack comes a year after the death of an SAS solider in Syria. Sergeant Matt Tonroe was killed while embedded with US forces in Syria when they were caught by an explosion in March 2018.   US president Donald Trump said in December that he was withdrawing US troops from Syria, where he claimed Isis had been defeated.     Mr Trump said: "We have defeated Isis in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency." The move shocked US allies and American defence officials alike, with US defence secretary Jim Mattis and a top US official in the fight against IS, Brett McGurk, resigning soon after. Analysts and military experts, who disagree with Mr Trump, have said the threat posed by Isis still remains.



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British SAS soldiers injured and ally killed by Isil missile in Syria

British SAS soldiers injured and ally killed by Isil missile in SyriaTwo British Special Forces soldiers have been seriously hurt with one suffering a throat injury after a missile attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in Syria. The attack was believed to have happened on Saturday morning near Deir Ezzor in the east of the country.   A Kurdish soldier fighting alongside the British forces was killed in the missile strike and five other British troops were injured. The most serious casualty, understood by the Telegraph to be from Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment based in Hereford, is thought to have been hit in the throat with shrapnel. British Special Forces are believed to be operating in the east of Syria alongside American troops and Kurdish fighters of the People’s Defence Unit (YPG), a mainly Kurdish militia fighting in Syria. US army vehicles supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hajin, in the Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, December 15, 2018. Credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP Kamiran Sadoun, a Syrian Kurdish journalist working for the Telegraph, spoke to injured fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at a makeshift hospital at the al-Omar oil field in the evening of Saturday 5. "I was in the hospital when they brought three injured SDF fighters,” he said. “One was heavily injured and one of them was injured lightly and one of them was killed. "We asked them what happened. One said they were patrolling with the British, there were around 5-7 of them when the Isil thermal rocket – a guided missile – hit. Two or three of the British were heavily injured but all 5-7 of them were lightly injured." The attack occurred as allies and fighters in the region consider the impact of President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from the country. On December 19 Mr Trump stated that Isil had been defeated in Syria a and that troops would be coming home "now". Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hajin, in the Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, on December 15, 2018. Credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP However, on Sunday John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser, confirmed reports that the withdrawal would be slower than the President suggested. He said Mr Trump was committed to defeating the remnants of Isil and “wants the caliphate destroyed”.  He also stated that the US withdrawal is conditional on Turkey agreeing not to target America’s Kurdish allies. Turkey must “meet the President’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered,” he said during a visit to Israel and Turkey. Also speaking on Sunday, Mr Trump denied the apparent volte-face: "We're going to be removing our troops. I never said we were doing it that quickly," he said. Emile Hokayem, Senior Research Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said Isil would be emboldened by news of an American withdrawal, describing President Trump’s new Syria policy as “messy”. “One can debate the merits and wisdom of the long-term US presence in north-east Syria," he said, "but certainly the way it was announced and the chaos that followed – with the resignation of [Defence Secretary James] Mattis and [Syria Special Envoy Brett] McGurk – really played to the advantage of the adversaries of the US and the West. “The US has become overly ambitious [in recent years]. The presence in eastern Syria was supposed to check and kick out Iran [and] it was supposed to ensure the enduring defeat of Isil. “The goals kept growing and there was a massive mismatch between the risk appetite of the Pentagon and the resources applied. “US policy has been bankrupt for many years, starting under Obama. The US was always going to face this kind of dilemma, this is not a purely Trump administration crisis. “The key problem was how this was announced, how it countered all the statements of senior US officials. “Trump makes things worse, but he didn’t create those dilemmas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with White House National Security Adviser John Bolton as they meet on January 6, 2019 in Jerusalem, Israel. Credit: Getty Images Europe A security source told the Telegraph the attack on British and Kurdish forces shows that the war against Isil in Syria and Iraq is not over. “The enemy is still there and still active. Isil are not entirely defeated,” the source said. Although Britain operates in some parts of the world without US partners it is inconceivable British forces would continue to operate in Syria following a US withdrawal. The Telegraph understands that the tempo of operations has not diminished since Mr Trump’s decision and that US forces have not yet started disengaging from the region. The logistics of any withdrawal are likely to be hampered until the Spring by bad weather.   According to government statistics, RAF fighter jets and drones conducted 46 strikes against Isil targets in Syria in the first two weeks of December. The airstrikes helped expel Isil forces from the strategically important area of Hajin, near the Iraq border, described by the Ministry of Defence as “the terrorists last significant territory”. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, using an Arabic name for Isil, said: “The advance through Hajin is a huge milestone and shows that Daesh are being pushed further back into the shadows. “Make no mistake though, although this is another significant battle won, much hard work still lies ahead to ensure we win the war.”



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Reports: 2 British soldiers wounded in IS attack in Syria

Reports: 2 British soldiers wounded in IS attack in SyriaBEIRUT (AP) — A missile attack by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria killed at least one Kurdish fighter and wounded two British soldiers embedded with them, according to reports Sunday, amid fierce fighting in the strategic area near the Iraqi border.



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Taliban blow up Afghan army outpost, killing five soldiers, police say

Taliban blow up Afghan army outpost, killing five soldiers, police sayTaliban fighters detonated explosives planted in a tunnel below an Afghan military outpost, killing five soldiers, a police official said on Wednesday. Six soldiers were wounded in the attack on Tuesday in the Maiwand district of the southern province of Kandahar, police spokesman Mohammad Ashraf Watandost said. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said the militants, fighting to overthrow the government and reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster, had killed or wounded 35 soldiers and destroyed a large cache of weapons and ammunition.



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Report: Israeli attack near Syrian capital wounds 3 soldiers

Report: Israeli attack near Syrian capital wounds 3 soldiersBEIRUT (AP) — Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon fired missiles toward areas near the Syrian capital of Damascus late Tuesday, hitting an arms depot and wounding three soldiers, Syrian state media reported, saying that most of the missiles were shot down by air defense units.



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Israel army says probing fatal car shooting by soldiers

Israel army says probing fatal car shooting by soldiersThe Israeli army said Friday it had opened a probe after troops shot dead the passenger of a car that tried to break through two checkpoints in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian health ministry said 17-year-old Qassem al-Abbasi, from east Jerusalem, was shot dead by Israeli troops on Thursday near the city of Ramallah. The Israeli news site Ynet reported an initial investigation had revealed “the vehicle did not try to hit the soldiers at the roadblocks and no weapon was found in the car”.



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