Tag Archives: targets

American forces kill jihadi leader in Syria with precision 'Ninja' missile that chops up targets with blades

American forces kill jihadi leader in Syria with precision 'Ninja' missile that chops up targets with bladesU.S. forces are thought to have killed a senior jihadi leader in northern Syria using a rarely deployed “Ninja” missile, which attacks targets with precision swordlike blades.



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US forces kill jihadist leader in Syria with precision 'ninja' missile that chops up targets with blades

US forces kill jihadist leader in Syria with precision 'ninja' missile that chops up targets with bladesUS forces are thought to have killed a senior jihadist leader in northern Syria using a rarely deployed “Ninja” missile which attacks targets with precision sword-like blades. The Hellfire missile, or AGM-114R9X, which has a set of six folding blades instead of a warhead for minimum collateral damage, is believed to have been used to take out a commander in the al-Qaeda offshoot Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS) in the province of Idlib.  The leader, named locally by his nom-de-guerre Abu Ahmad al-Muhajir, was reported to have been killed on Tuesday night when the car he was travelling in was hit by missiles in the town of Atmeh near the Turkish border, 10 miles from the US raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last month. He was said to be a high-profile foreign trainer of an elite force within HTS, known as "The Red Bands". Another, unidentified fighter who had been in car was also killed. This fragment is reported to have been found at the site of what may have been an RX9 (Hellfire with frikken swords) strike. If you looks closely, you can see what appear to be hinges, as well as being and twisted projections from those hinges. H/T @obretix, who found this. pic.twitter.com/db7ZOE6S1x— Nick Waters (@N_Waters89) December 4, 2019 Images of the scene shared on social media show a hole in the driver’s seat of the Mutsubishi Delica, which is otherwise largely intact. Inside the car, flesh and blood can be seen and a number of large identical cut marks. Experts point to the windows, which have not been blown out, as evidence the “Ninja” or so-called “flying Ginsu” was used. The missile has only been deployed on a handful of occasions in the eight-year conflict in Syria, with at least one other reported use in the killing of Abu Khayr al-Masri, the deputy leader of al-Qaeda, in February 2017. The Hellfire AGM-114R9X "ninja" missile substitutes the explosive warhead found on standard missiles for a set of six folding sword-like blades, designed to smash through buildings and vehicles with minimal civilian casualties. Masri was killed while driving a car in al-Mastouma, 30 miles south of Atmeh, in Idlib. US unmanned aircraft, such as MQ-9 Reapers, can carry Hellfire missiles and are known to carry out targeted strikes. The missile has various pros and cons; while its precision helps to minimise the risk of civilian casualties, it relies on detailed intelligence that requires a lot of human resources. Nick Waters, a former infantry officer and investigator at Bellingcat who analysed pictures from the scene, said he could clearly see four cuts in the roof, one in the windscreen and one through the door: “you’ve got six: the same number of blades an R9X has,” he said. Al-Qaeda deputy Abu Khayr al-Masri's car was targeted by a Hellfire missile. Pictures from the scene in 2017 show minimal damage to the rest of the car – a trademark of the AGM-114R9X, Credit: Twitter "This strike is very distinctive and although the coalition have denied carrying it out, it is possible that other US agencies not under the control of the coalition, such as the CIA, may have carried out this strike unilaterally,” he told the Telegraph. The US-led coalition said it did not carry out the strike. The Telegraph approached US Central Command (CENTCOM) for comment. The US has focused on targeting Isil leaders in northern Syria and has largely avoided HTS in Idlib in the northwest. The Islamist group rules control most of the province, pushing out more moderate groups who had previously been dominant.  It would be the first US strike on an HTS leader since 2017. The skies above Idlib are crowded as the Syrian government and its Russian allies carry out an offensive to regain the last-remaining rebel stronghold in the country.



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Sea levels set to keep rising for centuries even if emissions targets met

Sea levels set to keep rising for centuries even if emissions targets metGenerations yet unborn will face rising oceans and coastal inundations into the 2300s even if governments meet climate commitments, researchers findA potential scenario of future sea level rise in South Beach, Miami, Florida, with a global temperature rise of 2C. Photograph: Nickolay Lamm/Courtesy Climate CentralSea level rise is set to challenge human civilization for centuries to come, even if internationally agreed climate goals are met and planet-warming emissions are then immediately eliminated, researchers have found.The lag time between rising global temperatures and the knock-on impact of coastal inundation means that the world will be dealing with ever-rising sea levels into the 2300s, regardless of prompt action to address the climate crisis, according to the new study.Even if governments meet their commitments from the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement, the first 15-year period of the deal will still result in enough emissions that would cause sea levels to increase by around 20cm by the year 2300.This scenario, modeled by researchers, assumes that all countries make their promised emissions reductions by 2030 and then abruptly eliminate all planet-warming gases from that point onwards. In reality, only a small number of countries are on track to meet the Paris target of limiting global heating to 2C above the pre-industrial era.“Even with the Paris pledges there will be a large amount of sea level rise,” said Peter Clark, an Oregon State University climate scientist and co-author of the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“Sea level rise is going to be an ongoing problem for centuries to come, we will have to keep on adapting over and over again. It’s going to be a whole new expensive lifestyle, costing trillions of dollars.“Sea level has a very long memory, so even if we start cooling temperatures the seas will continue to rise. It’s a bit like trying to turn the Titanic around, rather than a speedboat.”Researchers used a computer model that simulates sea level rise in response to various emissions levels, looking both at historical emissions since 1750 and also what the emissions scenario would be from 2015 to 2030 if countries met their Paris agreement obligations.About half of the 20cm sea level rise can be attributed to the world’s top five greenhouse gas polluters – the US, China, India, Russia and the European Union – according to the researchers. The US was a key architect of the Paris deal but this week Donald Trump formally triggered its exit from the agreement.“Our results show that what we do today will have a huge effect in 2300. Twenty centimetres is very significant; it is basically as much sea-level rise as we’ve observed over the entire 20th century,” said Climate Analytics’ Alexander Nauels, lead author of the study. “To cause that with only 15 years of emissions is quite staggering.”The results reveal the daunting prospect of a near-endless advance of the seas, forcing countries to invest huge resources in defending key infrastructure or ceding certain areas to the tides. Many coastal cities around the world are already facing this challenge, with recent research finding that land currently home to 300 million people will flood at least once a year by 2050 unless carbon emissions are drastically slashed.As the world heats up, ocean water is expanding while land-based glaciers and the two great polar ice caps are melting away, causing the oceans to swell.According to the UN’s climate science panel, the global sea level rise could reach as much as 1.1 metres by the end of the century if emissions aren’t curbed. Clark pointed out the real situation could be even worse if the melting of the Antarctic turns out to be on the dire end of the spectrum of uncertainty.“People are going to become less inclined to live by the coast and there are going to be sea level rise refugees,” Clark said. “More severe cuts in emissions are certainly going to be required but the current Paris pledges aren’t enough to prevent the seas from rising for a long, long time.”



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Seven countries issue Iran-related sanctions on 25 targets

Seven countries issue Iran-related sanctions on 25 targetsThe United States and six other countries imposed sanctions on Wednesday on 25 corporations, banks and people linked to Iran’s support for militant networks including Hezbollah, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. The targets were announced by the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) nations – which also include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was on a Middle East trip to finalize details of an economic development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon. All 25 targets were previously sanctioned by the United States.



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NRA troubles: A hunter targets the world’s most powerful gun lobby

NRA troubles: A hunter targets the world’s most powerful gun lobbyNRA corruption allegations have weakened the group. Plenty of gun rights advocates are ready to step in.



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Yemen's Houthis threaten to attack United Arab Emirates targets

Yemen's Houthis threaten to attack United Arab Emirates targetsYemen’s Houthi group said on Wednesday it had identified dozens of sites in the United Arab Emirates as possible targets, in an attempt to underscore its military clout following a weekend attack it claims to have carried out on Saudi oil facilities. “To the Emirati regime we say only one operation (of ours) would cost you dearly,” Yahya Saria, the military spokesman for the Iran-aligned movement, said in a televised speech. In Riyadh, Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said the attack could not have come from Yemen, adding the Houthi movement was “covering up” for Iran.



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Mexico targets former attorney general in probe of missing students case

Mexico targets former attorney general in probe of missing students caseMexican prosecutors will target a former attorney general and his top aides in their investigation into the handling of a controversial probe into the disappearance five years ago of 43 student teachers, a government official said on Sunday. The attorney general’s office said on Saturday prosecutors would hold to account those who oversaw the widely-panned probe into the abduction and apparent massacre of the trainee teachers by corrupt police working with a violent drug gang. The scandal battered the reputation of then-president Enrique Pena Nieto.



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Rising star of Israeli right targets breakthrough

Rising star of Israeli right targets breakthroughOn a Saturday night, after sundown marked the end of the Jewish Sabbath, rising political star Ayelet Shaked shook hands, posed for selfies and downed shots of arak as she toured Jerusalem bars. The head of the newly minted "Yamina" (Rightward) hard-right alliance does not mask her intentions: She wants one day to succeed her former boss Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister of Israel. To further that aim and perhaps to soften her image, she recently took to the alleyways of Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market, a hub of nightlife after the produce stalls close for the day.



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Israeli aircraft strike targets in Gaza after drone attack

Israeli aircraft strike targets in Gaza after drone attackIsraeli aircraft hit several military targets for Gaza’s Hamas rulers late Saturday after militants used a drone to drop a bomb on the Israeli side of the Gaza-Israel perimeter fence. The Israeli military said the targets included “offensive military equipment and two military sites” for the Islamic group’s aerial unit, which it said was responsible for the drone attack.



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Israeli jets hit targets in Syria to prevent Iranian drone attack: army

Israeli jets hit targets in Syria to prevent Iranian drone attack: armyThe Israeli air force struck in Syria to prevent an Iranian force from launching an attack on the Jewish state with drones armed with explosives, the army said Sunday. While Israel operates regularly in Syria, it rarely acknowledges its actions so swiftly, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning arch-foe Iran it had no immunity from his state’s military.



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