Report

U.S. Conducting Clandestine Drone Campaign in Syria

The CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are conducting a drone campaign against high-level Islamic State targets in Syria, the Washington Post reports. This clandestine campaign is being run separately from the international coalition’s effort and has targeted senior officials in the terrorist group, especially those working on supporting and expanding the Islamic State’s ...

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The CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are conducting a drone campaign against high-level Islamic State targets in Syria, the Washington Post reports. This clandestine campaign is being run separately from the international coalition’s effort and has targeted senior officials in the terrorist group, especially those working on supporting and expanding the Islamic State’s foreign franchises. Al-Qaeda leaders in Syria are also on the target list, according to the Post. Among those killed in the CIA-JSOC strikes was Junaid Hussain, a British fighter who worked on the Islamic State’s social media propaganda and recruitment.

Lebanese Security Forces Clear Sit-In of Ministry

A peaceful day-long sit-in of Lebanon’s Environment Ministry ended when security forces cleared “You Stink” protesters from the building. Several people were injured. The protesters are demanding Environment Minister Mohammad Al Mashnouq’s resignation for his intransigence on resolving the country’s trash crisis.

Headlines

  • Islamic State militants killed one Turkish soldier and may have abducted another in a border skirmish near Kilis, Turkey.

 

  • Two Red Cross workers were shot and killed in Amran province, Yemen, while traveling from Saada to Sanaa, according to an ICRC spokesperson.

 

  • A new report from the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development suggests that Gaza could become “uninhabitable” in five years based on recent economic trends.

 

  • Gunmen in military uniforms abducted 18 Turkish construction workers operating in Habibiya, a predominantly Shia district of Baghdad.

 

  • The ultraconservative leader of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, a clerical committee, stated that the United States will remain Iran’s “number one enemy” despite the international nuclear agreement.

Arguments and Analysis

The Believer: How an Introvert with a Passion for Religion and Soccer became Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Leader of the Islamic State” (Will McCants, Brookings Institution)

“The council elected the new emir of the Islamic State by a vote of 9 to 2. It was then that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, at the age of 39, took his now-famous nom de guerre, a double homage to his faith and his native land. Abu Bakr was Muhammad’s father-in-law and, after the Prophet’s death, the first caliph; Baghdad was the capital of the grandest caliphate in early Islam, the Abbasid dynasty. The Abbasids had swept to power in the eighth century using clever apocalyptic propaganda and clandestine networks to mobilize popular anger against the ruling regime in Damascus. Baghdadi was clearly hoping to repeat the performance on the same stage.”

 

United States Policy & Yemen’s Armed Conflict” (Yemen Peace Project)

“Although the United States has not committed combat forces to the conflict, it is playing an important role. On the diplomatic front, the United States has played an important and laudable role in working to bring the warring parties to the table. The Obama administration must now work with Yemen’s neighbors and the rest of the international community to establish secure routes for the delivery of humanitarian aid, push for an end to hostilities, reach an internationally-supported political settlement, and build a comprehensive material and economic reconstruction plan. The US must also work with other members of the United Nations Security Council, which has been circumvented by the Saudi-led coalition, to ensure that any further military intervention in Yemen complies with Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.”

-J. Dana Stuster

Andrew Lee/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images

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