Three US service members hurt in Osprey crash after deadly Yemen terror raid
Three U.S. service members were hurt in a crash-landing of an MV-22 Osprey sent in to evacuate the wounded after the terror raid in Yemen over the weekend, the Pentagon revealed on Monday.
The operation targeting a group of senior Al Qaeda leaders in central Yemen killed a U.S. Navy SEAL and wounded three others, according to U.S. Central Command, which initially reported only one American was hurt in the aircraft’s “hard landing.”
“A lot of female combatants” were part of the resistance the SEALs encountered on the target, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff David told reporters. “Some of the enemy killed in action were female.”
U.S. MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crash lands in Yemen during Special OPS raid on Al Qaeda
A U.S. Marine Corps Osprey that was supporting the first known counterterrorism operation under President Trump crash-landed in Yemen. It was later destroyed by U.S. raid.
Early in the morning on Jan. 29, one American Special Operations commando was killed and three others were injured in a fierce firefight with Al Qaeda fighters targeted by a predawn raid against the AQ headquarters in Yemen.
The surprise attack was carried out by commandos from the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 in Bayda Province who killed 14 Qaeda militants in what is the first confirmed anti-terror operation under Trump presidency.
It’s not clear what aircraft were supporting the raid; what has been confirmed is that a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft called in to evacuate the wounded American soldiers crash landed, injuring 2 service members (1 according to other sources).
The tilt-rotor aircraft was intentionally destroyed in place by a U.S. raid once it was determined that it could not leave the crash landing site.
Iran conducts ballistic missile test, US officials say
[Editor’s Note: A reentry vehicle test is for a nuclear weapon.]
Iran on Sunday conducted a ballistic missile test in yet another apparent violation of a United Nations resolution, U.S. officials told Fox News.
The launch occurred at a well-known test site outside Semnan, about 140 miles east of Tehran.
The missile was a Khorramshahr medium range ballistic missile and traveled 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle, officials said. Iran defense minister Brigadier Gen. Hossein Dehqan said in September that Iran would start production of the missile.
U.N. resolution 2231 — put in place days after the Iran nuclear deal was signed — calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct such tests, however, this is at least Iran’s second such test since July. The resolution bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and went into effect July 20, 2015.
Islamist suspects arrested in Austria were planning to establish a caliphate in the country, police reveal
- Heavily armed SWAT teams detained 14 people in the cities of Graz and Vienna
- Suspected of recruiting around 40 people to fight for Islamic extremist groups
- Also being investigated for attempts to set up a ‘kind of theocracy in Austria’
Heavily armed SWAT teams supported by hundreds of other officers detained 14 people in Graz and Vienna last week over suspected ISIS links.
Justice Ministry official Christian Pilnacek has since revealed they are being investigated for attempts to try to set up a ‘parallel society… an attempt to create a kind of theocracy in Austria.’
Islamist suspects arrested in Austria were planning to establish a caliphate in the country, police have claimed (file picture)
Pilnacek said two of the 12 locations raided were Muslim social centers also used as mosque
PICTURED: White university student named as the sole suspect accused of killing six men at Quebec City mosque – one day after Canadian PM condemned Trump’s immigration ban
- Alexandre Bissonnette is suspected of carrying out the attack on Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center alone
- He was arrested on Sunday night after allegedly shooting six men dead during evening prayers before 8pm
- The university student fled the scene of the crime but called 911 20 minutes later to turn himself in to police
- Mohamed el Khadir, a Moroccan-Canadian, was also taken into custody but is now considered to be a witness
- Six men aged between 39 and 60 died, five are critically injured and dozens more were caught up in killings
- It came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned Donald Trump’s immigration ban
- President Trump has banned citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US temporarily
- Trudeau tweeted in response that all refugees ‘regardless of your faith’ are welcome in Canada
- Police have not suggested a possible motive for the mosque killings but are treating them as a terror attack
Alexandre Bissonnette is suspected of carrying out the Quebec City mosque massacre alone
White university student Alexandre Bissonnette has been named as the sole suspect accused of killing six men at Quebec City mosque.
Bissonnette, who is in his late twenties, was arrested alongside Moroccan-Canadian Mohamed el Khadir on Sunday night after six men were slaughtered at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center during evening prayers.
On Monday afternoon, Sûreté du Québec confirmed one of the men was no longer facing charges.
A source later told Reuters police were looking at Bissonnette as a ‘lone wolf’.
The student, who is from the affluent Quebec City suburb Cap Rouge, will appear in court sometime on Monday or Tuesday.
Six men aged between 39 and 60 were killed at the mosque and five remain in a critical condition in intensive care at the city’s Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus after the killings on Sunday night.
Marine Le Pen still ahead in poll for first round of French presidential election with Fillon and Macron neck-and-neck
- Marine Le Pen, of the National Front, is ahead in the polls with 25 percent
- Conservative Francois Fillon, independent Emmanuel Macron on 22 percent
- Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon is trailing way behind on just 15 percent
- In the second round of voting she is likely to be defeated by Fillon or Macron
- In 2002 her father Jean-Marie was beaten by Jacques Chirac in second round
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Far-Right National Front, is still ahead in the polls as France heads towards the first round of presidential elections in the spring.
A poll by Kantar Sofres put her on 25 percent, ahead of Francois Fillon, a conservative former prime minister, who is now neck-and-neck with Emmanuel Macron, a maverick independent, who is polling better than expected.
Fillon is on 22 percent and Macron is on 21 percent.
Putin’s Russia in biggest Arctic military push since Soviet fall
By Andrew Osborn
MURMANSK, Russia (Reuters) – The nuclear icebreaker Lenin, the pride and joy of the Soviet Union’s Arctic great game, lies at perpetual anchor in the frigid water here. A relic of the Cold War, it is now a museum.
But nearly three decades after the Lenin was taken out of service to be turned into a visitor attraction, Russia is again on the march in the Arctic and building new nuclear icebreakers.
It is part of a push to firm Moscow’s hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the United States, and Norway as well as newcomer China.
Interviews with officials and military analysts and reviews of government documents show Russia’s build-up is the biggest since the 1991 Soviet fall and will, in some areas, give Moscow more military capabilities than the Soviet Union once had.
The expansion has far-reaching financial and geopolitical ramifications. The Arctic is estimated to hold more hydrocarbon reserves than Saudi Arabia and Moscow is putting down a serious military marker.
US commando, Al Qaeda advocate’s young daughter among casualties in Trump’s first counterterror op
In the first counterterrorism operation authorized by President Trump, the 8-year-old daughter of a radical Yemeni-American cleric was reportedly among the dozens of civilians, Al Qaeda militants, and one US commando killed in a pre-dawn firefight in southern Yemen on Sunday, according to the girl’s grandfather.
Nawar al-Awlaki was the daughter of the American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen and al Qaeda leader killed in a drone strike in 2011, which former President Obama directed the Central Intelligence Agency to carry out.
On Sunday, the White House said in a statement that an American commando was killed in the Navy SEAL Team 6 raid, the first in the years-long shadow war against al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate, which American intelligence and counterterrorism officials have long seen as the most dangerous branch of the global terrorist network.
The United States has been engaged in this clandestine war in Yemen since around 2002, when a drone killed an al Qaeda leader, Salim Sinan al-Harithi, and five others there. The Yemeni affiliate organized the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in 2015 and has planned numerous, thwarted attacks on commercial jets.
Saturday’s raid, meant to recover intelligence from the Qaeda unit, was in the works for months, three officials told The New York Times. But Obama administration aides ultimately chose to hand the decision over to Mr. Trump, who vowed on the campaign trail to not only go after terrorists, but also their families.
While Trump authorized the mission last week, the raid came the same day he signed a directive that ordered Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to devise within 30 days a more aggressive plan to defeat the self-declared Islamic State group. Preparing for the directive, military planners had already begun drafting classified options to present to the commander-in-chief, including loosening restrictions designed to limit the risk of civilians, according to The New York Times.
While military officials told the Times there is no indication that the rules of engagement had been loosened for the mission in Yemen, Nawar’s grandfather indicated such drone strikes and clandestine raids come at a cost.
Manila Eager to Sign Military Agreement With Moscow, Eyes Russian Weapons
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Philippines’ Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that he would be joining President Rodrigo Duterte for his official visit to Moscow in April or May. He noted that he looks forward to signing a Memorandum of Understanding with his Russian counterpart during the visit that would allow for regular exchanges to take place between the two countries’ militaries.
Brand New Russian Corvette Bristling With Advanced Weapons Starts Sea Trials
The newest Steregushchy-class corvette, the Sovershenny (‘Unbeatable’) has begun sea trials, the Russian Pacific Fleet reported on Monday. Armed with the latest missile technology and fitted with advanced radar, stealth and electronic warfare systems, the warship is expected to significantly improve the Pacific Fleet’s defensive capabilities.
Laid down at the Amur Shipyard in 2006 and launched in 2015, the Sovershenny will be the fifth Steregushchy (‘Vigilant’) class, Project 20380 corvette to be commissioned into the Russian Navy, and the first to join the Pacific Fleet. The Steregushchy class is Russia’s newest corvette design, and with a displacement of 2,200 metric tons, is designated by NATO as a frigate.