Toronto and Ottawa Step Up Security Ahead of Canada Day as Canada Extends Mission to Fight ISIS

Toronto has joined Ottawa is stepping up security ahead of Canada day following a threat made by the Islamic State (ISIS) earlier this month that named Canada and warned Muslims to stay away from public places and tourist sites, and its supporters to kill ‘crusaders’ there by any means. A Toronto man, Muhammed Islam, said he kidnapped a woman because of years of being surveilled and monitored by the RCMP, and that he just wanted it to stop. Canadian has announced that the Canadian Armed Forces will remain in Iraq as part of an international coalition fighting ISIS under Operation IMPACT until at least March 2019.

The Israeli military struck a Syrian army position in the southern area of Quneitra on Wednesday in retaliation to stray mortar fire that hit the Golan Heights. No casualties were reported, but it was the second incident in 24 hours in Quneitra.

US special operations forces were recently deployed to the Kurdish-controlled city of Tal Abyad, near the Syria-Turkey border. The Pentagon now believes that 80 percent of the effective forces fighting for the Syrian regime are Iranian-backed militias. The ISIS leadership reportedly used spies to root out suspected enemies in their ranks in the lead-up to the assault on their de-facto capital Raqqa.

Iraqi television has announced the collapse of the ISIS pseudo-state after Iraq's military captured the ISIS held al-Nuri mosque in Mosul. It is only three years ago to the day since ISIS supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the ISIS caliphate from the same spot. ISIS blew up the mosque last week rather than surrender it to US-backed Iraqi forces. On the international security front, UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, antagonized the Russia Defense Ministry on Monday saying it sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, launched in 1985, was "dilapidated." In return fire, the Russian military warned that the HMS Queen Elizabeth is "a large convenient target" and it would be wise to keep its distance from Russian warships.

Indian Army Chief of Staff, General Bipin Rawat, has warned that India was ready to take on China, and Pakistan. Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesperson Wu Qian threatened that India ‘should learn lessons from its defeat in 1962 and stop clamoring for war.’ China and India are locked in an increasing stand-off over disputed territories in the Sikkim region and China has demanded that India withdraw its troops immediately. Some observers believe that China has set-up the stand-off to acquire additional territory while others see it as a warning to India not to draw closer to the US.

US military officials have readied options for North Korea if it conducts an underground nuclear or ballistic missile test.

North Korea issued standing orders on Wednesday for the “miserable dog’s death” of South Korean imprisoned former President Park Geun-hye and Lee Byung-ho, who was Director of the National Intelligence Service. The provocative threat is tantamount to an assassination decree for Ms. Park. 

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