War on Terror Continues, as Europe Fears Invasion and Asia Heats Up With More Threats From Kim Jong-
In the war on terror, a record 379 terror arrests were made in the UK in the last year with dozens coming after the Islamic State (ISIS) London and Manchester attacks.
In Africa on Wednesday, US forces in Somalia conducted three precision airstrikes against al-Qaeda aligned al-Shabab, killing six terrorists. This is the third in a series of Somalia strikes this month and what appears to be a ramping-up of action against al-Shabab. Elsewhere in Africa, a girl with a bomb strapped to her attacked a mosque in northern Cameroon. killing five worshippers in an attack bearing the hallmarks of an ISIS-linked Boko Haram that is increasingly using young women and girls to carry out attacks.
Airpower seems to be the order of the day in Syria and Iraq. An ISIS convoy stuck in the middle of the Syrian desert for more than two weeks because of American airstrikes finally reached eastern Syria late Wednesday night. The remnants of the convoy, which originally carried 600 Islamic State fighters and their family members, reportedly reached Mayadin in eastern Deir al-Zour Province, near the border with Iraq last night. ISIS is being pounded by the US-led coalition by air. an airpower summary posted online by US Air Forces Central Command, stated that coalition aircraft released 5,075 weapons in August, more than double the 2,244 released last year, and more than the previous record of 4,848 weapons released in June. Russia has launched seven Klub-cruise missiles at ISIS targets around the city of Deir Ezzor in Syria from two submarines, the Velikiy Novgorod and Kolpino, which are stationed in the eastern Mediterranean.
In terms of terror in Asia, US-led coalition aircraft operating in Afghanistan also released 503 weapons in August, which is the most in five years. Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist leader and Amarnath terror attack mastermind Abu Ismail has reportedly been killed by Indian security forces in an encounter in Naugam. Rakhine, Burma-based Rohingya fighters, who emerged in October last year, have said that they have no ties to any 'terrorist group.' Rohingya Muslims are being ethnically cleansed from Burma by the Burmese military that is a client of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Internationally, Europe has braced itself for Russian and Belarus joint military exercises dubbed Zapad or “West” 2017. Russian figures claim the exercises will involve 12,700 troops and 680 pieces of military hardware, including 138 tanks while NATO suggests that the numbers are far higher, with estimates ranging from 70,000 to as many as 100,000 participants. The exercises will feature Russia’s reconstituted First Guards Tank Army and airborne forces that Poland, the Ukraine and Baltic States fear could be a prelude to invasion. Zapad may also be the tipping point that triggers the merger of Russia and Belarus. There also appears to be a hunt or search on in the Baltic Sea for a Russian submarine or submarines with several countries maritime patrol aircraft involved in an operation. The US has dispatched an armored brigade to Poland and on Monday joined Ukraine and other NATO countries in joint exercises in Ukraine. Sweden has launched its biggest war game in two decades with support from NATO, involving more than 19,000 troops.
In Asia, On Wednesday, South Korea conducted its first live-fire drill for the advanced Taurus air-launched cruise missile that would strengthen its preemptive strike capability against North Korea. The Taurus air-launched cruise missile has a maximum range of 500 kilometers and is equipped with stealth characteristics that will allow it to avoid radar detection before hitting North Korean targets. Meanwhile, North Korea has reportedly been observed moving mobile missile launchers and preparing hard sites in last 48 hours as preparations for more ballistic missile launches. The Japanese military and their South Korean counter-parts have both warned that the North is preparing for another Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launch. Ominously, it appears that Pyongyang has sent workers into one of its nuclear test site tunnels, believed to be tunnel 2 its most recent test, to do work and gather information, suggesting further underground nuclear explosions are pending. New satellite images reportedly show the September 3rd nuclear test by North Korea at Punggye-ri was so powerful that in created a sink of roughly 85-acres on the peak of a mountain where the test took place.
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