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Al Qaeda Claims To Be Fighting Alongside US Allies In Yemen
Remarks made by the leader of al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen during a recent interview seem to suggest that the terrorist group is fighting alongside U.S.-backed forces in the country, the Associated Press reports.
The group, known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is an offshoot of the global terror network responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks and has been linked to numerous terrorist attacks outside Yemen, including the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
AQAP’s leader, Qasim al-Rimi, told the group’s media arm on April 30 that his fighters had partnered with various militant factions aligned against Shiite rebels. The rebels, known as Houthis, drove the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi from the country’s capital, Sanaa, in late 2014, triggering a bloody civil war that has killed more than 10,000 civilians to date.
Hadi is backed by a coalition of mostly Sunni Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia, which began deploying ground forces to Yemen in 2015 to bolster its massive air campaign against the Iran-backed Houthis. A recent analysis of the conflict found that the coalition launched more than 8,600 air attacks in Yemen between March 2015 and August 2016, and that nearly half of them hit civilian targets.
“We fight along all Muslims in Yemen, together with different Islamic groups,” al-Rimi said in the interview. Among the factions he named were the ultraconservative Salafis, the Muslim Brotherhood, “and also our brothers among the sons of [Sunni] tribes.”
If al-Rimi’s claims are true, Washington would be inadvertently aiding an organization that is considered a major threat to the United States. As key allies of Hadi, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis are funded and armed by the Saudi-led coalition, which the United States directly supports with arm sales, refueling of aircraft, and intelligence, according to Newsweek.
In April, Trump administration officials told reporters that Washington is seeking ways to boost military support for the Saudi-led coalition. The United States will “reinforce Saudi Arabia’s resistance to Iran,” Defense Secretary James Mattis said
Al-Rimi, who became AQAP’s leader in 2015, is a prolific jihadist. He joined al Qaeda in the 1990s and is credited with being the mastermind behind a suicide bombing in 2007 that killed eight Spanish tourists in Yemen, as well as an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa on Sept. 17, 2008. Al-Rimi is on the U.S. most-wanted list with a $5 million reward for his capture.
AQAP is the chief target of U.S. military operations in Yemen and the group has sustained significant casualties as a result of American airstrikes, which have increased in intensity since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, according to the AP.
In late January, during the first counterterrorism raid authorized by Trump, Chief Special Warfare Officer William “Ryan” Owens, a Navy SEAL, was killed in battle with AQAP militants in Yemen. Owens was the first and only American service member to die while conducting operations against the group.
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Verizon values leadership, motivation, self-discipline, and hard work — all characteristics that veterans bring to the table. Sometimes, however, veterans struggle with the transition back into the civilian workplace. They may need guidance on interview skills and resume writing, for example.
By participating in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and developing internal programs to help veterans find their place, Verizon continues its support of the military community and produces exceptional leaders.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network on Monday issued an audio message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying operations were taking place daily and urging freedom for women jailed in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to the group.
"Daily operations are underway on different fronts," he said in the 30-minute tape published by the Al Furqan network, in what would be his first message since April. He cited several regions such as Mali and the Levant but gave no dates.