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The US reportedly took out an alleged terrorist with a Hellfire missile full of swords
The Pentagon's secretive R9X Hellfire missile may be more akin to a meteor full of swords than a traditional munition, but that doesn't mean it's any less effective.
According to multiple reports, the U.S.-led coalition to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria reportedly carried out an airstrike against a minivan in the Syrian city of Idlib on Tuesday.
Based on photos of the target vehicle, that strike purportedly used the R9X, which substitutes an explosive charge with a ring of six long blades that deploy seconds before impact, effectively eviscerating the target while avoiding civilian casualties.
With its inert warhead, the R9X is essentially a rocket-powered update to the "Lazy Dog" bombs that U.S. service members would release at terminal velocity from aircraft above the battlefields of Korea and Vietnam.
As the Wall Street Journal reported in May, the R9X Hellfire variant has been covertly deployed against targets in Syria and Yemen since 2017. Indeed, the War Zone details the similarities between this fresh strike and previous deployments of the R9X in Syria:
There are clear similarities here to a strike that killed Abu Khayr Al Masri, then Al Qaeda's number two leader, as he drove in his car in Al Mastouma, Syria, in 2017. This city is also in Idlib and is some 30 miles south of Atmeh. Al Masri's car also suffered the most damage toward the front passenger side and is known to have been the work of an AGM-114R9X, which has reportedly been used extremely sparingly. The War Zone was the first to call attention to the likelihood that a previously unknown munition was used in that strike, which turned out to be the case.
Without seeing the top of the van in Atmeh, which could show telltale signs of the AGM-114R9X's blades striking the vehicle, and with such little additional information about the individuals who died in the strike, it is impossible to say for certain who may have been responsible and exactly weapons they may have been employed.
What is for certain, though, is that the weapon did its job: According to reports, two individuals were killed in the van, one of whom allegedly belonged to the al Qaeda offshoot known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
One report indicates the missile targeted Abu Ahmed al-Jaziri, a foreign HTS fighter who was a trainer for the groups' elite Red Unit.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Two immigrants, a pastor and an Army sergeant have been convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud as part of an illegal immigration scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45; Diann Ramcharan, 37; Sgt. Galima Murry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty Thursday after a nine-day jury trial, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.
The conspiracy involved obtaining immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children, the release said. A married couple in 2007 came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago on visitor visas. They overstayed the visas and settled in Colorado.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it was sending to Ukraine the black boxes from a Ukrainian passenger plane that the Iranian military shot down this month, an accident that sparked unrest at home and added to pressure on Tehran from abroad.
Iran's Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine information from the data and voice recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that came down on Jan. 8.
The plane disaster, in which all 176 aboard were killed, has added to international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long running row with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.