In front of a crowd in Tupelo, Mississippi, on Friday President Donald Trump once again asserted that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was "trembling" and "crying" before his death.

But defense officials say they don't know where that claim came from.

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Recent Iranian success at striking military and civilian infrastructure targets in the Persian Gulf region have led the American military to practice switching operational control of military operations from bases located within range of Iranian missiles to bases in the United States that are out of harm's way.

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Beloved readers: It's been a rough week inside the Five-Sided Fun House as it looked like the United States and Iran were on a collision course until President Donald Trump aborted planned air and missile strikes at the eleventh hour.

As your beleaguered friend and narrator writes this, the Pentagon has not scheduled any briefings about how close the U.S. military was to attacking Iran, or even if those strikes have been called off or are on hold.

It would be nice to know whether we are at war or not. One would think the headquarters of the U.S. military would be a good place to find out. But the Trump administration has one spokesman: the president himself. His tweets have replaced Pentagon's briefings as the primary source for military news.

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(U.S. Air Force/TSgt. Dana Flamer)

TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.

Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.

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(U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

A senior U.S. general says that ISIS remains a "very worrisome" presence in Afghanistan, but it is unlikely to mount an attack on the U.S. homeland because it is under strong military pressure.

Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, who heads the U.S. Central Command, on June 12 told reporters the extremist group "in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States."

"It is our clear judgment that as long as we maintain pressure on them it will be hard for them to do that," he said.

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The owner of one of the two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman said the crew saw "flying objects" just before the ship was hit, seeming to contract a narrative from the U.S. government suggesting mines were involved.

Yutaka Katada, the chief executive of Japanese shipping company Kokuka Sangyo, discussed the incident with reporters in Tokyo on Friday.

He said sailors on the Kokuka Courageous saw the objects above the water, and suggested they could be bullets, The Associated Press reported.

This seems to contradict the account given by the U.S. military, which said it saw what it suspects is an unexploded limpet mine on the side of the ship.

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