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Propaganda Video Shows An Emboldened Taliban Convoying Through Nimruz Province In Broad Daylight
A recent Taliban propaganda video indicates just how emboldened the group has become: showing its fighter staging a public demonstration in Afghanistan's Nimruz province. In a video reported by Military Times, a long line of military vehicles and pickups can be seen moving in broad daylight and unopposed across a desert in the southwestern province.
— Long War Journal (@LongWarJournal) October 5, 2017
Propaganda videos are par for the course for the Taliban, but the most recent demonstrates the group’s ability to organize a large concentration of vehicles and personnel openly and without fear of reprisal from Afghan or coalition forces. In it, a large gathering of Taliban fighters and vehicles — including a few up-armored Humvees, some of which appear to be in varying states of disrepair — can be seen driving along a desert road, as militants fly large white Taliban flags.
Titled “Jihadic Process in Nimrooz and Rehabilitation,” the 33-minute propaganda video was uploaded online in late September, and the militant group has taken to posting short two-minute cuts from the video to social media.
Nimruz province, located in southwestern Afghanistan, is known for its lawlessness, and as Foreign Policy noted in September, is “a microcosm of what has gone wrong in the Afghan war.” A drug-trafficking hub that shares a border with Iran, the province serves a vital financial role for the Taliban, who rely heavily on the sale of opium to finance their operations. The brazen display seen in the propaganda video appears to indicate that the insurgency knows it can operate with relative impunity there.
The vehicles include a mix of Toyota Hilux pickup trucks, Humvees, and the video shows a few quick cuts to four-door sedans and SUVs. Some of the Humvees appear to have been modified to mount Russian-made anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, and recoilless rifles.
The fighters appear to have staged the demonstration over a significant period of time, and stayed in the open long enough to conduct “three separate interviews with local leaders while the convoy sat still,” reports The Long War Journal.
The original clip was uploaded online just days before Secretary of Defense James Mattis loosened the reigns on rules of engagement for coalition forces, as Task & Purpose’s Adam Linehan reported on Oct. 4:
Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee on Oct. 3 that Trump had granted him the authority to make adjustments to the rules of engagement that could expedite the fight against the Taliban, an expansion of his already-broad authority over the war effort. As Defense News notes, Mattis has already made two major changes: removing “proximity requirements” for strikes on Taliban insurgents, and embedding U.S. troops with Afghan units below the division level. The latter tweak will put more Americans near the front lines, while the former will likely result in a significant increase in the number of bombs dropped on Afghanistan.
The video gives credence to the decision to loosen the rules of engagement and comes at a time when U.S. and Afghan forces have already upped airstrikes in the region.
And with looser requirements for air support — U.S. troops are no longer required to be within a certain proximity of the Taliban before calling in an attack — the number will likely further increase. Though considering how closely packed the trucks and vehicles are in that video, you might only need a few JDAMs to get the job done.
Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.
Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.
Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.
"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.