Wires Brief: Taliban on offensive, Russian airstrikes in Syria, US-Canadian joint force being pondered

30 September 2015 – Vancouver, CA

United Kingdom

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to say if he supports military action in Syria, reports Bloomberg. in New York, Prime Minister David Cameron stated that he supports Bashar al-Assad to remain president in a transitional government.

Europe

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko mocked Russia’s call for a creation of an international anti-terrorism coalition, reports Reuters. Poroshenko claims that Russia is inspiring terrorism on its doorstep. Poroshenko also renewed accusations that Russia finances, supplies and trains pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. The agreement “concerns the withdrawal of tanks, mortars and artillery of less than 100 mm caliber to a distance of 15 km (9.3 miles). The first phase will start in two days,” according to Martin Sajdik, from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists agree to the pulling back of tanks and other weapons in eastern Ukraine, reports Reuters.

Russia

Russia has begun conducting airstrikes in Syria, reports multiple agencies. Russian authorities asserted that their airstrikes have already hit ISIS positions. This has been refuted by the US and rebels on the ground. This comes after Russia established a base in Syria and sent Su-24M2 fighter jets and tanks. Russian officials state that military action will be limited to airstrikes only and will not encompass ground forces, unless for defence.

North America

The US is offering USD 5 million for suggestions on how to disrupt ISIS’ oil and antiquities trade, reports CNN. It is estimated that ISIS’ oil revenue has dropped from USD 1.6 million a day to USD 500,000. Revenue from oil and antiquities remains a significant sour of income.

The CBC reports that Canada’s Department of National Defence is pondering the creation of a US-Canadian integrated joint task force. This task force would be controlled through NORAD and would an expeditionary force that would be deployed to hot spots around the world. Many have already reminisced about the so-called Devil’s Brigade that was established during the Second World War. However, several issues including the mission legalities need to be overcome.

A CDN 15 billion deal to provide LAV-III armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia has become an election issue in Canada. It has become apparent that UNIFOR (one of Canada’s largest unions) asked the New Democratic Party not to make it an election issue as jobs are at stake. The debate around the deal has been centered around Saudi Arabia’s record of suppressing its citizens and its human rights record.

Africa

Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahd, who alleged al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb militant, is appearing in The Hague on charges of ordering the destruction of monuments in Mali’s city of Timbuktu, reports AFP. This is the first time that the court has convened on charges relating to the destruction of religious or historical monuments.

Middle East

Iraq has agreed to share intelligence with Russia, Iran and Syria in the on going fight against ISIS. The US has stopped pulling Syrian rebel fighters to join its troubled training program, reports Reuters. The first graduated class of 60 fighters were targeted by the al-Qaeda-backed al-Nusra Front and reports of the fighters either being killed, captured or handing over their weapons for safe passage have been in the news.

Al-Arabiya reports that Iraqi tribes are ready to join the anti-ISIS campaign. The Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) told al-Arabiya that approximately 20 shiekhs from the western Anbar provinces willing to join the fight. These tribes apparently also fought al-Qaeda forces a decade ago.

Asia-Pacific

After seizing the city of Kunduz, which has not seen Taliban activity since 2001, Taliban fighters are now clashing with Afghan government forces near the airport, reports Reuters. NATO special forces are attempting to bolster the Afghan army in their efforts to retake the city. Al-Jazeera reports that Taliban forces in Kunduz are going door to door and taking young boys to bolster their ranks.

At least 7 people are dead and 51 injured after 15 letter bombs were delivered in Southern China. Chinese authorities are ruling out terrorism and have apparently identified a 33-year old suspect. The explosion occurred on the eve of China’s national holiday.

Social media wires

Purported photos from Kunduz.

Afghan special forces arrive at Kunduz airport.


Operation UNIFIER is underway in Ukraine.

 

Reports compiled by Stewart Webb

Feature photo / “US/Afghan patrol in Kunduz Province, 2010” – Wikimedia Commons, 2015

The Wires Brief is a mid week breaking news report incorporating wire service news and social media updates. DefRep can not verify the authenticity of social media reporters nor the accuracy of social media updates.


Stewart is the editor for DefenceReport. Stewart holds a MScEcon in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and holds a BA in Political Science from Acadia University. His specialties include South Asian and Canadian defence issues. He has made frequent appearances on CTV National News, and other Canadian media outlets both radio and TV. Stewart can be contacted at: swebb@defencereport.com


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