Some of the countries in it, either in major or minor roles:
USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Jordan, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Yemen, Nigeria, France with (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad ) Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Albania, Estonia, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Republic of Korea, Ireland, Spain, Slovakia, Norway, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Novorussia, Ukraine, Russia, Chechnya, Somalia, Iran, India, South Korea, North Korea, Central African Republic, Kenya, Tunisia, The Philippines, Egypt, Albania, Serbia, China, Sudan, South Sudan, Bukina Faso, Palestine, Georgia, Chad, Spain, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nepal, Congo, Uganda, Romania, Mexico, Gambia, Haiti, Cameroon, Chad.....
Things are moving at such a breakneck speed that it's becoming impossible to keep track of even 50% of the war-related news. Below just a few of the developments.
US Army Command delegation ‘to arrive in Kiev this week’
Representatives of the US Army Command will arrive in Ukraine in the coming days, Ukrainian military announced. The visit comes as the Kiev forces have launched a large-scale offensive on the militia positions in the south-east of the country.
“This week, a delegation from the US Army Command, headed by Commander of US Army Europe, Lt. Gen [Frederick Ben] Hodges, will arrive in Ukraine,” Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for Ukraine’s General Staff of Armed Forces, said at a media briefing in Kiev on Monday.
The spokesman also said that Ukraine will take part in the NATO Military Committee conference on January 20-22.
The get-together will be dedicated to the issues of military cooperation between Ukraine and NATO as well as plans to reform the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the evaluation of the situation in south-eastern Ukraine, he said.
Previously, the Society of Assistance to Defense of Ukraine announced that it has already began training military specialists in line with NATO programs........
Russian Defense Minister flies to Iran for signing military cooperation agreement
Crucial issues of global and regional security and measures to step up military and technical cooperation will be discussed at the meeting of the two countries' defense ministers
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has left for Iran on an official visit for signing a military cooperation agreement.
“While in Tehran Shoigu will hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehgan,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
“Crucial issues of global and regional security and measures to step up military and technical cooperation will be discussed at the meeting,” he said.
A military cooperation agreement is to be signed.........
From Novorussia TV
ISIS threatens to kill 2 Japanese hostages, demands ransom
1st time ISIS has specifically demanded cash for hostages
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Tuesday threatened to kill two Japanese hostages unless it receives $200 million US in 72 hours, directly demanding the ransom from Japan's premier during his visit to the Middle East.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to save the men, saying: "Their lives are the top priority."
However, Abe and other Japanese officials declined to say whether they'd make the payment to save the men, identified in an extremist video released Tuesday as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.
The video, identified as being made by ISIS's al-Furqan media arm and posted on militant websites associated with the extremist group, mirrored other hostage threats it has made..........
Militias attack Yemen president's private home: minister.
Militia fighters bombarded the private residence of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Tuesday in an effort to overthrow the government, the country's information minister said.
The attack followed some of the worst fighting in the capital Sanaa in years on Monday, when guards loyal to Hadi fought artillery battles near the presidential palace with the powerful Houthi movement, which has been in dispute with Hadi over political and constitutional issues.
"Yemeni president under attack by armed militias seeking the overthrow of the ruling system," Information Minister Nadia al-Saqqaf said on Twitter on Tuesday evening......
from PressTV (vid at link)
Press TV has interviewed Ibrahim Mousavi, a political analyst from Beirut, to discuss the recent Israeli airstrike on the Golan Heights in Syria.
The political commentator believes that the deadly air raid is the latest in decades-long history of Israel’s flagrant acts of aggression, massacres and crimes against Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and other nations of the region. He also maintains that Hezbollah resistance movement, six of whose members were killed in the raid, reserves the rights to deliver a calculated response to this savage act and hit back hard at Israel.
American support for a pair of diplomatic initiatives in Syria underscores the shifting views of how to end the civil war there and the West’s quiet retreat from its demand that the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, step down immediately.
The Obama administration maintains that a lasting political solution requires Mr. Assad’s exit. But facing military stalemate, well-armed jihadists and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the United States is going along with international diplomatic efforts that could lead to more gradual change in Syria.......
New fighting near biggest Libyan oil port
Libyan armed factions accused each other on Monday of launching new attacks near the country's largest oil port, Es Sider.
Two opposing governments -- the internationally recognized authorities in the east and rivals who have seized the capital Tripoli -- are fighting for control of the country.
Troops loyal to the government in Tripoli launched an offensive last month to try to take Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil ports, which have had to shut down operations. Both sides declared partial ceasefires in the past few days to give a U.N.-sponsored dialogue a chance after a month of clashes..........
US Troops Continue To See Fire in Iraq
he 300 US soldiers and Marines at al Asad air base in Iraq's Anbar province continue to see mortar fire directed at their positions, with six more mortar rounds landing on the sprawling complex last week.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed the incoming fire, but said that the closest rounds landed about a kilometer away, noting that the base is roughly the size of the city of Boulder, Colorado.
The 2,200 US personnel on the ground in Iraq are busily training 12 Iraqi and Kurdish brigades at facilities located at al Asad, Camp Taji just north of Baghdad, and in the Kurdish controlled north in Erbil.
And while about 900 more American troops are slated to flow into Iraq in the coming weeks, the air war is continuing apace. As of Jan. 11, the US and its allies have flown 15,670 sorties over Iraq and Syria, 1,761 of those involved striking targets on the ground, according to numbers provided by the Pentagon.
US Navy and Air Force aircraft have seen the vast amount of action, with 1,431 airstrikes under their belt, 715 of which hit Islamic State targets in Iraq, and 716 in Syria. The overall price tag for Operation Inherent Resolve since airstrikes began on Aug. 8, which also includes the 2,200 US soldiers now stationed in Iraq, is $1.2 billion.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the coalition conducted six more airstrikes in Syria, and 12 in Iraq....
"Islamic State" releases hundreds of elderly Yazidis
Without warning, "Islamic State" has orchestrated a mass release of hostage Yazidis. Most of those let go were eldery or infirm and were likely a burden on the Islamist militia group, observers said.
The "Islamic State" (IS) terror militia group has released hundreds of Iraq's minority Yazidis on Saturday after holding them since August, officials and activists confirmed. Those freed were mostly elderly, disabled, or unwell, including some infants with serious illnesses.
The victims were freed on the edge of the city of Kirkuk and met by Kurdish peshmerga forces. Some were in wheelchairs and others were leaning on canes as Kurdish doctors and nurses ushered them to a health center for immediate medical attention. After moving from place to place for months, one of the freed Yazidis described being loaded in buses, where they were sure they would be executed, before being freed at the entrance of Kirkuk..........
Saudi Arabia is building a 600-mile long wall along its northern border with Iraq in order to keep ISIS at bay, the Telegraph newspaper reported today.
Once completed, the wall will consist of a ditch and a triple-layered steel fence, with 40 watchtowers spread out along it. Each watchtower will be equipped with high-tech surveillance radars that are capable of detecting low-flying helicopters and approaching vehicles, as well as being able to spot a human from the range of about 20km.
There will also be 38 separate communication towers in place and 32 military response stations, as well as 240 armed rapid response vehicles which will patrol the wall......
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said he had met top Syrian opposition official Haytham Manna as well as other anti-Assad figures in a bid to help end the four-year-old war raging in the country.
“I had already met, besides Syrian dissident Haytham Manna, a number of other opposition [officials] in an effort to contribute to a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” Nasrallah said in excerpts from a wide-ranging interview with pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Mayadeen.....
.....Nasrallah revealed that a certain country involved in the Syria crisis has informed Russia of its readiness to accept any deal to end the conflict, “including the survival of the regime,” provided that Syrian President Bashar Assad is removed from power.”
That country, according to Nasrallah, does not mind that Assad be succeeded by a new president from the same Alawite sect to which Assad belongs........
Are Israel, Jabhat al-Nusra coordinating on attacks in Syria?
QUNEITRA, Syria — Since the start of the Syrian crisis, the Syrian regime has routinely accused Israel of playing a hidden role, from Qusair in the Homs countryside in May 2013 to the emergence and advances of the southern front in September 2014. UN reports published in December appear to vindicate the regime’s arguments that Israel is involved with the southern rebels.
According to a UN report covering the period from March to May 2014, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) detected contact between rebels and the Israeli army across the Golan cease-fire line, particularly during fierce clashes between the Syrian army and the rebels. The report also confirmed that the UN forces spotted rebels transporting 89 wounded across the cease-fire line into the Israeli occupied zone, where they were handed over 19 people who had received medical treatment in addition to two dead. The UN forces also noted that the Israeli army delivered two boxes to rebels on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
Communications increased between rebels and the Israeli army before the eruption of the southern front in Daraa and Quneitra in September, according to Quneitra opposition activist Mohammad Qasim, a pseudonym due to the sensitivity of the subject........
Mexico nabs alleged killer of students
Mexican security forces have apprehended an alleged drug cartel hitman and a presumed mastermind behind the abduction and suspected massacre of 43 students in September last year.
Felipe Rodriguez, alias "The Brush" or "The Stubborn One," was transferred to the Assistant Attorney General's Office for Special Investigations on Organized Crime on Friday.
He is a member of the Guerreros Unidos organized crime organization and believed to be the "material author" of the killings, the Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a statement....
Chadian troops arrive in Cameroon to help fight Boko Haram
A convoy of about 400 Chadian tanks, with hundreds of Chadian troops, has arrived in neighboring Cameroon to help fight Nigeria’s Boko Haram militants.
Thousands of residents in Cameroon's border town of Kousseri welcomed the soldiers who were deployed to recapture the town of Baga, bordering Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon.
Chadian President Idriss Deby had said in a speech, "Cameroon must not be left alone to face this threat that has so hurt innocent people in Cameroon and in Nigeria," adding that “We cannot remain indifferent to what happens to our neighbors.".......
Five Pakistani men held in Afghanistan over school massacre: officials
Five Pakistani men have been arrested in Afghanistan in connection with the Taliban massacre of 134 school children in the Pakistani city of Peshawar last month, officials from both countries said on Sunday.
The five were detained last week after Pakistan sent a list of suspects to security services in the neighboring nation, said the officials who asked not to be named.
Taliban gunmen opened fire in the military-run school on Dec. 16, killing nine staff and the students, many of them the children of army personnel, in the country's bloodiest massacre in years.
"We are investigating whether the five detained are the ones wanted by Pakistan," one of the Afghan officials told Reuters.......