Beyond the Wire - 26 January 2018
January 26, 2018
Your daily briefing on the state of the world, and the state of the art for all things Transnational Threats. If you are having trouble viewing the interactive map, please click here. We welcome your feedback! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle East and North Africa
Algerian Army Kills Seven Armed Men in Khenchela Province: Ministry
The men described as “dangerous terrorists” were killed in an ambush and the soldiers seized assault rifles, the ministry said in a statement, without identifying the men. Algeria emerged from a conflict with armed Islamists in the 1990s that left an estimated 200,000 dead. But al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and small bands of fighters allied to Islamic State have been active in remote parts of the oil producer.
Turkey Says 14 killed, 130 Wounded in Operation in Syria's Afrin
Dozens of combatants and more than two dozen civilians have been killed so far in the offensive, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, has said. The Turkish military said in a statement on Friday it had killed at least 343 militants in northern Syria since the operation started.
Iran’s Border Regions Seeing an Upsurge in Militant Activity
Ammunition and explosives were seized in two separate operations in the country’s restive eastern and western regions. One large cache was found in eastern Iran and included about two dozens of remote-controlled bombs, which were allegedly smuggled into Iran from the eastern border. The second cache was discovered in Marivan, a town in Iran’s northwestern province of Kurdistan.
Politicians Raise Fears About Militias’ Impact On Iraqi Elections
There are still more than 20 different militias, that started off as volunteer forces to fight the Islamic State, or IS, group, but which are now an official part of the Iraqi security forces, who have decided to compete in the elections, in one form or another.
Uighur Group in Syria Creates Palestinian Sub-Unit
KGT announced the creation of its Saraya Ghuraba Filistin, or the Strangers/Foreigners of Palestine Company, last night by publishing photos and creating its own separate Telegram channel for the sub-unit. The photos showed Palestinian members of KGT battling against regime forces in southern Aleppo near the town of Abu Dhuhur in Idlib province
ISIS Festers and Grows in Lawless Libya
The number of ISIS-orchestrated attacks across northern Libya has increased in recent months. Earlier this week, two car bombings outside a mosque in the eastern city of Benghazi left at least 33 people dead and more than 50 wounded. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility, the attack bears the hallmarks of ISIS and comes only a couple of weeks after Libyan security forces foiled an ISIS car bomb attack on a checkpoint in the western city of Abu Grein.
Turkey's Erdogan Vows to Fight Kurdish Forces as Far as Iraq
The Turkish president told a meeting of his AK party that he was prepared to expand so-called Operation Olive Branch "until there is no terrorist on our border leading to Iraq." He said that after Afrin was cleared, "we will, as promised, clean up Manbij of terrorists".
Allies or Terrorists: Who Are the Kurdish Fighters in Syria?
While YPG leaders play down their PKK ties, areas they control are festooned with photos of the imprisoned PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, viewed by Turks the same way Americans viewed Osama bin Laden.
South and Central Asia
U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Six Militants After Cutting Aid to Pakistan
The counter terrorism designations announced by the U.S. Treasury Department bars the two Pakistanis and four Afghans living in Pakistan from accessing the U.S. financial system. While unlikely to cause many problems for its targets, the move further underlines Washington’s frustration with Islamabad for providing sanctuary and other aid to the insurgent groups.
Armed Anti-Militant Bands Hound Civilians In Restive Afghan Province
Civilians in the restive northeastern province of Kunduz say authorities in the region have failed to disarm thousands of armed men whose livelihoods now mostly depend on extortion, kidnappings, and murders. Most of them were originally armed by the government in the name of creating Arbakis, a local term for volunteers providing security to their communities. Many, if not most, have now morphed into illegal armed bands who typically survive and thrive on criminality but ostensibly claim to be fighting the insurgents.
Newly Created ‘Teaching’ Brigade Prepares to Deploy to Afghanistan
The 1st Security Force Assist Brigade (SFAB) will be responsible for developing partner nation militaries, an area in which the United States has struggled in the past. The Army intends to create five such brigades, with a sixth in the National Guard, by 2024.
Senegal Arrests 24 Suspects in Casamance Killings
Gunmen attacked a group of civilians who were searching for firewood in a forest on Jan. 6 near the town of Borofaye, about 10 km (six miles) from the Guinea Bissau border. Another seven people villagers were wounded in the attack. The area is home to separatist rebels who in 1982 formed the Movement of Democratic Forces for Casamance (MFDC), now one of Africa’s oldest rebellions, fighting for independence.
Nigeria: Niger Delta Leaders Plead With Avengers to Call Off Threat
The meeting which was attended by leaders from the six states of the region and chaired by Ijaw national leader Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, pleaded with the Niger Delta Avengers not to carry out their threat but to give the leaders time to persuade the Federal Government to act on the 16 demands it submitted to the presidency in November 2016.
Cameroon: Kids Used in Cameroon Suicide Bomb Blasts
The latest revelations by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) collaborate recent findings by the organization that in Nigeria, the use of minors in such attacks had increased five times from 2016 Nigeria.
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