Afghanistan: Amid Taliban’s resurgence, America despairs for an exit strategy

Afghanistan: Amid Taliban’s resurgence, America despairs for an exit strategy Afghanistan: Amid Taliban’s resurgence, America despairs for an exit strategy Eight years ago, shortly before the U.S launched a major offensive to defeat the Taliban, I was in Afghanistan embedded with the US marines and Afghan army. In one part of the country, the NATO and Afghan troops were fighting to secure the strategically important Kapisa province, some 50 kilometres away from Kabul city. The larger military plan was to defeat insurgents and to start reduction of foreign troops by July 2011 and by 2014 handover the complete security to the Afghan army. But things never worked that way in Afghanistan. Today the US and Afghan military is still fighting Taliban in Kapisa and elsewhere in Afghanistan. The Taliban runs parallel administrations in many provinces and is more popular despite being brutal. At the heart of the Taliban’s growing strength is the support from the Pasthuns, a dominant ethnic grou…

J&K: Three jawans martyred, two terrorists killed in attack on army camp in Kupwara; gun battle on

J&K: Three jawans martyred, two terrorists killed in attack on army camp in Kupwara; gun battle on An army captain and two soldiers were killed and five others injured after terrorists carried out a Fidayeen attack on Army Camp at Chokibal area in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. The army officer killed was identified as Captain Ayush. Two suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed militants were killed in the retaliatory action. However, a hunt is on to ascertain if any militant sneaked into the camp under the cover of darkness. The incident took place at Panzgam at Chowkibal when militants, suspected to be of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad stormed the battalion camp which is in-charge of road opening duties on the crucial roads in this area. ​Colonel Rajesh Kalia, Defence spokesman at Srinagar said that the terrorists attacked the Army garrison in Panzgam, Kupwara. "Two terrorists were killed and three soldiers including an officer also martyred." Kalia said. The injured soldie…

'Huge' explosion near Damascus Airport: Monitor

'Huge' explosion near Damascus Airport: Monitor A large explosion hit in the area of Damascus International Airport followed by a fire in the same place early on Thursday the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said. "The blast was huge and could be heard in Damascus," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Multiple dawn strikes hit an ammunition depot complex near Damascus airport used by Iranian-backed forces supplied via an air corridor between the Syrian capital and Tehran, two senior rebel sources operating in the Damascus areas. They said their monitors operating in the eastern rural outskirts of the capital where the rebels are based had tracked at least five strikes that hit the airport compound at dawn. They said the attack caused a fire with flames appearing to come from a closed military area of the sprawling complex widely known to be used by Tehran to supply weapons by air to Iranian-backed…

Islamic State threat may spill over region, warns Afghan envoy

New Delhi: The threat of the quasi state terror outfit Islamic State (IS) may spill over the South Asian region and beyond, Afghan Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali warned on Tuesday.
" Although we have a number of fresh (terrorist) groups, our focus will be on a new phenomenon called Daesh (as the IS is also called)," Abdali said while delivering a lecture "Strengthening India-Afghanistan Strategic Relations in an Uncertain World" organised by the think tank Brookings India. "This is the most dangerous phenomenon we are facing. This most brutal, brutal phenomenon is growing in Afghanistan and its effects are being felt by the people of Afghanistan," he said.
Abdali expressed the hope that the countries of the region and the rest of the world would help Afghanistan in dealing with "this most dangerous group that we face today that can literally spill over the rest of the region and beyond". His comments come after the US dropped the massive ordn…

With Trump's Mother of All Bombs, and the ISIS, is it Cold War-II already?

The April 13 Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) strike by the United States on ISISterrorists in Afghanistan has triggered suggestions that a second round of the Cold War is set to begin. Particularly as the new US President, Donald Trump, seems to be brash, abrasive and capable of taking action without thinking of consequences.  

In fact, the Second Cold War, or the Cold War-II, has been in the making due to the rise of Islamic terrorism from Pakistan and Afghanistan to the Middle East, drawing inevitable military interventions by the major powers -- Russia's anger at the US-led bombings in Syria where it wants President Bashar Assad to stay, and China's attempts to annex most of the South China Sea and also the acquisition of Pakistan's Arabian Sea port of Gwadar for 40 or more years as a strategic naval base with its operational Command and Control lying with Beijing.  

Both Russia and China have stepped up military movements on land, air and sea, particularly around US allies li…

Brussels attacks: Spain holds four suspects linked to 2016 Belgium attacks in Barcelona

Barcelona: Spanish police on Tuesday arrested four men with alleged links to suspects held in Belgium over their involvement in the Brussels airport and metro attacks last year, officials said.
The four were among nine men arrested in a vast operation targeting suspected Islamic extremists that was carried out in the northeastern region of Catalonia in conjunction with Belgian police, Catalan police said in a statement.
The men — a Spanish national and eight Moroccans living in Catalonia, all 30 to 40 years old — are believed to belong to a terrorist organisation, the statement added. "Four of those who were detained have links with people arrested for the attacks carried out at Brussels airport and metro," a spokesman for Catalonia's regional police force told AFP. Soldiers stand guard in front of the Brussels Central Train Station. File image from the 2016 Brussels attack. AFP It is not clear if the four were directly involved in carrying out the Brussels attacks, the …

Iran, Russia call for united front against terror

Iran and Russia have once again decried a recent US missile attack against a Syrian army airbase, stressing that such acts block the formation of a united front against terrorism. Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov both commented on the attack during their speeches made at the Conference on International Security, which opened in Moscow on Wednesday. The US attack in early April saw a barrage of 59 Tomahawk missiles launched against the Shayrat Airfield in the western Syrian province of Homs, causing some 15 fatalities, including civilians. Washington staged the offensive under the pretext of responding to an earlier purported gas attack against a northwestern Syrian village. The attack, which the US blames on Damascus, was carried out without a UN approval or a fact-finding probe. Dehqan said the missile raid was against all international regulations. He further highlighted Washington’s unconstructive role in the Midd…