Commandos Sans Frontières
In early June 2018, at a tiny military post near the tumbledown town of Jamaame in Somalia, small arms fire began to ring out as mortar shells crashed down. When the attack was over, one Somali soldier had been wounded — and had that been the extent of the... Read more
Separatists Named Their Rocket ‘Cheburashka’ to Troll Ukraine
Donetsk separatists are showing off a new rocket launcher. On May 22, 2018, the news outlet Donetsk 24 affiliated with the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic revealed the 217-millimeter Cheburashka multiple-rocket launcher in action near the town of Avdiivka. In the video, the launcher fires rockets which land — slowly... Read more
Las dos muertes de Loco Fakhir
Muchos combatientes Peshmerga kurdos han muerto luchando contra el Estado Islámico. Pero la noticia de la muerte del coronel Fakhir Barwary el 11 de noviembre de 2014 tenía un significado especial. Eso es porque la muerte de Barwary fue noticia en dos ocasiones distintas. Los medios de comunicación lo... Read more
The Two Deaths of Crazy Fakhir
This story originally appeared on Nov. 18, 2014. Many Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have died fighting Islamic State militants. But the news of Col. Fakhir Barwary’s death on Nov. 11, 2014 held special significance. That’s because Barwary’s death has been reported on two separate occasions. The media wrongly declared him... Read more
For Iraq, Bombing ISIS in Syria Was the Easy Part
The Iraqi air force sortied high-tech F-16 fighter jets armed with laser-guided bombs to strike suspected Islamic State forces near the town of Al Shaddi in eastern Syria on April 19,  signalling a major escalation of Baghdad’s war on ISIS. The cross-border raid, at least the second of its... Read more
Colombian Mobsters Linked to a Rebel Named ‘Rambo’ Come Under Pressure
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Members of the ex-FARC mafia along the Colombia-Ecuador border are under heightened pressure from security forces in the wake of the killing of three Ecuadorean press workers, illustrating evolving criminal dynamics in one of the South America’s most criminally strategic regions. Authorities... Read more
A Missile’s Combat Debut Allowed U.S. Bombers to Stay Away From Syrian Air Defenses
Lockheed Martin’s stealthy new AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range — JASSM-ER — made its debut on the raid on Syria on April 13. A pair of U.S. Air Force Rockwell International B-1B Lancer strategic bombers launched 19 of the new air-launched cruise missiles against the Barzeh Research and... Read more
In Somalia, Al Shabab Is Stronger Now Than in Years
During the morning of April 1, 2018, a car drove up to an Ugandan army base in Bulamarer, Somalia, and blew up — the beginning of an Al Shabaab attack that, in combination with another suicide attack on a convoy of reinforcements, left at least 46 Ugandan soldiers dead.... Read more
The Sinaloa Cartel Is Recruiting Air Traffic Controllers
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The recent arrest in Colombia of two veteran air traffic controllers linked to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel has once again highlighted the key role played by corrupt aviation authorities in the international drug trade and the growing activities of Mexico’s organized crime groups... Read more
Colombia’s Private Killers
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new report examines the relationship between private businesses and paramilitary groups during Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict, arguing that a post-conflict truth commission should investigate these potentially criminal dealings. The report, published on Feb. 26 by Colombian think tank Dejusticia, details 439 instances... Read more
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