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
Colombia’s Least-Known But Most-Wanted Public Enemy No. 1
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Ex-FARC commander “Gentil Duarte” has risen to the top of Colombia’s most-wanted list, but the relatively unknown figure turned public enemy number one may be a less significant threat than the hefty price on his head suggests. The Colombian government has named... Read more
The February 2018 Air War Between Israel, Syria and Iran Was Brief and Violent
Many of us woke up on the morning of Feb. 10, 2018 to news of air-to-ground clashes between the Israeli Air-Space Force and the forces of the Bashar Al Assad’s regime in Syria and its allies from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. An unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the... Read more
Where Brazilian Gangsters Get Their Guns
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Brazil’s biggest criminal group has reportedly attempted to smuggle high-powered firearms from Venezuela in order to expand its illegal activities, taking advantage of the neighboring country’s economic crisis, lack of oversight on the part of the government and the new dynamics on the border... Read more
Russia’s Stealth-Fighter Deployment in Syria Is a Dangerous Farce
Late in the evening on Feb. 21, 2018, a photograph appeared on social media purportedly showing two Russian Sukhoi T-50 prototype stealth fighters — also known as PAK-FAs or Su-57s — in the sky over Hmemmem air base in western Syria. While the photograph was rather blurry and could... Read more
Iraq’s Chinese-Made Killer Drones Are Actually Pretty Good
On Feb. 12th, 2018, the Iraqi ministry of defense released a video depicting its Chinese-made CH-4B armed unmanned aerial vehicles. The brief report underscores the type’s success in Iraqi service. The video claims that the CH-4B drones have executed most of their attack and reconnaissance missions in northwest Iraq.... Read more
In Afghanistan, Fewer Civilian Casualties Is Still Too Many
Civilian casualties dropped slightly in Afghanistan in 2017, according to the latest annual report from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. UNAMA recorded 10,453 civilian casualties for the year — a nine-percent dip compared to 2016. The nine-percent decrease was a result of fewer injuries and death in ground... Read more
Turkey’s Offensive Into Afrin Is Slow and Bloody
On Jan. 20, the Turkish military launched Operation Olive Branch — the ongoing invasion of the northwestern Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin Canton. From the onset, Turkey claimed that the operation would result in a swift victory. However, a month later, Olive Branch is showing clear signs of becoming... Read more
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