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 World News: Middle East & Africa

  1. US freelance reporter James Foley, left, is seen in a 2011 file photo in Libya. Jihadist group the Islamic State claimed Aug. 19 to have executed Foley in revenge for US airstrikes against its fighters in Iraq. Aris Messinis / AFP

    US Attempted Rescue of American Hostages in Syria

    US personnel recently tried to rescue American hostages held in Syria by the so-called Islamic State (IS) but failed, the Pentagon and White House said Wednesday, a day after the militants released a video of a US reporter being beheaded.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  2. A loadmaster counts halal meals inside a C-130 Hercules on Aug. 13 prior to a humanitarian airdrop over Iraq at a base in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr. / US Air Force

    US Weighs Sending Up To 300 Troops To Iraq for Security

    The United States is weighing sending up to 300 troops to Iraq to reinforce security at American diplomatic installations, a senior US official said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  3. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley (shown)  and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. Nicole Tung

    Potential GOP Candidates Use Journalist's Beheading To Hammer Obama Over Islamic State

    Republicans are using the beheading of an American journalist in Syria to mount new attacks on President Barack Obama, urging him to get tougher on a radical Sunni group.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  4. Smoke billows after a US air strike Sunday near the Mosul Dam. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / Getty Images

    US, UK Leadership Warn Iraq Mission Won't be Quick; US Escalates Air Offensive

    In an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on Aug.

    • Aug. 18, 2014
  5. Replacement of Russian military equipment, such as MiG-29s, is one part of Bulgaria's modernization plan. Wikimedia

    Bulgarian DM Unveils Army Modernization Program, Fighter Jet Procurement

    Bulgarian Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov has announced a 1 billion leva (US $680 million) program to modernize the military's armament and decrease its dependency on weapons and components from Russia by 2020.

    • Aug. 18, 2014
  6. India has removed Denel, a competitor to provide 155mm/52 caliber artillery guns, from a blacklist. Denel

    India Lifts Ban on Denel

    India has removed South Africa's Denel from a blacklist, allowing the company to again do business here after nine years of investigations failed to prove corruption charges related to a rifle purchase.

    • Aug. 18, 2014
  7. Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters drive trucks on Aug. 17 as they head to the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River that they recaptured from Islamic State jihadists. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP

    Kurds Retake Key Iraq Dam, Sunnis Hit Jihadists

    Iraqi Kurdish fighters backed by US warplanes retook the country's largest dam from jihadists on Sunday, as Sunni Arab tribesmen and security forces fought the militants west of Baghdad.

    • Aug. 17, 2014
  8. Nigeria Air Force Institute Develops Aircraft Trainer, but Funding Short

    The Nigeria Air Force Institute of Technology (NAF-IT) says it has designed and developed the country's first indigenous light trainer aircraft, intended to replace the service's fleet of aircraft imported from the 1970s and 1980s, now grounded by a lack

    • Aug. 17, 2014
  9. An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter sits atop an armed military vehicle on Aug. 16 in Bashiqa. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / Getty Images

    US Jets Strike Armored Vehicles in Iraq

    US jets and drones launched more airstrikes in northern Iraq on Thursday to destroy vehicles operated by extremist fighters from the so-called Islamic State, the military said.

    • Aug. 16, 2014
  10. Networked Fire: IDF self-propelled artillery in action during Protective Edge Gaza operation. Israel Defense Forces

    Israel Lauds New Capabilities in Gaza

    On July 8, the first day of Operation Protective Edge, five Hamas frogmen attempted an amphibious assault on an Israeli military base bordering northern Gaza.

    • Aug. 16, 2014
  11. British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon leaves Number 10 Downing Street with a senior RAF officer in London on Wednesday 4 after attending a meeting of Cobra, the government's crisis response committee, on the situation in Iraq chaired by the prime minister. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

    Defense Minister: Britain to Keep Up Iraq Surveillance Flights

    Britain is to keep up its surveillance flights over northern Iraq to try to stop more minority groups coming under jihadist attack, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said on Saturday.

    • Aug. 16, 2014
  12. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a press conference on Aug. 6 in Jerusalem. Jim Hollander / AFP

    Report: White House in the Dark Over Arms Supplies to Israel

    Israel secured supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon last month without the approval of the White House or the State Department, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

    • Aug. 14, 2014
  13. US President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Iraq on Aug. 14 at Martha's Vineyard, Mass.. Nicholas Kamm / AFP

    Obama: 'We Broke the ISIL Siege of Mount Sinjar'

    US President Barack Obama declared Thursday that US airstrikes had broken the siege of an Iraqi mountain sheltering civilian refugees and that troops conducting reconnaissance there would be withdrawn.

    • Aug. 14, 2014
  14. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, arrives Aug. 13 for a weekly meeting of the German cabinet at the chancellery in Berlin. John MacDougall / AFP

    Report: Germany To Send Aid to North Iraq

    German air force planes will deliver humanitarian aid to northern Iraq on Friday, media reported, as Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin was also considering sending weapons to help the embattled country.

    • Aug. 14, 2014
  15. Lebanese troops stand guard in a street on Aug. 9 in the eastern Lebanese town of Arsal, on the border with Syria. AFP

    US Pledges Arms for Lebanon Army After Jihadist Clashes

    The United States will supply Lebanon's army with additional munitions and ordnance in a bid to bolster the force after clashes with jihadists, the US ambassador to Beirut said Thursday.

    • Aug. 14, 2014
  16. A power plant worker cuts through twisted burned out metal near damaged fuel tanks in the south of Gaza City. Roberto Schmidt / AFP

    Despite Heavy Costs, Israel Struggles To Spin Success From Gaza War

    The latest Israel-Hamas truce expires at midnight on Wednesday and it's still unclear whether Operation Protective Edge, now in its 37th day, will resume with greater intensity or come to an end.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  17. Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, who fled a jihadist onslaught on Sinjar, gather Aug. 13 to collect bottles of water at the Bajid Kandala camp in Kurdistan's western Dohuk province. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP

    Iraq Evacuation May Not Require US Troops on Mount Sinjar

    A review by US troops of conditions on Iraq's Mount Sinjar Wednesday has determined that the conditions of a religious minority seeking refuge there are better than believed and may not require a US-led evacuation, a Pentagon official said.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  18. A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft takes off from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) on June 20. Staff Sgt. Lukas Atwell / Marine Corps

    US Military Aircraft Operating In Northern Iraq

    US helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys are on the ground in northern Iraq and operating from a secure airfield protected by Kurdish forces, the latest sign of an expanding Iraq mission that now includes about 1,000 US troops, defense officials said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  19. Peshmerga forces hand out water bottles and show the way to displaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community as they cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on Aug. 11. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP

    UK Joins International Effort To Aid Yazidis in Iraq

    Britain will be part of an international mission to rescue Yazidi refugees stranded in northern Iraq, Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  20. French President Francois Hollande is greeted by a crowd on Aug. 4 in front the city hall in Liege, Belgium. Fred Dufour / AFP

    Hollande: France To Deliver Arms To Kurds in Iraq

    France will deliver weapons to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic extremists in Iraq, President Francois Hollande announced on Wednesday.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  21. A Royal Saudi Air Force AWACS takes off. The US has approved upgrades to five Saudi AWACS aircraft. Jim Anderson / Boeing

    US Clears Major Arms Sales to Saudi, Turkey

    The US cleared two major potential sales to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced Tuesday.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  22. An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter takes position on the front line on Aug. 12 in Bashiqa. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / Getty Images

    Pentagon Official: 130 Advisers Heading To Northern Iraq

    The military has sent 130 advisers to northern Iraq to plan for the evacuation of refugees under siege by Islamic militants, according to a senior Defense Department official.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  23. US sailors directF/A-18E Super Hornets on Aug. 1 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in the Arabian Gulf. So far, there has been no collective insistence from members of Congress that they should approve limited US airstrikes on Iraq, which began last week. Joshua Card / US Navy via AFP

    Unlike on Syria, No Groundswell From Lawmakers for Iraq Strikes Authorization Vote

    There is no groundswell from US lawmakers demanding President Barack Obama seek their approval for new airstrikes in Iraq, a sharp contrast from his flirtation with strikes in Syria.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  24. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during an Aug. 12 town hall meeting aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Lance Cpl. John Baker / Marine Corps

    SecDef Hagel: 130-Member Team To Assess Iraq's 'Squandered Opportunity'

    US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said a 130-member 'assessment team' that arrived in Iraq Tuesday is charged with making a full-evaluation of the increasingly violent situation in northern Iraq.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  25. The IDF's Skylark mini-UAV is used broadly in support of ground forces in the latest Gaza operation. Israel Defense Forces

    Israeli Forces Praise Elbit UAVs in Gaza Op

    Israeli military commanders are crediting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by Elbit Systems for delivering added operational value in recent combat in Gaza.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  26. An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter takes position on the front line in Bashiqa, a town 13 kilometers northeast of Mosul. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/ / AFP/Getty Images

    Czech Republic Prepares Arms Supply for Kurds

    Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek has announced plans by his country to supply arms to the Kurdish forces in northern Iraq to support their battle against the Islamic State terror group.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  27. Video of a US military F/A-18 Hornet strike in Iraq, Aug. 8 CENTCOM/

    Think Tank Lays Out Steps To 'Cap' Then 'Roll Back' Post-9/11 Military Force Resolution

    A group of US national security experts is pushing a piecemeal plan to update the measure authorizing the war against violent extremist groups for the first time since September 2001.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  28. Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi visit the Black Sea Fleet's missile cruiser Moskva on Aug. 12 in the sea port of Sochi. Alexei Druzhinin / AFP

    Putin Vows To Boost Arms Sales To Egypt's Sisi

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday promised Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to speed up the delivery of billions of dollars in arms and invited Cairo to forge free trade ties with a Moscow-led customs bloc.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  29. A Palestinian family looks at the remains of homes that were destroyed in Jabalia, the Gaza Strip, where numerous cease-fires have failed. Roberto Schmidt / AFP

    Netanyahu Confronts Conflicting Pressures in Gaza War

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confronting conflicting pressures at home and abroad over his government's prosecution of Operation Protective Edge, now in its 35th day.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  30. An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter poses for a picture on the front line on Aug. 9 in Makhmur during clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants. Safin Hamed / AFP

    Official: US Shipping Arms To Iraqi Kurds

    The United States has begun urgently shipping weapons to the Iraqi Kurdish forces battling an advance by extremist Islamic State militants, a State Department spokeswoman said Monday.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  31. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, left, and Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani give an Aug. 10 joint press conference in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq. Safin Hamed / AFP

    France Asks EU To 'Mobilize' To Arm Kurds In Iraq

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday called on the European Union to 'mobilize' to respond to appeals from Iraq's Kurds for arms to fight Islamic State jihadists.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  32. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel attends an Aug. 11 wreath laying ceremony at the ANZAC War Memorial in Sydney. Lisa Maree Williams / AFP

    Hagel: Air Strikes In Iraq Effective

    Air strikes aimed at halting the advance of Sunni Islamic State militants in Iraq have been effective and the US is open to further requests for help, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Monday.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
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