Tuesday, February 21, 2017

World News Briefs -- February 21, 2017

Reuters: Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State set to storm airport, clear way to western Mosul

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces closing in on the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul prepared on Tuesday to storm the airport and a nearby military base on its southern outskirts to create a bridgehead for a thrust into the city.

Since ousting IS from eastern Mosul last month, Iraqi forces have advanced in sparsely populated outlying areas but fighting will intensify as they near the teeming inner city of western Mosul and the risk to roughly 750,000 civilians there will rise.

The U.S. military commander in Iraq has said he believes

U.S.-backed forces will retake both of IS's urban bastions - Mosul and Raqqa in neighboring Syria - within the next six months, which would end the jihadists' ambitions to territorial rule three years after they declared a "caliphate".

Read more ....


UN alarmed over escalation in fighting in Damascus ahead of Geneva peace talks.

Troops advance on western Mosul as Mattis holds talks. Mosul offensive: Iraqi army seizes key town of Abu Saif.

Aid groups brace for surge of displaced Mosul residents.

Iran and Turkey trade barbs over Syria and Iraq.

Iran bans private drones from skies over Tehran amid security fears.

Iran Supreme Leader calls on Palestinians to pursue intifada against Israel.

Israel defense minister disses 'soft power' at Munich Security Conference.

Israeli soldier who killed Palestinian attacker sentenced to 18 months.

Jordanians 'at breaking point' over austerity measures.


Deadly attack on Pakistani courthouse. Three bombers, two officers dead in attack at Pakistani court.

China orders GPS tracking of every car in troubled region. Chinese police to track cars in Xinjiang in terror crackdown.

U.N. group suggests special tribunal for North Korea rights abuses.

Malaysia calls North Korea conspiracy claims 'delusional' after Kim Jong Nam death.

Revealed: Kim Jong-nam was gripped by fear and paranoia, says friend. Kim Jong-nam: No family member claims body, Malaysia says.

Candidate vying to lead Indonesian capital denies pandering to Islamists.

China jails former head of safety watchdog for 15 years for graft.

Philippines' Duterte a serial killer: senator.


South Sudan famine declared as 100,000 people face starvation.

S. Sudan president vows aid access to famine-hit areas.

Seeking to secure Sinai, Egypt builds closer ties with Hamas.

Somalia food crisis at 'tipping point' with country heading towards famine in matter of weeks.

Civilians in the crossfire of Boko Haram and the military.

Bodies of dozens of migrants wash ashore in western Libya. Bodies of 74 migrants wash ashore near Zawiya, Libya.

Mugabe marks 93rd birthday with faltering TV interview.


Ukraine accuses pro-Russia rebels of breaking truce.

Poroshenko urges EU to tighten anti-Russian sanctions.

Kremlin: too early for Putin's statements on 2018 election.

UK should expect a very hefty bill for Brexit, says Jean-Claude Juncker.

Head of the AfD Frauke Petry meets with Russian officials in Moscow. German AfD leader Petry meets pro-Putin Russian MPs.

France's National Front denounces police raid on HQ.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev appoints wife as vice president.

Europe: More energy-efficient, but still import-dependent.

Ukraine oligarch Dmytro Firtash faces extradition to US.

WikiLeaks ‘will not respond to pressure’ from Ecuador’s presidential candidates – Assange.


US to expand pool of people targeted for deportation. Massive crackdown on illegal immigration is ordered - with virtually every one of the USA's 11 MILLION undocumented aliens in the crosshairs.

Trump denounces bigotry, anti-Semitism in African-American museum tour. Trump condemns 'horrible' anti-Semitism.

Homeland Security employees locked out of computer networks: source.

Ecuador presidential poll: Tension as results are delayed. Runoff likely in Ecuador's presidential election, with most votes counted.

Refugee claimants from U.S. strain Canada's border resources.

Colombia FARC rebels to start disarmament process.

Embattled Nicolás Maduro warns Trump to back down from Venezuela.


Governments 'must address corruption to defeat IS', says report.

Afghan intelligence confirms top al Qaeda leader killed in raid.

Pakistan, Afghanistan will fight terrorism 'together': army chief.

Al Qaeda often agitated for Omar Abdel Rahman’s release from US prison.


OPEC talk sends oil prices sharply higher.

Thousands of spills at US oil and gas fracking sites.

HSBC reports net profit fall of 82 percent.

Russian-owned superyacht seized in Gibraltar over breach of contract.

No comments: