Iran and Iraq may respond to U.S. air strikes; Air strikes in Somalia; Turkey arrests 70 Islamic State suspects
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on December 30 in last six hours from BulgarianMilitary.com:
Top Iraqi militia leader warns of strong response to U.S. air strikes
A top Iraqi militia leader warned of a strong response against U.S. forces in Iraq following air strikes in Iraq and Syria overnight that hit several bases of his Iranian-backed group and killed at least 25 people.
The U.S. military carried out air strikes on Sunday against the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia group in response to the killing of a U.S. civilian contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base, officials said.
Iraqi security and militia sources said at least 25 militia fighters were killed and at least 55 wounded following three U.S. air strikes in Iraq.
“The blood of the martyrs will not be in vain and our response will be very tough on the American forces in Iraq,” senior commander Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, known by his nom de guerre Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, said late on Sunday. Iran said it strongly condemned the raids as “terrorism”.
Iran on Monday condemned U.S. air strikes in Iraq and Syria against the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia.
“The U.S. military aggression against Iraqi soil and Iraqi forces is strongly condemned as a clear example of terrorism … and Iran strongly condemns it,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the state news agency IRNA.
U.S. military says Somalia air strikes killed four al Shabaab militants
Four al Shabaab militants were killed on Sunday in three U.S. air strikes in two locations in Somalia, the U.S. military said on Monday.
The air strikes came a day after at least 90 people were killed in a truck bombing at a busy checkpoint in the Somali capital Mogadishu, the deadliest attack in more than two years.
The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement that two militants had been killed by two air strikes in Qunyo Barrow and another two by an air strike at Caliyoow Barrow. It said no civilians were killed.
The United States carries out regular air strikes in Somalia in support of a weak, United Nations-backed government in Mogadishu, which has fought al Shabaab for years.
“The U.S. and the Federal Government of Somalia will continue to increase pressure on the terrorist organization in order to deny them the ability to plot terrorist attacks,” the AFRICOM statement said.
Plans by the United States to withdraw hundreds of troops from Africa could curtail the fight against al Shabaab and other militant groups across the continent.
Turkey arrests 70 Islamic State suspects ahead of New Year – Anadolu
Turkish police detained 70 people suspected of ties to Islamic State in nationwide raids early on Monday, ahead of New Year celebrations, state media said two months after the killing of the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Police have rounded up jihadist militants in late December in the last two years, since New Year’s Day in 2017 here when a gunman killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub in an attack claimed by the militant group.
Counter-terror police ramped up intelligence activities and carried out the operations in the central provinces of Ankara, Kayseri and Adana, and Batman in the southeast, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
Some 400 police officers took part in a 5 a.m. (0200 GMT) operation in Batman on Monday, detaining 22 people in simultaneous raids on various addresses, also seizing weapons, ammunition and documents, Anadolu said.
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