More than 120 people were killed Monday in a wave of bombings claimed by the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria, the deadliest attacks yet in the regime’s coastal heartland. Seven near-simultaneous explosions targeted bus stations, hospitals and other civilian sites in the seaside cities of Jableh and Tartus, which until now had been relatively insulated from Syria’s five-year civil war. The unprecedented attacks on strongholds of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime came as IS faces increasing pressure in both Syria and Iraq, where Baghdad’s forces on Monday launched a major offensive to retake the jihadist-held city of Fallujah.
Three years ago today, Barack Obama gave a major counterterrorism address at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. It was what his aides call a “framing” speech, an effort to knit together an overarching approach to the fight against radical terrorists. Predictably, Obama touted his administration’s key successes. Osama bin Laden was dead, the core al-Qaida organization in Pakistan was “on a path to defeat,” and there had been no “large-scale” terror attacks on U.S. soil since he had taken office.
By Matt Spetalnick and James Mackenzie HANOI/KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed on Monday that the leader of the Afghan Taliban had been killed in an American air strike, an attack likely to trigger another leadership tussle in a militant movement already riven by internal divisions. Obama, on a three-day visit to Vietnam, reiterated support for the government in Kabul and the Afghan security forces, and called on the Taliban to join peace talks. The president authorized the drone strike that killed Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a remote region just on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan on Saturday, and Afghan authorities have said the mission was successful.
At least 17 young girls died after a fire swept through the dormitory of a school for children of hill tribes in northern Thailand, officials said Monday, adding several others were either missing or injured. Seventeen girls were killed and two are still missing, with five injured," Colonel Prayad Singsin of the police in Chiang Rai told AFP. A Chiang Rai provincial official confirmed the death toll, adding that the privately-run school is home to girls aged between six and 13 years old, drawn mainly from the deprived local hill tribes.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday announced the start of a military operation to retake the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State group. The fight to recapture the jihadist bastion, which has been out of government control for nearly two and a half years, will be one of the toughest in Iraq's war against IS. "We are beginning the operation to liberate Fallujah," Abadi said in a statement.
According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday, 58 percent of registered voters view Trump unfavorably, while 54 percent view Clinton the same way — the highest unfavorable ratings for likely general election candidates in the history of the survey. “We need a campaign, an election, coming up which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked,” Sanders said.
NORTHERN SYRIA (AP) — On a secret trip to Syria, the new commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Saturday he felt a moral obligation to enter a war zone to check on his troops and make his own assessment of progress in organizing local Arab and Kurd fighters for what has been a slow campaign to push the Islamic State group out of Syria.
By Matt Spetalnick and Mai Nguyen HANOI (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Vietnam late Sunday ahead of a three-day trip aimed at sealing the transformation of an old enemy into a new partner to help counter China's growing assertiveness in the region. Four decades after a war with Vietnam that deeply divided opinion in America, Obama aims to boost defense and economic ties with the country's communist rulers while also prodding them on human rights, aides say.