4th December 2015

  • A Molotov cocktail killed 16 at a restaurant in Cairo Friday morning.
  • Egypt is arresting lawyers for support of the Muslim Brotherhood. (Bonus quote: “’It is not logical that we would accuse him of inciting protests’ if he had not done so, the official said.”)
  • Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Dine claimed an attack on a UN base in Mali that killed 3.
  • The Islamic State has between 2,000 and 3,000 fighters in Libya.
  • “We can observe today in Burundi a clear manipulation of ethnicity by both the government and opposition.”
  • Pope Francis visited a besieged mosque in the conflict-ravaged Central African Republic.
  • 30 people are dead in clashes between rebels and government forces in the Congo.
  • Boko Haram destroyed a military base in northeastern Nigeria and 107 soldiers remain unaccounted for.
  • Twin suicide bombings in north Cameroon killed 5.
  • A new protest movement in Nigeria is reviving the push for an independent Biafra.
  • British warplanes have begun bombing Islamic State targets in Syria. If you’re British, check how your MP voted in the decision.
  • German MPs have voted to send non-combat military support to the fight against the Islamic State.
  • Political scientists Stephen Biddle and Jacob Shapiro argue that we cannot “bomb ISIS back to the Stone Age,” but rather must seek to contain it.
  • The Air Forces is depleting its munitions stockpiles in the fight against the Islamic State, having fired more than 20,000 missiles and bombs.
  • Territorial losses are constraining the Islamic State’s revenue streams.
  • Russia’s Turkish community is feeling the consequences of Moscow’s anger over its downed Su-24.
  • Western and Turkish officials are accusing Russia of overplaying the international incident and using it as an opportunity for an increased military presence on the Mediterranean.
  • Russia is moving its artillery to Syria’s front lines and expanding an air base in Homs.
  • How politics, not just survival, is driving the Syrian government’s military strategy.
  • Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate inside Syria, released 16 imprisoned Lebanese soldiers and police officers held captive since August 2014, in a deal brokered by Qatar.
  • The US is sending roughly 100 Special Operations Forces troops to Iraq to target the Islamic State. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has responded by saying the deployment was not requested and is considered a “hostile act.”
  • Iraqis widely believe the United States is partnered with the Islamic State for military gain in the Middle East, a sign of deep distrust.
  • A suicide bombing targeting Shi’ite pilgrims in Baghdad killed 9.
  • Doctors Without Borders says the Saudi coalition bombed one of their mobile clinics in Taiz, Yemen.
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have seized Zinjibar, the capital of the Abyan province.
  • Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has now spent more than 500 daysdetained in Iran.
  • The Taliban are strongly denying rumors that their new leader was wounded or killed in a shootout in Pakistan this week.
  • The CIA runs a shadow war in eastern Afghanistan, using the Khost Protection Force, a paramilitary unit linked to civilian killings, excessive force and torture, as its proxy.
  • Haji Ghalib, who spent four years in Guantánamo, now battles the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan.
  • NATO will keep 12,000 troops in Afghanistan through 2016.
  • The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction has asked for a review of a former Pentagon task force’s use of funds, noting that they spent $150 million on private housing and security rather than live on a base.
  • Der Spiegel interviews Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.
  • With politics potentially jeopardizing Russia’s place in the EU energy market, Moscow is turning to Pakistan in hopes of diversifying.
  • Russia is unlikely to meet the year-end deadline for a Ukraine peace deal.
  • In the face of Russian displeasure, NATO has invited Montenegro to join the alliance, its first expansion since 2009.
  • Armed clashes in Nardaran, a Shi’ite suburb of Azerbaijan’s capital city, Baku, left seven people dead. Government authorities have conducted a security raid, searching homes and detaining residents.
  • Russia has begun building two military compounds on the Kuril islands, adding new complications to long-standing tensions with Japan over the status of those islands.
  • Japan is speeding up the launch of its new anti-terrorism unit.
  • Satellite imagery indicates that North Korea may be digging a nuclear test tunnel.
  • Irish police found a suspected dissident republican weapons dump near the border with Northern Ireland.
  • Colombia will not extradite a leftist rebel accused of drug trafficking to the US, a first, as it continues peace negotiations with FARC.
  • Mustafa al-Aziz al-Shamiri, held in Guantánamo for 13 years now, was never a courier, the US now admits, but a low-level foot soldier.
  • The nearly five dozen people arrested in the US over the past year for supporting or plotting on behalf of the Islamic State are a diverse bunch, fitting no particular profile, a new study has concluded.
  • The Pentagon has ordered the military to open all remaining combat positions to women, without exception.
  • BuzzFeed profiles Sherri Goodman, the woman who got the Pentagon to care about climate change by framing it as a “threat multiplier.”

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