19th February 2016

  • Warplanes, reportedly US jets, carried out strikes in the Libyan city of Sabratha Friday morning, killing 40. The target was a senior Tunisian operative.
  • Ex-army chief Gen. Jean Marie Michel Mokoko will run for president in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s March elections.
  • Long read: How Boko Haram brainwashes captives into becoming suicide bombers.
  • UNICEF warns that Burundi is facing major crisis.
  • Refugees wait for the voting results in the Central African Republic’s elections.
  • Boko Haram’s attacks have kept 3 million Nigerians cut off from aid access for months.
  • Kenya claims to have killed al-Shabaab’s head of intelligence.
  • Fighting at a UN compound in South Sudan killed 18 people.
  • The Yemeni city of Aden may be Saudi Arabia’s “greatest success in Yemen’s civil war,” but it is a city on the edge.
  • Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeq, detained by Israeli forces in Ramallah, has not eaten in three months.
  • A car bomb attack in Ankara on Wednesday left 21 people dead. The Turkish government is blaming the Kurds.
  • The Kurds are a source of escalating tension between the US and Turkey.
  • An international meeting over the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire has been cancelled.
  • The Pentagon provided Russia with the general locations of special operations forces in Syria, with the request that Moscow not bomb them.
  • The UN will conduct air drops of food aid over the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, besieged by the Islamic State.
  • Long read: “The horror simply continues” in Aleppo, where Der Spiegelargues “the West is faced with the ruins of its policy of inaction, which it has sold as diplomacy.”
  • Radioactive material disappeared from a storage facility near Basra in November, and Iraq is worried it may have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State.
  • Three Americans abducted in Baghdad last month were released.
  • A lack of finances is pushing Iraq to reduce its paramilitary forces.
  • The market town of Makhmour in northern Iraq is now emptied out by war, its shops boarded up and most of its inhabitants fled.
  • A new report says the UK government was “blindsided” by the Syrian crisis.
  • The new Afghan Ministry of Defense HQ in Kabul cost three times the initial estimate of $48.7m to build.
  • After the kidnappings of five local staff members, the Red Cross is haltingoperations in Ghazni.
  • Afghan security forces (possibly accompanied by NATO advisors) conducted a hospital raid near Kabul, abducting and then killing three men thought to be insurgents.
  • The Afghan air force is killing a lot of civilians.
  • There were a record number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2015.
  • The Taliban clashed with the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan.
  • At least 9 members of Pakistan’s security forces were killed in attacks in the country’s northwest regions.
  • Following North Korea’s nuclear test and rocket launch, the US passed furthersanctions. Can they work?
  • China deployed surface-to-air missiles to a disputed island in the South China Sea.
  • Several extremist groups in the Philippines pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State.
  • Russian aggression is pushing European defense spending upwards. A Polish official recently issued a dire warning about the scope of Putin’s ambitions.
  • The UN says the conflict in Ukraine has affected 580,000 children.
  • Proposed legislation in France to strip terrorists of citizenship has many French leftists aghast.
  • Colombia suspended safe passage for rebel negotiators after evidence of a violation of ground rules by top commanders.
  • Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali died at 93.
  • The Government Accountability Office says that the Pentagon needs to step upoversight to prevent counterfeit weapons and equipment.

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