Thursday, June 30, 2016

US and Iraq Airstrikes Kill 250 Islamic State Fighters Fleeing Fallujah

Daily Mail: America strikes back: US airstrikes kill 250 ISIS fighters outside Fallujah less than 24 hours after attack on Istanbul's airport left 42 dead

* U.S.-led coalition aircraft waged a series of deadly strikes against ISIS
* They took place south of the city of Fallujah, which was recently liberated
* At least 250 suspected fighters were killed and 40 vehicles destroyed
* Strikes came the day after a suicide bombing at Ataturk Airport killed 42

A U.S.-led coalition aircraft waged a series of deadly strikes against Islamic State around the city of Fallujah in Iraq on Wednesday, killing at least 250 ISIS fighters.

The strikes, which took place south of the city, where civilians have also been displaced, are just the latest battlefield setback suffered by the terror group in its self-proclaimed 'caliphate' of Iraq and Syria.

One U.S. official cited a preliminary estimate of at least 250 suspected fighters killed and at least 40 vehicles destroyed, Reuters reports.

If the figures are confirmed, the strikes would be among the most deadly ever against the jihadist group.

Read more ....

More News On US and Iraq Airstrikes Killing 250 Islamic State Fighters Fleeing Fallujah

Air strikes 'killed at least 150' jihadists fleeing Iraq's Fallujah -- AFP
US, Iraqi strikes kill at least 250 ISIS fighters in Iraq convoys -- FOX News
Hundreds of IS Fighters Killed in Airstrikes -- VOA
Airstrikes hit convoys carrying ISIS militants out of Falluja, U.S. officials say -- CNN
Reports: U.S.-led airstrikes kill at least 250 ISIL fighters near Fallujah -- USA Today
Iraqi, U.S. airstrikes destroy 500 Islamic State vehicles fleeing Fallujah -- UPI
Isis video shows US-led coalition killing 250 jihadists in single air strike -- The Independent
Airstrikes kill IS fighters fleeing Fallujah -- DW
250 ISIS fighters reportedly killed in US-led coalition airstrikes on convoy near Fallujah (VIDEO) -- RT
U.S. and Iraq Airstrikes Target Alleged ISIS Convoy -- NBC

Ex-London Mayor Boris Johnson Will Not Run For Prime Minister Of Britain

The Guardian: Boris Johnson rules himself out of Tory leadership race

Main public face of Brexit makes shock announcement hours after his key ally Michael Gove launched his own campaign

Boris Johnson has unexpectedly ruled himself out of the Conservative leadership race, hours after his key ally Michael Gove announced a challenge for the top job on a turbulent morning.

Speaking at a hotel in central London, where he had been expected to launch his candidacy, Johnson gave an upbeat speech, saying the agenda for the next prime minister was for the UK to become a more outward-looking nation that resets its relationship with Europe.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am surprised by this decision. This now completely changes the Conservative leadership race.

More News On Boris Johnson Not Running For The Conservative Party Leadership

Ex-London mayor upends race for UK prime minister by quitting -- Reuters
Boris Johnson pulls out of battle to become Brexit PM -- AFP
Boris Johnson announces he will not run for Prime Minister as Michael Gove declares his bid -- The Telegraph
Boris QUITS Tory leadership battle after Brexit ally Michael Gove abandons him to launch his own bid for Downing Street with devastating parting shot -- Daily Mail
Boris Johnson rules himself out of Conservative leader race -- BBC
Leading Brexiter Boris Johnson says he won't run for prime minister -- CNN
Boris Johnson Pulls Out of Race to Be Next British Prime Minister -- Bloomberg
Michael Gove and Theresa May head five-way Conservative race -- BBC
Meet Michael Gove, the man who just turned British politics into an episode of ‘House of Cards’ -- Washington Post
Michael Gove delivered the biggest blow to Boris Johnson’s career yet -- Matthew d'Ancona, The Guardian
How will Boris Johnson’s departure change the Tory leadership contest? -- Jonathan Freedland, Zoe Williams, Mary Dejevsky and Mark Wallace, The Guardians
Brexit Leader Boris Johnson Decapitated in Brutal Fight to Be Britain’s Next Prime Minister -- Nico Hines, Daily Beast

Tweet For Today

Picture Of The Day

Helo Raid Training
Marines conduct scenario based training as part of Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise in preparation for the 31st MEU's upcoming fall deployment at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Okinawa, Japan, June 25, 2016. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samantha Villarreal

A Former NSA Hacker Speaks Out

Image: MANY HATS: Revelations about the NSA's spying programs may put both black and white hat hackers off ever working for the US government. iStock

Peter Maas, The Intercept: THE HUNTER

He Was a Hacker for the NSA and He Was Willing to Talk. I Was Willing to Listen.


The sender was a hacker who had written a series of provocative memos at the National Security Agency. His secret memos had explained — with an earthy use of slang and emojis that was unusual for an operative of the largest eavesdropping organization in the world — how the NSA breaks into the digital accounts of people who manage computer networks, and how it tries to unmask people who use Tor to browse the web anonymously. Outlining some of the NSA’s most sensitive activities, the memos were leaked by Edward Snowden, and I had written about a few of them for The Intercept.

There is no Miss Manners for exchanging pleasantries with a man the government has trained to be the digital equivalent of a Navy SEAL. Though I had initiated the contact, I was wary of how he might respond. The hacker had publicly expressed a visceral dislike for Snowden and had accused The Intercept of jeopardizing lives by publishing classified information. One of his memos outlined the ways the NSA reroutes (or “shapes”) the internet traffic of entire countries, and another memo was titled “I Hunt Sysadmins.” I felt sure he could hack anyone’s computer, including mine.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Bottom line .... when we are online we can easily be hacked.

This Is What Donald Trump's Top Secret Intelligence Briefing Will Look Like

John McLaughlin, OZY: What Trump's Intelligence Briefing Will Look Like

What do Dwight Eisenhower, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have in common? Er, nothing — except that like Eisenhower when he ran for president in 1952, Trump and Clinton will soon qualify for secret intelligence briefings.

I won’t be briefing Clinton or Trump, but I’ve done a number of these post-nomination briefings. The tradition began in the midst of the Cold War, when President Harry Truman decided that the nominees, Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson, needed to be prepared for the postwar era. Over the intervening years, such briefings for major candidates have become a fixture of the pre-election season — once the candidates win their parties’ nominations, of course. You have questions? I have answers.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Listening to Donald Trump on the campaign trail .... I cannot help but feel that he is already receiving intelligence briefings .... albeit from his advisers who once served in the intelligence community.

An Excerpt From the Book 'Spooked: How The CIA Manipulates The Media And Hoodwinks Hollywood'

The lobby of CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia, on August 14, 2008. REUTERS/LARRY DOWNING

Nicholas Schou, Newsweek: Outing The CIA's "Undertaker"

The following is an excerpt of Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (Hotbooks/Skyhorse), which will be published on June 28, 2016.

Remote even by the standards of Pakistan’s tribal areas, the Shawal Valley is surrounded by steep mountains that descend into thick forests interspersed with boulder-strewn alpine rivers. The valley is one of the final redoubts of Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters who fled Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion. Numerous Pakistani military offensives have so far failed to dislodge the militants, although their ranks have been depleted by hundreds of American drone strikes.

In the weeks leading up to an operation in the Shawal Valley on January 2015, CIA-operated drones filmed four men coming and going from a building, who appeared to of military service age. Anonymous U.S. officials later told The New York Times that the agency had analyzed so-called “pattern of life” evidence to determine that the compound was being used by militants. The CIA said it had also intercepted cellphone calls and had obtained other intelligence indicating the four men were “Al-Qaeda operatives and possibly members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I suspect that there are some active (and retired) CIA officers who are not happy with this book .... and a few reporters (many that I use for this blog) who are equally feeling uncomfortable.

A Former Head of Russia's SVR (The Equivalent Of The CIA) Speaks Out On U.S. Intelligence

Putin and Vyacheslav Trubnikov (Office of the Russian President)

NPR: Russia's Ex-Spy Chief Shares Opinions Of His American Counterparts

It's not every day that the man who ran Russia's foreign espionage service offers to buy you a drink.

I'd been chasing Vyacheslav Trubnikov for an interview, when a message landed in my inbox: Hotel Metropol, 5 o'clock.

The Metropol is one of Moscow's grande dame hotels, just steps from Red Square, with polished dark wood, sparkling crystal decanters, velvet armchairs. Trubnikov settled in and ordered a double espresso.

He was born in Siberia and joined the Soviet KGB in 1967. He was immediately sent to Calcutta, India, under cover as a reporter. I asked him, did the other journalists know he was a spy?

"To be frank, everyone who was in Calcutta was considered to be a spy. Everyone. Every journalist," he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is a fascinating article and discussion with Russia's former head of the SVR, or Foreign Intelligence Service (the equivalent of the CIA) .... and his insights on intelligence and the NSA are spot on. But the last paragraph of this report is what I felt while reading this brief but captivating post ....

Who would have imagined it, a generation ago: A Soviet spymaster talking tradecraft, with an American reporter not even born when he began stealing secrets for the KGB. And then the two of us shaking hands and going our separate ways, into the Moscow evening.

Russia Is In Charge In Syria

Technicians at Syria's Hmeimim airport where Russian aircraft are deployed. © Dmitriy Vinogradov / RIA Novosti

Sam Heller, War On The Rocks: Russia Is In Charge In Syria: How Moscow Took Control Of The Battlefield And Negotiating Table

The Kremlin has successfully made itself the most powerful party to this war. The best the White House can do now is to make them own it.

Earlier this month, 51 mid-level officers at the U.S. State Department wrote a “dissent cable” arguing for the limited use of U.S. military force against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. By using standoff weapons and airstrikes on regime targets, they said, the United States could force regime compliance with Syria’s nationwide “cessation of hostilities” and compel the regime to participate in political negotiations to resolve the country’s bloody years-long war.

Yet these diplomats seem to have mostly ignored Russia’s role in Syria — and at least for now, it is Russia, not America, that is the decisive force in the Syrian war.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: An excellent review on Russia's role, importance, and limits in the Syrian conflict. I have always personally viewed this war as a quagmire for Russia .... a no-win situation because of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian nature to the conflict, and the unwillingness of all sides to even entertain any notions of compromise and reconciliation. But Russia has stabilised the military situation for the Assad regime, and they have drawn the line in the sand on what they would do if that "military situation" is threatened. As to the U.S. and their allies involvement .... President Obama has made the strategic decision to limit U.S. involvement to helping the Kurds, and to leave the rest of this mess to the next president.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Editor's Note

Darn!!!! I just learned that the GF's father broke his knee in a fall. I have to go and show a presence. Blogging will probably return late tonight or tomorrow morning.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 29, 2016

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a conference in Istanbul, Turkey, May 17, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Simon Tisdall, The Guardian: Turkey paying a price for Erdo─čan's wilful blindness to Isis threat

President’s preference for blaming everything bad that happens on the Kurds is no longer working

Turkish officials, led by the prime minister, Binali Yildirim, have initially blamed the Istanbul airport attack on Islamic State, and it is true that this latest murderous outrage closely resembles last October’s Isis bombing of a peace rally in Ankara that killed 103 people, the deadliest such attack in modern Turkish history.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- June 29, 2016

Turkey Has Become the New Front of ISIS’s War on the World -- Jared Malsin, Time

Turkey's Debilitating Conflicts On Three Separate Fronts -- Grey Myer, NPR

Why the latest attack in Istanbul feels so much closer to home -- Rose Asani, Spectator

How Erdogan will spin his deal with Israel -- Fehim Ta┼čtekin, Al-Monitor

Turkey’s Apology Tour a Hit in Israel. Next Stop: Moscow -- Micah Halpern, Observer

Trouble Ahead in East Africa -- Ian Platz, RCD

Will Libya survive as a state? -- Dr. Azeem Ibrahim, Al Arabiya

Assessing the Jihadist Threat in Egypt: The Sinai Peninsula: Analysis -- Stratfor

Why Russia Is a Threat to The International Order -- Paul Dibb, The Strategist

Germany With Its Back Against a Wall -- George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures

Everything you need to know about Stephen Crabb, the man likely to be your next British Prime Minister -- Charlie Cooper, The Independent

Why Brexit Signals a Trump Victory -- Edward J. Rollins, Real Clear Politics

Bring On the Other EU Referendums -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Spain's Election: Podemos plays blame game after poor performance at the polls -- Francesco Manetto, El Pais

Is Latin America's Longest-Running War Finally Over? -- Peter Schechter, Real Clear World

World News Briefs -- June 29, 2016 (Evening Edition)

CNN: Istanbul terror attack: 41 killed; airport resumes flights

Istanbul (CNN)Just five hours after terrorists killed 41 people at an Istanbul airport, travelers returned to the site of the carnage -- much to the surprise of some critics.

"I find this totally astonishing," said Professor Larry Kobilinsky of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "I've never seen such a massive crime scene looked at for five hours. It's just impossible. You're going to compromise, you're going to contaminate evidence. ... They should not have turned this open to the public."

Passengers walked over shards of glass as workers tried to wash away blood. The stench of smoke still lingered in the air after three gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives at Ataturk Airport, wounding 239 people.

Read more ....


Attackers kill 42 in scenes of chaos at Istanbul airport.

Kurdish Workers Party disavows Istanbul attacks, say Daesh responsible.

Jordan widens IS crackdown; signs of home-grown extremism.

U.N. envoy says unclear when Syria peace talks to reconvene.

Jihadists and other rebels attack Syrian regime positions in Latakia province.

Islamic State forces Syria rebels to retreat from border area. Syria conflict: Rebels 'move on IS-held town near Iraq border'.

Iraqi court ruling hands setback to PM's reforms.

Iran forces 'kill Kurdish rebels on Iraq border'.

U.N.-backed Yemen peace talks adjourn until July 15: envoy.

Recordings: Houthi leaders planned general's killing.

Groups urge U.N. to suspend Saudi Arabia from rights council.


China slams South China Sea case as court set to rule.

Hague court to rule in July on challenge to China’s Sea claims.

New Philippine defense chief says militant threat more pressing than South China Sea.

Mongolia's opposition MPP seen sweeping back to power in polls. Mongolians vote for new parliament with economy on the rocks.

Pakistan extends Afghan refugee registration deadline by six months.

China's Xi urges caution over U.S. missile deployment in South Korea.

Pyonghattan 2.0: More skyscrapers go up in North Korea capital.

Malaysian opposition leader arrested by anti-corruption authorities.

As Duterte takes over in Philippines, police killings stir fear.


Investigators download crashed EgyptAir jet's flight data.

Official: Over 50 people killed in new South Sudan fighting.

Eleven killed in Congo fighting.

Kenyan forces kill five suspected Islamist militants.

Al-Shabaab plans to attack US forces prompted recent airstrike in Somalia.

UN adds 2,500 peacekeepers to Mali mission, urges tougher stance.

U.N. rights commissioner voices fear of Burundi violence turning ethnic.

Up to 4.8 million South Sudanese face severe food shortages: U.N..


Scottish leader's plea to stay in Europe rebuffed in Brussels.

Brexit: EU leaders say UK cannot have 'a la carte' single market.

Brexit: No EU compromise on freedom of movement.

Frontex chief: 300,000 more migrants headed from Africa to Europe.

Poland reiterates NATO should uphold open-door policy.

Putin extends ban on imports of Western food through 2017.

Spain's Rajoy says talks on forming government to start Thursday.

Italian navy recovers ship that sank with 700 migrants onboard.

Soviet troop monuments in Poland to be moved to new museum.


U.S. homeland security officials monitoring situation after Turkish blast.

Brazil Senate planning impeachment vote for last days of Olympics.

Suriname president again avoids being tried for 1982 deaths.

Obama urges Venezuela to respect democratic process.

North American leaders vow to boost trade despite threats.

Trudeau welcomes Obama, Pena Nieto for Three Amigos summit.

Trudeau and Obama in post-Brexit trade talks.

Trump escalates economic tirade against free trade, China and globalism.

Puerto Rico financial rescue package wins Senate test vote.

El Chapo: Mexico judge halts extradition to US.

Social profiling: US border agents want to know what you're saying on Facebook & Twitter.

Not so sunny: Miami tops list of the 50 ‘worst cities to live in’: report.


CIA says still 'a ways to go' before significant progress made against Islamic State.

CIA director warns of Istanbul-type attack in U.S..

World-Check terrorism database leaks online.

How safe is your next trip? Map reveals Turkey, France and Germany among countries at 'high risk' of terror attacks as experts call for airport security to extend beyond terminals.


Canada, U.S., Mexico want action on excess global steel capacity.

China defends FX policies after Trump vows to label Beijing a currency manipulator.

Facebook's political influence under a microscope.

Lesedi la Rona diamond set to be sold at auction for £52m.

The Battle For The Islamic State Held City Of Manjib In Syria Continues

Washington Post: The Islamic State just took a page from the ‘Battle of Stalingrad’

More than a month after it began, the battle for the Syrian city of Manbij drags on.

Now surrounded on all sides by a coalition of Kurds and Arabs, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, and supported by U.S. Special Operations forces as well as dozens of airstrikes, the motley assortment of troops is slowly rooting out Islamic State fighters one block at a time.

Yet, despite gains around the city, one cluster of buildings at the southern tip of Manbij has turned into a small redoubt and a symbol of the Islamic State’s determination to hold its territory. The structures, a series of grain silos, elevators and administrative buildings, have been hit by numerous airstrikes since 2014. And despite various reports of their seizure by the U.S-backed forces, they still appear either to be partially held by ISIS fighters or so laden with mines and booby traps that advancing troops are unable to enter.

Read more ....

Update #1: US-Trained Fighters Participate in Operation to Liberate Manbij From Daesh (Sputnik)
Update #2: IS Syria stronghold Raqqa next after Manbij operation is completed: U.S. official (Reuters)

WNU Editor: The Islamic State is pushing back .... Islamic State forces Syria rebels to retreat from border area (Reuters). More here .... ISIL retakes Syria border town from US-backed rebels (Al Jazeera).

Russia And The U.S. Continue To Blame Each Other For A 'Naval Confrontation' Two Weeks Ago

Reuters: Russia, United States blame each other for maritime incident

Russia and the United States gave contradictory accounts on Tuesday of an incident involving the two countries' navies in the Mediterranean Sea on June 17, each blaming the other for what they said were unsafe maneuvers.

The Russian Defence Ministry said a U.S. destroyer had approached dangerously close to a Russian warship, and protested at what it said was a flagrant U.S. violation of rules to avoid collisions at sea.

However, a U.S. Defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Russian warship had carried out "unsafe and unprofessional" operations near two U.S. Navy ships.Recent months have seen a number of similar Cold War-style incidents at sea and in the air, with each country's military accusing the other of dangerous approaches in international waters and airspace.

Read more ....

More News On Russia And The U.S. Continuking To Blame Each Other For A 'Naval Confrontation' Two Weeks Ago

Russia, U.S. Differ On Ship Encounter In Mediterranean Sea -- RFE
Russia, US point fingers after latest incident in Mediterranean Sea -- FOX News
Navy destroyer in ‘dangerous’ confrontation with Russian warship -- Daily Star
U.S., Russian warships in close call in Mediterranean Sea -- UPI

US destroyer gets dangerously close to Russian patrol boat in Mediterranean – Moscow -- RT
Latest warship encounter brings Russian protest -- Navy Times
US Navy's 'Road Hog': US Destroyer 'Deliberately Provoked' Russian Ship -- Sputnik
Moscow accuses Navy ship of sailing dangerously close to Russian frigate -- The Hill
Russia Claims US Destroyer Got Too Close to Its Navy Ship in the Mediterranean -- Epoch Times

U.S. Official: Russian Frigate Tried to ‘Interfere’ with Carrier Harry S. Truman -- USNI News
US Officials Say Russian Warship Intentionally Interfered With Navy Operations -- AP
U.S. officials say Russian warship came dangerously close to Navy ship -- CNN
US officials: Russia ignored 'rules of the road' sailing dangerously close to Navy destroyer -- FOX News
Russian warship carried out 'unsafe' operation near U.S. ships - U.S. Defense official -- Reuters

Israel Ends The 'Hannibal Directive' To Prevent The Capture Of Israeli Soldiers At All Costs

Israeli soldiers take part in a military exercise, which includes infantry, tanks and artillery units, in the northern part of the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria on June 23, 2016 (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

The Telegraph: Israel ends the 'Hannibal Directive' - military policy to kill your own troops rather than let them be captured

Israel’s military has abandoned the controversial military policy that calls for troops to prevent their comrades being captured - even if it means killing them.

The "Hannibal Directive" was established in the 1980s and has long been one of Israel’s signature military doctrines. But it has also been a target for serious criticism by human rights groups and a spark for ethical debates within Israeli society.

The directive is meant to stop Israel’s enemies from using captured soldiers as a bargaining chip and calls for troops to open fire when one of their own is being captured even if it causes the death of their comrade.

Critics argue that the vague policy is interpreted by soldiers as a justification for indiscriminate shooting and massive civilian casualties.

Read more ....

More News On Israel Ending The 'Hannibal Directive' 

Israel revokes policy on preventing capture of soldiers at all costs -- AFP
Israeli Military Revokes Use of Maximum Force to Foil Captures -- New York Times
Israel drops divisive tactic for recovering captive soldiers -- Stars and Stripes/AP
Israel's Military Chief Orders End to Secretive Hannibal Directive -- Newsweek
IDF to reform controversial anti-kidnapping Hannibal Protocol -- Jerusalem post
Israeli army cancels controversial Hannibal Protocol -- Times of Israel
Conquering the Israeli Army's Hannibal Directive -- Amos Harel, Haaretz

World-Check Terrorism Database Has Been Leaked Online

Pictured: A small example of the data stored on the World-Check database, with personal information removed. Screenshot/Thomson Reuters Report

BBC: World-Check terrorism database exposed online

A financial crime database used by banks has been "leaked" on to the net.

World-Check Risk Screening contains details about people and organisations suspected of being involved in terrorism, organised crime and money laundering, among other offences.

Access is supposed to be restricted under European privacy laws.

The database's creator, Thomson Reuters, has confirmed an unnamed third-party exposed an "out of date" version online.

But it says the material has since been removed.

Security researcher Chris Vickery said he discovered the leak. He notified the Register, which reported that it contained more than two million records and was two years old.

Read more ....

Update #1: Controversial banking blacklist exposing millions of suspected terrorists leaks online (IBTimes)
Update #2: Global ‘terror’ database leak reveals 2.2mn people tracked by spy agencies (RT)

WNU Editor: There are 2.2 million records in this database .... and it wields a lot of power and influence .... VICE News Reveals the Terrorism Blacklist Secretly Wielding Power Over the Lives of Millions (VICE News)

Editor's Note: Monday Was A Record Day For Traffic On This Blog

According to Google my Monday's post on China warning the Philippines on the South China Sea .... China Warns The Philippines That They Are Very Capable Of Removing Their Base In The Disputed Area Of South China Sea (June 27, 2016) .... received over 28,000 views. Wow .... that is a record for this blog on a post .... and it impacted the traffic for the rest of this blog .... so thank you.

Update: Someone just asked .... this traffic came primarily from the Middle East and Asia .... and it was Facebook that made it viral. And to all new readers .... I post anywhere from 25 - 30 posts on war/defense/economic/politics each day .... and this blog has been online since 2007.

U.S. Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk: Coalition Forces Kill A New Islamic State Leader-Commander Every Three Days

Brett McGurk at the Sulaimani Forum. Rudaw

Military Times: Coalition fighters kill a new ISIS leader every three days. But is that enough?

The coalition fighting the Islamic State group is killing a leader every three days, the president’s top advisor on the effort told lawmakers on Tuesday. But lawmakers questioned whether Iraqi forces can maintain those gains, and what might come next.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, special presidential envoy Brett McGurk touted the terror group’s loss of territory -- 47 percent in Iraq, 20 percent in Syria after two years of military operations -- just days after coalition-backed Iraqi forces liberated the Iraqi city Fallujah, occupied by ISIL forces for more than two and half years.

Fallujah’s liberation sets up planned sieges on Mosul, and Manjbi and Raqqa in Syria, McGurk said. The closure of Turkey’s border has cut off ISIL from supplies and potential recruits.

“All the areas that have been taken back from ISIL, none of them have been retaken by ISIL,” he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This discussion reminds me of what former US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said in 2003 .... Is the Muslim world turning out terrorists faster than the United States can kill or capture them? .... Rumsfeld Skeptical Of Intel Analysis (CBS).