Friday, March 24, 2017

Report: NSA To Provide 'Smoking Gun' Proof That The Obama Administration Spied On The Trump Team

FOX News: Potential 'smoking gun' showing Obama administration spied on Trump team, source says

Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News.

Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretappedhim in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.

The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.

Read more ....

Update: Intelligence Reports Reveal Improper Political Surveillance of Trump, Transition Team (Washington Free Beacon)

WNU Editor: There may be some truth to this story. Apparently the FBI is not cooperating with the House Intel committee .... Intel chair Nunes: FBI not yet cooperating on surveillance questions (Washington Examiner) .... but the NSA is .... Nunes: NSA cooperating with our investigation, the FBI is not (West Virginia) .... and they are the ones who are providing the intel to Chairman Nunes. But I am still sceptical of all of this .... no one has provided anything that I would call evidence .... all that I am hearing and reading is just talk.

Tweet For Today

Pentagon Is Denying Reports That They Shelved A Study That Found $125 Billion In Waste and Stripes: DOD Denies It Tried to Shelve Study That Found $125 Billion in Waste

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department on Tuesday denied it tried to quash a 2015 study that found it could save $125 billion in noncombat administrative programs but admitted it has so far only found a small fraction of those savings.

The department hopes to save $7.9 billion during the next five years through recommendations in the study of back-office waste, which itself cost about $9 million to complete, the Defense Department's acting deputy chief management officer told a House panel.

The study's original findings as well as a perceived lack of action from the Defense Department riled members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which held the hearing on the fate of the report as President Donald Trump's administration plans a $54 billion boost in defense spending by cutting other federal programs such as foreign aid.

Read more ....

Update #1: Pentagon Denies Trying To Shelve Study That Found $125 Billion In Waste (Zero Hedge)
Update #2: Pentagon Denies It Hid Report Showing More Than $100 Billion in Waste (Sputnik)

WNU Editor:
I do not know when it is going to happen .... or how .... but every American should look forward to this day .... The Pentagon has never been audited. That's astonishing (Thomas Hedges, Zero Hedge).

Picture Of The Day

Strangers consoled Mrs Cochran as she lay on the bridge next to a toppled postcard stand before an ambulance arrived

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this Daily Mail link .... They thought they were on a dream vacation but yesterday afternoon 'ISIS' attacker left Utah man crumpled and dead after hurling him over bridge and his wife bloodied and weeping in a pile of scattered postcards in image that went around the world (Daily Mail).

NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Suspects That Russia Is Supplying The Taliban

Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti speaks during a news conference in Tallinn, Estonia, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

NBC: Top U.S. General in Europe Says Russia May Be Supplying Taliban in Afghanistan

Russia may be influencing and supplying the Taliban in Afghanistan, the top U.S. general in Europe said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday.

Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who also serves as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, told Senators that Russia's role in Afghanistan seemed to be growing, according to Reuters.

"I've seen the influence of Russia of late — increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban," Gen. Scaparrotti said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: That is one hell of an accusation.

More News On NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Suspecting That Russia Is Supplying The Taliban

Russia may be helping supply Taliban insurgents: U.S. general -- Reuters
Russia 'perhaps' supplying Taliban: NATO commander -- AFP
Russia may be aiding Taliban in Afghanistan, top US general says -- FOX News
Russia 'Perhaps' Supplying Taliban in Afghanistan -- VOA
Top U.S. general in Europe says Russia might be supplying the Taliban -- Chicago Tribune/Washington Post
Top NATO General Says Russia ‘Perhaps’ Supplying Taliban In Afghanistan -- RFE
Top US General Suspects Russia Is Now Aiding The Taliban In Afghanistan -- Task & Purpose

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 23, 2017

Dawood Azami, BBC: Why Sangin's fall to the Taliban matters

The Taliban's capture of the strategically-located Sangin, once considered the deadliest battlefield for US and British troops in Afghanistan, will increase the group's mobility in the north of the province and give it control of an important supply line with the provincial capital Lashkar Gah

The Taliban has already captured a few of the 14 districts of Helmand, which borders Pakistan. According to some estimates, the insurgent group now controls more than half of the province, which produces the bulk of Afghanistan's lucrative opium crop.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 23, 2017

Against the Islamic State, the U.S. Focuses on the Battle, Not the War -- Stratfor

After ISIS: For Iraqis, reconciliation in Mosul will be challenging, and vital -- Scott Peterson, CSM

A year after Brussels attacks, many questions linger -- DW

Japan Has Ambitious Plans To Be Asia's Next Superpower, Thanks To China -- Ralph Jennings, Forbes

How to describe American military options in North Korea? Bad and worse. -- Peter Apps, Reuters

Trump’s pivot to North Korea -- Clifford D. May, Washington Times

Murder, Missiles, and Messages From North Korea -- Bruce Bennett, RCD

Misreading Tillerson -- Leon V. Sigal, 38 North

Russia, an Alleged Coup and Montenegro's NATO Bid -- Vesko Garcevic, RCW

A Franco-German bargain to save Europe -- Philip Stephens, Financial Tiems

What Martin McGuinness’s eulogisers would like to forget: The IRA commander never showed any remorse for the suffering he caused -- Jenny McCartney, The Spectator

Russian Defector's Murder Sends a Chilling Message -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

If Trump Kills NAFTA, "Modern Mexico" May End Up Dead Too -- Luis Rubio, World Crunch

What Trump Can Do for Venezuela -- Bloomberg editorial

Can President Trump Handle the Truth? -- Michael Scherer, Time

World News Briefs -- March 23, 2017 (Evening Edition)

Reuters: Police identify British-born attacker, victim count rises to four

The attacker who plowed a car through a throng of pedestrians and then stabbed a policeman outside Britain's parliament was named on Thursday as Khalid Masood, a British-born man who was once investigated by MI5 intelligence officers over concerns about violent extremism.

The death toll from Wednesday's attack on the heart of Britain's democracy grew to five as police said one of the injured, a 75-year-man, had died in hospital after his life support was withdrawn.

That number included Masood, 52, who was shot dead by police.

The attack was the deadliest in Britain since 2005, when 52 people were killed by Islamist suicide bombers on London's public transport system.

Read more ....


Dozens killed, buried in rubble after Mosul air raid - Iraqi officials, residents.

Jihadist-led offensive in Syria's Hama advances: monitor. Syrian army prepares Hama counterattack ahead of renewed peace talks.

US tells allies to do more amid new offensive against IS.

US combat airlift marks deepening involvement in Syria.

Syrian troops besiege Islamic State stronghold.

UN's troubled Syria peace talks restart in Geneva.

UN: 400,000 Iraqis 'trapped in Mosul's Old City'. 400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City: UN.

Two years on, Yemen stuck in 'quagmire'.

Turkey urging U.S., Britain to lift flight electronics ban: foreign ministry.


China is not militarizing South China Sea, Premier Li says.

UN Security Council condemns latest N.Korea missile tests.

US sees 'activity' at North Korea nuke sites: US official.

Taliban overtakes Sangin district in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Afghan Taliban capture crucial city of Sangin.

Afghanistan wants more US help in fight against Taliban, ISIS.

Pakistan hosts Afghan Taliban leaders to talk peace talks.

North Korea accuses Japan of espionage.

FBI prepares charges against North Korea over Bangladesh heist.

Report: Kim Jong Nam assassination cripples North Korea businesses.

North Korea hunger: Two in five undernourished, says UN.

South Korea raises sunken Sewol disaster ferry.

Shinzo Abe and wife accused of giving cash to ultra-nationalist school.

UN condemns Sri Lanka over war probe.


Somali president pleads to UN for aid to avert famine.

UN chief accuses South Sudan's government of ignoring famine. UN Security Council again eyes sanctions on South Sudan.

Egyptian soldiers killed by roadside bombs in central Sinai: military. Roadside bombings kill 10 Egypt soldiers during Sinai raid. Ten Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai fighting: army.

Uganda at 'breaking point' as South Sudan refugees pour in.

French national kidnapped in Chad, say military and security sources.

Protesters call for Zimbabwe Election Commission to be disbanded.

South Africa police warn of taxi rape gang in Johannesburg.

At 93 years old, Zimbabwe's Mugabe remains a jet-setter.

Anglophone versus Francophone tension continues in Cameroon.


London defiant as IS claims attack by British ex-con, 52.

Around 250 feared dead on 'Black Day' in Mediterranean.

U.S. Senate to vote on Montenegro's NATO membership.

Support for Merkel's conservatives and SPD tied, German poll shows.

Belgian police intercept car and thwart 'attempted terrorist attack'. Man held for 'driving at crowd' in Antwerp, Belgium. Belgian police stop attempted car-ramming attack in Antwerp.

Russia's foreign minister says ready to discuss reducing nuclear arms.

Ukraine calls depot explosion an act of sabotage.

Former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov shot dead in Ukrainian capital.

Ukraine bars Russia entry from Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

Soros-funded charities targeted by Trump-inspired crackdown in East Europe.

Italian court: No rape happened since woman didn't scream.

Poland's World War II museum opens amid controversy.


Trump ultimatum: Pass health bill Friday or Obamacare stays. White House, in gamble, demands make-or-break health vote.

White House defends GOP lawmaker's decision to brief Trump.

Vote looming, Trump struggles to win Obamacare repeal. Republican Rep. Brooks: 30-40 Republican 'no' votes on health bill.

Lawmaker says U.S. foreign surveillance 'unmasked' Trump associates.

Exclusive: U.S. embassies ordered to identify population groups for tougher visa screening.

US, 13 other nations demand Venezuela hold elections soon.

Venezuelans protest about medicine shortages.

Motorists line up for scarce petrol in oil-rich Venezuela. Venezuela shocked as children arrested for soldiers' killings.

Chile sentences 33 over Pinochet-era disappearances.

US immigrants make sub-zero trek for slim chance at asylum in Canada.

Imam calling for Jews to be killed in sermon at Montreal mosque draws police complaint.


Judge seeks common ground in 9/11 suits against Saudi Arabia.

Trump steadily ramps up military action against ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Saudi officials say Yemen's Qaeda arm losing ability to carry out attacks abroad.

London terrorist attack: Vehicle, knife incident shows threat of low-tech terror.


Trump preparing orders to review trade deals, procurement: officials.

Laptop ban creates turbulence for airline profits.

Americans are dying with an average of $62K of debt.

Google advertising row spreads to US brands.

The Case Of Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort And His Russian Connections

NPR: Former Trump Campaign Head Manafort Was Paid Millions By A Putin Ally, AP Says

A Russian billionaire paid former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort millions of dollars to boost the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reports. The new allegations arise months after Manafort resigned from the campaign amid concerns over his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

"According to documents that we've reviewed, Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian oligarch who wanted him to promote Russian interests," the AP's Chad Day tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "And in particular, he wrote a memo that outlined this kind of vast plan for him to promote Russian interests in the former Soviet republics — and also to specifically benefit the Putin government."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Russians are denying this story .... Kremlin says new report linking Trump team to Moscow ‘defies reason’ (Washington Times). More denials here .... Kremlin denies any involvement in Manafort-Deripaska contacts (TASS). There is also some good background information on Paul Manafort here .... Trump Just Hired His Next Scandal (Eli Lake, Bloomberg). When the story first broke out I avoided it because a good part of the case against Paul Manafort was coming from Ukrainian sources .... Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chief, Faces New Allegations in Ukraine (New York Times). I have one rule when it comes to Ukrainian sources .... always be sceptical. But the Cyprus bank revelations are new .... and these revelations are "independent" from Russian and Ukrainian pressures. I also know that the banking system in Cyprus is favoured by many Russian oligarchs who like to move money around .... so if they were to pay some money to someone like Paul Manafort .... they would use that system. But the problem with this entire Manafort story is that there is really no evidence of any collusion between Russia and the Trump team .... just claims based on what the people who are investigating this case believe happened. They is also another big problem with this story .... doing business with Russian oligarchs (which is what the Russians and Manafort are claiming) .... is still not against the law. In fact .... U.S. - Russian business activities (even with sanctions) is now a huge business, that now involves literally everyone who makes up the who's who list in America's business community .... and this also includes the political establishment in Washington. In this context .... Paul Manafort is really a small fish, and the only reason why the focus is now on him is because of his Trump connection. If he was not Trump's former campaign chairman .... this would not even be a story. My prediction .... this is going to be President Trump's next scandal .... and it is going to be a tough one to defend. The image and optics of your campaign manager receiving millions of dollars from associates who know President Putin directly is not a good one .... even if you broke no laws nor violated any rules. And as to the question .... were laws broken .... the FBI are going to have their work cut out for them because no one on the Russian side is going to talk .... and I doubt that Paul Manafort is going to be accommodating. But politically .... for President Trump .... this is going to hurt, and for the media .... they are not going to avoid this story.

More News On The Case Of Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort And His Russian Connections

US probes banking of ex-Trump campaign chief -- AP
US agents have obtained documents on Paul Manafort in eastern Europe inquiry -- The Guardian
US probes Manafort’s banking: report -- The Hill
Paul Manafort Once Worked to ‘Benefit the Putin Government’: Report -- NBC
Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort 'tried to hide' £600000 payment, claims Ukrainian lawmaker -- The Telegraph
Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort secretly influenced US politics to benefit Vladimir Putin -- International Business Times
Trump Campaign Chief Paul Manafort Linked to Putin Interests -- The Quint
White House struggles with questions about the Russia scandal -- MSNBC
Trump ex-aide Paul Manafort 'offered to help Putin' -- BBC
A look at Cyprus banks, now tied to ex-Trump campaign chief -- AP
Who is Oleg Deripaska? Paul Manafort Allegedly Worked With Russian Magnate to Advance Putin's Interests -- Newsweek
Paul Manafort is at the center of the Trump-Russia investigation — here's what you need to know about him -- Business Insider
Kremlingate Creeps Closer to Trump -- Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone

The Trump - Russian - Surveillance Story Is All About Politics

Eli Lake, Bloomberg: In Defense of Devin Nunes

One of the strangest turns in the story of Russia and the Trump campaign has been the recent outrage from Democrats over politicization of the investigation.

This all centers on Chairman Devin Nunes, the Republican who is leading the House Intelligence Committee's investigation. He was an adviser to the Trump presidential transition. The White House asked him last month to talk to a reporter to rebut news stories that alleged Trump associates had many contacts with Russian intelligence officers. On Wednesday, Nunes briefed the president about new information he had regarding dozens of widely disseminated intelligence reports on the Trump transition. He did this before he briefed his committee's Democrats.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The media and Democrats (plus some Republicans) are piling on Chairman Devin Nunes ... but Eli Lake tries to make the case that maybe some of the points that Chairman Devin Nunes are raising should be pursued and investigated. As to what is my take .... Devin Nunes should have first briefed his colleagues on the panel on what was brought to him, and from there go to the President (or not). He choose to go straight to the White House .... hence becoming the story instead of what he has discovered .... which should be the main story. But in all fairness .... this story has become 100% politicised .... and it is going to get worse .... especially if the intel that Chairman Devin Nunes claims he has do reveal that there was wide spread surveillance of the Trump team, and that this intel was then disseminated to the press and others. And if the paper trail reveals that this was done under the direction of officials from the Obama administration ..... wow .... this is then going to be an even bigger story than I could have ever imagined. But .... if I was a betting man .... I am willing to bet that there is going to be no smoking gun or evidence of anything .... and that all sides are going to be deeply disappointed .... especially on the Democrat/progressive side who still cannot accept the idea that President Trump won the election. In the meantime .... the Trump agenda rolls on.

Top Democrat On The House U.S. Intelligence Committee: New Evidence Shows Possible Trump-Russia Collusion

CNN: Schiff: New evidence shows possible Trump-Russia collusion

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is claiming that he has been presented with new information on collusion between associates of President Donald Trump and Russia that would merit a grand jury investigation.

Rep. Adam Schiff told CNN Thursday that he had seen additional evidence, but would not specify what it was.
"We continue to get new information that, I think, paints a more complete picture of at least what we know at the outset of our investigation," Schiff said.

Asked to explain his comments earlier in the week when he said there was more than just "circumstantial evidence of collusion," Schiff said, "I do think that it's appropriate to say that it's the kind of evidence that you would submit to a grand jury at the beginning of an investigation.

Read more ....

Update: FBI has information suggesting Trump aides ‘coordinated with Russia to damage Clinton campaign’ -- The Independent

WNU Editor: The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee (Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has already come out and said that he does not know what this new evidence is. Also .... the top Democrat in the US Senate does not share the same point of view that his Democrat colleague in the House is saying .... Top Senate Democrat Won't Go As Far As House Counterpart On Trump-Russia Collusion (NBC). What's my take .... I have been hearing the same thing from Rep. Adam Schiff since the election .... now is the time to produce his new evidence to the committee instead of just talking about it.

Chairman Of U.S. Intel Committee Apologises On The Handling Of New Intel On Trump Team Surveillance. Critics And Oppoenents Are Not Impressed

The Hill: Pelosi: Intel chairman 'a stooge of the president'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hammered the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee on Thursday, saying Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is simply a “stooge” for President Trump who can’t be trusted to lead an unbiased investigation into ties between Russia and the White House.

Pelosi said Nunes “acted outside the circle of respect” for his responsibility as Intelligence chairman when he went Wednesday to the press and the president with new information surrounding the panel’s probe into Russian hacking of the 2016 election and possible surveillance of Trump's team — without telling the other members of the committee.

Read more ....

More News On  Growing Criticism Of Rep. Devin Nunes' Handling Of New Information On Trump Team Surveillance

Nunes: I had 'a duty and obligation' to brief Trump -- The Hill
Intel Chairman Devin Nunes: Trump 'needed' to know about surveillance -- USA Today
House Intelligence chief: We don't know 'for sure' if Trump team was even on phone calls -- Business Insider
Nunes apologizes to House Intel Committee, member says -- CNN
Democrats critical of committee chairman’s handling of data on Trump -- SFGate
Nunes Puts Credibility of House Panel He Leads in Doubt -- New York Times
Nunes’s Trump Surveillance Claim May Damage Him Despite Apology -- Bloomberg
Top Democrat wants GOP House Intelligence Committee chair investigated after Trump briefing -- RT
Shut down Nunes’s investigation — and investigate him for leaking -- Washington Post editorial

The Fallout Continues From Yesterday's Claims That The Trump Team Was Spied On By The Obama Administration

FOX News: Potential 'smoking gun' showing Obama administration spied on Trump team, source says

Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News.

Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretappedhim in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.

Read more ....

More News On The Fallout From Yesterday's Claims That The Trump Team Was Spied On By The Obama Administration

White House Defends Devin Nunes' Decision to Brief President Trump on Intelligence Intercepts -- TIME
House Intelligence chair says Trump campaign officials were ensnared in surveillance operations -- Washington Post
Trump team 'incidentally monitored' after election -- BBC
US agencies may have spied on Trump communications, Republican lawmaker says -- DW
Intel chair Devin Nunes unsure if Trump associates were directly surveilled -- ABC News
How the government may have spied on Trump's team -- Cory Bennett, Politico
'Unmasking,' FISA and other terms to help you understand the wiretapping story -- Eli Watkins, CNN
Trump basks in Nunes surveillance news: 'So that means I'm right' -- FOX News

WikiLeaks Publishes Details On How The CIA Hacks Apple Products WikiLeaks Vault 7 Leak Claims CIA Bugs ‘Factory Fresh’ iPhones

A new WikiLeaks Vault 7 leak titled “Dark Matter” claims, with unreleased documents, that the Central Intelligence Agency has been bugging “factory fresh” iPhones since at least 2008. WikiLeaks further claims that the CIA has the capability to permanently bug iPhones, even if their operating systems are deleted or replaced.

The documents are expected to be released in the next 24-hours. The announced was made after a “press briefing” that WikiLeaks promoted on its Twitter.

Read more ....

More News On WikiLeaks Publishing Details On How The CIA Hacks Apple Products

WikiLeaks: CIA hacked Apple devices in ways users can't fix -- AP
WikiLeaks publishes CIA hacking tactics for Apple products -- The Hill
WikiLeaks 'Dark Matter' dump claims CIA has targeted Apple devices for at least a decade with software used to bug 'factory fresh iPhones' -- Daily Mail
WikiLeaks: CIA tools could infiltrate MacBooks, iPhones -- CNet
WikiLeaks: CIA Can Infect 'Factory Fresh' iPhones -- VOA
WikiLeaks: CIA has all sorts of tools for hacking your Mac -- Endgadget
WikiLeaks Reveals How the CIA Can Hack a Mac's Hidden Code -- WIRED
New WikiLeaks dump: The CIA built Thunderbolt exploit, implants to target Macs -- Ars Technica

Editor's Note

Was in a car accident this afternoon. Was at a red light .... two cars collided in front of me and one of them crashed into mine. All involved are OK .... but it could have been very bad. Fortunately ... I was driving the GF's old SUV .... so no great loss.
My big problem was getting back home .... but I am here now, and blogging should be back within the hour.

Lines Of Communication Between President Trump And Former President Barack Obama Have Gone Dark

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Hill: Obama and Trump haven’t talked since inauguration

Lines of communication between President Trump and former President Barack Obama have gone dark.

The two men haven’t spoken since Inauguration Day, sources tell The Hill, a drastic turn since their string of phone calls and pleasantries during the presidential transition.

Trump and Obama — with their vastly different styles and personalities — were never likely to be friends. But the former president, perhaps hoping to preserve some influence with his surprise successor, vowed to have a cordial relationship with the 45th president when he left office.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The lines of communication between the two have never been good.

U.S. Escalates Military Operations Against The Islamic State In Syria

US special forces, pictured in May 2016, are working with the SDF and Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP

FOX News: US military conducts air assault in Syria against ISIS, a first

For the first time since the start of the war against the Islamic State terror group, the U.S. military deployed American-trained Syrian forces via helicopter outside Raqqa -- a tactic known as an "air assault," a military spokesman said.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Arab forces landed on American military helicopters with Apache gunships flying overhead.

The indigenous forces were accompanied by U.S. special operations "advisors," the spokesman added.

“It takes a special breed of warrior to pull off an airborne operation or air assault behind enemy lines,” said Col. Joe Scrocca “There is nothing easy about this – it takes audacity and courage. And the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) has that in spades.”

"This is pretty major," said the spokesman discussing the operation with reporters on a conference call.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. Escalating Military Operations Against The Islamic State In Syria

US combat airlift marks deepening involvement in Syria -- AP
U.S. Airlifts Hundreds of Militia Fighters in Attack to Cut Off Raqqa, Syria -- NYT
US joins first air assault 'behind enemy lines' against ISIS in Syria -- CNN
U.S.-Backed Forces Airdrop Behind Enemy Lines In Syria For First Time -- RFE
U.S. helicopters go behind enemy lines in Raqqa fight -- UPI
US forces ferry Syrian-Kurdish fighters behind IS lines -- AP
US Military and Syrian Democratic Forces Conduct First Air-Assault Operation Against Islamic State -- Newsline
With U.S. advisers and firepower, Syrian forces aim to sever the Islamic State's last escape route from Raqqa -- Military Times
US Combat Airlift Marks Deepening Involvement in Syria -- US News and World Report

Sinai Fighting Has Killed 12 Egyptian Soldiers And 15 ISIS Fighters

Egyptian Army soldiers patrol in an armored vehicle backed by a helicopter gunship during a sweep through villages in Sheikh Zuweyid, North Sinai (Photo: Reuters)

Reuters: A dozen Egyptian security personnel killed in Sinai fighting

Ten members of Egypt's military were killed when their vehicles were hit by two improvised bombs during an operation against suspected militants in the Sinai peninsula, the military said on Thursday.

Three officers and seven soldiers were killed, the military said in a statement, adding that its forces killed 15 people and arrested seven others during the raid which it said targeted "highly dangerous terrorists" in the central Sinai area.

Two policemen, an officer and a conscript, were later killed in fighting near a police station in Arish, the capital of North Sinai province the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Fighting In Sinai

Egypt says fighting in central Sinai leaves 10 soldiers dead -- AP
10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai roadside bombings -- AFP
Roadside bombings kill 10 Egypt soldiers during Sinai raid -- BBC
Egyptian soldiers killed by roadside bombs in central Sinai: military -- DW
Ten Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai -- UPI
Roadside bombs kill 10 Egyptian soldiers -- Al Jazeera
Three army officers, seven soldiers killed in militant hideout raid in Central Sinai -- Ahram Online

Islamic Extremism Growing In Canada?

The controversial imam is Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr who was the invited guest of a Saint-Michel mosque. (YouTube)

CBC: Imam calling for Jews to be killed in sermon at Montreal mosque draws police complaint

Larger Muslim community wants apology from mosque and wonders why controversial imam was invited to preach

A Montreal mosque is facing a police complaint and rebukes from the larger Muslim community after a video of an imam delivering a sermon in which he asks for Jews to be killed surfaced online.

The sermon took place at the Dar Al-Arqam Mosque in the city's Saint-Michel neighbourhood on Dec. 23, 2016.

The video was posted to the mosque's YouTube channel three days later. The imam in the video is Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr — he was reportedly an invited guest of the mosque.

In the video, the imam says in Arabic, "O Muslim, O servant of Allah, O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

Part of the phrase references an Islamic hadith, which interprets the words and actions by the Prophet Muhammad.

CBC independently verified the speech and its translation.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I live in Montreal .... my Muslim friends tell me this is just the tip of the iceberg, especially among the children of Muslim immigrants who have been born here.