Archive for the ‘ISIS’ Category

World record: Canadian sniper shoots ISIS fighter dead from over 2 miles away – RT

Published time: 23 Jun, 2017 15:33

A sniper for Canada’s elite special forces in Iraq has broken the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot, the country’s military has confirmed to several media. The fatal shot targeted a member of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target at 3,540 meters (2.19 miles), the unit said in a Thursday statement.

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For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place.

However, the Globe and Mail – the first to report on the incident – said that the operation took place “within the last month.”

The sniper used a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle when firing at the militant from a high-rise building. The shot reportedly took less than 10 seconds to hit the IS fighter.

The achievement marks a new world record for sniper kill shots. The previous record was held by British sniper Craig Harrison, who shot a Taliban fighter with a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle from about 2,475 meters (1.53 miles) away in 2009.

The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh (IS) attack on Iraqi security forces, a military source told the newspaper. Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didnt have a clue what was happening.

The kill was independently verified by video footage and other data, according to the newspaper.

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However, the Canadian military insisted that it is still merely taking part in an “advise and assist” role for Iraqi forces.

“This takes the form of advice in planning for their operations and assistance to defeat Daesh through the use of coalition resources,” the statement said, as quoted by CBC.

Canada has been part of the war against IS since 2014. Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s liberal government ordered the withdrawal of six Canadian fighter jets that were involved in targeted IS positions in Iraq and Syria in 2015, it has expanded the number of special forces involved in training missions with Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

IS has responded by repeatedly calling for attacks on Canada. In October 2014, a man who claimed allegiance to the group plowed his car into two Canadian soldiers in a Quebec mall, killing one.

Just two days after that attack, a Canadian-Libyan by the name of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial before breaking into parliament buildings. He was shot dead by authorities, with former Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying he had been motivated by Canada’s participation in the war against IS.

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World record: Canadian sniper shoots ISIS fighter dead from over 2 miles away – RT

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Russia Fires Cruise Missiles at ISIS Targets in Syria – NBCNews.com


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Russia Fires Cruise Missiles at ISIS Targets in Syria
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Russia Fires Cruise Missiles at ISIS Targets in Syria. Fri, Jun 23. Two Russian frigates and a submarine in the Mediterranean Sea targeted ISIS positions in Syria's Hama province, Moscow said. Share Video; Facebook · Twitter · E-mail; Embed. Copy this
Russia blasts Isis from ships in the MediterraneanMetro
Iran Rains Missiles on ISIS in SyriaWhich Means Israel Is in RangeObserver
What's Trump's Syria Plan Once ISIS Is Defeated?Newsweek
WDSU New Orleans –The Spokesman-Review –The Guardian –Fox News
all 462 news articles »

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Russia Fires Cruise Missiles at ISIS Targets in Syria – NBCNews.com

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US forces say they’ve killed ISIS financier | TheHill – The Hill

U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria have killed a key figure who moved millions of dollars for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Pentagon saidFriday.

Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr Rawi was killed in a June 16 airstrike in Abu Kamal, Syria, according to a U.S. Central Command statement.

Rawi, a Syrian native, was a known terrorist financial facilitator for ISIS and moved millions of dollars for the terror organizations attack and logistics network.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Rawi and his company in December, the first time the United States had specifically targeted an ISIS-affiliated money services business.

The statement notes that the coalition targeted and killed several of Rawis close terrorist associates, including Samir Idris, another ISIS financial facilitator and international money launderer killed June 7 near Mayadin, Syria.

The Coalitions efforts to disrupt and attack ISISs financial networks have restricted the terror groups ability to move resources and export terrorism, Central Command said.

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US forces say they’ve killed ISIS financier | TheHill – The Hill

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New ISIS Poster Shows a Jeep Rolling Over the Skulls of the Dead – The Drive

An ISIS propaganda image released by the terrorist-group-affiliated Nashir News Agency shows a Jeep Grand Cherokee with what appears to be an ISIS flag attached climbing over a mound of skulls with the caption “run them over without mercy.”

The vehicle in the image is placed in front of a background that shows a city in distressgrey skies, tornadoes, and damaged skyscrapers.

The propaganda, which we first found via DailyMail, is part of an effort from ISIS to push more of the terror group’s followers to commit vehicle attacks in the western parts of the world before the end of Ramadan. Similarly-styled attacks have recently been seen in London, Berlin, and Nice, among other cities.

In late March, a 52-year-old man drove his car into pedestrians on the sidewalk of the Westminster Bridge in London and continued to attack innocent bystanders near the Palace of Westminster with a knife until he was shot and killed by an armed police officer. On that day, March 22, six were killed, including one unarmed police officer, and more than 50 were injured.

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New ISIS Poster Shows a Jeep Rolling Over the Skulls of the Dead – The Drive

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Is ISIS Conceding Defeat? – The New Yorker

Three years ago, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi chose the Great Mosque of al-Nuri, in Mosul, as the site to proclaim his new Islamic State. The mosque, known as al-Hadba, or the hunchback, for its leaning minaret, is a fabled landmark in the Middle East. It dates back to the twelfth century. The creation of a modern caliphate was symbolized when the black ISIS flag was hoisted atop the minaret, on July 4, 2014. It was Baghdadis first, and still only, public appearance.

I do not promise you, as the kings and rulers promise their followers and congregations, luxury, security, and relaxation, he said , from the mosques pulpit. Instead, I promise you what Allah promised his faithful worshipersa jihad to consume all other territory and people in the world. This is a duty on Muslims that has been lost for centuries.

The Iraqi Army had set its sights on the al-Nuri Mosque as the ultimate prize in the campaign to oust ISIS from Mosul, which was launched eight months ago. Ferocious urban battles around the Old City have been fought within fifty yards of the mosque over the past few days. Iraqis hoped that their beloved mosque would be liberated by Eid al-Fitr, the joyful celebration that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Instead, on Wednesday night, ISIS prempted the Army by blowing up the Great Mosque. Ironically, it acted during the period of Ramadan known as Laylat al-Qadr, when Muslims believe that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.

Once again, the Great Mosque of al-Nuri reflects the fate of the worlds most notorious terrorist group; this time, its demise. The black flag no longer flies from the tipping minaret.

Blowing up the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri Mosque amounts to an official acknowledgement of defeat, Iraqs Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, said on Thursday. Its a matter of a few days and we will announce the total liberation of Mosul.

ISIS is now in retreat from both Mosul, the largest city under its control, and its pseudo capital, in Raqqa, Syria. In the past month, fighters from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have taken territory on the outskirts of Raqqa. At its height, the Islamic State was roughly the size of the country of Jordan or the state of Indiana. Since late last year, the group has lost vast swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria, with some leaders abandoning major cities for more remote areas in the Euphrates Valley, between the two countries.

The fate of Baghdadi himself is also increasingly uncertain. On Thursday, the Russian deputy foreign minister, Oleg Syromolotov, said that there is now a high degree of certainty that the Islamic States emir was liquidated in a Russian air strike in Syria last month. The claim was met with skepticism in Washington. But U.S. officials admit that they do not know the whereabouts, or status, of Baghdadi, who was detained by American troops for ten months, in 2004, then released.

Baghdadis last known public message was released from hiding in November, when he appealed to followers not to weaken their commitment to the ISIS jihad. Turn the nights of the unbelievers into days, he told them. Wreak havoc in their land, and make their blood flow as rivers.

This raging battle and total war, and the great jihad that the state of Islam is fighting today, only increases our firm belief, God willing, and our conviction, that all this is a prelude to victory, Baghdadi said. The recording was released online. Not a peep has been heard from him since.

Baghdadis past bravado now rings hollow, especially as other senior leaders around him are picked off. On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that Turki al-Binali, the self-proclaimed Grand Mufti of ISIS its chief clerichad been killed in a U.S. air strike in Syria on May 31st. The cleric was a close confidant of Baghdadi. He developed ISIS propaganda and recorded lectures attempting to justify and encouraging the slaughter of innocents, the Pentagon said, in a statement.

Spokesmen for the Islamic State continue to make claims online designed to encourage its fighters or confuse its enemies. They initially tried to blame the mosques destruction on U.S. air strikes. But Mosul residents reported this week that they had been shooed away from its grounds, near the western banks of the Tigris River, as ISIS prepared for a last stand.

The U.N. special envoy to Iraq, Jn Kubi, said that the Islamic States decision to blow up the mosque was a clear sign of the groups imminent collapse. This latest barbaric act of blowing up a historic Islamic site adds to the annals of Daesh’s crimes against Islamic, Iraqi and human civilization, he said, in a statement, and added that it shows their desperation and signals their end.

The destruction of a historic mosque may mark the beginning of the end of the Islamic State. But then what? The looming issue is what the loss of its territory means for ISIS as a stateless movement. Its loyalists still number in the many thousands. And thousands who fought in Iraq and Syria have already returned home; its influence is now global. It is still capable of craven violence, from inspiring terrorist attacks in Britain to waging an insurgency in the Philippines. The scariest scenario is the prospect of someday feeling nostalgia for a period when most of ISIS was contained in one place.

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Is ISIS Conceding Defeat? – The New Yorker

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Sniper hits ISIS target from over 2 miles away – CNN

The unnamed marksman was part of Canada’s elite Joint Task Force 2 special operations unit that is currently deployed in an “advise and assist” capacity to help Iraqi security forces battle ISIS from behind the front line in Mosul.

“The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 meters. For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners, we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place,” the unit said in a written statement.

Due to the distance of the shot, some voices in the military community expressed skepticism at the Canadian government’s report. The reported shot from 3,540 meters, or about 2.2 miles, would eclipse the previous sniper world record of 2,474 meters or 1.54 miles set by the United Kingdom’s Craig Harrison when he killed two Taliban insurgents in November 2009.

“The elite sniper was using a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle while firing from a high-rise during an operation that took place within the last month in Iraq. It took under 10 seconds to hit the target,” the paper said.

The Canadian military unit confirmed the distance of shot shortly after the Globe and Mail story was published, but the shot has yet to be formally confirmed a third party agency.

In 2016, the Canadian government announced it would triple its training efforts in northern Iraq despite pulling out of the US-led ISIS bombing campaign the year before.

In May, Iraqi forces began what they hope is the final push to crush ISIS in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city,

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Sniper hits ISIS target from over 2 miles away – CNN

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Russian warships fire missiles at ISIS in Syria – CNN International

The Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich frigates, along with the Krasnodar submarine, fired the cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea, the Defense Ministry said in a statement posted to state news agency RIA.

ISIS command points and a weapons and ammunition depot were destroyed in Hama province of Syria, according to RIA. The ministry also said Turkey and Israel were informed about the missile launches, but made no mention of informing the US, which is leading an international coalition against ISIS in the country.

The strike comes amid tensions after a US warplane downed Syrian jet, the first time the US has shot down a manned aircraft since 1999.

Russia is the most powerful ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and the rare air-to-air encounter prompted Moscow to suspend a de-confliction hotline with the US-led coalition, designed to prevent any accidents in the skies over Syria.

The Syrian conflict has transformed from a civil war to a more complex battle involving international players and their proxies. While international players are focused on targeting ISIS, many are maneuvering to either prop up or depose Assad and his regime.

Iran, which also supports Assad, on Sunday fired missiles at ISIS targets in Syria, the first such strike carried out by Tehran on another country in three decades. It is a major escalation of Iran’s role in the war.

Russia this week said it thinks one of its airstrikes may have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi, a figure who has evaded international forces for years. But US officials told CNN that the US has not confirmed Russia’s claim.

The US downed the Syrian warplane after a series of clashes between pro-regime troops and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the US backs to fight ISIS.

According to the Pentagon, Syrian regime soldiers equipped with tanks, artillery and technical vehicles were advancing on the US-backed rebels’ position, forcing the coalition to use the de-confliction hotline with the Russians in an attempt to turn the regime troops back.

When that proved unsuccessful, coalition aircraft performed “strafing runs” near the regime positions, which halted their advance.

The Russian Ministry of Defense called the downing of the plane “a cynical violation of the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic” and “military aggression.”

Russia has stopped using the de-confliction hotline, a US official said, and Moscow warned that aircraft operating where the shoot-down occurred would be considered “air targets” for its forces in Syria.

But the downing did not appear to hamper Syria, which attempted a similar bombing Tuesday, according to US military officials.

The US official told CNN that another Syrian Su-22 fighter made an approach Tuesday in what the military assessed as a possible bombing run on the SDF near the same area.

The official said that coalition aircraft made a show of force and conducted a warning maneuver, and the Syrian fighter jet then aborted its trajectory and left the area.

CNN’s Barbara Starr, Tim Lister and Elizabeth Roberts contributed to this report.

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Russian warships fire missiles at ISIS in Syria – CNN International

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‘Death to America, Death to Israel’: Iran Protesters Chant and Burn ISIS Flags in Tehran – Newsweek

Iran held its annual Quds Day marches across the country on Friday, with protesters burning the flag of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard displayed ballistic missiles to mark the day, showingoff the Zolfaghar missile that the military fired at ISIS positions in eastern Syria for the first time on Sunday.

The celebration is to rally for Al-Quds, the Arabic name for the city of Jerusalem, and protest Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in solidarity with the Palestinians.

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Protesters burned effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,held up critical posters showing him alongside U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, and carried banners that read “Israel should be wiped off the map.”

At the biggest march, inthe Iranian capital of Tehran, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, who called Israel “the mother of terrorism,” attended alongside Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“This year’s rally…shows people want our region to be cleaned up from terrorists, backed by the Zionist regime [Israel],” Rouhani toldstateTV.

Iranians hold images of U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adorned with Islamist-inspired bears during a rally marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran on June 23. Chants against the Saudi royal family and the Islamic State group mingled with the traditional cries of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” at Jerusalem Day rallies across Iran today. Stringer/AFP/Getty

Shia-majority Iran considers Israel to be its archenemy, and anti-Israel sentiment is widespread. The country supports Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Palestinian militant group Hamas, whofought wars with Israel as recently as 2006 and 2014, respectively.

The protesters also targeted ISIS after it claimed a twin suicide-bombattack in Tehran that left 18people dead at the country’s parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Read more: ‘You call that a missile?’: Israel mocks Iran’s first strike on ISIS in Syria

The burning of the flags comes after the strikes against ISIS on Sunday. The Iranian military said it had killed more than 300 militants in the raid. But Israelis mocked the strike as failing to hit its target.

Israeli military chief Gadi Eisenkot said Tehran was lying about the strike.Their achievement was less than what was reported in the media. The strike manifested something, but it was far from a direct hit or what they have said, said Eisenkot during the Herzliya policy conference on Tuesday.

He said Iran was attempting to get more accurate rockets in its push for hegemony in the Middle East, but it was not there yet.

At least three of the seven ballistic missiles did not reach their intended targets, Israeli sources said in the Hebrew-language media, The Times of Israelreported.

Iran repeatedly threatens Israel with destruction and saysits missiles can reach Israeli territory. Israel says its ballistic missile program, and what it says are ambitions to obtain a nuclear weapon, threaten its national security.

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‘Death to America, Death to Israel’: Iran Protesters Chant and Burn ISIS Flags in Tehran – Newsweek

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Who Are the ISIS-linked Maute Group Militants Terrorizing the Philippines? – Newsweek

Before they formed one of the most dreaded militant groups in the Philippines and pledged loyalty to Islamic State militant group (ISIS), the Mautes were a wealthy, political family in the southern region of Mindanao, largely influenced by the matriarch, Farhana.

Soft-spoken and reserved, 60-year-old Farhana Maute owns property in Mindanao and in Manila, and runs a construction business, say people who know the family and security analysts who have scrutinized its background.

Debris and smoke are seen after an OV-10 Bronco aircraft released a bomb, during an airstrike, as government troops continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over parts of Marawi city, Philippines June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

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Almost unknown two years ago, the Mautes are now the biggest and most deadly among Islamic State groups in the southern Philippines and are at the forefront of a month-long battle with the military for control of Marawi, a Mindanao town. Regional governments fear that the brutal urban warfare, in which 360 people have been killed, reflects Islamic State’s intention to establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia.

Farhana Maute was related to politicians in her hometown of Butig, near Marawi, and was considered somewhat of a kingmaker because of her wealth and influence. And like many clans in the lawless area, the Mautes maintained a private militia that included Farhana’s seven sons, the analysts said.

When the Mautes got involved in a dispute with Butig Mayor Dimnatang Pansar over the award of civil contracts, it erupted into a brutal clan feud, a clash so common to Mindanao it has its own name, rido.

Other militant groups in the southern Philippines joined the Mautes, and they formed a joint front in Marawi against government troops.

Joseph Franco, a research fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies who has worked with several Philippine military chiefs, said that early last year, the Mautes projected themselves as followers of Islamic State, or IS, to “spook and coerce the Pansars”.

Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force are onboard a military truck for reinforcements, as government forces continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City, Philippines June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

“That tactical use of terrorist imagery took on a life of its own,” he said. “And now we have this Maute Group, who call themselves IS-Ranao.” Ranao is an old name for the Lanao region of Mindanao, where Marawi and Butig are located.

Although known to be a deeply religious Muslim, there was no evidence that Farhana Maute was radicalized, Franco said.

“She is only a businesswoman,” a former military officer who lives in Marawi told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But, her clan was involved in a bitter political dispute with the mayor of Butig. And that probably got her into trouble.”

Two of the sons, Omarkhayam and Abdullah, had been educated in the Middle East, but it is uncertain when they morphed from being scions of a wealthy family to becoming hardened Islamists.

Still, Farhana Maute was related to the former military head of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a rebel group that the government signed a peace deal with in 2014. She was deeply influenced by him, said Rommel Banlaoi, a security expert who advises the Philippines police.

“Many Muslims in Mindanao, strictly speaking, they already have what I call embedded radical ideas,” he said, adding that the Mautes provided a training camp for associates of the MILF near Butig.

“They were criminals who morphed into militancy,” Banlaoi said of the Mautes.

Other analysts said at least some of Farhana’s wealth would have been diverted to the Maute Group’s alleged illicit activities.

It was not possible to seek comment from the Maute family.

Both Farhana and her husband Cayamore, an engineer, were arrested earlier this month in separate parts of Mindanao and it was not immediately clear who their lawyers were.

The sons are believed to be fighting in Marawi.

A Philippine Marine fires his weapon toward the stronghold of Maute group in Marawi City, southern Philippines, May 31. Dozens of people are reported injured after an attack at a resort in Manila. An ISIS operative has claimed responsibility. Erik De Castro/Reuters

Islamic State’s news agency, Amaq, has said its fighters control large parts of Marawi City, but has not commented specifically on the Maute.

Mohamad Ampuan, a Marawi native who has settled in Manila, said he knew Farhana Maute and several of her sons, and believed they were primarily religious-minded. He said he had not seen any of them since 2010, when he moved north.

Ampuan was speaking in a bazaar selling mobile phones and accessories in the crowded Novaliches suburb of Manila, where Philippine military intelligence reports have said Farhana or some of her sons owned stalls. All the stall-owners in the Salam Bazaar are from Marawi, but Ampuan said the family did not own any property there.

He said Farhana was fluent in Arabic and English and he considered the Mautes a “royal family”.

“The Mautes are fighting for Allah,” he said. “They want a society faithful to Allah.”

Marawi residents and analysts said Farhana has considerable influence on her sons, perhaps more than her husband, Cayamore. He has two other wives.

“She is the central figure, but not in terms of planning and preparing attacks,” said Rohan Gunaratna, a regional counter-terrorism expert. “The mother and father are patrons of the group, but father less, mother more.”

A neighbor, Marawi city councillor Khana-Anuar Marabur Jr., said the Mautes were “good people back then”, before they started the current round of violence in Marawi.

He said Farhana was a good mother, and was generous and approachable.

“The father is strong,” Marabur said. “He is like the tiger. But someone owns the tiger.”

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World record: Canadian sniper shoots ISIS fighter dead from over 2 miles away – RT

Published time: 23 Jun, 2017 15:33 A sniper for Canada’s elite special forces in Iraq has broken the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot, the country’s military has confirmed to several media. The fatal shot targeted a member of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target at 3,540 meters (2.19 miles), the unit said in a Thursday statement. Read more For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place. However, the Globe and Mail – the first to report on the incident – said that the operation took place “within the last month.” The sniper used a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle when firing at the militant from a high-rise building. The shot reportedly took less than 10 seconds to hit the IS fighter. The achievement marks a new world record for sniper kill shots. The previous record was held by British sniper Craig Harrison, who shot a Taliban fighter with a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle from about 2,475 meters (1.53 miles) away in 2009. The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh (IS) attack on Iraqi security forces, a military source told the newspaper. Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didnt have a clue what was happening. The kill was independently verified by video footage and other data, according to the newspaper. Read more However, the Canadian military insisted that it is still merely taking part in an “advise and assist” role for Iraqi forces. “This takes the form of advice in planning for their operations and assistance to defeat Daesh through the use of coalition resources,” the statement said, as quoted by CBC. Canada has been part of the war against IS since 2014. Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s liberal government ordered the withdrawal of six Canadian fighter jets that were involved in targeted IS positions in Iraq and Syria in 2015, it has expanded the number of special forces involved in training missions with Kurdish Peshmerga forces. IS has responded by repeatedly calling for attacks on Canada. In October 2014, a man who claimed allegiance to the group plowed his car into two Canadian soldiers in a Quebec mall, killing one. Just two days after that attack, a Canadian-Libyan by the name of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial before breaking into parliament buildings. He was shot dead by authorities, with former Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying he had been motivated by Canada’s participation in the war against IS.

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Russia Fires Cruise Missiles at ISIS Targets in Syria – NBCNews.com

NBCNews.com Russia Fires Cruise Missiles at ISIS Targets in Syria NBCNews.com Russia Fires Cruise Missiles at ISIS Targets in Syria. Fri, Jun 23. Two Russian frigates and a submarine in the Mediterranean Sea targeted ISIS positions in Syria's Hama province, Moscow said. Share Video; Facebook · Twitter · E-mail; Embed. Copy this … Russia blasts Isis from ships in the Mediterranean Metro Iran Rains Missiles on ISIS in SyriaWhich Means Israel Is in Range Observer What's Trump's Syria Plan Once ISIS Is Defeated? Newsweek WDSU New Orleans  – The Spokesman-Review  – The Guardian  – Fox News all 462 news articles »

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US forces say they’ve killed ISIS financier | TheHill – The Hill

U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria have killed a key figure who moved millions of dollars for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Pentagon saidFriday. Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr Rawi was killed in a June 16 airstrike in Abu Kamal, Syria, according to a U.S. Central Command statement. Rawi, a Syrian native, was a known terrorist financial facilitator for ISIS and moved millions of dollars for the terror organizations attack and logistics network. The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Rawi and his company in December, the first time the United States had specifically targeted an ISIS-affiliated money services business. The statement notes that the coalition targeted and killed several of Rawis close terrorist associates, including Samir Idris, another ISIS financial facilitator and international money launderer killed June 7 near Mayadin, Syria. The Coalitions efforts to disrupt and attack ISISs financial networks have restricted the terror groups ability to move resources and export terrorism, Central Command said.

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New ISIS Poster Shows a Jeep Rolling Over the Skulls of the Dead – The Drive

An ISIS propaganda image released by the terrorist-group-affiliated Nashir News Agency shows a Jeep Grand Cherokee with what appears to be an ISIS flag attached climbing over a mound of skulls with the caption “run them over without mercy.” The vehicle in the image is placed in front of a background that shows a city in distressgrey skies, tornadoes, and damaged skyscrapers. The propaganda, which we first found via DailyMail, is part of an effort from ISIS to push more of the terror group’s followers to commit vehicle attacks in the western parts of the world before the end of Ramadan. Similarly-styled attacks have recently been seen in London, Berlin, and Nice, among other cities. In late March, a 52-year-old man drove his car into pedestrians on the sidewalk of the Westminster Bridge in London and continued to attack innocent bystanders near the Palace of Westminster with a knife until he was shot and killed by an armed police officer. On that day, March 22, six were killed, including one unarmed police officer, and more than 50 were injured.

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Is ISIS Conceding Defeat? – The New Yorker

Three years ago, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi chose the Great Mosque of al-Nuri, in Mosul, as the site to proclaim his new Islamic State. The mosque, known as al-Hadba, or the hunchback, for its leaning minaret, is a fabled landmark in the Middle East. It dates back to the twelfth century. The creation of a modern caliphate was symbolized when the black ISIS flag was hoisted atop the minaret, on July 4, 2014. It was Baghdadis first, and still only, public appearance. I do not promise you, as the kings and rulers promise their followers and congregations, luxury, security, and relaxation, he said , from the mosques pulpit. Instead, I promise you what Allah promised his faithful worshipersa jihad to consume all other territory and people in the world. This is a duty on Muslims that has been lost for centuries. The Iraqi Army had set its sights on the al-Nuri Mosque as the ultimate prize in the campaign to oust ISIS from Mosul, which was launched eight months ago. Ferocious urban battles around the Old City have been fought within fifty yards of the mosque over the past few days. Iraqis hoped that their beloved mosque would be liberated by Eid al-Fitr, the joyful celebration that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Instead, on Wednesday night, ISIS prempted the Army by blowing up the Great Mosque. Ironically, it acted during the period of Ramadan known as Laylat al-Qadr, when Muslims believe that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. Once again, the Great Mosque of al-Nuri reflects the fate of the worlds most notorious terrorist group; this time, its demise. The black flag no longer flies from the tipping minaret. Blowing up the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri Mosque amounts to an official acknowledgement of defeat, Iraqs Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, said on Thursday. Its a matter of a few days and we will announce the total liberation of Mosul. ISIS is now in retreat from both Mosul, the largest city under its control, and its pseudo capital, in Raqqa, Syria. In the past month, fighters from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have taken territory on the outskirts of Raqqa. At its height, the Islamic State was roughly the size of the country of Jordan or the state of Indiana. Since late last year, the group has lost vast swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria, with some leaders abandoning major cities for more remote areas in the Euphrates Valley, between the two countries. The fate of Baghdadi himself is also increasingly uncertain. On Thursday, the Russian deputy foreign minister, Oleg Syromolotov, said that there is now a high degree of certainty that the Islamic States emir was liquidated in a Russian air strike in Syria last month. The claim was met with skepticism in Washington. But U.S. officials admit that they do not know the whereabouts, or status, of Baghdadi, who was detained by American troops for ten months, in 2004, then released. Baghdadis last known public message was released from hiding in November, when he appealed to followers not to weaken their commitment to the ISIS jihad. Turn the nights of the unbelievers into days, he told them. Wreak havoc in their land, and make their blood flow as rivers. This raging battle and total war, and the great jihad that the state of Islam is fighting today, only increases our firm belief, God willing, and our conviction, that all this is a prelude to victory, Baghdadi said. The recording was released online. Not a peep has been heard from him since. Baghdadis past bravado now rings hollow, especially as other senior leaders around him are picked off. On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that Turki al-Binali, the self-proclaimed Grand Mufti of ISIS its chief clerichad been killed in a U.S. air strike in Syria on May 31st. The cleric was a close confidant of Baghdadi. He developed ISIS propaganda and recorded lectures attempting to justify and encouraging the slaughter of innocents, the Pentagon said, in a statement. Spokesmen for the Islamic State continue to make claims online designed to encourage its fighters or confuse its enemies. They initially tried to blame the mosques destruction on U.S. air strikes. But Mosul residents reported this week that they had been shooed away from its grounds, near the western banks of the Tigris River, as ISIS prepared for a last stand. The U.N. special envoy to Iraq, Jn Kubi, said that the Islamic States decision to blow up the mosque was a clear sign of the groups imminent collapse. This latest barbaric act of blowing up a historic Islamic site adds to the annals of Daesh’s crimes against Islamic, Iraqi and human civilization, he said, in a statement, and added that it shows their desperation and signals their end. The destruction of a historic mosque may mark the beginning of the end of the Islamic State. But then what? The looming issue is what the loss of its territory means for ISIS as a stateless movement. Its loyalists still number in the many thousands. And thousands who fought in Iraq and Syria have already returned home; its influence is now global. It is still capable of craven violence, from inspiring terrorist attacks in Britain to waging an insurgency in the Philippines. The scariest scenario is the prospect of someday feeling nostalgia for a period when most of ISIS was contained in one place.

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Sniper hits ISIS target from over 2 miles away – CNN

The unnamed marksman was part of Canada’s elite Joint Task Force 2 special operations unit that is currently deployed in an “advise and assist” capacity to help Iraqi security forces battle ISIS from behind the front line in Mosul. “The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 meters. For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners, we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place,” the unit said in a written statement. Due to the distance of the shot, some voices in the military community expressed skepticism at the Canadian government’s report. The reported shot from 3,540 meters, or about 2.2 miles, would eclipse the previous sniper world record of 2,474 meters or 1.54 miles set by the United Kingdom’s Craig Harrison when he killed two Taliban insurgents in November 2009. “The elite sniper was using a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle while firing from a high-rise during an operation that took place within the last month in Iraq. It took under 10 seconds to hit the target,” the paper said. The Canadian military unit confirmed the distance of shot shortly after the Globe and Mail story was published, but the shot has yet to be formally confirmed a third party agency. In 2016, the Canadian government announced it would triple its training efforts in northern Iraq despite pulling out of the US-led ISIS bombing campaign the year before. In May, Iraqi forces began what they hope is the final push to crush ISIS in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city,

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Russian warships fire missiles at ISIS in Syria – CNN International

The Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich frigates, along with the Krasnodar submarine, fired the cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea, the Defense Ministry said in a statement posted to state news agency RIA. ISIS command points and a weapons and ammunition depot were destroyed in Hama province of Syria, according to RIA. The ministry also said Turkey and Israel were informed about the missile launches, but made no mention of informing the US, which is leading an international coalition against ISIS in the country. The strike comes amid tensions after a US warplane downed Syrian jet, the first time the US has shot down a manned aircraft since 1999. Russia is the most powerful ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and the rare air-to-air encounter prompted Moscow to suspend a de-confliction hotline with the US-led coalition, designed to prevent any accidents in the skies over Syria. The Syrian conflict has transformed from a civil war to a more complex battle involving international players and their proxies. While international players are focused on targeting ISIS, many are maneuvering to either prop up or depose Assad and his regime. Iran, which also supports Assad, on Sunday fired missiles at ISIS targets in Syria, the first such strike carried out by Tehran on another country in three decades. It is a major escalation of Iran’s role in the war. Russia this week said it thinks one of its airstrikes may have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi, a figure who has evaded international forces for years. But US officials told CNN that the US has not confirmed Russia’s claim. The US downed the Syrian warplane after a series of clashes between pro-regime troops and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the US backs to fight ISIS. According to the Pentagon, Syrian regime soldiers equipped with tanks, artillery and technical vehicles were advancing on the US-backed rebels’ position, forcing the coalition to use the de-confliction hotline with the Russians in an attempt to turn the regime troops back. When that proved unsuccessful, coalition aircraft performed “strafing runs” near the regime positions, which halted their advance. The Russian Ministry of Defense called the downing of the plane “a cynical violation of the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic” and “military aggression.” Russia has stopped using the de-confliction hotline, a US official said, and Moscow warned that aircraft operating where the shoot-down occurred would be considered “air targets” for its forces in Syria. But the downing did not appear to hamper Syria, which attempted a similar bombing Tuesday, according to US military officials. The US official told CNN that another Syrian Su-22 fighter made an approach Tuesday in what the military assessed as a possible bombing run on the SDF near the same area. The official said that coalition aircraft made a show of force and conducted a warning maneuver, and the Syrian fighter jet then aborted its trajectory and left the area. CNN’s Barbara Starr, Tim Lister and Elizabeth Roberts contributed to this report.

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‘Death to America, Death to Israel’: Iran Protesters Chant and Burn ISIS Flags in Tehran – Newsweek

Iran held its annual Quds Day marches across the country on Friday, with protesters burning the flag of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard displayed ballistic missiles to mark the day, showingoff the Zolfaghar missile that the military fired at ISIS positions in eastern Syria for the first time on Sunday. The celebration is to rally for Al-Quds, the Arabic name for the city of Jerusalem, and protest Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in solidarity with the Palestinians. Daily Emails and Alerts- Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox Protesters burned effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,held up critical posters showing him alongside U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, and carried banners that read “Israel should be wiped off the map.” At the biggest march, inthe Iranian capital of Tehran, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, who called Israel “the mother of terrorism,” attended alongside Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “This year’s rally…shows people want our region to be cleaned up from terrorists, backed by the Zionist regime [Israel],” Rouhani toldstateTV. Iranians hold images of U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adorned with Islamist-inspired bears during a rally marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran on June 23. Chants against the Saudi royal family and the Islamic State group mingled with the traditional cries of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” at Jerusalem Day rallies across Iran today. Stringer/AFP/Getty Shia-majority Iran considers Israel to be its archenemy, and anti-Israel sentiment is widespread. The country supports Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Palestinian militant group Hamas, whofought wars with Israel as recently as 2006 and 2014, respectively. The protesters also targeted ISIS after it claimed a twin suicide-bombattack in Tehran that left 18people dead at the country’s parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Read more: ‘You call that a missile?’: Israel mocks Iran’s first strike on ISIS in Syria The burning of the flags comes after the strikes against ISIS on Sunday. The Iranian military said it had killed more than 300 militants in the raid. But Israelis mocked the strike as failing to hit its target. Israeli military chief Gadi Eisenkot said Tehran was lying about the strike.Their achievement was less than what was reported in the media. The strike manifested something, but it was far from a direct hit or what they have said, said Eisenkot during the Herzliya policy conference on Tuesday. He said Iran was attempting to get more accurate rockets in its push for hegemony in the Middle East, but it was not there yet. At least three of the seven ballistic missiles did not reach their intended targets, Israeli sources said in the Hebrew-language media, The Times of Israelreported. Iran repeatedly threatens Israel with destruction and saysits missiles can reach Israeli territory. Israel says its ballistic missile program, and what it says are ambitions to obtain a nuclear weapon, threaten its national security.

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Who Are the ISIS-linked Maute Group Militants Terrorizing the Philippines? – Newsweek

Before they formed one of the most dreaded militant groups in the Philippines and pledged loyalty to Islamic State militant group (ISIS), the Mautes were a wealthy, political family in the southern region of Mindanao, largely influenced by the matriarch, Farhana. Soft-spoken and reserved, 60-year-old Farhana Maute owns property in Mindanao and in Manila, and runs a construction business, say people who know the family and security analysts who have scrutinized its background. Debris and smoke are seen after an OV-10 Bronco aircraft released a bomb, during an airstrike, as government troops continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over parts of Marawi city, Philippines June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco Daily Emails and Alerts- Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox Almost unknown two years ago, the Mautes are now the biggest and most deadly among Islamic State groups in the southern Philippines and are at the forefront of a month-long battle with the military for control of Marawi, a Mindanao town. Regional governments fear that the brutal urban warfare, in which 360 people have been killed, reflects Islamic State’s intention to establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia. Farhana Maute was related to politicians in her hometown of Butig, near Marawi, and was considered somewhat of a kingmaker because of her wealth and influence. And like many clans in the lawless area, the Mautes maintained a private militia that included Farhana’s seven sons, the analysts said. When the Mautes got involved in a dispute with Butig Mayor Dimnatang Pansar over the award of civil contracts, it erupted into a brutal clan feud, a clash so common to Mindanao it has its own name, rido. Other militant groups in the southern Philippines joined the Mautes, and they formed a joint front in Marawi against government troops. Joseph Franco, a research fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies who has worked with several Philippine military chiefs, said that early last year, the Mautes projected themselves as followers of Islamic State, or IS, to “spook and coerce the Pansars”. Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force are onboard a military truck for reinforcements, as government forces continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City, Philippines June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco “That tactical use of terrorist imagery took on a life of its own,” he said. “And now we have this Maute Group, who call themselves IS-Ranao.” Ranao is an old name for the Lanao region of Mindanao, where Marawi and Butig are located. Although known to be a deeply religious Muslim, there was no evidence that Farhana Maute was radicalized, Franco said. “She is only a businesswoman,” a former military officer who lives in Marawi told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But, her clan was involved in a bitter political dispute with the mayor of Butig. And that probably got her into trouble.” Two of the sons, Omarkhayam and Abdullah, had been educated in the Middle East, but it is uncertain when they morphed from being scions of a wealthy family to becoming hardened Islamists. Still, Farhana Maute was related to the former military head of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a rebel group that the government signed a peace deal with in 2014. She was deeply influenced by him, said Rommel Banlaoi, a security expert who advises the Philippines police. “Many Muslims in Mindanao, strictly speaking, they already have what I call embedded radical ideas,” he said, adding that the Mautes provided a training camp for associates of the MILF near Butig. “They were criminals who morphed into militancy,” Banlaoi said of the Mautes. Other analysts said at least some of Farhana’s wealth would have been diverted to the Maute Group’s alleged illicit activities. It was not possible to seek comment from the Maute family. Both Farhana and her husband Cayamore, an engineer, were arrested earlier this month in separate parts of Mindanao and it was not immediately clear who their lawyers were. The sons are believed to be fighting in Marawi. A Philippine Marine fires his weapon toward the stronghold of Maute group in Marawi City, southern Philippines, May 31. Dozens of people are reported injured after an attack at a resort in Manila. An ISIS operative has claimed responsibility. Erik De Castro/Reuters Islamic State’s news agency, Amaq, has said its fighters control large parts of Marawi City, but has not commented specifically on the Maute. Mohamad Ampuan, a Marawi native who has settled in Manila, said he knew Farhana Maute and several of her sons, and believed they were primarily religious-minded. He said he had not seen any of them since 2010, when he moved north. Ampuan was speaking in a bazaar selling mobile phones and accessories in the crowded Novaliches suburb of Manila, where Philippine military intelligence reports have said Farhana or some of her sons owned stalls. All the stall-owners in the Salam Bazaar are from Marawi, but Ampuan said the family did not own any property there. He said Farhana was fluent in Arabic and English and he considered the Mautes a “royal family”. “The Mautes are fighting for Allah,” he said. “They want a society faithful to Allah.” Marawi residents and analysts said Farhana has considerable influence on her sons, perhaps more than her husband, Cayamore. He has two other wives. “She is the central figure, but not in terms of planning and preparing attacks,” said Rohan Gunaratna, a regional counter-terrorism expert. “The mother and father are patrons of the group, but father less, mother more.” A neighbor, Marawi city councillor Khana-Anuar Marabur Jr., said the Mautes were “good people back then”, before they started the current round of violence in Marawi. He said Farhana was a good mother, and was generous and approachable. “The father is strong,” Marabur said. “He is like the tiger. But someone owns the tiger.”

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