The threat posed by violent extremism is higher in Europe than anywhere else in the world, apart from actual war zones and hotspots, US European Command head General Curtis Scaparrotti said, commenting on Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London.
The Pentagon is asking Congress for an extra $30 billion for 2017, mostly to address pressing readiness issues and the fight against Islamic State – yet Russia and President Trump’s budget proposal dominated the Senate appropriations hearing.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is hosting a meeting of the 68-member US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The Washington, DC summit is the first meeting of the full coalition since December 2014.
The Pentagon confirmed US air assets have been used to airlift Syrian militia fighters in a bid to take the strategic Tabqa Dam, west of Raqqa, the Islamic State “capital” that is finding itself increasingly under siege.
In Aleppo there was a tendency among Western reporters, certainly in the US, to point out Russia was leading the operation, so any civilian casualties and damage could be blamed on it, explains retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski.
Civilians in Mosul are in densely populated areas, and it makes any airstrikes, even artillery fire, very problematic. If they try to escape, they are killed by ISIS. So, it is a no-win situation for the civilians, says former Pentagon official Michael Maloof.