Middle East

Islamic State Tries to Regroup as Mosul Losses Mount

With U.S.-backed Iraqi forces close to ending the Islamic State group's grip on Mosul, security forces in neighboring Iraqi provinces are increasingly concerned about extremists moving into their areas.

Kirkuk, Diyala and Salahuddin provinces have recently witnessed a surge in IS activities, and local security forces fear possible terror attacks by IS militants fleeing Mosul.

Saudi Business Cheers Leadership Shift, Frets Over Reform, Region

The promotion of Saudi Arabia's top economic reformer to crown prince has cheered business leaders who believe it will open up new opportunities. But they worry about officials' ability to implement reforms and about geopolitical tensions in the region.

The Saudi stock market jumped 7 percent in the two days after Mohammed bin Salman, previously deputy crown prince, was appointed last week to be first in line for the throne.

Reports: US Secretary of State to Take Myanmar, Iraq Off Child Soldiers List

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to take Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and Iraq off a list of countries that use or recruit child soldiers, in an announcement set for Tuesday, according to media reports.

The Reuters news agency reported last week that by delisting those countries, Tillerson is overruling recommendations from State Department experts and senior diplomats. Reuters also cited officials as saying the announcement is expected to be made as part of the department's annual Trafficking in Persons report.

US to Work with Israel, Seek Other to Combat Cyber Attacks

The U.S. government will seek to collaborate with Israel and other countries to develop new ways to thwart computer hacks and other cyber-attacks, U.S. President Donald Trump's homeland security adviser said on Monday.

Thomas Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, said a U.S.-Israeli working group will meet this week on cybersecurity issues such as protecting critical infrastructure.

The U.S. team will include representatives of the State Department, Homeland Security and FBI and work with their Israeli counterparts.

Buried in Old Mosul

Standing next to at a massive pile of white rocks where his daughter’s house once stood, Jamil Mohammad Ahmed stared in disbelief.

 

“My daughter and her husband are under there,” he said. “And their little girl.”

 

“My son-in-law’s mother and father are under there. My family,” he added.

​Airstrikes and mortars crashed down only a few blocks away on Islamic State’s last stronghold in Mosul, but Ahmed didn’t seem to notice. IS is now surrounded in a few square kilometers, but they have as many as 100,000 people trapped inside with them.

 

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