U.S. troops risk inflaming clan conflict after deadly Somalia raid

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A raid involving U.S. troops in Somalia has caused a rift between the precarious U.S.-backed government and a powerful clan that says innocent farmers were massacred, months after President Donald Trump approved stepped-up operations there.

The U.S. Africa command, Africom, has acknowledged that U.S. forces participated in a ground operation in support of Somali troops in the village of Bariire last week, and says it is investigating reports of civilian deaths.

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Alarm grows in Washington as Saudi coalition attack on Yemen port appears imminent

By Max Bearak

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers urged Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday to reconsider his support for a seemingly imminent assault by a Saudi-led coalition on the crucial Yemeni port city of Hodeida.

“In the face of Yemen’s senseless humanitarian tragedy, where 19 million people need emergency support, we are committed to using our Constitutional authority to assert greater oversight over U.S. involvement in the conflict and promote greater public debate regarding U.S. military participation in Yemen’s civil war, which has never been authorized by Congress,” the legislators said in a letter.

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Libya’s warring sides reach diplomatic breakthrough in Rome

Compromise is brokered between presidents of house of representatives and state council after years of fighting

Diplomatic editor

Rome has brokered a diplomatic breakthrough in Libya that has the potential to bring the two main warring sides together in a new political agreement after years of division, fighting and economic misery.

The scale of the breakthrough will be tested later this week, but Italy is hailing a compromise brokered between the presidents of the house of representatives, Ageela Saleh, and the state council, Abdulrahman Sewehli.

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North Korea ‘ready to sink’ US aircraft carrier Vinson

North Korea is “ready to sink” a US aircraft carrier heading for the peninsula, state media have said.

A commentary in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper warned that the USS Carl Vinson could be sunk “with a single strike”.

A battle group headed by the Vinson is expected off the peninsula this week.

It was despatched by President Donald Trump amid a warning that US “strategic patience” over the North’s nuclear ambitions had come to an end.

Tension also rose after a recent failed missile test by the North and a massive military parade showing off its latest hardware.

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Libya: Haftar meets with Senior US army official in Abu Dhabi

The Libyan army commander opposed to the UN-backed Presidential Council (PC) has met with a senior US military official during his ongoing stay in the United Arab Emirate, Qatari London-based media The New Arab reports. Khalifar Haftar has been visiting Abu Dhabi in search of support as the Arab League and the UN rally behind Tripoli-based weak PC.

The self-style army Marshall has been received in the Emirati capital as a key ally in the fight against terrorism.

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Plan to ramp up Somalia anti-terror campaign goes to Trump

By Ryan Browne

Washington (CNN) The country’s top national security officials are recommending that President Donald Trump ramp up operations against an al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, two US defense officials told CNN Friday.

Trump has not yet approved the proposal, according to one official, but the other official said that the stepped-up operations were due to begin soon. The move could lead to an increase in airstrikes and more US personnel engaging in advising local forces.

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Russia senses an opportunity in Libya

Haftar winning the battle for oil terminals as Moscow offers to work with the Trump administration

By Richard Galustian

Libya’s civil war has reached its climax in the battle for the oil terminals, and it is a battle Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), is winning. This reality has profound implications for the future of the country, partly because of a dramatic new development — the entry of Russia into the diplomatic mix.

The battle began last week when militias based in central Libya drove 100 miles across the desert to attack Libya’s hub oil ports, Sidra and nearby Ras Lanuf. Those terminals link to the massive Oil Crescent, home to the bulk of Libya’s oil. Quite simply, who controls this Crescent controls Libya.

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Aircraft launch attacks on suspected Al Qaida targets in Yemen — witnesses

Trump may give the Pentagon more authority to conduct raids

ADEN, WASHINGTON: Military forces believed to be American launched two attacks on suspected Al Qaida targets in Southern Yemen early on Friday in what would be the second consecutive day of US raids witnesses said.

Backed by drones and Apache helicopter, the troops descended on the Wadi Yashbum village in Shabwa province after midnight and engaged suspected Al Qaida militants in a battle that lasted nearly half an hour, the residents said.

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Yemen al-Qaeda: US commandos raid stronghold

The US has carried out a commando raid on an al-Qaeda stronghold in central Yemen, killing 14 militants, the military says.

One US soldier died and three were injured.

Several Apache helicopters were reported to have taken part in the operation in al-Baida province.

Three al-Qaeda leaders were among those killed in a battle lasting 45 minutes in a village in Yakla district. Earlier reports suggested a higher death toll.

US drones have carried out periodic attacks on al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Local sources earlier said 41 militants and 16 civilians were killed.

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