Collaborating Authors


Israeli army says one of its drones crashed inside Lebanon

Al Jazeera

The Israeli army says one of its drones came down in Lebanese territory, following a reinforcement of its presence at its northern frontier near Lebanon. The drone fell "during IDF operational activity" along the border, the army said in a statement on Sunday. "There is no concern that any information was leaked," it said. Israel's Channel 12 reported that the drone crashed after it experienced a technical failure. Tensions have risen along Israel's frontier with Syria and Lebanon this week after a fighter from the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah was killed in an apparent Israeli strike on the edge of Damascus.

Harnessing the power of automation


Automating tasks previously done by hand to simplify and enhance production is nothing new. Humans have been doing it since 350 BCE when the first waterwheels for processing grain were recorded in Syria and Egypt. Today, many businesses are embracing technology to automate manual processes, generating a 30-200 per cent return of investment in the first year. With 74 per cent of organisations actively looking for new use cases for automation it's no surprise that by 2022 it's estimated that 42 per cent of total task hours will be completed by machines. There are several ways in which businesses can harness the power of automation to achieve competitive advantage, and it is important that businesses gain a clearer understanding of automation; its benefits and applications.

Recommended Reading and My Reuters Pic of the Week


Welcome back to my recommended reading list, with pieces this week on the latest on coronavirus, how Facebook is using AI to tackle fake accounts and the carbon footprint of your online habits. This week's photo, by Reuters photographer Rodi Said, shows a boy waiting with his mother as they queue with others for humanitarian and medical help after leaving Baghouz, the last stronghold of the Islamic State caliphate, in Deir Al Zor, Syria, on March 5, 2019. The image was selected as the photo the year in a vote by Thomson Reuters staff around the world. Read on for this week's picks... Twenty-one people aboard a cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco have tested positive for coronavirus, U.S. officials said on Friday, adding to the more than 100,000 cases of the fast-spreading illness across the world. The outbreak has killed more than 3,400 people and spread across more than 90 nations, with seven countries reporting their first cases on Friday.

Syrian and Turkish armies engage in new deadly clashes in Idlib

The Japan Times

ANKARA – Turkey said that two more of its soldiers were killed Wednesday in a Syrian government attack in northwestern Syria, as steady clashes between the two national armies continued to rack up casualties. Turkey has sent thousands of troops into the area to support Syrian insurgents holed up there, but hasn't been able to stop the Russian-backed Syrian government offensive to retake the Idlib province. A Syrian opposition war monitor said nine Syrian soldiers were also killed in Turkish drone attacks in the northwestern area. The Turkish Defense Ministry's statement said that the latest Syrian attack on its troops also wounded six soldiers. It did not provide further details.

AI in War Means Deepfakes as Well as Killerbots


Since 2014, Russia has played a dominant role in the civil war hostilities in Syria where the testing of technology fresh out of research and development has been applied to measure results, graded by software systems. Such military upgrades launched in Syria and in Yemen include the SS-21 Scarab, the Uran-9 and the Ratnick-4 (robotics). A four day drill was held in December 2019 in the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. Participants were Russia, Iran, and China whose cooperation, unity, and military exchanges were evident during the drills. Russia's involvement should be considered in the light of a strategy.

Lenovo offers surveillance security solutions at Intersec 2020


Video surveillance systems are evolving and are using artificial intelligence (AI) to inspect and analyse video footage, interpret patterns and flag unusual activity. Lenovo DCG and Pivot3 provide a state-of-the-art upgraded infrastructure solutions that aim to enhance current technology required to support these systems rather than entrusting the preservation of crucial data to outdated NVR technology. Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Chris Cooper, General Manager for Lenovo DCG, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, said, "We are delighted to showcase our partnership with Pivot3 at one the world's leading technology trade shows. The Middle East is exhibiting tremendous growth in terms of adopting smart solutions. The UAE in particular is investing heavily in implementing the latest innovations in their technological infrastructure; therefore, we see great potential from our partnership with Pivot3 as we work together to supply the appetite for next generation computing products and services."

Rise of the killer robots: The future of war


The recent tit-for-tat missile strikes between US and Iran show how war has changed in the 21st century. Technology has brought new capabilities for killing at a distance, and what we are seeing today with long-range, so-called "precision missiles" is a harbinger of the next generation of warheads. Autonomous weaponry and "killer robots" sound like the stuff of science fiction but various governments including the US and Russia are investing heavily in their development. Turkey has teamed up with a defence contractor to deploy kamikaze drones with biometric facial recognition to the Syrian border this year, while the Israeli-developed Harpy "loitering munition" – which hangs about in the sky looking for an unrecognised radar signal to strike – has been sold to several countries including India and China. For cloud computing expert Laura Nolan, this issue became personal in early 2018 when, while working for Google, she discovered the tech giant had secretively signed up to the US military's artificial intelligence project Maven.

Putin visits Syria to meet Assad, a key Iran ally

The Japan Times

The visit to Syria, a key ally of Iran, came amid soaring tensions in the Middle East between Iran and the United States. On Friday, a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general who led forces supporting Assad in Syria's civil war. Iran has vowed revenge for the slaying, and with some 600 American troops deployed in Syria, the country is a potential site of conflict with Iran. While the official statements made no mention of the U.S. killing of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Friday, the timing was conspicuous. Soleimani had led Iran's armed support for Assad as armed rebels neared the capital, Damascus, and he helped seize key cities, preventing the collapse of Assad's state.

Siklos and Smiley: Our own call to duty – in honor of the men and women who serve

FOX News

The drone footage shows various parts of the raid on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's compound in northern Syria; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon. At sunrise on the Friday before the killing of notorious ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, our 11th Armored Blackhorse unit boarded four Black Hawk helicopters and flew in formation across the silent desert. Soon we landed near a town called Razish with reports of enemy ISIS combatants in place. Our Special Forces operation had officially begun. We drove a few miles to base camp in darkness and waited for our commanding officer to brief us.

Syria says possible drone attacks hit 3 oil, gas facilities

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 21 are here. Check out what's clicking on Near-simultaneous attacks believed to have been carried out by drones hit three government-run oil and gas installations in central Syria, state TV and the Oil Ministry said Saturday. No one claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted the Homs oil refinery -- one of only two in the country -- as well as two natural gas facilities in different parts of Homs province. Syria has suffered fuel shortages since earlier this year amid Western sanctions blocking imports, and because most of the country's oil fields are controlled by Kurdish-led fighters in the country's east.