An explosive-laden drone, sent by the Islamic State group (ISIS), was intercepted and shot by Kurdish forces in Iraq early this month, according to reports Tuesday. However, the drone blew up and killed two Kurdish fighters and injured two French soldiers. The incident reportedly happened on Oct. 2 in Erbil, which serves as the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, where French troops have been fighting along with Kurdish fighters against ISIS, according to the New York Times and French newspaper Le Monde. Neither Iraqi officials nor French authorities have confirmed the incident. About 500 French military personnel have been deployed in Iraq to fight ISIS.
An American F-15 warplane has shot down a pro-government drone in Syria after it fired at coalition forces, officials said, marking an escalation of tensions in the war-torn country's south. No one was hurt in Thursday's incident which occurred near the coalition's At-Tanaf garrison close to the Jordan border, Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the coalition against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), told Pentagon reporters. The drone "was armed and still had weapons on it when it was fired upon by US forces from an aircraft", said Dillon. Although the weapon deployed by the drone deployed hit only dirt, the action was "clearly meant" as an attack, added Dillon. Dillon said it was not immediately clear who owned the drone.
The silence was shredded by the rat-tat-tat eruptions of a single gun. More soldiers fired, their volleys coalescing into the grim music of war -- a sustained snare drum roll soon interrupted by the bass thumps of the 50-caliber machine gun. All the barrels pointed at a speck tracing a line in the sky over west Mosul. Their target was yet another drone dispatched by Islamic State. In the seven months of the Iraqi government's drive to recapture Mosul from the jihadists, small drones have become a signature tactic of the group: Their appearance on the horizon, loaded with a camera, signals that punishing mortar barrages will soon be on the way.
Chilling aerial footage of Ramadi, a once bustling city in central Iraq, has captured the extent of destruction caused by war. In late December, Iraqi forces, backed by US air strikes, announced the recapturing of Ramadi, which had been lost to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in May 2015. The US-led coalition carried out more than 600 air strikes in the area from July to December last year. A new six-minute clip, released by the International Red Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC) shows homes in Ramadi turned to rubble, along with flattened school, destroyed hospitals and damaged ambulances. READ MORE: Dramatic video'shows destruction of huge ISIL convoy' "Rare aerial footage gathered by ICRC shows the once prosperous Ramadi in central Iraq now in tatters - a ghost town," the ICRC said on Monday.
SOUTH OF MOSUL, IRAQ – Closely supported by the U.S.-led international coalition, Iraqi forces secured a series of cautious advances on Thursday, pushing into a sprawling military base outside of Mosul and onto the grounds of the city's airport, where they took control of the runway. The three-pronged attack began just after sunrise, with three convoys of Iraqi forces snaking north across Nineveh's hilly desert on Mosul's southern approach. Iraq's special forces joined federal police and rapid response units in the push -- part of a major assault that started earlier this week to drive IS from the western half of Iraq's second-largest city. By afternoon they had entered the Ghazlani military base south of the city, as well as the airport. Iraqi helicopters circled above Mosul firing down onto the city's southwestern edge.