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US launches Libya drone strike as Africa operations appear to ramp up

FOX News

The Libyan National Army has been battling ISIS in the cities of Sirte and Benghazi. The U.S. military has launched airstrikes this month in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Friday, for the first time since September, in Libya. According to a defense official, the drone strike in the desert of central Libya Friday killed "several" ISIS militants in a sign the Pentagon may be ramping up pressure on terror groups in Africa. The most recent strike comes a year after the military launched nearly 500 airstrikes against ISIS in the coastal city of Sirte, located halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi. The September strike killed 17 ISIS fighters.


Almost all American ISIS fighters unaccounted for, sparking fears they could slip through cracks and return

FOX News

'White Widow' Sally Jones reportedly killed in U.S. drone strike; Trace Gallagher reports from Los Angeles. When it came to recruiting foreigners to flee the comforts of home for the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, ISIS succeeded like no other -- encouraging more than 40,000 fighters from more than 110 countries to travel to the fighting fray both before and after the declaration of the "caliphate" in June 2014. Subsequently, authorities have warned about the threat of returning jihadists to their homeland and since the falls of Mosul, Raqqa and the rapidly receding footprint of ISIS, such fears have come to the forefront. According to a new report, "Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees," released this week by the Soufan Center -- a Washington-based security intelligence consultancy -- there are now at least 5,600 citizens or residents from 33 countries who have returned home -- accounting for about 15 percent of the fighters. FILE - In this file picture taken on Friday, July 21, 2017, Kurdish soldiers from the Anti-Terrorism Units, carry a blindfolded an Indonesian man suspected of Islamic State membership, at a security center, in Kobani, Syria.


ISIS fighters surrender in Syria, others killed in Afghanistan

FOX News

Meanwhile, a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province on Thursday killed 14 ISIS militants, Afghan officials said Saturday. In Raqqa, all of the combatants were "removed from the city," a spokesman for the U.S-led coalition against ISIS told Reuters on Saturday. Today or tomorrow the city may be liberated," YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud told Reuters. "We still expect difficult fighting in the days ahead and will not set a time for when we think (Islamic State) will be completely defeated in Raqqa," U.S. military spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon told Reuters in an emailed statement.


Jamil and Siri: ISIS conflict forces two lives to intersect — and both are saved

FOX News

Soon after Siri and Jamil arrived in Mosul, an ISIS guard threatened to kill Jamil if Siri refused to have sex with him. The rapist, called "The Tunisian," told Siri her situation would improve if she became a Muslim and married him. At the same time, Jamil was the key to Siri's survival. When sitting with Siri and his birth mother, Jamil now always sits closer to Siri, observed Kizilhan observed.


ISIS plot using drone to attack Turkish base foiled

FOX News

An alleged ISIS plot involving a drone attack on Turkey's Incirlik air base -- which is used by the U.S. Air Force -- was foiled Thursday when Turkish authorities arrested a Russian national suspected of being an Islamist militant. Renad Bakiev, who previously traveled to Syria, was detained in the southern city of Adana for planning the drone attack, police said in a statement. Officials said he admitted to surveying the Incirlik air base to plan out his strike, and attempted to attack Americans -- but he was unsuccessful. The U.S. Air Force has used Incirlik air base, near the city of Adana, as a staging post for its air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq since 2015.


Homeland Security concerned about commercial drones being used for 'nefarious purposes'

FOX News

Combined Joint Task Force officials echoed these comments, saying that "the Coalition takes this threat seriously and has implemented increased force protection measures and improved UAV counter-measures to protect Coalition forces and our partners on the ground." They also stated ISIS drones will not dramatically impact the battlefield, but add that "the Coalition remains responsive to this emerging threat through both active and passive measures, and we continue to improve force protection measures for all our Coalition personnel and Iraqi and Syrian partner forces." So what does increased weaponized commercial drone activity overseas mean to the United States? The Federal Aviation Administration estimates small, hobbyist unmanned aircraft system purchases may grow from 1.9 million in 2016 to as many as 4.3 million by 2020.