The U.S. military carried out another round of drone strikes in Somalia Wednesday. A trio of drone strikes hit the Al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab terror group killed six militants, U.S. Africa Command announced. They came after two separate drones strikes last week. In March, President Trump gave the military the go-ahead to conduct offensive drone strikes in Somalia.
A Turkish police officer was stabbed to death in Istanbul late Sunday by a suspected Islamic State terrorist, state media reported. The suspect reportedly was shot and killed after the stabbing. The latest killing came just days after 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. Renad Bakiev, a Russian national who previously traveled to Syria to join ISIS, was detained in the southern city of Adana for planning the drone attack, police said Thursday.
The U.S. military says it conducted two drone strikes Thursday against Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab fighters in southern Somalia. The strikes took place near the Banadiir region of Somalia, an area that includes the capital, Mogadishu, the statement said. The president authorized the military to conduct offensive operations against al-Qaeda's third largest affiliate, which is seen as the most lethal terrorist group in Africa. Somalia's president says the drone strikes killed a high-level al-Shabaab leader, the Associated Press reported.
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.
An Iranian drone nearly collided with a U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet while the American jet was in a holding pattern, a U.S. defense official told Fox News. The jet was about to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, which recently arrived in the Persian Gulf. It was the first time an Iranian drone has "interrupted a flight pattern," the official said. The F-18 "maneuvered to avoid collision," said the official, who described the unarmed Iranian drone as a Qom-1.
A United States drone strike in Somalia killed one al-Shabab militant Saturday, U.S. military officials announced on Monday. The Department of Defense conducted the strike in southern Somalia in coordination with regional partners, and no civilian casualties were reported, officials said. Al-Shabab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the U.S. and our allies," U.S. Africa Command said in statement to Fox News. The drone strike was conducted within the parameters of what President Trump approved in March, which allows the U.S. to conduct strikes within a defined area in Somalia.
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.
A U.S. aircraft shot down an armed Iranian drone advancing on coalition forces in southern Syria on Tuesday, Fox News confirmed. The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle about 12:30 a.m. after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces. An U.S Air Force F-15 Eagle fighter flies during a certification of the arresting gear last May. The coalition has made it clear to all parties publicly and through the deconfliction line with Russian forces that the demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.
JERUSALEM – The Israeli military has confirmed that a drone crashed in Syria earlier this week in unclear circumstances. In a statement, the military said the "Skylark" went down on Sunday and that the incident was being investigated. Hezbollah's media arm published photographs of what it said was a drone it had shot down after infiltrating Syrian airspace in the Golan Heights. Last week, Israel shot down a Syrian anti-aircraft missile fired at an Israeli aircraft carrying out an airstrike on a suspected Hezbollah weapons convoy in Syria.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency secret new authority to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, U.S. officials said, changing the Obama administration's policy of limiting the spy agency's paramilitary role and reopening a turf war between the agency and the Pentagon. The new authority, which hadn't been previously disclosed, represents a significant departure from a cooperative approach that had become standard practice by the end of former President Barack Obama's tenure: The CIA used drones and other intelligence resources to locate suspected terrorists and then the military conducted the actual strike. The CIA first used its new authority in late February in a strike on a senior al Qaeda leader in Syria, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, U.S. officials said. The strike in northern Syria on Mr. Masri, a son-in-law of the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, had been reported, but it wasn't previously known the CIA had carried it out under the new authority.