Iranian missiles fired at Saudi targets
Meanwhile, “Fars”, the Iranian semi official news agency, announced on the 16 Oct 16 an attack on the Thwailh military post, in Asir province, was carried by “Zalzal 3” (earthquake 3) ballistic missile. Several Saudi positions were previously targeted by this Iranian made missile, according to the agency close to the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps). During the week of 9-16 Oct 16 the Houthis launched a missile attack against Industrial Area, Zahran South, the ballistic missile hit the target with “high precision” the news agency claimed. Other Iranian news outlets confirmed the Houthi militants usage of “zalzal 3” to launch attacks against targets in Jizan and Asir provinces.
What we know about “Zalzal 3”
Not much information was revealed about this missile provided by Tehran regime to its militant alliance in Yemen: it is a solid propellant missile with a range of 200 Km, while its variant “zalzal 3B” has smaller warhead and a range of 250 Km. The shape and dimensions of the missiles is nearly identical with old “Zalzal” models except that the nosecone is cone shaped rather than the dome shaped “Zalzal 2” and “Zalzal 1.”
Iranian message to al-Houthi
The former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rezaee, in a letter dated back to Mar 15, urged Abdulmalik al Houthi, leader of the Shiite militants in Yemen, to continue “resistance” against coalition operations to restore legitimacy in Yemen. The current Secretary of Iran Expediency Council, vowed to maintain support to the pro Tehran militants. With the blessing of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenie, Rezaee returned to IRGC last year, now he acts as an adviser to its units fighting alongside Tehran’s allies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
United States/Syria/Da’esh – The US-led coalition is "laying the groundwork" for the "isolation" of Raqqa, the ISIS group stronghold in Syria, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said on the 25 Oct 16. "We have already begun laying the groundwork for our partners to commence the isolation of Raqqa," Carter said after meeting coalition defence ministers in Paris to discuss the aftermath of the planned capture of Mosul from ISIS in Iraq. "Today we resolved to follow through with that same sense of urgency and focus on enveloping and collapsing ISIL's control of Raqqa," he added. Carter and ministers from 12 other countries attended the talks, which come a week after Iraqi forces backed by Kurdish fighters launched a major operation to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-biggest city. French President Francois Hollande reiterated warnings about ISIS fighters in Mosul fleeing across the border to Raqqa.
He also urged vigilance over the prospect of foreign militants returning home from the battlefield.
United States/Yemen/Iran – Warships from the US Navy and allied nations have intercepted four weapons shipments from Iran to war-ravaged Yemen since April 2015, a US admiral said on the 27 Oct 16. The United States and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of arming the insurgents, and while Tehran denies the charges, the coalition has since enforced maritime and air controls over the Arabian Peninsula country. "Either US ships or coalition ships... intercepted four weapons shipments from Iran to Yemen," said US Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan. "We know they came from Iran and we know the destination," he told reporters at an undisclosed military base in Southwest Asia. Donegal said the shipments contained thousands of AK-47 assault rifles, anti-tank missiles, sniper rifles and "other pieces of other equipment, higher-end weapons systems". Naval officials were able to determine the destination of the boats' by analyzing GPS settings and interviewing the crew. One of the shipments had been validated by the United Nations as being an illegal weapons shipment, said Donegal. His comments come after the US military's Central Command chief General Joseph Votel said last week Iran may have played a role in suspected Houthi missile attacks this month against US warships in the Red Sea. "We believe that Iran is connected to this in some way," Donegan said. Given the heavy volume of traffic around the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf, the three-star admiral said "plenty" of other shipments would have gone through to Yemen. The arms seizures came after Iran in April 2015 tried to send a convoy of seven ships, guarded by two Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels, to Yemen. Donegan said these were filled with coastal-defence cruise missiles, explosives and other weapons. The Shiite Houthi rebels are believed to be behind this month's attacks in which surface-to-surface missiles were fired at the USS Mason on at least two occasions. In response, US cruise missiles on October 13 struck Houthi radar sites believed to have been used to target the weapons. The Mason and two other warships were likely targeted in a third missile attack on October 15, but officials have not conclusively confirmed what the threat was or where it was coming from.
United States/Da’esh – The US military warned today (26 Oct 16) that the Islamic State continues to plot attacks against the West from its headquarters in Raqqa, Syria. “We know this plot and planning is emanating from Raqqa,” Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said, according to the Associated Press. Townsend didn’t provide any specifics, but the Islamic State has orchestrated multiple attacks from its safe havens in the past. American and European officials are constantly working to disrupt the group’s logistical support networks and uncover cells. “We aren’t sure how pressing it is. We know they are up to something,” Townsend said, according to FoxNews.com. Townsend added that “we’ve got to get to Raqqa pretty soon” because of this anti-Western plotting. US officials have indicated in recent days that the battle for Raqqa will commence soon, but the details are murky. It is unclear when the offensive against Raqqa will get underway. During a press briefing on Oct. 23, Lt. Gen. Townsend and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter connected the so-called caliphate’s leadership in Mosul and Raqqa to Western attack planning, or “external operations.” In the “top tier” of the Islamic State, Townsend said, “there’s an overlap between leadership in Mosul, leadership in Raqqa and external operations.” The “top tier of leaders do all those” and are “involved in all of those things.” “So by killing those individuals,” Townsend argued, “we affect both sides of this theatre and external operations, as well.” The US military’s assessment illustrates that there is no firm dividing line between the jihadists’ warfighting over there and planning attacks over here. The US government has been inconsistent on this point in the past. For instance, in Nov. 2014, CENTCOM claimed that there was some clear demarcation between al Qaeda’s guerrilla warfare in Syria and its plotting against the West, even though senior al Qaeda figures have been involved in both. [See LWJ report, Analysis: CENTCOM draws misleading line between Al Nusrah Front and Khorasan Group.] But American officials are not trying to draw the same misleading distinction with respect to the Islamic State. Instead, they are emphasizing the connectivity between the jihadists’ various operations. Secretary of Defence Carter said earlier this week that preventing “external operations” is “our highest priority.” He said the assault on Mosul will lead to “more intelligence, more information about how they’re operating and therefore get new opportunities to attack external plotters.” “Also, as they get squeezed down in their territory, they get more concerned about their own security and are less free to orchestrate complex attacks against either this country or externally, including, very importantly, obviously, to me and to all of us, the United States,” Carter said. He added that the offensive against Mosul “will give us yet more opportunities” to thwart the Islamic State’s external operations. The Islamic State’s leaders wear multiple hats, just as Townsend and Carter claim. For example, the Defence Department said earlier this year that Abu Ali al Anbari, one of the group’s most senior figures, had a hand in external attack planning prior to his demise. Similarly, the Islamic State’s spokesman, Abu Muhammad al Adnani, oversaw external operations in addition to his other duties. Adnani was killed in an airstrike in August. The US has repeatedly targeted the Islamic State’s external attack planners in both Iraq and Syria. The UK has bombed operatives in this wing of the group as well. The external operations arm orchestrates plots involving professionally-trained terrorists, such as the Nov. 2015 assault on Paris, and also oversees “remote-controlled” attacks in which Islamic State supporters and members are guided by online handlers.
United States/Turkey – Family members of US consulate staff in Istanbul have been asked to leave the country, the US state department said, citing threats against US citizens. "The Department of State made this decision based on security information indicating extremist groups are continuing aggressive efforts to attack US citizens in areas of Istanbul where they reside or frequent," the department said in a statement on the 30 Oct 16. The US Consulate General in Istanbul will stay open, the state department said, adding that the order does not apply to any other US diplomatic posts in Turkey. Saturday's warning updates previous State Department advisories of "increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey". The department also advised its citizens to avoid travel to southeast Turkey and cautioned on the risks of travelling anywhere in the country. France temporarily shut down its embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara and its consulate in Istanbul nearly two weeks after Istanbul's main airport was attacked in an assault that killed 47 people. Some of the violence in neighbouring Syria has spilled over to Turkey, which has seen a rise in attacks this year. The security situation has further deteriorated in the wake of a failed coup attempt in July.
361 COMMENT: Although not stated this could be a result of the attacks on and around Mosul in Iraq. At some point Da’esh will fight back and probably at first in and around countries near to were the so called caliphate is/was. As America is seen by the group to be the main leader in the air-war against them then this maybe the reason why this warning has been put in place. COMMENT ENDS
Columbia/National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN) – Colombia's second biggest rebel group has killed two civilian truck drivers in a "terrorist attack," the country's military says, hours after Bogota suspended peace talks with the group. "It is simply an act of terrorism against two civilian trucks travelling on the roads of Arauca, which were set on fire and the drivers killed by members of the ELN," said Colombian Colonel Miguel Angel Rodriguez, referring to the National Liberation Army of Colombia. The ELN rebels ambushed the empty trucks between 1700 hrs and 1730 hrs local on 27 Oct 16 Rodriguez said. Government military troops later moved into the area, which is one of the country's biggest oil-producing regions, military sources said. Earlier the government had said it had postponed the peace talks with the ELN rebels until after an ex-lawmaker held hostage by the group is released. While the ELN opposed the unilateral suspension of the talks, Odin Sanchez, the government's chief negotiator in the peace talks, said the group later began the process of releasing the hostage, adding that the process could take until next week. Santos on the 27 Oct 16 said the government still wants the peace talks with the ELN to succeed.