REDWOOD CITY, California (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to unveil an updated cyber strategy on Thursday that will stress the military’s ability to retaliate with cyber weapons, a capability he hopes will help deter attacks.
The strategy presents a potentially far more muscular role for the U.S. military’s cyber warriors than the Pentagon was willing to acknowledge in its last strategy rollout in 2011 and singles out threats from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
MOFFETT FIELD, California, April 22 (Reuters) – The United
States is concerned a group of Iranian cargo ships may be
carrying advanced weapons to Yemen, Defense Secretary Ash Carter
said on Wednesday, as he called on Iran to avoid “fanning the
flames” of the conflict with arms deliveries.
Asked whether he thought weapons were on board the Iranian
ships, Carter said: “We’re certainly concerned about that.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq’s prime minister said on Thursday that he welcomed Iranian assistance in Iraq’s battle against Islamic State but suggested unease with the prominence of a top Iranian general, who has been widely seen in photos from Iraq’s battlefields.
Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s al-Quds brigade of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was almost an invisible man until Islamic State’s Sunni jihadists overran cities in northern and central Iraq last year.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq’s prime minister said on Wednesday that the Islamic State remains a fierce adversary as he outlined plans during a trip to Washington to prioritize battles in the refinery city of Baiji and Anbar province, where the militants are striking back.
Haidar al-Abadi, speaking to reporters a day after meeting U.S. President Barack Obama, portrayed a mixed picture of a weakening Islamic State eight months after U.S.-led air strikes against the group began in Iraq.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said on Wednesday the fighting in Yemen could engulf the region in war, and suggested after talks in Washington that U.S. leaders shared his concerns and “want to stop this conflict as soon as possible.”
Abadi, who met with U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday, also said that convincing Iraq’s neighbor Saudi Arabia to halt its offensive in Yemen could be difficult.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq’s prime minister will seek President Barack Obama’s help to acquire billions of dollars in drones and other U.S. arms to fight Islamic State during a U.S. visit next week, but will request deferment of payments for the purchases, a senior Iraqi official said.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi is grappling with an insurgency by militants from Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that emerged from the chaos in Iraq and neighboring Syria and seized much of northern and central Iraq last year.
BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S.-led coalition warplanes launched their first airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Tikrit on Wednesday, officials said, coming off the sidelines to aid Iraqi forces fighting alongside Iran-backed Shi’ite militia on the ground.
The decision to give air support to the Tikrit campaign pulls the United States into a messy battle that puts the U.S.-led coalition, however reluctantly, on the same side of a fight as Iranian-backed militia in a bid to support Iraqi forces and opens a new chapter in the war.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S.-led coalition is planning to carry out air strikes in support of Iraqi operations against Islamic State in the city of Tikrit, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, confirming comments by Iraq’s president in an interview with Reuters.
The U.S. official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, declined to discuss timing of any strikes.
By Phil Stewart
CAMP DAVID, Md. (Reuters) – The United States assured Afghanistan’s leaders on Monday it would keep funding Afghan security forces at a targeted peak level of 352,000 personnel at least into 2017 to provide stability as foreign troops withdraw from the country.
The announcement by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter came ahead of talks at the White House on Tuesday at which Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is expected to press his case for a slowing of the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani praised U.S. troops who have fought and died during more than 13 years of war in his country as he kicked off a visit to Washington on Monday to drive home the case for slowing the withdrawal of America forces.
In an address to U.S. soldiers and military families at the Pentagon, Ghani sought to reassure Americans of the value of their sacrifice in lives lost and money spent in the battle against al Qaeda and other extremists.