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Is Syria a 'Proxy War' Between US, Russia?

It's American missiles versus Russian airstrikes

(Newser) - "We’re not going to make Syria into a proxy war between the United States and Russia," the Washington Post cites President Obama saying earlier this month. He might be the only person left who doesn't think it already is. "With the enhanced insurgent firepower and... More »

Insurgents Poised to Reclaim Afghanistan: Report

Kabul will be in crosshairs by 2015 if US leaves

(Newser) - Afghanistan's insurgents are on the verge of a resurgence. If the US fully withdraws from the country next year, militants will swiftly reclaim much of the country, threatening Kabul as early as 2015, according to the latest National Intelligence Estimate. Indeed, experts believe things will get worse even if... More »

Pentagon's 'Holy Grail': A Bomb You Can't Blow

Scientists test different types of ammonium nitrate fertilizer

(Newser) - Ammonium nitrate fertilizer is necessary in Afghanistan and Pakistan to keep people from starving—but it's also a primary ingredient in more than 60% of bombs made by the Taliban. To find a solution to the conundrum, Pentagon scientists are searching for what the Washington Post describes as a... More »

Pakistan Car Bomb Kills 11 Cops, Civilian

23 wounded in Quetta attack

(Newser) - A car bomb targeting a police vehicle killed 11 policemen and one civilian today in an area of southwest Pakistan wracked by a separatist insurgency and Islamic militancy, police said. The bombing on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, also wounded 23 people, said a police rep.... More »

Attacks Across Iraq Kill at Least 39

10 cities around Iraq hit by insurgent bombings, gunmen

(Newser) - Insurgents killed at least 39 people in a wave of attacks against Iraqi security forces earlier today, gunning down soldiers at an army post and bombing police recruits waiting in line to apply for jobs, officials said. The violence, which struck at least 10 cities across the nation, highlighted militant... More »

Doctors Abducted in Afghanistan

Also, huge bomb plot foiled

(Newser) - Two foreign doctors and their three Afghan colleagues have been kidnapped in a remote area in the extreme northeast Afghanistan, officials said today. The kidnapping occurred yesterday as the group was traveling on horseback between Yaftal and Ragh districts about 56 miles from the provincial capital of Faizabad, a Badakhshan... More »

9 Killed in Afghanistan Market Blast

Local official among the dead

(Newser) - An explosion in a northern Afghanistan market has killed nine people, according to the country's interior ministry. One of those killed was an official from a nearby council, the AP reports. The bomb blast took place this morning in a shop in the Ghormuch district of Faryab province. Meanwhile,... More »

Twin Afghan Bombings Kill at Least 18

Both attacks targeted gov't buildings, including police station in Helmand

(Newser) - Two suicide bombings in Afghanistan killed at least 18 people today, including eight policemen in an attack on a police station in southern Helmand province, reports the AP . Three men with bombs tried to enter a police station. Police spotted the attack and killed one man, but the other two... More »

Gunmen Kill 25 Iraq Cops

Carefully planned convoy of killers posed as security

(Newser) - It was a morning of violence in the insurgent stronghold of Haditha in western Iraq as gunmen killed 25 police officers and injured at least three others, reports AP . The gang was dressed in military uniforms and driving in a convoy of 13 vehicles painted like they were from the... More »

Ticket to Peace in Afghanistan: Yoga?

Former supermodel proposes meditation for imprisoned insurgents

(Newser) - A former male supermodel thinks he knows how to heal the rift between Taliban militants and coalition troops in Afghanistan—through yoga and meditation. Cameron Alborzian, who, incidentally, played Madonna's beau in her 1989 music video for "Express Yourself" and has worked as Ellen DeGeneres' private guru, pitched... More »

Karzai: In US vs. Pakistan, We Pick Pakistan

Remarks come just two days after Clinton visit

(Newser) - So how well received was Hillary Clinton's admonition to Afghan President Hamid Karzai that he had to step up pressure on Pakistan to stop sending militants into Afghanistan? On Thursday, Karzai seemed to be on board, even slamming his neighbor to the east. Yesterday? Not so much. "If... More »

Iraq Insurgents Hold Police Hostage

Mayor also held captive following break-in, suicide attack in al-Baghdadi

(Newser) - Insurgents have stormed an Iraqi police station and taken police and officials—including the town’s mayor—hostage. Insurgents poured into the western town’s station disguised as police and opened fire; one insurgent detonated a suicide bomb, officials tell the AP . The officials taken hostage were working in offices... More »

Taliban Weakens in Afghanistan's South

But progress is 'fragile and reversible,' says Petraeus

(Newser) - Rare good news from Afghanistan: The Taliban is losing ground in the south, meaning that “we start this year in a very different place from last year,” Gen. David Petraeus says. For the first time since the beginning of the war, the Taliban’s summer fighting season begins... More »

Car Bomb Kills 37 at Baghdad Funeral

Other attacks kill 3 in Iraq

(Newser) - A car bomb ripped through a funeral tent in a mainly Shiite area of Baghdad today, killing at least 37 people, including four children and three women. The car, which exploded around 2pm, had been parked with the vehicles of other mourners, several yards away from the tent, so it... More »

Afghan Amnesty Deal Has Won Just 3% of Taliban

So much for Anbar Awakening II

(Newser) - It’s been a year since NATO launched the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program, hoping to win over Taliban fighters in much the same way it won over Sunni fighters in Iraq. But so far, it ain’t going so well. Fewer than 800 insurgents have signed up—which is... More »

On Afghan-Pakistani Border, Insurgents Team Up

American officials say new trend is proof militants are feeling pressure

(Newser) - A disturbing new trend on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border: Rival insurgent groups are laying aside their feuds and joining forces to fight American and allied forces. “This is actually a syndicate of related and associated militant groups and networks,” an American officer tells the New York Times . “They... More »

Al-Qaeda Steals Blood From Iraq Hospitals

Terror group uses fluid to treat its own wounded soldiers

(Newser) - As if working in an Iraqi hospital isn't challenge enough: The New York Times reports that Al-Qaeda groups routinely steal blood at gunpoint to treat their own wounded soldiers, often while Iraqi security forces stand by and watch. It's been going on for years, ever since Iraqi police began making... More »

NATO Base Attacked in Afghanistan

Day after Petraeus warned of more violence

(Newser) - Taliban insurgents attacked a NATO base in Afghanistan this morning in a commando-style raid that caused no allied casualties. Gunmen set off a car bomb and fired rocket-propelled grenades, attacking NATO facilities at an airport near the Pakistani border from multiple directions; several suicide bombers were killed in the attack.... More »

Taliban Attack NATO's Bagram Base

Military: Bagram security 'not breached'

(Newser) - Seven US soldiers were wounded this morning as the Taliban staged a bold pre-dawn attack at one of the largest US bases in Afghanistan that also killed 10 insurgents. Though details are still murky, an American official told the New York Times that as many as 30 insurgents fought their... More »

Afghans Flee as Marjah Offensive Sours

US hasn't done a good job clearing or holding

(Newser) - Remember the big American military “clear and hold” operation in Marjah, Afghanistan? It ain't going so well. More than 150 families have fled the area, and some refugees tell the New York Times the Taliban is still running rampant, and the US is unable to protect the local population.... More »

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