Monday, February 24, 2020

The List 5223



The List 5223 TGB

To All,

I hope that you all had a great weekend.

Regards,

Skip


This Day in Naval History

Yesterday was the 75th Anniversary of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising.

Feb. 24

1813—The sloop of war Hornet, commanded by Capt. James Lawrence, encounters HMS Peacock off British Guyana and easily wins the engagement.

1942—Task Force 16, commanded by Vice Adm. William F. Halsey Jr., leads the Wake Island Raid in an attempt to destroy the Japanese installations on the island.

1944—PBY-5As (VP 63) employing Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) gear, bomb and sink German submarine U 761 as she attempts to transit the Straits of Gibraltar.

1945—USS Lagarto (SS 371) sinks Japanese submarine I 371 and freighter Tatsumomo Maru off Bungo Strait, Kyushu.

1959—USS Galveston (CLG 3) fired the first Talos surface-to-air missile.



Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• Multiple outlets continued coverage of Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s initiative to identify $40 billion in savings to expand the future fleet.

• Multiple outlets covered expansion of Coronavirus cases in several countries outside China, including Italy, Japan and South Korea.

• The Florida Keys Keynoter reported that a Chinese doctoral student pleaded guilty on Friday to photographing a U.S. Navy base, while the Wall Street Journal reported on the Chinese military’s efforts to steal research at U.S. universities.

• Multiple outlets reported on a partial truce between the U.S. and the Taliban that began Saturday.



Today in History: February 24



0786 Pepin the Short of Gaul dies. His dominions are divided between his sons Charles (Charlemagne) and Carloman.

1525 In the first of the Franco-Habsburg Wars, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V captures the French king Francis I at the Battle of Pavia, Italy.

1538 Ferdinand of Hapsburg and John Zapolyai, the two kings of Hungary, conclude the peace of Grosswardein.

1803 Chief Justice John Marshall, by refusing to rule on the case of Marbury vs. Madison, asserts the authority of the judicial branch.

1813 Off Guiana, the American sloop Hornet sinks the British sloop Peacock.

1821 Mexico gains independence from Spain.

1836 Some 3,000 Mexicans launch an assault on the Alamo with its 182 Texan defenders.

1895 The Cuban War of Independence begins.

1908 Japan officially agrees to restrict emigration to the U.S.

1912 The Jewish organization Hadassah is founded in New York City.

1912 Italy bombs Beirut in the first act of war against the Ottoman Empire.

1914 Civil War soldier Joshua Chamberlain dies.

1916 A film version of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea opens in New York.

1921 Herbert Hoover becomes Secretary of Commerce.

1928 The New Gallery of New York exhibits works of Archibald Motley, its first show to feature a black artist.

1944 Merrill's Marauders, a specially trained group of American soldiers, begin their ground campaign against Japan into Burma.

1945 U.S. forces liberate prisoners of war in the Los Baños Prison in the Philippines.

1947 Franz von Papen is sentenced to eight years in a labor camp for war crimes.

1959 Khrushchev rejects the Western plan for the Big Four meeting on Germany.

1968 North Vietnamese troops capture the imperial palace in Hue, South Vietnam.

1972 Hanoi negotiators walk out of the peace talks in Paris to protest U.S. air raids on North Vietnam.

1991 General Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the coalition army, sends in ground forces during the Gulf War.

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This Day in Aviation History” brought to you by the Daedalians Airpower Blog Update. To subscribe to this weekly email, go to https://daedalians.org/airpower-blog/

Feb. 23, 1912

In Washington, D.C., as the Army became more firmly wedded to airplanes, it issued War Department Bulletin No. 32 to establish new ratings for “military aviator.” It stipulates that prospective candidates must reach and hold an altitude of 2,500 feet in a 15 mph wind, and also make a dead-stick landing within 150 feet of designated areas.

Feb. 24, 1955

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Robert B. Carney directed the use of the term “angled” in lieu of “canted,” “slanted,” and “flamed” to describe the deck of aircraft carriers in which the landing runway was offset at an angle from the line of the keel.

Feb. 25, 1931

The Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics issued a new pilot training syllabus, which added advanced seaplane training courses and reinstated bombing and torpedo courses and observation and gunnery courses that were dropped in November 1929. These changes expanded the regular flight course to 258.75 hours or, for those also taking advanced combat, to 282.75 hours. The new syllabus also expanded the ground school course to 386.5 hours, with a short course in photography among the additions.

Feb. 26, 1974

The A-10A prototype fired its GAU-8/A gun for the first time during an inflight test at Edwards AFB, California.

Feb. 27, 1928

Pilot Cmdr. Theodore G. Ellyson (Naval Aviator No. 1) and crewmembers Lt. Cmdr. Hugo Schmidt and Lt. Roger S. Ransehousen died when their XOL-7 observation amphibian, BuNo A-7335, crashed into the Chesapeake Bay while en route from NAS Hampton Roads, Va., to Annapolis, Md. Portions of the amphibian’s tail and wing drifted onto a beach several days later. Ellyson, Daedalian Founder Member #4377, had received the Navy Cross for his service with submarine chasers in World War I, and the destroyer Ellyson (DD 454, later DMS 19) was named in his honor.

Feb. 28, 1994

Two F-16s from Ramstein AB, Germany, shot down 4 Serbian Jastreb-Galeb aircraft over Bosnia, the first aerial combat in NATO history, during Operation DENY FLIGHT.

Feb. 29, 1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson publicly acknowledged the existence of the Lockheed A-12 “Oxcart” Mach 3+ spy plane program.


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Thanks to Denny and Admiral Witter



MiGs attack Red Crown

I am . Ray Witter! I was the TAO on BIDDLE that night when the NVAs attacked us.

This is from an old “Shoe” friend retired RADM Ray Witter. I was on Yankees Station probably the “off” CV on 19 July’72 and do not remember this. Really interesting.

Denny,

Were you there on 19 July 1972 when the NVA’s Attacked RED CROWN at PRIAZ? I had CG-34’s 48 Radar focused on KEP airfield and saw 5 MIGs take off ~Midnight. 3 headed down the river in a half diamond formation. They were at 1500 ft altitude. I had the fire control radar locked on and I fired two Terriers. One MIG immediately turned for Shore the other two were hit. Then I shifted the BIDDLE radars to Surface Search, locked on the lead MIGs in trail right on our port beam. I fired two Terriers, but they had already crossed the minimum range. They were at 75 ft altitude, I opened up with 5in 54, and 3in 50 rapid fire using VTSD warheads.

The lead MIG pulled up and flew right over the fantail. He was pulling over 3g’s so his bomb release racks were locked. The MIG in trail flew into the guns and exploded. I was credited with three shot down.

Several years later, the Director of Naval History in the Washington Navy Yard told me that the MIG that flew into the guns was the Senior Pilot in the NVA.

Warm Regards,

Ray at RED CROWN


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: H.R. 5858 - Military Pilots Cancer Incidence Study

The following are two sides of the current discussion

The first is from the Bear

Dutch... Stand by for the “base surge”.... A minority opinion from Mount Ogden with no apologies...

IMHO this initiative to look for a correlation between time in fighter cockpits and a diagnosis of cancer is pure, unadulterated bull hockey... IMV this is the entitlement generation at work— a version of the “abuse excuse,” and a quest for VA disability benefits: a principal occupation of folks with a few years of military service who were born since 1960... and some before... “If PTSD and Agent Orange won’t work for me, maybe there is something else I can connect to, and blame for, my diagnosis of cancer.”... A service-related disability by hook or crook...

Alternative suggestion: study this: The two big killers of mortal men are heart disease and cancer. The reason cancer kills more aviators is because aviators have great cardiovascular systems that thrive on shots of adrenalin... Or this: More military aviators die of prostate cancer than males in the general population because military aviators, especially tailhookers, are purported to have humongous testicles...(a myth)... Or this: The reason for a higher incidence of colon cancer in military aviators is traceable to years of exposure to “pucker factor.”...

My 6,000+ pilot hours in attack, fighter and Navy trainers and helos of all sorts, an H.R. 5858 postulate of increased vulnerability to activators of cancer, made me stronger, not weaker, and enabled me to reach 85 this month still being chased by whatever it is that will catch and kill me... If it is cancer, it won’t have had anything to do with my hours in the greatest office in the world, the front cockpits of the Navy’s carrier based aircraft. It won’t be because I spent more than ten years living on carriers (a toxic environment by any definition) and my AOR. It won’t be because I spent more than two years in “blue water” at Yankee Station a hundred miles downwind of wafting Agent Orange, or a few nights at Danang, or a few weeks at TSN. And it won’t be because I took Kalamazoo and Coral Sea through yard periods that included asbestos removal. It will be because God wills it...

No need to study that...

The Fates are the hunter and the three conjoined Goddesses of Greek mythology thrive on weaving, measuring, and cutting the lives of warriors... This was so then, and remains so, for military pilots now and forever...

H.R. 5858 is a boondoggle... Have fun blowing a few million bucks of precious military and taxpayer bucks chasing a baseless and unprovable hypothesis...

Bear🇺🇸⚓️🐻

http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/


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The second is the folks behind the Military Pilots Cancer Incidence Study Act” itself

Thanks to Boot -


The initial text for H.R. 5858, the “Military Pilots Cancer Incidence Study Act”, has been released (see link below). I believe there are few portions to it that need to be corrected or further defined.


It calls for a comparison on the incidences of cancer between pilots and those who did not/do not serve as pilots. This comparison could lead to the false representation of cancers in military aviation as the overall general military environment cancer risk may be high, depending on the individual’s Ratings or MOS’s. Also, many non-pilot ratings may also have been exposed to other high-risk cancer exposures such as Burn Pits or assignment to bases such as K2 in Uzbekistan where they were exposed to significant different cancerous substances. The comparison should be between pilots/aircrew and the General Civilian population for similar ages as captured in the Nation Cancer Institute (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End State Results (SEER) data.


The definition of the term “pilot” is wrong and confusing. It should be written as “aircrew, which includes pilots, navigators, weapons systems operators, aircraft system operators, etc.; anyone who regularly flies in an aircraft that is critical to its ability to complete its mission”.


Beyond just pilots or aircrew, the study should include all personnel involved in the ground maintenance of the aircraft and ground equipment associated with the safe conduct of flight operations, i.e., aircraft maintenance personnel, weapons ordnance personnel, fuel truck operators, flight line personnel, catapult and arresting gear operators.


https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5858/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22h.r.5858%22%5D%7D&r=1&s=2


If you are so inclined, I would encourage you to contact your Members of Congress and ask them to support this Bill with the proposed changes above and/or with others you feel necessary. The wheels of Congress move slowly but do move when pushed by those of who vote.

Thanks

Tom “Boot” Hill.


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 This is a great source of interesting bits about flying in the Navy

Thanks to YP … many from quite some time ago …. but all great!!


http://skyhawk.org/page/youthly-puresome

 
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Thanks to Carl Looks like an apple and a banana each day and we will be healthy



https://www.dailyinfographic.com/why-apples-are-the-new-superfood


Why Apples Are The New Superfood



An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? We’ve all hear that, but did you know apples are more than a healthy treat?

First of all, they’re incredibly beneficial in waking you up–even more so than caffeine! I myself can actually attest to this, and I’m an enormous caffeine fiend. Another thing is, they’re great for your teeth. Really! Despite all that sugary sweetness, apples more or less “brush your teeth” for you! Don’t have access to a toothbrush, but have an apple? It’ll do the trick.

Whether alcoholic or not, apple cider is a perfect drink, especially in the Fall. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even press your own apples and make your own cider. Of course, if you do decide to make it boozy, be sure to properly and thoroughly sanitize all your equipment. This can’t be stressed enough!

What about the amazing benefits of apple cider vinegar? After all, it’s the new health craze people are swearing by, but what does apple cider vinegar do? It helps you keep off weight, is beneficial in anti-aging, and even helps by keeping diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease at bay. Try it in the morning in a glass of water–please don’t drink it non-diluted–and make sure it has the “mother” (that is, the sediment) on the bottom!

Overall, what can I say…apples are versatile!


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Thanks to Pete looks like the “Screamer” from yesterday’s List changed in his later life

Hi Skip, CDR Monte Nichol was the training Officer in VT21 or 23, my memory fails me, at Kingsville, when I was a student there. I actually had him as a lead in a formation hop one morning. It was totally routine and he was about as easy going as you could ask for. I guess he had mellowed out a lot over the years. As I recall we did a few of the routine formation stuff and then spent the rest of the hop with me in a tail chase. I also recall showing up late one morning for a squadron inspection. I slipped into the formation but not without him seeing me. He walked by me and said, “don’t let it happen again…!!!” and that was it. Definitely not the same Lt. Nichol that is depicted in the “Screamer” recording.

Pete 


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Thanks to Z-Man….I am not going to hold my breath

Skip,

On the Sunday evening local news, I heard this short piece on a proposal to end state income tax on military retired pay https://fox5sandiego.com/news/lawmaker-proposes-income-tax-exemption-for-retired-military/. Might be worth posting it on the List & Bubba’s List.


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Thanks to Carl


Exposed: Islam’s Role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Even in this “exclusively” European enterprise, the hidden hand of Islam lurks in the background.

February 14, 2020

Raymond Ibrahim

https://cms.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/02/exposed-islams-role-transatlantic-slave-trade-raymond-ibrahim


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Daily News for thanks to Military Periscope



USA—Raytheon Completes 1st LTAMDS Radar Array Raytheon | 02/24/2020 Raytheon has announced the completion of the first radar antenna array for the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), which is being developed for the U.S. Army. The milestone came 120 days after Raytheon was selected to build the radar, said a company release on Feb. 21. The company has received a $384 million contract to build six LTAMDS prototypes. The LTAMDS is a 360-degree radar that uses a single primary array and two smaller secondary arrays to achieve full coverage. The newly built primary array will provide more than twice the performance of the Patriot radar array in a similar package, said Raytheon. Once extensive testing is finished, the array will be mounted on a precision-machined enclosure for integration and further evaluation, the company said.



United Kingdom—Defense Ministry Confirms New Nuclear Warhead Program Is In The Works Yahoo News | 02/24/2020 The British government is looking at options to replace the warheads in its Trident ballistic missiles, reports Yahoo News U.K. On Saturday, British Defense Ministry officials confirmed that the plans were under review. The announcement came after U.S. Strategic Command commander Adm. Charles Richard told the Senate that the U.S. was developing a replacement warhead, dubbed the W93 or Mk 7, which would support a similar warhead replacement program in the U.K., reported the Independent (London). While a decision has reportedly been made in the British defense establishment, lawmakers have not informed of the decision, reported the Guardian (U.K.). An update to Parliament in December did not mention the plans. Officials said the government has not had time to inform Parliament, which has been in recess, but will make an official announcement once lawmakers return. The replacement program is estimated to cost up to 31 billion pounds (US$40 billion).



United Kingdom—Army Completes Withdrawal From Germany Guardian | 02/24/2020 The British army has relinquished control of a German base as it withdraws the last of its forces permanently based in Germany, reports the Guardian (U.K.). A flag-lowering ceremony was held at Catterick Barracks, Bielefeld, on Feb. 20, reported the Forces Network (U.K.). The move was part of Operation Owl, a drawdown program launched by then-Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010 to cut costs. At that time, about 20,000 troops were stationed at Catterick Barracks as part of a deployment that began following the end of World War II. On Saturday, the defense ministry said that about 185 troops and 60 defense ministry civilian employees would remain in Germany.



France—Contract Inked For FCAS Fighter Demonstrator Defense-Aerospace | 02/24/2020 Senior defense officials from France, Germany and Spain have signed a contract for the production of an initial demonstrator of the combat aircraft component of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program, reports defense-aerospace.com. On Feb. 20, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly, German Minister of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Angel Olivares Ramirez, the secretary of state to the Spanish defense minister, signed the contract during a ceremony in Paris, the French Armed Forces Ministry said. Work under the contract will run for 18 months and has a total value of 150 million euros (US$162.8 million), reported the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA). The three nations will split the work evenly. Research under the contract is expected to lead to the construction of functioning demonstrators by 2026. Meanwhile, Airbus announced that it had teamed with MBDA Systems to work together to develop uncrewed aircraft demonstrators for the remote carrier component of the FCAS program. MBDA will focus on small and medium platforms under Airbus leadership, while Airbus will work on the whole program, teaming intelligence and medium to large platforms. Airbus and Thales have also agreed to develop the Air Combat Cloud, which will support the FCAS system of systems, the companies said in a joint release. Under the agreement, the firms will jointly develop the structural design of the combat cloud to support air operations at national and multinational levels and conduct an initial phase of technology demonstrations.



Greece—Confidence-Building Talks Held With Turkish Defense Ministry Anadolu News Agency | 02/24/2020 Representatives of the Turkish and Greek defense ministries met last week in Athens, reports the Anadolu Agency (Ankara). The representatives concluded three days of talks on Feb. 19 that covered confidence-building measures, security precautions and developing mutual cooperation. During the visit, the head of the Turkish delegation met with Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos.



Turkey—Initial Istanbul-Class Frigate Nears Completion Anadolu News Agency | 02/24/2020 Turkey is close to completing construction of its first indigenously designed frigate, reports the Anadolu Agency (Ankara). The Istanbul-class frigate is being built under the MILGEM indigenous shipbuilding program. The project also includes eight Heybeliada-class corvettes, four of which have been completed, noted the Daily Sabah (Istanbul). The Defense Industries Presidencies is building the frigate with prime contractor STM. STM recently signed a contract with domestic defense firms Aselsan and Havelsan for weapon systems for the frigate.



Turkey—Ankara Requests U.S. Patriot Battery Deployment As Idlib Heats Up Bloomberg News | 02/24/2020 The Turkish government has asked the U.S. to deploy two Patriot air defense batteries on its southern border to strengthen Ankara's ability to respond to attacks on its troops in northwestern Syria, reports Bloomberg News. The request was made earlier this month to James Jeffrey, the U.S. envoy for Syria engagement. Washington confirmed receiving the request but has not yet made a decision, an unnamed U.S. official told the Anadolu Agency (Ankara) last week. Syria has surrounded several Turkish outposts in Idlib that were established following a 2018 agreement with Russia to set up a de-escalation zone in the province. The Patriot batteries would enable Turkish F-16s to strike Syrian regime units in Idlib, without leaving Turkish territory vulnerable, said an unnamed official. Ankara would also consider Patriot batteries provided by European allies, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told CNN-Turk on Feb. 20.



Russia—MiG Develops Auto-Land System For Latest MiG-29 Variants MiG Aircraft | 02/24/2020 Russia’s MiG has announced the successful development of an automatic landing system for its latest MiG-29 models. The automatic landing system holds a glidepath for the pilot in adverse weather conditions until the pilot can gain visual contact with the runway, the company said in a Feb. 21 release. The performance of the system has been confirmed in several test flights. The system will be integrated with the latest MiG-29M, MiG-29M2 and MiG-35 fighter aircraft, said company officials.



Japan—Military Reciprocal Access Agreement In The Works With Australia Jiji Press | 02/24/2020 The Australian and Japanese governments expect to finalize a status of forces agreement in June, reports the Jiji Press (Tokyo). Officials plan to announce a finalized pact during a visit to Japan by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, sources said on Sunday. The Reciprocal Access Agreement would establish a legal framework, including criminal procedures, immigration control and taxation, for Japanese and Australian troops temporarily stationed in the other country for exercises or disaster response missions. Talks on the agreement began in July 2014, when Japan started to ease traditional restrictions on its self-defense forces. The British government has expressed interest in a similar pact with Japan following its exit from the European Union.



Vietnam—Mimicking China, Vietnam Employs Fishing Fleets To Spy In S. China Sea South China Morning Post | 02/24/2020 Over the last decade, Vietnamese fishing trawlers have increasingly sailed within the territorial limits of China's southern Hainan island, mirroring activities by Chinese vessels in the region, reports the South China Morning Post. Between Jan. 19 and Jan. 31, at least 34 Vietnamese fishing boats approached the island, with the majority entering the 12 nautical mile territorial limit, according to a new report by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a think tank at the state-run Peking University. The activity of 30 boats was concentrated on the southeast side of the island, particularly near the coast of Sanya and Lingshui. Sanya is home to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's South Sea Fleet and China's second aircraft carrier, Shandong. Lingshui is home to a PLA air base. It makes little sense for Vietnamese boats to travel the extra distance to the east side of Hainan to fish, the report says. Information could be obtained from a variety of Chinese operations in the area, said analysts. Vietnamese maritime militia members are aboard some of the fishing vessels, said a researcher with the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Hainan. Vietnamese ships have made more than 10,000 such transits annually over the last decade, experts said. China has engaged in similar tactics, using civilian fishing vessels with militia members on board to harass fishing ships and oil rigs in disputed parts of the South China Sea.



Thailand—Constitutional Court Dissolves Opposition Party Over Loan Al Jazeera | 02/24/2020 The Thai Constitutional Court has ordered the dissolution of the Future Forward Party (FFP) after finding it accepted an illegal loan from its founder, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar). On Friday, the court issued the order for the party to disband and barred 16 of its senior leaders, including its head, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, from politics for 10 years, reported Reuters. The party had been found guilty of illegally accepting a US$6.1 million loan from Thanathorn. The FFP was the third largest party in the Parliament and a major force of the opposition. The remaining 70 FFP lawmakers have 60 days to switch to a new party to remain in their seats, according to Thai TV. The party has been hit with multiple lawsuits since its strong performance in last year's elections, which Thanathorn and other members say are politically motivated, reported BBC News. It is not unusual for party leaders in Thailand to loan large amounts of money to their campaigns, but the election commission maintains that Thanathorn broke the law. The move was widely condemned as an effort to continue the military government’s grip on power in Thailand.



Pakistan—Army Chief Pledges Deeper Cooperation During Visit To Morocco Pakistan Press International | 02/24/2020 The Moroccan and Pakistani governments have agreed to enhance security cooperation, reports the Pakistan Press International. Pakistani army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa began a four-day visit to Morocco on Feb. 19, reported the North Africa Post. During his visit, Bajwa met with de-facto Moroccan Defense Minister Adellatif Loudiyi and military Inspector General Gen. Abdelfattah Lourak. Representatives from both sides agreed to enhance security cooperation, including joint training.



Afghanistan—19 ISIS Militants Die In Raids, Airstrikes In NE Khaama Press | 02/24/2020 Afghan military operations against ISIS have killed 19 militants in the northeastern part of the country, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan). On Friday, special operations units carried out a raid in the Nejrab district of the northeastern Kapisa province, killing six militants. During the operation a small arms cache was destroyed, a military source said. An airstrike in the same district killed another six militants, while an air attack in the Chawkai district of Kunar province, also in the northeast, killed seven ISIS terrorists, officials said.



Israel—PIJ Sites In Syria, Gaza Hits After Rocket Attack In South Jerusalem Post | 02/24/2020 Israeli jets have struck suspected Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) targets in Damascus and Gaza in response to rocket attacks in southern Israel, reports the Jerusalem Post. On Sunday, Israel launched airstrikes against sites used by PIJ in Al Adleyeh, south of Damascus, killing two Palestinian militants and four pro-Iranian militiamen, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The attack targeted an important PIJ weapons development facility. Also targeted were a local headquarters for the group in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, and a training compound in northern Gaza. The Israeli strikes followed a barrage of more than 20 rockets that were fired from Gaza, reported Agence France-Presse. The rocket attack followed the killing of a PIJ fighter near the border fence in northern Gaza. Following the Israeli airstrikes, at least 14 rockets were fired into southern Israel, Israeli Defense Force sources told the Times of Israel. Iron Dome air defense systems intercepted 12 of the missiles, the sources said. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told local media that a large-scale incursion into Gaza was possible, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the mayors of the southern cities of Ashkelon and Sderot.



Egypt—Doubts Raised About Reports Of Execution Of Top Militant Reuters | 02/24/2020 Questions have been raised about the veracity of reports that a top Egyptian militant has been executed, reports Reuters. On Monday, three newspapers, Al Ahram, Al Shorouk and Al Watan, reported that Hisham al-Ashmawy had been executed. The newspapers later removed the reports from their websites. Three security sources said that the former Al-Qaida and Ansar Bait al-Maqdis member had been executed, reported Asharq Al-Awsat (London). A military source denied that the execution had happened. Ashmawy's lawyer said the terrorist's family had not been notified of any execution. Ashmawy is a former army special operations officer who defected to militant groups, including Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, the forerunner of Sinai Province.


Mali -- 4 Soldiers Die In Militant Attack In Timbuktu Region


Source: Agence France-Presse


At least four Malian soldiers have been killed and eight wounded in an attack in Mali's northern Timbuktu region, reports Agence France-Presse.

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