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Al-Qaida Group in Yemen Reaches Out to Somali Rebels

A Yemen-based al-Qaida group is calling for regional coordination with rebels in Somalia.  The governments of both countries are facing powerful insurgencies from Islamist forces. The deputy commander of the militant group known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Said Ali al-Shihri, has issued an audio statement urging the Somali al-Shabab militants to join with his group in blocking U.S. maritime shipments to Israel. Yemen sits only 30 kilometers across the ocean from Somalia's smaller northern neighbor Djibouti.

Tymoshenko Camp Vows to Contest Ukraine Election Results

Aides to Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko say she is planning a legal challenge of Sunday's presidential election results, which showed a victory for opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych. Ms. Tymoshenko's allies said Tuesday she will not concede until appeals have run their course and recounts have taken place at disputed polling stations. The Ukrainian Election Commission says Ms. Tymoshenko, Ukraine's current prime minister, lost to Mr.

Sudan, Chad Agree to End Hostilities

The presidents of Chad and Sudan have agreed to end hostilities and normalize relations between their countries. Chadian President Idriss Deby and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir spoke to reporters Tuesday after meeting in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. Mr. Bashir said Mr.

ANA Destroys 16 Rockets, One Mortar Round

The Afghan National Army, supported by an international security patrol, destroyed 16 rockets and one mortar round in Kandahar province, Feb. 7-8. The ANA were conducting a patrol near Darivshan village when they received a tip from an Afghan civilian informing the patrol of a weapons cache.

Feb. 8 airpower summary

Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 8, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here. Air Operations in Afghanistan: Close-Air Support Bagram Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircrews provided armed overwatch for a friendly-forces dismounted patrol.

MQ-1 Predator crashes in eastern Afghanistan

An Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft crashed on takeoff in eastern Afghanistan Feb. 9 at approximately 1:50 a.m. local time. The crash was not due to hostile fire. The crash site has been secured and there were no reports of injuries or property damage. The aircraft is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft. The MQ-1's primary mission is conducting armed reconnaissance. A board will be convened to investigate the incident.

U.S. Army South first responders return from Haiti

Hours after the earthquake struck Haiti, members of U.S.

USS Nassau ARG/24th MEU Depart Haiti

The USS Nassau Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Haiti Feb. 7, continuing on its originally scheduled deployment to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). The Nassau ARG includes ships from Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8: the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). The three ships and nearly 2,000 Sailors departed Virginia Jan.

Terror Attacks Continue to Traumatize Somalis

In recent years, the rise of the militant al-Shabab group in Somalia, an al-Qaida ally fighting to implement its ultraconservative version of Islam in the Horn of Africa, has been accompanied by suicide and roadside bombings that have horrified Somalis, even those long accustomed to violence. In the Somali capita of Mogadishu, the threat of terrorism has not only altered the city's landscape in some areas, it has changed how the few Somalis still remaining in Mogadishu think and behave.    Just a few years ago, streets in the capital were so congested at times, drivers used to have to bu

Yanukovych Claims Win in Ukraine; Tymoshenko Won't Concede

Nearly complete election results show Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych winning a narrow victory in Sunday's run-off presidential election. With almost all the ballots counted, Mr. Yanukovych has more than 48 percent of the vote compared to about 46 percent for his opponent, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.   However, Ms. Tymoshenko is refusing to concede defeat and may launch a legal challenge to the election results.  Ms. Tymoshenko accused pro-Yanukovych forces of ballot-box stuffing in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine. For his part, Mr.

Pakistan Army Recaptures NW Militant Stronghold

Pakistan's army says its forces have recaptured a key Taliban stronghold in a region near the Afghan border. A year ago, Pakistani forces had declared the group of villages called Damadola free of militants following a 2008 offensive.  But officials say Taliban and al-Qaida militants recently returned to defend the strategically-located stronghold north of Khar, the main town in the Bajaur tribal agency. Pakistan's military says its troops and a tribal militia, backed by warplanes and helicopter gunships, killed some 60 militants in the new offensive.  The military's account has not been

Three Separate Weapons Caches Discovered

An ANSF-led patrol found a large weapons cache after receiving a tip from a local resident in Wazah Khwah district, Paktika province yesterday [6 February]. The cache contained 54 artillery rounds, four mortar rounds and 18 fuses. The munitions were brought to a nearby forward operating base and are pending disposal by an explosive ordnance disposal team. A joint ANSF-ISAF patrol discovered more than 20 mortar rounds in Garm Ser district, Helmand province yesterday.

Feb. 7 airpower summary

Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 7, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here. Air Operations in Afghanistan: Close-Air Support Mazar-E-Sharif Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircrews provided armed overwatch for friendly forces and a helicopter medical-evacuation mission. The aircrews conducted a show of force, with flares launched, to deter anti-Afghan forces activity.

USS Freedom Readies for Maiden Deployment

USS Freedom (LCS 1), the Navy's first littoral combat ship, is underway off the coast of Florida for final training and certification prior to its maiden deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) region. Counter-illicit trafficking (CIT), damage control, and systems training began soon after Freedom's arrival at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., on Jan. 25. "This training is extremely important for Freedom and will help us prepare for the CIT mission we expect to perform while in the 4th Fleet area of operations," said Lt. Cmdr.