France is still in the crosshairs of the Islamic State: In a new video titled “A letter to France” the radical Islamist group warns it has an expansive network of operatives inside Europe working diligently to carry out more terrorist attacks, similar to those perpetrated in Paris in January.
Islamic State released a new video titled “A letter to France” – Photo: Screenshot
“The fighters of Islamic State are deployed everywhere and now the real war begins. France’s real nightmare starts now,” two jihadists, speaking in Arabic, declare in the video.
In another video, John Cantlie, the British journalist held hostage by Islamic State, told his family to “let me go” and “get on with your lives,” days after appearing in an Islamic State propaganda video inside Aleppo, Syria, which he said was the “last in the series.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. has confirmed that Islamic State militants have captured the town of al-Baghdadi in western Iraq, close to a U.S. military base.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said it was the first time in the last couple of months that the militant group had taken new ground.
”They certainly did get to the perimeter of the base,” he said. ”It’s important to make clear that they were immediately engaged by members of the Iraqi army.”
The attack on Ain al-Asad air base on Friday was carried out by some 25 Islamic State fighters including several suicide bombers, some of whom evidently detonated their vests, the Pentagon said.
Kirby told reporters that most of the attackers, some of whom were in Iraqi uniforms, were killed by Iraqi security forces guarding the base, where U.S. troops are conducting military training.
He said no U.S. troops were involved and Iraqi forces suffered no casualties.
In related news, the U.S. is readying plans to resupply Jordan with munitions in the coming weeks, possibly including precision-guided arms, expediting support for the kingdom as it expands its role in airstrikes against Islamic State.
The State Department and Pentagon declined comment on any future moves to assist Jordan with requests for weapons. But several U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that planning was well underway to help replenish Jordan’s supplies of ordnance.
U.S. efforts to expedite delivery of munitions and other weapons follow a vocal appeal from Jordan’s King Abdullah to American lawmakers last week for greater U.S. support.
A source close to the Jordanian government told Reuters the kingdom believed its supplies of bombs are being stretched too thin as it expands its role in strikes following the Islamic State’s grisly execution of a Jordanian pilot.
Jordanian military experts say the kingdom could struggle to sustain the intensity of the air strikes, even as Abdullah has ordered his commanders to prepare for a bigger military role in the international coalition fighting Islamic State.
He met with U.S. lawmakers in Washington last week, saying he sought precision munitions along with aircraft parts and additional night vision equipment, and noted delays in working through normal U.S. channels.
That prompted a letter from the Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Republican Senator John McCain, urging the Obama administration to process Jordan’s requests “with a sense of urgency reflecting the pace of events.”
“If the [Obama] administration does not up its game with Jordan in terms of equipment for their military, help on refugees, there will be strong pushback from Congress,” Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican committee member, told Reuters.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=23525