June 1, 2008


British troops put Taliban 'on the run': Forces tactically routed, says army commander (Mark Townsend, 6/01/08, The Observer)

The Taliban have been tactically routed in southern Afghanistan, with enemy forces 'licking their wounds' after a series of emphatic defeats, say senior British military commanders.

In one of the most bullish assessments yet of the conflict in Helmand province, Brigadier Gordon Messenger said the Taliban's command structure had been 'fractured' and its fighters forced on to the backfoot.

Al-Qaeda chief dies in missile air strike: The death of a senior militant in a controversial hit has led to claims of the terror group's defeat (Jason Burke, 6/01/08, The Observer)
An al-Qaeda trainer and explosives specialist involved in a range of European terrorist networks has been killed in Pakistan, the latest senior militant to die in a spate of controversial American missile strikes.

The death two weeks ago of Abu Suleiman al-Jazairi, a highly experienced Algerian militant, has been confirmed only in the last few days, intelligence sources in Pakistan and Western Europe told The Observer. Al-Jazairi, thought to have been 45, died along with at least 15 others when the house in which he was staying in Pakistan's Bajaur tribal district was hit by a missile fired from a Predator, an American pilotless drone.

Ayatollah ally shifts Tehran power balance (Nazila Fathi and Graham Bowley , 6/01/08, Scotland on Sunday)
In his first speech as speaker, Larijani, who won overwhelmingly by a vote of 232-31, said one of parliament's top priorities would be to strengthen the economy. His lopsided victory appeared to be a rebuke of Ahmadinejad, who has faced growing dissatisfaction over grinding inflation and fresh memories of rolling blackouts last winter that left people without electricity and heat for hours at a time – even as the nation's oil revenues were soaring.

It remains to do Assad.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 1, 2008 3:57 PM
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