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Iran best defence against Mideast 'terror': Rouhani
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Sept 22, 2015

Coalition strikes kill two well-known jihadists: Pentagon
Washington (AFP) Sept 22, 2015 - Coalition forces carried out an air strike in Iraq that killed a senior leader of the Islamic State group, the Pentagon said Tuesday, also confirming the death in Syria of a French jihadist.

Abu Bakr al-Turkmani died September 10 in a strike in Tal Afar in northern Iraq, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook told reporters.

"He was an ISIL administrative emir, he was part of Al-Qaeda in Iraq before joining ISIL and was a close associate to multiple ISIL senior leaders in Iraq," Cook said, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

Cook also confirmed the death of French jihadist David Drugeon, who died in an airstrike near Aleppo, Syria on July 5.

Drugeon was a member of a network of veteran Al-Qaeda operatives sometimes called the Khorasan Group, which plots attacks against the West, Cook said.

"As an explosives expert, he trained other extremists in Syria and sought to plan other attacks against Western targets," he added.

AFP reported Drugeon's death on September 11.

He was born in 1989 and had converted to Islam aged 13 before drawing close to ultraconservative Salafist Muslims.

Iran's armed forces are the best defence against "terror" in the Middle East, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, urging regional countries not to rely on world powers.

"Today, the largest power against intimidation and terror is our armed forces," Rouhani said at a massive military parade in Tehran.

Iran has played a major role in the fight against the Islamic State group in neighbouring Iraq independently of the US-led coalition.

It has provided military advisers, weapons and trainers to both the Iraqi army and Shiite militias.

But Rouhani's allusion was not only to the jihadists of IS.

In the conflict in Syria, Tehran has been a staunch ally of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad against Western-backed rebels as well as IS and Al-Qaeda.

"We helped the armies and governments of Iraq and Syria, at their request," Rouhani said.

"If terrorists start showing up in other regional countries, their only hope is Iran's army, the Revolutionary Guards, and the Basij (militia).

"They shouldn't think that Western or world powers would defend them."

The parade marked the 35th anniversary of the start of Iran's devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Rouhani's speech was screened live on state television.

Iran has been deeply critical of the US-led campaign against IS, charging that it was the support of the West and its allies for the rebellion in Syria that paved the way for the rise of the jihadists.

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British air strikes kill 330 IS fighters: minister
London (AFP) Sept 17, 2015
British air strikes in Iraq have killed around 330 Islamic State (IS) group fighters since they began in September 2014, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said in a statement on Thursday. "The estimated number of IS fighters killed as a result of UK strikes from September 2014 to 31 August 2015 is around 330," the minister said, in response to a question from Green Party MP Caroline Lucas. ... read more

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