Nov 2, 2019

54 dead from jihadist attack on Mali's army

A Malian Armed Forces soldier in Ndaki in July 2019. Photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

The second major assault against Mali's armed forces this month left at least 54 people — including one civilian — dead on Friday, AP reports. Mali's government confirmed details of the Jihadist attack on Saturday.

What's happening: The French military has helped maintain control in Mali after the attack and is helping evacuate the wounded, a government spokesperson told AP. No group has currently claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, but "jihadists with links to the Islamic State group" are active in the region, per AP.

The backdrop: France and Mali have acted together as strategic partners to fight Islamic extremism, most notably in France's successful 2013 operation in the country. The U.S. has stationed troops in the Sahel region, including Niger, and provided services like counterroadside bomb training, per the New York Times.

Go deeper

U.K. bridge attacker was a convicted terrorist

Police assist an injured man near London Bridge on Nov. 29 after reports of shots being fired on London Bridge. Photo: DANIEL SORABJI / Contributor/Getty Images

A man convicted in 2012 for terrorism offenses allegedly stabbed several people, two fatally, on Friday, before bystanders tackled him, and officers fatally shot him on London Bridge, the AP reports.

The latest: The Islamic State said, without evidence, that the London Bridge attack was carried out by one of its fighters, the group's Amaq news agency reported according to Reuters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 30, 2019

Mike Pence makes surprise visit to Iraq

Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Vice President Pence made a previously undisclosed visit to Iraq on Saturday, "the highest-level American trip since President Trump ordered a pullback of U.S. forces in Syria two months ago," AP's Zeke Miller reports from Erbil.

The state of play: "Flying in a C-17 military cargo jet to preserve the secrecy of the visit to the conflict zone, Pence landed in Erbil to meet with Iraqi Kurdistan President Nechirvan Barzani," AP writes.

Go deeperArrowNov 23, 2019

Deadly car bomb blasts bus terminal in Syrian town held by Turkey

Turkey said at least eight people were killed and more than 20 wounded during a car bomb attack on Nov. 10. Photo: Zein Al Rifai/AFP/Getty Images

At least 10 people have died after a car bomb exploded on Saturday in the northern Syrian town Al-Bab, per a post from the official Twitter account of the Turkish Defense Ministry.

Why it matters: The community has been held by Turkey-backed opposition fighters since 2016, AP reports. Violent attacks have increased following Turkey's offensive into northern Syria in October.

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019