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U.S. forces, allies clear out ISIS caves in Syria

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SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 27, 2017 — In partnership with coalition forces, the Maghawir al-Thawra conducted a series of ground clearance operations Dec. 23 to drive Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists out of the Hamad Desert in southern Syria, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

 The Maghawir al-Thawra, a vetted Syrian opposition force, has been fighting ISIS in the tri-border area of Iraq, Syria, and Jordan since 2015, according to officials.

Ongoing successful operations follow previous engagements earlier this month, in which the Maghawir al-Thawra, also known as MaT, killed several ISIS terrorists in the 34-mile de-confliction zone recognized by the coalition, Russia and the Syrian regime, officials said.

“The combined operations are a result of many hours of planning, building trust and close cooperation between coalition Special Operations Forces and the MaT,” said Army Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve’s Special Operations Joint Task Force.

5th Special Forces Group (A) Operation Detachment Bravo 5310 arrives to meet Major General James Jarrard at the Landing Zone at base camp Al Tanf Garrison in southern Syria (Army photo)

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Terrorists lose weapons storage sites

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Operations have disrupted ISIS’ freedom of movement by clearing several caves the terrorist organization has historically used to store weapons, explosives and communications equipment, officials said.

The ISIS terrorists were using the area to transit from the Euphrates River Valley, where they have enjoyed relative freedom of movement while fleeing the coalition’s successful Syrian Democratic Forces partners, according to officials.

Recent defeat-ISIS operations conducted by the MaT confirm the de-confliction zone remains inhospitable to the terrorists, officials said.

“ISIS has repeatedly surfaced in the Hamad Desert,” Jarrard said. “However, inside the de-confliction zone, our partner forces have successfully thwarted ISIS’ movements.”

The cave clearing operations highlight the MaT’s professionalism, tactical skill and their overall impact as an effective security force within the de-confliction zone, officials said.

Big League National Security

NEW: Joe Biden Bashes Incoming Trump Administration In Leaked 2016 Call to President of Ukraine

Completely inappropriate.

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Joe Biden speaks in critical and partisan terms of the incoming Trump administration in a new leaked call to the President of Ukraine unveiled Wednesday.

In the call, conducted in November 2016 a week after then-candidate Trump’s election victory, Biden bashes the incoming administration to the foreign leader, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Biden assails the Trump transition team as incompetent, turning down the idea of visiting the country before the January transition before Trump is “fully briefed” on matters related to Ukraine.

In a second call, Biden asks for Poroshenko to describe his conversations with incoming President Trump, going to to speak of Trump in more dismissive terms. He describes Trump as a “dog who caught the car, and who doesn’t know what to do.” Not quite a “dog-faced pony soldier,” but definitely not an appropriate way for an outgoing vice president to describe an incoming president to a foreign leader.

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A Ukrainian comedian originally released the calls, suggesting questionable operational security within the conversations of Joe Biden and Poroshenko. Biden has a lengthy history of ethical questions regarding his relationship with Ukraine, including looking the other way as his son Hunter secured an extremely lucrative position at a Ukrainian oil company without any experience whatsoever in the energy industry.

Biden himself would later go on to demand the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating corruption allegations against the younger Biden, a clear conflict of interest Biden merely dismissed when he spoke openly of securing the prosecutor’s firing at a Council on Foreign Relations public event.

This is a totally inappropriate way for a Vice President to speak to a foreign leader, and the public should be concerned about how Biden plans to conduct diplomacy should he be elected President.

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