News Briefs – April 17, 2019

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U.S. airstrike kills top IS group leader in northern Somalia

The U.S. military and a Somali official said April 15 that a U.S. airstrike killed a senior leader of the Islamic State in Somalia group that has led attacks in northern Somalia.
The U.S. Africa Command said in statement that it carried out an airstrike near Xiriiro, a village in northern Somalia’s semi-independent Puntland state on Sunday, killing Abdulhakim Dhuqub, the deputy .leader of the extremists linked to the Islamic State group.
The U.S. military statement said Dhuqub was responsible for the daily operations of the extremist group, planning attacks and getting resources.
The U.S. military said the airstrike targeted the vehicle carrying Dhuqub and said no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. AP
 

Marine killed in training crash at Camp Pendleton

A Marine has died and two others have been injured in a crash during training at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.
The San Diego Union-Tribune says a Marine Raider was injured April 13 when a tactical vehicle crashed and he died April 14. His name wasn’t immediately released.
Two other Marines had minor injuries.
Only one vehicle was involved in the crash, which is under investigation. AP
 

Taiwan president denounces Chinese military ‘coercion’

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen says Chinese attempts at what she calls military coercion only strengthen the resolve of the self-governing island republic to defend itself.
Tsai’s comments April 16 follow what the island’s defense ministry called a major foray by Chinese military planes into airspace just south of the island on April 15.
That included bombers, fighter jets, and early warning and control aircraft.
Tsai told a security forum in Taipei that such actions “only serve to strengthen our resolve.’”
China’s ruling Communist Party considers Taiwan its own territory, although it has never governed the island, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949.
Beijing cut ties with Tsai’s government following her 2016 election and has been stepping up military threats and efforts to isolate Taipei diplomatically. AP
 

Iran’s parliament labels entire U.S. army as terrorist

Iran’s lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a bill labeling U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorist, a day after the U.S. terrorism designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard formally took effect.
State TV says Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami introduced the bill authorizing the government to act firmly in response to “terrorist actions” by U.S. forces. It demands authorities use “legal, political and diplomatic” measures to neutralize the American move, without elaborating.
The report said 204 lawmakers approved the bill, out of 207 present at Tuesday’s session in the 290-seat chamber. Two lawmakers voted against the bill and one abstained.
The Guard’s designation — the first-ever for an entire division of another government — adds another layer of sanctions to the powerful paramilitary force. AP