Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 2nd 2015 Contents A21
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WASHINGTON---The US will deploy a new
special operations force to the Middle East
to help fight Islamic State militants in Iraq
and Syria, Defence Secretary Ash Carter said
Carter told the House Armed Services Com-
mittee that over time, these special operators
would be able to conduct raids, free hostages,
gather intelligence and capture Islamic State
leaders. He said that would improve intelligence
and generate more targets for attacks.
Carter did not offer troop numbers amid a
growing call from some Republicans for more
US ground forces and a divide among war-
weary Americans about the prospect of greater
He said the number in the expeditionary
force will be "larger" than 50 but would not
be more specific and didn't say exactly where
they would be based.
There currently are about 3,500 US troops
in Iraq, and President Barack Obama had pre-
viously announced he was sending fewer than
50 special operations forces to Syria.
Carter said the raids in Iraq would be done
at the invitation of the Iraqi government and
focused on defending its borders and building
the Iraqi security force's own capacity. But
the force also will be in position to conduct
unilateral operations into Syria, he said.
Carter said the force might be American-
only, but more likely would be a mixed force
with perhaps Kurdish troops or others who
were fighting the militants. He said the new
force would conduct operations similar to ones
executed earlier this year.
He said it would be a "standing" force,
meaning it would be stationed in Iraq and
prepared to operate at any time. He called it
a "new way of achieving our objective" of
defeating the Islamic State.
"And there will be more," Carter said, in
In October, US special operations troops
and Iraqi forces raided a compound in northern
Iraq freeing about 70 Iraqi prisoners who were
facing execution. One American service mem-
ber was killed in the raid, the first American
combat death in Iraq since the US began its
counter-IS military campaign in August 2014.
In May, a Delta Force raid in Syria killed IS
financier Abu Sayyaf, yielded intelligence about
the group's structure and finances, and his
wife, held in Iraq, has been cooperating with
Carter said the US also was expanding
attacks on the militants' infrastructure and
their sources of revenue, particularly from oil.
"Over the past several weeks, because of
improved intelligence and understanding of
ISIL's operations, we've intensified the air
campaign against ISIL's war-sustaining oil
enterprise, a critical pillar of ISIL's financial
infrastructure," Carter said, using another
acronym for the Islamic State group.
"In addition to destroying fixed facilities
like wells and processing facilities, we've
destroyed nearly 400 of ISIL's oil tanker trucks,
reducing a major source of its daily revenues.
There's more to come, too."
Gen Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified alongside Carter,
saying that in the past month or so, attacks
on ISIS had disrupted 43 per cent of its revenue
US beefs up presence in Iraq/Syria
Special ops unit for ISIS
Defence Secretary Ash Carter, left, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen Joseph Dunford Jr. testify
before the House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, Washington, yesterday. The men
discussed the US strategy for Syria and Iraq. AP PHOTO
CHICAGO---Chicago s mayor fired the
city s police chief yesterday, a week after
the release of a dash-cam video that
showed a white officer fatally shooting
a black teenager 16 times.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel called a news
conference to announce the dismissal of
Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who only
days ago insisted to reporters that the
mayor "had his back."
Protesters have been calling for
McCarthy's dismissal in response to the
handling of the death of Laquan McDon-
ald, a 17-year-old who was killed in Octo-
It is the latest fallout from police killings
in the US. A number of deaths of African-
Americans at the hands of law enforce-
ment have given rise to the "Black Lives
Matter" protest movement.
The mayor praised McCarthy's leader-
ship of the force but called it an "unde-
niable fact" that the public's trust in the
police has eroded.
The city released police video of the
shooting only after a judge ordered it to
be made public. Officer Jason Van Dyke
has been charged with first-degree murder.
McCarthy has been chief since May 2011.
The audio-free video shows McDonald
walking down the middle of a four-lane
street. He appears to veer away from two
officers as they emerge from a vehicle,
drawing their guns. Van Dyke opens fire
from close range and continues firing after
McDonald crumples to the ground.
Police have said McDonald was carrying
a knife, and an autopsy revealed that he
had PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, in his
system. Cook County State's Attorney
Anita Alvarez has said the 3-inch (8-cen-
timeter) blade recovered from the scene
had been folded into the handle. (AP)
Mayor fires police
chief over killing
of black teen
HAVANA---The Cuban government
announced yesterday that it is reimposing a
hated travel permit requirement on many
doctors, requiring them to get permission
to leave the country in an attempt to counter
a brain drain that it blames on the United
It is the first major reverse in Cuba's policy
of allowing unrestricted travel for its citizens,
put in place in 2013 as President Raul Castro
allowed new freedoms as part of a broad set
of social and economic reforms.
The government announced on the front
page of state media that health professionals
in specialties that have been drained by large-
scale emigration in recent years will now be
required to get permission from Health Min-
istry officials in order to leave the country.
The new policy was announced hours after
the end of a meeting Monday between US
and Cuban negotiators in Washington to
address a crisis in Cuban migration, which
has reached its highest levels in at least two
decades. Cuba complained that the US said
it had no plans to change Cold War-era policies
that give automatic legal residency to Cuban
Many Cuban doctors cite low pay, poor
working conditions and the possibility of well-
compensated jobs in other countries as their
primary reasons for emigrating. The Cuban
government places the blame on the US policy
of granting automatic legal residency to Cuban
immigrants, with special fast-track benefits
for doctors who abandon government medical
The government announcement cited anaes-
thesiology, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gyne-
cology and neonatal care as among the spe-
cialities worst-hit by emigration of doctors in
"The migration of Cuban health profes-
sionals is a concern for the country," the gov-
ernment announcement read, blaming US
laws that aid Cuban medical emigration for
having "the perverse objective of pushing
Cuban health professionals to abandon their
missions in other countries."
The Cuban government cites free, universal
health care system as one of the crowning
achievements of its socialist revolution.
Over the past two years, at least 100,000
Cubans have emigrated to the United States,
the majority making a treacherous land journey
from Ecuador through South and Central
America and Mexico. (AP)
Cuba imposes travel permit on doctors to limit brain drain
supporters of Burkina Faso's newly-
elected president chanted "Presi, Presi"
after preliminary results released
yesterday gave Roch March Christian
Kabore an outright win.
Kabore, winner of the freest election
since this West African country won
independence from France in 1960,
dedicated his victory to those who died
overthrowing strongman Blaise
Compaore last year and during a failed
military coup in September.
"To all the victims of the tumultuous
history of our country, the nation is
grateful," Kabore said.
More than 30 people were killed in the
2014 uprisings that led to a transitional
government and more than 14 died
resisting the week-long coup in
September by Compaore's former
"We owe to their sacrifice the
opportunity to restore the constitutional
order...for the promotion of democracy,
national reconciliation, social cohesion,
freedom and justice for all," he said.
Kabore, 58, was the prime minister
and speaker of parliament under
Compaore. In January 2014, Kabore and
others broke with Compaore to oppose
his effort to extend his rule.
Late Monday, second-place candidate
Zephirin Diabre drove to Kabore's
Movement of People for Progress party
headquarters to congratulate him. (AP)
Burkina Faso celebrates new president
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