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  • Terror group continues to seek opportunities to strike in west, says security council report Islamic State has begun to reassert itself in its heartlands in the Middle East and continues to seek opportunities to strike in the west, the United Nations has said ... A report to the UN security council based on recent intelligence from member states describes how the group is mounting increasingly bold insurgent attacks in Iraq and Syria, calling and planning for the breakout of its fighters from detention facilities and exploiting the weaknesses of local security forces
  • forces to leave the country—which a commander in the counter-ISIS mission in Iraq said in a letter he would honor, sparking confusion and forcing Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to deny any plans to leave Iraq ... coalition has paused its counter-ISIS operations in the country to focus on guarding against Iranian attacks
  • An Iraqi woman holds a placard during the funeral of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and eight others in Baghdad on n 4 January ... Photograph: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty ImagesIt used to be the case that US assassination plots targeting foreign leaders were closely guarded secrets
  • ”Zarif went on to compare Trump to ISIS, which also targeted cultural sites during its offensive in Syria and Iraq, a comparison that was echoed by Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, who tweeted Sunday, “Like ISIS, Like Hitler, Like Genghis! They all hate cultures ... Sunday, lawmakers quickly voted for a resolution to do just that, in a move that could completely alter the US-Iraqi relationship and fundamentally change the fight against ISIS
  • For some Iraqis, Van Heuvelen said, Soleimani is an indispensable part of Iraq’s political scene: a trusted mediator, a powerful dealmaker, and a reliable force against the ISIS incursion in the region ... US soldiers are currently stationed across the nation to combat a potential resurgence of ISIS