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Air war, ground war, now cyber war: Combating IS terror

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Washington: Apart from the conventional techniques of airstrikes and occasional ground missions used to combat terrorist groups, in a new turn of events, The Pentagon announced on Monday that it was also conducting cyber war against them.

“We are also using cyber tools to disrupt IS’s ability to operate and communicate over the virtual battlefield,” Xinhua quoted US Defense Secretary Ash Carter as saying at a briefing.

According to Carter, the aims of using cyber attacks included disrupting IS’s command and control, causing them to lose confidence in their network and overloading their network to such extent that it no longer functions.

“We are accelerating this (cyber attacks), just as we are accelerating everything else we are doing both in Syria and Iraq, whether it be the air war, the ground war, the cyber war we are looking to accelerate as well,” Carter said, adding that some methods “will be surprising”.

Located in Arlington County, Virginia, the Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. As a symbol of the US military, “The Pentagon” is often used metonymically to refer to the US Department of Defense.

However, to maximize the effect of the cyber wars against the IS, Carter declined to delve into specifics, but called the cyber attacks “a very effective tool.”

“As we disrupt the IS communications via cyber or other methods, sometimes we do drive them to other means,” Carter said. (IANS)

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Iraq lifts ban on international flights to Kurdish airports

Haider al-Abadi issues a statement lifting ban of international flights on international airports. IANS
Haider al-Abadi issues a statement lifting ban of international flights on international airports. IANS
  • Iraq lifts the ban on international flights to Kurdish airports
  • Prime minister, Haider al-Abadi issues a statement
  • He also talked about security o the airports

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday lifted a ban on international flights to two airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

A statement by his office said Abadi signed a decree to lift the ban after receiving positive response from the Kurdish local authorities “to restore the federal authority in the two airports in accordance with the Constitution of Iraq”.

Also Read: US Backtracks on Iraqi, Kurd Cease-fire Claim

Abadi made the announcement during his meeting with the officers of the regional Interior Ministry who were working at the two airports, Xinhua news agency cited the statement as saying.

He also said that a new security directorate will be established to protect the airports in the Kurdish region and it will be under command and control of the federal Interior Ministry.

All the regional airports and border crossings will be linked directly to the main control system in Baghdad, similar to what is done in the other Iraqi airports and crossing, the statement said.

He also talked about the security of airports.

The passports and national ID offices and the employees at the airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah will also be linked to the federal Interior Ministry, it added.

Tensions rose between Baghdad and the region of Kurdistan after the Kurds held a controversial referendum last September to approve the independence of the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas.

The Iraqi government later imposed the flights ban on the Kurdish region as part of a package of punitive measures that also included blocking all the border crossings outside the federal control.

The ban on international flights on the region’s international airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah forced passengers to apply for an Iraqi visa to transit through Baghdad and Basra international airports to go or leave the Kurdish region.

The independence of Kurdistan is opposed not only by the Iraqi central government, but also by other countries as it would threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq and undermine the fight against the terror group Islamic State.

Iraq’s neighbouring countries, especially Turkey, Iran and Syria, fear that the Iraqi Kurds’ pursuit of independence threatens their own territorial integrity by inspiring the Kurdish population in those countries to seek independence. IANS

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