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Britain steps up attacks on ISIS, doubles warplanes


London: British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said that the deployment of Typhoons and two further Tornados would double the number of British fighter jets taking the fight against the ISIS militant group.

ISIS terrorists have again been struck by British Royal Air Force aircraft, with Typhoon fighters jets used for the first time in bombing missions over Syria and Iraq, according to British Ministry of Defence, Xinhua reported.

During the evening of December 4, Tornado GR4s and Typhoon FGR4s, based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, conducted a further series of strikes on targets in the very large IS-controlled oilfield at Omar in eastern Syria, MoD said on Saturday in a statement on Saturday.

“The Tornados and Typhoons used Paveway IV guided bombs to hit wellheads, thus cutting off the terrorists’ oil revenue at the very source. Eight attacks were carried out, and early reports suggest that they were successful,” the statement said.

The ministry claimed British capabilities currently gather 60 percent of the Coalition’s tactical reconnaissance in Iraq and 30 percent of the intelligence in Syria, with over 800 personnel supporting operations in the campaign to degrade Daesh.

Since coalition air operations began last year, the RAF base at Akrotiri has been home to extensive air capabilities, including Tornado GR4s, Voyager air-to-air refueling aircraft, C130 transport aircraft, and Sentinel surveillance aircraft, according to the MoD statement.

Britain launched airstrikes against IS targets in Syria just hours after its Parliament approved a government proposal to extend military action from Iraq to Syria.


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Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

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This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)

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