16 May 15. Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy was sentenced to death in a Cairo court for his role in a 2011 prison break. Morsy’s name will be passed to the Grand Mufti, along with those of a number of other defendants, for the confirmation of the death sentence on June 2. (Source: CNN)
16 May 15. Carter: Special Operations Troops Conduct Raid in Syria. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in a statement today that U.S. special operations forces yesterday conducted an operation in Syria to capture a senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist organization.
“Last night, at the direction of the Commander in Chief, I ordered U.S. special operations forces to conduct an operation in al-Amr in eastern Syria to capture an ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf,” Carter said.
Abu Sayyaf was involved in ISIL’s military operations and also helped direct the terrorist organization’s illicit oil, gas and financial operations, the defense secretary said.
“Abu Sayyaf was killed during the course of the operation when he engaged U.S. forces,” he said.
“U.S. forces captured Umm Sayyaf, who we suspect is a member of ISIL, played an important role in ISIL’s terrorist activities, and may have been complicit in what appears to have been the enslavement of a young Yezidi woman rescued last night,” Carter said.
No U.S. forces were killed or injured during the operation, which represented “another significant blow to ISIL,” the defense secretary said.
“And it is a reminder that the United States will never waver in denying safe haven to terrorists who threaten our citizens, and those of our friends and allies,” he continued.
“I thank the extraordinary men and women in uniform who executed this complex and challenging mission, along with all those who supported it. Their professionalism, dedication, and valor are a deep source of pride and inspiration to us all,” Carter said. (Source: US DoD)
15 May 15. Pakistan seeks new Force for sea boundaries. Pakistan is to raise a new force to help safeguard its sea boundaries, but analysts are perplexed as to how the force is to be raised even though there is a need to improve security. The move was announced Tuesday by Pakistan’s Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Kamran Michael who said a force of 12,000 Marines was to be raised and headed by a three star general. He added the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had sanctioned the program and the defense ministry had commenced work on establishing the force. However, neither the defense ministry nor the Pakistan Navy would provide details of the proposed force when contacted by Defense News. It is not understood how this Marine force will be established, whether it will be an entirely new force, drawn from other Marine units, or an expansion of existing units that will be re-tasked. There is no time frame given for when it will become operational. Pakistan’s maritime area of interest has been very topical of late. The move to establish the new force comes as work on the US $36 billion Sino-Pakistani economic corridor to connect Pakistan’s deepwater port of Gwadar with western China gets underway, and against the backdrop of an expansion in the size of Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In March the United Nations’ Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf also accepted Pakistan’s claim to extend its EEZ to the continental shelf limits and extended it from 200 nautical miles to 350. This amounts to an additional 50,000 square kilometers, taking the total EEZ from 240,000 square kilometers to 290,000 square kilometers. Regarding the establishment of this new force, former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad Brian Cloughley says an initiative of this size will take a monumental level of organization and training, the scale of which may not yet be apparent.
“Recruiting, alone, will take years. Of course it’s an excellent idea, but it would be better to build on the Coast Guard and the