Pentagon says Khorasan leader killed in Syria airstrike

Updated 18 October 2015
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Pentagon says Khorasan leader killed in Syria airstrike

WASHINGTON: An air strike by the US-led coalition has killed Sanafi Al-Nasr, leader of an Al-Qaeda offshoot called the Khorasan Group, a Pentagon spokesman said on Sunday.
The Pentagon said Al-Nasr organized routes for new recruits to travel from Pakistan to Syria through Turkey and played a significant role in the group’s finances. He was killed in an air strike on Thursday in northwest Syria, it said.
“Al-Nasr was a longtime jihadist experienced in funneling money and fighters for Al-Qaeda. He moved funds from donors in the Gulf region into Iraq and then to Al-Qaeda leaders from Pakistan to Syria,” the Pentagon spokesman said in a statement.
Al-Nasr worked for Al-Qaeda’s Iran-based network before taking charge of the militant group’s finances in 2012 and moving to Syria in 2013, the Pentagon said. He was the fifth senior Khorasan Group leader killed in the last four months, it said.
“This operation deals a significant blow to the Khorasan Group’s plans to attack the United States and our allies, and once again proves that those who seek to do us harm are not beyond our reach,” Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in a statement.


Iran starts Gulf war games, to test submarine-launched missiles

Updated 22 February 2019
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Iran starts Gulf war games, to test submarine-launched missiles

  • More than 100 vessels taking part in the three-day war games in an area stretching from the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean
  • Iran has expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles

DUBAI: Iran on Friday began large-scale naval drills at the mouth of the Gulf, which will feature its first submarine cruise missile launches, state media reported, at a time of rising tensions with the United States.
More than 100 vessels were taking part in the three-day war games in a vast area stretching from the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean, the state news agency IRNA reported.
“The exercise will cover confronting a range of threats, testing weapons, and evaluating the readiness of equipment and personnel,” navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, said in remarks carried by state television.
“Submarine missile launches will be carried out ... in addition to helicopter and drone launches from the deck of the Sahand destroyer,” Khanzadi said.
State media said Iran would be testing its new domestically built Fateh (Conqueror) submarine which is armed with cruise missiles and was launched last week.
Iranian officials in the past have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile US action, including attempts to halt Iranian oil exports through sanctions.
US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program last May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. He said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
Iran has expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles.
Iran launched its domestically made destroyer Sahand in December, which official say has radar-evading stealth properties.
The USS John C. Stennis entered the Gulf in December, ending a long absence of US aircraft carriers in the strategic waterway.
Iran displayed a new cruise surface-to-surface missile with a range of 1,300 kilometers earlier this month during celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Western experts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, although there are concerns about its long-range ballistic missiles.