by Terence Strong
Events appear to be entering the very end game for Da’esh (Islamic State) in Syria.
While British RAF Typhoons contributed to air support with Storm Shadow and Brimstone missiles, 60 plus troops of B Squadron 22 SAS reportedly advanced on the town of Baghuz on the banks of the Euphrates river. They deployed by RAF SF Chinook helicopters and dune buggies, alongside American and French Special Forces, which were based at Al Qaim over the border in Iraq.
Fighting alongside fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the elite soldiers suffered two casualties whilst killing 150 jihadis in the ongoing battle.
Over 600 mortar rounds were used, driving the remaining IS fighters into a defensive tunnel system.
The severed heads of over 50 Yazidi female sex slaves were discovered, shocking even the most combat-hardened soldiers, marking the death cult’s final act of depravityand barbarity.
Several IS commanders were apparently caught trying to escape the area disguised as women in traditional Arab dress. There appear to be now only some 200 IS fighters remaining, trapped in Hawi- al-Dandal, a mere mileage of scrub on the river bank.
They may have nowhere to run, but unfortunately the terrorists do still hold over a hundred civilian hostages.
by Terence Strong
Trouble is brewing fast in Venezuela, a troubled land I visited some 25 years ago when researching my thriller White Viper. The place was a socialist dystopian wreck even then. In the capital Caracas, roads melted in the tropical heat because of political corruption, big money changing hands between politicians and the construction industry mafia.
Drug business from neighbouring Colombia was rife as were many related murders. Rule One was don’t inform the police if you stumble across a body, because you’d be locked up as prime suspect.
Nothing worked in the city, it was like a scene from Mad Max. Now even more so.
Under another failed extreme socialist or Communist government, whose president Nicholas Maduro refuses to step down as the country sinks into chaos with hyper inflation, starvation, medical wipe-out and a surging people’s revolution and mass migration from its borders.
If the United States is put on standby, tempted to provide at least 5000 troops to deliver humanitarian aid, we already hear that the Russians have also dispatched Warners Spetsnaz-trained mercenaries to assist Maduro in shoring up his failed regime.
To date he’s keeping the army and police on his side, but for how long?
If that wasn’t enough potential fuel to the fire, the feared hard-left National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas of next door Columbia is threatening to intervene against such an American “invasion”.
It won’t take much to light the touch paper for an almighty conflagration.
(See White Viper on the Book Information page)