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“Catching” a U-2 fresh back from America’s air wars

It may not sound possible to “catch” an American spy plane while driving a Dodge Charger. But that’s precisely what we did on a sweltering August afternoon at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. In a US Air Force safety maneuver that hardly felt like one, our car raced onto the military runway just as a U-2 spy plane approached for a landing. The plane itself was designed in the 1950s to grip the lightest parts of the atmosphere some 70,000 feet above the Earth, so, in the words of one of the U-2 pilots, “it really doesn’t want to stop flying.” Enter the Dodge Charger, which along with another so-called “chase car” helped guide the spy […]

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Spanish police: Terror cell was planning more attacks

August 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The terror cell that carried two attacks in Catalonia this past week were in possession of 120 gas canisters, a sign that it was planning a bigger attack, said Spanish police on Sunday. Josep Lluis Trapero, chief of the Catalan regional police, told a news conference Sunday that the twin terror attacks, which killed a total of 14 people in Barcelona and Cambrils, were the result of a six-month preparation period. “It is understood that they planned one or more terrorist attacks in Barcelona,” Trapero said. On Thursday evening, 13 people were killed and more than 100 others injured when a white van ploughed into a crowd in central Barcelona. The next day, a woman was killed in another vehicle attack in the town of Cambrils. The […]

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Adversaries agree to buffer zone in northeast Syria

August 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The US-led coalition, its principal Syrian ally, Russia and the Syrian regime have agreed to a geographical “deconfliction line” or buffer zone in northeastern Syria meant to prevent clashes and focus military efforts on Daesh, the Pentagon confirmed Sunday. Spokesman Eric Pahon told Anadolu Agency the line “runs in an irregular arc” from a point southwest of Tabqa along the Euphrates River toward Deir ez-Zour. It does not touch the city itself, however. Some Syrian forces have held out within Deir ez-Zour after the Daesh terror group laid siege to the city beginning in 2014. “The purpose of the line is to de-conflict and enable counter-Daesh operations by all parties,” Pahon said in a statement. Read More: 3 Lebanese soldiers killed […]

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