Biggest NATO military exercise since 2002 ‘involve personnel from 30 states’
NATO is launching its biggest military exercise since 2002 on Saturday, putting 36,000 alliance soldiers through their paces in Italy, Spain and Portugal, AFP reported. “Trident Juncture 2015” runs from Saturday to November 6 and involves personnel from more than 30 countries, according to the NATO Allied Joint Force Command center based in the Dutch city of Brunssum. The maneuvers will also involve Canada, Norway, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, together with operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. NATO will demonstrate “new increased level of ambition in joint modern warfare… and capacity to meet present and future security challenges,” the command center said.
Top Iraqi Shiite cleric Sistani calls for global war against ISIS
Iraq’s most powerful Shiite cleric on Friday called for a global war against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Reuters said. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani was speaking through an aide after nationally televised Friday prayers.“Battle with Daesh is destined for all Iraqis,” said Sistani, using an Arabic acronym for IS. “It’s not their battle alone but the whole world, because terrorists target with their dark ideology all humanity, its culture and morals,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s essential to join together all efforts and expand the parameters of countering this movement.”Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday the Iraqi government would welcome Russian airstrikes against IS in Iraq, and was receiving information from both Syria and Russia on the group. Abadi told France 24 television he had not yet discussed airstrikes with Russia, adding that “it is a possibility.”