Regional brief – 18th March 15
Tunisia: Unidentified gunmen open fire at museum in Tunis
At least seven foreign nationals and one Tunisian were killed when unidentified gunmen opened fatal fire inside of the Bardo museum, located next to the Parliament building in central Tunis. At time of writing, sources indicated that the gunmen had taken at least 10 people hostage inside of the museum and that the parliament building was evacuated as a precaution. While no group has yet claimed resposibility for the attack, Tunisia has the highest number of nationals currently fighting alongisde radical factions including the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
Syria: Military claims responsibility for shooting down unmanned US drone
Damascus claimed they downed a “hostile” unmanned United States aircraft north of Latakia during afternoon hours local time on 17 March, after US officials indicated that they had in fact lost contact with one of their U.S. MQ-1 Predator drones. The US has yet to confirm whether or not the Syrian military had attacked one of its drones but nonetheless if it is confirmed, it would mark the first such time Bashar al-Assad’s regime orderd an assault on a US aircraft since the coalition began conducting airstrikes targeting IS positions in September 2014. Meanwhile, the Syrian military regained control of Handarat, located just north of Aleppo, after 10 days of intense battles with Jabhat al-Nusra cadres and other allied Islamist militias.
Libya: Deadly clashes erupt between troops and IS militants in Tripoli
At least 10 Libyan troops were killed and at least four others were injured when fierce clashes erupted between IS militants and Libyan troops in the Nofaliya area of Tripoli, near Libya’s primary oil terminal, during afternoon hours local time. Initial assessments indicate it is likely IS cadres are attempting to overrun the main oil terminal now that they’ve seized control of several others including the al-Dhahra and al-Mabrouk oil fields.
Details in this report have been provided by Global Risk Awareness a leading global Cyber Intelligence company.