Situation/Intelligence Reports

Iraq: Kurds Break Siege On Mount Sinjar

Peshmerga forces backed by U.S. coalition forces broke the siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis have been trapped for months, AFP reported Dec. 19.

Iraq: U.S. Denies Ground Forces Involved In Fighting

The U.S. Pentagon denied that U.S. ground troops were taking part in the fight against the Islamic State, Al Jazeera reported Dec. 19.

Venezuela: U.S. Imposes Sanctions On Officials

U.S. President Barack Obama signed legislation Dec. 18 that will freeze the assets and bar the visa applications of Venezuelan officials involved in crackdowns on demonstrators in Caracas and around Venezuela earlier in 2014, Reuters reported.

U.S.: Fight Against Militants Will Take Years, General Says

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James Terry said Dec. 18 that he thought it would take a minimum of three years to achieve a turning point against the Islamic State, Reuters reported.

Belarus: President Orders Switch To Dollar, Euro In Trade With Russia

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has ordered his government to switch to U.S. dollars and euros when trading with Russia, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reported Dec. 18.

Somalia: Citing Ebola Fears, Government Bars Sierra Leone Peacekeepers

Somalia has refused the redeployment of Sierra Leone peacekeeping troops because of fears surrounding the Ebola virus, Bar Kulan reported Dec. 18.

Ukraine, Russia: EU Bans Investment In Crimea

The European Union banned investment in the disputed territory of Crimea on Dec. 18, outlawing investment in Russian oil and gas exploration in the Black Sea and prohibiting European cruise ships to dock at Crimean ports, Reuters reported.

Nigeria: Boko Haram Abducts Hundreds

Boko Haram militants have reportedly abducted around 200 people, including several women, in Borno state, World Bulletin reported Dec. 18.

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