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Jad Sleiman

GALLERY

Ukrainians training with US forces have their own lessons to share

With two combat deployments under his belt, U.S. Army Capt. Zachary Savarie came to western Ukraine to train local forces. He soon found his students had lessons of their own to share.

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4 men get death sentences in mob killing of Afghan woman

A Kabul court on Wednesday convicted and sentenced four men to death and eight others to 16-year prison sentences for their role in the murder of a 27-year-old Afghan woman falsely accused of burning a Quran.


Taliban claim attack in Kabul, first of fighting season

The Taliban’s annual spring offensive apparently reached the Afghan capital Monday when a suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying personnel from the attorney general’s office, killing one civilian and wounding 15 others.


IG: US can't verify how money for Afghan troop salaries is being spent

Poor attendance and personnel records, a cumbersome and error-prone payroll data system and lack of oversight mean the U.S. government cannot verify how billions of dollars allotted to pay the salaries of Afghan forces are being spent, a U.S. watchdog agency said in a report released Wednesday.


Threat of Islamic State worries Afghan leaders after deadly Jalalabad attack

Afghan leaders and security officials on Sunday expressed their resolve against a new possible enemy after the first major attack in Afghanistan claimed by the Islamic State group.


GALLERY

Freed but empty: Sunnis barred from returning to Iraqi town

It has been months since Shiite militia-led forces pushed the Islamic State out of the only Sunni town in Babil province, yet none of the estimated 80,000 residents has been allowed to return to the devastated community littered with explosives, as there are no combat engineers to clear the bombs and mines left behind.


Iraqi army fighting to keep Islamic State out of rocket range of capital

For the past week the battalion, part of the Iraqi army’s 6th Division, has been fighting near the western edge of Baghdad to push Islamic State militants beyond the range where they could fire Grad rockets into two Shiite neighborhoods of the capital.


Afghans often unintended victims of Taliban attacks on Jalalabad Road

At a time when coalition fatalities are at 10-year lows — NATO deaths fell for the fifth straight year in 2014 — the United Nations counted 3,188 Afghan civilians killed and 6,429 injured nationwide last year, a record high. And some suspect the count is much higher.


YEAR IN REVIEW 2014

Taliban violence continues as US combat mission winds down

Isolated combat outposts and sprawling forward operating bases, 62 in all, were transferred from U.S. and NATO militaries to Afghan forces — or disappeared — over the course of the past year, according to the International Security Assistance Force.


Some Christmas cheer for displaced Iraqi Christians in Irbil

As Christmas approaches, religious leaders and officials running a camp for Iraqi Christians who fled advances by Islamic State militants are working to instill some holiday cheer for those spending their first Christmas away from their homes.


Peshmerga near Mosul say Islamic State militants are weakening ‘day by day’

The farthest edge of the Mosul highway still controlled by Iraqi and Kurdish forces ends in towering concrete barriers. Immediately beyond are blackened craters blasted by speeding suicide car bombs and the Islamic State positions.


Iraq battalion was sole group to stand up to Islamic State's summer surge

Two entire divisions — more than 30,000 soldiers — along with Mosul’s entire police force disintegrated and fled from Iraq’s second-largest city and the surrounding area in June when faced with the Islamic State’s lightning advance across much of northern Iraq.


Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites coexist in Kurdish refugee camp

The French relief agency in charge of Camp Hashem manages to maintain order among the mixed, destitute Iraqi population with just a half dozen employees and no security personnel.


Afghanistan’s heavily guarded capital no longer immune from violence

Despite the presence of thousands of Western-trained security forces and a nationwide military strategy aimed at securing major urban centers, the insurgents still manage to carry out attacks on Kabul. So far this year, the number of attacks in Afghanistan's capital is double that of 2013.


GALLERY

Parting shot: No fond farewell for 82nd paratroopers in Afghanistan

American paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division have spent the last seven months closing down bases in eastern Afghanistan. At every base, the Taliban have been eager to send them out with a bang. Literally.


US watchdog: Afghanistan poppy production at record levels despite counternarcotics efforts

Afghanistan’s opium economy is booming despite $7.6 billion in U.S. counternarcotics efforts since 2002, federal auditors said in a report released Tuesday.


5 men executed in gang-rape case that outraged Afghans

Over the objections of human rights groups, the Afghan government on Wednesday executed five men convicted in the gang rape of four women, an incident that caused widespread outrage from the Afghan public. The arrest and swift conviction of the men was badly flawed, the organizations say.


VIDEO: US troops sent to advise Afghan forces drawn into firefight

Earlier this month, Dragon Troop returned to Combat Outpost Kherwar, which was turned over to the Afghan National Army in 2011, to help coordinate a major clearance operation against Taliban forces in the area.


Abdullah threatens to reject Afghan election audit

Afghan presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah said Monday he would reject the results of an election audit expected to be completed later this week as talks between the two candidates on forming a unity government stalled.


In historic first, German army general appointed USAREUR chief of staff

For the first time since U.S. troops arrived in Europe during World War II, a German general will serve as chief of staff of U.S. Army Europe.

Jad Sleiman is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. He has reported from the United States, Africa, Europe, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Contact

sleiman.jad@stripes.com