Today's featured article
Operation Barras was a British Army operation in Sierra Leone in 2000 that rescued five soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment and 21 Sierra Leonean civilians being held by the West Side Boys militia group. The soldiers were part of a patrol returning from a visit to Jordanian peacekeepers attached to the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) at Masiaka. The ground operation was conducted by D Squadron, 22 Regiment Special Air Service, with a diversionary assault by elements of 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment. At least 25 West Side Boys and one soldier in the rescue party were killed, and 18 West Side Boys—including the gang's leader, Foday Kallay—were taken prisoner and later transferred to the custody of the Sierra Leone Police. Many West Side Boys fled the area during the assault, and over 300 surrendered to UNAMSIL forces within a fortnight. After the operation, the British government increased its support of UNAMSIL and its efforts to bring the Sierra Leone Civil War to an end, both politically, through the United Nations Security Council, and through the provision of staff officers to support UNAMSIL. (Full article...)
In the news
- At least 70 people are killed and around 600 others injured in a train derailment in Cameroon.
- Numerous media outlets, social networks, and retailers go offline in parts of North America and Europe during a large-scale denial-of-service cyberattack.
- The ESA–Roscosmos ExoMars mission's Trace Gas Orbiter enters orbit around Mars, but contact is lost with the Schiaparelli lander (model pictured) during its descent to the planet's surface.
- Iraqi government forces, allied militias, peshmerga, and the CJTF-OIR launch an offensive to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.