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Horror Video Of Snipers Picking Off 'Fishermen'

Written By andika jamanta on Selasa, 19 Agustus 2014 | 20.48

Fiji police are analysing a video which appears to show fishermen being shot dead at sea by unknown gunmen.

The 10-minute video - which was uploaded to YouTube by an unknown source - shows the men clinging to the remains of an upturned boat as shots are fired from what appears to be a commercial vessel.

Fiji fishermen One of the commercial vessels seen in the video

The film shows some of the men on the boat, which appears to be a tuna fishing vessel, laughing and posing for photographs after the killings.

Interpreters said languages heard on the video included Mandarin, Thai and Vietnamese, while the markings on one of the boats reportedly identify it as Taiwanese.

Fiji Police spokesman Atunaisa Sokomuri said it was too early to confirm whether the footage was genuine.

"There is no clear evidence to identify the victims as Fijian citizens, nor is there a clear indication of where or when this gruesome incident took place," he said.

The president of the Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association, Graham Southwick, told Pacific Beat radio that Taiwanese boat contractors in Suva have claimed the footage shows the aftermath of a failed hijacking off Somali last year.

Fijian fishermen gunned down in water killers congratulate themselves Men on the vessel laughed and posed for pictures after the killings

"It's a very famous incident and this didn't happen in Fiji, it happened off the coast of Somalia," he said.

"And the graphic pictures you see of people gunned in the water are not Fijians, but Somali pirates that attempted a hijack of some Taiwanese vessels that attempted a hijack that backfired and they all got gunned down.

Authorities have asked for help from Interpol and other Pacific nations to identify the vessels seen in the video.

Fairfax Media New Zealand, citing Fijian police sources, has reported that a student found the footage on a mobile phone left in a taxi in the Fijian capital, Suva.

Fiji is home to a large tuna fishing fleet, with many of the vessels from so-called "distant water" nations who ply the Pacific because it is one of the few regions where stocks, though declining, are still relatively abundant.

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Pope's Family Dies In Argentina Car Crash

Two great nephews of Pope Francis, and their mother, have been killed in a traffic accident in Argentina, say police.

The accident took place in the early hours of the morning on the Rosario-Córdoba highway in the district of Cordoba, 550km (340 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires, said police commissioner Carina Ferreyra.

The Pope's nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, was reportedly driving a vehicle with his wife Valeria Carmona, 38, and their two children, Jose agd 8 months and 2-year-old Antonio.

Mr Bergoglio, who is the son of Alberto, the Pope's late brother, has been hospitalised and is in a serious condition.

Early reports suggest the vehicle they were travelling in hit a truck in front of them.

The family were reportedly returning to Buenos Aires following a holiday weekend.

Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi said "The Pope was informed about the tragic accident. He is deeply pained," adding Pope Francis had asked "all who share in his grief to unite with him in prayer."

Earlier today, Pope Francis touched on the subject of his own death for the first time, telling reporters he gave himself "two or three years" to live.

On a flight back to the Vatican from South Korea, the 77-year-old pontiff said: "I see it as the generosity of the people of God. I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud.

"Because I know it will last only a short time. Two or three years and then I'll be off to the Father's House."

More follows...

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Iraqi Militants Threaten Revenge Attacks On US

Crucial Battle For World's Most Dangerous Dam

Updated: 5:36pm UK, Monday 18 August 2014

By Sam Kiley, Foreign Affairs Editor

Recapturing the Mosul Dam from Islamic State (IS) militants isn't just a military and political necessity - it's an engineering imperative.

It's got feet of clay. More accurately, gypsum and limestone.

It holds 12 billion cubic metres (425 billion cubic feet) of water.

If it broke it would unleash a liquid bulldozer 10 metres (65 feet) high that would engulf Mosul downstream on the Tigris before racing south and flooding Baghdad.

Some experts have said around 500,000 people could be killed if the dam were to fail.

Because it's been built on gypsum and limestone, which are water soluble, the dam's base gets regular injections of "grout" - a messy mix of concrete and earth.

Some 200 tonnes of the emergency engineering porridge has to be poured into the base every year but sinkholes are appearing.

Iraq's government had earmarked billions to repair the dam, which is also the source of electricity for about a million people and clean water for much of northern Iraq.

And while IS has pretentions to establishing a "caliphate" over much of Syria and Iraq, it is unlikely the ranks of its militants include advanced construction engineers capable of keeping the dam from collapsing.

In 2007, the US Army Corps of Engineers surveyed the structure and concluded the dam was "the most dangerous in the world".

Kurdish peshmerga fighters, with the support of airstrikes by US warplanes, are battling for control of the dam.

It's a ginger process.

The IS fighters are battle hardened. They are also demolitions experts and have unleashed a tide of bloody religious slaughter across a third of Iraq and Syria.

They have sown the countryside around the dam with improvised explosive devices and mines.

There are fears they might have also rigged the dam for destruction.

This may be an exaggerated concern. The IS is violent and extreme but there are no signs it is idiotic.

Its recent tactical successes have been carefully orchestrated as part of a wider strategy to create a caliphate not even al Qaeda managed to establish.

Sending a wall of water crashing down the Tigris valley and drowning mostly fellow Sunni Muslims would rob the caliphate of potential supporters and guarantee the survivors would turn against its brutal interpretation of Islam.

But this doesn't mean the dam may be damaged in fighting.

Nor that it would be able to survive intact if the IS manages to hang on, or in tit-for-tat-operations the dam's relentless need for reinforcement was fatally interrupted.

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Iraq Conflict: Fighting Resumes At Mosul Dam

Fighting has resumed at Mosul Dam in northern Iraq with US jets spotted flying overhead, according to Sky sources.

Islamic State (IS) militants seized the strategically important site, which supplies water and power to millions of people down the Tigris river valley, nearly two weeks ago.

But US President Barack Obama announced on Monday that Iraqi and Kurdish forces had regained control of the hydroelectric facility with the help of American airstrikes.

He called it a "major step forward" in the battle against the extremist group.

However, as the Kurds were celebrating their victory at the dam, it appeared there were still remnants of IS in the area who were putting up resistance.

File photo of the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River in Mosul Mosul Dam. Pic: File

Sky's Alex Crawford, at Mosul Dam, said: "We heard firing behind us about 1km away. The president's son said he suspected some hardened IS fighters were in the south of the dam who had not been cleared from the area."

She added: "They are still clearly holding out and putting up some sort of defence."

Crawford said she heard heavy machine-gun fire and possibly mortar shelling as well as jets overhead.

US fighter jets and drones have been attacking IS targets as they try to help push back the Sunni extremists who have taken over large parts of the north and west since June as Iraqi troops fled.

There is also fierce fighting near the centre of Tikrit, the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Mosul Dam and Baghdad, Iraq The dam and the city of Mosul are in the north of the country

Iraqi forces have halted their advance to Tikrit, which was seized by IS two months ago, due to fierce resistance from the militants.

The Iraqi military had earlier shelled militant positions inside and outside the town, officials said.

Much of the fighting was taking place near the main hospital, more than two miles from the centre.

Meanwhile, the insurgents, who also seized control of the second city of Mosul in June, have threatened to respond to US airstrikes by attacking American targets, posting a video in which they warn: "We will drown all of you in blood".

The message was accompanied by photographs of beheadings.

Unlike al Qaeda, IS has, to date, focused on seizing land in Iraq and Syria for its self-proclaimed caliphate, rather than attacking Western targets.

Earlier, the group denied losing control of Mosul Dam.

Also, the UN refugee agency said it was poised to mount a massive aid operation for 500,000 Iraqis driven from their homes by the jihadists.

Among the initial supplies are 3,000 tents, 200,000 plastic sheets, 18,500 kitchen sets and 16,500 jerry cans.

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PM Warns Of Terror State On Europe's Doorstep

Written By andika jamanta on Minggu, 17 Agustus 2014 | 20.49

'Poisonous Extremism' Warning

Updated: 10:57pm UK, Saturday 16 August 2014

By David Cameron, Letter In The Sunday Telegraph

Stability. Security. The peace of mind that comes from being able to get a decent job and provide for your family, in a country that you feel has a good future ahead of it and that treats people fairly.

In a nutshell, that is what people in Britain want - and what the Government I lead is dedicated to building.

Britain - our economy, our security, our future - must come first.

After a deep and damaging recession, and our involvement in long and difficult conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is hardly surprising that so many people say to me when seeing the tragedies unfolding on their television screens: "Yes, let's help with aid, but let's not get any more involved."

I agree that we should avoid sending armies to fight or occupy.

But we need to recognise that the brighter future we long for requires a long-term plan for our security as well as for our economy.

True security will only be achieved if we use all our resources - aid, diplomacy, our military prowess - to help bring about a more stable world.

Today, when every nation is so immediately interconnected, we cannot turn a blind eye and assume that there will not be a cost for us if we do.

The creation of an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and extending into Syria is not a problem miles away from home.

Nor is it a problem that should be defined by a war 10 years ago. It is our concern here and now.

Because if we do not act to stem the onslaught of this exceptionally dangerous terrorist movement, it will only grow stronger until it can target us on the streets of Britain.

We already know that it has the murderous intent. Indeed, the first Isis-inspired terrorist acts on the continent of Europe have already taken place.

Our first priority has of course been to deal with the acute humanitarian crisis in Iraq.

We should be proud of the role that our brave armed services and aid workers have played in the international effort.

British citizens have risked their lives to get 80 tons of vital supplies to the Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar.

It is right that we use our aid programme to respond rapidly to a situation like this: Britain has given £13 million to support the aid effort.

We also helped to plan a detailed international rescue operation and we remain ready and flexible to respond to the ongoing challenges in or around Dahuk, where more than 450,000 people have increased the population by 50 per cent.

But a humanitarian response alone is not enough. We also need a broader political, diplomatic and security response.

For that, we must understand the true nature of the threat we face.

We should be clear: this is not the "War on Terror", nor is it a war of religions. It is a struggle for decency, tolerance and moderation in our modern world.

It is a battle against a poisonous ideology that is condemned by all faiths and by all faith leaders, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim.

Of course there is conflict between Shias and Sunnis, but that is the wrong way to see what is really happening.

What we are witnessing is actually a battle between Islam on the one hand and extremists who want to abuse Islam on the other.

These extremists, often funded by fanatics living far away from the battlefields, pervert the Islamic faith as a way of justifying their warped and barbaric ideology - and they do so not just in Iraq and Syria but right across the world, from Boko Haram and al-Shabaab to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

So this threat cannot simply be removed by airstrikes alone. We need a tough, intelligent and patient long-term approach that can defeat the terrorist threat at source.

First, we need a firm security response, whether that is military action to go after the terrorists, international co-operation on intelligence and counter-terrorism or uncompromising action against terrorists at home.

On Friday we agreed with our European partners that we will provide equipment directly to the Kurdish forces; we are now identifying what we might supply, from body armour to specialist counter-explosive equipment.

We have also secured a United Nations Security Council resolution to disrupt the flows of finance to Isis, sanction those who are seeking to recruit for it and encourage countries to do all they can to prevent foreign fighters joining the extremist cause.

Here in Britain we have recently introduced stronger powers through our Immigration Act to deprive naturalised Britons of their citizenship if they are suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.

We have taken down 28,000 pieces of terrorist-related material from the web, including 46 Isis-related videos.

And I have also discussed the police response to this growing threat of extremism with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

The position is clear. If people are walking around with Isis flags or trying to recruit people to their terrorist cause, they will be arrested and their materials will be seized.

We are a tolerant people, but no tolerance should allow the room for this sort of poisonous extremism in our country.

Alongside a tough security response, there must also be an intelligent political response. We know that terrorist organisations thrive where there is political instability and weak or dysfunctional political institutions.

So we must support the building blocks of democracy - the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, the rights of minorities, free media and association and a proper place in society for the army.

None of these things can be imposed by the West. Every country must make its own way. But we can and must play a valuable role in supporting them to do that.

Isis militants have exploited the absence of a unified and representative government in Baghdad. So we strongly welcome the opportunity of a new start with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi.

I spoke to him earlier this week and assured him that we will support any attempts to forge a genuinely inclusive government that can unite all Iraqi communities - Sunnis, Shias and Kurds - against the common enemy of Isis, which threatens the way of life of them all.

The international community will rally around this new government. But Iraq's neighbours in the region are equally vital.

So we must work with countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the UAE, Egypt and Turkey against these extremist forces, and perhaps even with Iran, which could choose this moment to engage with the international community against this shared threat.

I want Britain to play a leading role in this diplomatic effort. So we will be appointing a Special Representative to the Kurdistan Regional Government and using the Nato summit in Wales and the United Nations General Assembly in New York to help rally support across the international community.

Finally, while being tough and intelligent, we must also be patient and resolute. We are in the middle of a generational struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology, which I believe we will be fighting for the rest of my political lifetime.

We face in Isis a new threat that is single-minded, determined and unflinching in pursuit of its objectives.

Already it controls not just thousands of minds, but thousands of square miles of territory, sweeping aside much of the boundary between Iraq and Syria to carve out its so-called caliphate.

It makes no secret of its expansionist aims. Even today it has the ancient city of Aleppo firmly within its sights.

And it boasts of its designs on Jordan and Lebanon, and right up to the Turkish border. If it succeeds, we would be facing a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a Nato member.

This is a clear danger to Europe and to our security.

It is a daunting challenge. But it is not an invincible one, as long as we are now ready and able to summon up the political will to defend our own values and way of life with the same determination, courage and tenacity as we have faced danger before in our history.

That is how much is at stake here: we have no choice but to rise to the challenge.

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US Launches Airstrikes To Help Retake Iraq Dam

'Corpses Everywhere' After Jihadist 'Massacre'

Updated: 12:54pm UK, Saturday 16 August 2014

Dead bodies were found "everywhere" when Yazidi fighters arrived at a village where jihadists have been accused of carrying out a massacre, witnesses have said.

Officials believe Islamic State (IS) fighters killed around 80 people, mostly Yazidis, after arriving in the northern Iraq village of Kocho and demanding they abandon their beliefs and convert to Islam.

The militants also kidnapped women from the village in Nineveh province and took them to prisons they control, according to a senior Kurdish official.

Yazidi fighter Mohsen Tawwal told AFP by telephone that he saw a large number of bodies in the village.

"We made it into a part of Kocho village, where residents were under siege, but we were too late," he said.

"There were corpses everywhere. We only managed to get two people out alive. The rest had all been killed."

A man from a neighbouring village, who had been told what happened, added: "The Islamic State had spent five days trying to persuade villagers to convert to Islam and ... a long lecture was delivered about the subject today."

"The men were gathered and shot dead.

"The women and girls were probably taken to Tal Afar because that is where the foreign fighters are."

Senior Iraqi official Hoshyar Zebari said: "We have information from multiple sources, in the region and through intelligence, that (on Friday) afternoon, a convoy of (IS) armed men entered this village. 

"They took their revenge on its inhabitants, who happened to be mostly Yazidis who did not flee their homes.

"They committed a massacre against the people. Around 80 of them have been killed."

Thousands of Yazidis - people from a minority sect with an ancient religion - have been forced to flee their homes by the IS advance.

The extremist group, previously called ISIS, has swept across a large part of northern and central Iraq, taking Mosul and threatening Baghdad and Kurdish capital Irbil.

On Saturday, airstrikes targeted the group around Mosul Dam. It was not immediately clear if they were carried out by the Iraqi air force of the US. 

The IS seized Iraq's largest dam on August 7.

Iraq's human rights minister has said that Islamic State militants have killed at least 500 members of the Yazidi community during their offensive in the north.

Some of the victims, including women and children, were buried alive, Mohammed Shia al Sudani said.

The United Nations Security Council on Friday blacklisted six Islamist militants and threatened sanctions against anyone who helped arm or supply them.

Five members of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which operates in Syria, and Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani were included on the British-drafted resolution, which also condemned all aspects of IS's activities and beliefs.

Earlier, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels agreed to arm Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.

The meeting of foreign ministers from the 28 EU nations was called by EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton and came after several European countries, including France and Germany, said they were prepared to supply weapons to the Peshmerga forces.

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Murder Suspect Released From Prison By Mistake

An inquiry is under way after a man awaiting trial for murder was released from jail by mistake, despite protesting to prison officers that he was supposed to be on his way to court.

Martynas Kupstysj, 25, was waiting in line at Lincoln prison when prison staff handed over his belongings and informed him he was a free man.

Despite telling them that he was due in court with other inmates he was escorted outside and told he could leave.

A confused Mr Kupstysj spent the next few hours wandering around Lincoln city centre while prison officers who realised their mistake launched a frantic search for him.

Prison staff eventually spotted the inmate waiting at a bus stop outside the prison and he was taken back into custody.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed the prisoner had been freed by mistake.

"A prisoner from Lincoln was released in error on 8 August. The police were notified immediately and he was arrested within hours. An investigation by a senior governor has been launched," she said.

"We take public protection extremely seriously and this type of incident is a very rare but regrettable occurrence."

HMP Lincoln governor Peter Wright told the Lincolnshire Echo the mix-up was "a very grave matter".

"An independent investigation has been launched by the prison service," he said.

"This should not happen. I've made dramatic changes already. It was a fundamental breach of what we are here to do."

Lithuanian Mr Kupstysj is charged, along with his brother-in-law Andrus Giedraitis, with the murder of 24-year-old Latvian Ivans Zdanovics, whose body was found following a fire at his Lincolnshire home in January.

Mr Kupstysj's wife Sandra Giedraityte, 28, is charged with perverting the course of justice.

The men will now face a retrial early next year.

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Ebola Sufferers Flee Attack On Liberia Clinic

At least 29 ebola patients have reportedly fled a quarantine centre in Liberia after it was attacked by armed men.

"They broke down the doors and looted the place. The patients all fled," Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack, told AFP news agency.

George Williams, head of the Health Workers Association of Liberia, said the unit housed 29 patients receiving preliminary treatment before being taken to hospital.

It was unclear how many are now at large after the overnight raid.

Ms Wesseh said she heard the raiders shouting that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf "is broke", adding: "She wants money. There's no ebola" in Liberia.

Most of the raiders were young men and were armed with clubs. They broke into the isolation unit set up in a high school in a Monrovia suburb, Ms Wesseh said.

Nurses also fled the attack.

The looting of the centre came as Kenya closed its borders to travellers from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone because of fears about the spread of ebola.

National carrier Kenya Airways said it was suspending its flights to Monrovia and Freetown from Wednesday.

At least 1,145 people have died across West Africa this year because of the world's worst-ever outbreak of the virus. 

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, on Friday warned ebola was spreading faster than authorities could handle.

The charity said it could take six months to bring under control.

Ebola is spread by contact with an infected person's bodily fluids, such as sweat and blood, and no cure or vaccine is currently available.

The last days of a victim's life can be grim, with agonising muscular pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and catastrophic haemorrhaging as vital organs break down.

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'Corpses Everywhere' After Iraq 'Massacre'

Written By andika jamanta on Sabtu, 16 Agustus 2014 | 20.48

Al Maliki's Successor Faces Old Problems

Updated: 6:29pm UK, Friday 15 August 2014

By Andrew Wilson, Sky News Presenter, in Irbil, Iraq

The disaster in the Sinjar mountains turns out to be less of a public relations nightmare for Western leaders than first feared.

A few thousand destitute Yazidi people don't carry anything like the clout of tens of thousands.

The UNHCR operators on the ground had figured this out days ago. Their job is numbers and they know that in a brutal world, the problem isn't Sinjar anymore, it's the displacement of those that were there and are now here looking for long-term shelter from the Kurdish Regional Government and maybe even homes in Europe and America.

So what about the spread of this Islamic caliphate across Northern Iraq and Syria?

Well, as far as its leaders-in-waiting are concerned, it's going pretty well.

It's ominous dark shade on the Middle Eastern map is now one colour from Aleppo to Diyala on Iraq's eastern border. 

And, to date, that progress has been largely unchallenged.

Reports of executions and crucifixions have played a part; even the Taliban back in 2001 could not generate the kind of terror that precedes Islamic State (IS) fighters wherever they go.

But IS are picking their enemies strategically as well.

Few tears were shed in Washington when the extremists turned on President Assad, and as for Baghdad, it took so long for the West to declare mission accomplished and pull out that going back in now would be unthinkably embarrassing.

Better to find another old friend to blame, this time the stubbornly sectarian Nouri al Maliki.

It is all his fault that disgruntled Sunnis allowed the IS to swoop down in their armed pickups and help themselves to all the American weapons lying abandoned in the sand.

If only he had built a more unified Iraq with loyal officers and disciplined troops, says the West, failing to mention 2003 when a cadre of professional Iraqi generals stood ready to deploy their well-trained forces for the post-Saddam rebuild only to be shunned by the American occupiers who knew better. 

So now the successor is embraced. Haider al Abadi seems a decent man, more of a consensus builder than a bully.

He is still a Shia, of course, same party as Mr Maliki, in fact, and you wouldn't want his job for all the gold in Saddam's palace.

He will need three phones; for Washington, Tehran and Brussels, and they will all be on his case to fix - in no particular order - the Islamic Caliphate; Sunni minority rights; an army that's just given all its weapons to the other side; Shia aspirations for a greater Iraq joined by holy sites to Iran and, of course, tens of thousands of displaced Yazidis.

It's difficult, if not suicidal, to be a consensus politician in the Middle East.

Think Sadat, Rabin, or even Mahmoud Abbas sitting quietly in Ramallah with "Israeli traitor" daubed on the walls near his house.

Sadly, in this part of the world, where the borders were drawn by foreigners a long time ago, the time-honoured formula, still espoused by Assad, Sisi, the Royal families of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is more simple: build a power base and crush your enemies.

Nouri al Maliki was on the way, but didn't make it.

And this time, no more boots on the ground.

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Iraq: 'Secret' Surveillance Flights Revealed

The UK has been secretly flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft over northern Iraq during the humanitarian crisis there, the Defence Secretary has revealed.

The Rivet Joint intelligence gathering aircraft has been deployed to boost a team of Tornado jets gathering intelligence as Kurdish forces battle against Islamist militants in the region.

Information picked up by British forces is being fed back to the Iraqi government, Kurdish fighters and US forces in the region as they try to stem the tide of the Islamic State (IS) advance.

Revealing the move at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "We will continue the humanitarian mission here and we will continue to make sure we will do everything we can to assist with the refugee problem which is wider than the Sinjar mountains."

Michael Fallon visits UK troops in Cyprus Michael Fallon speaking to British troops at the RAF Akrotiri base

He added: "I can confirm today we have deployed Rivet Joint, our very latest surveillance aircraft, the successor to Nimrod, to give us a much better picture, more intelligence and analysis of what is happening on the ground which will help the Iraqi government, the Kurdish forces and the Americans."

The Rivet Joint aircraft has carried out a number of flights over the past few weeks, helping to pinpoint the locations of displaced people and IS fighters.

It provides real-time intelligence by intercepting electromagnetic signals, which can be combined with images gathered by Tornado jets to provide a fuller picture of the situation on the ground. 

Mr Fallon was visiting the Cyprus base for the RAF's Iraq aid drop operation.

He spent time with the teams packing and dispatching the aid bundles and told the Army and RAF personnel involved: "This mission isn't over yet."

Sky News Correspondent Tom Parmenter, at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus said the Rivet Joint aircraft was like a "listening post in the sky".

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect in a Dohuk refugee camp Half a million people are believed to be displaced in Iraq's Dahuk region

He said: "It's an aircraft that goes up packed full of kit and analysis equipment to make sure the intelligence is as strong as it can be in terms of what they are gathering and how they are analysing it in this region and then feeding it back to the decision makers in Washington and London."

RAF Tornado jets have been flying missions over vast areas in northern Iraq, aided by larger Voyager planes that help them refuel at 300mph. 

Britain has also been delivering aid to help families fleeing the militants - the latest supplies of vital cooking equipment, needed by people forced to leave their homes suddenly.

Two Airbus flights landed in Irbil on Saturday morning with nearly 8,000 sets of cutlery, cooking pots, plates, frying pans, cups and wooden spoons.

The supplies will mean almost 40,000 people, who currently have to queue at makeshift canteens, will be able to cook for themselves and feed their families, the Department for International Development said.

There are approximately half a million displaced people in northern Iraq's Dahuk region - many of them arriving at refugee camps after travelling for days without food and water in temperatures of up to 50C.

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